#1 Posted by xyzygy (9625 posts) -

My HDD crapped out last night and I called up my uncle who literally has dozens of hard drives and computer parts laying around. He gave me an HDD that I gave him last year and he put Ubuntu on it. Tonight I installed Precise Pangolin and I'm wondering if it's possible and plausible to keep ONLY the Linux on my laptop. I am liking Precise, but I do find myself missing a lot of the stuff in Windows because I know how to change a lot of smaller things and exactly where to go.

Should I keep Ubuntu or put Windows back on my machine? Basically, Is it possible to have a usable machine with ONLY Linux, or is support too weak for the OS?

For instance, I need Zune to update my WP and manage files but there is no Zune support for Ubuntu.

#2 Posted by jeffrud (379 posts) -

I feel your pain. I manage a network at a university you've heard of and run Ubuntu on my work machine and everything I can. Keep it on my netbook (yeah yeah yeah) as well. But then there's my phone, which I love. It took me throwing some money at my "problem" but at present I have a hand-build PC used for audio and video editing, gaming, and stuff; my netbook running Ubuntu + GNOME interface, and a Mac Mini with Server 10.6 to host movies, pictures, and Minecraft. As far as Ubuntu support, it is by a country mile the most widely supported Linux distribution. It's a great "n00b's first distro" in that it is pretty dependable and uses a lot of the same metaphors that Windows and (especially) Mac OS use. Case and point, clicking a button with a file on it opens a file manager, and dragging and dropping files works. There are distros where those pretty basic design elements are either missing, broken, or stripped out for people who just want to use bash (which, frankly, is the right way to do things).

So, yeah, the WP7 to Linux situation sucks and I don't know any way around it. On the other hand, I think Ubuntu is fantastic (though again, install GNOME and watch the memory footprint shrink) and you're going to learn a lot about how computers *actually* work in figuring out how to make things "go" on it. I don't know where you are in your life, but I'd recommend a two-machine setup. Conversely, you can install Ubuntu on a flash drive, and boot to it from your Windows machine. Either way, you're in for a Unix-flavored adventure!

#3 Posted by Snail (8470 posts) -

These guys give their build versions the shittiest names.

#4 Edited by kalmis (1557 posts) -

Other than Ubuntu being utter rubbish, yes it is possible to get by with Linux laptop. As long you don't need it for gaming. Not entirely sure what Zune is, but I am guessing it is something like iTunes for Windows Phone? If so the native music player tends to work, only that you might need to rebuild your catalog. Which might not be an option. Other options to look into are Zune through Vine or Windows VM image.

edit. based on Google running Zune under Virtualbox seems to be the best bet.

#5 Posted by Bollard (5026 posts) -

If you have a decent sized hard drive you could just make 2 partitions and dual boot both. Win win. That's what I do, although I still haven't updated from the last Ubuntu release to Precise yet. Probably should.

#6 Posted by believer258 (11046 posts) -

Yeah, you can get by just fine on a Ubuntu machine. Hell, if I could play all of my games on Ubuntu, or a different form of Linux, I would leave Windows behind. Not that I dislike Windows, I just really like Ubuntu.

#7 Edited by BlackLagoon (1322 posts) -

@believer258 said:

Yeah, you can get by just fine on a Ubuntu machine. Hell, if I could play all of my games on Ubuntu, or a different form of Linux, I would leave Windows behind. Not that I dislike Windows, I just really like Ubuntu.

It depends a bit what you want to play, but if you start messing with WINE, you'd be surprised what you can get up and running. Heck Windows 95/98-era games are sometimes easier to get running under WINE than they are on Windows Vista/7.

#8 Posted by predator (346 posts) -
#9 Edited by oraknabo (1426 posts) -

I always keep my main computer as a dual-boot system with Windows and Linux and an extra FAT partition to store stuff I want to access from both sides. My current setup is Win7/Manjaro Linux and I only ever boot into Windows for Steam & GOG games and a couple of emulators that work better in Windows. I can run most Dosbox and SCUMM games on linux too, to that actually covers a good number of GOG games.

I still have a laptop with Ubuntu, but I've already been hating Unity and they're moving to some kind of ad-support system with Amazon in the next release, so I'll probably be switching that one to Manjaro (XFCE) soon too.

Edit: If Valve really ever gets Steam and most of the games on it working on Linux, I will have very few reasons to keep Windows around.

#10 Posted by 9cupsoftea (652 posts) -

@oraknabo: I just googled valve and linux and it seems they're making a lot of headway. I had no idea they were porting steam to linux. If they pull it off it will probably change everything. It'll be like android for desktops with all the drivers and opengl enhancements they're working on.

#11 Posted by believer258 (11046 posts) -

@BlackLagoon said:

@believer258 said:

Yeah, you can get by just fine on a Ubuntu machine. Hell, if I could play all of my games on Ubuntu, or a different form of Linux, I would leave Windows behind. Not that I dislike Windows, I just really like Ubuntu.

It depends a bit what you want to play, but if you start messing with WINE, you'd be surprised what you can get up and running. Heck Windows 95/98-era games are sometimes easier to get running under WINE than they are on Windows Vista/7.

I know - but I still don't want to fiddle with it. I like using Ubuntu a whole lot but everything I need and want works on Windows natively, with little to no issues. I also don't want to play many Windows 95 or 98 era games.

#12 Posted by EXTomar (4125 posts) -

Modern distros support both a live and "side by side" installation. You can install Windows and Ubuntu easily where the only major pitfall left is that Windows never acknowledges other boot loaders let alone other operating systems. Depending on your hardware you can use Ubuntu off a USB drive while storing storing user data on your NTFS drive without interfering with Windows.