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shawnre

Trying out Linux, some questions

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Hello all, I decided I am going to try out Linux. Of course, a bunch of questions arise from this decision, and I hope some answers can be provided. 1. I am running Vista 32-bit, should I do a VirtualPC install of Linux, or is it better to run a separate install on maybe another hard drive? If another hard drive, is a boot screen automatically created (for OS boot choice)? 2. Of course, even before number 1, is what version of Linux to get...a friend of mine recommended Ubuntu, just wondering if there are benefits to different versions? 3. I would need an IDE. That would come to the question of, does Visual Studio run at all in a Linux environment? I am sure I will have more questions, but this is just the preliminaries and trying to make some good solid choices. Thanks for any suggestions everyone!

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Most Linux distros have live cds available now, where you can burn to a CD/DVD and boot from that without writing to your hard drive.
Ubuntu is pretty good for new linux users, and comes as a live cd.
As for IDEs, VS will not run on Linux. Alternatives are Dev-C++, Code::Blocks, Ajunta, Eclipse, NetBeans, or any text editor.

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Quote:
Original post by blakedev
Most Linux distros have live cds available now, where you can burn to a CD/DVD and boot from that without writing to your hard drive.
Ubuntu is pretty good for new linux users, and comes as a live cd.


Are the live versions in some way limited, or are they full featured?

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Virtual PC was good enough for me when i was testing out Linux, if you want to take it further then do a proper installation.

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Quote:
Original post by shawnre
1. I am running Vista 32-bit, should I do a VirtualPC install of Linux, or is it better to run a separate install on maybe another hard drive? If another hard drive, is a boot screen automatically created (for OS boot choice)?

I have never tried virtualization, so I can't comment on that. But you can create a dual-boot system either on a separate hard drive or by using part of an existing drive. Then when you start your computer a small program called a bootloader will ask you which system you want to use. Definitely back up anything you need on your windows system before attempting this.

Quote:
Original post by shawnre
2. Of course, even before number 1, is what version of Linux to get...a friend of mine recommended Ubuntu, just wondering if there are benefits to different versions?

Definitely Ubuntu. Not because it is the best (it probably isn't), but because it has by far the most support for beginners. The forums are extremely active and helpful, and you can go to your friend for help [smile].

Quote:
Original post by shawnre
3. I would need an IDE. That would come to the question of, does Visual Studio run at all in a Linux environment?

No, unfortunately it doesn't. I don't use IDE's, but I've heard good things about Code::Blocks.

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Original post by shawnre
1. I am running Vista 32-bit, should I do a VirtualPC install of Linux, or is it better to run a separate install on maybe another hard drive? If another hard drive, is a boot screen automatically created (for OS boot choice)?


Hmm, I suppose you could go either way. Having a native Linux install can be a bit of a hassle if you haven't configured your Linux to be able to acces your Windows files, and Windows won't be able to see the Linux partition at all in many cases. Your best bet would be to have a shared FAT32 partition to store all your stuff on and both OSs will be able to access it.

Linux will automatically install its bootloader over the Windows one, so that you can choose either OS when you start your PC up. You normally don't need to fiddle with any of the bootloader settings and it can lead to pretty hairy consequences if you do, in actual fact.

Quote:

2. Of course, even before number 1, is what version of Linux to get...a friend of mine recommended Ubuntu, just wondering if there are benefits to different versions?


They're all pretty similar in many ways, it's just some come with different packages straight out of the box. Ubuntu is easy to use and great for beginners to Linux, but it doesn't really come with that much in the way of development tools (build-essentials comes to mind). You can download these really easily through the package manager though, so it really doesn't make a lot of difference in the long term.

Quote:

3. I would need an IDE. That would come to the question of, does Visual Studio run at all in a Linux environment?


VS won't run under Linux at all, and I've never heard of it running through Wine either.

You'd be better off with KDevelop, CodeWarrior, Code::Blocks, Eclipse, or a text editor with your compilation done on the Terminal. Dev-C++ is unsupported for the simple reason that it absolutely blows goats and should be avoided.

I am sure I will have more questions, but this is just the preliminaries and trying to make some good solid choices.

Thanks for any suggestions everyone![/quote]

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I'd highly recommend Code::Blocks. It can even import your Visual Studio projects.

I used to use KDevelop, and was my IDE for several years before I discovered Code::Blocks. I still recommend it for any Qt development, since it has a Qt setup wizard and interacts well with the Qt GUI Designer.

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1. I am running Vista 32-bit, should I do a VirtualPC install of Linux, or is it better to run a separate install on maybe another hard drive? If another hard drive, is a boot screen automatically created (for OS boot choice)?

If you want to spend alot of time getting linux to work (and install) with no guarantee that it work then use VirtualPC, personally I think VMware is far better. As mentioned you could always use a live cd this is how I started with what was then Mandrake. As mentioned a bootloader such as Lilo or Grub will give you an OS boot option.

Quote:

2. Of course, even before number 1, is what version of Linux to get...a friend of mine recommended Ubuntu, just wondering if there are benefits to different versions?

Pick one, if you do not like it then move on to another one.

Quote:

3. I would need an IDE. That would come to the question of, does Visual Studio run at all in a Linux environment?

I would add to the list KDevelop which is my IDE of choice in linux.

Quote:

I am sure I will have more questions...

Then it maybe better to direct them to a linux forum :)
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/
LQ has support from the major linux distributions with active members from them, check out the following page for download links http://iso.linuxquestions.org/

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Wubi allows you to install and uninstall Ubuntu as any other Windows application.

I use Eclipse+CDT on ubuntu for c/c++ development, its a nice IDE but not a real replacement for VS.

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Quote:
Original post by shawnre
1. I am running Vista 32-bit, should I do a VirtualPC install of Linux, or is it better to run a separate install on maybe another hard drive? If another hard drive, is a boot screen automatically created (for OS boot choice)?

If you have the hardware to support VirtualPC, that's definitely the preferred way to go. As to whther a boot screen is created, that depends on the distro, but most of them will do so.
Quote:
2. Of course, even before number 1, is what version of Linux to get...a friend of mine recommended Ubuntu, just wondering if there are benefits to different versions?

Be careful of your terminology. What you mean is "distribution" not "version," since those two words have distinct and orthogonal meanings. Linux is an operating system kernel, a very small (but significant) part of an OS distro. It comes in different versions like 2.6.23. Ubuntu is an OS distro, as is Fedora, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. Distros all come in different versions, like "Hoary Hedgehog", "Vista", or "Leopard". Getting the terminology right might help you avoid confusion.

You will most likely find Ubuntu satisfactory. I would recommend a different distro but I am biased so I won't.
Quote:
3. I would need an IDE. That would come to the question of, does Visual Studio run at all in a Linux environment?

Microsoft does not and will not support the development of software on any platform other than Microsoft Windows.

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