Looking to convert to Linux

Hi all.
I am looking to convert to Linux, sick of windows. Is Ubuntu a good place to start or is there a better version to start with? Will I need anti virus software? From reading other posts I guess that most printer work ok, but what about vinyl cutters/ plotter? As for software can I get a CAD program for it? It’s just personal use not business. I am sure I will have lots more questions but at the moment I don’t know what they are. I was planning on fitting a new hard drive then installing it on that.
Any help or info is much appreciated


Hi Markems0, and welcome to the forums :slight_smile:

Is Ubuntu a good place to start
Ubuntu is a great place to start :) .. if for no other reason than help is easy to come by.
Will I need anti virus software?
Nope, you don't need AV (unless you are using the Linux box as something like a mail/file server, that services Windows PC's), and if you're behind a NAT router you don't need a firewall.
I guess that most printer work ok
Most printers will work, but there are a few exceptions .. general rule of thumb is that HP printers and All-In-Ones have the best support .. you could check the OpenPrinting database (be aware, this is NOT a complete list): http://www.openprinting.org/printers Or give us the make/model and we'll advise.
what about vinyl cutters/ plotter?
I'm not sure .. have you got a make/model in mind ? .. and I'll see what I can find out.
can I get a CAD program for it?
There are a few CAD packages for Linux, including... DraftSight - Free for non commercial use, but requires registration: http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/overview/ or a 3D commercial package - Bricscad: http://www.bricsys.com/en_INTL/ Both of those can handle DWG files.

Thank’s for the info. I downloaded the Ubuntu just need to install a new hard drive (safest way of not losing anything). I am practical but not very good with the software side of things. But I will have a go at sorting things. The plotter is made by redsail I will have to look up the model. My printer is a HP deskjet 450. All is looking good so far!!! :slight_smile:

HP Deskjet 450 will be fine … just install the hplip-gui package for a GUI setup application:

sudo apt-get install hplip-gui

The search in Dash for the HP Toolbox

Can’t find anything about Redsail plotters … but that doesn’t mean it won’t work … model number might help though.

I have installed Ubuntu on my laptop alongside windows. Looking good, so far everything I have tried has just worked, wireless connection to net etc. Everything is a little slower to open in Ubuntu compared to windows. Is that something to do with windows been on as well or just that my laptop is old. Best say what it is, It’s an Evesham AMD Athlon 64 procecsser3000+ 1Gb ram and 250Gb HHD. About to try and set up email now!!

Which version of Windows and Ubuntu ?

Later versions fo Ubuntu are becomming more resource hungry … as do later versions of Windows (annoying but true) … so if you’re comparing the latest version of Ubuntu (11.10) with XP … that may explain it.

10.04 will be MUCH faster than XP.

But the newer Unity and Gnome 3 interfaces are heavier :frowning:

If speed is your main concern … Try using Lubuntu or Xubuntu … they should make XP look stupidly slow … they are both Ubuntu based but use the lighter LXDE and Xfce desktop environment receptively.

At least you get the choice in Linux :wink:

Yes using Ubuntu 11.10 I will give 11.04 a try tho. I am having problems setting up the email I have got it collecting mail but cannot send.

Thunderbird ?

and what are the mail servers ? … ie. who with, Virgin, Hotmail, BT, etc.
(some ISP’s/Mail services require a login/password on the outgoing mail server too)


it’s 10.04 (the last long term support release) that will be faster than XP, not so much 11.04.

another option may be to try installing gnome-session-fallback then logging into that and seeing if that helps … though probably not.
adding anotherr 1GB RAM

But using a distro like Xubuntu/Lubuntu will probably make the biggest difference.

Sorry that should be 10.04 and I think I have sorted the email thing out

Happy to hear you’ve sorted it :slight_smile:

Thought I ha sorted it but a lass not. I have to put the password in every time I send. I found it needs outgoing mail login pasword as well. Do you know where it gose’s. i cannot find somewhere to put it? I am with Demon INTERNET.

When you enter the password(s) there should be a box underneath that says “Use Password Manager to remember this password” or similar … tick that box.

see here:
I think this is for Thunderbird 2 rather than 3, but the settings should be similar.

Email now sorted. all alittle slow but I only get chance to do anything on a night . But I am getting there :slight_smile: ;D

I have now decided to buy a new laptop as mine is now getting on for 10years old. Can anyone advise me on a spec for a replacment. It is used for documents and letter, CAD, lots of internet, some CNC program writing and whatching dvd’s oh and Shamless on 4OD. I would like to spend upto £500 and have been looking at the CCL computers web site. What is good/Bad???

Are you going to be running a Linux distro on this laptop?

I would say take a look at System76 laptops. These are high spec ones, but they also ship with Ubuntu installed. Perhaps the Lemur from them is what your looking for? Your free to customize which options you want from them as well.

System76 Lemur page: http://www.system76.com/laptops/model/lemur

It’s hard to advise on laptops in a “general” way … if you can supply some particular models you’re looking at, we may be able to search for know issues.

This may be a handy place to start:

Or as BkS is suggesting … get a laptop from someone who specialises in Linux laptops, as they will have tested them for compatibility … at the very lesast it may be worth checking which laptops they are selling, then see if you can get one cheaper elsewhere.

Check out places like:
(though like System76, Zareason tend to give the laptops names of their own and don’t tell you which laptop it actually is)

At least what they are using are pretty much guaranteed to be Linux compatible.

That said … most laptops will be just fine, but some may require a little more work than others, just Google for known issues and any workarounds/fixes before buying :wink: