Ubuntu as an operating system

gijohn13gijohn13 Registered User regular
edited October 2014 in Help / Advice Forum
So my custom built desktop suffered a power surge a while back and I've only just ordered the components to build a new one. What I haven't gotten yet is an operating system to go along with it.
I'm not all that knowledgeable about computer hardware, I bought all the components with the guide of the logical increments site however I went to a computer sales/repair place to ask about operating systems. Initially I inquired about windows 7 & 8 and about how much they cost, then as an alternate he suggested that I could go with Ubuntu which he said costs nothing, doesn't slow down, is virus protected and I can download straight off their site. I had never heard of Ubuntu until today and I had always used windows as an operating system but at the moment I'm a little put off paying more than I feel I need to.

So I just want to know if anyone has had any experience with it, if it all that its cracked up to be and how it compares with windows?

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Posts

  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    It isn't.

    Even though Ubuntu is the easiest of the Linux variants, using Linux for anything other than the most basic computing tasks requires at least an intermediate-to-advanced understanding of computers.

    And if you want to play games, make that advanced-to-expert.

    It's getting better, but especially since this will be your first time out, you're going to find yourself hitting walls on a daily basis

    I mean, it'll hold you over for a few weeks, but i wouldn't hang your hat on it.

  • ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    I disagree, I'd say its very user friendly. Not as point and click as Windows for sure, No way you'd do much gaming on it outside of games with Linux variants, though, but its pretty dang easy to use and install, just make sure all your external hardware (like printers and scanners) have up to date driver packages.

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  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    It depends what you want to do with your computer. If you just want to use it for basic tasks, Ubuntu and other Linux distros are fine. If you want to play games, it's tougher (but not impossible). In general things are pretty easy, plus it's free so you might as well just try it out then get Windows if you need it.

    The Ender
  • Pure DinPure Din Boston-areaRegistered User regular
    edited October 2014
    Ubuntu is a Linux operating system. Honestly I would not recommend using it for your primary operating system unless you have a friend or someone else you can ask to install it or fix any problems.

    It's not even that you need a general knowledge of computers, but there are just a lot of problems that are weird and it helps if you have someone to ask about them. For example, I use Debian (an operating system that is kind of similar to Ubuntu) on my desktop for the last five years, and I teach computer science at a college. But when I got my new laptop last month I made someone else install the OS for me because I didn't want to waste a whole day googling for why such-and-such driver isn't working.

    Also like other people have said you would still want to have a copy of windows for games, netflix, etc.

    [edit: apparently you can now use netflix in Ubuntu without any arcane workarounds. Heh.]

    Pure Din on
  • ASimPersonASimPerson And they will tremble again at the sound of our silence.Registered User regular
    edited October 2014
    Yeah... I'm an expert. I use Linux everyday for my work. I've been using Linux either for work, school, or as a hobby for... 13 years I want to say?

    But my big, beefy desktop for games still runs Windows.

    But here's the thing. It's easier than ever now, and even better, the price is right. You can even boot the Live CD and just poke around if you want, you don't really even need to install anything. Steam even works with Ubuntu, so you can give that try (though you'd need to have Ubuntu actually installed to do that).

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  • tarnoktarnok Registered User regular
    edited October 2014
    I used Ubuntu for a long time and have fairly recently switched over to Mint since Ubuntu drank the tablet koolaid and made the desktop almost unusable for a normal computer.

    I agree with most of what the posters above said; if you mostly used your computer for browsing the internet and typing word documents then Ubuntu will do everything you need it to right out of the box with very little effort. If you need to run certain programs then you may have a much harder time.

    I disagree with the proposition that you have to be a computer expert to do more than browse the web with linux. As long as you know your way around google and can follow instructions you should be able to resolve most problems. This is easier when a lot of people share the problem you're having. An issue with getting WoW running will be easier to research than one with Terrance the Turtle Teaches Typing. With linux the internet is your user manual and there is almost always someone out there who knows how to fix whatever problem you're having and will happily tell you about it if you can find him.

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  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    I'd say give it a try. Since it's free then you're "only" risking your time so you could give it a week or two for starters - if it then turns out to be a bad experience you can switch to Windows.

    Also - and this is pure speculation on my part - it won't be that long before Microsoft ships Windows 10. It's rumored to be an free upgrade for Windows 8/8.1 owners, but more importantly for with no Windows I would not be surprised if they start with offering it really cheap - so if I'm right and you can make do with Ubuntu(Linux) for a while then it could potentially getting Windows cheaper.

    Tip. There is loads of articles and guides on getting into Ubuntu on the web. Here is one that is not super fresh, but it should still apply and it gives the basics. itworld.com/article/2747967/operating-systems/ubuntu-linux-for-beginners--tips-for-getting-started.html

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  • Pure DinPure Din Boston-areaRegistered User regular
    tarnok wrote: »
    I disagree with the proposition that you have to be a computer expert to do more than browse the web with linux. As long as you know your way around google and can follow instructions you should be able to resolve most problems. This is easier when a lot of people share the problem you're having. An issue with getting WoW running will be easier to research than one with Terrance the Turtle Teaches Typing. With linux the internet is your user manual and there is almost always someone out there who knows how to fix whatever problem you're having and will happily tell you about it if you can find him.

    That's fine if you can isolate the problem to a particular program or issue. However, a less experienced user might have a harder time articulating what exactly the problem is and isolating where the problem is coming from. I remember when I was still learning, I was convinced I screwed up my bootloader because everything would freeze up right after the bios screen. I spent ages trying to figure out what the problem was. It turned out the bios was trying to boot from my programmable usb keyboard....

    Another thing to consider (especially for someone like the OP who has all new hardware) is that different OS use the hardware differently, so if something works in Windows but not in Linux (or vice versa) it could still be a hardware problem.

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited October 2014
    gijohn13 wrote: »
    Initially I inquired about windows 7 & 8 and about how much they cost, then as an alternate he suggested that I could go with Ubuntu which he said costs nothing, doesn't slow down, is virus protected and I can download straight off their site.

    True-ish, lie, same as Windows/MacOS, also true of Windows (Mac too?).

    First what's wrong with the OS on your old machine? If you have any serial numbers from the old install, you may be able to get Ms to issue a new key, though I understand they're making it harder with Win8.

    Ubuntu or other GUI-based Linui are great, but as secondary system, not a primary and not as a gaming machine.

    MichaelLC on
    Echo wrote: »
    Something working on the first try is a source of great suspicion.
  • Dr_KeenbeanDr_Keenbean Dumb as a butt Planet Express ShipRegistered User regular
    Elementary OS is built off of Ubuntu if I recall and it makes absolutely no apologies about trying to look and act a lot like Mac OSX. I think it even does things like play MP3s and DVDs right off the bat. Which Ubuntu may do now. I stopped using Ubuntu when they switched their UI up.

    Still I view Linux as a novelty for the public at large. It's somewhere you might like to visit for a bit but you probably don't want to live there.

    There's probably legitimate ways to get a current version of Windows much cheaper than retail. Maybe if you're a student or something? Like I know MS has a program that allows people to buy Office Pro for $10 if their employer participates.

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  • gijohn13gijohn13 Registered User regular
    Alright, I would like to thank everyone for the feedback so far. To answer some questions, I intend on using it primarily for gaming as well as drawing, browsing and using word document.

    I don't have the serial number for the old OS and I'm not a student.

    After some thought, I've decided to go with windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit which I've ordered on Amazon a short while ago.

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Yeah that's your best bet.

    Gaming is pretty much a deal breaker in linux. You can do it, but you don't want to do it, and it never works out well.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    The EnderDr_Keenbean
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