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+ - Ask Slashdot: Linux or Windows for a new computer 13

Submitted by Kilrah_il
Kilrah_il (1692978) writes "I just bought a new computer and I have a small dilemma: Do I install Windows or Linux? On the one hand, I have all my programs for Winows so I already know them and can set up my computer just the way I like it pretty quickly. On the other hand, Linux, and especially Ubuntu, are getting better in terms of usability and it could be nice to check it out. I don't want to dual boot since I want in the end to have a computer that has all I need on 1 OS. Are there any strong arguments in favor of one OS over the other?
Keep in mind that a) I have licenses for all my applications so the cost is not an issue (for now), and b) I prefer practical reasons. "OSS is good and MS is bad" is not a factor for me. Thanks!"
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Ask Slashdot: Linux or Windows for a new computer

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  • What applications do you need? Do you need some special programs like CAD, etc? That's an importance of piece of info we need before we can recommend either way. For that matter, what are the main uses of your computer?
    • What applications do you need? Do you need some special programs like CAD, etc? That's an importance of piece of info we need before we can recommend either way. For that matter, what are the main uses of your computer?

      +1 insightful

      Always get the requirements first.

  • For the early arrivers to this story I recommend grabbing some popcorn.

    The fireworks as Linux boys and Microsoft boys collide should be spectacular.

    • Actually, that was the one reason why I was reluctant to submit this question. I was afraid to come off as +5 Flamebait :)

  • by mcgrew (92797) *

    Like someone else pointed out, if you need Photoshop or you like Windows-only games, stick to Windows. If not, I find that KDE is far more useable than Windows. Linux is also far more secure than Windows, and although it would be possible to break into your Linux computer, and any system can be trojaned, it would be nearly impossible to write a Windows-like virus in Linux.

    I have a kubuntu "desktop" (actually it's on the floor with a 42 inch TV as a monitor) and a Win7 subnotebook that will be dual-boot. I'm

    • by westlake (615356)

      If you do switch to Linux, your learning curve will be less steep than upgrading from XP to Win7.

      I found the move 32 bit XP to 64 bit Win 7 to be trivially easy and I don't even pretend to be a geek.

      What I discovered with the Wubi installer [a very neat idea by the way] is that there was nothing in FOSS I wanted that I didn't already have.

      I made a game try at understanding programs like Scribus --- but, for me, the right answer was PagePlus. In games, it is often --- in music and video it can be services like Netflix or Rhapsody.

    • Thanks for the thorough reply.
      I just want to mention that I know a bit Linux, since in my teens (mid-90's) I experimented in installing different OSs on my computer, including Linux. But now, I guess my experimenting days are over and I want to see if I have any good reason to work at learning a new system (even though today it takes less to learn how to work with Linux). I think that for me the strongest point is the security one. It sure as hell will make my life easier, not having to worry (much) about t

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        In that case I'd say go with Linux, but before you do an install, try different distros (running them from the install CDs) to see which one fits you better. Some folks like gnome, I like kde. Also, you want to make sure there aren't any driver issues. About five or so years ago I was running Suse (iirc) when I preferred Mandriva, simply because Mandriva wouldn't use my TV as a monitor. But there are far fewer driver problems than in the past, lately I've seen none at all in Linux with the kit I'm using.

        • One last question: One of the things that annoy me in Windows is that over time the OS gets progressively slower. Usually every year I do a complete clean install of the OS. Does Linux have the same problem or does it still run the same after a year compared to day 1? If this is a non-issue in Linux, it will really win me over.

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            Not that I've ever noticed, and I ran Mandriva for years without reinstalling. I'm pretty sure that the Registry is the reason Windows keeps getting slower; it just keeps getting bigger and bigger with everything you do on the computer, and uninstalling programs seldoms removes all the registry entries. Linux has no such animal afaik.

            That said, I'll have to reinstall kubuntu on my main box, but that's only because my hard drive developed a few bad sectors and needs to be replaced.

  • I was originally drawn to Linux because I wanted to understand my computer. Now, when something doesn't work or I need a new functionality, I am confident of finding a solution. I usually let others do the work, but I like having the option of doing it myself. I don't dislike Microsoft or Apple (although I detest monopolies when they restrict the flow of information). In fact, I recommend them to my friends and family who don't want to have to think about their computers. Do you perform your own auto m
    • When I was a teenager I had about 5-6 OSs installed on my computer simultaneously (Windows, Linux, OS/2, etc.). Call it a hobby. Do I get geek creds for that? Unfortunately, those days are over. Nowadays I'm too busy to fool around too much with the computer. I prefer to have it as a tool, not a hobby (mostly a tool, you can't take the fun out of it completely).
      So, yes, I am into mostly practical reasons, but I am not afraid to get my hands a bit dirty. As mcgrew said above, Linux machines are more secure.

  • Does what you have now work? If not, why not? (And can those deficiencies by a switch to Linux?) If so, why change?

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.