Technical support, not general discussions (Was: basic)

Gilles Gravier ggravier at
Wed Feb 3 14:05:12 UTC 2010


On 03/02/2010 13:38, q0k wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 3, 2010 at 9:16 PM, Amedee Van Gasse (ub)
> <amedee-ubuntu at <mailto:amedee-ubuntu at>> wrote:
>     On Wed, February 3, 2010 11:41, q0k wrote:
>     > 2 basic questions.
>     >
>     > 1) I have been using Windows for 5 years. Why should I choose
>     Ubuntu?
>     > 2) Which version is better for home use by a student - 9.10 or
>     8.4? Why?
>     This mailing list is for Ubuntu user technical support, not for
>     general
>     discussions.
>     I'm sorry but you don't seem to have a technical support question.
>     May I suggest that you ask your question on
>     sounder at <mailto:sounder at>?
> Thank you. I will be no longer writing to this list about these 2
> basic questions. Excuse me.

Ignore Amedee's stupid mail. You are very right to ask these questions here.

And you are very right in looking at Linux, and in particular Ubuntu as
an alternative to Windows. For some users, it definitely does the job.

I guess it really comes down to looking at what tools and applications
you need and if they are available on Ubuntu.

If they are, then you will find Ubuntu, on similar hardware, runs about
2x the speed of Windows if not more. (Certainly helped by the fact that
it uses less RAM, handles SWAP / PAGING much better, has no need for an

You do need to make sure the useful features of your current hardware
work. In particular, display drivers, networking, and then things like
audio, and specific peripherals (scanners, printers...). Good news is
you can try Ubuntu as a live CD. It will even tell you if there are
proprietary drivers available for your hardware (I strongly recommend
you use them, in particular for NVIDIA graphics accelerators).

It's always possible to start simple by installing Ubuntu INSIDE a
Windows partition. It will let you completely work on your machine
without the need to reformat the disk. The price to pay is some disk I/O
performance loss (the underlying NTFS or FAT filesystem being
sub-optimal for running Linux file operations).

There is also the possibility to shrink the Windows partition (if it
takes up all your hard disk) and install Linux on the same disk in
another partition. Ubuntu will then nicely configure your system for
"multi-boot" and at boot time will ask if you want to boot Linux... or

Keep in mind that some applications simply DO NOT exist on Linux. In
particular, you mention programming. If your development environment is
Eclipse, or NetBeans, they run on Windos and on Linux. If it's MS Visual
SOMETHING, then they won't.

I do a lot of photography. The professional tool I use is called DxO. It
runs on Windows perfectly (it's WRITTEN for that platform)... It runs on
MacOS (but versions are a few revs late) and not on Linux. There is no
real alternative to DxO. GIMP can be considered an alternative to
PhotoShop... and some of the RAW processing tools do SOME of what DxO
does... but not the full suite of features DxO offers. So I'm stuck for
my photographic work with Windows.

Some (OK... MOST) games (but you said that wasn't your problem) don't
run on Linux.

Some astronomy tools like Starry Night Pro don't run on Linux.
Alternatives exist, but are just not up to par with it.

On the other hands, my laptops, and my home file / download / media
server all run Ubuntu and have been doing so for years (started using
Ubuntu at version 6.04). Never regretted that.

I recommend you go for the latest 9.10 "Desktop" version of Ubuntu. Pick
32 or 64 bits depending on your hardware. Try it. And come back with
your impressions!

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