Should You Declare Windependence? I Switched to Linux to Find Out.

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phenomiix6

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Jul 25, 2012
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Nice article, but who in their right mind would choose a Cancer 10 theme for their desktop??? Long live the classic Windows theme!!!
 

braneman

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I recommend any other distro but Mint. The major problem I always ran into when I was using mint was that upgrading to a new version was a pain and they basically just recommend you reinstall your entire operating system every six months to upgrade, which is really dumb and impractical.
 

anbello262

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(Accidentally downvoted comment above, mod please fix)
I also once tried to use Linux, but I really didn't have any real incentive to keep trying and doing all the extra effort, even though I'm used to using cmd, gpedit and regedit fairly often to change deep settings.

Still doesn't feel like a truly polished OS for a consumer (Windows is not perfect, but it's a lot more polished)

Oh, I also found LibreOffice to be inferior to the real one in some respects, including it being more buggy and having some issues with importing specific text-based files.
 


While they may recommend you do a clean install, you never have to. Even this time around when there have been major changes to the framework of everything between 18 and 19, they are still offering an upgrade path through the update manager. You will still be able to click update if you wish just as you have been able to with every previous version according to their blog posts. Second no one is forcing you to upgrade every six months. Take Mint 19 for example, it will be support until 2023. Mint 18 will be supported until 2021.

While Mint 19 is quite a bit snappier, and things to open faster, I sure wouldn't make the switch over yet. They only had one "real" public beta before the actual release not to mention there's a bunch of software not ready for it yet.

There is also the line in the article about Ubuntu being the most popular flavor? You have to go back to 2010 on DistroWatch before Ubuntu is ahead of Mint? Ubuntu allowed Mint to take over (Unity being a good example of this).

It's all what you get used to. As someone who has used Linux for a very long time now on a regular basis I could say Windows does "unpolished things" as well. I find Linux just works all time. Could be that's just where I spend most of my time.
 

hotaru251

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I actually tried Ubuntu and dual booted with it for a few weeks on my Win8.1 desktop.

It had a lot of good features, but again I mainly game so using it long term was a no go for me.

If i ever needed an office type or related computer...I would give it a shot again.
 
Jul 4, 2018
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I am neither a newbie nor an expert on Linux, I have been using Linux Mint for most part of my work and hobby for years, simply because I hated MS Win so much ! to be precise I am using LMDE the original Debian, not the commonly used Ubuntu clone, it is more difficult to handle and less support than Ubuntu.

Some said Linux is buggy and unpolished, yes it still is in some way, so that updates keep pushing in everyday, things improved a lot over the years. On the applications for example Libreoffice, the best MS Office replacement in the Linux word, still has problem with Excel files. Most of my problem with Excel file is the grid line, there are always broken grid lines when open the file on Excel after edited with Calc, this is no doubt a bug need to be fixed. On the other hand, MS Office will randomly crash and need reinstall, this may triggered by a corrupted file, or something Excel can't read, but you can't predict when this will happen. With Libreoffice, if it crashes at some point it will stay crashed at the same point until you fixed it, that's the difference between the two system ! may be MS Win is too smart has it's own mind to decide what to do, you can't tell what will come next !

Beside office document I also work with photos and graphics, I used GIMP for retouching, it may lack some features but more than enough for me. I also use Darktable as Lightroom alternative to handle RAW files, and Handbrake for DVD to MPEG conversion....etc., if you need to run your favorite MS Win apps on Linux you could use Wine, or the commercial CrossOver, even Virtualbox, there are many reviewer running Virtualbox on their PC/Mac for testing Linux.

Regarding dual booting Linux and MS Win I also have the same problem with my T440s, my workaround is disable secure boot and select boot partition on the BIOS instead of using the boot manager, that's the easiest way to do it !

Btw, my ThinkPad got a 16G SSD for windows hibernation and I did not use that, so I install Mint /root on it, and /home and /swap on the regular hard drive, this way I can boot up Linux super far without the need of a large and expensive SSD ! I also found that, I can install Linux Mint on a regular hard drive/SSD, and then boot it via USB with adapter, it will boot on other PC as well, that's how I make my Linux portable !
 

mitch074

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I've been using mainly Linux since 2005; I've tried a few of them, but I must admit the latest iteration of Ubuntu (18.04 based on the Gnome 3 desktop) is probably the sleekest I've used.

When compared with Windows 10's buggy updates that take hours, the OS itself is a DREAM - updates install without hassle for all apps, reboot is FAR from mandatory, and gaming (now that Steam is a click away) is quite easy. Updating a graphic card's driver used to take an hour on Windows (due to the drivers being half a gigabyte), it's now done in minutes under Linux (I'm using an AMD Polaris) and that's considering I use edge release builds (monthly updates).

Actually, since I could run the few Windows games I want to play under Wine while barely noticing that I have to deal with a compatibility layer (which is itself much less troublesome than Windows's compatibility wizard) and without having to worry that it's too old (some WinXP-era games run better under Wine than under Win10). So, that's it for gaming - I find gaming on Linux much less troublesome than Windows, how about that!

Office: LibreOffice 6 compared with the latest iteration of MS Office isn't much lighter nor is it more fun to use, but its compatibility is GREAT, especially when you use styles and objects properly; more often than not, you can open a Word, Excel, Powerpoint , Visio (!) etc. document without breaking a sweat, work on it, and send it back to the original author without them being the wiser about it. It doesn't crash every day (yeah, MS Office got better in that regard, but still not LibO level), and you can't beat the price: free/gratis, on whatever platform you prefer.

Mail: I like Thunderbird with a bunch of plugin. But then, my professional account uses IMAP and Oauth2 (Gmail Pro), and Outlook keeps crashing with it; Thunderbird may not look sexy, but it's fast (its ability to download mail headers first makes it MUCH more responsive than Outlook), stable (Outlook will crash once you have more than a few thousands mails in an IMAP folder) and reliable (Outlook may silently stop to synchronize an IMAP folder's content).

Web programming: don't go there. I can run a dev server that is identical to my production server on my machine with a few key strokes. No need to tinker with IIS and its shoddy security settings, or to install WAMP or whatever the packaged-WAMP-server-of-the-day is.

Graphics: get a Mac. Seriously. Or use the Gimp in single window mode, which has been around for 10 years now, if you find the multiple pane mode too confusing. I do.
 

mitch074

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Also note that Cinnamon is a barely updated yet rock solid fork of the Gnome 2 desktop - dating back to the early 2000's. Compared with more recent desktop environments, it's lighter (like the Windows 2000 theme in Win7 is) but is also very old. Try a more recent spin of Gnome 3 with a real theme applied, like those found here: https://www.ubuntupit.com/top-15-best-gnome-shell-themes-gnome-desktop/

Then come back to tell us how dated Linux looks.
 
Jul 4, 2018
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I like Thunderbird as well, and I installed Google contact and calendar/lightning add on, the only problem is it super slow to sync with my Google calendar, lot of outdated reminder pop up need to clear before I can use it. I heard that TB is no longer officially supported, so I try look for replacement. I tried Evolution, it looks great but not working properly, I can't even export and import the settings properly, it keeps saying file format error when importing from a backup I made earlier, so I still have to stick with TB for now.
 
Jul 4, 2018
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Starting as someone who has had to support Windows, Mac, Unix, many flavors of Linux, and Sun when it existed over the years, changing OS always has it's sharp edges, and particularly , not knowing what you don't know or can't find quickly that is actually there. For instance, GIMP can display in separate and single window mode just by selecting it from the Window menu in GIMP (both under Linux and Windows, if memory serves).

Having said that many of your frustrations come down on both sides of the fence. Themes are a good example. The original Linux philosophy was let the user change anything they want down to the micro level. That means that themes are maintained in hidden directories within your home directory and you can copy an icon them into your .icon directory to make it available to the Linux Mint System settings. However, on the negative side, people who develop themes for Linux Mint do so as a hobby unless they are members of the Mint team... think freeware in Windows... and freeware quality in Windows ranges widely and often is unsafe. On Mint Theme offerings are vetted for safety at the least.

However, UEFI is a problem generated at Microsoft by design back when they were less than cooperative with the Linux world. Microsoft made a brief attempt to lock out Linux on new UEF! based computers, but were pressured into allowing a legacy mode. It got more complex than that, but space doesn't allow a complete discussion here.

Bottom line, people should use what works best for them. Since I retired, I use Linux and for the last five years, Linux Mint because I don't have the change on a fixed income that I did when I was a pro.
 

mitch074

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No, Thunderbird support was touch and go for a while, but following the user uproar last time the Mozilla devs raised the subject, they decided to keep at it. Thunderbird 60 (currently on its fourth beta) will get Firefox' Photon UI.
As for Calendar update, you can increase the polling rate to once every 30 minutes or sync it manually when you want to look at it. If you get a notification storm every time you log into it, I think you'd be better off scrapping your profile and reinstalling: I've had that happen on a profile that dated back to Thunderbird 2.x. Scrapping the profile, re-setting my mailbox parameters and agenda solved it all in a matter of minutes - the longest part was re-downloading all the email bodies, and that happened in the background so...
 
Jul 4, 2018
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GIMP does not have separate windows for all controls anymore! It's been a single window for quite some time already, and I think that it's even the default option now.
 

DOSlover

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When support for XP dropped away, I was resigned to the fact that Windows 7 was the next best thing but wouldn't support some of my software library. So I turned to Ubuntu Studio, which has its quirks but is very easy to use, well accommodated for the mainstream range of programs and given the age of my hardware, seriously fast. I am not running SSD's, and using 8GB RAM on my ageing laptop and 16GB RAM on my desktop. I dual boot with XP for those programs that are still not available on Linux and it is as smooth as silk. I will admit to still being an afficionado of DOS, so the command line is my friend, but it isn't something I have needed to go to with Ubuntu Studio. As for 'old fashioned' you can stick the 'ribbon' interface in the dressmaking box. I am an adherent of Office 2003 and as far as I am concerned, the subsequent incarnations of MS office were less user friendly and are harder/slower to achieve results. Much as disk management in DOS is way more powerful than anything Windows could deliver. Linux is a decade or so later out of the blocks than Windows and I think it has a lot more life going forward than the Windows 10 structure being forced on us. I mean, when Pinball was dropped from Windows 7, you just knew things were on the decline...!
 
Jul 4, 2018
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Well, there is one reason to seriously consider a Linux OS distro over Windows 10, even for programmers, gamers, and small businesses: If you're relying on custom built computers, some hardware reacts very, very negatively to the Windows 10 auto-update "feature". I had Windows 10 physically burn out or brick two different towers with custom hardware on forced updates, after turning updates off on the recommendations of the hardware manufacturers themselves. Now, my primary computer is on Linux Mint. I run a second, lower priority computer on Windows 7 at the moment when I need to run Windows only software.
Everything secure or important gets done on Linux. Everything else on Windows 7 until I am forced to replace it. But, I'll be the first to admit, that's hardly a desirable world to live in. Microsoft should be far more careful on forced updates. If it were, I'd still be a strong supporter of their OS ecosystem.
 
Jul 4, 2018
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The author of this article was setting himself up for failure by incorrectly doing a dual boot install . He should have done a clean install on an unused system. I feel as if there was some bias already against Linux from the get-go and struggling with getting a dual boot to work properly helped set that tone.
 

The Paladin

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Besides itf your looking to have a windows experience in linux either ubuntu or Q4OS would be easier to handle, now if you where truly wanting control over your new operating system and truly wanted to learn how things work in linux I would suggest a nice copy of Slackware Linux, and crack a book open. and build and compile your own Kernel entirely to your customized hardware for the fastest linux around. yes you will have to built everything unlike ubuntu or Q4OS that has everything served on a platter, but by the end of your Slackware journey you will easily pass a Linux administration certification, and can handle most of what Linux throws at you. of course this is a personal though from a journey that I took back when Slackware and Linux where not in fancy graphical interfaces, and if you wanted software or something fancy you had to compile it yourself :)


and if you want to experience linux, grab that old laptop and install it on that instead of "messing with your gaming computer "
 

nrdwka

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Jul 26, 2017
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Under windows I use 2 different hard drives for games and other software and personal and work document separated also between these 2 hdd.
For me, the main issue with Linux still the folder management for software and access rights management (oh that problems i had installing nextcloud on raspbian with external hdd)
 
Jul 4, 2018
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I moved to Linux 12years ago when I had a job supporting Windows. Retired now and wife and I live in a "Microsoft-free" home. None of the problems like you have with Windows OS, don't need Antivirus software, or Malware cleaners. Life is good.
 
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