I built a custom gaming PC last week, only to find out that the hard drive I had bought broke after a week of use. That HDD had my OS on it, which was windows 7, and I do not have the money for a new copy of Windows. I have been looking into Linux, I noticed there were multiple kinds of Linux, like Ubuntu and Redhat. Which one do I use for gaming? Can I put Linux on a flash drive for booting? Is Linux hard to use? Do I need another program to play games that don't have a Linux download link? Is Linux right for gaming, or just for running servers? Any other advice to a beginner at Linux? I need all the help I can get.
Linux is still behind Windows for gaming. Steam titles are now being ported to Linux and there is an installer for steam on Ubuntu. If you you through here you'll find several discussions on that subject.
Can I put Linux on a flash drive for booting?
Yes, most versions are live, ie bootable from flash or dvd.
Is Linux hard to use?
No harder for the normal user to learn than Windows IMO. For a computer novice, I believe easier. Ubuntu and Mint are the most common with ubuntu having the largest community for support and mint having the more windows like interface.
Do I need another program to play games that don't have a Linux download link?
wine can run many windows programs with varying degrees of success. check at winehq.org before you pay for something to avoid disappointments.
Is Linux right for gaming, or just for running servers?
I think it's best for day to day work and normal use.
Any other advice to a beginner at Linux?
go to distrowatch.com to read about the many flavors of linux out there and where to get them.
That HDD had my OS on it, which was windows 7, and I do not have the money for a new copy of Windows.
if you have a copy of the same version of windows and you have your original key you should be able to do a re-install. It doesn't have to be the original dvd just the same version, for example win7 64bit home version.
If you succeed in re-installing then play your games there. if you decide to have both systems then install windows first. if you install linux first then windows will overwrite the linux launcher, easily fixed but annoying.