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  • Windows 10 to Linux with new system

    Home Forums AskWoody support Non-Windows operating systems Linux – all distros Windows 10 to Linux with new system

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      • #2362451
        Peepers
        AskWoody Plus

        My PC is dying, and I am thinking about making the switch to Linux.

        I considered myself to be an intermediate/advanced user until Windows 10 came out. I started in 1990 with Windows 3.1 (?) and used to tinker about under the hood quite a bit. Now I’m just tired of it.

        Currently running Win 10 Home v 2004 build 19041.867, 64-bit. I have a 250GB Samsung SSD and 16GB RAM on a 7-year-old Asus Prime H270M-Plus. I am not sure whether my motherboard or my SSD, or both, is gasping its last breath.

        Not using any MS products other than Defender. I rent MS Office 365 but very rarely use it.

        Software I actually use:

        Browser – Vivaldi

        RoboForm – I would like to keep

        Foxit PDF Reader – ditto

        File Manager – FreeCommander

        Email – The Bat!

        Text editor – NoteTab Std

        Jot+ Notes – I replaced MS Cardfile with it eons ago

        Conceptworld Notezilla 8.0 – sticky notes with alarms

        Finance – Quicken Deluxe 2013, Release R12 (and I never ever use it online)

        Family Tree Maker 2017

        Malwarebytes Premium 4.3.0

        WinPatrol PLUS – but I can’t wait to get rid of it

        I’m sure this is TMI, but I need some input on going to Linux with the goodies I have (or good alternatives). Thanks much.

      • #2362474
        johnf
        AskWoody Lounger

        First thing would be to check the health of your motherboard/SSD. There should be Window Utilities to check your SSD health; here’s one from Samsung:
        https://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/minisite/ssd/product/consumer/magician/%5B/url%5D.

        Next, I would test some distros out to see which ones you like that also work well with your hardware. AskWoody has several fans of Linux Mint, which is a good alternative to Ubuntu. I like MX Linux, which has a robust utility section. Other good distros to try are Manjaro and Pop! OS. You can find reviews and links to download images on Rufus[/url].

        You’ll get choices like KDE, Gnome, Cinnamon, XFCE, Mate, etc. Those are desktop environments (note you get several choices, unlike Windows Shell, which is the universal one for Windows. Here’s a good link explaining what they are: https://www.maketecheasier.com/best-desktop-environments/%5B/url%5D

        Ok, now to the software:

        The following software that you listed that have Linux versions:
        Vivaldi, Roboform, Foxit PDF Reader, Family Tree Maker (I’m presuming you mean the EDraw company, they have a linux version)

        The rest do not have a linux version, but here are alternatives (some involve Wine, which is a Windows emulator). I’ve listed them after the Windows program:

        File Manager : Midnight Commander, Dolphin, Nano, Thunar

        Email – The Bat! : Claws or Thunderbird

        Text editor – NoteTab Std : Kate or try running NoteTab under Wine

        Jot+ Notes: Notes or try running Jot+ under Wine

        Conceptworld Notezilla: Joplin or Supernote

        Finance – Quicken Deluxe: GnuCash or HomeBank
        —————————————————————-
        Malwarebytes: Ok, here is where Linux is somewhat different. You’re not going to be as vulnerable under Linux as Windows for malware. That does NOT mean you shouldn’t take steps to protect yourself, it’s just more difficult for Malware to attack. Here’s what you can do to harden your system:
        1) Activate your firewall (not all distros do this off the bat)
        2) Use an Ad Blocker (I use UOrigin, there are others as well). Brave Browser has built in ad blockers and tracking blocker. You should use a privacy search engine as well.
        3) You can install Malwarebytes Browser extension
        4) Install ClamTK and run it every so often, or set up an chron job.
        5) Don’t open email attachments from unknown sources, or downloaded files without scanning.
        6) Avoid shady web sites
        7) Scan any flash stick/USB hard drive that you attach to your PC before opening files.
        8) Be VERY careful when going outside of the normal Distro Software Repository for installing programs. Normally, your distro should have a repository (think Microsoft Store) that has been checked for Malware. Certain Distros (Mint, Ubuntu) allow you to use what are called PPA’s, or external software packages. Not all PPA’s are safe, and some external sites may have versions of .deb or .rpm files that have files that will conflict with your distro!

        WinPatrol PLUS: The owners stopped developing the software in 2017. I’m not sure you need it, but you can open up Task Manager to check on processes if you like.

        Hope this helps!!

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2362998
        owburp
        AskWoody Plus

        I would echo johnf’s opinion and say that I,too, like MX Linux. It’s a distro you should seriously consider in your situation as it has a really powerful Live with Persist capability (so you can save changes to the USB from session to session). With your question of whether it is your motherboard or the SSD that is failing, you could create a LiveUSB of MX and run with it for a while until you have (a) figured out what hardware is failing and (b) whether you like MX as a daily driver before you install it.

        Whichever distro you wind up with, I think you will find the KDE Plasma desktop environment to your liking if you have developed the habit over the years of setting up an environment that works the way you want it to. Yes, I know you said you are tired of tinkering, but KDE Plasma offers you the ability to tweak if you find you want or must.

        Also, KDE offers a utility called Kalarm which might be a good replacement for the Notezilla utility.

        I got very used to NoteTab Free in Windows over the years and have found it difficult to replace all of its capabilities (at least those I used frequently) in Linux. I’ve found the Geany text editor in MX to be a workable solution thus far, not perfect but I can live with it. I haven’t been able to get NoteTab Free to work under Wine as yet.

        I lean toward the Dolphin file manager coupled with Filezilla. Filezilla is the only file transfer utility I have found so far that will not mangle the date/time stamp of files (once you set the option telling it to leave it alone); otherwise it had gotten crazy trying to figure which file version was the “current” one as I transferred files over the network.

        My final selling point of MX Linux (and also it’s little brother antiX Linux) is Dolphin Oracle. He has a YouTube channel under the name runwiththedolphin and provides a slew of really useful and informative videos on using MX and antiX. For starters, you might want to check out his videos on creating a LiveUSB and the Persist function.

      • #2363013
        anonymous
        Guest

        A dying mobo isn’t really a reason to go to Linux.  The “Linux runs on anything” myth is well mostly a myth.  The distros that run well on minimal systems aren’t for newbies.

        Second issue is app to app similarities, there are manysimilar but few almost identical replacements.  Chromium and Firefox are essentially the same, Libre Office is similar but not completely interchangeable with MS Office, etc.

        Apps are best installed from a particular distro’s package repositories but can often be downloaded and installed without issue.  Sometimes different distro’s or different desktop’s packages will work fine, sometimes no.  This part takes a lot of digging, info isn’t organized to the extent is is for windows by a long stretch.

        I’ve use many distros and the closest to Windows with good hardware support, especially graphics cards is Xubuntu with the xfce desktop.  I’d recommend an Ubuntu derivative; the base is solid and reliable but the standard Gnome desktop on Ubuntu will drive you up a wall.

        Mint is a good Ubuntu based distro, Mate or Cinnamon desktop are fine, close to Windows. Last I used Mint was a year ago and graphics card support was not good, maybe it’s OK now.

        Currently, I’m using Ubuntu Studio with xfce.  Surprisingly smooth.  Good for me because I do video and photo editing.  Runs on a 2011 vintage Dell i5 laptop, 8 GB memory, Nvidia 525M card.  Who’d a thunk?  This is more of an experimental combo, it’s not fast by today’s standards but works fine, never crashes.

        • #2363075
          Ascaris
          AskWoody MVP

          How do you define a minimal system? I ran full-strength Mint Cinnamon (x64) and KDE Neon on my 2008-manufactured Asus F8Sn with a Core 2 Duo CPU, and it worked well. I ran Neon also on my Acer Swift, which is about as fast (or not) as the Core 2 Duo system, except that it only has 4 GB, non-upgradeable. It still ran Neon like a champ, and I wouldn’t consider anything else on it. It took a while, but KDE Plasma finally matured to the point that I find it to be by far the best desktop environment. I like Cinnamon too, but the GNOME influence in that, Mate, and Xfce still are annoyances.

          Hardware support is largely about the kernel, not the desktop environment. Each distro will modify the kernel as it sees fit before releasing it, but by far most of the hardware support is a function of the underlying mainline kernel version.

          I am not sure what you mean by saying graphic card support was not good in Mint. Mint is the same as Ubuntu for that kind of thing, and all the distros use the same drivers (though that does not mean they are packaged the same).

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.21.5 User Edition)

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