Few questions before moving from Windows to Linux Ubuntu

Bart Silverstrim bsilver at chrononomicon.com
Tue Feb 26 13:33:13 UTC 2008

Asif Kilwani wrote:
> I read the features of Linux Ubuntu and GUI is mind blowing, However 
> before moving to that I want to ask few questions
> 1. Can Linux and Windows to be installed same time? Can I choose which 
> OS to boot?

Yes, using the boot loader.  If you're new to Linux (or playing with 
OS's in general) you'll want to make sure you BACK UP your hard drive 
before doing the install.  BACK UP BACK UP BACK UP.

> 2. During Windows can i switch to Linux and vice versa

Technically, yes.
practically no. :-)

Okay, here's how you would do it...seriously, it's how I've resorted to 
doing it in the past.

1) 2 computers.  They can be had relatively inexpensively, either one of 
the Walmart specials or an old computer someone is ready to chuck.  If 
you're not a high-end user, an older P4 with 512 meg of RAM will work 
for many many purposes most people use computers for today (except 
games). Use it as your sacrificial lamb for learning Linux or use it as 
a demoted Windows system.

2) virtualization. While games won't work and again it won't handle 50 
meg Photoshop work like a bat out of Hades, it is usually adequate for 
most purposes.  There's another learning curve for most new users to 
setting it up and using it, but VMWare server/workstation can be had for 
free, as can Virtualbox.

If you're really nervous about trying out Linux, I'd recommend using 
virtualization software on Windows (the Windows version of VMWare or 
Virtualbox) and installing Ubuntu on that to test out, or get an 
inexpensive P4 with at least 512 RAM and install Ubuntu on that, 
connectig your computers to a $40 soho switch like a Netgear product and 
getting it online with that.

> 3. Will Linux automatically load the drivers of all installed hardware 
> or I've to install separately?

If the hardware is supported, it will use appropriate drivers.  If it's 
marginally supported you may need to tell it to use restricted drivers 
for advanced features or performance enhancement (there's a restricted 
driver manager that can enable/disable them).  If you have questions on 
whether it's supported you should probably google the item with the 
keywords ubuntu or "ubuntu compatible" to see what you can find, and if 
you can't find anything, ask the list if anyone has the hardware in 

> 4. Will giant software developers like Adobe softwares will work on Linux?

Directly?  Usually not.  I heard Google was working on some deal with 
WINE to improve compatibility to run the CS products with Linux, maybe 
it was in conjunction with Crossover.  WINE has a list of products that 
it has good luck in handling, like Minesweeper, Solitaire, and Office. 
Most Linux users find alternative software to use instead unless there 
are features they absolutely must have available (such as opting for the 
GIMP instead of Photoshop), or they opt to dual-boot or use 
virtualization software to access the features they need, or complaining 
bitterly on mailing lists about why Linux will never take over the 
desktop because they can't run their Windows software and doesn't work 
like Windows and is missing Windows menus and XYZ features that Windows 
has...but they don't want to run Windows.

Sorry, that slipped out...



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