Originally Posted by no way
i am in the process of buying a new computer, and actually considering installing linux as an OS instead of making gill bates even richer.
now i have never seen or used linux in my life, so i'd appreciate if you guys could help me with a few answers:
1- can the common desktop software be installed on linux OS? i mean things like MS office apps, photoshop, corel, antivirus, firewall ...
2- it seems that many linux users actually use dual booting and run windows as alternative. why? if linux is as good as they say, they wouldn't need windows, would they?
3- will it make my life a nightmare when it comes to drivers, plug&play, usb, ... ? or will it work as easily as windows?
4- there are plenty of distributions. how important is the choice of one of them? does only the grafical interface differ, or do they have real differences in the programm?
5- are there any major drawbacks i should be aware of?
thanx a lot in advance
1. Redhat Fedora comes packaged with OpenOffice which is the linux eqiuvalent to MS Office. Also comes with Gimp which is just as powerful a graphics editor as Photoshop. You don't need antivirus unless of course you want to protect Microsoft users because you could receive viruses in email and even though they can't affect your PC you could pass them on to a MS user. I feel no pity for those still using MS so I don't use AV.
Comes with a built-in firewall using IPTables. Best of all everything I mentioned is free.
2. Yes many people do. My system is dual booted with MS XP and Redhat Fedora 4. The reason is because I like to play games that were only written for Windows. There are some programs that allow you to install MS applications on Linux. WINE is one and is free. There are two others that I know of called Crossover Office which is a GUI interface to WINE but costs money. There is also a specialed program called Cedega for installing games designed for Windows and it costs money.
3. Depends on the flavor of Linux you get. I've never had any trouble with Redhat Fedora and drivers USB included. The only thing I don't have a driver for is my printer. But that all depends on the company who makes the printer and if they choose to support linux and Canon doesn't seem to want to do that yet. Although I did find a driver that will allow me to do basic printing with it. It just doesn't take advantage of all the advanced printing options. For the most part Fedora will recognize most all hardware. There is a hardware compatibility list at their site in case you are worried about it.
4. The difference in the flavors of linux are the kernel (the heart of the operating system) and what applications they package with the distrobution. The kernel is like the engine of a car. You can have two very similar cars with different engines. One might be more efficient or one might have more features than the other. For the average user you probably won't really notice any difference. The graphical interfaces are designed by third party organizations. The two most common ones are KDE and Gnome which both come with Fedora and you can switch between them or others that are available.
5. Personally I don't see many drawbacks. You have a PC that will run faster than with windows and require less memory. It's very secure. Almost all apps are free. And as time passes more and more companies are supporting linux. I'd have to say that is probably the only drawback.
You can read more information about Fedora here http://www.fedoraforum.org/
Browse through the forum. If you ever have any questions they have probably already been asked and answered.
You can download Fedora and all the other flavors of linux at www.linuxiso.org
or also at the link in my signature.