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I am the newest newbie. Spent the last 4 hours reading through forum posts and google searches etc. It is all so new... Here are my questions. 1. Are the ...
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  1. #1
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    compatibility between distros


    I am the newest newbie. Spent the last 4 hours reading through forum posts and google searches etc. It is all so new...

    Here are my questions.

    1. Are the various distros of linux compatible? Could I ever switch versions in the future?

    I am faily comfortable in windows (yes I read the lengthy car vs. motorcycle post). I live in Thailand and have a small office with 3 computers. Currently most of my soft ware is pirated as you can by any of the latest software off of any street corner, while the original copies are very hard to locate (much less being out of my price range.) I would sleep better at night using open source. I have original software on some of my computers and pirated on the rest. I would like to integrate. I realize that there will be a learning curve and am willing to go that route.

    2. I need desktop publishing in Thai and Enlish (and maybe Lao in the future), professional audio editing, photo editing, web browsing, web design, and sometype of audio player (real/windows media type program), and a DVD/VCD movie player of some type. I would like a stable system with a free download. If I can have my cake and eat it too, I would like to run linux and windows on the same computer for a while so that I can continue funtioning on my job as I slowly get up to speed on linux. I do not have a budget for this as I work for a charity organization with very low overhead that is why the software needs to be free. (I spent $600 on software last year.) With so many choices I am still lost.

    Please don't flash me as I am new, but have read through several hours materials. In summary, which distro is best for the above needs and can I switch later without having to re-invent the wheel.

  2. #2
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    Best Distro is subjective... You are better off trying several Distros out and determining which one YOU like best. Each distro has it's own following. I like Debian for it's great package management, and huge selection of available packages. Other people like Suse because of the graphical Yast configuration tool, Fedora, has a huge following too, Ubuntu, one of the new kids on the block is Debian simplified with basic (more up to date) packages choosen for you..

    So basically I can't answer which distro will work best for you, You wil need to make that determination. I will however point you to the really cool windows / Linux software equivalency list. The List shows what Linux software you would use in place of Certain Windows software to complete specific types of tasks. drawing, publishing, painting, cad, accounting, whatever..

    http://www.linuxrsp.ru/win-lin-soft/table-eng.html

    A good place to read up on the different Distros is http://www.distrowatch.com

    You may even want to consider using a localized Distro... http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=01560#0 or not, but it's a thoght.
    far...out

  3. #3
    oz
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    Welcome to the forums!

    I agree with farslayer regarding which distro will work best for you. It's best to play around and experiment with Linux and try to make it a fun project rather than installing it and expecting it to immediately become your primary OS.

    Linux installs quickly, so in most cases reinstalling isn't overly painful. I'd recommend going to http://www.distrowatch.com and reading up on some of the various distros, then installing two or three of them (one at a time) to see how they work for your needs.

    Good luck with your venture into the world of Linux...

  4. #4
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bountonw
    1. Are the various distros of linux compatible? Could I ever switch versions in the future?
    It depends on what you mean by "compatible". Software that is compiled from source will work on just about any Linux distribution, but various distributions have special package management systems that are sometimes incompatible (read: an DEB package will not usually install on an RPM-based system).

    You're certainly free to switch distributions as much as you like (some of us on this forum do so on a weekly basis), just keep in mind that there are subtle differences in the way some distributions handle pre-compiled software.

    Please don't flash me as I am new, but have read through several hours materials. In summary, which distro is best for the above needs and can I switch later without having to re-invent the wheel.
    Rest assured, I have no intention of flashing anyone. However it's very hard for us to say what's "best" for you personally. Only you can determine that by trying several versions of Linux and picking the one that you like most. Follow the links given above for more information.
    Registered Linux user #270181
    TechieMoe's Tech Rants

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up

    congrats on chosing to get away from pirated s/w.
    if you care for some comments from a fellow newbie:
    there are a lots of distros.
    it is possible to run different distros from the same pc along with windows.
    it is a question of the disk space.
    since you want to do a lot of activities install one these heavy distroes; not a light one which some choose as ideal for limited activity.
    i would recommand that you install one of suse /fedora core /ubuntu
    try out a few and stick to the one you seem to be comfortable and go deaper into it.
    best of luck!

    tv
    Be happy. Life is too short to be unhappy!

  6. #6
    Linux Guru Cabhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bountonw
    2. I need desktop publishing in Thai and Enlish (and maybe Lao in the future), professional audio editing, photo editing, web browsing, web design, and sometype of audio player (real/windows media type program), and a DVD/VCD movie player of some type. I would like a stable system with a free download. If I can have my cake and eat it too, I would like to run linux and windows on the same computer for a while so that I can continue funtioning on my job as I slowly get up to speed on linux. I do not have a budget for this as I work for a charity organization with very low overhead that is why the software needs to be free. (I spent $600 on software last year.) With so many choices I am still lost.
    Alrighty. Well, to address some of your concerns here.

    Linux supports MANY languages: far more than I've seen in Windows (though they may be there). While I personally only use English and Spanish, your keyboard layout is easily switched, and many applications (especially big ones) provide TONS of translations.

    Professional Audio Editing, can't help with.

    Photo Editing, we mostly use the GIMP for image manipulation. It's pretty powerful. You can take a look at:
    http://www.gimp.org/

    Web Browsing, we pretty much use Firefox. The Mozilla Suite is also availble for Linux, if you prefer.

    Web Design, you can use any of the text editors (obviously), and these are SO much better than Notepad. They have tons of capabilities, such as syntax highlighting, automatic indentation, etc. More specifically for web browsing, there are several WYIWYG editors. The OpenOffice.org Web comes to mind, as does Mozilla Composer. I personally use Bluefish, which is a code editor, but which is AMAZING. It also supports PHP, Python, Perl, etc.
    http://www.vim.org/ <-- My favorite text editor
    http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/emacs.html <-- Emacs, another popular text editor
    http://bluefish.openoffice.nl/index.html <-- The Bluefish editor I mentioned

    Audio player, the most popular is XMMS. Realplayer is available natively for Linux. I personally use one called BMP, which is XMMS with an updated appearance.
    http://www.xmms.org/ <-- XMMS
    http://www.real.com/linux?pcode=rn&o...player_partner <-- Realplayer for Linux
    http://bmp.beep-media-player.org/index.php/BMP_Homepage <-- BMP

    As far as DVD playing, this is a little shaky. There are MANY apps that support this: I personally use one called ogle, but Xine and MPlayer are also popular ones.

    The shakiness comes with regard to CSS encryption. Because these codes are not available, we need to crack them. This is done via a library called libdvdcss, which uses a brute force algorithm to break CSS codes. To my knowledge, its legality has never been questioned in court in any country, but it may well be illegal.

    Just a warning.


    As far as running both Linux and Windows, this is done through a process called dual-booting. You will be given a menu when you boot the computer that allows you to choose whichever OS you want.

    So try Googling about for "dual booting" for more information on that.


    Hope that helps!

  7. #7
    Linux Guru bryansmith's Avatar
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    Professional audio editing - I don't know what you consider 'professional' but Audacity is worth a look: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

    To add to Cabhan's list of web browsers, there is Opera: http://www.opera.com/download/

    As for dual-booting, a lot of popular distributions will give you the option to resize your current Windows partition and install Linux beside it. Two that I know for sure that can do that are Suse and Mandriva.

    Bryan
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    "There can be no doubt that all our knowledge begins with experience." - Immanuel Kant (Critique of Pure Reason)
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    Registered Linux User #386147.

  8. #8
    Linux User oosterhouse's Avatar
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    PCLinuxOS also allows you to resize your windows partition and makes it very easy for you to install, with a very good tutorial for newbies. It's a free download of course and it comes in a livecd, so you can try it before you install it. In my opinion, it's easier to install than SuSE and it has KDE, which is similar to windows. It also has alot of software on it that you'll find useful, with Synaptic to make installing a breeze.

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