Wow, sorry I just arrived. Been a busy weekend testing a variety of distros among a room full of systems. Glad to see others have jumped in and advised SuperboyAC. Now on to SB's first impressions and other things.
- There are tons of "tip" sites
, blogs, pages around. Google is your friend, as am I. Check out the "linux help" blogroll section on my blog at: http://www.thegsblog.com/
- I compare switching OSes to switching languages
. Speaking the new one takes time. Immersion is your best friend. Dual-booting will make you schizophrenic. Imagine an Apple person migrating to Windows. It looks
familiar, but file management and software installations are different for each one.
- Don't fall in love with any one distro
; instead find the one that works for you. For example, MEPIS, Mint, and Mandriva are three that are highly polished and stylized. The real difference is which desktop environment you will use: KDE or GNOME. Each one is good; both are lacking something the other does well. I settled for KDE4 because I can make it look like Win7, OSX, or heck, what I
want, which is a clean desktop, but a loaded taskbar. Explore the UI. For example, if you right-click the KDE START button, you can edit the application menus and structure. I like openSUSE's implementation of KDE. But kubuntu's no slouch, nor is sidux. A site like Planet KDE
will inform you as you go.
- Don't get hung up on the fast upgrade cycle
. Some distros like Ubuntu upgrade every six months. Others every 9-12 months, and some when they're damned well ready (Debian). Keep your \home folder on a separate partition and you'll retain all your data, and for the most part, your application tweaks.
- Your days of buying software are
. The only software I bought for Linux was Nero/Linux. And KDE's K3B app is actually better. All the browsers have full Linux versions. Opera, Firefox, and Chrome come with all the extensions and themes you'll want on Linux. Text editing, programming, and web development is pretty fantastic. I could go on. (I don't play games except chess and solitaire, so I can't advise you there. The GNU Chess app will beat you every time.)
- Discover the Droid fonts
. They're nice. Along with that, subpixel rendering. Makes every word on the screen crystal clear with a decent monitor.
- Use the software what you know
. You'll be surprised at how much cross-platform software is around. I do FTP with Filezilla. I archive with 7-Zip. Word process and spreadsheet work with OpenOffice, etc. No need to reinvent those wheels.
- Don't think you have to love it, but realize a few of Linux's advantages
. You will save money because your software budget can now go for new hardware or something
else. Two of my formerly favorite Windows apps recently tripled in price. Instead of being pissed, I had a laugh over it. You have a choice of filesystems now. Your data just got a lot safer. File transfers are fast again. So is your processor.
I could go on, but you get the drift. I have a Win7 machine in the corner of my basement if I need it. I also have it virtualized using VirtualBox. My wife's work laptop uses Windows. So I'm not completely gone. I've had a blast making the switch. After more than two decades of using Microsoft OSes, I earned the right to try something different
. Turns out that right now, Linux is pretty nice, and has come a long way in just three years.