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Linux Migration, Step 1: Why Migrate to Linux?

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Are you a Windows user and visit Then you have some interest about Linux, am I right? This article is part of a series of articles about migration from Windows to Linux. In this first article, we will talk about how a Windows user can know more about Linux, and how can run a Linux Distribution without formatting your computer. And all this without pain! The information described here will be always easy to understand. A complete set of links will be included, to help you navigate and learn fast about Linux and how to become a Linux User.

I'll try to explain the principal Linux advantages that you, a Windows user, wants to know, too. The first think you need to put in your mind is: Linux its not only free (like in Freedom). Linux is really easy to use, have many beautiful graphics and interfaces, its compatible with most Windows programs and archives. And more important: Linux is intuitive, stable, and virtually virus-free!

First: Know More About the Main Linux Distributions

If you are a Windows user and have never used Linux, first you need to know more about this operational system. Actually, there are hundreds Linux distributions (almost 400!) active these days. Unlike Windows, there are many different of Linux available for you in the Internet. And for a new user it will be hard to choose one (or some) Linux distributions to use.

In general, you should test some (or all) of the most-used Linux distributions. Why? Because there are as many Linux distributions as ice cream flavors. And people can like more about one Linux distribution than others, also like ice cream! To help you start in this world, we suggest you to choose one of the six main Linux distributions. These are:

Ubuntu Official Logo
Ubuntu is a community developed, Linux-based operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers. It contains all the applications you need - a web browser, presentation, document and spreadsheet software, instant messaging and much more.

openSUSE Official Logo
openSUSE is a free and Linux-based operating system for your PC, Laptop or Server. You can surf the web, manage your e-mails and photos, do office work, play videos or music and have a lot of fun!

Linux Mint Official LogoLinux Mint is a Linux distribution based on (and compatible with) Ubuntu. Your design of the user interface is considerably beautiful and clean.
Fedora Linux Official Logo
Fedora is a Linux-based operating system that showcases the latest in free and open source software. Fedora is always free for anyone to use, modify, and distribute. It is built by people across the globe who work together as a community: the Fedora Project. The Fedora Project is open and anyone is welcome to join.

Debian Official Logo
Debian is a free operating system (OS) for your computer. An operating system is the set of basic programs and utilities that make your computer run. Debian uses the Linux kernel (the core of an operating system), but most of the basic OS tools come from the GNU project; hence the name GNU/Linux.

Mandriva Official Logo
Mandriva Linux is the best way to start using Linux. A full Linux operating system on a single CD for both new and experienced Linux users, it is fast to download and install, and also safe to try with a live mode. One is really the one CD you need!

Second: Use LiveCD Linux Distributions

In this stage, you will know more about the main Linux distributions by visiting their respective sites. But you haven't yet used any of then. So, now you need to download the LiveCD of these main Linux distributions to try them out. Most Linux distributions include a LiveCD system ready to use in the installation CD. A LiveCD is a CD that runs a complete Linux distribution only in your computer's RAM, not from the hard drive. This is the safest way to test Linux distributions without actually installing Linux or corrupting your current operation system and files. You can find LiveCDs (or installation CDs with LiveCDs built-in) in these links:

  • Ubuntu LiveCD (in Ubuntu, the LiveCD is built into the installation CD)
  • openSUSE LiveCD (you can choose your computer architecture when you download your LiveCD)
  • Mint LiveCD (in Linux Mint, the LiveCD is built into the installation CD)
  • Fedora LiveCD (the first link is the Fedora LiveCD)
  • Debian LiveCD (choose your architecture to download the appropriate LiveCD)
  • Mandriva LiveCD (in Mandriva, the LiveCD is built into the installation CD)

In these links you will download an ISO image file to your computer, which you can use to create a CD. Don't worry if you don't know how to burn an ISO image to a disk. It's easy!

Put an adequate blank CD or DVD (if you download an ISO CD image you need to put a blank CD, otherwise, put in a blank DVD) in your optical drive.

  1. Open your favorite CD/DVD burning program.
  2. Find in the CD/DVD program menu an command like "Burn a CD/DVD image" (if there is more than one related item, such as "Burn a CD image" and "burn a DVD image", choose the appropriate one).
  3. Burn your ISO image into the disk.

In the end, you will have a bootable Linux LiveCD disk. Now you only need configure your computer BIOS to boot from your CD/DVD, if it isn't doing so already.

  1. Put the bootable Linux LiveCD disk in your optical drive (and pay attention to the screen).
  2. In the boot of your Linux LiveCD, some itens will appear in your screen. Choose the one that represents the LiveCD.
  3. Your Linux LiveCD will start.

Third: How To Use Your Linux LiveCD

Now you can learn more about Linux from your LiveCD. We advise you to experiment with all desktop functions. You will see that Linux main menus are organized around areas/topics like "Multimedia," "Graphics," "Office," "System," and so on. Follow these menu command and try to use many of the programs found within.

There are many programs that could substitute for your Windows software:
  • You can use OpenOffice to create your text documents, your spreadsheets, your slides, and so on.
  • You can burn your CDs and DVDs using K3B (for KDE) or Brasero (for GNOME), create and burn images, music CDs or DVDs, and so on.
  • You can play your favorite tunes using Amarok, a very complete music player for Linux.
  • You can talk with your friends in GTalk, MSN, Yahoo! ICQ, Jabber, all in one interface, using Pidgin.
  • You can talk with your friends in MSN, like MSN with aMSN. This instant message its more stable and ad free than MSN and accepts webcams too.
  • You can see all your videos extensions or DVD movies in Totem (GNOME) or Kaffeine (KDE).
How to use all of this software will be explained in detail in the next article, when we will talk about how you can use Linux programs to accomplish what you do in Windows.


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  • critic Said:

    this is a retarded post. the title reads: "why migrate to linux", then never gives any reason why one would migrate to linux and instead goes on to tell them what most people already know (what are the distros/how to install them).

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