How to hint I need Linux to my parents? (and other stuff)

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Lachlantula, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. Lachlantula

    Lachlantula New Member

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    Hi all.
    I'm in my teen years and need to switch to Linux, simply due to it's specialness. Unfortunately, my parents don't know a thing about opensource software/etc and I still don't have my own computer, so I'll need to dualboot W7. I hope to get Korora with the GNOME3 spin. In case it proves helpful, my parents are Mac users.

    So, back to dualbooting, is it possible for me to dualboot W7 almost problem-free? I hope to partition storage and backup as well... anything else you recommend?


    Thanks, and sorry if I kept drifting back and forth between topics :p
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
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  2. GrumpyOldMan

    GrumpyOldMan Active Member

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    Best Answer
    Go for the external HDD route. It'll be portable, so you can use it anywhere if you set things up properly (as in generic kernel and drivers, even if they are for devices not on your system). You could also put a VM on the external.

    I use VMs for a lot of development work, where I need 32-bit development environment on a 64-bit system, or where I'm doing things that could hammer the host system - work with a copy of the VM once you've got it set up, and you can make all the mistakes you want and still start over, but I personally don't think they're as good as a native system. Issues include use of processor cores (if your VM is set up to use 2 cores on a 4-core system, and only one is available, it'll sit and not do much, we've found.) I also have more stability problems with a VM, but that could be how I have mine set up and am using it.

    External disks are relatively cheap, and if the host computer you're using has USB3 support, that can be faster than the internal disk on a laptop.

    And if you get a big enough disk, you can partition it and have several different installs on it, to mess with...
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  3. laper

    laper New Member

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    Well, I think maybe you should just buy a hdd. Then you can install linux in it, and when you want to use it, just plug the usb to the pc, boot from your hdd. Thus you don't need to do any change to the old hdd.
    Back to your question, if you do it well, dual booting is possible to dualboot W7 almost problem-free, since I have done it for several times. If you are total noob to the linux, this operation may be not a quite easy to you.
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  4. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Well-Known Member Staff Member Staff Writer

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    Dual-booting can have problems. Some people can dual-boot and the system works well and others not so well.

    If your parents do not know anything about Linux, then it is best not to manipulate your hardware until you have your own computer.

    However, try this. Install Oracle's Virtualbox (VBox). Then, install Linux in the virtual machine. Linux can then be used as if it were and application inside Windows. Yes, an OS can run inside another OS.
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  5. Rob

    Rob Administrator Staff Member

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    Another option is to pick up a good sized usb flash drive from somewhere and install a live version on that. You can set it up so that it will save your settings/changes. Then, just pop it in and reboot the PC when you want to use Linux. This will also let you use your installation of linux on any other PC you run into without changing anything on it.

    It will run a bit slower than if it were installed on the hard drive I imagine, but it's a great way to try it!
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  6. KenJackson

    KenJackson Active Member

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    OK, there are three good answers so far: add a disk, use VirtualBox, or use a USB flash drive.

    I'm totally in favor of everyone switching to Linux, but I'll mention what I did. A number of years ago, I was very confident of my Windows skills but was itching to switch to Linux. But I wasn't confident I could do everything I needed to do. Not that Linux is limited, but my skills would be very limiting for a while.

    So I installed Cygwin on my Windows machine and started learning and using the bash shell. After a while I was confident enough to just make the switch for real.

    Cygwin has a setup.exe file that installs like a regular windows app, runs at the same time as regular Windows apps and doesn't interfere with any them. Many, many Linux programs have been ported to Cygwin, both GUI (X-window) and shell programs, so you can learn to use them while not doing anything to your Windows installation.
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  7. GrumpyOldMan

    GrumpyOldMan Active Member

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    Best Answer
    Go for the external HDD route. It'll be portable, so you can use it anywhere if you set things up properly (as in generic kernel and drivers, even if they are for devices not on your system). You could also put a VM on the external.

    I use VMs for a lot of development work, where I need 32-bit development environment on a 64-bit system, or where I'm doing things that could hammer the host system - work with a copy of the VM once you've got it set up, and you can make all the mistakes you want and still start over, but I personally don't think they're as good as a native system. Issues include use of processor cores (if your VM is set up to use 2 cores on a 4-core system, and only one is available, it'll sit and not do much, we've found.) I also have more stability problems with a VM, but that could be how I have mine set up and am using it.

    External disks are relatively cheap, and if the host computer you're using has USB3 support, that can be faster than the internal disk on a laptop.

    And if you get a big enough disk, you can partition it and have several different installs on it, to mess with...
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  8. alug_Doc

    alug_Doc Member

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    Now there's something I hadn't thought of in a long time...

    When I first started experimenting with Linux (you know, just for kicks), I installed swappable hard drive bays in my computer. These were made by a company called ViPower, but other companies make them as well.

    I had one disk for Windows ME and another for PCLinuxOS. I would just pop in the OS I wanted to use and boot the system. It was pretty cool.

    After a while, I migrated over to Linux as I was using Windows less and less. Today I have Linux Mint 13 installed on five computers (3 desktops and 2 laptops).
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  9. Lachlantula

    Lachlantula New Member

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    Thanks everyone :)
    Now to decide best answer... :eek:
  10. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Well-Known Member Staff Member Staff Writer

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    I think @GrumpyOldMan offered the best answer. External hard-drives offer more space and expansion than USB flash-drives and they are more reliable than dual-booting. Virtual machines have a performance cost (usually minor). The only con I see in using external hard-drives is the cost of purchasing one, but once you have one, you can reap the benefits.
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  11. Jdmeaux1952

    Jdmeaux1952 New Member

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    Give AntiX a try. Go to Distrowatch for a look see of it. AntiX loads LIVE from a CD/dvd or from a flash drive. Unless you actually install it, AntiX plays wells with other OS's. Or if they will let you, set up their computer for dual-boot. Go to YouTube and search for run with the dolphin's videos on antiX.
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  12. Lachlantula

    Lachlantula New Member

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    I managed to get an old rusty one. I'm currently just placing a Gigabyte Radeon 7850 HD 1GB OC Edition in there. :cool:
    Anyway, I have an awesome uncle who recommended using VBox, and I hope to use that with Mint (works well). I'll see how it goes. Thanks for the advice.
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  13. Cyber-Berserker

    Cyber-Berserker Active Member

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    In this case, the suggestion of using an external hard-drive is the best one for a simple reason:
    Dual-booting is very easy to do, after one has learned how to do it. Chances are good your first one or two attempts will fail. That could be problematic if the result is your parents cannot use their system.:eek: (Grounded for two years?) An external drive would let you screw up without damaging your parents' system. Just be careful not to install an MBR in the wrong place. (Been there, done that.:oops:)
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  14. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Well-Known Member Staff Member Staff Writer

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