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Mazza558
April 19th, 2008, 12:48 AM
I was thinking about my first explorations of Linux back in 2004, which consisted of:

- Reading an old page with a list of distributions down it and having no idea which one to try

-Finding the SUSE page and wondering how to get this installed - I remember deciding not to as it was multiple CDs and there was a warning about a major problem with the install which scared me off.

-Downloading my first LiveCD (Knoppix), and liking it but not wanting to install just yet

-Finding ubuntu a few months later (5.10 by that point), downloading it, installing via dual-boot for the first time and stopping with Wireless support not working and a host of other problems. Trying to remove it, I broke my recovery partition and had to send the PC to be repaired in the end - the Tech support wasn't happy when he heard I'd been "messing with partitions". I joined the forums at this point as I was interested in it all.

-Read about 6.06, downloaded it, very apprehensively installed it and after a month, got wireless working. Dual Booted from this point on and have always used it in dual-boot on my desktop (and more recently, ubuntu only on my laptop)

Overall, I wonder what the overall experience is for people starting out nowadays? Care to share what you thought/felt as you started out? Did you switch recently or longer ago? Was the documentation good enough?

I kinda wish I could see the first few posts I made here, as this'd give me a better idea.

bsharp
April 19th, 2008, 12:58 AM
I remember the first Linux distro I downloaded was Feather Linux which is basically a DSL clone except the size goal is 128MB instead of 50:

http://featherlinux.berlios.de/

and I booted it up and had no idea what to do (I was 13 at the time i think....)
I've been fascinated with Linux ever since and decided to try it again when I saw a write-up about Ubuntu in Popular Science, downloaded and installed 6.10 and Ive been hooked ever since :)

LaRoza
April 19th, 2008, 01:01 AM
Here is how I started:

* Got my first computer (2006, end of)
* Got Vista, because my computer said it was Vista ready
* Installed Vista
* Computer didn't have the specs to fun Vista at all

Mindlessly browsing in the computer section of Borders (a book store) found a weird book with the letters "UBUNTU" on the side. Just had to see what had such a name.

It had a disk (6.06 DVD), and it was a low price. I bought it, and brought it home and installed it over Vista.

No internet, no Vista and just Dapper. I found it to be superior and kept it.

I joined UbuntuForums.org from school the next day I was in school (see my join date)

mowque
April 19th, 2008, 01:02 AM
As someone who just got this about a week ago (dual boot, Vista) i can certianly speak as a beginner. I find it much quicker and nicer then windows, however (by far) the biggest plus is the forums. Any problem? just post it and people will take a look and offer solutions. Linux is a good experiance so far, except i am in constant fear of crashing it by mistake....

Whiffle
April 19th, 2008, 01:02 AM
YES.

I tried mandrake 8.1 back in the day and just could not get it to do what I wanted. It was all very foreign to me (RPM, the filesystem, etc), and I didn't have any of the programs I was used to using. I gave it up for a while. Then one of my friends did gentoo, and so I did too, and thats when it stuck. I think it stuck because I learned more about how it worked whilst installing it, instead of having it just boot up and say "here i am!", I had to learn about the pieces that go together to make it work.

LaRoza
April 19th, 2008, 01:03 AM
As someone who just got this about a week ago (dual boot, Vista) i can certianly speak as a beginner. I find it much quicker and nicer then windows, however (by far) the biggest plus is the forums. Any problem? just post it and people will take a look and offer solutions. Linux is a good experiance so far, except i am in constant fear of crashing it by mistake....

It is hard to crash by mistake. Whenever you do something as root, be careful and that is about it.

FuturePilot
April 19th, 2008, 01:10 AM
I was just curious. There was something about the fact that everything just worked with Ubuntu and the very neat clean look of the desktop that I fell in love with. I just started using it more and more. The documentation was very good. I found all my answers either here on the forums or through a Google search.

I started with 6.06


As someone who just got this about a week ago (dual boot, Vista) i can certianly speak as a beginner. I find it much quicker and nicer then windows, however (by far) the biggest plus is the forums. Any problem? just post it and people will take a look and offer solutions. Linux is a good experiance so far, except i am in constant fear of crashing it by mistake....
It's almost impossible to crash by mistake. ;)

jrusso2
April 19th, 2008, 01:51 AM
My first Linux distro was Slackware back in 96 and it was very hard. I bought books and read them and posted problems on the news groups.

Linux today is much easier. Back then it was great if you could even get your internet and modem to work. Forget about USB working DVD's, music except for real player.

You had to write a script to dial the modem and connect to your ISP. that took a while to figure out and no dependency checking software package managers back then it was dependency hell.

My method was to install all the development stuff and hope for the best.

cardinals_fan
April 19th, 2008, 01:56 AM
I didn't think it was hard, but the ncurses Zenwalk install was easier for me than the GUI Ubuntu one (Ubiquity?) :)

steveneddy
April 19th, 2008, 02:09 AM
It seemed natural to me, actually.

I found it fascinating at first, frustrating second and delightful now.

I enjoy the reliable, stable and dependable Ubuntu.

And, yes, like everyone else, I tried a few other distros before Ubuntu, but I finally stuck with this one.

WBL
April 19th, 2008, 02:14 AM
My first experience with Linux was with Debian in 2000...so, yes, I found it VERY hard to get into. Thank god for Ubuntu! :)

-WBL

Tundro Walker
April 19th, 2008, 03:24 AM
Yes.

But with extra incentive, like Windows destroying all the data on your hard drive, you quickly get over any lazy procrastination you have and jump into it head-first.

Funny what gets folks motivated to go with Linux. For some it's curiosity. For others, frustration.

GBC79
April 19th, 2008, 03:50 AM
I'm in the process of learning Linux, and the whole filesystem just confuses/scares the crap out of me. In Windows I'm great, with Linux, I'm a duck out of water. Still trying to figure out the difference between /root and /home!!

Very nice desktops though...definitely need to stick to this!

Triggerhapp
April 19th, 2008, 03:53 AM
Yes.

But with extra incentive, like Windows destroying all the data on your hard drive, you quickly get over any lazy procrastination you have and jump into it head-first.

Funny what gets folks motivated to go with Linux. For some it's curiosity. For others, frustration.

My incentive was my ability to get viruses on a Windows machine I ran Apache on. Figured that a more secure system was what i wanted and moved onto, forgive me, NetBSD. It gave me enough experience and then i moved slowly into Redhat(4 CD installer I got from my work experience place!) then backslid' to Win2k for a while :(

paintba||er
April 19th, 2008, 04:12 AM
Yes, but it was really my internet that was the problem, not Linux. I had dial-up, so rather than tying up the phone line for a week I downloaded the smallest distro I could find. DSL. But I didn't like the minimalism of FluxBox, (I've since changed my view on that) and didn't really understand that there were multiple desktop environments, so I decided that I didn't like Linux. Then later I became curious again, and I downloaded a larger distro (I can't recall what it was, but it was one that attempted to emulate Windows (I thought Windows was good at the time)) that I liked much better. But I still had dial-up, and I had a soft modem that had no Linux support, so again, that prevented me from liking Linux or using it. Well, eventually I got broadband and was aloud to enjoy Linux. I haven't found it too hard since then...

freebeer
April 19th, 2008, 04:33 AM
Did I find it hard?

No, just different. But I was expecting that. I figured that I'd have to unlearn certain habits or ways of looking at things and I was right. I think that helped a lot. I'm also not afraid to google. :D

In many ways, the FOSS has made it a lot easier to learn because I never ran into the boundaries that are imposed by for-pay software. I mean, who is willing to pay for 5 or 6 apps just to tinker within an area of computing like web servers or ftp, etc. So you don't try new things. FOSS allows me the freedom to explore.

DUfire
April 19th, 2008, 04:34 AM
I actually just instaled Ubuntu like 3 weeks ago on my machine [Toshiba Satellite A215-S7437] and I've never been happier.
I love the support, going from a user-friendly Microsoft to about half that, especially on my simplistic teenage mind.
But I'm getting along, I have all the apps I need working, and even compared it to Vista basic and it's still MUCH faster.

As far as difficulty, I think the hardest thing has nothing to do with getting my devices to work, kernel/header upgrading, etc...it's actually been convincing my parents to let me use WEP encryption on our router because they seem to think anything other than WPA = "0mgHax0rz".
Yep, that's about it...

LaRoza
April 19th, 2008, 04:38 AM
As far as difficulty, I think the hardest thing has nothing to do with getting my devices to work, kernel/header upgrading, etc...it's actually been convincing my parents to let me use WEP encryption on our router because they seem to think anything other than WPA = "0mgHax0rz".
Yep, that's about it...

WEP is not secure. However, it is rare that someone actually wants to get into a home network that has a password.

DUfire
April 19th, 2008, 04:42 AM
WEP is not secure. However, it is rare that someone actually wants to get into a home network that has a password.

Oh, I know it's less secure than WEP [and it's most vunerable of the encrypted networks] but for some reason my wireless card doesn't configure to WPA-encrypted networks.
I learned how easy WEPs are to get around when I was experimenting with Aircrack-ng...

TeraDyne
April 19th, 2008, 04:47 AM
Oh, I know it's less secure than WEP [and it's most vunerable of the encrypted networks] but for some reason my wireless card doesn't configure to WPA-encrypted networks.
I learned how easy WEPs are to get around when I was experimenting with Aircrack-ng...

Heh, I have to use WEP thanks to my DS. They don't have WPA support. Insecure, but it's not like I live in a area where computers are commonplace. I have "old-school southerners" on both sides of my house, and one across the street. They hardly know how to properly use a telephone, much less a computer.

SunnyRabbiera
April 19th, 2008, 04:50 AM
well mostly yes as my first distro was suse 9.1... gah it was horrid!

DUfire
April 19th, 2008, 04:50 AM
Heh, I have to use WEP thanks to my DS. They don't have WPA support. Insecure, but it's not like I live in a area where computers are commonplace. I have "old-school southerners" on both sides of my house, and one across the street. They hardly know how to properly use a telephone, much less a computer.

Same.
I would only worry about the guy across the street who works as an IT manager for some company I've never heard of...
But he's a family friend so I really don't even have to keep my eye on him.
The funny thing is, in an average neighborhood in Charlotte, NC like this, I'd expect more computer-literate people but it seems like people here are still stuck in the Windows/AOL picture of PCs.

jayson.rowe
April 19th, 2008, 04:56 AM
Gosh - y'all make me feel old!

I started with Red Hat 6.1 back in '98 or 99 - I forget - Stayed w/ RH through 9 and tried Fedora Core 1 for like 2 days, moved on to Mandrake (now Mandriva for a little while) and then went to Slackware and stayed there until I started looking for an amd64 distro back in '05.

BTW, RH 6.x looked something like this - this isn't my screenshot - I turned it up in a google image search - this is actually RH 6.2 but looked much the same:

http://www.lamerc.com/uploads/ss1.jpg

TeraDyne
April 19th, 2008, 05:06 AM
Okay, now that I've gathered my memories, here goes.

I did find it hard to switch, but that was because of my first distro of choice: Mandrake 10. It was awesome, but the whole Mandrake Club at the time was annoying. It also didn't help that the community support at the time was lousy.

The next time I tried Linux was with Ubuntu, and I've pretty much stuck with it since. It's become so much easier thanks to the great community and their support. That, and I think my mentality changed between trying Mandrake and Ubuntu.

schauerlich
April 19th, 2008, 05:09 AM
Well, my geekhood never really developed until the end of 2006/beginning of 2007, when I ponied up and bought myself a laptop. After that, I got way into the whole "tech scene" and started getting wiffs of that Linux thing. I'd heard a lot of good things about Ubuntu and downloaded 7.04. I had a few issues, and being the n00b that I was, gave up quickly. When Gutsy was released 2 months later, I decided to give it another go, and actually spent the time to get everything working right. I've been here since.

NightwishFan
April 19th, 2008, 05:20 AM
I started Linux because I learned about the benifits of open source and used only such software. I got around to thinking I should use a free open source OS, and I found Ubuntu, and the rest is history. Well it should be. I found it fairly easy, in fact more intuitive than windows ever was.

Linux powa!

KC_HYPE
April 19th, 2008, 05:31 AM
just getting started now
a little off topic but this seems to be a thread consiting of people who know what they are doing.
did anyone else have wireless internet problems? In network preferences i can only choose from a modem and wired connection, not wireless.

i have a macbook, these are the specs i think people may want to know...?

Wireless Card Type: AirPort Extreme (0x14E4, 0x88)
Wireless Card Firmware Version: Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (4.170.46.5)

any help would be greatly appreciated

DUfire
April 19th, 2008, 05:40 AM
just getting started now
a little off topic but this seems to be a thread consiting of people who know what they are doing.
did anyone else have wireless internet problems? In network preferences i can only choose from a modem and wired connection, not wireless.

i have a macbook, these are the specs i think people may want to know...?

Wireless Card Type: AirPort Extreme (0x14E4, 0x88)
Wireless Card Firmware Version: Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (4.170.46.5)

any help would be greatly appreciated

When I found some documentation on AirPort Extreme PCI's in the Wiki, it directed me to use the same instructions for the Atheros cards in MacBookPros, found here. (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MacBookPro)

I found the original documentation here. (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MacBookPro/SantaRosa)

Further searching has also produced this. (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/Driver/bcm43xx?action=show&redirect=WifiDocs%2FDevice%2FAirportExtreme) This one seems the most fitting to your chipset.

Hope one of those helps!

swoll1980
April 19th, 2008, 05:45 AM
the red hat 6.2 looks like OS 8. When I started with Linux I did it for fun so there were no expectations I was pleasantly surprised

malspa
April 19th, 2008, 06:04 AM
It really wasn't very difficult for me because, although I'm not a fan of Linspire now, my first experience with Linux was with a notebook that came preinstalled with Linspire. It was quite easy to use.

The problem with my route was that Linspire didn't really teach me all that much about what Linux is really all about. But it gave me an introduction and a nice feel for things while I took my time learning more about Linux. I struggled a bit for a while when I started trying out other distros, but it wasn't too bad. I was fortunate enough to find Mepis early on. I didn't like Ubuntu at first and had to come back to it later to begin to appreciate it.

The Linux/Unix file system was completely bewildering to me at first (coming over from Windows). It's funny, now the Linux file system makes so much more sense to me than the way Windows is set up!

I think it would be interesting to see how a person who has never used Windows takes to Linux. I felt like things didn't get going for me until I learned to stop thinking of things in Windows terms.

Northsider
April 19th, 2008, 06:09 AM
My first experience with Linux was Slackware. My god I had no idea what to do.. 3 years later I try out Ubuntu and find it MUCH easier, still though I am not totally convinced that I could practiaclly use it. Only after removing windows for good and going 100% linux did I realize the ease of use once you get used to it.

schauerlich
April 19th, 2008, 06:10 AM
just getting started now
a little off topic but this seems to be a thread consiting of people who know what they are doing.
did anyone else have wireless internet problems? In network preferences i can only choose from a modem and wired connection, not wireless.

i have a macbook, these are the specs i think people may want to know...?

Wireless Card Type: AirPort Extreme (0x14E4, 0x88)
Wireless Card Firmware Version: Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (4.170.46.5)

any help would be greatly appreciated

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MacBook#head-e4a1f2cde8ad66bc01c97bfdadc85996ad80f688

That's the official Ubuntu Macbook wiki. It worked for me, it should work for you.

namegame
April 19th, 2008, 06:32 AM
I tried Linux several years ago, Fedora was my first distribution, it didn't set well with me, so I abandoned the thought of linux for a while.

Then, almost a year ago, when applying to colleges and such, I was looking at a prospective college's IT website and saw that they officially supported Linux as an OS. I decided to give Fedora another try and it still didn't click with me. Finally, after deciding to go to said College, I discovered that they supported Linux, but only Ubuntu, so after a few months of research, I decided to make the jump to Ubuntu. Honestly, it was the 2nd best decision I have made in college. (The first being a change in majors.)

ShodanjoDM
April 19th, 2008, 06:41 AM
Not really, since I've been using mostly open source softwares on Windows since 2003 onward. As for the CLI, I find it fun and rewarding to learn.

Barrucadu
April 19th, 2008, 10:11 AM
I found it really easy. My first distro was Ubuntu 6.something. Within minutes of installing I was fiddling around with Ndiswrapper getting my wireless dongle to work.

Kvark
April 19th, 2008, 11:05 AM
I knew none of the applications I used ran on the server OS Linux and didn't expect it to actually be usable for anything on the desktop when I first tried Ubuntu 4.10 Warty Warthog so I was amazed that there was other applications I had never heard of that could run on Linux and did everything I used the computer for. There was several annoying problems I didn't know how to solve until months later and many things I didn't know how to do but that was not important as long as it at least did everything I needed it to which was far more than I had expected. It was easy to get started because it came with everything I needed except an mp3 codec out of the box, doesn't get easier than that.

The low expectations was the key for me, if I had expected it to be perfect then I would have been annoyed with not being able figure out how to install Java instead of being satisfied with being able to do my homework with it out of the box.

Bachstelze
April 19th, 2008, 11:16 AM
It was back in 1999 so yeah, and being a reckless kid at the time, I enjoyed every minute of it :D

Old Marcus
April 19th, 2008, 11:21 AM
Well, I recently got into Linux after playing around with open source software (mainly OpenOffice) for a bit. I wanted to be able to do stuff that otherwise would have required expensive software (why do game designer put their files in such weird formats?) And at our income level, maybe a crack or two. I stayed round a friend's house, a vegan community and they had Ubuntu 7.04 running on the computer there. I played around with it and liked it. Came back home and asked a couple of other friends about it. The one thing I was worried about was that it would be difficult to install, that notion went out of the window pretty quickly. Eventually With help, I set up a dual boot of gutsy and windows and I've been using gutsy pretty much exclusively ever since. I only ever use windows for games and whenever I go to shut down windows I instinctively go to the top right hand corner of the screen, only to find the power button isn't there. :-P

VChief
April 19th, 2008, 11:30 AM
In a word, yes. It was a lot of fun, though. It was 1999 and I was 17 and I had been reading a lot about Linux but didn't know how to get my hands on one. Didn't have a CD-burner and was on dial-up. My mom found a copy of a Red-Hat clone at Wal-Mart and got it for me from Christmas. It was my favorite gift that year. I don't recall if the "distro" even had a name. It just said "Based on Red Hat." Installed it on a Pentium I had gotten cheap and got a twm GUI. Literally nothing on it but an xterm window. So, at that point my first thought was "Now what?" :confused:
:lolflag:
I played with a lot, learning the CLI. A while later I found "Maximum Linux" and picked it up to read it. It came with a copy of Mandrake. The pictures looked good so I installed it. Spent several months trying to get a Winmodem working.

It was difficult learning but it was fun, too. I really think that, these days, with distros like Ubuntu, Fedora, openSuSE, it's much easier to get started. I had fun though. I'm glad I started out with a "tougher" distro. Forced me to learn things.

Jareth
April 19th, 2008, 12:26 PM
I think the universe conspired to get me onto ubuntu.

The first time I had inklings towards linux were years ago, probably around the time I was still using a spectrum! That was when I'd heard of it and the mystery of it intrigued me (Wow, I got 'intrigued' right first time!)

Then, around the end of the last century, I actually got a disc off a linux magazine of slackware linux 8.1. I did endevour to try it out but the terminal style instal method and the scary new words put pay to that idea. So that went back on the shelf. I still had a windows 98 machine at this point Pentium 3 650mhz with a bunch of RAM upgraded to I don't know what.

So around the summer of 2006 I was seriously considering putting Ubuntu onto the old machine, it was the only machine at this point as I was too tight to buy a new one. I believe it was dapper that I was thinking about. Probably just listed towards it naturally by the community. Then before I had even started to try, I got a new job, completely out of the blue, working at telewest in Liverpool and a guy there helped me get started (I now realise he was my guide of sorts, think Trinity from the Matrix 'you came here because you wanted to know the answer to a question', but without the love interest). He is fig_jam_uk on here.

I ended up walking out of that job 6 months later so I believe it was solely to get me onto ubuntu.

P.S I like to tell a story.
P.P.S My question is do people come to linux with absolutely no knowledge of it or how it works like I did. Just because they felt like they were missing out on something?
P.P.P.S Weeeeell, maybe there was a little love interest ;)

DrCoolSanta
April 19th, 2008, 12:32 PM
When i started, I had an old PC that was earlier Celron, but then upgraded to P3. I had a copy of a really old Caldera OpenLinux that came with a magazine. My mom had good experience with that OpenLinux on old hardware so she told me to use it. Somehow my mouse would just jump here and there whenever I would move it, and it was a pain in the neck to use that mouse, and when it came to using the monitor, we just entered the values from our manual and it didn't work, we still continued, and when it came to entering the root password, the keyboard didn't work, then we gave up and realised that windows wouldn't work . . .

It was then used as a windows machine for some time. Finally I bought a copy a new version of Red hat (new version then, years ago), but we still started with an old copy of Red Hat, for some reason I don't remember, the installation ran smooth, but my mouse and the keyboard still didn't work, and we failed, but didn't realise that the windows was gone because of this copy of red hat, and we went on with the new copy of Red Hat and it didn't work properly because of some other reason, and we thought this destroyed our Windows again . . . My mom would think that the new copy wasn't good because the vendor wasn't very trustable. Then one day I installed Red Hat (new one) without asking my mother and I actually succeeded. But then i faced problems with a winmodem, finally i got it to work, and immediately installed Slackware with dual boot, removing windows but keeping Red hat, I had some background with linux already, so i didn't run into anymore problems with a tough distro.

Then my mom, being a Professor in Chemistry needed to install Linux software and I installed Mandriva on her computer, got the Mandriva from a new magazine. She was happy with the Mandriva, but the software didn't work properly, since her software needed a good graphics card, that machine was an Intel Xeon which had a P3 (lol), then coincidentally she got a brand new machine which was a Dual Core, at this time I had already downloaded Ubuntu Edgy, and offered to install it in the new machine, but mother said that she had already tried Mandriva and it worked, so she didn't want to use a new distro. I installed the same Mandriva and she got all the software on it, and she is still using it.
At home I wanted to try linux so I installed Ubuntu on mine, and since then I have been downloading every new version of it. I also got an external 80 GB hard disk on which i would keep experimenting with different distros like Sabayon, OpenSuse, Fedora . . . Never really liked Fedora, it was always buggy with me. I also have Virtual Machines on windows running Linux.

Now my mom's lab has a cluster of machines running Ubuuntu fiesty, never really updated it because I didn't want to spoil the configuration. My mom got a new computer with Vista and all, and even then my mom got me to install Ubuntu on it and she prefers to use it, even I do, but we have a Wireless network and the ndiswrapper does not use our wireless dongle properly. It remains buggy, and even them, my Triple boot Sequence is
Ubuntu Gutsy
Win XP
Win Vista

mali2297
April 19th, 2008, 02:09 PM
No, it was quite easy.

I had used *nix at university before I installed it on a computer of my own. My main concern was to get through the installation. When I searched for a suitable distro, Ubuntu seemed to have the most straightforward installation procedure (a single Install CD that was easily found on their official site). I managed to get Ubuntu 5.10 installed without too much hassle, at least as I remember it. Since then, I have at my own pace learnt more about linux and computers in general, and I am still learning.

IHATEDLINK
April 19th, 2008, 03:00 PM
My first distro was Ubuntu :)
My Windows Computer crashed onto the Blue Screen of Death and never came back
I was desperate trying to find a way to recover my data (11000 pictures and no backup) and i remembered then that i had watched a Video on C Net about a booteable OS.
So i downloaded the Gutsy ISO and burned onto a CD and booted it. I fell in love right there at that moment. I was able to recover ALL my data and to back it up all from the live CD.
When i was about to eject the CD i thinked, oh whatehell, clicked the install icon and for the first time of my live i was doing the legal thing and guess what
I WAS HAPPY :)
Almost everything worked out of the box and the desktop effects where amazing the only problem i found was a usb wireless network card but i can live without it

Northsider
April 19th, 2008, 04:06 PM
^^ I think the live boot CDs are THE best thing about linux distros. I too have been able to recover data, fix hard drives, etc with the help of the live cd. When I really mess my computer up I will always have they live CD to do work when I dont have time to fix the computer.

Mazza558
April 19th, 2008, 04:49 PM
^^ I think the live boot CDs are THE best thing about linux distros. I too have been able to recover data, fix hard drives, etc with the help of the live cd. When I really mess my computer up I will always have they live CD to do work when I dont have time to fix the computer.

Absolutely. People are amazed at the technology behind it from my experience - especially as even paid-for OSs don't have this feature. How much do people want to bet that Windows 7 has a LiveCD of sorts?

enbuyukfener
May 9th, 2008, 08:04 AM
I was thinking about my first explorations of Linux back in 2004, which consisted of:

- Reading an old page with a list of distributions down it and having no idea which one to try

-Finding the SUSE page and wondering how to get this installed - I remember deciding not to as it was multiple CDs and there was a warning about a major problem with the install which scared me off.

-Downloading my first LiveCD (Knoppix), and liking it but not wanting to install just yet

-Finding ubuntu a few months later (5.10 by that point), downloading it, installing via dual-boot for the first time and stopping with Wireless support not working and a host of other problems. Trying to remove it, I broke my recovery partition and had to send the PC to be repaired in the end - the Tech support wasn't happy when he heard I'd been "messing with partitions". I joined the forums at this point as I was interested in it all.

-Read about 6.06, downloaded it, very apprehensively installed it and after a month, got wireless working. Dual Booted from this point on and have always used it in dual-boot on my desktop (and more recently, ubuntu only on my laptop)

Overall, I wonder what the overall experience is for people starting out nowadays? Care to share what you thought/felt as you started out? Did you switch recently or longer ago? Was the documentation good enough?

I kinda wish I could see the first few posts I made here, as this'd give me a better idea.

Similar.

- had no idea what distro to get, over estimated the differences between distros
- made unpartitioned space for linux
- got an ubuntu 5.04 cd/dvd shipped to me
- loaded the live cd and got no explanation about having a scrolling screen of commands, long boot up time, no internet connection etc. (ubuntu hardy is much better here, wireless up and running automatically, less command output when booting, better look, still no explanations, help, or quick start)
- got fooled with myths about terminals, compiling, poor aesthetics etc.
- installed ubuntu 7.10 2 years after making the partition
- been loving it for the last 7 months

Chame_Wizard
May 9th, 2008, 04:01 PM
i Had some :not know how things are placed,the commands.:)

daverave999
May 9th, 2008, 07:05 PM
When I was in university about 1999, our student household needed a way to share a very expensive 2 meg internet connection. I wanted a new toy to play with too so I bought a secondhand P133 and stuck LOADS of RAM in it. I'd been doing a bit of research on the web and ClarkConnect seemed to fit the bill. Installed that and it only needed one config file changing to get the net sharing to work. I started playing with file, web, ftp and email servers on it too and felt incredibly pleased with myself. That lasted a couple of years with very little attention once set up. I wouldn't say I was using Linux but it helped me feel more comfortable with it as an option.

A few years went without much Linux usage, apart from the odd Knoppix file rescue from Windows installs that had gone awry.

November 5 2006: I was having so many problems with my pc (Win XP) and I believed it to be driver related. The thing was literally unusable; couldn't go more than half an hour without BSOD. So I installed Ubuntu dual-boot. I did have an ulterior motive, as I'd heard about all the DRM in Vista and didn't want that on MY machine, and thought it would be good to get away from MS. Two weeks after my first Ubuntu install, I deleted the Windows partition. It felt quite tense for the first month as I was very much the tinkerer and felt I knew my way round Windows pretty well, but gradually I realised whatever I broke, I could fix (thankyou LiveCD!)

So I suppose I didn't find it hard, just uncomfortable. Good question!

scouser73
May 10th, 2008, 02:04 PM
A friend reccommended that I use Ubuntu, I wondered if it could possibly be any good as the software is free. I ordered the Live CD and have installed it over Windows XP. I have to say this, Ubuntu I feel is far better than anything I have encountered on an O/S before.

It's true to say that everything just works, I was slightly worried about connectivity problems with the wireless router, but now that doesn't even come into it as it's perfect.

I think the best thing about Ubuntu is the forum and the people experiencing the same learning curve.

Well done Canonical, you're the best.

bashveank
May 10th, 2008, 02:58 PM
No, I basically jumped in without any lifeline and picked up the basics immediately.

bouta
May 11th, 2008, 12:31 AM
not hard as much as people say maybe since they developed it to become user friendly..ive been a new user.i like it much, stability , flexibility .

gn2
May 11th, 2008, 12:51 AM
How much do people want to bet that Windows 7 has a LiveCD of sorts?

If it has it certainly won't be a 699mb CD, chances are it will be a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD disc and will take 20-30 minutes to boot up!

My own first experience of Linux was PCLinuxOS 0.92.
It was a complete revelation and I was pretty much hooked on Linux immediately.
I found Linux easier to learn about than Windows, primarily due to excellent on-line resources like this forum.

scragar
May 11th, 2008, 12:54 AM
I had always wanted to try out linux, but since I didn't have a CD writer I couldn't get started for a long time, until I sent of for a free dapper CD, I installed it because XP was terrible, and found it worked perfectly(minor sound issue I manged to fix with about 20 seconds of playing around).
Had a few problems over time(such as an upgrade ruining DeVeDe on dapper), but once I could upgrade via a fresh install I upgraded to gutsy(3 days after release), then hardy(I was occasionally beta testing, found no bugs though, everything worked fine for me :P)

After a while I joined these forums, Since that time I've installed different versions of ubuntu for several people(Xubuntu for my nephew's old computer, Kubuntu for my sister since she's an avid windows fan, my younger brother runs ubuntu, as do I(gnome appears bloated over XFCE or KDE, but I han't had any problems at all in terms of speed or ram)), and occasionaly leave a few LiveCD's around in public computers etc.
This morning I 'accidentaly' left a combo of Xubuntu and Kubuntu CDs in some computers at the local computer store, with any luck the staff will realise that the vista computers are around twice as fast(I love Xubuntu's speed) and decide to keep it, although I find it unlikly.

grannyw
May 11th, 2008, 12:56 AM
The first days were just horrible,i was sitting many hours trying to understand and fix the simpliest thing.A've made about 10 reinstalls since then !!!!:)

Frak
May 11th, 2008, 12:57 AM
I first used Linux around a decade ago with Debian. I caught it just before the install was semi automated, apt was still premature, and X was even more of a pain in the ***.

keykero
May 11th, 2008, 01:04 AM
My first experience (Slackware) wasn't hard, just different. I enjoyed learning about Linux, as I still do today. But what I found was frustration as I couldn't accomplish nearly as much as I could with Windows (due to shortcomings of available applications).

Frak
May 11th, 2008, 01:08 AM
If it has it certainly won't be a 699mb CD, chances are it will be a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD disc and will take 20-30 minutes to boot up!

My own first experience of Linux was PCLinuxOS 0.92.
It was a complete revelation and I was pretty much hooked on Linux immediately.
I found Linux easier to learn about than Windows, primarily due to excellent on-line resources like this forum.
Its around 2.5GB and takes around 7 minutes to boot on an AMD Athlon 2x 64 2.8Ghz +5200 with 2GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce 8600 (512) in a regular DVD drive. The development builds have a built-in WindowsPE evironment. Windows 7 has built in Nvidia and ATi drivers as does Vista.

Fenris_rising
May 11th, 2008, 01:09 AM
i dabbled abit, about 3-4 times from the mandrake 10 era i think it was, was wired to the net so that was no problem. learning those little bits for terminal and setting up your repository's was a pain and trying to find answers to problems was not good. perhaps its my age but i take a bit more of a considered view as i learn the things i need to for my new OS. didnt really pursue it for more than a week at the most back then. now i seem to have dropped back in at a perfect point. more automated install, easy setup, better Hardware recognition and one hell of a community to ask for help. im here for good i havent touched my XP drive in 2 weeks nor do i see a need to ever do so again.........except to perhaps remind me what ive escaped. long live the linux community.

ack389
May 11th, 2008, 08:00 AM
I have no idea which version it was, but I started out with Mandrake(for some reason I want to say around version 8) about 6 to 7 years ago. I was very confused, while the mandrake site had great installation instructions, It had next to nothing on actual usage. I had absolutely no idea there was such a thing as add/remove packages(rpm). I was so stuck in windows that I thought that I had to download an rpm, then unpack it and install it. I got a new computer eventually, reinstalled windows on the old one and gave it away to my sister's friend. After a few more years of windows, I switched to OS X. About 5 months ago I somehow got interested in linux again and searched arounf for a new distro and decided on ubuntu. I have not looked back since and never had any problems. Even though I dual boot with OS X, I barely use it anymore. Problem is I am now so unuse to windows that typing this on my moms laptop is giving me withdrawel symptoms. It is amazing seeing the difference in just a few short years. God I feel so old, and the sad thing is that I am only 19.

ShodanjoDM
May 11th, 2008, 09:22 AM
My first Linux experience dated back in 2003 after the internet cafe near my dormitory switched to Linux out of fear from BSA's sponsored anti-piracy raids. I didn't remember the distro, but it was using KDE.

Didn't impress me at all back then, infact I felt KDE's interface was too complicated for me. So off I went to look for another internet cafe that's still has XP installed.

But then I began to have a better appreciation of Open Source softwares. And for the next three years I gradually replaced the pirated softwares that I used in my PC one by one, started from GIMP, then Firefox, OpenOffice etc,... In 2005, I read about Ubuntu in one of the web forums that I frequented, but I still don't have enough courage to try it.

Until late 2006, when I read the articles regarding Vista, its prohibitive DRM, its hardware requirements and also its price. Although until that time I've been trying to save some cash to finally buy a legit XP, I knew it's time for me to switch.

I didn't find it hard at all, just different. My earlier decision to gradually switch to F/OSS has really helped me. Even using the CLI seems natural or even nostalgic - reminds me that I grew up with DOS back then.

Mazza558
May 11th, 2008, 10:35 AM
Its around 2.5GB and takes around 7 minutes to boot on an AMD Athlon 2x 64 2.8Ghz +5200 with 2GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce 8600 (512) in a regular DVD drive. The development builds have a built-in WindowsPE evironment. Windows 7 has built in Nvidia and ATi drivers as does Vista.

Are you referring to a Windows 7 LiveCD? If so, where did you get this info? I've never heard this before now.

bigfootffk
May 11th, 2008, 11:35 AM
I have used windows from windows 3.11 up to vista. I have just started to use Linux because It has impressed me, The system speed, graphic tweaks(Compiz) and ease of use are by far better than anything Microsoft has. Vista is good but Linux is better. The only thing I have found Vista is better at is P+P networking.

I look forward to trying out some more distros.

Istonian
May 11th, 2008, 01:31 PM
I used Windows for most of my life when last year I remembered my mom saying something about the computer store talking about linux. At that time I did not know what linux fully was, I just knew it was an OS. I also didnt know there where distros and not just linux. So I googled linux and ubuntu was the first to come up so I downloaded an ISO, burnt it, ran the LiveCD, installed it and I have been Windows free ever since.

nick09
May 11th, 2008, 01:41 PM
Not really.

All I needed to do was select the script to sign in the printer and thats it. Everything else was automatic, internet, monitor, etc...

I found replacement programs, learned about wine(so cool to play my old warcraft 2 on linux with no lagg;Warcraft 3 has some lagg), adjusted the computer theme panels to my needs and I'm happy.

Frak
May 11th, 2008, 03:52 PM
Are you referring to a Windows 7 LiveCD? If so, where did you get this info? I've never heard this before now.
It's the latest development (initial Milestone) build. I have a personal copy with me. It comes with various development and recovery tools for testers to report problems and their solutions. Much like how Gentoo wants you to report bugs (don't report them unless you know how to fix them).

Speeds up development.

dnns123
May 11th, 2008, 06:20 PM
I heard rumors of the Asus eee somewhere August 2007. I read the specs in wikipedia and saw that the OS was Linux.

I got interested in Linux and spent around 10 hours in 1 day reading how great and superior it was.

I went to linux.org (first one in Yahoo! search) and read the How to install Linux , Debian was the example.

I tried to find a distro suitable, but since I was a noob back then, I didn't know what type I wanted.
e.g. I didnt know whats the diff of 32bit VS 64-bit. Whats a minimalist. Whats a platform. Whats Slackware, Debian, Fedora.

I just read the entire list and found DSL (Damn Small Linux)
I tried the live CD.

Since I was somewhat computer literate, I didnt have a hard time getting used to the interface. The only thing that pissed me off was the manual mounting of CD-rom, floppy.

I tried to play with it for 2 days while keeping on reading linux.org's news. Then I saw the most used Linux distros statistics. Ubuntu was more than 50% as I remember. I assumed that the most used is the most user friendly.
If it wasnt for this statistics, I would be using Linux/Ubuntu today.

I searched Ubuntu in Yahoo! and downloaded it and installed it. It blew my mind of finding such a high-quality OS built for free (as in beer).

I played with it and here I am today. :)

bigbrovar
May 11th, 2008, 10:00 PM
i started with feisty .. installation went smmooth ... post installation was awesome everything worked .. wireless, audio , my external bluetooth ..the only problem i had was getting multimedia codecs to work ..and my evdo wireless card .. the latter i did after doing some research.. the former a friend a friend just directed me to what and what to install .. i didnt have any major problem using ubuntu .. maybe cus i had a friend i could always call if i get jammed up.. however now i have learn alot and i now provide support for many of my friends that have migrated to linux

jmagsho
May 11th, 2008, 10:18 PM
I had an experience similar to steveneddy's. I started with Mandrake and Redhat at first and found them fascinating yet excruciatingly frustrating at times too. Ran Fedora for awhile but since I switched to Ubuntu 2 years ago I haven't looked back. I refuse to even use my Windows machine anymore - Ubuntu Rocks!

kevdog
May 11th, 2008, 10:27 PM
I used cygwin for years with win2k and winxp. I had an old laptop I hadn't used for years. I was going to junk it. I had to constantly (about every 6 months) reinstall Winxp on since it seemed to slow to a grinding halt (10 minute boot). I don't remember how and why I chose Ubuntu. I did a lot of reading on distro watch and other places. I was just looking for a distro that was well supported since I new I was going to have problems -- particularly with the wireless which I had researched before doing any installation. I went cold Turkey and just installed Ubuntu Edgy. I remember doing the ndiswrapper thing and thought at first it was going to be really hard (compiling from source), however found that it worked just like whatever guide I was reading said it would. Surprisingly, having worked with cygwin for years, I didn't find the organization much different (if at all).

I keep windows systems around (vista, xp, and have 2 ubuntu systems). I'm about ready to move onto Arch just to try something different. I really enjoy Linux in general, however have to say I'm not a total convert due to 1. Photoshop 2. Powerpoint 3. Video editing -Shrink, DVD Decrypter, avisynth, tmpenc, virtual dub, etc. Plus Windows Movie Maker -- What a great program - easy!!

Wish there were some Open Source Programs that were real equivalents. Im luke warm about OO, Gimp (pretty good but definitely not a replacment in terms of features, and support available on the web. Video editing tools -- never done any research on linux for various tools.

AndyCooll
May 11th, 2008, 11:16 PM
It's getting a bit hazy now, but I seem to recall that although I didn't find it too difficult there were a couple of issues that proved problematic.

The year is 2005. I'd been using pirated software (including the OS) for years and my conscience got the better of me, so I bought a legal copy of XP. I also started looking around for free software ...Firefox, oOo, 7-zip, GIMP etc. Problem was I had more than one pc.
As I was searching I came across a free OS, Linux, and I was interested. I knew nothing about it, so I researched a bit and recognised the Red Hat and Mandrake names. I downloaded copies of Fedora 3 (I think it was) and Mandriva and then tried installing them on a test pc and quite liked Fedora in particular. I really liked Linux, and the fact that I could install it on as many pc's as I wanted was a big selling point. IIRC I even installed Fedora on my main box as a dual-boot. And I remember going on the Fedoraforums and asking a couple of banal questions!

However (in particular) I couldn't get file sharing to work, I still don't know why to this day. So after a month or so I tried Ubuntu ...and file sharing just worked! So that was me converted, and I've been with Ubuntu ever since.

Not long after that I converted my dual-boot default on my main pc from XP to Ubuntu, and dual-booted all my other pc's as well. A few months later I deleted XP. I didn't change over immediately because part of the conversion included moving the wife over too. However for the last 2 1/2 years this house has been Linux only.

:cool:

dizee
May 12th, 2008, 01:00 AM
I didn't find it that hard to get into linux at all. I installed Edgy around December 2006 / January 2007 and to be honest everything was a lot easier than I expected it to be. It helped a lot that I knew about the Ubuntu guide and found these forums pretty quickly. No matter what problem I had, someone else had already had it and provided a solution. And most of the problems were minor anyway - I suppose I was lucky that my wireless worked out of the box with the restricted drivers.

Really though, it wasn't that hard. Boot from the cd, click install, set up the partitions, done. It even detected Windows automatically and added it to the grub menu. And I understood the repository concept so installing stuff was easy. At first I only used GUI tools, but now it's got to the point where I just use a terminal most of the time cos it's faster and so powerful once you get to know it.

It amazed me, and still does, that the OS could run off a CD too. That was crucial because I was looking at linux but didn't want to go through the risk of a hard drive install. Once I found out about the live cd though I tried it, liked it and the rest is history.

I suppose I am lucky that I discovered linux at a time when it was mature enough to be capable of everything the average user does, and relatively easy to setup. So I had a positive experience straight off.

cyberbill
May 12th, 2008, 02:47 PM
Slackware circa 1996
Found it a bit difficult, but decided it was worth it. Had very limited disk space, so downloaded it and installed it in stages. It was going on the same computer it was downloaded on, so setup partitions for dual booting, downloaded very base system on my super fast 14.4k modem, copied it on to 3.5" floppies, installed. Now the base install had no inet support. sooo.... reboot back into windows 3.11, download the next package, copy to floppy, reboot, install, repeat. ](*,) Eventually had enough of the system installed to do it directly in linux, however had to copy to floppy as I went to keep open disk space.
Of course not everything worked right, X11 video card, sound card, etc... so began the kernel recompiling...
MARK! fully installed system working within 2 weeks.

I installed the Hardy Desktop version in 15min and very nearly wept. :biggrin:

Thank you developers of the modern Linux Dists! =D>
-cb

locosmurf
May 12th, 2008, 05:14 PM
Well I started on linux about four years ago with mandriva and my brother-in-law as administrator. Shortly afterwards I liked it so much that I begged for the administrator rights, and he did one better. He installed ubuntu (5.10), and I've been learning about it ever since. I absolutely love it and, even though hardy isn't as great as I would like, I'm looking forward to future versions and improvements. :)

fissionmailed
May 12th, 2008, 07:02 PM
I had put Ubuntu on my old laptop because I wanted to try linux. I worked with some fiddling with, although I rarely used my laptop because it is really old and has no battery life. Then I took a C++ class and the prof was like, we're using linux(I was like YES) and rather than doing all my homework on remote desktops or from school I installed Ubuntu on my desk on an harddrive. That was in August and I have only booted to Windows a handful of times, and don't miss it at all. Was it easy at times, not really and a couple of times was pulling my hair out but it was worth every second of pulling that hair out. That's also why I like it too, it's [i]not[/i[ point and click to solve a problem, you have to actually know some what what you're doing.

NIT006.5
May 12th, 2008, 07:42 PM
I started off with Fedora, which on servers is fine, but on a desktop was a total pain to get going. Dealing with rpm's, dependency issues, trying to get extras like codecs working - all of this was pretty frustrating. I tested this out on a spare machine at work but still maintained my Windows PC for real work.

Then I discovered Ubuntu and haven't looked back since. I was actually hesitant about installing Linux on my main machine, but Windows came to my rescue one day by crashing itself :) So I decided to take the leap and went with Ubuntu. From there on it just kept getting more and more exciting.

qazwsx
May 12th, 2008, 10:36 PM
Piece of cake back in 2006.
1. Knoppix. Impressive.
2. Ubuntu 5.10. First hard drive installation. Not that impressive because of GNOME (no flame wars, please).

ubuntu-freak
May 12th, 2008, 11:38 PM
I didn't find it hard, but my laptop was very well supported. I was using Debian Testing within a month (curiousity) and Debian Sid after that. Released an updated and modified version of Gartoon after 8 months also, called GNUtoon. Had to give up that little project though, but someone else has taken over and he has more skill anyway:

http://www.gnome-look.org/content/show.php/Gartoon+Redux?content=74841

He does give me some credit though.

Nathan

P.S. I still wanted to give something back to the community, despite my crappy situation, so I wrote that sticky in the Multimedia & Video section, which takes up more time than I thought it would. Ah well. ;-)

Xanderfoxx
May 13th, 2008, 01:00 AM
When I was a senior in high school, I knew almost nothing about Linux, and I thought Linux, UNIX, and NetWare were OSs like Windows, but that was it. I had never even heard of and of the BSDs, or Solaris, or anything like that.

I asked my A+ training professor if we were going to cover Linux or UNIX, and I received a short curt reply that no, we were not, it was beyond the scope of the class.

When I first tried using Linux, it was about 1 1/2 to 2 years ago after seeing a peer using Ubuntu on his laptop. He was taking about 15 or so credit hours, so he was a bit curt with me, but I managed to gather from him that Ubuntu was available at no cost (Yay! I can try it, no strings attached!) and all you have to do is download it. Well of course, as a Windows Power User, I had no love for Windows, so I downloaded the ISO, tried it out, fell in love with it, and with some additional help from my Linux-savvy friend, managed to get a dual-boot system working on my laptop. (The help concerned reformatting the drive with two partitions. I thought, oh what the hell, I don't have anything of real value on my machine. But it took some effort, and a lot of reading on my part to get it to work.) Once I had it installed, I was determinded to stop rebooting and swapping to Windows. I wanted to be utterly free.

I continued studying, and even bought books on Ubuntu, and read dry manuals on the command line, even though most of time I didn't need to mess with it.

I was introduced a little later to Ubuntu Forums, and my problems never bothered my again. I had them, like problems getting sound and wireless netwoking to work, but eventually, I managed to get sound to work, and use my wired NIC to communicate.

I still don't know if Novell NetWare is actually an OS, but I now know that Linux is THE replacement for Windows, as well as FreeBSD and similar projects.

Now, I know that LInux and Open Source in general is going to be a very lucurative career for me, and I better learn everything I can. I love wikis and forums, and can now make my way around Ubuntu fairly well.

Kudos to the Community! :guitar: :popcorn:

CitrusOrange
May 13th, 2008, 01:08 AM
My first taste was Mandrake 5 before it became Mandrivia.

It was cluttery and the KDE smelled like fish but it worked. Eventually went back to Windows but almost a year later I discovered Fedora and used it for a while until I discovered Ubuntu hedgehog version and was stuck here ever sense. Although It wasn't until recently that I've registered. I used to just browse and post at linuxquestions.org instead. But with this never 8.04 version, I had to register after my dependence on automatix was broken do to it's discontinuation.

Xanderfoxx
May 13th, 2008, 01:26 AM
Actually, I was reminded of my grandpa Carl's copy of Win95. I would prefer Red Hat, though, by a few galaxies.