Hi I might quite possibly be in the wrong forum but I'm looking for some assistance with my transition from Windows 8 to Ubuntu. I was running Windows 7 for quite some time and I did the upgrade to Windows 8 and since that moment I realized that was one of the few mistakes I have ever made when it comes to my computers. Currently I have 3 desktops & a laptop I am looking to reformat this weekend but I want to make sure that Ubuntu would be a solid choice for me, I have had a lot of friends rave about the Ubuntu OS and how switching from Windows 7/8 helped simplified their life, but I am one of those people who was raised on Windows. Starting from 3.1 on up to 95,98SE and so on.
I want to write this post so that anyone that can help me will know what hardware I am dealing with and if it will be possible to make the conversion to a new OS. So I'm listing the specs of each machine below (laptops included) and hopefully someone will be nice and understanding to help me.
My primary machine is and AMD 6 core CPU with 32gb of DDR3 RAM, The motherboard is a Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5, a 240gb SSD Boot drive, one optical BD-RW and the rest is hard drives ranging from 1.5tb to 4tb, this machine also has 4 external WD MyBook USB 3.0's plugged in. I use this machine for various things, gaming being one of them, however I was told I could VM Install Windows 7 and install my games to that and be able to play them if they have any trouble with WINE. Currently I play WoW, FFXIV, FFXI, SimCity (new one) I also play several games that are outdated and retired from over 15 years ago (i.e. Space Quest, RailRoad Tycoon, and so on) Due to Windows 8 not allowing me to play these games has well upset me in ways I cannot handle. A friend did recommend I go back to Windows XP 64 bit but to be honest that's not something I'm willing to do unless there is no other option. I also do a lot of video editing, making home movies (not the dirty kind.) so space and ram is important to Windows for this but I am sure that Ubuntu has several applications that run more efficiently.
My secondary machine is an First Generation i7. I have used this machine as a Windows Home Server for almost 15 months for storage of media and PC backups. This is a server I have in the house that my family & friends can stream from with the WD TV Lives which I have 2 of that are hooked up. I recently added not to long ago a Sans Digital Tower 5 Bay in JBOD, they also included this eSata RocketRaid 622 card that my research has led me to believe is not very Linux capable. This rig has 16gb of RAM, 1 Optical BD-RW, several internal drives as well. I am not looking to enable the RAID function as the drives included are *not* enterprise or RAID qualified drives. Leaving them as JBOD has worked for me just fine, however the NTFS file system has me pulling my hair out, both this machine and my primary machine usually end up heavily fragmented on several drives and that means I have to use a Defragger. From what I read on EXT3/4 converting to that file system would rid me of defragging all together thus saving me more headaches. Also WHS doesn't recognize all 16gb of RAM just the first 8gb. That right there sent me looking for other alternatives.
My third machine is being used as a Linux Gateway with ClearOS. Its configured to have the cable modem run the internet through it and then I separate my network through two workgroup switches I have a families switch and my own switch. I do web hosting with another company and I am looking to save as much money as I can by hosting from home, which I am allowed to do through my ISP as of this month. Several of the domains I host do not get that much traffic (yet) and I was wondering if I should leave ClearOS on it or does Ubuntu have a variant that can make it work like ClearOS does. This machine is an AMD QuadCore with 8gb of DDR2, it has a RealTek 10/100/1000 onboard, and 2 Intel PCI 10/100/1000 adapters running to two different switches. I built this rig to help control the flow on the LAN side as well the WAN side with family & friends playing MMORPGS, Streaming Netflix, Hulu+ my $49 router I had could not handle the load that was being thrown at it.
Lastly is my laptop. I recently got from Dell, its an Inspiron Series Core i5 Sandy Bridge with 6gb of RAM. I use this laptop for when I am out in the field, I do computer repair for several people and new builds. I also use this laptop as home as a way to "Remote Assistance" into my own desktops.
My primary concerns would be the game playing on my primary rig, my server has this RocketRaid card with outdated drivers for Linux unless I install a very old distribution of Ubuntu, going back to 9.10. The ClearBox is not a major concern however I have found some web hosting software that would save me money each month by doing it from home. My laptop I've considered a dual booting. I have a week off starting Friday and I figured this would be the best time to get started on a large project like this, any help would be appreciated.
Also the remote assistance into my desktops is a major necessity as well. I know that being able to VNC would work but I am all about keeping the computers secure from unwanted intruders.