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Hi, I'm not sure if this is the right forum to post this question but here it goes anyways. So far I have used Linux to set up servers and ...
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  1. #1
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    Using Linux instead of Windows


    Hi, I'm not sure if this is the right forum to post this question but here it goes anyways. So far I have used Linux to set up servers and things of that nature but I was wondering if I could pretty much use linux as a desktop computer to watch movies, develop software and do things that a typical windows user does? I am not a huge gamer, so it wouldn't be an issue if I can't play alot of games on a linux machine.

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    Linux Guru smolloy's Avatar
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    Quick answer: If you're not a big gamer, then linux can handle your needs!
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    Linux Newbie unchiujar's Avatar
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    Even as I gamer you can use Wine to run your games. I played Half-Life 2, World Of Warcraft, Deus Ex and run several windows apps on my Gentoo machine.

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    I find that a Linux system has pretty much the same applications with regards to movies/music/entertainment, etc.
    I've noticed that after switching to Ubuntu 7.04, my system isn't as bloated, so devoting RAM and CPU to music/movies etc turned out to be much better.

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    Thanks for all the replies. I guess I'll be using Linux instead of windows vista. By the way, which Linux distro would be best for entertainment stuff such as watching movies and listening to music?

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    Linux Guru smolloy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigb89 View Post
    Thanks for all the replies. I guess I'll be using Linux instead of windows vista. By the way, which Linux distro would be best for entertainment stuff such as watching movies and listening to music?
    That's a difficult question, since people have very different experiences with distros. I recommend having a look at distrowatch.com, reading a few reviews, and seeing which one takes your fancy. Personally, I've tried ~10 distros -- my favourite keeps changing!

    Check out the "big" distros -- Suse, Fedora, Ubuntu -- as they're most likely to do what you need.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigb89 View Post
    Thanks for all the replies. I guess I'll be using Linux instead of windows vista. By the way, which Linux distro would be best for entertainment stuff such as watching movies and listening to music?
    Most of the major ones will be perfectly fine, but get ready for surprises. I've used Ubuntu and Fedora and for both the multimedia support had to be installed after the general install. That's the bad news. The good news is that countless other users have this exact same need, and there's some very precise, easy to follow, how-to guides to get your Linux operating system configured for a wide variety of multimedia support.

    Out of the box, these distributions will not be able to handle .mpeg, .mp3. .avi, etc. You will have to install flash plug-ins, java, real player support, as well as the ability to read encrypted DVDs. Flash and java installs tend to be easy once the appropriate repositories are installed. (This may sound kind of complicated, but just follow the steps on any of a dozen how-to guides and you'll be fine.)

    I've had a lot of success working with "mplayer" which plays a wide variety of media "out of the box" but doesn't come with the distros by default. It can be easily installed once the repositories are setup.

    For Ubuntu, which I recommend, I tend to remove Totem (and its associated firefox plug-in) and install "GnomeBaker" and "Mplayer" (and its associated firefox plug-in) immediately after the OS install.

    * The newest version of Ubuntu, 7.04, supposedly makes installing multimedia support (and extra repositories) much, much easier. Rediculously easy. Like two steps. I haven't tried it yet. (I'd still install Mplayer though. I really like it.)

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    so far ive used the new distro when i set up a new computer for my brother, i set up the full multimedia support but it wasnt as easy as you thought. 7.04 has the universe and i think multiverse repositories enabled. This does make finding the right packages much much easier but still enough to discourage some newbies.

    I installed Mplayer on Kubuntu and put all of the mpeg and ffdshow packages available, plus their plugins for firefox and some avi codecs. im not sure if theyre all needed but hey, what could go wrong?

    i also installed WINE but i do not know how to compile the new versions of DX into it.

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    I have used many different Linux distro's over the years. My old favorite used to be Mandrake. Before that Suse. But now I use Ubuntu CE 7.04 and I am very hooked. Have you checked out Automatix? I am assuming that comes with all of Ubuntu, or maybe it is just the ones with Gnome DE.

    I also got rid of XP. Between the software Linux has in general, as well as Debian and Ubuntu, and the Crossover I bought for 40USD that lets me use many of my XP programs. I have everything covered that I need, want and many more extras.

    Edit: Also Ubuntu 7.04 CE was so easy to set up that it scared me, I thought I missed a few things and did it wrong, LOL.

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    So far I have used Fedora and I tried Ubuntu for a while. I don't know how multimedia goes, but I really like using Fedora for servers. Although I have heard many times that Fedora tends to make things harder if you're new to Linux. So I'll probably have to test some distros and see which one fits me best for entertainment purposes.

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