Is Linux a solution?


I’ll try be a brief as possible. :smiley:

I have a Dell Latitude D810, with Vista Ultimate… it’s getting old, and increasingly difficult to use. Having run short of disc space --due to remnants of previous users, all my stuff, and applications I never use-- I’ve uninstalled as much as I can, leaving me 14GB free. It’s still running slow, hanging, etc. I’m considering buying a new laptop, but thought I might try rescue this one first – mainly because I’m getting fed up with creating landfill, and throwing money at M$ (not so much the money, but the principle).

Basically all I need is:

Internet connection
Word Doc equivalent
Itunes or something to run / sync an Ipod

Assuming I know next to nothing about operating systems etc – which is pretty much true – is Linux a solution? What would be my best route to take?

I don’t know if it helps, but I also have a Passport usb hard disc thingy…
Thanks in advance for your time.

Up until you said iPod sync I was going to say a definite YES… but… although there are applications that will sync your iPod with any music you have on the Linux PC, Apple continue to refuse to release a Linux version of iTunes.

As I said you CAN sync with music stored on the PC, but I’ve heard that although rare, occasionally the sync my not go quite correctly, and end up wiping your iPod… any music stored on the PC would still be OK, and could be put back on the iPod, but anything that was ONLY on the iPod would be lost.

An early version of iTune (7.2 i think) is supposed to run in WINE (a kind of windows emulator) on Linux, but not ideal.

Have you considered taking Linux for a “test drive”, by running it from a LiveCD, or even better, a LiveUSB stick ?

This will allow you to run a FULLY working copy of Linux from a CDROM, or a USB memory stick without making any changes to your hard drive… if you decide Linux is for you… THEN, you can install it to your hard drive.

Be aware, running Linux from a LiveCD or LiveUSB is a lot slower than running it from the hard drive, so don’t draw any conclusions about “speed” from running it in this fasion, but at least it will let you try it without any worries.

Hi Willie

To comment on iPod Sync, it is as Mark has said you will lose what is on your iPod. But syncing with iPod is not a problem. This can be done with Banshee which can be installed with Ubuntu Software Centre if you go with Ubuntu 10.10, the only thing is it is not the latest version (1.7) the latest being version 1.8 but updating is not a problem. I use it to sync my iPod.

I have heard you can also sync mobile phones with Banshee but as yet I have not tried this myself.

The Cockney Mackem!

Thanks for the replies, chaps.

To be honest I don’t need to sync my Ipod very often, I could cope without while I do a test run, and cross that bridge later.

Still, I’m not sure I fully understand how this will work practically: how the laptop knows to use Ubuntu etc… I’ll go read up on the Ubuntu site.

Thanks again, I’ll let you know how I get on.

If you’re talking about a “dual boot” system… ie. a system with both Windows and Ubuntu installed to the hard drive… then you will be offered the GRUB boot menu at boot up that asks you which OS you want to boot.

If you’re talking about a LiveCD or LiveUSB, you would either have to change the boot device order in the BIOS, to make the CD/USB the first boot device, or most laptops have a “special” key (usually F10 or F12) that if held during the boot process will ask you which device you want to boot from.
(most laptops by default are set to boot from the CDROM before the hard drive if a bootable CDROM is present in the drive)

I have no idea what a BIOS is… but I’m already doing it Ubuntu style!

It really couldn’t have been easier. I’m still finding my way around, but I was able to check my email in under 5 mins --it was taking 15 to start Vista up, 5 to connect and anything up to an hour to shut down.

One more question: How is Ubuntu protected against malware? do I need to get some security?

Thanks again for the advice, I’m already a convert.

BIOS = Basic Input/Output System, and is the first thing loaded when you turn on your PC (the BIOS configuration screen is usually accessed by hitting the F1, F2, or Del key immediately after switching on the PC)
(for an explanation see the link above)

Linux and viruses/malware

For a typical desktop system, you don’t need antivirus and/or antimalware, nor even a firewall… and anyone that says differently needs to learn their subject first :wink:
Specially if you install your software from the repositories via the package manager (Synaptic or the Ubuntu Software Centre) and try not to download/install directly from “untrusted” websites… this is just one of the many strengths of the Linux security model.

There ARE Linux AV programs, but they really look for Windows viruses, so are handy on something like a Linux mail server that serves Windows PC’s.

For further information, see here:
Rick’s Rants - Should I get anti-virus software for my Linux box?
The short life and hard times of a Linux virus

All is going well and I’m very happy, but have one quick (probably stupid) question and one more problem. 8)

My question: I write short stories for various markets and competitions; most specify the submission must be sent in a Word.doc format. Will text written in OpenOffice open correctly by a recipient using Windows?

My problem is sort of related: I am trying to download a submissions tracking tool. I’ve followed the instructions for Linux and reached the error message:

The assembly mscorlib.dll was not found or could not be loaded. It should have been installed in the /usr/lib/mono/1.0/mscorlib.dll’ directory.

I followed the suggested solution, by opening a terminal and typing:
$ cd /usr/lib/mono

Which returned:
bash: /usr/lib/mono: is a directory

But the next command:
$ sudo ln -s 2.0 1.0

results in ‘Command not found’

What am I doing wrong?


Yes documents saved as .doc (Word 97/2000/XP) in OpenOffice should format correctly in M$ office… .docx documents on the other hand sometimes don’t format correctly.

download this file and save it to your home directory
(it MUST be placed in your home directory, or the unzip command won’t work and will need adjusting)

Once it’s in your home directory… unpack it:


Install libmono-microsoft-visualbasic8.0-cil:

sudo apt-get install libmono-microsoft-visualbasic8.0-cil

Install ttf-mscorefonts-installer:

sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer

Now all you need to do to run Sonar3 is open a terminal, and enter:

cd ~/Sonar3/bin
mono Sonar3.exe

(hitting enter after each line)

Remember - Linux commands ARE case sensitive.

Or you could create a “Launcher” on your desktop…

Right-click on your desktop… Select “Create Launcher”

Type: Application
Name: Sonar3
Command: mono /home/username/Sonar3/bin/Sonar3.exe
(obviously you will have to change the “username” part to YOUR username)
Comment: whatever you want

Click OK (button)… now when you click the “Sonar3” icon on the desktop… it should launch the Sonar3 application

Thanks, Mark

All working now. I even added an icon to the launcher, all by myself. :slight_smile:

Is there an ‘idiots guide’ to terminal commands you can recommend?.. in the spirit of ‘teach a man to fish’ and all that.

you could take a look at this thread:

and see if any of those free books are any good.

or you could take a look here:

common Linux commands can be found here:

or a very good site with command explanations including examples:

or UNIX/Linux CLI tutorials:

and if you want to find out a bit more about any given command… say ls or cp etc… see the commands “man page” (manual) or “info page” by opening a terminal and entering man or info … such as:

man ls
man cp
info ls
info cp