LINUX questions - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 7 Old Feb 11th, 2006, 6:45 pm Thread Starter
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Location: Vonore, TN, USA
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LINUX questions

I have a lap top that needs to have the OS reinstalled. I don't want to buy Windows XP.

I have read some of you use LINUX, my question is are there a lot of compatability problems. This laptop will be used for travel so it will mostly be used for downloading pictures from my camera, music storage, net surfing and e-mail..oh yea, mapsource for my GPS.

I read a artile in PC magazine explaining where to get the download, etc. If you use LINUX do you reccomend it.

Any help will be appreciated.

Airborne "Never Forget"
Vonore, TN

2003 LT-E "HLZ BNZ"
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post #2 of 7 Old Feb 11th, 2006, 9:10 pm
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You didn't mention the model of laptop you have. I highly recommend this site prior to diving into this one--

I usually run dual boot on my laptops since I often use them for work and there are some things that you just have to have linux for. If you have never run Linux, I would recommend you give Mandrake a try. It's been about a year since I installed it, but it is very user friendly and I found that it recognized most hardware without having to do anything special. I have used Linux for everything you mention except the GPS software. There is at least one "Windows Emulator" for Linux, WINE being the most popular and it may run the Windows version of Mapsource.

If you are unsure about how you will feel about Linux, I would suggest downloading Knoppix or a similar distributions of Linux. Knoppix will run from the CD and will give you most features including access to your local hard drive without installing anything. I often use Knoppix to repair broken Windows installs on PCs.

I am sure you can make it work for you, but it may be a test of your patience. Good luck and have fun with it. You will find tons of resources on the net--some good and some bad.

EDIT--I just did a quick Google since you made me curious and found that Mapsource doesn't play well with Wine, according to what I found quickly. If I find something different I will post again...

EDIT #2--Looks like you should be able to make it work, but you'll have to get pretty geeky...check out these resources:

Good luck!

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Last edited by the1mavin; Feb 11th, 2006 at 9:34 pm. Reason: More info...
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post #3 of 7 Old Feb 12th, 2006, 8:57 am
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Not quit as easy as you'd want.

I broke down and bought the package at Best Buy. You get (1)DVD, (5) CDs, documentation and tech support for, I think it was $59.99. You can down load it for free but I really wanted the tech support. The tech support by the way, is from Ireland and they do speak excellent English, better than the tech support from Indian, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka.

Like Tim sez, dual boot is an excellent way to go. Depends on the laptop you are wanting to run it on, might have some issues, nothing that can't be worked around. Once you get LINUX up and running, you'll be very impressed with it.

The software package is a whole lot of bang for your buck, way more than anything you get from microsoft and a bonus, it doesn't lock up or crash, no viruses.
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post #4 of 7 Old Feb 12th, 2006, 10:11 am
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Before I post anything let me caveat that I am equal opportunity hater of all operating systems. Linux, Windows, OSX, and all are bloated with features and resource grabbing programs. So....

Linux on a laptop will work, I currently have disks with SUSE, Fedora, and Mandrake for my Dell Inspiron 5100 laptop. Fedora doesn't support a lot of features. Mandrake is expensive if you want support, and SUSE is limited by it's developer community. Since I have my own mad scientist laboratory I install and run about 70 different operating systems (or versions) during any four months of the year. All Linux distributions have issues with certain parts of the ACPI (power controllers) of the newer hardware. Games can be an issue. OS support natively inside of Linux for all windows applications is possible with VMWare, but if you're going to do that why not just build it dual boot. Questions I would have is why? Why move away from Windows XP when it is finally getting close to be a workable operating system (Service Pack 2, Spyware protection, Virus Protection, etc..). If you're not an uber-geek that just builds or installs OS'es for fun using Linux on a laptop may not be a good idea. Then again I do it, and most of my students do it.

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post #5 of 7 Old Feb 12th, 2006, 10:41 am
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I don't want to speak for airborneod, but I hate paying Uncle Bill any more money than I have to.

Linux is good, no doubt, but it is far from being to all users what Windoze is. Wine works really well on Office type apps - not so good on others. By far the best Wine emulation type product I've used is REAL easy to install. But you still need to own the MS license.

As far as Linux for first timers, try, (based on RedHat, and is totally FREE), or I've been running Mandrake 10.0 for about a year and it works well. It found just about every piece of hardware I have plugged in. I just installed CentOS on an old Compaq Armada and it went smoothly, but it does not recognize my wireless PCMCIA card. It found the ethernet card just fine, though.

VMware is great, but there again you have to have a license for Windoze and actually I like it better than dual boot. I set it up to share the IP on my XP partition and it just so happened that last night as I was installing CentOS in the Linux virtual drive, I got a call from the office and had to VPN in to fix a problem. I jumped out and the install run in the background, VPN'd in to the office did what I needed to do using Cygwin, stayed VPN'd in and finished the Centos install. I then rebooted CentOS and low and behold opened a terminal window and was able to connect to the office through CentOS using my Windoze VPN connection. Pretty darn cool, I think.

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post #6 of 7 Old Feb 12th, 2006, 6:13 pm
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Check out LinSpire

Check out LinSpire at . It used to be known as Lindows.
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post #7 of 7 Old Feb 12th, 2006, 9:32 pm
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As one of the "Penguinista", all I can add is:

Don't expect any linux distro to be a Windows replacement. Anymore than you'd exepct an F-150 to be a replacement for a motorcycle. Sure - they're both vehicles, er OSes - that is. But they're different beasts for different reasons and purposes. Remember, linux never claimed, intended or wants to be a 'replacemnet' for MS Windows. It wants to be Linux - and it does a pretty good job of it. Many things it does even better than Windows does windows.

Either will do many things you want. For some, one or the other will do it . Which does which will depend on what you're using, what you're using it on and how you're doing it.

Linux in most any of it's distros is capable of doing what Aeromed wants. The only real question is can he get it to do it all. Many parts will simply work out of the box (off the disk) - the parts that don't - well, who's gonna make that work?

Aeromed - I'd suggest finding a local Linux user group - at the least, they should be able to assist you when you can't get it to do what you want.

I use linux for my purposes and so far - I've had no prob make'n it do whatever I want. Everything from desktop, games to hosting and server setups. I like it :up:


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