[TriLUG] Convert to Linux
rvestal at trilug.org
Mon Mar 5 15:49:50 EST 2007
Hi Lewis. I recommend the following to all the "newbies" to Linux.
Before installing anything, realize that you don't have to loose your
windows stuff, programs, etc.
Now with that said, I'd recommend installing "cygwin" first. It's not
true Linux, but a simple bash shell for Windows. It is a simple command
line shell for Windows that will allow you to become familiar with the
basics of Linux(no gui interaction). Then run through a few
tutorials/lessons that are free to the public to learn the basics of
living in linux. Most Windows users think you *have* to use command line
only. This is not so, but if you learn how to use any version of Unix or
Unix-like OS's (such as Linux), then you'll probably be more
comfortable in dealing with Linux.
Now with that said, here's how:
1. Install Cygwin. Cygwin Cygwin has many options of software and such
but for this example, I simply suggest taking the defaults. For those of
us that use Linux daily, the defaults won't do, but to use the
lessons/tutorials I suggest, it will be fine. Simply click on the icon
labeled "Install Cygwin Now" and take the defaults. You will be prompted
to choose a mirror server, just choose anyone you like. If you are not
sure, use kernel.org or any of the ".edu" sites (like gatech):
2. This is the easy part (as if installing Cygwin wasn't easy enough).
Go to http://www.linux.org You will see a link on the left entitled
"Courses". Follow this link and you'll see some *FREE* basic course on
linux, including "Getting Started with Linux - Beginner's Course". This
first one assumes you no nothing about it, including how to say it, or
spell it. There are 2 more courses there as well.
The reason I suggest this is so someone who is NOT familiar with Linux
can go through a very basic, generic Linux course and get the
understanding of it's history and how it works. It does require
"reprogramming your brain" of sorts. Distributions like Ubuntu and
Knoppix, make it easy to "play" with Linux but they do not give you a
chance to understand it since they really don't have a "newbies" course.
Another good thing to try is QEMU Manager. It is a free-ware virtual
machine software program that will allow you to run LiveCD's as well as
build a linux computer "virtually" on your Windows Machine. QEMU was
originally written for linux, but like most of the linux software out
there, someone has ported it to linux. The Windows interface is quite
easy to understand, so if you have a LiveCD, you can simply boot it from
QEMU Manager and not touch your Windows install. If you decide to do
this, make sure to get the "Integrated Distribution". It has both QEMU
Manager (Windows front end) and QEMU (virtualization software) in one
Lewis Faulkner wrote:
> Please respond directly to e-mail address below. I have used MS Windows
> for several years, but am
> now interested in cutting the apron strings and converting to Linux. I
> am a total novice to Linux, I have
> read "Point and Click Linux", "Moving to Linux", and "Moving to Ubuntu
> Linux". They were informative.
> I am terrified of jumping into, for me, "uncharted" waters. My
> questions revolve around loosing my
> Windows programs and data. No big deal if Linux works as I hope. This is
> what I propose: purchase an
> external 60, 80, 120 Gb, USB 2.0 hard drive, install Linux and "boot"
> from the external drive. Thereby saving
> all my Windows stuff until I finally bite the bullet and convert all the
> way. This is my current hardware
> configuration: Dell PC tower, Windows XP Professional, Windows 5.1 with
> service pack 2 (build 2600)
> machine type AT/AT compatible, System BIOS Dell - 7, BIOS date 8/24/04,
> Processor type x86, Family 15,
> Model 3, Stepping 4, Genuine Intel with 1 processor and physical memory
> 512 Mb.
> Drive C: fixed hard drive 80 Gb, drive D: DVD - ROM DVD+/- R/W with
> MBR partition 3215 Mb.,
> Drive E: CD+/- R/W 568 Mb
> Drive D: currently will "boot" the system with "Ubuntu/Kubuntu" disk
> Sorry, for this longish note, but before I go off on "hairy" tangent,
> I wanted to see if this idea is workable.
> Any suggestions positive or negative will be appreciated.
More information about the TriLUG