reyt, im a total noob when it comes to linux but ive heard and read good things.
I have a studio 1555 dell laptop that currently uses windows vista as the OS, which iget angrier with every day hah. The system type is a 64-bit operating system, has a pentium dual-core t4200 2ghz processor, and 4gb RAM.
I use it mainly for design work (graphics, web, video) but also for general internet browsing and gaming.
Could anyone recommend which release of linux may best suit me. (Id read somewhere about someone having problems getting their internet to work running linux on a dell studio laptop…checked the device manager, and my hardware is a Broadcom Netlink gigbit ethernet, and a Dell wireless 1397 wireless WLAN mini-card.
But yeah, any help would be appreciated…was going to download ubuntu and install it on a virtual machine using sun virtualbox and see how that runs…
also, if i decided to install a version of linux over windows vista, is there a way to do this whereby i can keep all the programmes and files that i currently have installed/stored on the hard drive?
ALSO…hah…as a web designer i have to test for cross browser compatability…i know that running firefox and chrome is easy enough on linux, but can you run internet explorer and safari?? as id need to test pages in these before completion
For instructions on how to install the drivers for your Broadcom wireless card, see here:
As for your Windows programs… they are unlikely to work in Linux, and even on a Windows system there is no way of copying them to a new PC without the installer, short of mirroring the drive.
Well, easy answer is to down a standard Ubuntu install CD, boot off it, then select “Try” rather than “Install” from the first menu. You’ll soon see if your drivers are going to work or whether you’re going to need to fiddle …
As for browsers, IE won’t run natively, not sure about Safari (doubt it) , but you can install Vista inside a KVM instance then try stuff out that way. All you need to do is install “kvm” and “virt-manager” and you’re away, just run Applications → System tools → Virtual Machine Manager and it’ll let you create virtual server, you then install Vista as you would on a standard PC, it’s just that it runs in a Window on top of Linux …
Or if you’re at home with Virtualbox, that is available in most Linux distributions software repositories as well as KVM.
The difference being that Virtualbox is an Oracle product … note that the free / OS version of Virtualbox is a commercial product with some bits taken out (!)
(whereas KVM is an independent OS product with no commercial version)
Virtualbox (PUEL) is closed source, but not commercial for personal use, it’s free… I only threw Virtualbox into the mix because I wanted to let the OP know it was available for Linux too and, KVM requires a CPU with hardware virtualization.
PUEL is the FULL version.
OSS is the version with bits missing.
Mmm, from what I read Oracle are starting to trample on and /or kill many of Sun’s Open Source exploits, so I’m a bit loath to recommend any of them … wondering how long it is before MySQL takes a bullet … (!)
This is true and I’m no big fan of Oracle ATM
Slightly off-topic, but…
I’m also no fan of corporations who punish the Open Source community, but I can honestly see where Oracle are coming from.
As innovative as Sun’s products were, the company as a whole seemed to be clueless with regards its business model and direction in the market. Larry Ellison is a ruthless businessman, and I think having a lock down on all the rogue projects at the moment will ultimately improve Solaris, Virtualbox, Java, etc, etc.
Professionally, I only deal with large corporate outfits, and what you have to appreciate is that big business will not touch “free” (as in zero cost) products with a barge pole. I’ve tried to offer CentOS based solutions for customer’s dev/test environments, pointing out the obvious cost saving, but they almost always insist on the RHEL alternative. Its hard enough trying to push Sun Ray & VDI offerings to our corporate desktop users because they still see VirtualBox as a free alternative to ESX.
At the end of the day, I would rather be supporting closed source Solaris & Oracle products than lose the business to Microsoft alternatives.
but I can honestly see where Oracle are coming from.
Sure, heck I can see where Microsoft are coming from … I just think they’re wrong (!)
and what you have to appreciate is that big business will not touch "free" (as in zero cost) products with a barge pole.
Ok, so when Oracle to the Linux kernel and built their own version of Linux (“unbreakable linux”) … ?? And when IBM built their $2Bn chip making plant and automated it using Linux … ?? And when they say that you will find Linux in the majority of computer rooms around the country and the majority of those installations are not RHEL … ?? They will merrily do it if it suits them … :o
Big companies are not so dumb, there’re well aware that just because they pay for something doesn’t necessarily mean either that it’s better or that it’s going to be around for longer. The [real] problem they face is using a product and getting long term help / support when it comes to keeping it running, which comes down to a lack of expertise in the marketplace and at the moment, the only large-scale support available happens to come from people who are charging for their version of Linux. (or Unix in the case of Sun et al)
IMHO, in the not too distant future, ALL software and Operating Systems will become “free software”. Instead of paying for the software, in instances where payment is involved, we’re going to be paying for the ability to run the software and paying for the support, rather than the software itself. (we may be lagging in this country but it’ll happen here too eventually)
What really tickles me is all the money some big companies have invested in software and software licenses … they’re gonna kick themselves … especially those who persist in using Windows and in bulk-buying anti-virus software …
Ooh no, Oracle’s Unbreakable Linux package is most certainly not zero cost Its very similar to RHEL in this respect, but what usually swings it for the customers is the fact that all their support will come under one umbrella, rather than having 3 or 4 separate support contracts. Interestingly, though, the majority of my RAC customers ultimately chose RHEL over OEL (and Solaris for that matter).
And when they say that you will find Linux in the majority of computer rooms around the country and the majority of those installations are not RHEL ... ??
Now that IS interesting! Where did you find that statistic? I need it! ;D
I have been searching for stats regarding which distro is dominating the server rooms out there (paid for vs free). Can you point me to the figures? I’m trying to use such data in a presentation I’m putting together about Linux in the enterprise for November this year, but not finding much to back up my “Linux is popular in server rooms” claim.
Big companies are not so dumb, there're well aware that just because they pay for something doesn't necessarily mean either that it's better or that it's going to be around for longer. The [real] problem they face is using a product and getting long term help / support when it comes to keeping it running, which comes down to a lack of expertise in the marketplace and at the moment, the only large-scale support available happens to come from people who are charging for their version of Linux. (or Unix in the case of Sun et al)
I doubt there is a lack of expertise in the marketplace, but in my experience the real reason big business pays for enterprise Linux subscriptions, aside from the obvious (patch entitlements, etc) is purely to have somebody to blame when their “bomb proof” (perceived) solution stops working. I’ve been in several situations where I have been woken up at 3 in the morning to rectify a problem with a mission critical service, and having 24x7x365 vendor support with 4 hour on-site SLA’s is worth its weight in gold.
IMHO, in the not too distant future, ALL software and Operating Systems will become "free software". Instead of paying for the software, in instances where payment is involved, we're going to be paying for the ability to run the software and paying for the support, rather than the software itself. (we may be lagging in this country but it'll happen here too eventually)
Yes, totally agree this is the right way forward. Unfortunately, I can’t see it happening in my lifetime. I doubt I’ll see the day when the source code for AIX, HP-UX, Oracle, Windows, etc becomes freely available. I hope I’m wrong, but I just can’t see that happening anytime soon. Thing is, if that DOES happen, what will Linux use as its trump card at that point…?
Ooh no, Oracle's Unbreakable Linux package is most certainly not zero cost
I didn’t say unbreakable Linux was free, I was pointing out that Oracle touched Linux with something a lot shorter than a barge pole, and Linux is free …
Now that IS interesting! Where did you find that statistic? I need it!
Well, you’ll see the comment that most computer rooms have a Linux box in them somewhere, even if the bosses don’t know … and you can look at RHEL’s sales figures … I’m just putting the two together … no stats required …
I doubt there is a lack of expertise in the marketplace,
I’m not saying there aren’t people who can do it, I’m saying there aren’t enough people who can do it … and those that can are typically doing other things.
I've been in several situations where I have been woken up at 3 in the morning to rectify a problem with a mission critical service, and having 24x7x365 vendor support with 4 hour on-site SLA's is worth its weight in gold.
Definitely … well … worth their weight in Gold to me anyway … I can remember being called out back in 1996 to fix a SCO system that the 24x7x365 vendor support engineer screwed up and couldn’t fix. Fastest £3500 I ever made for 2 days work …
My most recent experience of such support was when I called out an engineer to look at an NEC box (on a support contract) to investigate a flashing LED on the front panel. After he’d stripped and rebuilt the machine to no avail he called the office who suggested a BIOS reset - which worked. Nice waste of a hour or so … anyway, from that point onwards the box would randomly hang every few hours. Strange eh? When “I” opened the box thus invalidating the support contract, I found the **** put the CPU heat sink back on the wrong way round so it was at 90 degrees to the air-flow, as a result it was overheating every time it got ‘busy’.
IMHO, you are (a) FAR better off knowing what you’re doing and (b) carrying a spare (!)
Thing is, if that DOES happen, what will Linux use as its trump card at that point.....?
Why would it need a trump card? The aforementioned are never going to give their OS’s away, I think my inadequate implication was that Linux will be the only one left by then!
Having said that, I do think Linux will evolve as time passes and will probably morph into something that’s more like Mach, but that’s another story and far less certain …
Unbreakable Linux… Sounds like a challenge… will I win something?.. I’m just wondering if it’s worth 5mins of my kids time
Mmm, there was a time when it was on almost every billboard between Mountain View and San Francisco … don’t seem to hear much about it these days but I guess it still exists (!)
That’s spooky, because the only truly sticky situation I’ve been in was back in 2007 I was called out over a weekend to drive down to Maidstone (from Northamptonshire) to urgently investigate a problem with a SCO Unixware 7.1.1 box in a cash centre of a large money transporting company (I’m sure you can guess who that is). Turns out, a disk in a 4-way drive array had failed, but the engineer came out and replaced the wrong one, which corrupted the entire UFS filesystem because all the tolerance had gone by that time. I spent a day on the phone to a SCO 3rd Line engineer trying to fix the corruption before giving up on the vendor approach and deciding to rebuild the box and restore from a local tape backup.
Made a killing on overtime, but OMG the vendor support was dire…
and having 24x7x365 vendor support with 4 hour on-site SLA's is worth its weight in gold.
I think you just killed your statement …
This particular customer didn’t pay for ANY SCO support whatsoever. They have a bizarre setup. Backend servers are AIX on Power6, and these are covered by 4-hour on-site support. However, they have supposedly critical servers in their cash centres across the country running a legacy Progress 4GL application sitting on Unixware 7.1.1.
Believe me, if I’d have had proper support from SCO during this particular weekend, there would have been no reason for me to leave the house. As it happens, their lack of vision cost them a lot of money in penalties from missed transactions, plus I believe they paid close to £10,000 as a one off payment to SCO for the purchase of some “there and then” best endeavours support. The whole situation was an incredible mess.
Well, if they’re still using SCO after what’s transpired in the last 7 years I guess they deserve everything they get …
In my particular example it went something like this;
Customer> We need to upgrade SCO because SCO will no longer support the version of SCO we’re on
Me> You don’t need SCO support, AND your application (accounts system) will DEFINITELY not run on the new version of SCO
(Later that week)
Customer> We upgraded SCO.
Me> Your accounts system failed to run on the new system didn’t it?
Me> So you’re back on the original version then?
Customer> No, that’s why I’m calling.
Customer> When the *SG engineer was unable to make the application work, he restored from backups, but as it turns out, all 22 backups tapes were corrupt.
Me> Eh? He must have taken a backup before he started?
Me> And given he was going to wipe the system for a restore, he must have verified that backup?
Customer> Apparently not. And apparently we never do verifies either, only backups … and our tapes are all over three years old …
Me> Slaps forehead.
So, we have a top-5 UK law firm, offices in numerous countries, with no accounts data what-so-ever, apart from random print-outs and fragments in PC .xls files … !
Its unbelievable that rookie mistakes such as not taking and validating backups still exist :o
Well, don’t know about ‘still’ as I said, 1996 … but even then they had Windows PC’s and 30 IT staff …