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Whats the best operating system

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Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
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June 13, 2012 5:13:41 AM

I’ve heard of many different operating systems other than window: Linux, BSD, etc. And I’m thinking of going with a different operating system for my next computer.

So, in terms of security/speed/user friendliness, of these following operating systems, which is the best:
1. Windows (XP or 7)
2. Linux (Ubuntu, Debian)
3. BSD (FreeBSD, DragonFly BSD)
4. GNU
5. Other (ReactOS, FreeDOS, IRIX, etc.)

I want as many opinions as possible plz. :) 

More about : whats operating system

June 13, 2012 6:12:01 AM

There is no such thing as a "best" operating system. You have to do your research, read around, and determine which is best for your particular needs.

Failing that, I would say that the best all-round operating system for someone who finds this a meaningful question is probably Windows 7.
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June 13, 2012 1:01:14 PM

I agree with iJack on this but as a general rule of thumb I tend towards:

Security - BSD
Speed - Custom compiled Gentoo Linux with optimisations*
User Friendly - Windows 7

*If you want every last frame out of your graphics card then Windows drivers receive the most development effort due to being the biggest market but for general performance Gentoo would still take it.
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June 17, 2012 4:39:59 AM

Thank you for your opinions! After researching Ubuntu, FreeBSD, GNU, IRIX, SOLARIS, etc., i have come to a conclusion: UBUNTU!!

As audiovoodoo pointed out, Linux is faster than Windows, but i don't want to have to go through the trouble of compiling a custom Gentoo. I have read the Ubuntu is also faster than Windows, and more secure.

I don't believe FreeBSD or FreeDOS is for me because im too comfortable with the GUI. I read you can download an add-on for both that gives them a GUI, but again, it is just easier to get an OS that already has a GUI.

There is also compatibility issues: not as many software will work on DOS (or even BSD for that matter) that WILL work on Linux.

And finally, the other, even less famous operating systems, such as IRIX, SOLARIS, and GNU. IRIX costs money, and i was hoping for a free OS. The GUI for Solaris looks pretty ugly, and i see no reason to get GNU or SOLARIS when they are so less famous than Linux that very few programs on the internet will work on them.

So Ubuntu Linux it is (for my next PC anyway)! TY for your advice and opinions. And someday, maybe just for the fun of it, i will get GNU or FreeDOS or something and use a boot loader to have Ubuntu AND a second OS.


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June 17, 2012 6:34:32 AM

omg all this and your not gonna install ubuntu on your current system?

/me faints
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June 17, 2012 2:30:05 PM

I'd also point out a few things..

Irix doesn't run on x86 systems.

FreeDOS is what it says on the tin... DOS. It will run ALL your old DOS applications!

Hurd is a kernel and then you have the GNU toolchain. There is no GNU distribution as such.

BSD has almost all the SW you could ever want, a GUI for it is but a single command line away.

Ubuntu is an easy place to start although nowadays I'd suggest Mint is an easier starting point for somebody who's comming from Windows.

If you want to play with different versions of Linux or any other OS then I strongly suggest running them in a Virtual Machine. You keep your existing Windows OS and get to run operating systems as if they were applications. Zero risk of toasting your working system.
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June 20, 2012 7:49:10 PM

To answer you question nhasian, i may some day use GNU GRUB boot loader to have two operating systems, Windows and another, on my computer.

audiovoodoo, i have a few comments and new questions about you last response:

I don't want IRIX anyways based on my research, and if it isn't compatible with x86, i definitely wont be getting it.

Windows applications don't run on DOS, and as far as i know, i don't have any DOS applications... But if i do have any DOS-compatible programs, how could i find out?

Thank you for helping me understand about GNU, but i wouldn't want Hurd or any version of GNU for the reasons i stated above about GNU.

As long as i can get Google Earth, Python programming language, Code::Block IDE+GNU GCC compiler, and the BZFlag tanks game on BSD, i will probably be happy. I think I can get All of these on BSD. Thank you for that i may reconsider FreeBSD. :) 

I have heard the Linux Mint is good for new users, but i have also heard the Ubuntu is OK for that too.

I did try Linux Mint on VirtualBox and i liked it, but i would like to try FreeBSD and Ubuntu on it too. But i tried installing Ubuntu x64 on VirtualBox, and it tells me "This kernel requires and x86-64 CPU, but only detected an i686 CPU. Unable to boot, please use a kernel appropriate for your CPU." I have an AMD 64 bit CPU, so this doesn't make any sense. How do i get passed this? (While i wait for a response, i will try FreeBSD on VirtualBox).
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June 20, 2012 9:59:09 PM

nicholas_70 said:
I’ve heard of many different operating systems other than window: Linux, BSD, etc. And I’m thinking of going with a different operating system for my next computer.

So, in terms of security/speed/user friendliness, of these following operating systems, which is the best:
1. Windows (XP or 7)
2. Linux (Ubuntu, Debian)
3. BSD (FreeBSD, DragonFly BSD)
4. GNU
5. Other (ReactOS, FreeDOS, IRIX, etc.)

I want as many opinions as possible plz. :) 


For me, the free (costless) one that is easy to use. I originally wanted to go with Solaris UNIX, but politics got in the way and, so, I went with GNU/Linux, instead. Never looked back, did I.

There is nothing wrong with BSD, either. It's just preference.

BTW, my personal definition of the answer to your question eliminated even some Linux distros.

EDIT: " ' . . . Unable to boot, please use a kernel appropriate for your CPU.' I have an AMD 64 bit CPU, so this doesn't make any sense. How do i get passed this? , . . "

Use 32-bit or upgrade CPU and mobo.
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June 21, 2012 1:52:08 AM

nicholas_70 said:
I don't want IRIX anyways based on my research, and if it isn't compatible with x86, i definitely wont be getting it.


Your research didn't show it as having been retired in 2007 with the last version having been released in 2006? It was always MIPS only. If you do want a play then second had SGI HW does come up on eBay.

nicholas_70 said:
Windows applications don't run on DOS, and as far as i know, i don't have any DOS applications... But if i do have any DOS-compatible programs, how could i find out?


Strangely though Windows 1 to 3.11 all ran on DOS. Nowadays there isn't much out there, although my last job involved supporting an old DOS application some clients refused to let go. As a rule of thumb unless it's a console based text application it's Windows only. Worth having around for retro sessions and old games though.

nicholas_70 said:
Thank you for helping me understand about GNU, but i wouldn't want Hurd or any version of GNU for the reasons i stated above about GNU.


I suggest having a bit more of a look into this. Linux uses the GNU toolkit so you will end up using some GNU supplied code at some point. It's a bit of a none issue for a user, just download and run what interests you.


nicholas_70 said:
I have heard the Linux Mint is good for new users, but i have also heard the Ubuntu is OK for that too.


I have Ubuntu in a VM but having played with it I'd suggest Mint is the better of the two.

nicholas_70 said:
I did try Linux Mint on VirtualBox and i liked it, but i would like to try FreeBSD and Ubuntu on it too. But i tried installing Ubuntu x64 on VirtualBox, and it tells me "This kernel requires and x86-64 CPU, but only detected an i686 CPU. Unable to boot, please use a kernel appropriate for your CPU." I have an AMD 64 bit CPU, so this doesn't make any sense. How do i get passed this? (While i wait for a response, i will try FreeBSD on VirtualBox).


What OS are you running VirtualBox on? If that is only 32 bits then that's the problem. The host OS has to be 64bit to allow a 64bit guest OS. There is no way round this.
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June 21, 2012 4:24:11 AM

chamaecyparis wrote:
Quote:
I originally wanted to go with Solaris UNIX, but politics got in the way and, so, I went with GNU/Linux, instead. Never looked back, did I.


I read on Wikipedia that SOLARIS was mainly designed for workstations and servers, so im not sure how nice it would be if it was used for a simple PC.

To audiovoodoo:

I only have one or two console applications, so i dont think that DOS is for me. Besides, it would probably be difficult to try and use a computer with just text anyway. I did successfully try FreeDOS on VirtualBox, so i can use that for old games and the like. But i think it would get old after a while as a main OS.

As for FreeBSD, i tried it on VirtualBox, and i got an error:
"CPU doesn't support long mode"
Then is said:
"Consoles: internal video/keyboard
BIOS drive C: is disk0
BIOS 639kB/523264Kb available memory"
And then other errors:
"Can't work out which disk we are booting from.
Guessed BIOS device 0xffffffff not found by probes, defaulting to disk0:
FATAL: int13_harddisk: function 42. Can't use 64bits Iba"

EH???????

As for GNU, i got the same error as i did with Ubuntu. By the way, i have a 64bit Windows 7 and a 64bit AMD CPU. I got a AMD64 Dragora GNU/Linux.

All in a nutshell, i booted FreeDOS and Linux Mint in VirtualBox, and liked Linux Mint, but not sure i would like DOS. I don't want IRIX for various reasons, and i dont want SOLARIS. I either want Ubuntu, FreeBSD, GNU, or Linux Mint, but i cant test the first three to see for my self. HELP!!!
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June 21, 2012 6:37:56 AM

audiovoodoo said:
What OS are you running VirtualBox on? If that is only 32 bits then that's the problem. The host OS has to be 64bit to allow a 64bit guest OS. There is no way round this.


Technically, that is incorrect. http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch03.html

VirtualBox supports 64-bit guest operating systems, even on 32-bit host operating systems,[11] provided that the following conditions are met:

You need a 64-bit processor with hardware virtualization support (see the section called “Hardware vs. software virtualization”).

You must enable hardware virtualization for the particular VM for which you want 64-bit support; software virtualization is not supported for 64-bit VMs.

If you want to use 64-bit guest support on a 32-bit host operating system, you must also select a 64-bit operating system for the particular VM. Since supporting 64 bits on 32-bit hosts incurs additional overhead, VirtualBox only enables this support upon explicit request.

On 64-bit hosts (which typically come with hardware virtualization support), 64-bit guest operating systems are always supported regardless of settings, so you can simply install a 64-bit operating system in the guest.
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June 21, 2012 4:31:01 PM

nhasian did you read my last post i explained it.

I have a 64 bit AMD CPU, and Windows 7 64 bit.

Linux Mint and FreeDOS worked on VirtualBox so my CPU must support hardware virtualization. Ubuntu and Dragora GNU/Linux come up with similar errors about CPU support, and i dont know what to call the error i got with the FreeBSD. I gotta say i liked Linux Mint though.



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June 21, 2012 4:36:43 PM

FreeDOS is not a 64-bit OS. I would guess that the Linux Mint you used wasn't either in which case it seems likely that your processor doesn't support hardware virtualization (or else you haven't enabled it). I'd stick with the Linux Mint if you liked it.
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June 21, 2012 5:53:40 PM

to iJack:

You were right. Linux Mint 32bit does work (and i love the MATE desktop) and the 64bit doesn't. But neither 64bit nor 32bit Ubuntu work. I would like to try Ubuntu, GNU and FreeBSD before making a decision.

According to nhasian 64bit hosts support hardware virtualization, so how do i turn it on?
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June 23, 2012 1:51:19 PM

nhasian said:
Technically, that is incorrect. http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch03.html

VirtualBox supports 64-bit guest operating systems, even on 32-bit host operating systems,[11] provided that the following conditions are met:


I stand corrected. I've only just got round to playing with it after a few years away from VM's and I know I had issues in the past but didn't think it was back to my K6 CPU days.

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June 23, 2012 1:59:49 PM

nicholas_70 said:
to iJack:

You were right. Linux Mint 32bit does work (and i love the MATE desktop) and the 64bit doesn't. But neither 64bit nor 32bit Ubuntu work. I would like to try Ubuntu, GNU and FreeBSD before making a decision.

According to nhasian 64bit hosts support hardware virtualization, so how do i turn it on?


There are two places where it can be enabled.

The first is in VB itself. When you set-up a VM the relevant settings are in System -> Acceleration, there needs to be a tick in the box marked 'Enable VT-x/AMD-V'.

The other place to look is in your BIOS. The exact location depends on your BIOS but normally under advanced settings. That said there are some BIOS versions out there that despite supporting chips with the VT extensions just don't support them in BIOS. I've had a Dell at work that did just this and there was no way on earth to enable them. Kind of a pain seeing as they upgraded the machines so we could use VM's of various OS's to support clients without needing a test lab.
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June 23, 2012 3:08:09 PM

Alright, VT-x/AMD-V is on in VirtualBox, still no luck.

Is it dangerous to activate it in the BIOS? I mean, if its a delicate process, and easy to make a mistake and roast my computer, then i wont bother. :pfff: 

Also, if its easy and safe, will it alter the performance of my computer anywhere else?
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June 24, 2012 2:56:55 AM

Zero risk. It's like turning on a light switch as opposed to applying more current to make the light bulb brighter. It won't break.
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June 24, 2012 8:48:13 PM

I hear FreeBSD is one of the easiest and secure Unix OSs. Really depends on what you *need* to do with your computer.
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June 25, 2012 5:38:02 AM

Hmm. No Exchange, Telephony, or ISDN support? They seem to be scraping the barrel there to find things wrong with FreeBSD!
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June 25, 2012 3:50:47 PM

Security and User friendliness in same sentence. :) 
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June 27, 2012 2:26:49 AM

I didn't see Hardware Virtualization anywhere in the BIOS. Ill probably just go with Linux Mint i do like it and it seems to be the best choice for me.

I was wondering though, why will Linux Mint and FreeDOS work, and Ubuntu, GNU, and BSD not work?
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June 27, 2012 2:28:50 AM

Quote:
I was wondering though, why will Linux Mint and FreeDOS work, and Ubuntu, GNU, and BSD not work?


I mean in virtual box. If my motherboard/CPU/OS doesn't support Hardware Virtualization, than why will those two work?
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June 27, 2012 2:30:38 AM

VMs work with hardware virtualisation, they always have.

Hardware virtualisation is like Iron Man's arc reactor in comparison to a 9V volt battery: The brief? It's a turbocharger.
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June 27, 2012 3:13:04 PM

But if my computer DOES support hardware virtualisation, then why cant i find it in the BIOS?

And if it doesn't, then why did Mint and DOS work?

:heink: 
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