ICEINSPACE
Most Read Articles
Moon Phase
CURRENT MOON Waxing Crescent
5.2%
The Sun Now
Time Zones
Sydney*
8:09 am
Perth
5:09 am
Auckland*
10:09 am
New York
4:09 pm
Paris
10:09 pm
GMT
9:09 pm




Go Back   IceInSpace > Equipment > Software and Computers

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #21  
Old 24-03-2017, 12:59 PM
AstralTraveller's Avatar
AstralTraveller (David)
Registered User

AstralTraveller is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Wollongong
Posts: 3,324
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjphilli View Post
Hi

I have always used a Windows operating system and am currently persevering (if you can call it that) with Win 10.
I notice through this thread that some have changed over to Linux.
How successful is Linux in running Windows software? Lots of info on the net but also a lot of ifs and buts.

Cheers Peter
Peter,

For most (all?) common tasks Linux has quite good alternatives to or versions of Windows programs (eg browsers, email, office, drawing, CAD, skype and some astro programs).

To run Windows programs under Linux I believe WINE is the way to go. I've used it for some simple apps but in general I don't like it. It's probably better than I give it credit for but I just haven't persisted.

I use a program called VirtualBox to run Windows 7 and find it quite successful. I don't know how later versions of Win work except that the Windows upgrade tool complained about working in a virtual machine; that was a while ago and I forget the details. At the moment I use Windows to run Occult and Occultwatcher (for asteroid occultation work) as they need .NET and my wife uses Word for Office when she is collaborating with someone on a document that has lots of formatting because the compatibility of Office and LibreOffice isn't perfect. What Windows programs are you concerned about?
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 24-03-2017, 05:08 PM
el_draco's Avatar
el_draco (Rom)
Politically incorrect.

el_draco is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Tasmania (South end)
Posts: 2,096
Wowser.... that's not funny on any level.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 24-03-2017, 07:18 PM
DarkArts
Professional Farnarkler

DarkArts is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Canberra ... I could go on
Posts: 131
WINE compatibility varies from program to program - "gold" rated (Edit: it seems there's Platinum grade now, too) programs are good and everything else has an issue (or more). You can check that out at the WINEHQ website (https://www.winehq.org).

WINE will mess with Linux's security architecture, though, and running windows programs in WINE opens up the possibility of Windows malware.

I prefer VirtualBox (but there's also KVM, VMware and others) to run Windows in a virtual machine. Programs run pretty fast (if you allocate enough CPUs and RAM) and you get the extremely valuable features that you can save the machine state, reset it, revert it, fork it, or clone it, plus with shared drives you can operate on files stored natively in Linux. One thing you don't get in a VM, though, is accelerated graphics, at least not with any stability.

I actually prefer most Linux programs to Windows variants, but there are some things I can't get on Linux (yet) like AutoStakkert2 for instance. Whereas I can and do use Libreoffice for all my home and personal document needs, I still occasionally proof a document in Word if I have to send it to a business where formatting is important ... sometimes there's a slight difference in font kerning or the size of a bullet point that will throw off tab alignment or pagination, though it's getting better. Libreoffice can open and save .doc and .docx files pretty well.

Updates and security on Linux are miles ahead of Windows. Miles! Though some distros are better than others.

What's a distro, I hear you ask? Very simply, Linux is a kernel (maintained by Linus Torvalds, a few other leading lights and many other talented teams and individual coders) plus a bunch of modules, libraries and utilities, and then a bundle of applications. The number of individual projects, small and large, contributing to Linux numbers in the thousands. It would be extremely difficult to collect ALL of them together. Plus, not all versions of programs are compatible with all kernels and libraries or even hardware. Take a project like Libreoffice - they code, check, compile and test in a handful of environments, then they make the source code available for anyone to use (and that particular project also makes binary executables available if you want to go that way).

A distro is a collection of software (including at least one kernel version and at least a minimum set of everything else) that is put together by a team, tested and distributed/released. Examples are Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, Mint, Arch, Gentoo, Mandriva, Bohdi, etc. etc. etc. There are a LOT of distros and different "spins" of those distros, and upgrades, and third party add-ons, and ... Using the Libreoffice example, the distro maintainers will take the source code and compile it against the libraries they've selected then test it with their kernel version(s). They'll do the same for hundreds of applications and utilities and, usually, several kernel versions. If they pick libraries and a kernel that are too old, newer apps might refuse to compile or load. If they pick libraries that are too new, older applications might break. It's a balancing act. They also make decisions about how well maintained and/or secure an application might be and whether it's the best fit for they're distro. When they've compiled and tested the lot, they'll put the main selection together in downloadable form (e.g. an ISO) and may (probably will) have some other less popular apps in online repositories (repos) that you can install from. Those repos are how you get updates as well. And you can add third party repos as well, if you want more apps, but then you'll need to be careful managing some compatibility yourself. (Most distros use install/update tools with automated dependency checking, so much of the work is done for you). I've had up to 9 add-on repos active but that did take a bit of juggling. Mostly you'll have one or two repos that are automatically set up during distro installation and maybe one third party add-on (like VirtualBox).

Good repo management (which is the default and to be expected in Linux) means all your updates are seamless - you'll get a pop-up/indicator that updates are available, and you click (and optionally enter a password) and they download and install ... about 20 times faster than Windows and usually with no re-booting. There'll be a reboot required if you update the kernel but some enterprise-grade Linux distros have even got around that problem with "live-splicing" of running kernels. I'm hoping those features will trickle down to regular distros in due course.

Some distros are better maintained than others. When it comes time to choose one, include in your assessment the frequency and quality of updates (and the pre-release testing). Sticking with free (as in beer) software, if you want "bleeding edge" and the latest versions, you might go with Fedora. If you want stability, maybe Debian (stable) or CentOS. A nice desktop and the closest to "works out of the box" might be Mint. The most customisable might be Gentoo. Of course, there'll be a million alternative opinions on that . "Spins" are based on a distro with a different collection of applications, often specialised for a purpose, like gaming, video editing, software development and so on. You can still customise further, but most of the work is done for you by the spin creator.

Another thing to get used to is choice of desktop environment (and the vast array of add-ons and theming possible). There are at least 7 major desktops I know of, and I've used 5 or so at one time or another. Windows only has the one desktop, so it's an alien concept for most people. My favourite is Cinnamon, but MATE, KDE and XFCE are pretty good, IMHO. Gnome Shell and Unity are popular but not on my personal favourites list. Some distros only offer one default desktop, but you can (almost) always install an alternative desktop manually - it'll be in their repo somewhere. Some distros offer a choice of desktop at download or at install time. From memory, Fedora and Ubuntu have the most desktops to choose from (that are in the default repos or in the ISO).

I changed to Linux a decade a go. Sure, there was a learning curve - though it's far less steep these days - but it was absolutely worth it and I've NEVER regretted making the change. I can liken escaping Windows to getting out of a bad marriage. Is it hard at first? Maybe, probably. Is it worth it? Too bloody right it is!

Linux is not perfect, but I absolutely love it.

Oh, and by the way, do you know where you'll find Linux? Well, about half the world's data centres and internet infrastructure, most embedded devices, about 95% of the world's supercomputers, autonomous vehicles, the military, the NSA, the ISS, and on about 2% of (the world's smartest people's) desktops.

Last edited by DarkArts; 25-03-2017 at 06:19 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 24-03-2017, 07:28 PM
leon's Avatar
leon
Registered User

leon is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: ballarat
Posts: 10,098
Rick, if it is doing the job you want don't install anything, it will wreck it.

Leon
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 24-03-2017, 08:31 PM
Tandum's Avatar
Tandum (Robin)
Registered User

Tandum is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Carindale, Brisbane.
Posts: 4,087
Phil, it has the old school win7 backup in control panel. You could have made an image there.

Even more insidious. My machine had been auto updated to win 10 and all was great. I scored a faster empty box so put win 10 in it but MYOB wouldn't install, registry access denied. That same version of MYOB was still running on my original box. The original box was an upgrade. Running Win7 on the faster box thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 24-03-2017, 08:36 PM
Tandum's Avatar
Tandum (Robin)
Registered User

Tandum is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Carindale, Brisbane.
Posts: 4,087
Quote:
Originally Posted by doppler View Post
My windows 7 (installed in 2011) is still running like a fresh install, but I did turn off auto updates on everything. Updates seemed to stuff up lots of things on my previous computer and slow it down each time as well.
What's your IP ?
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 24-03-2017, 08:42 PM
doppler's Avatar
doppler (Rick)
Registered User

doppler is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Mackay
Posts: 1,082
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tandum View Post
What's your IP ?
It varies on what country I pick with my VPN ?
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 24-03-2017, 09:25 PM
Tandum's Avatar
Tandum (Robin)
Registered User

Tandum is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Carindale, Brisbane.
Posts: 4,087
No it doesn't. Even more cause for alarm
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 25-03-2017, 01:12 PM
acropolite's Avatar
acropolite (Phil)
Registered User

acropolite is online now
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Launceston Tasmania
Posts: 8,932
Quote:
Phil, it has the old school win7 backup in control panel. You could have made an image there.
I do have a backup on stick, haven't tried to reload it yet as I had no mechanism to restore the OS without a bootable W10 installation.

The recovery partition was still intact, win10 had basically stuffed it's own partition and boot files by fixing errors that weren't there. I reloaded w8 from the recovery partition and reloaded W10 in a fraction of the time that I had spent on trying to recover the w10 installation.

Nothing I tried would bring the OS back to life, as I said, all the user directories and files had been cross linked and renamed as .chk files. The laptop is now back and running all I have to do is reload my applications, everything important I had backups of...
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 25-03-2017, 04:53 PM
pjphilli (Peter)
Registered User

pjphilli is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Thornleigh Sydney
Posts: 522
Thanks David and DarkArts - You have given me lots to think about.
I will play around with Linux on my spare PC and get to know its possibilities.
Cheers Peter
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 25-03-2017, 06:34 PM
DarkArts
Professional Farnarkler

DarkArts is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Canberra ... I could go on
Posts: 131
No worries. I added a bit more for you to read (above).

Just for completeness, if you're a serious gamer, you'll still probably want Windows. But don't worry, you can have both. How? Dual boot!
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 26-03-2017, 09:20 AM
lazjen's Avatar
lazjen (Chris)
PI cult member

lazjen is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 1,378
Just to add to the Linux stuff:

Ubuntu or distros like it are quite well supported by many of the astro applications around, probably better than the Fedora variants. Personally I use neither (Gentoo), but that's because I generally know what I'm doing (or fake it good enough ).

For the desktop, I've gone through a number of choices over the years - I've now settled on KDE/plasma as it seems to be well supported and has a clean interface (to me).

An easy way to dual boot and avoid a lot of issues with Windows or EFI, etc, is to put the OSes on separate hard disks and just use the BIOS bootloader to switch as required. Often there's an F-key to bring up boot choices, so you can default to one of them for most use, then just select when you want to switch over.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 26-03-2017, 02:47 PM
Tandum's Avatar
Tandum (Robin)
Registered User

Tandum is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Carindale, Brisbane.
Posts: 4,087
Quote:
Originally Posted by acropolite View Post
I do have a backup on stick, haven't tried to reload it yet as I had no mechanism to restore the OS without a bootable W10 installation.
You need to Create a System Repair Disk to restore an image.
There is an option to do that in the Win7 backup/restore widget in control panel.
Boot from the disk and restore from the image.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 26-03-2017, 05:57 PM
skysurfer's Avatar
skysurfer
Dark sky rules !

skysurfer is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: 52N 6E (EU)
Posts: 679
Windows 10 had the weird behavior that it updates the OS without warning. And then is costs an hour to 'Preparing Windows...'.
Luckily I run Win10 only in a VirtualBox VM on both my Macbook Pro and a Ubuntu 16.04 computer, so I don't have to wait.
I only use Win10 for running Deepskystacker and for my work (customers use Windows).
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time is now 07:09 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.7 | Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertisement
Bintel
Advertisement
OzScopes Authorised Dealer
Advertisement
Lunatico Astronomical
Advertisement
SkyWatcher Star Discovery
Advertisement
Atik 16200
Advertisement
FLI Cameras and Imaging Accessories
Advertisement
NexDome Observatories
Advertisement
Tasco Australia
Advertisement
Meade Instruments
Advertisement
Astronomy and Electronics Centre
Advertisement