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Using Linux

JohnCT
Grafter
Posts: 59
Registered: 02-10-2014

Using Linux

On this "Problems accessing files" post replies it has been suggested I try Linux. I tried it some time ago and found it difficult to master. Admittedly I am an old man, so familiarity is good. So if I experiment with it where can I find straight forward instructions? I use the internet, news, emails, quicken, Word processing and file manipulation of fikles, using my computer for a large time each day. I have lots of little useful programmes, will these be usable? I know there are a lot of helpful Linux fans here, but please don't be too technical. TIA  Embarrassed
16 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Re: Using Linux

OK 1st problem:
Linux is NOT Windows.
You don't mention what the lots of little useful programs are, so I don't know if there is an equivalent.
Linux these days is very easy to use, you MAY find issues if you use a laptop/desktop and a wifi connection, I personally don't but wifi support can be difficult.
If you can burn a DVD then download a copy of Linux Mint (see my sig for a link), and burn it to a DVD, then boot the pc from the DVD and have a play. It will not touch your hard disk or any of the programs on it. You will get a full word processor/spread sheet (Libre Office), Firefox (for web browsing), Thunderbird (for email) etc.
It includes a printer driver for most printers, a scanner driver and Gimp for editing pictures.
Don't know about Quicken, don't use it. But depending on the version you have it will run under wine (see [url=https://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=application&iId=107]HERE[/url})
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Re: Using Linux

You can use GNUCash as a replacement for Quicken if need be and you can import your existing accounts as well.

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Re: Using Linux

As an "old adversary", with HairyBiker,... who , it must be said,... has had the patience of a saint, with me,  ! !  I can agree with him,... Mint is easy to "get on with"... I, personally, have had great difficulty trying to get the wifi to work with my laptop.. but HB assures me , that it is MY laptop, that is the problem and most others it works fine OOB...   ( Not sure if it works, when running the DVD verson though)...
I have a lot of favourite Microsoft/Windows type programs that I have used for years, and cannot find equivalents in Linux.. for some of them ,... . yes there are similar progs, but some of them need 3 progs to do the same as one windows type... so it can be cumbersome..
A lot of windows progs will run on Linux... but you need t set some "authority" to use them via WINE   ( WINdows Emulator).. which is fairly straightforward now, when you download  and install the same way as windows... HB will correct me if I am wrong, ..
The only way, to see how it goes, is to try it.... My idea on your other thread, was not to "convert" you to Linux... but for you to use the Linux Mint 17 DVD "live" version in your Disk Drive, to access the files and folders ...  You need to find the C:/ Drive contents, in the same way as in windows... and they should appear as your folders..
When you have finished with the DVD, you just shut down Mint... remove the DVD and then boot up as normal ... nothing has been changed on your hard drive... so you will have to save any "renamed files/folders" to a usb stick or somewhere, to transfer back to your windows version on your hard drive..
HB will correct any mistakes in this info,... i am sure... !   ( just trying to help ! ! )   Wink
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Re: Using Linux

As an old timer myself I struggle at times with Linux but my solution is simple, when installing Linux mint you get the opportunity to keep windows and you end up with a dual booting system so if I am using anything I can't get to work on Linux I simply use Windows, an added advantage for me is that I never go online with Windows so no updates of fire walls, anti virus stuff, windows updates etc, I disconnect the wifi by removing the wifi dongle if booting into windows.
Some of the complicated instructions on linux internet forums can be copied and pasted direct into the terminal which is handy as one missing space results in error messages.
Be interested to know how you get on
VileReynard
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Re: Using Linux

Community Veteran
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Re: Using Linux

Quote from: shutter
A lot of windows progs will run on Linux... but you need t set some "authority" to use them via WINE   ( WINdows Emulator)..  HB will correct me if I am wrong, ..

Just a fact Wine Is Not an Emulator. (i.e. W I N E)
It does not emulate M$ in anyway, it runs as a compatibility layer.
If you don't want to switch just do as Shutter suggested, boot from the DVD, then "mount" the hard drive, (mount = Open the Computer Icon on the desktop and double click on the hard drive), navigate to the documents folder and try and open the file in Libre Office. (just double click on it) (assuming you don't have encryption activated)
Personally I really prefer Linux to M$, switched about 9 years ago and when I have to use M$ it just feels clunky now, slow to load, needs constant fixes, seems like every time you add a program it tries to install the SAME dll's that are already installed etc etc etc. With Linux no virus issues, no AV slowing your PC down, I boot to a USABLE desktop in about 30 sec (meaning I can surf, read emails etc then) where as on this same pc W7 takes 4 minutes to finish hammering the hdd. (I only use W7 to play games on, everything else is done in Linux)
If you decide to try it out, by dual booting then it will need about 12Gb of free HD space to install into. When you do you can still access your current M$ installation and access the files from inside Linux. (assuming you don't have encryption activated)
VileReynard
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Re: Using Linux

Try a live DVD.
Check it connects to the internet, sound & video works etc.
Take backups of office documents, videos, music etc
You can decide to proceed with an install.

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Re: Using Linux

WINE ...  ok.. not strictly an "Emulator".. but it does make ( a lot of )  windows progs run on Linux Mint... so I call it an Emulator.... and it fits the acronym nicely too ! ! !..  Wink
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Re: Using Linux

From what I recall, Wine is "WINdows Environment", in which it creates an environment in which windows programs can run fooling them into thinking they're on a Windows computer, though in the past being a bit unsafe as some of the elements of Wine included a lot of vulnerabilities from Windows that M$ had patched out, but the Wine creators hadn't, but that was a few years ago, not sure if it's still the same now, hopefully they're a bit more on the ball with patches... Grin
VileReynard
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Re: Using Linux

I would regard WINE as a place of last resort.  Grin
I've not found it necessary to install it to run any Windows programs.
If you have any absolutely required Windows programs (and a Windows install disk) the best way to is to
install Windows as a VM (Virtual Machine).
You can do this with relatively small amounts of main memory.
The set-up process just involves following a series of fairly simple instructions...

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Re: Using Linux

Quote from: vilefoxdemonofdoom

If you have any absolutely required Windows programs (and a Windows install disk) the best way to is to
install Windows as a VM (Virtual Machine).
You can do this with relatively small amounts of main memory.
The set-up process just involves following a series of fairly simple instructions...

For someone who doesn`t understand Linux, and doesn`t have a manual, your suggestion is a bit naive to say the least...
Setting up a VM is not as simple as you make out... except for LINUX geeks, who know what they are doing....  
you glibly state... "just involves folloing a series of fairly simple instructions"... but fail miserably in explaining where those instructions are... and how to obtain them,...so the whole post is an absolute shambles...

This is the biggest problem for anyone who comes to Linux... when asking for help, those who try to help, just naturally assume the person needing the help is at the same level of "nerdiness" as themselves.... expecting them to understand and follow through complex actions which are totally alien to them...
As it happens, if I remember... when you download a windows type program, it automatically, now, gives you the option of running it and installing it... WINE works in the background...

VileReynard
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Re: Using Linux

You just find a "how to" install a VM and follow the (somewhat lengthy) instructions.
No special knowledge required.

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Re: Using Linux

Quote from: shutter
Setting up a VM is not as simple as you make out... except for LINUX geeks, who know what they are doing.... 
you glibly state... "just involves folloing a series of fairly simple instructions"... but fail miserably in explaining where those instructions are... and how to obtain them,...so the whole post is an absolute shambles...

Click here for instructions...
Community Veteran
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Re: Using Linux

If you CAN install windows from scratch then you can install it in a VM. With Virtual Box it is simple to do. Or if you can't install it then you can download a pre-configured VM from M$ I believe.