Pros and Cons

I have always used Windows. Now got a laptop and two desktop Pcs - wanted to have a go with Linux. Dont understand computer jargon but basically want to know what is best to install if I want it to be as similar as possible to Windows pc which has office, adobe cs5, outlook, msn, internet explorer, avg and xenapp.

I’m going to suggest Ubuntu or Linux Mint (main edition)… not because they’re more Windows like than other distro’s, but because you will find help/support/advice easier to come by.

As a “user” you will find the differences between most Linux (desktop edition) distributions and Windows fairly superficial, as far as ease of use… they have a similar layout… desktop, windows, menus, icons etc.

As for the applications you mention, it would probably be easier to point you to this page:

then if you have any questions, we’ll be happy to provide info.
eg. Will OpenOffice be able to read/write Microsoft Office documents?
The answer is YES by the way :slight_smile:

As for AVG, for a typical desktop you won’t need an antivirus/anti-malware application… this doesn’t mean there aren’t any, just that the ones that are available scan for Windows viruses, so are of obvious use on Linux mail/file servers etc. that serve Windows clients, but not necessary on a Linux desktop… there are no known Linux viruses in the wild… for more info see:

Xenapp… I’m not 100% sure what this is, but from what I’ve read it seems to be a kind of central repository for your Windows applications/updates, so they can the be installed on any connected PC without the need to download again, and they are automatically updated

If I’m right, Xenapp appears to be trying to mimic something Linux distro’s do by default…in Linux, applications and updates are stored in online repositories and installed through a “package manager”… then the “update manager” will automatically keep any installed applications up-to-date (as they are updated in the repo’s)… obviously this requires that PC has an internet connection.

If you are thinking more along the lines of a network, it would be easy to have a single PC (with an internet connection) “mirror” the online repository, and the other PC’s install/update from that one.

But if I’m wrong about what Xenapp does… there is a Xenapp Linux client:

if you decide on Ubuntu or Mint, just download the .deb version and double-click to install.

Pros - (list by MP)

  1. Linux is free
  2. Updates are free
  3. It’s robust, it won’t blue screen on you (ever! - if you have working hardware)
  4. It won’t get infected with a million viruses every time you use it
  5. Generally speaking it’ll feel quicker than windows, not least as the multi-tasking is better
  6. If you get a faster processor, more processors or more cores, you’ll never have to pay for a license uplift
  7. If you chuck it on an additional machine, you won’t be breaking any T’s and C’s
  8. You’ll never have to call to register your software after you’ve installed it or be told you’ve run out of registration attempts
  9. It won’t have to donate 75% of it’s system resources to virus checking
  10. You’ll never have to run ‘defrag’ and you’ll never slow down because it’s not been run
  11. You won’t have to wait 3 minutes while your machine boots and check for Virus updates
  12. You’ll be able to visit and download packages for free (currently 230,000 available, most are for Linux)
  13. You’ll have a more technically competent system

Cons -

  1. Don’t expect your Windows applications to run in Linux… some can be made to work through WINE, but rarely as well as they would in their native OS.

Short cons list eh?.. there are many Linux alternatives to Windows apps, but if you NEED any particular Windows application, check first that you will be able to export your data to a Linux alternative… some Windows applications make it very difficult to export your data in a format that can be imported into another application (eg. Sage, Quickbooks etc.)… you won’t have this problem with Linux apps as they use open standards… ie. no proprietary format lock in.

To check how well a Windows application might run in WINE, search the WINE Application Database (AppDB)

Also if you have any Windows apps that won’t export your data in usable form, you could always run a copy of Windows in a VM (Virtual Machine), using something like KVM, VMware, VirtualBox etc. (ie. run Windows inside Linux), or set up a dual-boot system (ie. where you decide whether to boot into Linux or Windows as you boot the PC).

BTW, you could always “test drive” a few Linux distributions by running them from a LiveCD before deciding which one to install to your hard drive.
(be aware, running Linux from a LiveCD is much slower than running it from your hard drive, so don’t draw any conclusions about Linux speed based on LiveCD performance)

I hope you weren’t expecting a one line answer :wink: