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Switching to Linux... tips?

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#1
OK - it's finally time. I will be keeping a Win7 installation ready, entirely for gaming.
For work and everything else though, I will be using Linux from now on...

I've got Ubuntu Maverick (10.10) installed, along with openoffice obviously, and a
number of other programs. I am current looking through osalt and some other sites
to find alternatives to windows apps. it is going well.

I have installed and used Linux many times before, going back to red hat 6 and even
older. I just never stuck it out with an installation for very long. I always wanted to
get back to my windows apps.

Well not any more. I am really starting to appreciate all that is available in Linux,
and starting to take advantage as well :)

tl;dr - so my question is, after all that: got any tips or cool things to check out for me?
anything that you wish you had known when you first started? really anything you guys
consider useful would be great.!

thanks in advance!
-kyle
 

Easy Rhino

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#2
linux is fairly easy today thanks to canonical pushing the limits of usability. i would say to get familiar with the command line so if needed you can edit config files for certain installs that dont go smoothly. also, be prepared to read a lot of old guides. the problem with google search is that it always brings up solutions for really old distributions.
 
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#3
I agree with Rhino.
For music I recommmend Rhythmbox (should be installed already) and for photo-editing GIMP. VlC is my recommendation for video (plays audio as well), and when you want some Linux games too you should get Tremulous and The Battle for Wesnoth.
 
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#5
Get it to auto connect to the internet when you turn it on
Make sure flash is installed
Install VLC from the MASSIVE software bank that it has

The three things I do all the time whenever I reinstall Ubuntu for whatever reason.
 
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#6
Install "ubuntu restricted extras" as it contains Flash support, fonts like Arial and Times New Roman and such.
 
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#7
CTRL+ALT+F1 through F7 (or maybe F6?) will bring you to the terminal (note that each one is seperate). Pressing CTRL+ALT+F8 (or maybe F7? I cannot for the life of me remember) will bring you back to the desktop.

Only useful if crap is breaking, so basically it's really useful.
 

Easy Rhino

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#8
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#9
Should you experience weird things or odd behaviours, then you're not alone.

My first suggestion would be to add http://www.googlubuntu.com as an alternative search engine into firefox.

That way you will benefit all the help the linux community has to offer.

Also, don't hesitate to recreate some of your favorite keyboard shortcuts (if any), it's important to feel at home, whatever home it is.

I know how you feel right now, it took no less than 2 years and a dozen attempts to adopt Ubuntu as my primary O.S.

Keep microsoft OSes near you using a dual boot and you will feel more and more confident.
 

Easy Rhino

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#11
the only thing i warn against fedora is SELinux. even when i turn it off it still gives me all sorts of issues when it comes to web and ftp servers.
 
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#12
Servers and Enterprise---->CentOS
Home and desktop use---->Ubuntu
 

Frick

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#13
It's pretty fun to dig around in Wine as well, se what you can get working and not on your system.
 
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#14
i too have just made the switch to linux, in more of a server environment as we're moving all of our webservers to linux machines. It took a week to figure out the minor details but i think my biggest friend here was google and the command line. I did not install the gui even though i wanted to and after a week or so digging through the command line things were far easier to do and it helped me understand structure and organization. I have ubuntu desktop on my laptop and i have ubuntu server with ampache, apache, samba and a mail server at home.

one tip i have is to find projects, i made a home router with an old linux box and that turned out to be a fun project and helped me learn a lot too, just a thought.
 
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#15
one tip i have is to find projects, i made a home router with an old linux box and that turned out to be a fun project and helped me learn a lot too, just a thought.
funnily enough that's EXACTLY the conclusion i came to.

I enjoy it and learn SO much when i just pick a new project to accomplish, and read until i understand it. learning the pc is fun again :)
 
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#16
I love customizing linux for different purposes. I have tried a linux router distro it was fun. I also tested a lean, mean home theater machine setup as well. Played videos really fast and good on only a P3 machine! (1.0GHz, 512MB RAM 200GB HD Geforce 5 GPU) Tried the same with xp MCE and it would chop a lot specially with HD. I was happy to bring new life into an older system.
 
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#17
Learn how to recompile the OS from source code.
There is nothing more awesome than being able to tweak anything in the OS and recompile it. :rockout:
Don't you mean the kernel? But some distros like Gentoo allow you to compile everything or some things which is nice obviously for the flexibility and customizability. Also you can add flags for your hardware such as specific CPU architecture which will obviously help performance and functionality even further.
 
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#18
Gentoo is like that indeed, though manually configuring the GRUB etc. can be a real pain in the backside if you are not an experienced user. At least, I always get stuck at the boot loader, as there seems always a bit of a problem with it. I only reccommend that distro if you are an experienced user.
 
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#19
Look for Linux Mint (I prefer KDE instead of Mint main edition (gnome)). It`s second most pupular distro in Page-Hit-Ranking chart @ distrowatch. Simply brilliant 1.
Mint LXDE, Mint Fluxbox and Peppermint On, PPmint Ice are also great lightweights for weaker puters.
Anyways - Mint is that distro which Ubuntu should be, cuz Mint is usually being released after *buntu`s official release and Mint-team has time to fix bugs and issues.
Read some rewievs @distrowatch.
 
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#20
Look for Linux Mint (I prefer KDE instead of Mint main edition (gnome)). It`s second most pupular distro in Page-Hit-Ranking chart @ distrowatch. Simply brilliant 1.
Mint LXDE, Mint Fluxbox and Peppermint On, PPmint Ice are also great lightweights for weaker puters.
Anyways - Mint is that distro which Ubuntu should be, cuz Mint is usually being released after *buntu`s official release and Mint-team has time to fix bugs and issues.
Read some rewievs @distrowatch.
I couldn't agree more. MINT looks amazing and is like a cousin to Ubuntu. I miss my Ubuntu 9.10 ..it was so much fun once I got the use of it. The best part is 99% of the stuff is free.

Just be careful because if you happen to mess up something in the terminal , it will crash your OS and it's a bitch to get it back (I had to reinstall Ubuntu like 3 times because I kept messing up tweaking and what not.)

Get Compiz Fusion, Flash, Firefox, Wine (You can play some games via steam, I've played CSS without any problems). Think of Wine like Apple's Bootcamp (without running the whole other OS) Or just go here and choose for yourself :)

Here is my old screenshots:

 
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#21
I have very good experience with openSUSE and I would strongly suggest it as an OS for work.

OpenWRT and a router is really a nice learner with all the configs. Current versions of linux don't really need that much knowledge in console as the config tools like Yast are very well made. The downside is that when something goes wrong or some hardware doesn't auto install you will start loosing your hair.
 
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#22
yeah i've noticed terminal has become less and less necessary. which is good i guess, but that was always the most fun :)
it sounds stupid i know, but that was what attracted me to linux in the first place:

the idea, that you can do all these things by just typing in words. BUT, YOU have to KNOW the words.

once i get accustomed to what i'm using now, i will definitely give mint a try :) right now i am using maverick (ubuntu 10.10) ,
with Gnome desktop and some kde apps. and the customization is where it is at. i am having fun learning computers again!
it's been awhile :)
 
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#23
One tip I can give you is dont uninstall python. I did that on my workstation at work to try and fix something, I basically had to fresh install ubuntu eventually. My desktop was never the same.

Reading this thread has interested me in dualbooting at home. But at home all I typically do is web browse and game which windows does fine. I like linux for working, which I dont do really at home.
 
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#24
see it was the opposite for me - mostly. i like to do casual stuff on linux, and to
customize it to exactly my casual uses : browsing, forums, videos/music, etc.

gaming i need windows, obviously. but for work i always have needed it as well.

I'm finding a number of Linux apps i can work with, but have yet to find anything to
replace adobe fireworks, adobe acrobat for creating pdf forms, and adobe flash.

luckily i do not use them THAT often. but at least once a month, so i have to keep
windows around for that as well.

I wish i could do all of my work on linux - but i would need to sacrifice the ease of
using the programs i am used to, and am not fully ready to do that yet.
I am making strides though :)
 
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#25
Meh,on linux some things are easier then windows to restore. Most really broken things in windows you gotta reformat, linux at least has fallbacks and more tricks to get things working.

windows seriously needs more recovery stuff.

but seriously the uptimes you get on linux tear the hell out of windows. http://www.uptimeprj.com/toplist/index/en/0-30/UZD/ will show yah.