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Considering Linux but have a few questions

Discussion in 'Linux General' started by ed_84093, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. ed_84093

    ed_84093 New Member

    SO I upgraded from windows 7 to windows 10 and have to say I love windows 10. The interface is great and it works with just about everything with no issues. My main concern with it is Cortana and privacy. So many permissions and I'm concerned aout privacy with general use as well as using Google, and cookies, etc.. I think its time to give Linux a try. A few quesrions I have though.

    Is it reasonable/practical to run both in a "dual" setup? When using the Linux setup would that block the windows side from seeing my internet searches, or other data? Or if I used a distro focused on privacy (Tails) loaded from the USB when starting up, would that block Windows or other programs from "seeing" my information.
    What distro would you recommend. I've looked at-
    Ubuntu-test drove this
    Tails (like having privacy, although this might be a bit overkill, not sure)
    Scientific (I'm a science person and a few programs would be nice to have)

    My criteria it a good interface, stability, ability to use most common programs (web searches, spreadsheets, connecting to calander on my phone, etc) as well as playing a few games. I do lik the windows 10 start screen where there are newsfeeds, weather, date, stock feeds, etc on the page if there is that available. Sorry for the long post but Im a noob :). Thanks!
  2. Rob

    Rob Administrator Staff Member

    Welcome to the forum!

    Yes, many people run a dual-boot setup. When the computer boots you'd choose to enter either Windows or Linux. When you're in one, the other won't see anything that's going on.. you would be able to mount and look through files/directories on the other half though if you like. ie: downloaded a pdf in windows, boot into linux and retrieve it from the windows partition..

    I'm sure others will chime in soon with better info though :)

    ed_84093 likes this.
  3. atanere

    atanere Active Member

    If you "love" Windows, it will be a hard sell to get you into Linux. People tend to not like change and are not as adventurous as they sometimes like to think that they are. Linux is very similar in some ways to Windows, but it is also very different (so is a Mac, for that matter). Linux will probably do any of the things you're looking for, but you may have to learn new ways/programs to achieve your goals.

    Dual booting is not the best way for a noob to get started. You may break your Windows! Because of the new UEFI firmware (replaced BIOS) it makes dual booting more tricky. Some folks have an easy time and set it up without a hitch, but some folks don't (speaking from experience!). If you have problems, you may need to reinstall Windows from scratch... so you need to be sure to make good backups of anything important to you, and you need to make a set of "Recovery DVDs" (or USB) to use as your Windows source. Installing and modifying operating systems is always risky, but breaking the Windows 10 that you love will not endear you to Linux.

    Instead of installing as dual boot, you can continue what you have already started: boot your computer on a Linux "live DVD" or USB, and run it from there. It runs a little slower but does no damage to your Windows install. With a "persistent" Linux live USB, it will save information (like WiFi login info) and also let you install some programs to the USB. You can also take your USB and boot it up on anyone's computer, so your Linux is always with you.

    Also, you can install VirtualBox on Windows 10 (a free program), and then install various Linux versions as "virtual machines" for you to test and experiment with. As a VM, they will run much faster, and they are also somewhat sandboxed from your WIndows host. This is a very nice learning setup and also will not damage your Windows install. If you consider this method, you might boot into your UEFI settings and see if you can enable a setting for virtual technology... if so, this will help it run better.

    Windows 10 is a privacy nightmare (to me) and I guess you have been learning that already. But going from Win 10 to Tails is a world of extremes. You can go through all the Win 10 settings (Privacy, and all the others too) and lock it down somewhat, such as disabling Cortana, but in the end you may stay with Windows if you find the adventure of Linux is too much trouble. Linux is far better for me, and I believe it is far more secure... I find it well worth the trouble.

    Good luck!
    ed_84093 likes this.
  4. ed_84093

    ed_84093 New Member

    Thanks for the responses fellas. I like the idea of booting from the USB for a while before committing to Linux. The dual idea is nice but if there are potential issues with messing with Windows then would rather be safe about it. The virtual box sounds interesting but I'm unfamiliar with it so ill prob stick with the USB.
    So Ill make a recovery drive (need to do that anyway), and stick with Ubuntu or Mint. Is there a way to search privately? I currently use ixquick/startpage in proxy. Does firefox do a good job itself or should I keep ixquick my homepage? It also sounds like using this setup I would need to download programs on the USB drive itself in order to use them in USB Linux boot setup, instead of using programs from the hard drive? Thanks!
  5. atanere

    atanere Active Member

    Ubuntu and Mint will both allow "persistence" on your USB drive, but it is something that you have to enable with the software you use to create the USB. It has a limit of 4GB, but that should be plenty for the few extra programs you might want besides those that are included. You don't want to run Windows programs on the hard drive from the USB, and most will not run anyway.

    With persistence enabled, you can make lxquick your homepage in Firefox and it will remember it. Another good search engine for privacy is Duck Duck Go (duckduckgo.com).

    Hopefully the USB gives you a good introduction, and let us know how you're doing with it. When you're ready to try to install a dual-boot, we'll be glad to help. Or maybe you'll even decide to go Linux only! :D
    Rob likes this.
  6. Crippled

    Crippled New Member

    Go with MX-16 and you won't have to worry about it like that malware/spyware that is called Windows 10.
  7. Reminewbe

    Reminewbe New Member

    Hi guys! I am also new to Linux. I have installed Linuxcnc ((Debian) and hope to use it to run my cnc router instead of Mach3 which I am presently using. I have a few issues with pin configuration, and am unable to get it to jog. Communication with, or reference to anyone using this software would greatly be appreciated. Thanks
  8. ed_84093

    ed_84093 New Member

    Hey guys appreciate your advice and input, thank you. Ive using Mint and Ubuntu and like them so far. I think ill keep windows 10 on my laptop. The dual boot setup sounds nice but you mentioned that there was the potential to damage windows. Is this a major concern? I created a recovery USB so should be set but would prefer not to use it tbh. I also have an older gaming computer I build. Is it possible to put many distros on there as options? I would like to have Ubuntu or Mint as the primary but also would be cool to have a music/video editing distro and a science distro as well. Thanks for all your help.
  9. Crippled

    Crippled New Member

    I would recommend you get an external HDD at least the size of all your HDDs combined that you can use to backup all your data on all your computers. Anything can go wrong but for best reliability make sure "Secure Boot" is disabled in your Bios and keep your data backed up. You can put as many distro's on your computer as you like that will fit on your HDD. For games I would suggest you add Steam OS to your distro. http://distrowatch.com/ If you want reliability and ease of use I suggest you use MX-16. https://mxlinux.org/

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