Upgrade: Win 8 or Linux

Started Sep 16, 2012 | Discussions
plantdoc Veteran Member • Posts: 3,085
Upgrade: Win 8 or Linux

I have 3 pc's running XP and its support days are running out. Dell

Xps system with dual core processor, notebook with dual AMD and netbook. Is Win 8 feasible or Linux a better choice for maintaining at least basic functions

Greg

Jen Yates Senior Member • Posts: 1,414
Re: Upgrade: Win 8 or Linux

If they run XP they will likely as not run win 8 just as well if not better.

Modern apps though....

Deleted1929 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,050
Re: Upgrade: Win 8 or Linux

Windows 7 is going to be supported for many years. I think they recently extended the support dates ( in response to a general dislike of Windows 8, I think ).

Linux. I run Linux on desktops and laptops but be aware that you can't run a lot of MS Windows software and you should identify suitable software replacements for Linux before you switch.

Some MS Windows software can be run under Wine, but not Adobe stuff ).

For the record I'm currently using :

  • Linux Mint 13 with the Mate desktop

  • Firefox 15 (browser) and Thunderbird 15 (email)

For editing :

  • GIMP

  • RawTherapee

  • DarkTable

Sundry :

  • Libre Office

  • VLC ( video viewing )

  • Banshee ( music )

  • Luminance HDR

  • Hugin

  • Gnumeric

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StephenG

Quoth Regular Member • Posts: 446
Wine

CS2, CS5 and others run just fine under wine, Lightroom is a problem though.

Deleted1929 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,050
Re: Wine

Note that to get Wine to run some of these applications requires considerable effort, and simply trying to install the software in the normal manner often fails.

Go to http://www.winehq.org and use the AppDb link to see what I mean.

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StephenG

(unknown member) Forum Pro • Posts: 14,338
Re: Upgrade: Win 8 or Linux

Jen Yates wrote:

If they run XP they will likely as not run win 8 just as well if not better.

I doubt it. It depends how much RAM these systems have, and to a lesser extent what type of CPU.

If those XP systems have just 2GB of RAM, I can't see them running Win 8 very well. However, 2GB would be sufficient for a Linux system with a lightweight desktop like Xfce.

OP plantdoc Veteran Member • Posts: 3,085
Re: Upgrade: Win 8 or Linux

Due to the age of these systems; I don't want to put much money or time into reworking old but very good condition hardware. If I could use them as Internet access with some basic office work I would be happy. The Dell netbook is the most limited. I have a new system for lightroom etc. What version of Linux would be suitable? Thanks

Greg

Deleted1929 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,050
Re: Upgrade: Win 8 or Linux

At the moment I think Linux Mint offers the least bother for new Linux users.

http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

If your hardware is a little light on processing power then try the version using XFCE as a desktop. If not use the Mate version ( bottom and top of that download list respectively ).

Here's a brief article discussing the main contenders in the Linux world.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/246826/as_2012_dawns_mint_leads_the_list_of_top_linux_distros.html

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StephenG

CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 12,531
Windows 8 hardware requirements

I was surprised at the low numbers in Microsoft's recommended system requirements, however it might be if you don't plan to run any applications.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/faq

Mimimum: CPU 1 GHz or faster, 1GB memory and 16GB disk for 32-bit, 2GB memory and 20 GB disk for 64-bit, graphics card for Microsoft DirectX 9 with WDDM driver.

Recommended: touch screen, internet connection.

P.S. Touch screen for a desktop monitor is kinda dumb.

P.P.S. Can't disagree with the recommendation of Linux Mint. It is pretty easy to learn after Windows - very little muscle memory needs retraining. On the plus side, you get multiple desktops.

rm2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,348
Re: Upgrade: Win 8 or Linux

malch wrote:

Jen Yates wrote:

If they run XP they will likely as not run win 8 just as well if not better.

I doubt it. It depends how much RAM these systems have, and to a lesser extent what type of CPU.

If those XP systems have just 2GB of RAM, I can't see them running Win 8 very well. However, 2GB would be sufficient for a Linux system with a lightweight desktop like Xfce.

2GB is more than enough to run full fledge KDE.

rm2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,348
Re: Upgrade: Win 8 or Linux

sjgcit wrote:

At the moment I think Linux Mint offers the least bother for new Linux users.

http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

I venture to say that PCLinuxOS is even less bother than Mint for new users. PCLinuxOS comes in many flavors. Their KDE version has always been a standout and is the one I recommend you try first.

http://www.pclinuxos.com/

If your hardware is a little light on processing power then try the version using XFCE as a desktop. If not use the Mate version ( bottom and top of that download list respectively ).

The latest KDE versions are very gentle in resource usage and responsiveness. An important factor is the graphics card. If the card is not very capable, just stay away from fancy desktop effects and KDE will do just fine.

Here's a brief article discussing the main contenders in the Linux world.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/246826/as_2012_dawns_mint_leads_the_list_of_top_linux_distros.html

That article is old. OpenSuse 12.2 is in my opinion the top notch distro at the moment. But, I say try a few and decide. Here is a nice realistic review of OpenSuse 12.2.

http://www.muktware.com/4281/opensuse-122-kde-review-fast-furious

joey_B
joey_B Veteran Member • Posts: 3,080
Re: Upgrade: Win 8 or Linux

If you are new to linux, you will need good support. Depending on the distro you choose, there is more or less available online.

Ubuntu is the biggest player on the market, and has the best online resources. Mint is a spinoff of Ubuntu, so most Ubuntu tutorials and knowledge articles should help you deal with it.

Notice that Ubuntu comes in an XFCE flavour also, it's called Xubuntu. On old hardware that is my personal choice althought Mint with XFCE desktop will probably act just the same.

Keep in mind that choosing a distro is a choice for a player on the linux market, and not so much a choice of the specific desktop environment or tools that come with these distro's. The first question you will have to answer is 'how much support do I need running Linux'. After that comes 'what kind of environment do I want to run', and after that 'what kind of programs do I want'.

CSMR Contributing Member • Posts: 631
Re: Upgrade: Win 8 or Linux

Win7 or if you are adventurous Win8.

However if you are on XP you are probably using very old systems (5years+) which need upgrading.

One option is to use Win8 to consolidate on fewer systems: for example, consolidate everything into a convertible tablet.

plantdoc wrote:

I have 3 pc's running XP and its support days are running out. Dell

Xps system with dual core processor, notebook with dual AMD and netbook. Is Win 8 feasible or Linux a better choice for maintaining at least basic functions

Greg

joey_B
joey_B Veteran Member • Posts: 3,080
Re: Upgrade: Win 8 or Linux

ow, and for the netbook I would suggest looking for a distro specifically designed for that. If you google EeeBuntu or Aurora you should find some info.

And one, non-mentioned, benefit for Linux, it is totally free. How much would you have to spend on 3 windows 7 lincenses?

joey_B
joey_B Veteran Member • Posts: 3,080
Re: Upgrade: Win 8 or Linux

CSMR wrote:

However if you are on XP you are probably using very old systems (5years+) which need upgrading.

One option is to use Win8 to consolidate on fewer systems: for example, consolidate everything into a convertible tablet.

The OP already told that he didn't want to go there...

Deleted1929 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,050
Re: Windows 8 hardware requirements

My experience over the years is that Microsoft's "minimum requirements" seem to have meant little more than "installs and is barely functional", rather than practically usable.

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StephenG

joey_B
joey_B Veteran Member • Posts: 3,080
Re: Windows 8 hardware requirements

sjgcit wrote:

My experience over the years is that Microsoft's "minimum requirements" seem to have meant little more than "installs and is barely functional", rather than practically usable.

+1

Pictus
Pictus Veteran Member • Posts: 6,314
Re: Upgrade: Win 8 or Linux - Try SolusOS
Jim Cockfield Forum Pro • Posts: 16,338
Or, a "full blown" KDE desktop ;-)

malch wrote:

Jen Yates wrote:

If they run XP they will likely as not run win 8 just as well if not better.

I doubt it. It depends how much RAM these systems have, and to a lesser extent what type of CPU.

If those XP systems have just 2GB of RAM, I can't see them running Win 8 very well. However, 2GB would be sufficient for a Linux system with a lightweight desktop like Xfce.

My wife's Dell Inspiron 1720 with an Intel Dual Core CPU and only 1GB of memory has no issues running distros with KDE desktops. I've got Mepis 11 on it right now, but it runs newer distros like Kubuntu 12.04 just fine (as I've tested it on that laptop and frankly, it's even "snappier" than Mepis 11, which is using an older KDE release).

I think most users underestimate just how lean and mean some of the newer KDE releases are on most hardware, with a very full featured desktop that can be more "comfortable" for users that have been using Windows for the most part.

Heck, here's an old post showing Kubuntu 12.04 running in a Virtual Machine setup for only 512MB of memory. Basically, just for giggles, I just changed the Virtual Machine settings for the Kubuntu 12.04 install I have in VirtualBox (running from an actual installation to a Virtual Hard Drive, not from a Live session using the .iso image), setting it so that the VM only has 512MB to work with (and it's got a 1GB Swap Partition created during the installation to help out).

With LibreOffice 3.5.3, Gimp 2.8 and Firefox 12 loaded running 8 tabs, including one playing a flash video from youtube.com at the same time, it's only using about 310MB of the 512MB of memory I allocated to the Virtual Machine. It's using around 200MB of the swap partition space, but performance is still fine that way.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1004&message=41737961

You'll find more screen captures in this thread (showing some of the "tweaks" I typically make to KDE based distros, including installing the "Elegance" theme and installing a different menu launcher:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1004&message=41502125

Note that Kubuntu also has an available low-fat-settings package that makes it even leaner for use on older hardware (disabling some of the features that eat up CPU and memory). But, if you've got a modern machine with 1GB or more of memory, just installing it using the defaults work fine, with no need to use the low-fat-settings package in the repos.

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JimC

EliseLeveque New Member • Posts: 2
Re: Upgrade: Win 8 or Linux

I had Windows 8 Preview installed on my machine, and despite the claims that the world ends with Windows 8 new interface (which used to be called Metro), it is totally feasible to use Windows 8.

The question is whether the new interface will annoy you enough to make you want to throw the computer out the window or not (no pun intended).

Basically to me Windows 8 looks like a tablet interface stuck on top of Windows 7. It can run everything and you can swap in between the "metro" interface (which is just a code name btw) and the Windows desktop you have seen all the way back from Windows 3.1 up to now.

So to answer your question: it's probably easier to swap from Windows XP to Windows 8 than it is to swap to Linux, however I'd try Windows 8 Preview on one of your machines (you can just partition your hard drive and perform an install to see how it works) and see if it is for you.

I don't know if you have used Linux before, but if you haven't Windows 8 might be the easiest thing. If you have, well, it's free, you might as well hop onto that wagon.

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