Migrating from WinXP Pro to Ubuntu 10.10

Jordon Bedwell jordon at envygeeks.com
Fri Oct 15 17:15:14 UTC 2010

On Fri, 2010-10-15 at 11:48 -0500, Richard Owlett wrote:
> Can I have a pruned configuration be my typical boot?

Yes.  Linux is not about forcing you to do what they want, there are a
base set of packages that are required for normal boot, other than that
you can remove and add as many packages as you want.  My Linux desktop
boots with 800 packages vs. the around 1300 normal packages normal
Ubuntu has by default.

There are different types of packages that might first make you wonder
if you should remove some packages, for example: ubuntu-desktop.  These
are meta packages and are completely safe to remove.

Please use synaptic to remove packages until you understand the base of
Linux this way you can easily see if something is a meta-package.  All
meta-packages are safe to remove because meta packages provide a base
set of packages.

> Can I modify anything on the test configuration?
> I discovered that on reboot I had lost changes made to desktop.

Yes, as long as the flash drive is big enough.  You do however need to
make a proper flash image, you can do that from the LiveCD or LiveUSB
you already made using USB Startup Disk Creator.

> Can I install to the USB drive *WITHOUT* writing ANYTHING to the 
> hard-drive?

Yes, the USB does not mount your HD's at all.  You need to mount them
yourself in order to access them.  The liveCD and liveUSB do not care
about physical drives in the machine.

> While browsing files available thru the default desktop, one 
> seemed to say that internet access via an external RS-232 dial up 
> modem was not available with standard drivers. BUT when browsing 
> the descriptions of installed software it appeared that pppcfg 
> (IIRC) handled that. I'm confused. My modem is a U.S. Robotics 
> 5686 model 0701 {V.90 56k - yes is old}

Just because one piece of software supports a specific type of hardware
does not mean the base system supports it.  In other words, just like
Windows, an example: Photoshop supports a line of cameras, by direct
access.  Windows cannot support that hardware itself without the drivers
too.  In short, you still need drivers so the base system can populate
that device properly for the software to use it.

> I didn't spot any reference to firewalls or ant-virus tools. Is 
> that accomplished in a different manner in the Linux world?

Linux comes with IPTables by default, Ubuntu comes with UFW on-top of
IPTables, and you can do visual UFW configurations using GUFW (my
personal recommendation if you know nothing about IPTables and UFW
because it will aide your configurations.)

> I wish to end up with
> GUI         - exists
> Open Office - exists
> Tcl/Tk      - have appropriate executables on CD?
> Scilab/SciosLab - will have to download
> SeaMonkey   - have strong preference for the suite approach

I wish you would end up with:

GUI: GNome
Open Office: Gone
Libre Office: Installed

Seamonkey, I personally think it's trash, Linux provides better
alternatives to it: Firefox, Thunderbird, and others.  I've not time
right now to make a full list for you, but I'm sure some others can give
you better alternatives.  If you really want seamonkey though:

apt-get install seamonkey

The other stuff you mentioned:

apt-get install scilab
apt-get install tcl8.3 tcl8.3-dev tcl8.3-doc

A few tips:

you should quickly learn to use ALT+F2, type gnome-terminal.  I prefer
to use that method myself.  I also make a few simple symlinks, I will
list the ones that make things easier:

sudo ln -s /usr/bin/gnome-terminal /usr/bin/terminal 
sudo ln -s /usr/bin/vim.tiny /usr/bin/vim

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