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This is a great thread. I've been meaning to learn Linux for the longest time, and just never got around to it. I've gathered some good info here, but does anyone know of a good source to learn the ins and outs of Linux? I'd like to read up on it and if I can, dual boot my Win7 laptop, but would like to learn more about the OS prior to installing...

I do like Win7, which surprised the heck out of me, but like others have said, with the road MS is going down, I want no part of it, especially since I'll never own a Windows phone... But what do some of you use for common programs like RDP/VNC, office suites, etc?? (I hate feeling this much like a noob, but hey, got to start somewhere...)
 

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This is a great thread. I've been meaning to learn Linux for the longest time, and just never got around to it. I've gathered some good info here, but does anyone know of a good source to learn the ins and outs of Linux? I'd like to read up on it and if I can, dual boot my Win7 laptop, but would like to learn more about the OS prior to installing...

I do like Win7, which surprised the heck out of me, but like others have said, with the road MS is going down, I want no part of it, especially since I'll never own a Windows phone... But what do some of you use for common programs like RDP/VNC, office suites, etc?? (I hate feeling this much like a noob, but hey, got to start somewhere...)
Arch Linux and Gentoo both have great write ups on how to install Linux with lots of good information of why you're doing what. That's actually how I got started. I loaded a VM and got Arch and Gentoo to install and got a window manager running. I found the VM made life a bit easier since I could snapshot after different steps in case I borked something.

If you really want to dive head first: http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/

You don't have to actually do any of the work but lots of great information there too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Yeah more power to ya! I like Windows 7 too, but unlike that which is Linux, I am not pressured to stay up to date by running the latest OS- and paying a hefty premium for it.

I've been trying to Hackintosh my laptop for a few days, but to no avail- I liked that OSX is based on Unix, and I like how it has Windows-like compatibility, like with VZAccess Manager, my Magic Mouse, etc. And I know I can't stay with Windows, not the way it's going...But while some people make it look easy, it really is something else in the computer world- it's just so, so complex, building a Hackintosh-the polar opposite of OSX on its native Macintosh hardware....So I'm done with that, now I'm back on the hunt for a good Linux distro via distrowatch.

Anyone recommend a distro that has all the cool windows animations and effects of Mint, without all the green?
 

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Anyone recommend a distro that has all the cool windows animations and effects of Mint, without all the green?
Do you care about the desktop manager it comes with (as that's what really matters to most users, not the linux distro itself). If that's the case, most distributions can run all the popular desktops (KDE, Gnome, XFCE, LXDE, etc).
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
o rly? lol

Thanks for that info...so in that case, how does one choose a Linux distro? They all look too similar to me, and the only thing I really look at is how it actually looks...but you kind of blew that method up, since they can all run...is KDE the manager for Mint 13 Cinnamon?
 

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o rly? lol

Thanks for that info...so in that case, how does one choose a Linux distro? They all look too similar to me, and the only thing I really look at is how it actually looks...but you kind of blew that method up, since they can all run...is KDE the manager for Mint 13 Cinnamon?
I care about stability, the way the system configuration is set up and the various system tools included to configure things. Desktops are sometimes tweaked per distro, but mostly they're the same. On that note, I prefer Debian based distros because they're more modular in the way things are configured. That's not so much an issue for desktop users, but Red Hat based builds are annoying as hell to configure server wise. I just default to Debian based for desktop/home use for the same reasons. Also had annoying issues in the past compiling things with Red Hat builds due to "dependency hell"

I think Mint has KDE versions, but it's not the default one. Kubuntu, Gentoo and Mandriva Linux default to KDE. Others like Debian, Fedora offer it as an option on installation.

I like Debian (testing version) or Kubuntu. Debian testing, you never have full version updates as it keeps things rolling with new updates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Well it's a foxy desktop manager haha.

I settled on Ubuntu 12.04 at least for now, I hate Unity, but I haven't found a distro that can beat Ubuntu in that professional look.
Of course I use Docky to make it more OSX-like too!

If you don't mind me asking, do you know if fingerprint reader drivers are going anywhere? I see fprint has a lot of Thinkpad fingerprint reader drivers, but not much in the way of current tech such as Validity. I keep thinking of how boss it'll be if instead of entering a password for sudo authorization, I can just swipe. Man that's awesome!
 

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o rly? lol

Thanks for that info...so in that case, how does one choose a Linux distro? They all look too similar to me, and the only thing I really look at is how it actually looks...but you kind of blew that method up, since they can all run...is KDE the manager for Mint 13 Cinnamon?
Cinnamon is a gnome based desktop environment (DE). Compiz is the windows manager (WM) that uses all the fancy effects and is commonly used as KDE's WM but it can be installed in just about any DE.

If you like cinnamon but dont like Linux Mint and all its green you might try Fedora 17. Cinnamon can be easily installed (yum install muffin cinnamon) and fedora 17 runs the latest linux kernel which is nice if you have newer hardware and just like having the latest and greatest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Yeah that's one thing that irritates me with Ubuntu (among other things...), 12.04 doesn't use the latest kernel...and if memory serves, we won't see it until 12.10...but I can wait, it's not like the latest kernel will make my fingerprint reader work haha.

My only problem now is Unity, seems like there was a way to disable it, but it's just too integrated now, and it's not like you can disable it as in 10.10.

Linux Mint uses Compiz?
 

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Cinnamon is a gnome based desktop environment (DE). Compiz is the windows manager (WM) that uses all the fancy effects and is commonly used as KDE's WM but it can be installed in just about any DE.
Compiz can be subbed out for Kwin with KDE, but it's not the default of course :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Nah the last thing a kernel would add support for is my fingerprint reader. And not just because it's my fingerprint reader, but because fingerprint readers in general don't get support, or take a while to get support on Linux, because people have to write drivers for them, and that's a small community, people with fingerprint readers on their laptops..Though I think it's growing, especially on HP laptops, they all use Validity with lsusb's readout of 138a:0018. I mean supposedly they're working on it, but we aren't getting any help from Validity, Inc. And so screw them for answering only to HP and only writing drivers for what they have to.

Could I safely use Compiz settings manager to change over from Gnome to KDE? I see an option to use KDE, but I don't want to screw everything up, it wouldn't be my first time I had to reinstall Ubuntu because I played around with Compiz settings.
 

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Nah the last thing a kernel would add support for is my fingerprint reader. And not just because it's my fingerprint reader, but because fingerprint readers in general don't get support, or take a while to get support on Linux, because people have to write drivers for them, and that's a small community, people with fingerprint readers on their laptops..Though I think it's growing, especially on HP laptops, they all use Validity with lsusb's readout of 138a:0018. I mean supposedly they're working on it, but we aren't getting any help from Validity, Inc. And so screw them for answering only to HP and only writing drivers for what they have to.

Could I safely use Compiz settings manager to change over from Gnome to KDE? I see an option to use KDE, but I don't want to screw everything up, it wouldn't be my first time I had to reinstall Ubuntu because I played around with Compiz settings.
Yep understand.

You can use compiz with the Unity DE, just download compiz config settings manager either through terminal or software center or if you use synaptic package manager you could use that too. Then in the settings manager you can play around with all the effects. I would also recommend downloading myunity, it lets you customize the look of ubuntu.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
my unity, thanks for the tip, I'll check that out.

I meant, I have Compiz csm, and I have been using it, but I see there's a KDE button, and I didn't know if it was safe to use or not? But I guess it is?
 

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my unity, thanks for the tip, I'll check that out.

I meant, I have Compiz csm, and I have been using it, but I see there's a KDE button, and I didn't know if it was safe to use or not? But I guess it is?
No hitting kde there will mess you up, its not that easy.

Its not extremely hard to install kde but you would be better off just using Kubuntu if you want kde and ubuntu
 

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No hitting kde there will mess you up, its not that easy.

Its not extremely hard to install kde but you would be better off just using Kubuntu if you want kde and ubuntu
Yeah, basically you have to remove gnome + unity if you are choosing one over the other and don't want all the crap with both installed (which is only really able to be done on the command line outside of unity totally) and then install all the kde packages instead and default it to your desktop manager. You can have two desktops installed at the same time and switch between them though and kubuntu's packages are just part of the normal ubuntu repositories (so no additionals are needed.)

More information on multiple desktops: http://ubuntuforums....d.php?t=1918037
 

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sudo apt-get install kde

TA-DA!
Wrong

the package is kubuntu-desktop

installing just kde will only install part of kde and not the complete meta-package that contains all the useful stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
sudo apt-get is a powerful, powerful weapon tool.

Thanks for the info.

Kubuntu is still regularly updated with Ubuntu? It sounds loads easier than screwing around in terminal and replacing Unity.

Speaking of Ubuntu, I keep getting kernel panics.... Not to keep this already off-topic conversation going, but could I query terminal for a log of some sort, I've been getting kernel panics on my laptop and my laptop only, in fact Ubuntu hasn't played nicely with it since 10.10....
 
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