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  1. #1
    CraigH
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    Default Best Non-Windows Operating System for PC

    I'm interested in trying a new operating system for my PC. What's the best bet in terms of reliability, stability, compatibility, user friendliness, cost, etc....Linux....Ubunto....Debian....others???????

  2. #2
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Non-Windows Operating System for PC

    I've tried a couple of different flavors of Linux, and I like the Ubuntu distribution a lot.

    If you download the live cd, you can boot from it to see how it works, then decide whether to install it on your PC. You can also set it up to dual boot, just in case you want or need to go back to windows.

    Also, you can run it under windows using emulation, using something like VirtualBox.

    All of the above are 'free', as far as money, but there is a bit of a learning curve, so the cost is in time.
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

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    Distinguished SOTW Member Seasax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Non-Windows Operating System for PC

    i like ubuntu a lot but its really tough to get by without windows or mac at the moment, give it a few years and linux will have really kicked off but for now it takes a lot of effort not to use windows.
    Conn "27 Chu
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  4. #4
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Non-Windows Operating System for PC

    Quote Originally Posted by SearjeantSax View Post
    i like ubuntu a lot but its really tough to get by without windows or mac at the moment, give it a few years and linux will have really kicked off but for now it takes a lot of effort not to use windows.
    I thought Wine took care of using windows apps. No?
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

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    Distinguished SOTW Member themacintrasher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Non-Windows Operating System for PC

    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SearjeantSax View Post
    i like ubuntu a lot but its really tough to get by without windows or mac at the moment, give it a few years and linux will have really kicked off but for now it takes a lot of effort not to use windows.
    I thought Wine took care of using windows apps. No?
    Some, not all.

  6. #6
    grand:boo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Non-Windows Operating System for PC

    Yea, I went through a period where I used exclusively Linux Mint (Ubuntu derivative + multimedia codecs) for about 6 months. I even had Sibelius running in a virtual machine.....

    Back on Xp now though. This way I can use both commercial AND open source software. A great open source sibelius replacement I found is MuseScore and a handy little alternative to powerpoint is VUE (visual understanding environment. I mention these because if you start using Linux you end up doing alot on programs you've never heard of before :P.

    I also recommend a gentoo based distro, Sabayon, comes with codecs again and 3D video card drivers pre-installed. As mentioned before though - a live cd is the best way to go first off.

  7. #7
    Forum Contributor 2009 al9672's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Non-Windows Operating System for PC

    What are you looking for ?

    ease of use ?
    smallest learning curve ?
    multimedia ?
    software development ?


    Just to try without installing try one of the many live cd's.

    Ubuntu is good is you don't need the cutting edge packages (for development)
    if you do go fedora.

    Easy way to try is download either virtual box(free) or vmware player(free)
    then download a preconfigered and setup virtual machine.

    http://www.virtualbox.org/

    http://www.vmware.com/products/player/

    ubuntu 9.04 vm
    http://www.vmware.com/appliances/directory/147323

    fedora 11 vm
    http://www.vmware.com/appliances/directory/220313

  8. #8
    CraigH
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    Default Re: Best Non-Windows Operating System for PC

    Quote Originally Posted by al9672 View Post
    What are you looking for ?

    ease of use ?
    smallest learning curve ?
    multimedia ?
    software development ?
    Good questions.

    I guess I'm more curious than anything. I'm looking for a relatively user-friendly and stable OS.

    I'm not a serious gamer or software developer.

  9. #9
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Non-Windows Operating System for PC

    In that case, just download the live cd/installer for ubuntu here:

    http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu

    Burn it to a cd, and have fun!
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

  10. #10
    Forum Contributor 2009 TJS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Non-Windows Operating System for PC

    Definitely check out a Ubuntu live CD. You have nothing to use. If you like it just install it as a dual boot which is much easier than it sounds. Then, if you really need Windows for something you can re-boot in to windows. I set up my mom's computer like this and she hasn't booted in to Windows for over a year.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Best Non-Windows Operating System for PC

    Ubuntu, Red Hat, Open Suse are distributions of linux, not different operating systems.

    Different operating systems for the PC would be

    Linux, FreeBSD, BeOS, minix and a few others

    So are you wondering what is the best non-windows OS in which case I would wonder for what? To use as a server or as a desktop computer or as a work station?

    If you have already made a fairly reasonable (though i know FreeBSD proponents who would strongly disagree) that linux is the best alternative OS for a pc so then what distribution should you use?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Best Non-Windows Operating System for PC

    Justice C. Bigler
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    Forum Contributor 2009 & Mouthpiece Patch Mogul Face Ache Mike's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Non-Windows Operating System for PC

    Another reccomendation for Ubuntu. I`ve been using it on my tablet pc for general duties ie email (thunderbird), surfing (firefox), graphics (gimp) etc.for a few years now. I find it just as easy to use and set up as windows - installation/uninstallation of programs is a breeze with the newer releases of the OS. Definitely one to try out. If I hadn`t committed to Sonar Cakewalk on my desktop (music) pc I`d be using Ubuntu and Rosegarden.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Best Non-Windows Operating System for PC

    My favorite was TRS-Dos for the Radio Shack TRS-80 Model III. I think that was a "CornSoft" product. Every OS since then has had real problems.

    But enough with the humor. I've tried those others but came back to a good clean full install of Windows XP Pro SP3. Once properly tweaked, it's really the best of them all and will run standard software.

    I've stripped Vista off several of my friends new PC's and install XP on them without problems. The PC manufacturer will say "Vista Only" but this is never the case. I simply go to Google and search for "XP Drivers for _______) and I always find loads of how-to's and links to drivers. Most of the time, new PC's will run more than twice as fast with XP over Vista.

    I haven't tried Windows 7 yet so I don't know if it is better or not. Generally, I wound not install the first version of any OS. They usually get most of the bugs worked out by the second version as they did with XP.
    Good Luck,

    Enviroguy
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  15. #15
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Non-Windows Operating System for PC

    Quote Originally Posted by Enviroguy View Post
    My favorite was TRS-Dos for the Radio Shack TRS-80 Model III. I think that was a "CornSoft" product. Every OS since then has had real problems.

    But enough with the humor. I've tried those others but came back to a good clean full install of Windows XP Pro SP3. Once properly tweaked, it's really the best of them all and will run standard software.

    I've stripped Vista off several of my friends new PC's and install XP on them without problems. The PC manufacturer will say "Vista Only" but this is never the case. I simply go to Google and search for "XP Drivers for _______) and I always find loads of how-to's and links to drivers. Most of the time, new PC's will run more than twice as fast with XP over Vista.

    I haven't tried Windows 7 yet so I don't know if it is better or not. Generally, I wound not install the first version of any OS. They usually get most of the bugs worked out by the second version as they did with XP.

    I thought win 7 IS a second version of Vista. I just ordered a new computer for Ms. hakukani, with Win 7, so we'll see how it goes. Her P4 is going to become a Linux box so that she can learn how to use it, and learn the 'R' stats package.
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

  16. #16
    Official Spender of Too Much Time on SOTW/P. Mauriat Fanatic jmoen3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Non-Windows Operating System for PC

    As a purely windows guy, I've run Ubuntu and I was pretty impressed. I don't like going through much more work to get stuff running, which is why I'm back in windows and now running Windows 7 and i'm very impressed with this as well. Finally lost the resource hog of vista, with all of those visual benefits !

    Anyways, although this isn't out yet, i believe its a very great idea and I'll be looking into it as well. Check it out. Maybe google will rule the world soon .

    http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/...chrome-os.html
    Alto: P. Mauriat 67R w/ Solid Nickel Silver Neck/Drake Custom Ceramic .085/Van. Java 2.5 Reeds and Hahn Synthetic 2.5
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Best Non-Windows Operating System for PC

    My Ubuntu experience was that all the instructions I could find online were written by people who don't know how to write instructions, and they leave a lot of stuff out. If you have a well-conforming mind and effortlessly fill in the missing spaces in information with assumptions that are always correct, you'll love the Linux experience. Some people are that way and they are very happy.

    If you are a more objective, literal person you won't like it at all. You won't be able to "make up" the missing pieces of information. That was me, and I do best with XP.

    P

  18. #18
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 warp x's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Non-Windows Operating System for PC

    Some years ago I would have suggested to get BeOS. Since that is now dead (but being resurrected) I second the Ubuntu Linux suggestion. Or a Mac.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Best Non-Windows Operating System for PC

    I made the switch from Windows to Linux back in 2000 and don't use Windows on any on my computers.

    I have Ubuntu Studio installed on a laptop and the rest of my computers run openSUSE.

    In fact, I'm typing this reply on my Nokia N810 handheld running Maemo Linux.

    I recommending downloading a live CD or DVD and trying Linux that way first.
    Most distributions offer a live version and you won't have to install anything before trying it.
    Last edited by BobbyC; 11-09-2009 at 08:55 PM. Reason: grammer and spelling - as usual
    Tank: "OK. So what do you need (besides a miracle)?"
    Neo: "Saxes. Lots of saxes."

  20. #20

    Default Re: Best Non-Windows Operating System for PC

    I give my vote to Ubuntu as well. It's stable and compatibility is high also you can use PC hardware - and that was 18 months ago so it has got to be even better now.
    I spent 8 years trying to get Windows to work for me for sequencing and video editing and I wasted a lot of time and money in the never ending pursuit of upgrading hardware, memory, replacing drivers etc etc and achieved very little.
    I switched to a MAC last year (macbook pro) bought myself a copy of Logic Express (although garage band is free and fantastic) and I never spent a another penny and have had nothing but hours and hours and hours of productivity. I compose with it, transcribe, travel with it, use it on stage ... and it has never once let me down - never crashed - never disappointed.
    But failing a MAC then go for Ubuntu you'll love it although I do not know what music software is available if that is what you are looking for.

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