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LadyCrimson

WINEhq

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With the release of the Win7 beta and the seeming confirmation that it's mostly "Vista as it should have been", I long for another option besides Microsoft. Not because I "hate" Vista (never used it, can't say) but because...well, operating systems seem to become more and more about an operating environment, when what I want is an operating system. I don't know if that makes sense or not, but...well, yea, not important.

 

Anyway, Linux has always been a not-option for me (hubby uses/has a lot of different Linux servers and one lone Windows machine) because of the games/software issue. Someone recently told me about Wine, a program loader capable of running Windows applications. It's been worked on for a long long time and is still not "finished" - it's probably one of those things that is never "finished" :grin: - but it can run a lot of the supposedly newer pc games w/out a hitch, and will work with Steam, Photoshop, and so on.

 

Any Linux geeks here who use it? Is it as useful/good as some say? Could it currently be a replacement for the Microsoft-dominant software environment? It sounds interesting, but I wonder about older or less popular games, as well as non-game software such as, say, the photo software that comes with your SLR camera, which is going to be a MS/pc thing, if you know what I mean. Also, I worry whether a non-tech-geek could utilize it very well...ie, if software doesn't work with WINE initially, I picture Linux geeks sitting around and doing stuff/tweaks to make it work, and that's just not me. :)

 

WINE's website, if anyone's curious. http://www.winehq.org/


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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Have you heard of Ubuntu? Version 9.04 will come out in April. I'd suggesting that you get it in May or so (to ensure bugs are ironed out).

 

Ubuntu is basically THE Linux operating system for new people. It has a simple and largely familiar desktop environment, and an immensely large and powerful package repository system. It's run by a millionaire from South Africa who started Canonical to oversee development, so it's more focused and user-friendly than other distros.

 

Generally any software that you need from Windows (including drivers), you can find a free, constantly updated version of in the repositories (you type in a word and it does a search for similar matches). If you can't find one, or don't like it, then sure, try WINE. WINE would probably work. The only major problems I have with WINE is trying to play 3D computer games. It's hit and miss.

 

I recommend you use a dual-boot. Have Windows XP on backup in case you can't do something on Ubuntu (e.g. a computer game).

 

Look, the best advice anybody can give you is: try it. Try it for a month and then decide.

 

I'm here if you've got questions, but the Ubuntu forums are very comprehensive and friendly and a Google search of your problem almost always has an Ubuntu forum thread as the first result where somebody asks the same question as you and others have solved it for them.

 

There are things Ubuntu is better at then Windows, and vice versa. The beauty of Ubuntu is that it only ever gets better, it's always the same programme (not Windows ME or XP or Vista etc), it's more secure than Windows by virtue of the way it's built, it updates every 6 months (including the nuts and bolts - the kernel), programmes update all the time, as do security fixes, and best of all, it's free.

 

Edit: you can get 8.10 now if you want. I'm on 8.04 personally. I just suggest 9.04 because that way you won't have to upgrade (which can sometimes be unstable). Here's an example of why I'd choose Ubuntu over the others (the simplest reason would be that it's the most supported, and has the growth trend on its side):

 

http://www.google.com/trends?q=ubuntu%2C+f...=all&sort=0

 

Edit 2: I run Icewind Dale 1 fine on WINE. Same with Fallout 1. It's simple. You install it, you run it (double click). If it doesn't work, you can try and fiddle a bit, but if you don't like doing that, just switch to the XP boot. The Ubuntu Live Cd makes it REALLY easy to make a dual boot (e.g. XP) when you're installing Ubuntu.

Edited by Krezack

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LadyCrimson,

 

Yes, Wine can run most Windows applications reasonably well, including games, but it's not perfect. Your best bet is to check AppDB and see how is your application faring there. I would not expect applications that rely on obscure unimplemented API or have some form of kernel-side component (SecuROM, I'm looking at you) to work. But, utilities like photo application will have a working equivalent in Linux and will usually work without manufacturer's driver (that's the case with my oldish Cyber-Shot).


This statement is false.

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Here's some screenshots of KDE Ubuntu (Kubuntu):

 

2574651042_de421bd9e5.jpg

 

rs-kubuntu_main.jpg

 

intrepid-alpha2.png

 

It's the one I suggest you get. As you can tell there's some variety between the shots. It's up to you how you arrange your desktop. You can change a fair bit of it simply by changing themes and things in the control panel (or whatever it's called in KDE).

 

Gnome is the default that comes with Ubuntu. It's not bad, but it's less swish and I prefer KDE because it seems to offer more control.

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As a side note, I'm a KDE fan, but I hate, hate KDE4. For me, it's just too unstable, experimental, has too many rough corners and bugs, and not ready for everyday use (I tried, I really did). The only reason I have not switched to Kubuntu 9.04 is that it comes with KDE4 and no option to switch to KDE3. I think I will stick will 8.10 (LTS) until KDE4 matures.


This statement is false.

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As a side note, I'm a KDE fan, but I hate, hate KDE4. For me, it's just too unstable, experimental, has too many rough corners and bugs, and not ready for everyday use (I tried, I really did).

 

You were bitten by the same bug as me and lots of others. KDE 4.0 was actually an early adopter release. 4.1 was their stable, every-day version. Utterly retarded version labelling scheme if you ask me (x.0 for early adopter, x.1 for casual users). It's definitely worth trying 4.2 stable when it comes out in a week or two.

 

The 4.2 release includes thousands of bugs fixes and has implemented many features that were present in KDE 3.5 but had been missing in KDE 4.0 and 4.1.

 

KDE 4.0 was met with a mixed reaction. Despite being a stable release, it was intended for early adopters.[24] Continuing to use KDE 3.5 was suggested for users wanting a more stable, "feature complete" desktop.[25] The intent was for 4.0 to be a developers release. It was included in number of distributions in order to promote the migration from KDE 3.5 among the Linux developers. The message got lost among the release excitement, and as result the release has disappointed some end users. This has resulted in a backlash over the introduction of 4.0 and even some calls for a 3.5 fork.[26] This is mainly due to the release miscommunication.[27] KDE 4.0 simply was never planned to be feature and stability ready for end users, however it was labeled as "stable" release.

 

Yes, KDE 3.5 is pretty awesome. Just keep in mind the above.

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Well I've just gotten a back-up drive, so I think that I'll make a partition for Ubuntu. :ermm:


"A little inaccuracy sometimes saves a ton of explanation."
-H. H. Munro

 

"Geez. It's like we lost some sort of bet and ended up saddled with a bunch of terrible new posters on this forum."

-Hurlshot

 

 

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Hint: if you don't want to risk partitioning your drive, install VMWare Server (it's free!). Then you can try out various flavours of Linux inside virtual machines.

 

The latest Ubuntu Live CD's default option (since like 8.04 or so) doesn't carry partitioning risk anyway (unless you specifically want to partition). It just squeezes the Windows partition and installs Ubuntu in the spare space for you automatically. No formatting, no hassle, no risk.

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The latest Ubuntu Live CD's default option (since like 8.04 or so) doesn't carry partitioning risk anyway (unless you specifically want to partition). It just squeezes the Windows partition and installs Ubuntu in the spare space for you automatically. No formatting, no hassle, no risk.
How's that supposed to work? Files are scattered throughout the harddisk, so an Ubuntu installed like this will be terribly fragmented, wouldn't it?

Citizen of a country with a racist, hypocritical majority

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It uses Wubi.

 

The entire Ubuntu virtual filesystem lives inside a single file on the Windows NTFS filesystem. This is similar to a virtual machine disk image, but in this case only the filesystem is virtualized, so you really do reboot into a Linux kernel running on raw hardware. All filesystem calls have to go through an additional layer of NTFS translation. My understanding is this results in a ~15% penalty for all disk accesses, but other than that it'll run as fast as a native Ubuntu installation.


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The latest Ubuntu Live CD's default option (since like 8.04 or so) doesn't carry partitioning risk anyway (unless you specifically want to partition). It just squeezes the Windows partition and installs Ubuntu in the spare space for you automatically. No formatting, no hassle, no risk.
How's that supposed to work? Files are scattered throughout the harddisk, so an Ubuntu installed like this will be terribly fragmented, wouldn't it?

 

I was confusing Wubi and the partition resize option.

 

Basically Wubi is where you run Ubuntu on NTFS as stated above, whilst resizing the partition involves keeping your Windows boot but squeezing it down to free space for an Ubuntu partition. To use this option you need to defragment in Windows (for obvious reasons) and then when installing Ubuntu, select how much space you want to assign Windows vs Ubuntu (making sure you give both enough space to run, including the swap file - usually not a problem on large harddrives).

 

Apart from that though, it is as I said: you create a Windows/Ubuntu dual boot by turning one partition into two, without any need to format.

 

So if you want to dual-boot into Windows and Ubuntu but only have one partition (which is typical), you've got three options: Wubi, partition (and format) your HD then install Windows on partition 1 and then install Ubuntu on partition 2, or partition your HD without formatting by defragmenting in Windows and then selecting the resize option when installing Ubuntu.

 

So method 1 requires little fiddling but cops a performance decrease, method 2 is clean but requires a format which wipes your data, and method 3 is the best of both worlds.

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Thanks for all the great input/info, and the screenies! Sounds like I'd still want an XP system for now, but that the KDE Ubuntu/Wine combo would work for many things/a 2nd rig (I don't like partitions...), and in the process I'd get used to using it in case Microbrain becomes completely untenable to me. I know in the end one has to just try something oneself, but I like to try to get as much opinion as possible before I take the time/effort for that. :x

 

Hubby wants "his" more modern pc - the one I've been using for games - so I'm going to have to build a new (cheapish) rig or two anyway ... prime time to try some stuff like this out.


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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