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Author Topic: Starting with Linux  (Read 1281 times)

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Offline ohlavache

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Starting with Linux
« on: April 06, 2021, 06:28:11 PM »
Hello all.
As indicated in the title, I am investigating the possibility to get a new PC which would run over Linux instead of Windows: less expansive and I hope less configuration to be done (no spy and so one).
Since it will be a family computer, I need something like MS Office. I'm thinking of Only Office which requires Ubuntu.
Then I have several (many? too many?) questions.

1. I can see that Ubuntu requires 4Go RAM!!! This sounds a lot. I thought that Linux was much less demanding than Windows... Is that normal? Should I go for an old version of Ubuntu less demanding?

2. How to install Ubuntu on a PC delivered without any OS?

3. I would need a SW to download and sort my pictures from a Canon camera. The pictures should be downloaded into folders: one folder per day named year_month_day. Then the SW should show the pictures sorted according to EXIF data.
So far, on Windows, I use CAM2PC which is very convenient.

4. When a SW is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems and that you own a 64-bit PC, should I always select the 64-bit version? Or can the 32-bit version be faster or less demanding in terms of RAM compared to the 64-bit one?

As I said, many questions.
Thanks for your help.

Offline Jim Easterbrook

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Re: Starting with Linux
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2021, 06:55:17 PM »
Since it will be a family computer, I need something like MS Office. I'm thinking of Only Office which requires Ubuntu.

Libre Office (descended from Open Office) is standard on all Linuxes that I know of. I use openSUSE for preference, but have Mint (an Ubuntu based system) on a notebook PC.

1. I can see that Ubuntu requires 4Go RAM!!! This sounds a lot. I thought that Linux was much less demanding than Windows... Is that normal? Should I go for an old version of Ubuntu less demanding?

4 GByte is pretty normal these days I'm afraid.

2. How to install Ubuntu on a PC delivered without any OS?

If it can boot from a USB stick then you can install from the USB stick.

3. I would need a SW to download and sort my pictures from a Canon camera. The pictures should be downloaded into folders: one folder per day named year_month_day. Then the SW should show the pictures sorted according to EXIF data.
So far, on Windows, I use CAM2PC which is very convenient.

There are various options for downloading and putting into folders out there. "Rapid Photo Downloader" (https://damonlynch.net/rapid/) is one I know of, "Photini" (https://photini.readthedocs.io/en/latest/manual/importer.html) is one I've written. Not sure about sorting within the folders by Exif date though.

4. When a SW is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems and that you own a 64-bit PC, should I always select the 64-bit version? Or can the 32-bit version be faster or less demanding in terms of RAM compared to the 64-bit one?
Always go with what's "native" to the machine, i.e. 64 bit software (when available) on a 64 bit machine.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2021, 06:58:35 PM by Jim Easterbrook »
Jim Easterbrook
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Offline AlexanderJesse

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Re: Starting with Linux
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2021, 07:23:21 PM »
- 4GB is much? I would never dare to install Win10 on less than 12GB... RAM is like coffee and garlic: there is no TOO MUCH

- Office as already mentioned: go for Libre Office (former OpenOffice), this is the best Office of them all. We used to fix broken MSOffice documents by opening them in LibreOffice

- On a RAM tight machine, the 32 bit version can indeed run better, because some of its memory allocation will result smaller. But that should be the exception. Best is to go for the hardware, so on a 64 bit machine (almost standard nowadays) use 64 bit sw

- On a machine with bootable USB you can use this, or if the hardware still has some of those "old-fashioned" DVD-drives, get a DVD for your preferred Linux-distribution
=================
have a disney day

Alexander

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Offline ohlavache

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Re: Starting with Linux
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2021, 05:35:21 PM »
Thank you for all your replies.
I will have a look.

With respect to Libre Office, when I tried it, it was not a huge success. My understanding is that Libre Office models documents in a very different way from Microsoft, leading to compatibility issues. Only Office uses a closer model.
The thing is that the .docx is the de facto standard.

Offline AlexanderJesse

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Re: Starting with Linux
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2021, 10:41:35 PM »
MS Word can read/write the LibreOffice format and vice versa.
=================
have a disney day

Alexander

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Offline Malc

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Re: Starting with Linux
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2021, 11:20:14 PM »
I tried Mint by booting of a memory stick. Seemed OK. I used Libre Office on a job once and had problems with the customer who was using MS Office. Apparently the formatting of the document did not transfer. This was some time ago, so maybe OK now.
The years have been good to me, it was the weekends that did the damage.

Online railsquid

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Re: Starting with Linux
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2021, 12:40:18 AM »
Compatibility between document formats is a perennial issue, even some Microsoft software can't cope with different versions of Microsoft formats...

In general, these days there seems to be good fundamental cross-compatibility between applications/formats, but the more complex the document, the greater the likelihood of issues, and "round tripping" documents between formats (e.g. editing in LibreOffice in .odt, then in MS Word in .docx, then in LibreOffice again) is probably going to be a source of pain. This link has some useful info:

https://ask.libreoffice.org/en/question/149777/current-compatibility-between-libreoffice-and-ms-office/

I have no experience with the mentioned OnlyOffice, though might try it out next time I need to mess around with office documents.

With respect to Libre Office, when I tried it, it was not a huge success. My understanding is that Libre Office models documents in a very different way from Microsoft, leading to compatibility issues. Only Office uses a closer model.
The thing is that the .docx is the de facto standard.

.docx is based on the nominally open but Microsoft-developed OOXML format which LibreOffice can deal with, but no doubt the devil is in the details.
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Online railsquid

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Re: Starting with Linux
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2021, 12:47:23 AM »
1. I can see that Ubuntu requires 4Go RAM!!! This sounds a lot. I thought that Linux was much less demanding than Windows... Is that normal? Should I go for an old version of Ubuntu less demanding?

As other have said, 4GB is not a lot these days. I have a laptop running Ubuntu with 8GB, which is enough, albeit feels a little on the tight side.

Do check for hardware compatibility, especially if you're installing on a laptop; in general Linux can work with most stuff "out of the box", but for example the fingerprint reader on my laptop is apparently not well supported (fortunately I don't need it).

2. How to install Ubuntu on a PC delivered without any OS?

Ubuntu can be installed by downloading a basic image onto a thumb drive etc., which will boot you far enough to do a network install.

Pick an Ubuntu LTS edition, that way you'll get updates for 5 instead of the usual 2 years.
Takahachikawa - Japanese and other trains

Birmingham Knotmore Street - fictitious Minories-esque terminus

Offline Tartaruga

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Re: Starting with Linux
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2021, 07:21:51 PM »
Have a look at distrowatch.com to find which would work best for you. It all depends on what you need it for.
There are plenty of small Linux distros that can be run off a USB stick if you want to dual boot and try rather than dive straight in.

I have an old HP 32bit laptop and I run Peppermint distro. I found out how to write it onto a usb stick and was fairly straightforward. They have a helpful forum which was good. I just use it mainly for browsing but I have downloaded LibreOffice and I use GIMP for image editing. You can also use the Microsoft packages online if you have an account.

It is nice not to have Windows but it does take some time to get used to a different way of working but the same would apply for a switch to Mac. I would say try and see.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2021, 07:23:46 PM by Tartaruga »

Offline maridunian

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Re: Starting with Linux
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2021, 08:11:21 PM »
For a system that doesn't look and feel like Linux (but is), try something like Neverware's 'Cloud Ready' which turns a PC into a Chromebook. From your Chrome browser you can run Google Docs (Word compatible), Sheets (Excel compatible), Slides (PowerPoint compatible) and save everything on your Google drive, so it's all safely stored and you can access these documents from other devices too. It's also free, and you can make yourself a boot USB stick to try it without altering your PC (very much - just need to permit USB boot).

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