Switching to Unix - But some questions first.

Starshine

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So, I have finally reached the end of my rope with windows.
Dealing with malware / viruses and the like has just gotten me tired of dealing with it all so I am considering a move to a unix based OS.

However, because my life has been spent using Windows, all that I know and do is Windows based. ( games, etc )

Before I venture into the unknown, I want to ask and see if its possible to run Windows games ( I don't have many but I do have a few that I still play such as The Sims 2 & 3 and some downloaded from shockwave.com )

Also, to ask which OS would be best to use for games and word processing ( as I would need to use OpenOffice to do school related work )
 

Darkmere

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You going to LINUX or UNIX. And yes you can get a windows emulator for either. As for which one is better, they are pretty much exactly the same, what makes them different is the GUI you use, being that it is GNOME or KDE it is all a matter of preference.
 

renr3n

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Running Windows games on linux is not an easy task. Games with anti-hacking tools, like GameGuard or HackShield, can't run. If you want to try experimenting, start reading here. Start with the free one, PlayOnLinux (frontend of Wine). However, only Sims 3 is currently supported by PlayOnLinux. I don't see Sims 2 on the list. You can however choose the next two paid apps on the link if the free doesn't work for you.

For beginners, you'll do better with Ubuntu. I think it has LibreOffice installed by default. I recommend LibreOffice over OpenOffice as it is in active development.
 

Darkmere

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Or sometimes a game will work fine on other computers with LINUX and will not run on your system for the love of god, I have had that happen before
 

Starshine

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Thank you.

I did happen to run across that PlayOnLinux. I may look into that.
I know it won't let me play everything I do, I just have a few things I would like to be able to do for the time being anyway. ( Mostly like I said, something similar to Microsoft Office and the ability to IM, play a game or two and listen to my music )

Obviously, I'm going to have to hop my printer will work too. *lol*
Thankfully, I have a friend that is a Unix Admin, so I know if I get in too deep of a mess, I can call on them ... but thought before I enlisted their help - I'd ask a few questions.
 

theislandcrew

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So, I have finally reached the end of my rope with windows.
Dealing with malware / viruses and the like has just gotten me tired of dealing with it all so I am considering a move to a unix based OS.

However, because my life has been spent using Windows, all that I know and do is Windows based. ( games, etc )

Before I venture into the unknown, I want to ask and see if its possible to run Windows games ( I don't have many but I do have a few that I still play such as The Sims 2 & 3 and some downloaded from shockwave.com )

Also, to ask which OS would be best to use for games and word processing ( as I would need to use OpenOffice to do school related work )

I don't mean to stop you from migrating to Linux. I'm just curious of what exactly caused your virus problems?

For the last 5 years, I haven't run into a single malware problem.

With that question, I hope you'll find Linux a pleasant experience (as did I). Just a note of advice: use LibreOffice because Oracle is killing the OpenOffice project. A lot of the OpenOffice devs have jumped ship to LibreOffice.
 

essellar

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The "main fork" of OpenOffice is now Apache OpenOffice, and it's being supported by IBM (the Lotus Symphony product was a fork of OpenOffice.org; with the sale of Sun's assets to Oracle and all of the politics involved, it wasn't on for IBM to fold their mods back into main). It's still free (gratis and libre) and it most definitely not abandonware. It's just something Oracle couldn't figure out how to monetize. IBM, on the other hand, is getting its kicks out of "the platform agnostic desktop" -- the latest versions of Notes, along with most of their development and administration tools run on the Eclipse platform, and Symphony (OpenOffice) is tightly integrated (and available separately for free, if you want a brand name) so that you can be an "IBM shop" whether you prefer Windows, Mac or Linux (or need all three). So you still have two compatible choices for productivity software.

That said, my WINE/Lindows/Linspire experience has been... let's say variable, shall we? Some things work; some don't. Things that are written to the Windows APIs tend to work; things that try to bust through to the hardware tend not to. Unfortunately, games tend to be the worst offenders, usually for performance reasons (the odd millisecond hiccup when you're typing a memo means nothing, but the same delays can make game play unpleasant). You can always dual-boot -- a clean, games-only Windows install will likely perform better than either a Windows emulator or a Windows install with all of the accessories.
 

Starshine

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So, what does one suggest? OS and such.

I don't have the windows disks and never have attempted a dual boot before. But the gaming portion really isn't all that important to me. I just play a few games. Nothing that important ( Mostly Sims 3 and some that I download from Shockwave ) ... otherwise, its mostly music and needing to do school work.

And what should I install to make things go smoothly ( Since I am new to this )
 

renr3n

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As I've said earlier, your best bet for OS is Ubuntu (forgot to mention it's an OS). It's intended for beginners like you. I recommend it because it's the one I have used before in my first start on linux. There may be other OS you might like. It all depends on you.

Lifehacker made a complete guide for linux starters:
Getting Started with Linux: The Complete Guide
 

garrettroyce

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A lot of people are suggesting operating systems that are not Unix; they are all Linux. Personally, I would start with Linux anyway, but I just wanted to point out that Linux stands for "Linux Is Not UniX" and it is not Unix. They're both POSIX like operating systems, so they are similar, but not the same.

I started with Ubuntu and it's pretty painless positioning over. Some things that become very aggregating are the newline conventions (your old files will have a new line and a square box if your editor doesn't accept Windows newlines), non-free packages such as MP3 decoders which you have to manually force your system to download for you, having to build from source packages that aren't in the repos, and conflicting packages.

The new Gnome display is really non-traditional, so I wouldn't use a distro that uses it as your first distro (Ubuntu doesn't use Gnome as the default anymore).

You cannot count on your Windows applications working in WINE. I would first make a list of applications you cannot live without. Find out which are Linux native, which work with WINE, and which have Linux replacements. If your application is not on the 3 lists, you'll probably end up switching back to Windows, so it's not worth it.

I also will warn you that driver support in Linux is very, very good. HOWEVER, my WLAN card is not built in to the Linux kernel by default by every distro I've tried, so I have to put the package on a thumbdrive from another computer and send it to my laptop every time the kernel updates (which is pretty often). If you keep the source of the kmod handy, you can rebuild it, install it, reboot, and it will work again.

Problems with your distro of Linux or the software you install will arise and generally, they are not that easy to solve. You have to be prepared to dig through a bunch of man pages and conf files to fix them. The solutions to problems also tend to be building sources with a bunch of archaic flags. The good news is that Ubuntu's community is really large and knowledgeable, so most of the time you can have someone walk you through these things step by step.

Linux is like Apple's good twin. You'll find yourself talking about how superior Linux is to Windows, you'll trade in your phone for an Andriod phone (which you'll root), and you'll share in jokes only your other Linux friends understand. Ok, this last part isn't strictly true, but I know a lot of people this happened to :p

Good luck!
 

cheezo

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although some software may not work in Wine, you will still enjoy going to different websites including those you sites you were once afraid of because of viruses :D i personally like fedora but then most users though like ubuntu for its easiness and huge community support
 

Darkmere

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LINUX is by far not immune to Viruses you still need to be savy, if you are afraid to go to a site because it is or may be malicious it would be in your best interest not to go there period no matter what OS you have.
 

steronius

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everyone has given you great feedback!

I'd offer that since this is your first venture into "quitting" windows. You really should dual boot (download an iso and use your legitimate key to solve your not having a CD issue). I say this because you will undoubtedly need to do something real fast and already know the windows tools you are used to, or really want to play a windows specific game.

I'd normally say use Ubuntu for your first delve into Linux, but since Ubuntu has chosen Unity as a primary GUI, I'd offer you to use Linux Mint 11 "Katya" (Gnome) instead. It will give you the closest look and feel to a windows like interface, and still be very up-to-date.

if you really want unix and not linux, try http://www.pcbsd.org/ , but as others, I still recommend Linux.
 
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Starshine

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Thank you again everyone.

I have installed Ubuntu but when I can get a spare blank DVD, I will look into that Linux Mint. That did seem to look at least interesting enough to try.

Okay, so I guess my next question ( since I have narrowed down to Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Just waiting to get a blank DVD to get it ) ... would be applications.

I am using Meebo right now ( because it offers a link to FB as well as a site I use - GaiaOnline ) to be able to chat, but if I could find one that didn't require me to have a browser window open, I would like to look into it.

So, what applications would be a good idea to start out with? ( I have a small music collection on an external drive ) pictures ( from my smart phone and a webcam ), games ( mostly windows based ) ... and to do my school studies ( so close to Microsoft Word )
 

garrettroyce

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Personally, I usually just go through the visual package manager (Ubuntu software center, for Ubuntu) and just start browsing what's available. Everything installs so easily that it doesn't hurt to install a couple and find out what you like.
 
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