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TroubleMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-08-11 10:36 PM
Original message
Thinking about trying out some Linux - suggestions for first time user

First some background on me: I've been fixing computers (99% PCs) for about 25 years, but my Unix/Linux exposure is very limited. I can do all the tech stuff, and I'm willing to learn and patient. I don't want to start off with something as daunting as Gentoo, but I don't necessarily need an extremely easy to install package if that's not the best option.

Here's what I want to do on the computer:

1. Web browsing, I prefer firefox. Flash/Java is a must, Silverlight is a plus.
2. I watch a lot of streaming sports events so VLC media player and Veetle are a must. Sopcast is a plus.
3. Torrents are a must (I prefer Utorrent) and so is Peer Block.
4. I have a large song library (tens of thousands) which includes many flac and ape files along with mp3s (and some ogg and other formats). VLC will play them all, but a comprehensive media library program would be a plus (similar to mediamonkey, jriver, or the old musicmatch).
5. I will dual boot with Windows 7 Ultimate (hopefully will use the Windows 7 just to play the high end games).
6. Watching movies is a plus (divx player).
7. Must read pdf files.
8. Photoshop is probably a huge plus(prefer not to use GIMP).

Here are my system specs:
CPU: Core i7 930
video card: ATI HD5770
mem: 6gb

Again my plan is just to use the Windows 7 for brand new games that come out and that's it.

Thank you for any help in advance.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-09-11 09:37 AM
Response to Original message
1. Look at Ubuntu as a first step
I really don't know about the programs you listed, but a partial websearch suggests you might be ok

VLC media player for Ubuntu
http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-ubuntu.html

HOWTO : Microsoft Silverlight on Ubuntu 10.04?
http://samiux.blogspot.com/2010/09/howto-microsoft-silv...

How to get Veetle working on Ubuntu
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-newbie-8/... /

How to install sopcast player in Ubuntu 9.10(Karmic)
http://www.ubuntugeek.com/how-to-install-sopcast-player...

uTorrent under Ubuntu in 3 Easy Steps
http://news.softpedia.com/news/uTorrent-under-Ubuntu-in...

&c&c
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TroubleMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-09-11 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Thanks for the reply

Ubuntu and PCLinuxOS were the two I was looking at the most, but I wanted an opinion from the people on this board. There seems to be more of an open-mindedness to different distros here. There's not a lot of fanboyism here, luckily.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-09-11 04:00 PM
Response to Original message
2. If you really want from the bottom up customization, see whether Arch supports the packages you want
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TroubleMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-09-11 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
4. Scratch PCLinuxOS - no 64 bit, so now I'm looking at

Ubuntu and Linux Mint and their variations. Mepis Linux is looking good, too. Arch Linux looks interesting, as well.

I'll have to dig in and do some more research.
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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-10-11 05:39 AM
Response to Original message
5. my suggestion
Start with Ubuntu, but give "/home" its own partition, or even its own disk, to live in. That way you can try as many different distributions as you want, and still be able to access your data from all of them.

I've got an old 80 Gb disk that I use for my OS's. I allocated 10 Gb to Windows XP, which I never really use, and a few Gb's for swap space, and then Ubuntu comes next. I intended to try other Linux distributions when I set this machine up, but I've been pretty happy with Ubuntu, and haven't got around to trying that. Ubuntu is currently taking up about 15 Gb of space, I see, but that seems a little high. Probably because I've installed a lot of stuff, like the Apache webserver, that I never use. Just installed it to play around.

Then I've got a 1 Tb disk that I use for /home. So I can add OS's, or reinstall the ones I already have, without wiping out my data. (If I'm careful, that is.)

So I'll be able to try out, if I ever get around to it, at least three or four different distributions at the same time. Or dozens of them if you don't have an old 80 Gb drive around. ;)

I think Firefox is pretty much the de-facto standard on Linux boxes. It's what I use. VLC is included in Ubuntu, but I generally prefer mplayer for watching videos. I think it is good for streaming too, but I'm not sure. I'm still stuck with a slow connection.

I generally use mpg321 for playing my music, just because it uses almost no system resources. But there are more advanced solutions like Rhythmbox, that do lyrics and cover displays and such. I was just appalled when I saw how much memory and cpu they use. I only use those when I have company. :)

I can't say for sure, but you may be able to do without a Windows 7 partition at all, and install that as a Virtual Machine. I think your games would work that way. And photoshop too. And GIMP ain't that bad either.

And lastly may I suggest that if you come to like the Linux way of doing things, you should eventually try installing Linux From Scratch at least once. It's fun and educational as a weekend project. It's very informative to do, though it can quickly get to be a headache as you try to keep your apps and libraries up-to-date and synchronized.

Good luck!
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-10-11 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
6. Another distro you might check out is Pardus
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TroubleMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 10:08 PM
Response to Original message
7. I'm trying out Linux Mint Katya first.

It's basically ubuntu with all of the video stuff pre-installed.

I'm thinking of trying out some new ubuntu, too, because now it uses a different desktop. I want to try a few different ones out.

One interesting thing is that several pre-installed packages didn't work. I found out the problem was permissions. Thunderbird wouldn't work from the get go, and several other things weren't working. I checked the logs and it was all permission errors. I temporarily gave everything permission to access everything (yeah...I know), and then everything worked perfectly. Now I have to research and see what really needs permissions for what folders.

Thank you for all of the replies.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-11 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. If you're trying Ubuntu stuff, mebbe look at Ubuntu Studio
Ubuntu Studio is aimed at the GNU/Linux audio, video and graphic enthusiast as well as professional ... http://ubuntustudio.org/
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 06:22 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. I use Studio on my two recording boxes.
Edited on Tue Jun-21-11 06:23 AM by hobbit709
One has a dual-core Atom with 2 Gb RAM and a M-Audio Delta 44 sound card with breakout box.
The other has a dual core Athlon with 2Gb RAM and a M-Audio Delta 1010LT.
I use Audacity to record with since I can transfer the files to my main system running XP X64 to finalize the mix.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-11 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
10. Silverlight will be a problem.
Although Moonlight (IIRC the name) "works", you will no be able to use Netflix. Netflix will only work with the genuine Silverlight Windows installer (for encryption/security reasons) and Silverlight will not run via WINE.

Photoshop may run in WINE depending on the version.

I would try Ubuntu (I installed 11.04 just last night), but be aware that if you are forced into using a nonstandard desktop resolution, you may have trouble with X giving you a proper modeline to support your resolution. Since you're using an ATI card, this may not be an issue; my experience is solely with NVidia (largely due to ATI's historically abysmal linux support; this may have changed in the four or five years since I've had an ATI card).
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