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HTPC - Linux Chat > Linux migration for Windows XP refugees 101
bobafetthotmail's Avatar bobafetthotmail 08:39 AM 05-24-2014
Quote:

One good thing about Zorin is that you can upgrade it just like Ubuntu, from what it is based on. You can't do that with Linux Mint.

As long as you are not using Mint Cinnamon and you are not using really complex setups, you can upgrade just fine in Mint from command line. (It's Cinnamon desktop environment that always breaks)

But choosing the LTS and then reinstalling after 5 years remains the best option for a standard user.

 

Mint XFCE is my favourite. Stable and fast.

 

Mint also has the Mint Debian version that keeps updating every 3 months or so with large "Update Packs" (and provide a list of things to tweak before updating to avoid issues), while a few select apps (browsers and Thunderbird at least) are kept always up-to-date as norma.

 

There is a windows-like (actually better functionality and customizability, but looks similar) start menu for XFCE that is called Wisker menu, it can be added to any distro with XFCE.

 

Quote:
She had never even used a computer before I gave her the WinXP laptop, but she caught the Windows virus real fast!

Average users learn around 10 procedures to do their limited needs. Looks are irrelevant, if they cannot use the same identical click click click procedure they will complain it's not the same (and they would be right).

 

Although the "this is better and safer, and won't run out of time like XP" line tends to help convince them that relearning their routines isn't so bad.



waterhead's Avatar waterhead 08:45 AM 05-24-2014
I currently am trying to install Xubuntu on my laptop. After the install it boots into a kernel panic, saying something about an error with the init file.

I downloaded it via **********, so maybe it is corrupt. I am now downloading the iso directly to see if it installs any better.
waterhead's Avatar waterhead 09:22 AM 05-24-2014
The "BT" word is not offense. It is not always used illegally. Legitimate uses include downloading free and open source programs like Linux.

How rude of these forums to behave in such a manner.
bobafetthotmail's Avatar bobafetthotmail 02:24 PM 05-24-2014
Quote:
I downloaded it via **********, so maybe it is corrupt.

Always check the MD5 hash of the file.

If you used BT program, before using the file you should stop download, right click on the entry and select Force Recheck. The program usually checks the file for integrity automatically, but not always it finds all issues.

 

 

what is the laptop? new devices are less supported in linux (for a while)


sysadmin's Avatar sysadmin 03:32 PM 05-24-2014
I've had issues loading *buntu on laptops before. Once it tried to install grub on the memory card device even though everything else went to sda. Weird, and I just went with openSUSE on that one. openSUSE's installer gives you much more control of that.
waterhead's Avatar waterhead 04:22 PM 05-24-2014
I had Linux Mint on this before. And I think Ubuntu before that, so I know it runs Linux.

I also checked the SHA1SUM, and it was good. Don't know what the problem is.
Rgb's Avatar Rgb 04:30 PM 05-24-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobafetthotmail View Post

As long as you are not using Mint Cinnamon and you are not using really complex setups, you can upgrade just fine in Mint from command line. (It's Cinnamon desktop environment that always breaks)
But choosing the LTS and then reinstalling after 5 years remains the best option for a standard user.

Mint XFCE is my favourite. Stable and fast.

Mint also has the Mint Debian version that keeps updating every 3 months or so with large "Update Packs" (and provide a list of things to tweak before updating to avoid issues), while a few select apps (browsers and Thunderbird at least) are kept always up-to-date as norma.

There is a windows-like (actually better functionality and customizability, but looks similar) start menu for XFCE that is called Wisker menu, it can be added to any distro with XFCE.

Average users learn around 10 procedures to do their limited needs. Looks are irrelevant, if they cannot use the same identical click click click procedure they will complain it's not the same (and they would be right).

Although the "this is better and safer, and won't run out of time like XP" line tends to help convince them that relearning their routines isn't so bad.

Whisker menu is now included by default with both Mint XFCE and Xubuntu 14.04
http://gottcode.org/xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin/

re: rote procedure users

Remind them that moving to *anything* other than XP (which they MUST do) will result in changes to their familiar clicks.

But after they learn the XFCE or KDE way of doing things, they will be set forever, rather than at the whim of a commercial software company.
Rgb's Avatar Rgb 04:32 PM 05-24-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by waterhead View Post

I had Linux Mint on this before. And I think Ubuntu before that, so I know it runs Linux.

I also checked the SHA1SUM, and it was good. Don't know what the problem is.

As another test, you might want to try Xubuntu 13.10 and/or Mint 16 XFCE
http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

just to get familiar with/test XFCE on an Ubuntu compatible distro.

You could also try openSuse or Fedora XFCE, again, just to play with the desktop.

The quickest, easiest distro to try XFCE without installing would be Puppy X-precise
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=87717

Just boot the ISO on CD or stick
sysadmin's Avatar sysadmin 04:35 PM 05-24-2014
I'd try openSUSE.
waterhead's Avatar waterhead 05:06 PM 05-24-2014
I like openSUSE, as I have it installed on an Intel based tablet.

I am trying different versions of Ubuntu for my mother's upgrade. Ubuntu is very easy to work with.

I have to check again, but it may be trying to install grub on sda1. We all know that won't work. But, it will have to wait. I am working outside (mostly) putting in my vegetable garden. Because of the drought in California, vegetables will be very expensive this year.
bobafetthotmail's Avatar bobafetthotmail 01:25 AM 05-25-2014

I always keep a Mint installed inside a USB pendrive, with gparted, Grub Customizer and Boot Repair tools installed to fix issues that prevent a system from starting like botched Grub installs. I could theoretically also do most of the troubleshooting by hand with text commands in a terminal, but it's not fun.

 

grub customizer http://www.linuxbsdos.com/2013/12/14/grub-customizer-4-released-install-it-on-ubuntu-13-10-and-linux-mint-16/

boot repair https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot-Repair

 

Quote:
I had Linux Mint on this before. And I think Ubuntu before that, so I know it runs Linux.

Lately they (linux kernel in most distros) dropped support for plain 32-bit processors without PAE. A lot of relatively older laptops don't have processors with PAE or don't show it properly.

PAE is physical address extensions, and allows a 32bit processor to see more than 3 GB of RAM (if the rest of the hardware can actually run more than 3 GB of RAM).

 

If the kernel does not find right processor features it will stop booting pretty early.


sysadmin's Avatar sysadmin 02:31 AM 05-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by waterhead View Post

I like openSUSE, as I have it installed on an Intel based tablet.

I am trying different versions of Ubuntu for my mother's upgrade. Ubuntu is very easy to work with.

I have to check again, but it may be trying to install grub on sda1. We all know that won't work. But, it will have to wait. I am working outside (mostly) putting in my vegetable garden. Because of the drought in California, vegetables will be very expensive this year.

I'm actually in the process of designing an aeroponics garden. strawberries in december, anyone?
waterhead's Avatar waterhead 06:37 AM 05-25-2014
OK, back on topic. smile.gif

I made a CD of the Xubuntu image, and was able to install it that way. I think the 4GB microUSB card (with USB adapter) that I have used for installations is bad.

It does sort of remind me of the old Ubuntu, with the taskbar on top. Maybe this will work for my mom. I'll play around with it for a while, so that I know what to do when I upgrade her's.
sysadmin's Avatar sysadmin 12:03 PM 05-25-2014
lol! sorry i went OT -- had a few last night...wink.gif

Glad you figured it out.

I didn't realize Xubuntu still put XFCE's taskbar at the top (as mentioned, I've been using openSUSE for XFCE installs). Should be easy enough to move it to the bottom for your mom, though.
waterhead's Avatar waterhead 12:17 PM 05-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by sysadmin View Post


I didn't realize Xubuntu still put XFCE's taskbar at the top (as mentioned, I've been using openSUSE for XFCE installs). Should be easy enough to move it to the bottom for your mom, though.

Yes it is pretty easy. But the current version of Ubuntu that my mom uses also has the taskbar on top. This is good, so she doesn't have to re-learn every thing.

And, I'll try and delete my off-topic post. Those pictures really don't belong in this thread!
sysadmin's Avatar sysadmin 12:47 PM 05-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by waterhead View Post

...And, I'll try and delete my off-topic post. Those pictures really don't belong in this thread!

I wouldn't worry about it. Once a thread gets to this many pages it's expected to find some OT stuff. I found it interesting and humorous. It's not like you were trying to shamelessly plug a product or troll.
Rgb's Avatar Rgb 05:34 AM 05-29-2014
Vote for your favorite FOSS desktop! Current slashdot poll on the right of the page
http://slashdot.org/

http://slashdot.org/poll/2751/which-desktop-environment-do-you-like-the-best

I voted XFCE.

Suprisingly, KDE has the most votes, followed by "other" then XFCE in third.

From the Comments, it appears "Other" includes Windows and MAc/OSX desktops. The Poll description should have specified FOSS-only desktops, since there is no desktop choice on Win or Mac, and the point of the poll was to choose a Linux oriented desktop, it appears.
SeldomSeen31's Avatar SeldomSeen31 12:46 PM 05-30-2014
I'm going to embark on this project to get some further life out of a struggling WinXP laptop. It is a nightmare on boot up. It is a Gateway with a Core 2 Duo chip. It is entirely used by my young children for web based learning games, such as found at Disney Junior's website. I believe those are flash based. I'm fairly new to Linux, but I do have an unRaid server, 2 openElec XBMC machines, and 3 Raspberry Pis running both openelec and RetroPie emulation station. I'm somewhat familiar with the command line but not familiar at all with the desktop environment. Obviously I want this to boot directly in to the desktop environment and have the Chrome icon easily visible. Obviously something that will run flash without much trouble is needed. Wireless networking and wireless usb mouse drivers are the only other things I really need.

This is a great thread but after reading through the whole thing I'm not any clearer about which way to go.
waterhead's Avatar waterhead 01:19 PM 05-30-2014
For a familiar desktop feel, for those new to Linux, I still recommend Zorin.

http://zorin-os.com/

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/let-zorin-os-pick-up-where-windows-xp-left-off/

This way you feel somewhat at home, and it gives you time to then learn the Linux Operating System. And who ever does the installing of programs, just must remember that you can't install anything with an .exe extension. And, you should use the software installer that come with your version of Linux.
sysadmin's Avatar sysadmin 09:57 PM 05-30-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeldomSeen31 View Post

I'm going to embark on this project to get some further life out of a struggling WinXP laptop. It is a nightmare on boot up. It is a Gateway with a Core 2 Duo chip. It is entirely used by my young children for web based learning games, such as found at Disney Junior's website. I believe those are flash based. I'm fairly new to Linux, but I do have an unRaid server, 2 openElec XBMC machines, and 3 Raspberry Pis running both openelec and RetroPie emulation station. I'm somewhat familiar with the command line but not familiar at all with the desktop environment. Obviously I want this to boot directly in to the desktop environment and have the Chrome icon easily visible. Obviously something that will run flash without much trouble is needed. Wireless networking and wireless usb mouse drivers are the only other things I really need.

This is a great thread but after reading through the whole thing I'm not any clearer about which way to go.

Start a new thread and we can address your specific issues over there for setting that up. For starters, though, I'd recommend an XFCE desktop with either Xubuntu or openSUSE distro.
SeldomSeen31's Avatar SeldomSeen31 10:20 PM 05-30-2014
Followed recommendation of earlier post for Peppermint. Downloaded, imaged, installed, setup and a demo to my 5 year old son in a little over an hour. Exactly what I wanted with a first foray into Linux desktop.
sysadmin's Avatar sysadmin 10:34 PM 05-30-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeldomSeen31 View Post

Followed recommendation of earlier post for Peppermint. Downloaded, imaged, installed, setup and a demo to my 5 year old son in a little over an hour. Exactly what I wanted with a first foray into Linux desktop.

Awesome! smile.gif
waterhead's Avatar waterhead 06:07 AM 05-31-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeldomSeen31 View Post

Followed recommendation of earlier post for Peppermint. Downloaded, imaged, installed, setup and a demo to my 5 year old son in a little over an hour. Exactly what I wanted with a first foray into Linux desktop.

I see Peppermint Linux is cloud-based. This would be similar to Google's Chrome OS. I don't see this as a replacement to WinXP, as all of that resided on your hard drive.
bobafetthotmail's Avatar bobafetthotmail 07:18 AM 05-31-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by waterhead View Post


I see Peppermint Linux is cloud-based. This would be similar to Google's Chrome OS. I don't see this as a replacement to WinXP, as all of that resided on your hard drive.


It is easy to integrate with web-based apps, but it is still Lubuntu with a cool interface and some custom utilities that allow this cloud integration. It can install all applications from Ubuntu's repos and run them locally as normal, or do whatever the Ubuntu version it is based on does.

Peppermint 4 is based off Ubuntu 13.04 for example.

 

Besides, cloud-based isn't so bad for weak hardware that is mostly immobile.

 

Although you could always use the crappier PC as a remote desktop client for a VM in your main rig (if you have a semi-gaming PC that can spare a few GB of RAM) and get vastly better results.


SeldomSeen31's Avatar SeldomSeen31 07:43 AM 05-31-2014
The laptop I installed on is for kid use only, 6 and 5 years old. It was nearly unusable with Windows Vista on it. Slow boot, tons of errors and pop ups about the last shutdown and IE troubles at every turn.

Though only in use for a few hours yesterday the smooth performance was easily noticed over where it was before.

That laptop actually became the kids' when I got my wife a Chromebook.

I plan to play around with some other options as time permits but for now and for its intended use in my home it is just perfect as far as I can tell to this point.
bobafetthotmail's Avatar bobafetthotmail 08:20 AM 05-31-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeldomSeen31 View Post

It was nearly unusable with Windows Vista on it.

Any PC is nearly unusable with Vista. :D Even XP is better.

Windows 7 runs better than XP on any PC that has more than 1 GB of RAM (the first OS from Microsoft that uses RAM intelligently to pre-load and cache stuff to be more responsive).

 

7 can't really beat a lightweight linux distro on any parameter you care about.


sysadmin's Avatar sysadmin 08:01 PM 06-05-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobafetthotmail View Post

Any PC is nearly unusable with Vista. biggrin.gif Even XP is better.
Windows 7 runs better than XP on any PC that has more than 1 GB of RAM (the first OS from Microsoft that uses RAM intelligently to pre-load and cache stuff to be more responsive).

7 can't really beat a lightweight linux distro on any parameter you care about.

This is so true.

I had a Vista machine come in the other day for virus removal -- it was a Gateway with an AMD x3 CPU and 4GB RAM. Even after I sanitized it, it just crawled along. So I convinced the owners (a nice elderly couple) to let me put Linux on it for the same price that I would've charged them for virus removal. They had a bible study program that I couldn't get to run in Wine, so I loaded up XP in virtualbox using 1 core and 1GB RAM (I have a graveyard mountain of XP boxes with product keys on them), and it screams along way faster in a VM than Vista did on bare metal. Of course, Linux is insanely faster, too, and I set up pipelight for Netflix and loaded css for DVD's, as well. I even remoted in today with Teamviewer to set up their printer. Their minds are completely blown -- "What is this? How can it be free? We REALLY don't have to worry about viruses anymore?" (I disabled the network interface in the XP vm so it won't get infected, btw)

Just thought I'd share. Vista machines are excellent candidates for Linux installs.
minivanman's Avatar minivanman 10:36 PM 06-05-2014
Some of the machines I've seen Vista on should have been illegal. Single core Celerons with 512MB of RAM. eMachines tried to push the cheapest hardware they could get away with. Uggghhhh!! Fought that all the time. "It's an eMachine. They're good, right?"

Now it's netbooks with Win7 on them. If you need Windows, fine. I get it. Understand that you're not going to get away cheap by using it though. I love the XP people that had somebody install a pirated copy for them, only to find out that ain't flying with Win7. They get mad.

Win7 is a good OS. Vista was a failure. I have ZERO experience with Win8. But there's no such thing as an easy upgrade from XP for any of them. Hardware requirements will kill you.

I have two price tiers. Work on Linux, pretty cheap. Work on Windows, quite a bit more expensive. I purposely price my Linux conversions lower than my virus removal. I'll load Linux, configure it, and migrate all your data for cheaper than removing whatever infection you happen to have this time.

Sure, I have those that have problems with Linux because they "know" Windows. That drives me insane. You "know" Windows but you can't figure out how to find Firefox in Linux Mint. Tells me you don't know anything, but have some specific habits. Here, let me introduce you to Windows 8. Feel comfortable now?

I have rant after rant of Windows users. "What do you mean I have Windows XP on here? You told me it was unsupported now. Why can't I just use that?", when trying to explain their Win based program being used in a virtual machine.

M*#(!$ F#$()@$ ITUNES!!!! Screw your iTunes. Why the hell would you buy a product that makes you use their software and eliminates all choice from how you use it. But, I digress, okay, you have 6 iPods. Let me show you how to manage them in Linux. Not good enough? I really can't help you then. Enjoy being a slave.
bobafetthotmail's Avatar bobafetthotmail 07:38 AM 06-15-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by minivanman View Post
Now it's netbooks with Win7 on them. If you need Windows, fine. I get it. Understand that you're not going to get away cheap by using it though.
The only retarded choice of OEMs that time was placing 1GB SO-DIMM to save 12$ instead of a 2GB one.
Once you do that, Win7 runs well (even Aero and stuff in my tests) on netbooks.

Quote:
Sure, I have those that have problems with Linux because they "know" Windows.
In my shop the consensus is trying to sell these people an Android mediabox instead.
Because on average they "know" Android already (on their phone usually).

It's working decently so far.
Rgb's Avatar Rgb 09:29 AM 06-20-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeldomSeen31 View Post
I'm going to embark on this project to get some further life out of a struggling WinXP laptop. It is a nightmare on boot up. It is a Gateway with a Core 2 Duo chip. It is entirely used by my young children for web based learning games, such as found at Disney Junior's website. I believe those are flash based. I'm fairly new to Linux, but I do have an unRaid server, 2 openElec XBMC machines, and 3 Raspberry Pis running both openelec and RetroPie emulation station. I'm somewhat familiar with the command line but not familiar at all with the desktop environment. Obviously I want this to boot directly in to the desktop environment and have the Chrome icon easily visible. Obviously something that will run flash without much trouble is needed. Wireless networking and wireless usb mouse drivers are the only other things I really need.

This is a great thread but after reading through the whole thing I'm not any clearer about which way to go.
Given your unRaid/openElec/Rpi experience, you are WAY ahead of most Linux noobs. You shoudn't have any significant issues with your transition, usability or technical.

Any Core 2 Duo (C2D) based PC should run any current Linus distro fast and smooth.

The Chrome browser has its own Flash plugin builtin, no need to install Flash separately (as for Firefox) in Linux if you install the current Chrome browser- nothing to setup re: Flash. The bonus is that Chrome's Flash is the same version as on Windows, vs Firefox's Flash being frozen at version 11.2x unless things change moving forward.

I would still recommend Xubuntu 14.04 or MInt XFCE 17 (based on 14.04) when released.

The most popular notebooks by sales on Amazon are ChromeOS notebooks. Any current Linux distro is functionally the same as a ChromeBook when using the current Chrome Browser, except for Netflix.

Installing Pipelight gives you Netflix on Linux.
http://www.webupd8.org/2013/08/pipel...our-linux.html

With the ability to run many (not all) Win apps and games via Wine, plus all the native Linux apps and games, a Linux distro with Chrome and Pipelight is FAR more capable than ChromeOS (which has no significant local apps at this point).

As many others mention here, if Wine can't run a Win app you need (and can't use a Linux functional alternative), you can always run XP/Win7 in a VM like VirtualBox to cover those Win apps.
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