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Seek Linux alternative to Win 10

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#1 mich_al

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 06:55 PM

I've been with MS since DOS but Win10's obnoxious behavior with the constant unstoppable data sucking downloads has me down.  The latest 'update' is 437M, AFTER a full GB of other 'required' stuff.  Really?

 

I've dealt with Linux in the distant past.  I don't want to build / download / install / chase etc.etc  Is it possible to get a bootable flash drive with desktop and browser installed that will connect with the wireless?

 

I've looked for the above but more often than not 'weasel wording' in ads and/or bad reviews leave me skeptical. 

 

Is what I want available?  If so a pointer to where would be welcome.



#2 Jim Waters

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 07:06 PM

Locate a copy of Win 7, install it on the target platform, install all the MS updates and image the platform and create a new Win 7 install DVD.



#3 Richard O'Neill

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 07:10 PM

Ditto what Jim wrote.



#4 blues_hawk

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 07:52 PM

Hi!  In short. yes, and without any of those hassles, and in some cases you can even "dual boot" and keep your windows, though Win10 has been making it tricky due to the way it keeps changing itself to fast boot mode, basically hibernate, leaving the journal in a state that is easy to damage by other systems...but I digress.. 

You can also install Linux in a virtual machine like "Virtualbox" in windows to test and learn or choose a distrobution before you make the big switch. It works like making a "virtual" version of your computer, right down to a hard drive partition and you "insert" .iso files as if they are pretend dvd or bootable usb drives. 

If you want to help support them, I think www.Distrowatch.org sells preconfigured live boot usb's but I think you would be better served by getting to know the install and partition systems and how to make your own bootable usb from an image.   

  You only need to download the monster image once, and If you try the VM route first, you only need to point the VM setup at the ISO file and it will act like you burned it to a usb drive. When you are ready to make the big switch, then use a disc burner like https://www.balena.io/etcher/ to make a real bootable usb drive. Etcher is pretty cool. 3 buttons and go. Please be careful to pick the right usb(not responsible for family photos lost) Etcher keeps an eye on drive size and questions your sanity if the drive is really big.

  I recommend using the latest "LTS" or long term support versions for the least upgrade hassle. I also prefer Debian based systems which have the most program support - yes that old thing but so much better nowadays you won't believe it. There are other distros
Ubuntu - Big bold and beautiful, full Ubuntu is an easy first choice for most folks with modern equipment but has some tracking I dislike.
Xubuntu -  A lighter version of ubuntu that uses a different desktop design. The gui (desktop environment - DE) is interchangeable in Linux.

Mint - A pretty leafy green distro that has a different feel.

Peppermint - My current favorite, Uses a combination of Mate's LXDE window manager and XFCE(xubuntu) DE to make a a lightweight that runs great on smaller systems and is very stable (80days uptime on my Nuc server - wow!)

Mate - LXDE can be a little sluggish at times but it is stable and is the distro recommended by Indilib for astronomy use -(grumbles as Jasem) You can download the indilib remote astronomy system from the repo -(Repository: Like a play store, but everything is free!, or hugs, beer or however you like to contribute, and is a secure way to install applications.)

KDE is bulky but has a very mature setup and is where Kstars was born. Kstars is a planetarium system that interfaces very well with Indilib. www.indilib.org



/ <--loads of choices. I recommend sticking to Ubuntu .deb based systems. 


Welcome to the wonderful world of opensource! Hope this helps!


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#5 waterlubber

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 07:59 PM

If you are feeling ready to make the switch, by all means, do it!

Linux, in my personal experience, has improved leaps and bounds in the past couple of years alone. There are many bootable Linux distros, and I'd stick with the more mainstream ones if you're just starting out. (I've used it for several years myself, since 2013-ish.)

If you're looking for a distro that can be run purely off of a USB drive, try something lightweight like Puppy Linux. It's designed to run off bootable USB drives and similar.

If your computer (motherboard) has UEFI firmware, be aware you may encounter issues with Secure Boot. (Microsoft forces manufacturers to include this malware that refuses to boot pretty much all non-Windows operating systems).

 

Ubuntu is the most well-known and well-supported distribution. For less powerful machines, there are versions like Kubuntu or Lubuntu, and other spinoffs like Linux Mint. All of these distributions are based off Debian, but I don't think you should start with Debian.
 
If you're planning on installing Linux to your hard drive, I highly recommend a configuration called Dual Boot. When configured properly, it will allow you to switch between Linux and Windows when you start your computer, enabling a smooth transition (and allowing you to run some pesky programs that don't run on Linux.)

I run Linux entirely on my computers (a distribution called Arch Linux, which, while lightweight and advanced, is difficult to install and use for a beginner) and I'm able to run several Windows-only programs from within Linux with a tool such as WINE. These can be annoying to get working, however, and I suggest you stick with Dual Boot until you are more experienced.

Don't get discouraged, Linux is very, very easy to use once you have a little experience -- if you are capable of reading and carefully following directions, it should be fairly straightforward. As you learn more, you'll be able to do things much, much faster than you would just using Windows, and in general the experience is much nicer.

 


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#6 Xeroid

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 09:59 PM

Give some thought to a Raspberry Pi 3+, cheap way to an alternative...



#7 Oleg Astro

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 04:00 AM

I've been with MS since DOS but Win10's obnoxious behavior with the constant unstoppable data sucking downloads has me down.  The latest 'update' is 437M, AFTER a full GB of other 'required' stuff.  Really?

 

I've dealt with Linux in the distant past.  I don't want to build / download / install / chase etc.etc  Is it possible to get a bootable flash drive with desktop and browser installed that will connect with the wireless?

 

I've looked for the above but more often than not 'weasel wording' in ads and/or bad reviews leave me skeptical. 

 

Is what I want available?  If so a pointer to where would be welcome.

Do you need any Linux distribution only for Internet?



#8 mich_al

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 06:50 AM

Do you need any Linux distribution only for Internet?

 

 

Yes !!



#9 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 07:04 AM

Yes !!

Linux Mint latest version. 

 

Linux, unlike Windows, will require confirming elevated privileges with a password before installing software, making system changes, etc. it’s for your own protection to not run constantly with elevated privileges.

 

I have a laptop running Mint version 7 and another running latest Mint 19.1 version with Cinnamon Desktop and they have really worked hard on this distribution to make it no fuss and very user friendly. You can run it as a Live DVD RAM drive to check it out first, then if you like it, it gives options to install as dual boot or regular install. Very easy to setup.



#10 jp071848

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 08:36 AM

Another vote here for dual-booting. I've converted all our desktops, laptops, and even a "Win10 only" Microsoft Surface tablet over to dual-booting Windoze and Linux Mint. The toughest part for a newby like me was partitioning the hard drives, but once that was done, installation of the Linux system was straightforward, I have them all set to default boot into Linux, but Win is always there in case I need it, which fortunately is rarely.

 

I find Linux works brilliantly, is much, much quicker to boot up, and has more than all the functionality I need. In particular, when compared to the horrid Win10, I LOVE how easy updates are applied.

 

Go for it, you won't be disappointed.


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#11 lphilpot

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 08:30 PM

Xubuntu has served me well. It's Ubuntu underneath, but with the Xfce desktop instead of Gnome (or previously, Unity). It's flexible, reliable and I've had no serious issues.

 

Chrome (or Firefox), LibreOffice, Cartes du Ciel, Stellarium, Aladin, Virtual Moon Atlas, Evolution (or Thunderbird), Citrix Workspace, Inkscape, QCAD, Gimp, XnView MP, Double Commander, PCMan FM... lots of seriously good software as well. Plus, I can run SkyTools, SkyTechX and other Windows software under Wine, for the most part.



#12 gregj888

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 10:48 PM

Yesterday morning I spent an hour or more waiting for my Win-7 system to "update", even though I've tried hard to turn updates off. 

 

I'm moving to Linux for Astronomy (Ubuntu for now, or Linux Astro Oleg's load).  I prefer the vanilla OSs as it's easier to get fixes and to do development on.  

 

Go for it...



#13 Oleg Astro

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Posted 26 June 2019 - 04:15 AM

Yes !!

https://lubuntu.net/

 

"Lubuntu is a fast and lightweight operating system with a clean and easy-to-use user interface. It is a Linux system, that uses the minimal desktop LXDE/LXQT, and a selection of light applications."

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=FoEMbrT8roI



#14 catalogman

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Posted 26 June 2019 - 04:30 PM

<snip>

You can also install Linux in a virtual machine like "Virtualbox" in windows to test and learn or choose a distrobution before you make the big switch. It works like making a "virtual" version of your computer, right down to a hard drive partition and you "insert" .iso files as if they are pretend dvd or bootable usb drives. 

If you want to help support them, I think www.Distrowatch.org sells preconfigured live boot usb's but I think you would be better served by getting to know the install and partition systems and how to make your own bootable usb from an image.   

  You only need to download the monster image once, and If you try the VM route first, you only need to point the VM setup at the ISO file and it will act like you burned it to a usb drive. When you are ready to make the big switch, then use a disc burner like https://www.balena.io/etcher/ to make a real bootable usb drive. Etcher is pretty cool. 3 buttons and go. Please be careful to pick the right usb(not responsible for family photos lost) Etcher keeps an eye on drive size and questions your sanity if the drive is really big.

<snip>

 

With VirtualBox in Linux, you have to remember that the guest OS won't recognize the USB drive unless you type in the host OS:

 

sudo adduser $USER vboxusers

 

With some USB installation software like Etcher, there is no persistence memory:

 

https://github.com/b...cher/issues/413

 

That means that none of your data or settings are saved(!)

 

Dual-boot is the most hassle-free installation method.

 

--catalogman



#15 catalogman

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Posted 26 June 2019 - 04:32 PM

Regarding internet browsing, the OP will probably find the default Firefox browser disappointing:

 

In Fedora 29, the HTML5 score is 486 (my old WinXP machine with SRWare Iron 49 scored 489).

The OP would have to upgrade the browser (Brave has a score of 533, which makes a huge difference

in the rendering of some sites).

 

But the necessary "build/download/install/chase" is something that the OP is trying to avoid.

 

--catalogman



#16 lphilpot

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Posted 26 June 2019 - 04:35 PM

I run VirtualBox on Xubuntu with a Win 7 VM for Deep Sky Plannner. If I could get DSP to run in Wine I probably would never even fire up the VM. But so far I've not figured out all the dependencies for DSP.

#17 catalogman

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Posted 26 June 2019 - 05:23 PM

<snip>

Ubuntu - Big bold and beautiful, full Ubuntu is an easy first choice for most folks with modern equipment but has some tracking I dislike.
 

<snip>

 

Are you referring to this?

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=CP8CNp-vksc

 

--catalogman



#18 sdufoer

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 03:43 AM

I also use Linux (xubuntu) on my "normal" PC.  For surfing, browsing, text processing, etc...  It's very light and I have 8 virtual desktops open with dedicated desktops to process images, teamviewer and anydesk windows to the pc's that steer the telescopes.  Vnc to a laptop that I use for C# programming.  That on an old pc with "only" 8GB ram.  Try that with Win10...

 

However, for astronomy there is still a huge lack of software and drivers.  The pc's that drive my 2 setups are Win7/10 with Ascom hacking here and there to make it all work.  For example, a " CCDCommander" under linux does not exists.  Nor an indi- driver for ASA mounts or focuser and such.  If you want to go fully robotic, an "ACP" alternative for Linux is also not (yet) available.

 

My processing software for variables is mainly LesvePhotometry, which is also a Windows program.  Which means, I run a Win10 Virtualbox VM under my Xubuntu for batch-processing the images.  Also keep in mind that Teamviewer or Anydesk is not "that stable" on Linux which makes it hard to use for really remote setups.

 

In short: I find it very difficult to upgrade fully to Linux for astronomy.  If you do backyard-astrophotography and all your instruments have indi drivers, you can fully make switch to Linux.  Pixinsight runs flawlessly under Linux; and Ekos or CCDCiel are good alternatives if you keep "to the basics".



#19 jp071848

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 10:14 AM

Regarding internet browsing, the OP will probably find the default Firefox browser disappointing:

 

In Fedora 29, the HTML5 score is 486 (my old WinXP machine with SRWare Iron 49 scored 489).

The OP would have to upgrade the browser (Brave has a score of 533, which makes a huge difference

in the rendering of some sites).

 

But the necessary "build/download/install/chase" is something that the OP is trying to avoid.

 

--catalogman

Thanks for the heads up about Brave, I was only very vaguely aware of it. I fired up a Terminal and installed it, loaded all my bookmarks, and I'm already noticing a good performance boost over Firefox, and even a bit of an improvement over Chromium. Great browser so far.




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