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Finally biting the bullet and getting rid of Windows





richard270384
After relying on Windows forever, I am so close to making the switching to Linux.

My laptop has been playing up, and I think a complete re-install of windows is necessary. Unfortunately, I don't know if I have the energy for a windows re-install... they are so painful. The last time I tried to re install my (legitimate) key did not work with the

I have already decided on Ubuntu Linux, since I've played around with it before and it seems to me to be the most user friendly and reliable i've come across.

I would've liked to have ran a dual boot system for a while to get used to Linux before completely making the switch, but I just don't have space on my 40 gig hard drive, and no external drive big enough to free up some space.

It's going to be a big a change for me, software wise, but my biggest worry is not being able to find drivers for all my hardware.

So does anybody know a good source linux hardware drivers? I know for example that my Dlink Wireless card doesn't have any official drivers, so I need to make sure that I have some working drivers before I install linux, otherwise I won't be able to get online to find any other drivers.

I'm also wondering if anybody knows if there are any mail clients for Linux that can import emails from an Outlook .pst file?
mehulved
richard270384 wrote:

So does anybody know a good source linux hardware drivers?

I guess you should read https://help.ubuntu.com/8.04/switching/index.html also.
richard270384 wrote:

I know for example that my Dlink Wireless card doesn't have any official drivers, so I need to make sure that I have some working drivers before I install linux, otherwise I won't be able to get online to find any other drivers.

See https://help.ubuntu.com/8.04/internet/C/troubleshooting.html#troubleshooting-device
and
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/HardwareSupportComponentsWirelessNetworkCardsDlink
richard270384 wrote:

I'm also wondering if anybody knows if there are any mail clients for Linux that can import emails from an Outlook .pst file?

There's a extension for thunderbird which can do this, IIRC.
http://lifehacker.com/340521/import-outlook-pst-files-into-thunderbird-with-pst-import
richard270384
Thanks for your help, mehulved.

I took the advice of Ubuntu (in one of the links you gave me) and ran a live cd version to see how it handled my hardware. Everything was picked up automatically and worked fine! Very happy with that.

Thanks for the thunderbird link too. That is exactly what I was looking for.
lastelement0
i think that you will be very happy with your switch over to Linux. I too have made the switch from windows to linux, like you to Ubuntu. for a while i had dual booted between XP and Ubuntu, and several months ago i made the choice of making Ubuntu my standalone OS. i installed XP in a virtualbox as i needed it for some of my courses.

for most users there are plenty of options of program replacements. gimp instead of photoshop, gnomebaker instead of nero/roxio/etc. , basically there is most likely a program on linux that has the same functionality as its windows counterpart.

the best part i find with Ubuntu is its great user support. having troubles getting something going or want to find out how to acheive a certain task, hop on to ubuntuforums.com or go on to the ubuntu IRC channel and you can most likely find your answer in short time.
richard270384
I managed to clear some space so I'm running dual boot now. But I found Ubuntu to be a bit sluggish, which I wasn't expecting.

I have a Celeron 2.8ghz CPU and 1.2GB of RAM... That should run Ubuntu ok shouldn't it?
Studio Madcrow
After not booting into Windows for almost 6 months, I decided to stop wasting space on keeping it installed and devoted my whole hard drive to Linux when I updated to the newest version of my distro. That turned out to be a mistake as the update seems to have killed my wireless network...
SonLight
richard270384 wrote:
I managed to clear some space so I'm running dual boot now. But I found Ubuntu to be a bit sluggish, which I wasn't expecting.

I have a Celeron 2.8ghz CPU and 1.2GB of RAM... That should run Ubuntu ok shouldn't it?


Was Linux slow before, or only after you started dual-booting? Your computer should handle it pretty well. You could have issues with memory/swap. Sometimes background tasks do seem to slow the computer. If demons such as desktop search or backup are active, they will not compete for cpu time, but they will compete for memory and i/o transfers.

The Linux forums may be helpful for you. I have found that there are better management tools for Linux than for Windows, but sometimes it's a little difficult to learn what tools to use and how things work. You might want to try tweaking Gnome (or whatever windows manager you use) to not use fancy graphical features, and avoid having unneeded demons run at startup. It is my opinion that these rarely are an issue, but they could be. If your cpu user time (not including "nice") is consistently high, then you are pushing the cpu. Again, if the problem is i/o or memory, it may not be as easy to see. I like the gkrellm display, which I usually keep running in a second workspace, but again there are many other good tools.
kansloos
Gnome and Xorg are a little slower, then windows window server and desktop enviroment.
SonLight
kansloos wrote:
Gnome and Xorg are a little slower, then windows window server and desktop enviroment.


I suspect you are right about that. It's mostly a non-issue for me since they are usually fast enough on my machine, but I do notice response to keyboard and mouse events a little slow sometimes.

Do you have any information on comparison benchmarks or on tuning for best performance? I'm sure users of both operating systems could benefit from that information.
richard270384
SonLight wrote:

Was Linux slow before, or only after you started dual-booting? Your computer should handle it pretty well. You could have issues with memory/swap. Sometimes background tasks do seem to slow the computer. If demons such as desktop search or backup are active, they will not compete for cpu time, but they will compete for memory and i/o transfers.



It was slow before, but I was running it off a live cd so I was expecting that. I've never had it installed on my hard drive before.
salemaj
You made absolutely the right choice Very Happy Applause Mr. Green you are going to LOVE linux, especially ubuntu or xubuntu(I prefer ubuntu though) especially since it's like the open-source applications' heaven, you get everything from word processing to graphics design to games all for free! it's truly amazing how the power of open-source could do such thing! I wish everyone operated linux.
Ankhanu
The slowness is surprising. I was running Ubuntu on an Athlon XP 2000+ with 768Mb RAM for about two years without any performance issues. But it could be a swap issue as mentioned above. One of the nice things about Linux is that it will run well on hardware that would be useless with Windows, you shouldn't be having issues with that hardware. But, as suggested, check the Ubuntu forums and IRC.

I would suggest doing away with dual boot too... I find its often more of a hindrance to learning to use the OS than it is a help, as it's so tempting to just boot into the familiar when you can't figure things out in Linux easily. But, that's just me Smile
Studio Madcrow
Yeah, the slowness on that hardware is surprising. I get great speed with Linux on both my boxen (an aging homebuild with an Athlon XP 3000+ and 1 GB or RAM and an ex-corpororate workstation with dual Opteron 248s and 4 GB of RAM. The only problem I can think of would be the video card? What card do you have installed and do you have the latest drivers?
mehulved
richard270384 wrote:
I managed to clear some space so I'm running dual boot now. But I found Ubuntu to be a bit sluggish, which I wasn't expecting.

I have a Celeron 2.8ghz CPU and 1.2GB of RAM... That should run Ubuntu ok shouldn't it?

Rather than speculating so much. It would be better if you give us some of this info. You will just have to open the terminal and type the following commands, then paste the output here.
Code:

uptime

Code:

free -m
richard270384
I'm not at home for a couple of days....

I'll post some more info when I get home. Thanks for all the help guys.
AftershockVibe
The GUI will run a lot slower if you are running on the default non-proprietary drivers. If you have an Nvidia or a ATI card then this will make things look a lot smoother as well as allow you to enable swanky effects from System > Preferences > Appearance.

On newer versions of Ubuntu there is a taskbar icon which will notify you of this IIRC.
This is just so you know, you might have done this already or have integrated graphics which don't use these.

Cool
richard270384
Here is some more info:

Code:

uptime

16:20:42 up 6 min, 2 users, load average: 2.49, 2.16, 1.02

Code:

free -m

total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1265 464 800 0 49 239
-/+ buffers/cache: 176 1088
Swap: 1145 0 1145

I had a taskbar icon telling me about proprietry drivers last week when I booted, but it didnt come up today. Just trying to find out how to get a list of the drivers Im using to see if any are dodgy.
mehulved
richard270384 wrote:
Here is some more info:

Code:

uptime

16:20:42 up 6 min, 2 users, load average: 2.49, 2.16, 1.02

This is where your problem lies. Something is hammering your CPU quite badly. Open the task manager and search for the package using highest CPU resource. I wouldn't be surprised if it's beagle or some such desktop search tool.
richard270384 wrote:

Code:

free -m

total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1265 464 800 0 49 239
-/+ buffers/cache: 176 1088
Swap: 1145 0 1145

Memory usage is quite fine, no worries here.
richard270384 wrote:

I had a taskbar icon telling me about proprietry drivers last week when I booted, but it didnt come up today. Just trying to find out how to get a list of the drivers Im using to see if any are dodgy.

Check in System=>Administration for anything related to Restricted Drivers.
richard270384
This thread is resolved now, but I thought I'd share with you what happened (for the next person who stumbles across this thread with a similar problem).

My CPU was being hammered by a service known as 'kacpi' and it's mate 'kacpi-notify'. These two services handle the cooling and advanced power management features that most modern BIOS's are capable of, such as CPU throttling and controlling system fans.

I'm not sure if there is a problem with my BIOS, or whether its just that it is old, but based on what I found on the net, here is what happens:

- Ubuntu boots up and starts the kacpi service to monitor the CPU temperature
- When the CPU temperature reaches a certain temp (in my case 75 degree celsius), kacpi throttles the CPU to a lower speed, turns on fans etc. This is designed to allow the CPU to cool down.
- kacpi waits for the CPU temperature to drop so that it can increase the CPU speed again.
- Unfortunately, something goes wrong on my system and while checking if the CPU temp has dropped, kacpi hangs.
- This overworks the CPU, raising its temperature, which means kacpi is constantly trying to counter a high temperature that it is in fact causing - which makes the whole system sluggish

The work around for this was to open /boot/grub/menu.lst and add " acpi=off apm=on " to the boot options for the kernel in my case, the section of menu.lst for my Ubuntu installation now looks like this:
Quote:

title Ubuntu 8.04, kernel 2.6.24-16-generic
root (hd0,6)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.24-16-generic root=UUID=b464b55f-99d7-4620-b83a-91c81f008b43 ro acpi=off apm=on quiet splash
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.24-16-generic
quiet


At first, my system would not boot after I made this change. To get my system to boot properly I had to disable power managment in my BIOS.

I hope that helps somebody down the track.

Cheers,
Richard
ProfessorY91
For the lords sake just use Windows, and stop complaining about the price. Many universities offer the operating system for under $6.00, on a CD. Have fun managing linux. I somehow managed to kill the installation of FreeSpire that I had, and that is my reccommendation for new linux users... its fairly easy to install / catch on. If you partition your HD correctly, you can even dual boot with XP. Neways, my 2 cents.
richard270384
ProfessorY91 wrote:
For the lords sake just use Windows, and stop complaining about the price. Many universities offer the operating system for under $6.00, on a CD. Have fun managing linux. I somehow managed to kill the installation of FreeSpire that I had, and that is my recommendation for new linux users... its fairly easy to install / catch on. If you partition your HD correctly, you can even dual boot with XP. Neways, my 2 cents.


The price of windows was not mentioned here at all. My main problem was with the painful installation of WIndows. You must activate your copy of Windows before you can log in.... You need an internet connection to activate your copy of Windows... You can't set up your internet because you can't log in... Catch 22! Then, when you finally get your internet connnection working, your windows key doesn't work... Then you have to find copies of a hundred other applications that you use to install them... a few months or weeks down the track things start to go heywire, and the support just isn't there.

I can appreciate that Windows is intended to be used by those people who just want to use their computer and not bother tinkering with settings to get it working 100%. I can also applaud them for the way that the Windows system hides it's inner workings so that it is easier for the basic user to use - I think Windows led the way in user friendliness which partially led to its success.

I don't think that they should be sacrificing the user experience for piracy prevention. I have many copies of WIndows (since 3.1 and up to Vista), many valid keys, and several CDs. It irritates me that I cannot re-install when necessary, because I can't be sure which Windows XP Home CD happened to work with this Windows XP Home key. It irritates me that if I install windows, I have to wait until the end of the installation to find out that it no longer likes my key and makes my system unusable despite having taken hours of my time as it is. I hate how Microsoft packages Windows with new systems... and provides a lovely little shiny sticker with a useless key on it... Useless because most of the time you don't get a CD with it... What use is a key without a CD? Does Microsoft not realise the need to re-install your OS to keep your system running smoothly? Then if you do happen to get a CD and a key with your PC... and then upgrade some hardware here and there, before you know it your key becomes invalid because it has been installed on too many different systems.... So who owns this Windows key and CD? Me or a computer? I own it, so I should be free to install it on as many different systems as I like, without any problems, provided that it is only on one system at a time.

We all know that a lot of windows piracy goes on. But why haven't there been many people arrested or charged with having an illegal Windows system running? Here is what I think: Most people who use someone else's key to install Windows on their system only do it because their own key will not work. If you have a legitimate key, and use an illegal key to install Windows are you breaking the law? No. If you have a legitimate licence to use that software it doesn't matter how you install it. So at the end of the day... In my opinion, Microsoft cause the majority of WIndows piracy themselves.

I have had fun managing linux - It is so much more practical for my needs and given my experiences over the past few weeks I am doubting that I will ever return to using Windows as my primary OS. I am running a dual boot system at the moment because I have ONE single program that I can't get a replacement for on Linux.

PLEASE READ THE THREAD BEFORE YOU POST NEXT TIME, AND YOU WON'T HAVE TO PUT UP WITH MY RANTINGS AGAIN.
xaogo
richard270384 wrote:
ProfessorY91 wrote:
For the lords sake just use Windows, and stop complaining about the price. Many universities offer the operating system for under $6.00, on a CD. Have fun managing linux. I somehow managed to kill the installation of FreeSpire that I had, and that is my recommendation for new linux users... its fairly easy to install / catch on. If you partition your HD correctly, you can even dual boot with XP. Neways, my 2 cents.


The price of windows was not mentioned here at all. My main problem was with the painful installation of WIndows. You must activate your copy of Windows before you can log in.... You need an internet connection to activate your copy of Windows... You can't set up your internet because you can't log in... Catch 22! Then, when you finally get your internet connnection working, your windows key doesn't work... Then you have to find copies of a hundred other applications that you use to install them... a few months or weeks down the track things start to go heywire, and the support just isn't there.

I can appreciate that Windows is intended to be used by those people who just want to use their computer and not bother tinkering with settings to get it working 100%. I can also applaud them for the way that the Windows system hides it's inner workings so that it is easier for the basic user to use - I think Windows led the way in user friendliness which partially led to its success.

I don't think that they should be sacrificing the user experience for piracy prevention. I have many copies of WIndows (since 3.1 and up to Vista), many valid keys, and several CDs. It irritates me that I cannot re-install when necessary, because I can't be sure which Windows XP Home CD happened to work with this Windows XP Home key. It irritates me that if I install windows, I have to wait until the end of the installation to find out that it no longer likes my key and makes my system unusable despite having taken hours of my time as it is. I hate how Microsoft packages Windows with new systems... and provides a lovely little shiny sticker with a useless key on it... Useless because most of the time you don't get a CD with it... What use is a key without a CD? Does Microsoft not realise the need to re-install your OS to keep your system running smoothly? Then if you do happen to get a CD and a key with your PC... and then upgrade some hardware here and there, before you know it your key becomes invalid because it has been installed on too many different systems.... So who owns this Windows key and CD? Me or a computer? I own it, so I should be free to install it on as many different systems as I like, without any problems, provided that it is only on one system at a time.

We all know that a lot of windows piracy goes on. But why haven't there been many people arrested or charged with having an illegal Windows system running? Here is what I think: Most people who use someone else's key to install Windows on their system only do it because their own key will not work. If you have a legitimate key, and use an illegal key to install Windows are you breaking the law? No. If you have a legitimate licence to use that software it doesn't matter how you install it. So at the end of the day... In my opinion, Microsoft cause the majority of WIndows piracy themselves.

I have had fun managing linux - It is so much more practical for my needs and given my experiences over the past few weeks I am doubting that I will ever return to using Windows as my primary OS. I am running a dual boot system at the moment because I have ONE single program that I can't get a replacement for on Linux.

PLEASE READ THE THREAD BEFORE YOU POST NEXT TIME, AND YOU WON'T HAVE TO PUT UP WITH MY RANTINGS AGAIN.



I agree. The price of windows has nothing to do with people switching over to linux, most of the time you have windows already installed with a new pc or can obtain it through other means. That is not a problem. Windows for the most part is a decent desktop. HOWEVER, linux is FREE, everything you'll ever need is free, everything from dvd burners to firewalls to games to graphics editing to 3d rendering. The desktop is by far the most flexible desktop you'll ever use, capable of be manipulated in ways a windows based machine can only dream of.

This is the year of the linux desktop. I've been using it for years now and only now do I feel that it's finally ready for everyone to use. As soon as I installed the latest ubuntu on my laptop, everything worked straight out of the box. Every driver was configured, everything. Linux is becoming much easier to use for the everyday user and thats just bad news for windows. There isn't anything that windows can provide that linux can't.
Fire Boar
xaogo wrote:
This is the year of the linux desktop. I've been using it for years now and only now do I feel that it's finally ready for everyone to use. As soon as I installed the latest ubuntu on my laptop, everything worked straight out of the box. Every driver was configured, everything. Linux is becoming much easier to use for the everyday user and thats just bad news for windows. There isn't anything that windows can provide that linux can't.


... except games, but hopefully that will change when developers start making games for or compatible with Linux.

I've got five people in my family. Although I'm the only one who uses Linux, I've figured out that only two of them actually need Windows, and that's only for games. Maybe I'll install Linux on the desktop downstairs and give them the "Linux Challenge".
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