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Suggestions for Operating System

Last response: in Systems
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Best OS for my system

Total: 18 votes

  • Win XP
  • 6 %
  • Win 7
  • 73 %
  • Linux
  • 12 %
  • Ubuntu
  • 12 %
  • Other
  • 0 %
December 31, 2011 4:54:11 PM

Well, it looks like I need to install a new HD into my system thus creating the need for a fresh OS install. My system is mostly used by my family for surfing the internet and playing online kids games. If I need to install a game or program, I could boot to a different HD, use WinXP, and do what I need. As far as a main OS for this system, considering ease of install and compatability with drivers, what would you recommend? WinXP, Win 7, Linux, Kubuntu, or something else? I would be interested in any suggestions and help with this decision.
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 31, 2011 5:02:12 PM

Ubuntu is a very easy install, it is free, and pretty much all the software you could ever want is also free.

It has a little bit of a learning curve, though, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Once you use it as an OS and see what life could potentially be like with Windows you will be sad about the state of Windows.

All Windows has going for it is games.

The software manager is amazing if you are used to using Windows. You type in what software you want and one click install it, then it updates itself every week and there are never any conflicts with anything.

I dual boot Ubuntu and Windows 7. If I didn't game so much, I would use Ubuntu 24/7.
December 31, 2011 5:06:31 PM

Not sure why you need to do fresh OS install if you are just adding a new hard drive. Sounds like you already have XP on a drive in the system.
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December 31, 2011 5:33:35 PM

Raiddinn:


Thats exactly the kind of info I am looking for! What version of Ubuntu do you use Kubuntu or something else? The learning curve isn't something that will bother me I don't mind learning at all.

AM2A:

I want something for my main OS. I do have WinXp on a drive, but it is not my main drive. My main HD (74gb Raptor) is going bad quickly. This is the drive that I boot to for all programs and games. The other drive is just for storage and my son has some games on it running XP. So I need a main drive that everyone will use and programs will run from.
December 31, 2011 6:15:11 PM

I am even more confused now, maybe I'm just overtired lol. What I was trying to get at is you can just boot from the drive with XP on it, you don't really need to install an OS to the new drive, you can just format it and throw what you want on the drive. If you want to try out a new OS like Ubuntu that's cool, and I encourage it.
December 31, 2011 6:31:33 PM

Really hard to recommend Ubuntu for a family computer. For ease of install, software support, and familiarizing your children with the computer why wouldn't you use the best version of Windows to date, namely Win 7? It's the OS that your kids will encounter more than any other throughout their early lives and it has the best software selection available.

Definitely try Ubuntu out - but do it on a separate partition. If you are used to XP, then Win 7 is both faster, snappier and imho a huge improvement. XP drivers aren't generally compatible though so some older devices don't have Win 7/Vista drivers for them.
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
December 31, 2011 6:35:18 PM

Nickand5 said:
Well, it looks like I need to install a new HD into my system thus creating the need for a fresh OS install. My system is mostly used by my family for surfing the internet and playing online kids games.

That is the key that eliminates any flavor of Linux from consideration.

Win7 by all means.
December 31, 2011 6:50:20 PM

AM2A said:
I am even more confused now, maybe I'm just overtired lol. What I was trying to get at is you can just boot from the drive with XP on it, you don't really need to install an OS to the new drive, you can just format it and throw what you want on the drive. If you want to try out a new OS like Ubuntu that's cool, and I encourage it.



I know I could do this, but either way I need to install all new programs. The drive that has XP on is not setup with an antivirus, firewall, or any drivers and programs. If I am going to have to fresh install all of these, then I want to do it on the drive that will run as my main OS. If I do it on the XP drive, then I will use XP, but if there is a better OS available, then I would rather work on that one.
December 31, 2011 6:54:05 PM

larkspur said:
Really hard to recommend Ubuntu for a family computer. For ease of install, software support, and familiarizing your children with the computer why wouldn't you use the best version of Windows to date, namely Win 7? It's the OS that your kids will encounter more than any other throughout their early lives and it has the best software selection available.

Definitely try Ubuntu out - but do it on a separate partition. If you are used to XP, then Win 7 is both faster, snappier and imho a huge improvement. XP drivers aren't generally compatible though so some older devices don't have Win 7/Vista drivers for them.



OK a vote for Win 7. I do have some worries about the drivers issue. Also someone told me that Win 7 doesn't come with an email client built in and you need to use an online email. The system is definitely a family system and I do need something that they will be able to be familiar with and use.
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 31, 2011 7:01:03 PM

Regular Ubuntu, whatever the version happens to be at the time. Last I heard we are on Natty Narwhal.

Ubuntu releases a whole new base OS every 6 months pretty much on the dot which is a free upgrade and it installs itself. None of the old software quits working for the most part unless Ubuntu decides to go with a different major system. If that is the case it does the whole change over automatically.

They did that between Open Office and Libre Office some time ago. All my icons stayed the same and everything just used the new program instead of the old one. Most painless productivity suite upgrade I ever experienced. I didn't even notice anything different until it said Libre Office when I opened a word document.

People used to windows may be lost for a couple minutes while they try to find everything, but its not hard or anything. Media players still open media files, productivity apps still open productivity files, web browsers still open web pages, etc.

I use Chrome on Windows 7 and Chromium on Ubuntu and it looks exactly the same.

Anyway, I think the biggest problem is just that people get used to doing things in a super hard round about way with Windows and they aren't used to how easy things are to do in Ubuntu.

When you want software in Windows you have to go on the internet and try to research a media player that won't give you viruses and you have to go to a different webpage to learn about a different media player or whatever.

On Ubuntu you just go to the software center and type in media player and it lists many of them that you can choose from, all of which are guaranteed not to have viruses in it.

You try to go out on the internet and download things with Ubuntu and you have so much trouble. If you even manage to download a file you won't be able to figure out how to install it.

Then you read that you are supposed to use the software center for this and you try it and its like... How did I live without this? Why doesn't Windows have this?

Anyway, anyone willing to try something different should try it. Worst case you can just delete it if you don't like it.

It is crazy how stable it is, though. I answer questions about BSODs in here all the time with Windows, but I never once answered a question about Ubuntu crashing or even ever heard of Ubuntu crashing.

Another crazy thing...

I have a DVR hard drive in my computer. Windows won't recognize the drive if I turn my computer on and boot into Windows. If I restart in Windows over and over it will never read the drive correctly.

If I boot into Ubuntu it will not only read the drive correctly without any errors at all, it will teach Windows how to read it. If I restart in Windows after booting into Ubuntu it will work in Windows and every time I restart Windows after that Windows will be able to read it without problems.

Then if I shut down, Windows will forget how to read it but Ubuntu won't.

Linux is a lot more error tolerant than Windows is. One error crashes Windows. If you have Ubuntu you don't even know if there ever was an error. Either there are no errors ever or you just never hear about it and the errors never affect whatever you are doing.

I could go on all day about it.

The differences are quite profound.

Just don't plan on doing anything that requires using Direct X because it won't work in Linux.

There is something called WINE that allows you to install Windows programs on Ubuntu and most of them actually work, though. There is a system that allows Ubuntu to intercept a Direct X call and translate it to OpenGL and display the graphics with OpenGL instead. That goes slower so its not great for some games, but it is pretty nice still.
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 31, 2011 7:06:07 PM

Nickand5 said:
Win 7 doesn't come with an email client built in and you need to use an online email. The system is definitely a family system and I do need something that they will be able to be familiar with and use.


Ubuntu does come with an email client.

However, everyone will not be familiar with it immediately.

You could just install both Windows and Ubuntu on the drive (Windows first) and let everyone choose their own OS.

The GRUB boot loader is much better than any of the Windows boot loaders I ever used and it has MemTest86+ built into it which is a nice touch.

Anyway, I think if all you really want to do is regular productivity stuff and web browsing, I think you might like it if you try it.

You can install all the games you want on the Windows 7 and XP partitions.
January 1, 2012 4:12:48 PM

Got to back up Raiddinn here.
I was using Mandriva and running Oblivion using Play On Linux. But I had a few minor glitches - artifacts and so on. So when I struggled with a new mobile broadband connection I went back to XP. Oblivion was the same.
January 1, 2012 4:46:45 PM

Since you can already run windows stuff through your XP drive, I would try out something like Ubuntu or Suse on the new drive. They're free, and usually a little easier to get set up than some of the other linux distributions. If you don't like it you can swap it out for something else, only costing you a little time. I would definitely keep a windows OS though, it's what most people use and some stuff you'll want to run just won't work in linux (like a lot of games). If you really want to change out XP for Win7 that's an option too, but not completely necessary. Half the windows users are still on XP, and it will run any windows stuff you want. If you don't have experience writing drivers I would check that your hardware is supported in the version of linux you might be interested in. Drivers for windows are usually not an issue.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2012 4:47:01 PM

Win 7. Just bite the bullet. We all want Microsoft to die in agony, sure, but it ain't gonna happen. As for e-mail, yes, they decided to be a big pain in the neck and not provide an integrated e-mail client with 7. They probably got sick and tired of all the whining about Big Brother bundling proprietary software. You can use whatever third-party client you like. I used Windows Live Mail. You have to "export" your old e-mails and all before the switch, though.
January 3, 2012 9:26:31 PM

I guess I'll go with Win 7 as my main OS. I was kinda hoping for a lightweight, more secure (than Windows) OS that my family would be able to use. However it is true that they will probably be exposed to more Windows based systems throughout their lifetime (although their schools seem to be mostly Apples) than a Linux based system. Thanks for all the help and ideas!
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