OT: Making the move from Windows to Linux

[COLOR="#300090"]I’m upgrading to a new PC at home and I’m taking the leap to Linux.


If Linux users can answer questions or give advice from their own experience, I would thank you. Links (with brief reviews) to other sources of answers would also be welcomed.


First, what do I move and what do I leave behind. I have many patterns in files (word docs, PDFs), saved bookmarks, windows games, etc. What can be coppied over to my new Linux PC for continued use or access. What will I have to leave behind because of the difference in file storage systems.

Second, how do I get these things ready or just move them? Do I need to convert the files before or after moving them? Can I move them across my home network? Should I copy them to a CD-ROM? Will I need a Windows emulator?

What should I keep in mind because Linux is different (Better) than Windows? Okay, user accounts and passwords really didn’t matter before Win 2000.

Is Linux compatible with Mac?


I don’t know the answers to your questions, but I do know that Mason (Knitting Guy) uses Linux so he may be able to help you out, too. :thumbsup:

Yes, I knew that too. I did leave a bread crumb trail :wink: on another thread about Windows being slow or changing back to default settings ([U][B]look here[/B][/U] for a link to the bread crumb post [Now edited]). I thought it would be best to start a new thread about this rather than to hijack someone else’s thread. :slight_smile:

I know some of the answers to the questions I posed, but though this could work for others who have or are considering the big switch.

From all I’ve heard, switching from Windows to Linux is more like switching from store-bought sox to hand knitted socks than say going from Knitting to Crochet (or vise versa). :thumbsup:

Mass produced vs. hand made.
One size “fits” all vs. customized.
Prone to “snags” vs. user tested and improved (errata).
Lemmings vs. free spirits. :oo:

Okay, so the last one might be a bit unfair. :wink:


P.S. Okay, perhaps I’m being a bit evangelical. But I do see a parallel. ;)[/COLOR]

For office type documents you can install OpenOffice. It’s a Office productivity suite similar to MS Office, except it’s free:


OpenOffice also works on PCs and Macs, so it’s a great MS Office alternative all around.

Windows games won’t work on Linux. PDF’s can be opened with any PDF reader. There are plenty for Linux. If you use Firefox on the PC currently, you can also use it under most flavors of Linux. There is a Firefox extension called Foxymarks which lets you keep your bookmarks synced between multiple computer.

I use Linux for the servers here at KH, but I don’t have any pretty interface, it’s all commands typed into a terminal. These are servers and not workstations. About a year and a half ago I switched from PCs to Macs and have been extemely happy. At it’s heart, Mac runs a BSD flavor of linux. So you get all the advantages of a Linux subsystem combined with a very well thought out user interface which doesn’t bog the computer down. And if you have a newer Intel Mac, you can also run windows on it, which is useful for the occasional programs that only run on Windows. I currently run Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Ubuntu 8 on my Mac and can actually run them all at the same time using Parallells virtualization software.

Thanks, Sheldon!

I had planned on using a crossover cable and manually configuring the network settings to get the two boxes talking to each other. But as I wasn’t sure Linux could use Windows file sharing; I suppose I’ll either need TFTP software on each end or another method.

How is Linux at reading Windows CD-ROMs? Would that be an option? My fall-back method is either email attachments or placing the files on my personal homepage and then downloading to the Linux box.

[Edit to add]
I was just reading a timely TechNews blurb:
[U][B]Digital Information Saved for Future Generations[/B]
University of Portsmouth (02/11/09)[/U]


First, it’s Foxmarks, not Foxymarks. LOL

Any CDROM you make with Windows can be read by a Linux system.

For Windows/Linux file sharing it’s pretty easy. Midnight Commander is the best Linux fle browser and can easily transfer files from a Windows box to a Linux box, no need to change file formats or anything.

OpenOffice is top shelf.

Some Windows games will work under Linux using WINE (Wine Is Not an Emulator). You just have to try them and see if they work. There is a commercial app called CEDEGA that is a WINE extension specifically designed for gaming but you do have to pay for it.

The main thing to keep in mind is that Linux IS NOT WINDOWS so don’t expect things to work or be done the same as Windows. Things are done differently and you have to expect to have a learning curve.

What distribution are you considering installing? Things are done a little differently depending on what distro/base you use. I use Slackware which is the oldest existing distro out there and the most basic hands-on distro you can get.

You can easily transfer files from one machine to the other, I do it all the time. One of my home machines is a file server for my other machines. Piece of cake.

Linux is not compatible with MAC, they are two different operating systems. Linux is based on the Linux kernel while MAC is a highly customized OS based on the BSD kernel. Similar in many respects but not even close to compatible. Personally, I think Linux is superior with regard to user customizing and flexibility.

Good luck with your journey into the world of open source software. I’d be more than happy to help with any questions that come up as I’ve been using Linux since 1995.

As for sources of more info, check out LinuxQuestions.org. I’m a senior member there and it’s THE place to get Linux info.

Thank you, Mason!

I’ve installed Unbuntu on the new box. I believe the bootable install CD was 7.something. :roll: I’ll etch it into my brain once I get home and boot it up again.

Foxymarks sounds better. :roflhard:


You can also use Mozilla Thunderbird for an email program on Ubuntu. I did for a short while. Make a list of all your favorite sites and export it into a file so when you transfer information you won’t have to manually go to each and book mark it

Sorry, haven’t been online lately, too busy trucking.

Ubuntu is a decent starter distro. It’s Debian based and uses Apt and .deb packages although they are heavily modified and it’s more of a Debian fork.

A great many people are quite happy with Ubuntu although I found it painfully slow and it often got in my way when I wanted to do some more advanced stuff. That’s the drawback when you’re used to using a custom rolled distro, nothing else quite measures up.

My system is based on Slackware but is pretty customized to my liking with a good many apps and features I customized and compiled for myself. Not something I’d recommend for a Linux newbie LOL.

Good luck with it and let me know if you run into any issues or have any questions.