Should you install Linux alongside Windows?

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by Andrea Borman, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. Andrea Borman

    Andrea Borman Honorable Member

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    I have been experimenting with my Netbook for a week. I have been trying out 5 different brands of Linux installed alongside my Windows 7. Ubuntu Netbook,Kubuntu Netbook,Xubuntu,Linux Mint and jolicoud. As I could not install Ubuntu,Kubuntu and Xubuntu with Wubi installer,I installed them on Virtual Clone Drive which I found out how to do from the How-To Geek website. I also installed Linux Mint this way-Virtual Clone Drive as well. But Jolicloud Express was installed on my hard disk C drive without clone drive with the Windows installer. Here is how I did.

    Ubuntu-well first of all I could not connect to the Internet wireless broadband because it never detected it -same problem with Kubunt,Xubuntu and Linux Mint. Except that in Linux Mint I did in the end, but I had to plug my cable in before it found my Wifi but all the others did not find it.

    Ubuntu,kubuntu, Xubuntu- I could only use wired connection because they never detected my wirless network and would not let me download the drivers.So these 3 brands of Linux were not usable.

    Linux Mint-I found having to enter my password and user name most irritating every time I booted my computer and I had to enter my password every time I did some thing like install new packages or change the settings. There was no way to disable this like there is on Windows.

    Jolicloud-was the only one who found my Wifi connections right away and connected me without any problems, and I did manage to disable having to enter my password. Every time I booted my computer by ticking enable automatic log in. But I still had to enter my password every time I installed packages or changed settings. And when I tried to change this in command prompt.I found I could not install software unless I logged into the root and user account settings-even more irritating and annoying.

    Also in Linux you are supposed to be able to download and install software from the Internet. But I found I could not install anything. Mozilla Flock web browser would only install as a file which I had to download EVERY time I wanted to use it. I could not get it to install the way it should as a web browser like it does in Windows. Even though I installed the Linux version. In fact in Linux you can only install the web browsers and software that are in the packages, nothing else.

    Also in Jolicloud a lot of the web browsers I did install from the packages did not work. Aorora browser would not let me sign into my Google account and no matter what I did I could not fix this problem. But the Windows version of Aorora browser is working normally and I can sign into Google and my other accounts. In jolicloud Midori browser crashed, other web browsers were out of date-Firefox 3.6.3 for instance should have been updated to 3.6.12 the current version. Other web browsers did not work and Dillo and Epiphany did not because they are now discontinued.

    But on all of the Linux brands I tried, all of the web browsers were out of date and as I could not install anything from the Internet I could not update them. Also Jolicoud took up a lot of space on my hard drive.

    So windows users who are thinking of replacing you operating system with Linux,my advice is don't.

    Because I installed all of the Linux brands alongside Windows in removable installation,I was able to uninstall them all in Windows uninstall programs. But had I had been stupid enough to go for full installation and replaced Linux with Windows,then I would have been stuck. With an operating system that does not work and is not in the least bit user friendly.And installation alongside Windows is not without it's risks. As I have read that if things go wrong, Windows can be wiped from the boot system,leaving only Ubuntu or Linux on the computer. And if you only have a Netbook like I did,how do you get Windows back? Netbooks do not have a CD drive. True,you can plug a CD drive into the USB socket via extension lead and the other end to the CD drive and run it that way. But you still need to get the Windows CD if you have not backed up your Windows and files to a CD.So it is risky to install another operating system alongside windows.

    Windows IS very user friendly. YOU control how you use it and how it is run. You do not have to have any log on password or any security at all unless you want it. YOU choose what software you want and it is quick and easy to install. And with over a thousand web browsers and software compatible with Windows there is plenty of choice. Some people install Jolicloud because of the different web apps. and video chat messengers,but you can get all of these on Windows.

    And Windows search with it's tutorials and help guide about how to use and fix your computer,is an asset to Windows users. And Windows will troubleshoot any software that is not working and fix it by automatically.And you can download additional fix it tools from the Microsoft website and they have a security tool now that you can scan your computer with. Well,you do not get anything like that with Linux.

    Windows is used by all offices and public computers,such as Internet cafes, libraries and homes. While Linux is not so well known and used. But if it were the other way round and all computers were made in Linux,nobody would use a computer. Linux is definitely not user friendly,difficult to use and you do not control your computer,it does. As you cannot do the things that you want such as remove password,install software from the Internet and other things that you can do in Windows.

    Windows is user friendly especially Windows 7 but so are the other versions of Windows,Windows XP,Windows Vista,but Windows 7,the most. Windows 7 does have clear settings listed in the control panel index, making it easy for any beginner to use.

    But there is NO WAY Linux can ever rival or replace Windows,unless it changes and becomes more user friendly and allows users more control in settings. Maybe linux should take a tip from windows. As Windows has deficiently got it right but Linux has got it wrong.

    And I have customised my Windows 7 to make it the way I want it and I have even successfully removed Internet Explorer browser. But my advice is to stay with Windows. You are much better off. Andrea Borman.
     
  2. Andrea Borman

    Andrea Borman Honorable Member

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    Windows is better than Linux.
     
  3. Andrea Borman

    Andrea Borman Honorable Member

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    Windows is more user friendly than Linux.
     
  4. Elmer

    Elmer Extraordinary Member

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    But Puppy Linux is very helpful when you need to get into Windows through the side door.
     
  5. fjgold

    fjgold New Member

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    If you had installed Ubuntu in a dual boot fashion that is in a separate partiton, your experience would have been better, much better.
    Running Ubuntu or any linux distro in a Virtual window within Win 7 is not the way to experience linux.
    You are essentially running it as a Live CD which isn't persistent.
    That's why you needed to reinstall the software you installed everytime you started your live session.
    Ubuntu Live can be installed on a USB flash drive to run as a Live distro.
    This runs Ubuntu from the USB drive by booting to it.
    It runs in memory only, not touching your hard drive.
    Run this way you should have no issue connecting to the internet etc.
    It's still not persistent but that isn't the point of using a Live USB.
    Using a live USB helps the user determine hardware compatibility.

    It is extremely unfair to "install" a linux distro in a virtual environment and then post linux
    isn't worth the effort.
    It doesn't surprise me you had problems.

    Now for some facts.

    If you read my sig you will see that my machine coexists happily as a Win 7, multiple linux multiboot setup.

    It becomes as easy as providing a partition for the linux distro you want to install and installing it there.
    The install will create a boot menu that will allow the user to boot either Win 7 or the installed linux distro.
    In a dual boot both OS's are completely separate.
    The linux install will be persistent, all your settings and any installed programs will be there next boot.

    As for installing programs, there are literally thousands of programs available through the Synaptic package manager.
    Synaptic also can be used to update existing programs either manually or automatically.

    The latest Ubuntu (10.10) contains lots of programs by default.
    A brief list of some of the more popular.
    Firefox 3.6.12
    Open Office Suite (allows opening and editing MS Office docs).
    various programs to play MP3's and videos.
    Email program (Evolution) by default but Thunderbird is available from Synaptic.
    Google Earth can be installed but doesn't come preinstalled because it doesn't meet the GPL license
    requirements.

    I've been using Ubuntu since 2005 (when it first was released) in a dual boot setup since the first primitive
    release.
    Ubuntu is in very active developement since that time with new releases every 6 months.
    The first release was Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (code named Dapper Drake) and the latest release is Ubuntu 10.10 (code named Maverick Meerkat)
    The primary release (ubuntu) uses the gnome desktop that is very familiar to Windows users.
    You mentioned using Kubuntu netbook, that release uses the KDE4 desktop, not really familiar to many Windows users
    and probably should be avoided.

    There is a Windows tool that can be downloaded (Unetbootin) that will create a USB flash Live version of a bunch of linux distros.
    It runs in Windows and creates a bootable flash drive with Ubuntu on it.
    You need the Ubuntu Live .iso and a 2 GB flash drive.

    You would D\L Unetbootin (the Windows version) to your desktop (for convenience).

    UNetbootin - Homepage and Downloads

    It is a standalone program, no install is needed just click the Unetbootin download to run.

    You would basically plug in your flash drive and start Unetbootin and use the dropdown at the top (distribution) to selct the distro and version you have.

    Next use the diskimage field and browse to your downloaded Ubuntu .iso and make sure your USB flash device is showing in the (Drive)
    field and finally click OK and wait for Unetbootin to complete.

    Once complete boot to the USB drive to run Ubuntu as a live distro.

    You may need to modify your BIOS temporarily to allow booting from a USB device.
    All netbooks allow this because of the lack of an optical drive.

    Now it is important for me to reiterate that running a Live Linux distro poses no risk to Windows
    since everything runs in memory.

    You can permanently install Ubuntu from a live session but it requires a conscious effort on the part of the user.

    An excellent guide to dual booting is to be had here

    Illustrated Dual Boot Site

    Please don't make sweeping condemnations of linux based on limited and less than ideal methods
    of review (like running in a virtual environment).

    Try the Live USB and see if you don't have a more positive experience.

    Ubuntu isn't inferior to Windows just different and it's absolutely free to boot.

    BTW the mission statement of Mark Shuttleworth (the force behind) Ubuntu is to provide
    an alternative to Windows that can do anything Windows can do.

    To this end he has committed many million dollars of his own money to that end.
    He established Canonical to support developement and unlike many other linix distros
    has many talented folks on his payroll as well as the army of volunteers (the Ubuntu community).
    Each release is better than the last, often using cutting edge programs.
     
  6. fjgold

    fjgold New Member

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    You really should have you Windows install imaged as a hedge against disaster.

    There are paid tool to do this and several free tools.

    I use Clonezilla live run from a USB key.

    It's free and I've posted a guide to its use in another forum.

    A guide to using Clonezilla - Scot's Newsletter Forums

    The Clonezilla .iso can be installed on a thumb drive using Unetbootin, mentioned in my earlier post.

    You would ignore the distribution field and click the radio button for diskimage and browse to the Clonezilla .iso downloaded previously.

    Once the image is created and saved to an external drive all you have to do is restore the image using Clonezilla.

    All this is detailed in my guide.
     
  7. Andrea Borman

    Andrea Borman Honorable Member

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    Thank you for responding to my post. I am not simply trying to put Linux down I am just writing about my experience of trying it out. And from my experience it does seem that it is very complicated and difficult to use. If I were to consider having Linux on my laptop or even buying a Linux laptop,there are things I would like to see changed.In Windows you dot have to have a log on password every time you start your computer and or every time you change settings if you are an administater which I am. So I do not have to enter any passwords to log on or change settings or download software and I have chosen to have no security on my laptop in Windows so I can do anything without having to enter passwords or security codes. In Windows you have this choice in Linux you dont and I think they should change this and make it like it is in Windows. Also I would have liked to have tried some software for linux not listed in the packages,Swiftfox web browser and Iceweasel browsers which is the open source version of Firefox made for Linux. Just like we have Comet Bird,Pale Moon and Safefox web browsers in Windows all of these are Firefox open sources. But unfortunently i could not install any software from the Internet in Linux despite following instructions from websites online.And I am surprised Mozilla Flock browser is not included in any of the packages as it is one of the most popular and widely used browsers after Firefox and Google Chrome and i could not install flock for Linux from the Internet due to the problems I mentioned above.

    Regarding installation of Linux,well,I only have a Netbook it is an HP Mini 210 Windows 7 Netbook that I recently upgraded from Windows 7 Starter to Windows 7 Ultimate. My internet connection is BT Home Hub 2 M9GW which is both wired and wirless broadband and i am on unlimited package and can get a speed of up to 20mg which I do. So it is not the broadband that is causing the problems in Linux. But as you know a Netbook does not have a CD drive so I cannot put CDs into my laptop unless I attach a CD drive on an extension lead to my USB sockets and the other cable end to the drive. So I cannot even back up my windows files on a CD. The wubi installer for Windows would not install Ubuntu or any of the other Linux brands I got an error message.

    But on the How To Geek website it told me I could install Linux Mint ISO file on virtual clone drive on my netbook and this was how i installed Ununtu and all the others. But Jolicloud had it's own Windows Installer and this worked. But a lot of web browsers were broken on Jolicloud.

    A lot of people say Windows is not secure and that it is slow but with my Windows 7 I have not had any problems. The only thing I do not like is the Internet Explorer browser which I have removed from my computer. See my other posts about how I did this.There is a lot more choice of software and on computer settings than in Windows than what there is in Linux. And I dont think that any one who is using Windows should just wipe out their Windows and replace it with Linux as one you do this you cannot get Windows back. Sure peole upgrade from Windows Xp or Vista to windows 7 but all of your web browsers and settings are simply imported to Windows 7 and windows 7 has the same index and layout just made clearer and easier to see than in previous Windows versions and you can use and keep the same settings on your computer too.It is a shame they cannot make Linux more flexible in settings and user friendly. Andrea Borman.
     
  8. Andrea Borman

    Andrea Borman Honorable Member

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    It seems that a lot of people do no trust or feel secure with Windows and so are looking for an alternative operating system. Why is this? The new Windows 7 is very user friendly and easier to user and if you have a home computer,very secure from viruses. Andrea Borman.
     
  9. fjgold

    fjgold New Member

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    You really can't make comparisons about any OS by running it in a virtual environment.

    Ubuntu is very user friendly and configurable.
    Mark Shuttleworth it's founder designed it that way.

    It has a learning curve but so does Windows to a newcomer.

    Anything that can be done in Windows can be done in Ubuntu.

    High end gaming is still problematic but that will get better eventually.

    If you take the time to learn linux your experience may be better.

    As to doing things like installing programs in root etc.
    Well that is simply doing things securely.

    Win 7 does the same thing with UAC and running any OS as admin by default is very
    non secure even if you are the only user.

    I'd rather supply my password than be infected by a virus.

    The security features in linux can be bypassed to make it just like running
    Windows as admin. Not recomended in any case.

    No OS is inherently secure if the user chooses to to be unsafe.

    No AV program, anti spyware program etc. is a substitute for common sense.

    You hear it all the time in these forums.
    "My computer is protected by an A\V program and anti spyware programs but I visit porn sites and click
    every link I see as well as open attachments in all emails I get and I'm still getting viruses and spyware."

    In my original post I outline how to create a Live USB flash drive version of Ubuntu Live that you can use
    to run Ubuntu in Live mode on your netbook.

    Try running Ubuntu in live mode then come back and report your impressions.

    At least give it a try.
     
  10. Andrea Borman

    Andrea Borman Honorable Member

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    It is not true that in Windows you get a virus on your computer for not having any passwords on your log on or computer settings. Viruses are installed on a computer by going onto sites that are not reputable and downloading software from them. For example we have all read about fake websites that claim to offer you software that is not genuine. But when I download my web browsers like Flock or Firefox I always make sure to visit the original site or if that is not possible for example, I want a web browser that is not made any more.Like Aol Explorer,then I go to C. Net or some where like that which I know is a reputable website.And you don't just get a virus simply by visiting the wrong site. It is if you download some thing from it,that is where the trouble starts. Also G.mail has spam filters in place to stop you opening emails that may contain viruses.

    But as for the installation of Linux I do not understand at all about things like partitioning a disk and as I don't really know what I am doing regarding this. If I did try to partition my hard disk I could mess up my computer. So I do not want to risk it.

    As for installing Linux by other means USB drive I am not sure that would make any difference. And in Linux do they have any settings where you can disable your log on password and having to enter a password evey time you boot you computer,chage computer settings or install software? Just like Windows has? And if so how do you set it up to do this? i have looked for all of this and in Jolicloud I enabled the Root account,but nothing works. As it always asks for my password before I can do anything,which does not suite me at all.Andrea Borman
     
  11. Andrea Borman

    Andrea Borman Honorable Member

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    It is not true that in Windows you get a virus on your computer for not having any passwords on your log on or computer settings. Viruses are installed on a computer by going onto sites that are not reputable and downloading software from them. For example we have all read about fake websites that claim to offer you software that is not genuine. But when I download my web browsers like Flock or Firefox I always make sure to visit the original site or if that is not possible for example, I want a web browser that is not made any more.Like Aol Explorer,then I go to C. Net or some where like that which I know is a reputable website.And you don't just get a virus simply by visiting the wrong site. It is if you download some thing from it,that is where the trouble starts. Also G.mail has spam filters in place to stop you opening emails that may contain viruses.

    But as for the installation of Linux I do not understand at all about things like partitioning a disk and as I don't really know what I am doing regarding this. If I did try to partition my hard disk I could mess up my computer. So I do not want to risk it.

    As for installing Linux by other means USB drive I am not sure that would make any difference. And in Linux do they have any settings where you can disable your log on password and having to enter a password evey time you boot you computer,chage computer settings or install software? Just like Windows has? And if so how do you set it up to do this? i have looked for all of this and in Jolicloud I enabled the Root account,but nothing works. As it always asks for my password before I can do anything,which does not suite me at all.Andrea Borman
     
  12. fjgold

    fjgold New Member

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    By suggesting that you run Ubuntu in Live mode I'm not talking about intalling it in any way on a computer hard drive.
    When you boot to a Live CD or Live USB flash everything gets loaded into system memory.
    Nothing disturbs the HDD. Period.
    When you shut off your computer everything in ram is gone. That's how ram works, right.

    Running a distro in live mode let's the user experience the distro without installing it.
    With this you can make sure your hardware will work and especially if the Live session is run from a USB flash drive
    experience the disto at nearly the speed it will run if installed permanently.

    That is the whole point of live media.

    Again running in a virtual machine does not do it justice.

    I'm not suggesting that you modify your machine in any way, again running in live mode
    can't alter your machine unless you tell it to.

    As to making Ubuntu logon without a password, yes you can it's a simple setting like in Windows.

    As a matter of fact you can defeat all security features in Ubuntu by simply running in root all the time.

    This way any baddies lurking on the net can install themselves at Will.

    Of course running as user prevents that.

    I'm not saying linux is for everyone but by the same token I'm not coming here recommending that folks
    not try linux based on very limited experience.

    In fact I try to encourage folks to give linux a try using live media.

    This is based on years of experience with many linux distros.

    There is room in the world for more than one OS.

    BTW, If you don't backup your machine then one day you will get bit.

    The most effective backup in my mind is a complete system image saved off disk.

    In the event of disaster you would simply restore the image and be back to the state the machine was in when the image
    was created.

    Much better than reinstalling Windows with all your programs from scratch.
     
  13. Andrea Borman

    Andrea Borman Honorable Member

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    So there is a way to disable or removing password in Linux just like in Windows? Yes,I tried enableing the root account in Jolicloud and ticking yes to being allowed to administer all the settings,install packages etc and I also did this for the user account but it still asked for my password on Jolicloud. When I wanted to do some thing, although it did let me off of having to enter my passwod when I started my computer but I had to enable automatic log in for this to work. But in Linux Mint I could not change anything and I could not find the root account.And even though I selected enable auto log in after I clicked this,when the computer started,it said keyring password did not unlock. So I had to enter my password anyway.This happened in Linux Mint.

    But from what you are telling me it seems that installing Linux Mint and Ubuntu on virtual clone drive was not the right way to do it. Even though the How To Geek website said it was. What is virtual clone drive anyway? I dont really understand what it is or is meant to do. And am I at risk of loosing Windows if I install Linux this way? Andrea Borman.
     
  14. fjgold

    fjgold New Member

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    If you don't know what virtual clone drive is or how it works why would you follow instructions
    from the How To Geek website on how to use it to experiment with Linux.
    You are at risk by doing stuff you don't understand.

    How about a link to the How To Geek article you keep referencing.
    It might help me understand what you are doing.
     
  15. Andrea Borman

    Andrea Borman Honorable Member

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  16. fjgold

    fjgold New Member

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    Ok, I think I know what you have been doing.

    I've posted some rather lengthy replies here in this thread urging you to try running a linux distro
    from a live USB flash device, if anything to give it a fair shake.
    I've even included detailed instructions for creating a Live Linux USB.
    You seem to not be interested so I'm not wasting any more ink on the subject.
    And time (I type with two fingers).
    You are entitled to your opinion, and it is an opinion, given the limited experience you have with linux.
    I suspect that your main reason for posting is to simply bash linux, I don't know.
    I'm done.
    I wish you all the best, and good luck with your experimenting.
     
  17. Andrea Borman

    Andrea Borman Honorable Member

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    Thank you for your reply,I do not have a USB flash drive yet as I have not bought one. Out of curiosity,do you still have Windows on your computer or did you replace it completely with Linux instead?Andrea Borman.
     
  18. fjgold

    fjgold New Member

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    If you look at my signature you will see that I have Win 7 Home premium
    multibooting with 5 different linux distros.
    I have my 500 GB HDD partitioned with six roughly equal sized partitions (around 22 GB) to accomodate
    this multiboot setup. The rest of the space is taken up partly by a large NTFS partition used for storage and where I've
    installed most of my Windows apps and a large Fat 32 partition shared by Windows and the 5 linux distros.
    The Fat32 partition contains amongst other stuff my MP3 folder.
    The mp3's are accessible and playable by all OS's.

    I also have an external drive that is exclusively Linux.
    It has 6 different distros used mainly for testing.
    The external drive is in a USB docking station that is kept plugged in to my computer all the time.
    These distros as well as the ones on my internal drive are bootable via a boot menu visible when I start my computer.
    Windows is the default entry and if I do nothing when I see the boot menu it will be automatically started after 10 seconds.
    If I want to boot another OS I simply arrow down to the appropriate entry and click the enter key.
    Click image below to see my boot menu.

    View attachment 9121
     
  19. Andrea Borman

    Andrea Borman Honorable Member

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    Gosh.You have over 5 different operating systems on one little laptop. I am very impressed. I think you are a computer genius. You seem to have advanced knowledge of computers and skills,that even the most experienced computer user does not have.I do not think that I would be clever enough to master those skills. Andrea Borman.
     
  20. fjgold

    fjgold New Member

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    Nope, no genius, just an enthusiast that took the time to learn the nuts an bolts of these
    "evil" machines. LOL
    I don't know any more than others at this forum and considerably less than some of the more experienced
    members like Reghaker and Mike.

    The size of the lappy doesn't matter it's how big the hard drive is.
    I have a 500 GB drive and would have a 1 TB drive if I could find one that runs at 7200 rpm.

    With laptops there isn't much room for upgrades.
    My Acer allowed me to replace the CPU with a better one when it became available, and I've added more ram.
    The hard drive that came with it was a 120 GB\7200 rpm model and I've upgraded a few times to my present 500 GB
    drive.

    With every drive upgrade I created images of all my OS partitions and restored them to identical partitions on the new drive.
    This eliminated the need to reinstall from scratch.
    Restoring these images took less than an hour even with duplicating empty partitions on the new drive.
     

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