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how to chuck XP and install Linux ?

by AM_SOS / December 24, 2008 3:11 PM PST

hello all!

the constant virus attacks, crashes etc have left me quite tired of Windows XP.

i recently came across Ubuntu Linux and it seems that this is a good option for beginners or rather novices like me.

however, i am a little apprehensive cos i have no idea how this OS works. my usage is basic stuff- internet, word processor, video and audio.

i checked out on the net and there seem to be many places from where i can download Ubuntu 8.10 .

#1 i am thus not sure where to download a reliable version from. any suggestions?
#2 i have a toshiba A 200 1M5. the company does not provide any drivers (unless its XP/Vista!). will there be any problem cos of this?
#3 is there any way in which i can makle my system dual boot and not have to erase the existing XP installation?


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Go Ahead !
by ramusson / December 24, 2008 7:42 PM PST

Ubuntu 8.10 is available from "" or from a large number of torrent sites. You can burn the iso file to a CD.

Yes, there would be. You will get only the generic drivers for Video, LAN and Audio. All the facilities of the present computer will not be available unless you are able to get Linux drivers. BUT you can run Ubuntu which has all the required Office software, Internet browser, Email, ....etc. You can TRY out Ubuntu WITHOUT installing it by running it off the CD.

Yes, you can. The CD tells it all.

Personally, I prefer Ubuntu 8.04 to 8.1, since I've tried both.

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but what about the drivers? :(
by AM_SOS / December 26, 2008 1:18 PM PST
In reply to: Go Ahead !

thanks for the quick reply.

obviously the big problem is getting the drivers. can you suggest where i can get them from ? perhaps from the net ...

the thing is without the video / audio / LAN / USB working properly , i don't see how i can ever think of shifting completely to Linux !

obviously the display will jerk or move slowly when you see movie (which is frequent on my laptop) or play a game (which i don't) . any way out of this?


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Try Out...
by ramusson / December 26, 2008 5:38 PM PST

Your fears are well founded. But you can try out Ubuntu without installing anything, just off the CD. Do an intallation if you like it. As with any new OS, it's a learning process.

I had no problems with the Video, Audio, LAN or USB. Ubuntu comes with Multimedia support. BUT without the Linux drivers, it may not offer all the add-on facilities, say video resolutions, audio tone equalisers, touch pad scrolling ....

Linux drivers for a the motherboard, video card, audio card, WLan, etc is a "search the net" process. I had no luck. But I have a fully operational Ubuntu 8.04 on my desk top and Laptop.

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please elaborate on driver problems . . .
by AM_SOS / December 26, 2008 11:07 PM PST
In reply to: Try Out...

since i am not technically quite sound, can you please elaborate a bit on the following-

assuming that i am not able to get all the drivers for LAN, motherboard etc, how will this effect the actual functioning of the laptop ?

i mean since i have no number crunching software to run , will the absence of hardware optimisation really be a problem ? e.g. you mention the touch pad scrolling. however, i have no problems in using the touch pad in the usual simple way.

so basically what i want to know is what will the big compromises ? i.e. will i get the full resolution of 1280*800 , smooth running video (can't have those movies in slow motion !), sound ...

finally, i understand that there is an office suite included with the OS. however, how exactly does it compare with MS Word 2003? i mean in terms of features ...


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Driver Problems....
by ramusson / December 27, 2008 10:50 AM PST

Run Ubuntu off a CD and see for yourself. My understanding of your requirements indicate no issues.

In all probablity, Wireless LAN and Bluetooth will not work.

As far as MS Office is concerned, OpenOffice is equally good, freeware and compatable with MSOffice files. Linux version is available.

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so what hardware to buy in the future ?
by AM_SOS / December 27, 2008 2:31 PM PST
In reply to: Driver Problems....

so going by what you are saying, i will have to retain my XP installation since i do need the bluetooth at times.

but it shoould be good enough for a start cos i plan to do most of my work on ubuntu.

so finally, since this ultimately boils down to the issue of hardware, would you suggest any particular configuration for a desktop / laptop in the future? i mean a machine whose drivers the onlne linux community will provide me easily?

you see, if not now, i do want to get out of the clutches of microsoft !


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try before you buy
by flaminghotsauce / January 1, 2009 11:50 AM PST

AM_SOS, before you commit to buying new hardware, buy a few CD-Rs and burn a few different Linux distributions to try out. You might get bluetooth to run on some. I don't have any of those devices so I cannot confirm. But you will get wireless in most modern Linux distributions.

I'm a big PCLinuxOS fan, but I'm currently testing Suse 11.1, and have about 20 others on CD that I play with. Some others I like are Mandriva, Fedora, Puppy, Mepis.... You can get all "live-CD" versions to test, and if they don't suit you, move on to another.

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comments on..
by ramusson / January 1, 2009 6:32 PM PST
In reply to: try before you buy

flaminghotsauce, have you tried Ubuntu and Sabayon 4.0? Live Sabayon was very encouraging. Hesitant to install it yet because of its Laaaaarge size - about 13 GB!

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I just posted this on the other thread, but
by flaminghotsauce / January 3, 2009 6:39 AM PST
In reply to: comments on..

I dont' much care for Ubuntu. I found it difficult when I was a newbie. I loaded it in and was impressed with all the goodies, but I couldn't get the wireless to go, nor would it play videos, and I had to immediately go to my wife's computer to do research to figure out how to enable things.

Sabayon looks really good, and people I know and trust are saying very good things about it. My disk didn't burn right or I got a bad download, so I still haven't been able to try it out.

I'm still waiting for PCLinuxOS 2009. That will be the one to have.

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Sabayon 4
by ramusson / January 4, 2009 10:40 AM PST

I could not run Sabayon 4 on my desktop. The display was a mess.

But on my laptop (Compaq 6710b) it was great. No problem with the display, audio, LAN or Wifi. They all came on line and worked fine. Also did an installation (requires about 13 GB !). Its a great distro with a whole lot of apps under various categories.

But there was no way I could add more apps. "sudo" command was not available!!!

unless i'm doing something wrong ........

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Sabayon 4
by ramusson / January 9, 2009 3:41 PM PST
In reply to: Sabayon 4

yep, I was doing something wrong....

sudo command is available, but "get-apt" is replaced by "merge"

sabayon 4.1 runs on my desktop too.

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What are you talking about, sorry?
by 3rdalbum / January 12, 2009 3:50 PM PST
In reply to: Go Ahead !

I'm not familiar with that exact model of laptop, but drivers should generally be available Out-Of-The-Box.

Accelerated video drivers are installable with two clicks, and generic ones are preinstalled.
Wireless is usually either there already or installable in a couple of clicks.
Sound is already there.
Wired LAN is already there.
USB and SATA are already there (unlike Windows XP...)
Firewire is already there.
There's a 50% chance your webcam driver is already in there.

I can't think of anything else in your computer that you'd need drivers for. In any case, just try Ubuntu from CD and see what it picks up. Usually on Linux you don't need to install external drivers - they are already built-in.

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