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Linux compatibility with windows?

Discussion in 'General Linux' started by tony cannon, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. tony cannon

    tony cannon New Member

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    I currently use windows OS but am sick and tired of microsuck policies and ethics. As such, I want to try a Linux Operating System. As such I have 2 main questions:



    1. Can I run windows programs, ie Flight Sim 9 (FS2004), with a Linux Operating System?
    2. What is the BEST Linux Operating System to get?
     
    #1 tony cannon, Dec 4, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  2. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    Hi Tony, and welcome! There is a Linux project called Wine that replicates a Windows environment... some Windows programs can run in this environment, and some cannot. Because Flight Sim is so old, there is a fair chance that it will work, but I'm not a gamer and can't make any promises about this. You might find better info on a Flight Sim forum on this question.

    What is the best? Please understand... we can't tell you what would be the best car for you to drive. Or what the best restaurant is in your town. The person who determines what is best for you... is you alone. There are about 300 active Linux distributions (called distros for short), but you do not need to try them all. You can quickly whittle the list down to a dozen or so that are very stable and well supported.... and you can again pretty quickly whittle the list down some more to a few that are more generally recommended to new users.

    Linux seems in many ways like Windows, but it is, in fact, very different. You have much more control over your system and how it looks. Themes are available, but it is even more than just that outward appearance. A distro is often picked based on which "desktop environment" that it uses (the graphical user interface). Linux also has many desktop environments available to choose from.

    Picking which Linux distro probably begins by realizing the capabilities of your hardware. Do you have a newer or older system? How much RAM? Is it UEFI or BIOS based? Do you want to keep Windows and make your computer "dual-boot" with Linux? Or are you willing to go Linux only? Do you have a DVD drive built-in to the computer? Have you ever booted your computer from a USB flash drive before?

    One of the nice things about Linux is that you can download each distro as one big file (with a .iso extension) and you can use special techniques to put Linux on a DVD or USB drive... then you can boot up your computer on that and run Linux in a "live mode" to test it out. I would suggest that you do this with at least 2 or 3 different Linux distros, and maybe even more. This will let you begin to get a feel for how Linux works in general, and how the different distros may fit in with your personal computing habits and tastes.

    Learning Linux is not an overnight journey, but there are many here that will try to help you along if you're ready. If so, tell us more about your computer, and we'll try to steer you to some distro choices to try out.

    Cheers
     
    Rob and mrcrossroads like this.
  3. mrcrossroads

    mrcrossroads Silver Member
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    I did a quick search and didn't find anything to indicate that Flight Sim 9 would install with Wine. Couldn't hurt to try though. There is also a commercial solution to installing Windows programs on Linux, called Crossover. It's $60 but you should check to see if your program is compatible first. It does come with a trial version. You can find that here: CrossOver for Linux

    Additionally, here are some Flight Sims that WILL run on Linux: Flight Simulators for Linux
     
    Rob likes this.
  4. tony cannon

    tony cannon New Member

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    Thanks gents, appreciate the replies and info.
     
  5. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Well-Known Member

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    Another 1957er Stan? (@atanere )

    Hi Tony and welcome (& I am curious about Wombat 457, being an Aussie) ;)

    Any one that I am using. How long is a piece of string?

    Make DistroWatch your friend - http://distrowatch.com/ and with its Hits page http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=popularity ... a rule of thumb used by some is that if a Linux Distro gets into the Top 100 and stays there for an extended period of time, then it likely is good, and it may have good support from its Developers (Devs). But that is an arbitrary figure, at best.

    Have a few reliable USB sticks on hand, and try a few, and ask us questions.

    Cheers

    Wizard
     
  6. tony cannon

    tony cannon New Member

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    Wizard,

    Why "wombat457"? Born and bred an Aussie mate ;)

    Well, from everything said so far it seems as though getting Linux is a "hit and miss" deal - in terms of getting the one that is right for you. Lots of options, perhaps too many.

    Think I'll try and take a look at it up and running some where before I start having to download version after version till I find one that works for me.

    With apparently so many versions, it begs the question why?
     
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  7. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    That's a good question. My opinion is... because Linux is free. Individuals and teams all over the world are free to "build a better mousetrap"... to take the free Linux kernel and the free GPL apps that are available, and build them into new distributions based on the creator's personal tastes on looks and/or function. And they find that others like what they've done and are willing to use their new distributions. And then it grows from there.

    If Microsoft offered a dozen or even just a half-dozen variations of its Windows operating system, at a cost of $100 per version... I don't think most folks would be motivated to try out too many of their choices. People would carefully evaluate which one would best satisfy their needs, and only purchase that one.

    Some Linux distros resemble Windows, some resemble Mac OS, and some are really set apart from both (but still pleasant enough to use when you get used to them). Most in the Linux community feel that this freedom is a wonderful thing. But it is understandable how it can be daunting to newcomers who are not used to this type of freedom of choices.

    Cheers
     
  8. tony cannon

    tony cannon New Member

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    Thanks for the explanation, I didn't realise it was available for anyone to modify and to do with what they pleased.

    Okay so one further question ... anyone I have spoken with that has Linux has Mint. They say that it resembles Windows (not interested in how it looks) and is the easiest to install and get the hang of. Mint has been described as the Linux equivalent of windows 7.

    Not withstanding the (apparent) fact that Linux wont run microsuck programs, is what I have been led to believe reasonably accurate?

    Does Linux make equivalent programs to those made by windows? Or, is there somewhere I can see a list of all the programs available for the Linux Operating System?
     
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  9. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    I am a big fan of Linux Mint also, and it has been my go-to daily computer OS for many years with just a few breaks. Yet, there are many others that I like for various reasons too. That's why I encourage folks to try out several by running a "live version" on DVD or USB just to get a basic feel for some of the differences in aesthetics or function. Mint is one of the best at detecting hardware, especially wireless adapters, so that they usually work without a lot of fuss. This is a big part of what makes it so user friendly.

    As I said above, some Windows programs can run in Linux using a tool called Wine. But for most Windows programs, there is a Linux alternative. One of the best known is LibreOffice (instead of Microsoft Office), and it comes already installed in most major Linux distros. The Linux Alternative Project is one place for you to compare other popular Windows software versus their Linux alternatives, though that list may not be exhaustive. Some other alternative lists are here and here. There may be many other such lists.

    Of course, don't forget that many software companies make versions of their products for both Windows and Linux, so there is no need for an "alternative" for some favorite programs. Mozilla Firefox and many other browsers (Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi) are readily available, and you can bring your bookmarks or settings over with you.

    Linux has come a long way, but it isn't perfect. You still need to figure things out sometimes. If you want to use Linux full time, you want to consider hardware purchases in the future and look for things that are Linux friendly... like HP printers versus other brands. HP has the best (not perfect) support for Linux, but some other brands may also work with Linux too.... you just need to do some homework sometimes to consider these things and investigate so you aren't disappointed after a purchase.

    And ask questions! We help when we can, and Google knows just about everything if you learn how to ask it. As you become more adept, you find more and more solutions on your own with Google. It's all part of the journey. :D
     
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  10. tony cannon

    tony cannon New Member

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    atanere,

    Thanks mate, appreciate the time you are spending on your answers.

    I do intend to use Linux as my "day to day" OS and rid myself entirely of windows so I do need the "best fit". I'm not all that concerned about aesthetics or the "niceties" that most OS's seem to come with nowadays, functionality and ease of use is the priority for me.

    I might download Mint and give it a run on another PC I have, one that I am considering rebuilding anyway. Hardware compatibility isn't something I took into account though so thank you for pointing that out to me. That is definitely an important "need to know" especially with Intel aligning itself with MS and their OS.

    Okay, then I'll take a look at the links you provided as well as hardware compatibility. If what I have (hardware wise) is compatible then I'll try Mint and see how it goes.

    Much appreciated.
     
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  11. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    Having a spare computer is great! Do some "full installs" on it and you'll get a true feel for how it runs (USB and DVD are a bit slower than running on a hard drive). If the computer is very old, you may have a 32-bit CPU... but there's a Linux for that. If you don't need 32-bit, it's better to download and install 64-bit systems. RAM is the other big issue... if you have 1GB or more you will probably be okay. But if 1 GB or less, there's a Linux for that too (or you can buy some extra RAM to beef it up). Nice to see you jumping full in... we'll all help as much as we can.

    Cheers
     
  12. tony cannon

    tony cannon New Member

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    Thanks and yeah, it is an older system, about 5 years but runs an intel i5 processor with 16 gig of ram so it should be okay in terms of "power and ability". From memory it is also running the latest (5 years ago) graphics card with a 250 GB SSD drive.

    To me, that is old and out dated, the new system will be running an i7 with a Skylake 6700K CPU and some other niceties for the next 5 years.

    Anyway, once I build the new system, I'll download direct to the "old one" and play. I have my fingers crossed that it is to my liking despite my wife wanting to stick with MS :rolleyes:
     
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  13. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    Old? OLD? I've had a good laugh with that one! :D

    A last comment for now (maybe).... Mint should install nicely without any changes needed to the UEFI (BIOS) setup. Your system most likely has some settings for Windows enabled (such as Secure Boot) and Mint can work with that. But if you decide to try out some others, those settings are also something to consider... and especially if some versions fail to install for you or give you a bunch of errors.

    Heck, you may even find some quirks when you start with Mint... if that system had Windows 10. Win 10 created even more trouble for Linux users in a couple of ways. But don't worry... you can get past it. We'll cross that bridge if we need to when you're ready.
     
  14. tony cannon

    tony cannon New Member

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    ALL of my computers have windows 7 Pro installed - there is no way in that really hot nasty place I would ever install windows 10 on any system I own.

    Me thinks, this may be an interesting journey ....
     
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  15. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    Okay, that really will help greatly. Win 10 is a disaster. I think all you will need to do is to get the Linux Mint .iso file properly burned to DVD or USB, boot it up, and tell it to "Use Entire Disk".... and you'll be off and running.

    Let us know if you're not aware of how to "properly burn" the .iso file. It differs between USB and DVD, so let us know if you need any help with that. It has to be done a special way so that it will boot.... you don't just copy the file to the media.
     
  16. tony cannon

    tony cannon New Member

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    Crap .... okay I have never dealt with ISO stuff so am completely ignorant where that is concerned :(

    In short, yep - I'm going to need advice on that sorry.
     
  17. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    No, it's okay... it is a common first thing to learn. Will you use USB or DVD?
     
  18. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Well-Known Member

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    Morning all (or early afternoon if Tony is on "silly time" - daylight saving).

    I am just playing catch up, reading this thread, so I will be about over the weekend.

    @tony cannon - Mate I run about 65 to 70 Linux at a time, 40 on one computer and 30 on another, so chances are I will have tried what you are interested in.

    Last Windows I used and liked was 7 Home, then blew that away in favour of Linux in around Aug/Sep 2014... haven't looked back.

    Linux Mint has 4 Desktop Environments (DEs) available - MATE, Cinnamon, Xfce & Kde/Plasma (just what you didn't want to know, lol.

    Read about DEs here - https://renewablepcs.wordpress.com/about-linux/kde-gnome-or-xfce/

    ... to get an idea

    Well it's Saturday in Oz, so you know I am going to say

    avagudweegend

    Wizard

    BTW - USB works better faster and can be rewritten easily enough. But some of the Sandisk Cruzers &c from Australia Post can turn to crap after a while.
     
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  19. tony cannon

    tony cannon New Member

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    Strewth wizard - you tryin' to give me a bigger headache than I already got or wot? Startin' tu feel like I been hit for a 6 by Ricky Ponting mate! Yeah I know, ancient history now :( Geez I miss cricket ... ops sorry digressed a little there ...

    Think I am going to take this one step at a time, try Mint - which ever mint I happen to get, and the go from there. Rest assured though, I am most likely going to have a bucket full of questions once I do get it. Consider that a warning if you will or the future :)

    By they way mate, we are on "silly time" I think - beats me, all I know is come 5:00 pm, it's bloody dark and a pain in the place politicians go to retire :)

    avagoodweekend mate and have a Vic for me will yu ... miss that as well :(
     
  20. atanere

    atanere Moderator
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    I have had a number of USB brands turn to crap after putting Linux on them. I would sure like to figure out what's up with that. o_O So a recommendation from me is to use cheap (small) USB's if you go that route... you don't want to trash a newer high capacity stick. I prefer DVD's for this reason, and I have a stack nearly equal to Wizard's installed collection. It still amazes me how he does that!!!! :confused::D

    BTW, Wizard... very nice link on Desktop Environments too! :cool::D

    Cheers
     

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