Switching From Windows To Linux In 3 Easy Steps
In my ongoing quest to take over the world with Linux as my OS of choice, I've noticed that simply handing someone an install CD doesn't really do the trick. I've also noticed that formatting their Windows 95 install with a fresh version of Linux tends to make angry faces as well. The more tech savvy the user is, the more resistant to change they tend to be. As with most worthwhile endeavors, it takes time and patience for a person to learn to love Linux.
The problem is that hating Windows isn't enough. Most people hate Windows, but feel trapped into using it. That's where my 3 step approach comes in.
Step 1: Open Source Windows Apps
It's painless for a person to try open source applications in Windows. The beauty is that open source apps speak for themselves, and tend to work amazingly well, "selling" themselves without much convincing required. Some prime examples of open source inroads:
- Firefox: Lots of folks are already using this one
- OpenOffice: If you haven't tried a recent version -- holy cow is OpenOffice getting awesome
- Abiword: Just a word processor, and sometimes that all a person really needs
- VLC: It's just like Windows Media Player, except it actually plays videos and stuff. ;o)
- Pidgin: Awesome instant messaging app
- Stellarium: Planetarium on your desktop
- Songbird: It's new and a little buggy, but a cross platform iTunes replacement
There are also many other programs that are cross platform, and if not open source, at least free. Off the top of my head, there's Skype, OpenArena, SuperTux, Frozen Bubble, Blender, Thunderbird, Inkscape, Audacity... Feel free to leave more ideas in the comment section.
Anyway, the idea is to get people hooked on software that is both awesome, and available in Linux. Again, all this free software speaks for itself, so getting people to try something that is free and doesn't disrupt their computer is pretty easy. That leads us to step two.
Step 2: Dual Boot
Almost every distribution has pretty painless dual-booting installers. In the case of Ubuntu, the Wubi program allows for a really slick "no partition" method for installing Linux. My advice here is not to give 'em a CD and run. Walk through the process, get the familiar programs running, and show them how cool and shiny Linux can be. The interface change might be scary -- but their trusty applications will all be there to ease the pain. This is a great time to show off a few applications that are either Linux-only, or that work better under Linux. A few examples might be:
- The Gimp: This really depends on the user, it might be too intimidating
- Frozen Bubble: Yes, it works under Windows, but not as nicely as under Linux
- Compiz: It's like Aero, but actually cool.
The types of Linux-specific things you show off will largely depend on the user. If gaming is important to the user, there are lots of really cool open source games. Even 3D games are widely available. (Run a search on the Linux Journal website, and you'll find countless articles regarding Linux gaming -- even a few I've written myself)
With the safety net of rebooting into Windows, users are usually much more willing to play with Linux. Eventually, the user might get to the last step.
Step 3: Out The Window With Windows
Some people never get to this step. I guess that's OK. Ultimately, as Linux supporters, we're very much concerned with choice. If a person chooses to keep both Linux and Windows, well, that is certainly their right to do so. At the end of the day, I'd much rather have a person love Linux, and still have a Windows partition than to abandon Linux altogether due to a fear of being Windows-less.
BONUS TIP: If you are a computer user that works on several different computers throughout the day, you most likely already solved problems like roaming email, roaming bookmarks, and remote document retrieval. If you can teach your potential convert the beauty of web-based email, and the joy of a Firefox extension like "foxmarks" -- it will make the back and forth period of conversion much easier.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide