Changing from WinXP to Linux OS

By fleztek ·
Hi, hope someone can shed some light on this subject for me. I am PC & Win XP literate but NOT an IT Pro.

1) I have tried, UNsuccessfully to move from XP to Ubuntu 10.4 & 10.7. I like the way Ubuntu installs and runs, also the way it performs - half the HDD space and RAM of XP. However....

2) I could not get my Huawei E160x USB Wireless Modem to work in Ubuntu. Despite the modem being one of the most common in teh world, neither Huawei or my ISP could supply me with drivers.

3) A couple of Linux forums suggested I should run something called a ndrs (?) app that embeds the Win driver in a Linux Driver. Anyway, NO go, and no further support from Linux.

4) On another Tech Republic forum, somone suggested I use something called "Wine" which supposedly comes with Linux Distros - and which I cannot find in my Ubuntu Distros.

5)I looked up Wine on Linux forums, and it looks like it might be what I need, however, getting further detail from Linux forums has been almlost fruitless for me, and even where there has been feedback, I have been unable to follow it.

eg - can anyone tell me if Wine will enable me to run my major Win-based Progs & Apps....?

Adobe Audition 1.5 ?
Adobe Photoshop 6 ?
Huawei E160x USB Wireless modem?
Sony PMB for Photos & Videocam ?
Camedia Master- Olympus Digital Cameras?
Canon LBP3000 Laser Printer?
Epson Stylus Photo R290 inkjet printer?
Apple Quicktime?

6) I am a disabled war veteran and run a Small Enterprise without the IT support of larger businesses. Living in a rural area means local IT support is limited.

7) I am thinking seriously about purchasing a Linux OS with Support Package
included. Can anyone recommend a Linux Distro that might be able to do what I need? Mainly, I work in Open Office 3.2, and the programs listed @ para (5).

My PC runs a Dual Core AMD 64 bit Athlon 5000 Ghz processor, with 4 Gb RAM and an ATI Radeon 5600 Graphics card - 1 Gb RAM. Currently running XP Pro 32bit.
Ideally, would like an OS to take advantage of the 64bit AMD chip.

Hoping you can point me in the right direction, and particularly like to hear from folks who have experience here.

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All Answers

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Here is how I do it...

by dldorrance In reply to Changing from WinXP to Li ...

I am also a relatively new Linux user who started out with Ubuntu. As to your questions:

2. The wireless modem. There is a problem with Ubuntu regarding some wireless hardware. The drivers don't work reliably. I strongly suggest you download Mint Linux, which is based on Ubuntu and in addition has added some drivers that make it work better. With Ubuntu my wireless drivers didn't work though this is not universal, probably because there are several makers of wireless chips; with Mint Linux they are recognized and setup automatically.

3. The WINE issue. WINE is a linux program that can execute a short list Windows programs. I use a virtual machine program which runs in Linux and XP is loaded onto it so that I can run Windows programs not available for Linux, or programs which frankly work better in Windows. For instance, I can't get Linux to sync my aging Palm Zire PDA. Palm's software is written for Windows and works fine in the virtual machine. Example 2: I use a program called ePocrates on my Palm which is a bulletized version of the Physicians Desk Reference (gives info on medications for physicians). The program is updated regularly and requires custom software from which runs only on Windows and Apple machines. So I run the program in the virtual machine in XP. You may switch between the Ubuntu and the virtual machine, as both run simultaneously and you can share files across platforms on the fly. A number of the programs you listed will probably not run in WINE. For information on installing a virtual machine see this concurrent TechRepublic post;CR54

As for your last question you already have my answer. Switch to Mint Linux. Mint 9 runs on top of Ubuntu 10.04; Mint 10 runs on top of Ubuntu 10.10. Download Mint here

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Second, I highly recommend Mint or Mandriva

by Slayer_ In reply to Here is how I do it...

Both are proper new user Distros.

When you run Mint for the first time, if any hardware can be improved by closed source software, after your initial bootup, a message will appear on your screen saying their are non free drivers available.

Click the "Menu" and in the search box, type drivers. It will change the menu list to show "Additional Drivers". Click this and it will search and display any non free drivers you can install.

If this does not solve your wireless problem, there is a program called ndiswrapper which basically can read Windows wireless drivers. If you can find yourself a Windows INF (And accompanying DLL's) you can use nDisWrapper. Most Windows drivers are available of the makers website. These are often wrapped up into archives that you can extract and grab the required files from. Alternatively you can run the drivers install package and it will run under Wine (if Wine is not installed, click Menu, type "Wine" in the search box and from the list, click "Install Wine", but this requires an internet connection). Once the drivers are installed, Select ndiswrapper and mount it to the fake C drive and find that INF file.

If Mint or Mandriva doesn't immediately solve your driver problems, let us know.

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Linux mint

by Tyharo In reply to Changing from WinXP to Li ...

I would recommend using Linux Mint over ubuntu, it comes with alot more, including java and many other things, it has the same look and feel,and a software center where you can download and install wine without even opening a internet browser.

I Use Linux Mint on a laptop and I preferably like it more than Ubuntu which i have on a different laptop.
The software center is easy to navigate and finding wine is as easy as typing it in in the search box. Wine is great to have on any linux.

If i may recommend one other thing.
Virtual Machines
you would be able to run XP as usual and also be able to run linux or any operating system with in a window, without having to reboot,format,or even dual boot.
Its a little complicated at first but once you figure out how to use it , its easy.
if you are going to try a virtual machine program I would recommend Virtual Box,its free and user friendly.

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A few pointers.

by hkphooey In reply to Changing from WinXP to Li ...

I'm not going to pretend that I can answer all your questions here, but I can offer some general advice.

First of all, this probably isn't the best place to ask these questions. The Ubuntu forums would give you a much better response. Also, you should probably break your questions down into smaller chunks.

That having been said ...

USB Dongle. I've got another Huawei dongle (1552 I think) to work on Ubuntu. The later versions (ie 10.10) are likely to have more success as they have updated drivers. The problem is that they are dual mode: when they are initially plugged in they behave as a flash drive rather than as a modem. Once you get them to behave properly, a wizard pops up and sets all your settings in Network Manager, and all you have to do is select the connection from Network Manager. So its worth persevering with this, and you don't need any Windows software or wine to get this bit working.

To install wine, just try
sudo apt-get install wine
This will add a section to your menu bar. However this doesn't guarantee that all your applications will work.

There is a database detailing how well applications work with wine here: For example Photoshop 7 works perfectly. 6 works OK, but there are a couple of issues. etc.

However, if you are willing to put in some effort to learning some new software, Gimp, which comes with Ubuntu, will do almost everything Photoshop can do, once you get to grips with it.

Likewise, there are equivalents to Audition: rosegarden, ardour, LMMS. Getting these to work can be tricky however (jackd, say no more), but you may be lucky with that.

Printers will generally work OK. Canon don't provide much support though and HP are a much better bet. But usually you just have to plug it in and it will work - often a lot simpler than windows where you have to install 200Mb driver packages.

I'm not familiar with Sony PMB, or what you use it for, but if its just for cataloging images, then I'm sure you can find something in Ubuntu Software Center.

Quicktime -- should be no problem. You just have to install the right browser plugin. This will probably do the trick:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

64 bit ... I guess you'd just have to install the 64 bit version of Ubuntu. However as you have less than 4Gb of RAM, and as the 32 bit version will run fine on your computer, I don't think you'll notice a lot of difference.

So my main message is ... persevere. It will be a bit of work initially, but its worth it in the long haul.

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