FRIHOST FORUMS SEARCH FAQ TOS BLOGS COMPETITIONS
You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!


New laptop! Set up a dual boot for japes, here's how it went





Fire Boar
I got a new laptop last Monday, and predictably it came with Windows 7. I didn't actually boot into it at all, instead popping in a Debian CD and installing that in dual boot. But I was bored recently, and was curious about the two entries appearing on my Grub list, so I gave Windows a shot and was rather startled by a big red ERROR. Just like that. Made a nice change from the Blue Screen of Death, and just as informative. Anyway, I tried the other option and it seemed to work, I guess I must have tried to boot into a recovery partition or something.

But then we get to the next stage. "Windows is not Genuine". Lovely you're admitting that, but I knew it all along. Are you going to try and stop me from using the system? Oh well, I suppose I'll click "Get Genuine", just for a lark. The response? "Activation key accepted, Windows is now Genuine." Well... I'm not convinced, frankly, but if you say so. Anyway, I think it's a bit discouraging to the end user to have Windows admitting its faults from the very first boot. Perhaps the seller couldn't get it to work any other way. Oh well.

Anyway, after setting up an account, username, password, bank details, sign the contract to sell your soul to mister Gates, et cetera (I'm exaggerating), I was greeted with... a reboot. Darn. I'm impatient, so I went back to Debian and started using the internet again.

After a couple more days, I got off my lazy ass and decided to get both Debian and Windows set up, see how they compare. Here are the results.

Boot times:
Windows 7 - 62 seconds from cold, 57 seconds from GRUB, 40 seconds from hibernate.
Debian - 26 seconds from cold, 20 seconds from GRUB.

Desktop environment:
Windows 7 - The Windows one. Windows Explorer, I think it's called. Not that it matters, you don't get much choice.
Debian - OpenBox. Yay for minimalism.

Prettiness/spangle:
Windows 7 - Very pretty, almost as good as KDE 4. No complaints there.
Debian - Quite plain. Round edges, nice theme, anti-aliased mouse, no compositing. Nice and minimal.

Configurability:
Windows 7 - Not a lot. You have one panel, one desktop, one menu, always. What the heck, it works.
Debian - Tons. With OpenBox it's all done by editing a text file, which isn't exactly intuitive, but it has the advantage that the end result does exactly what I want. Gnome and KDE stray further towards the Windows way of "we know best, here's some options", but not far. But I'm not using Gnome or KDE.

Login time:
Windows 7 - 26 seconds before the desktop became fully usable.
Debian - 2 seconds before the desktop became fully usable (I'm not kidding).

Size, including applications:
Windows 7 - 28.6 GB (Obtained by subtracting the size of C:\Users from C:\).
Debian - 5.0 GB (Obtained via the terminal command df -h | grep /$, that is, the size of everything under /, minus everything under /home which is a different partition.)

Features that the other does not have in my setup:
Windows 7:
- Ability to run games (some exceptions run on Debian, a few examples: the aging but amazingly good Neverwinter Nights runs natively, the equally old Diablo II runs through Wine, Steam and most of its programs run fine, again through Wine).
- Window draggery fun: left/right comparison, drag-to-top maximizing.
- Transparency, because I haven't installed xcomposite on Debian.
- Good sound support. On Windows it just works, Debian I have a decent configuration, but it's not wonderful. On the other hand, I can configure each application separately with Debian/Pulseaudio if I want, Windows lumps it all together. It's a pain though, so I don't.
- Commercial support. I have (or like to think I have anyway) certain rights with Windows. If it ain't working, I can (in theory) get help from someone on the phone. Not that that's any good for me or anything.
- "All in one"ness. In my setup, Debian doesn't have this but that's quite deliberate. I made the choice to install everything bit by bit myself so I can get it exactly as I want it. With Windows, Microsoft made the choice for me: they decided not to let me do that, so that there'd be a fully featured product at the end.

Debian:
- A decent command line. Seriously, DOS, you're so far behind the competition it's not even funny. Debian has bash (tons of features) and dash (POSIX compliant for what it's worth and a bit faster).
- Speed. Yep, a minute to boot up is not fast, and I don't want to use Hibernate thanks, it's just dodging the issue and sucking up power. Not that it matters, Hibernate's still not as fast.
- Friendliness! It seems like every time I use Windows I'm being scrutinized, as if there's someone standing over me with a "I hope you're not pirating software" look. Which makes me die a little inside. Debian... well, any Linux really, I find a lot more chilled out. More like "here's a bunch of software, it's all free to use and muck around with".
- Programming. I could go on for pages here. Short story: programming on Windows is nothing like as easy to get into: casual programming and hacking are discouraged for some reason, and hence pretty difficult to do.



Closure:
I'm quite pleased with my new laptop and its setup. I'm going to keep the dual boot, with just a small partition for Windows because I do like to play games occasionally. That said, Debian/Linux is definitely my main system from here on because it's so responsive and after getting used to it I now couldn't live without the command line utilities.

That said, these are my experiences and mine alone. Note that the minimal Debian install is extremely minimal, and definitely not recommended for the average user. It's very much a case of "you have to know what you're doing". Most people will find that Gnome or KDE (version 4.4+ or 3.5, I wouldn't suggest using 4.0 through to 4.2 at all, and 4.4 is much better than the on-par 4.3; 3.5 is rock stable) would suit them a lot better, probably with an "all in one" distribution such as Ubuntu or openSUSE.

Sorry that was a bit long. Just thought I'd share what I've been up to, and possibly frazzle the minds of the odd average Joe out there.
menino
I like Linux, but to get debian to work the way you want it to, for a beginner is going to take some time and dedication as opposed to Windows.
I think for beginners though, the main linux distro option would be Ubuntu.
WIndows has always been the choice in operating systems, both for companies and individuals, but hopefully, the gap to move to linux should be closing in due time.
Who knows? maybe windows will be part of open source later on. Laughing
shenyl
Yap, to go back to the black screen is No, No, for me.

In the 1970s, I will happily muck around with the black screen, editing the config files, etc.
Networking involves a fair bits of configurations and trials.

1980s - still fair amount of black screens when the GUI don't work.

1990s - very little black screens, except for occasional booting problems. And probably some System wide variables

2000s - No, No, for black screens. Not piping commands into commands, etc.

After all the past experiences, I guess even old-hands do not wish to do what you did.

You are probably the few left - but I agreed to keep Linux running and improving these core skills cannot afford to become extinct.

Well done, keep the skill sets and why not write an article about this - oh, if it is tutorial, you get no frih points. Just joking. I am getting my frih points here.
coreymanshack
Fire Boar wrote:
I got a new laptop last Monday, and predictably it came with Windows 7. I didn't actually boot into it at all, instead popping in a Debian CD and installing that in dual boot. But I was bored recently, and was curious about the two entries appearing on my Grub list, so I gave Windows a shot and was rather startled by a big red ERROR. Just like that. Made a nice change from the Blue Screen of Death, and just as informative. Anyway, I tried the other option and it seemed to work, I guess I must have tried to boot into a recovery partition or something.

But then we get to the next stage. "Windows is not Genuine". Lovely you're admitting that, but I knew it all along. Are you going to try and stop me from using the system? Oh well, I suppose I'll click "Get Genuine", just for a lark. The response? "Activation key accepted, Windows is now Genuine." Well... I'm not convinced, frankly, but if you say so. Anyway, I think it's a bit discouraging to the end user to have Windows admitting its faults from the very first boot. Perhaps the seller couldn't get it to work any other way. Oh well.

Anyway, after setting up an account, username, password, bank details, sign the contract to sell your soul to mister Gates, et cetera (I'm exaggerating), I was greeted with... a reboot. Darn. I'm impatient, so I went back to Debian and started using the internet again.

After a couple more days, I got off my lazy ass and decided to get both Debian and Windows set up, see how they compare. Here are the results.

Boot times:
Windows 7 - 62 seconds from cold, 57 seconds from GRUB, 40 seconds from hibernate.
Debian - 26 seconds from cold, 20 seconds from GRUB.

Desktop environment:
Windows 7 - The Windows one. Windows Explorer, I think it's called. Not that it matters, you don't get much choice.
Debian - OpenBox. Yay for minimalism.

Prettiness/spangle:
Windows 7 - Very pretty, almost as good as KDE 4. No complaints there.
Debian - Quite plain. Round edges, nice theme, anti-aliased mouse, no compositing. Nice and minimal.

Configurability:
Windows 7 - Not a lot. You have one panel, one desktop, one menu, always. What the heck, it works.
Debian - Tons. With OpenBox it's all done by editing a text file, which isn't exactly intuitive, but it has the advantage that the end result does exactly what I want. Gnome and KDE stray further towards the Windows way of "we know best, here's some options", but not far. But I'm not using Gnome or KDE.

Login time:
Windows 7 - 26 seconds before the desktop became fully usable.
Debian - 2 seconds before the desktop became fully usable (I'm not kidding).

Size, including applications:
Windows 7 - 28.6 GB (Obtained by subtracting the size of C:\Users from C:\).
Debian - 5.0 GB (Obtained via the terminal command df -h | grep /$, that is, the size of everything under /, minus everything under /home which is a different partition.)

Features that the other does not have in my setup:
Windows 7:
- Ability to run games (some exceptions run on Debian, a few examples: the aging but amazingly good Neverwinter Nights runs natively, the equally old Diablo II runs through Wine, Steam and most of its programs run fine, again through Wine).
- Window draggery fun: left/right comparison, drag-to-top maximizing.
- Transparency, because I haven't installed xcomposite on Debian.
- Good sound support. On Windows it just works, Debian I have a decent configuration, but it's not wonderful. On the other hand, I can configure each application separately with Debian/Pulseaudio if I want, Windows lumps it all together. It's a pain though, so I don't.
- Commercial support. I have (or like to think I have anyway) certain rights with Windows. If it ain't working, I can (in theory) get help from someone on the phone. Not that that's any good for me or anything.
- "All in one"ness. In my setup, Debian doesn't have this but that's quite deliberate. I made the choice to install everything bit by bit myself so I can get it exactly as I want it. With Windows, Microsoft made the choice for me: they decided not to let me do that, so that there'd be a fully featured product at the end.

Debian:
- A decent command line. Seriously, DOS, you're so far behind the competition it's not even funny. Debian has bash (tons of features) and dash (POSIX compliant for what it's worth and a bit faster).
- Speed. Yep, a minute to boot up is not fast, and I don't want to use Hibernate thanks, it's just dodging the issue and sucking up power. Not that it matters, Hibernate's still not as fast.
- Friendliness! It seems like every time I use Windows I'm being scrutinized, as if there's someone standing over me with a "I hope you're not pirating software" look. Which makes me die a little inside. Debian... well, any Linux really, I find a lot more chilled out. More like "here's a bunch of software, it's all free to use and muck around with".
- Programming. I could go on for pages here. Short story: programming on Windows is nothing like as easy to get into: casual programming and hacking are discouraged for some reason, and hence pretty difficult to do.



Closure:
I'm quite pleased with my new laptop and its setup. I'm going to keep the dual boot, with just a small partition for Windows because I do like to play games occasionally. That said, Debian/Linux is definitely my main system from here on because it's so responsive and after getting used to it I now couldn't live without the command line utilities.

That said, these are my experiences and mine alone. Note that the minimal Debian install is extremely minimal, and definitely not recommended for the average user. It's very much a case of "you have to know what you're doing". Most people will find that Gnome or KDE (version 4.4+ or 3.5, I wouldn't suggest using 4.0 through to 4.2 at all, and 4.4 is much better than the on-par 4.3; 3.5 is rock stable) would suit them a lot better, probably with an "all in one" distribution such as Ubuntu or openSUSE.

Sorry that was a bit long. Just thought I'd share what I've been up to, and possibly frazzle the minds of the odd average Joe out there.


I want to go back to a linux distro, but they only thing stopping me is that ventrilo does not work under wine or natively. The thing I dislike about linux is HAVING to keep windows around for some things. I want to use ONE operating system. If someone could help me to get ventrilo working with no bugs, I'd be happy to stick with debian.
Related topics
Longhorn Server Full Of Screenshots And Videos
new laptop
Configuring Linux / Windows Dual Boot
possible dual boot?
XP and Vista
New Laptop!
Problem connecting my new laptop to my home network & DS
New laptop
New laptop ubuntu 6.10 problems
dual-boot OS with two different HDD. How can I do it?
New Laptop
what do you think about my new laptop?
Dual-Boot Windows and Ubuntu
How'to install Mac OSX 10.4.6 on a PC [Dual Boot]
Reply to topic    Frihost Forum Index -> Computers -> Operating Systems

FRIHOST HOME | FAQ | TOS | ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SITE MAP
© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.