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Old 02-08-2013, 10:43 AM   #1
TSDible
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Default When did I become a Linux User?

Once I was a Windows power user. I'm still the go-to person in my family for computer support.

It started off inocently enough... finding free (as in freedom or beer) software to complete tasks for myself and others I knew. It grew in to me installing several Linux distros on my old Dell laptop and experimenting with them. If free applications are good... a full free system intrigued me. But my desktop was still king. Over time, I found myself using my desktop less and less. Finding a way to do everything other than gaming on my Linux powered laptop. As time went on, I found myself gaming even less, using my overpowered desktop even less frequently.

Recently I bought a new (to me) Thinkpad X201 laptop. I did some careful research to make sure it would be Linux compatible ahead of time. But my intention was still to run Windows as the primary OS. Surely the new found power would make me happier with my windows experience. Despite clinging to Windows 7, I immediately pulled the drive out of the system and set it aside. I had a larger faster hard drive in my collection and installed Linux Mint on that.

About three weeks ago, I decided to look in to using windows as a HTPC. I already have a HDHomerun tuner... It was working in Mint with MythTV. But I really wanted the robustness of windows for multimedia. Media Center is still one of the things I think Microsoft did right.

So, I backed up "home" and installed windows 7 using the key affixed to the laptop. I got Windows up and running, but it was a PITA to get all of the hardware running. First I had to sneakernet some network drivers to the laptop, then I could download the rest of the drivers. Of course I was then met with the constant nagging of windows update. I did get it all running, and WMC worked quite nicely. It was at this point that I realized I had a powerful desktop that easily serve as my HTPC. I started migrating all of my work to that system that I now rarely used. I still didn't mind Windows, it works fine. It is easy to install my needed office applications. My required CAC access is MUCH easier to get going in windows than on Linux.

I kept the windows laptop up and running. A couple weeks in to the whole process, I got the message, "You've installed Windows using an invalid key", or something to that nature. Frustration begins to set in. I've purchased MANY copies of Windows 7 over the past years. I purchased this laptop with a Windows CoA. I used that CoA to re-install windows. Sure, I could probably call MS to get the issue worked out. But then again... since I bought the laptop from eBay, they might not help me at all... why should I have to call them.

The message continued to appear... finally, I downloaded a shiny new copy of Linux Mint 14 and installed it with Cinnamon. It installed quickly... I didn't have to locate any drivers. I did have to install some updates right away, but it took a fraction of the time compared to Windows Update. It was a bit more difficult, but I got CACKEY up and running. Still a much shorter process than locating all of my drivers.

I felt much more at home. Browsing the web, working on documents just felt snappier to me. Then it occured to me....

Screw it... I'm a Linux User.

I'm not a power user yet the way I was with Windows. But frankly I don't need to be. I'm sure I will become more proficient with it as time goes on. Right now, I'm happy with Mint. It's made my life simple again.

I do have one regret. In a last attempt to cling to my former Windows personality, I decided to install Mint alongside Windows. Now I realize I have no need for that partition or the "invalid" installation of Windows.

All of the above leads to my *nix Software related question.

What is the most efficient way of getting rid of Windows on my system once and for all? Do I simply kill the partion and resize? What is the best software to do that? GParted?

Do I have to do something with GRUB?

Thanks in advance for your help.

I embrace the Dark Side...
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Last edited by TSDible; 02-08-2013 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:48 AM   #2
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I do realize that I could simply repartition and re-install Mint. It wouldn't take me long at all.

Fixing it gives the opportunity to learn something new on my way to becoming a Linux power user.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:36 AM   #3
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Your experience mirrors mine. I started using libre software on Windows, then using GNU/Linux on my portables, and then GNU/Linux on everything. GNU/Linux did everything aside from gaming as well or better than Windows, and I stopped gaming as much as I did. I like being able to do what I want without jumping through hoops, and without being restricted for other than technical reasons.

See this for removing Windows. It's pretty straightforward...

http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/224
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSDible View Post
Do I simply kill the partion and resize? What is the best software to do that? GParted?
GParted will do the job, i think the built in "Disk Utility" would be even easier as it will unmount the partition from the GUI. You will have to unmount your linux partition before resizing it though, so a LiveCD might be the tool you need.
After booting back into mint you should run the command to make a new grub config "sudo grub-mkcfg" or something like that. If not, the next kernel update will trigger the command and the windows option will be removed from the grub menu.

Windows bothers me a little, as does OS X, I feel there is a conflict of interest for the company between the shareholders and the users. Apple and MS have a legal responsibility to shareholders that is adverse to users and 3rd party developers. The only recourse for the latter two parties is marketplace rebuke.
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Last edited by MrColin; 02-08-2013 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:59 PM   #5
TSDible
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Originally Posted by lxskllr View Post
Your experience mirrors mine. I started using libre software on Windows, then using GNU/Linux on my portables, and then GNU/Linux on everything. GNU/Linux did everything aside from gaming as well or better than Windows, and I stopped gaming as much as I did. I like being able to do what I want without jumping through hoops, and without being restricted for other than technical reasons.

See this for removing Windows. It's pretty straightforward...

http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/224
That is exactly how I've come to be here. Interesting really.

I'm now on the last part of that... Linux is going on everything other than my wife's computer and the HTPC.

I'm seriously thinking of trying to find a docking station for the X201 so I can utilize my keyboard/mouse/ dual monitor setup from the old desktop that has now been moved to the basement for media use.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:11 PM   #6
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Just curious what made you choose Mint over Ubuntu?
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by RossMAN View Post
Just curious what made you choose Mint over Ubuntu?
I would like to know this too because i started using ubuntu but if mint is better for some reason then i will have a look at mint.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:11 AM   #8
TSDible
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RossMAN View Post
Just curious what made you choose Mint over Ubuntu?
Quote:
Originally Posted by nemesismk2 View Post
I would like to know this too because i started using ubuntu but if mint is better for some reason then i will have a look at mint.
Good Question Really... It's been a process that has happened over the last 5-7 years I think. I've tried a LOT of distros... At the beginning, Linux was changing quickly... DistroWatch was like a drug to me.

Initially, I was looking for a plug and play replacement for windows. Something that was ready to do multimedia out of the box. Originally, that wasn't as easy to set up in Ubuntu as it is now... I found myself using PCLinuxOS some years ago... When Mint came out, I gave it a try for the same reasons.

I also found myself looking for "light" distros as well. XFCE, LXDE, IceWM, distributions... The XFCE edition of mint is really what got me hooked on it. That and Xbuntu were the best that I found.

Now that I have more powerful hardware, I really prefer Gnome over KDE. Although, I think Ubuntu has gotten really good over the years. I feel that Unity is too much of a departure from the Gnome OS that I knew and loved. So I started using Mint XFCE more and more.

Ultimately, I think that Mint provides the easiest transition for a Windows user. They have laid out the menu bar in a very similar manner. In addition, it is ready to go for multimedia out of the gate. Nothing more to install.

If I wanted to tinker with a system, I think I would opt for a MUCH lighter install. I would go with pure Debian or Arch and build it up from there.

But for now... Mint is my go to OS for myself and for recommending to others that want to try Linux for the first time. Ubuntu is a close second now that it is so polished.
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Last edited by TSDible; 02-09-2013 at 07:21 AM.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrColin View Post
GParted will do the job, i think the built in "Disk Utility" would be even easier as it will unmount the partition from the GUI. You will have to unmount your linux partition before resizing it though, so a LiveCD might be the tool you need.
After booting back into mint you should run the command to make a new grub config "sudo grub-mkcfg" or something like that. If not, the next kernel update will trigger the command and the windows option will be removed from the grub menu.

Windows bothers me a little, as does OS X, I feel there is a conflict of interest for the company between the shareholders and the users. Apple and MS have a legal responsibility to shareholders that is adverse to users and 3rd party developers. The only recourse for the latter two parties is marketplace rebuke.
You don't have to unmount to resize. resize2fs works to resize ext2-ext4 online. It's not recommended if you can unmount, but I do it all the time in my virtual servers. Customer calls and tells me they need X gig added to their vm. I force a backup with phdvirtual, grow or add a disk (I never grow the root disk, I always grow a data disk), add that disk to the LVM, then resize the file system. No downtime, no reboots, and everything just works (so far 100% of the time for me over the last 3 years).
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSDible View Post
Good Question Really... It's been a process that has happened over the last 5-7 years I think. I've tried a LOT of distros... At the beginning, Linux was changing quickly... DistroWatch was like a drug to me.

Initially, I was looking for a plug and play replacement for windows. Something that was ready to do multimedia out of the box. Originally, that wasn't as easy to set up in Ubuntu as it is now... I found myself using PCLinuxOS some years ago... When Mint came out, I gave it a try for the same reasons.

I also found myself looking for "light" distros as well. XFCE, LXDE, IceWM, distributions... The XFCE edition of mint is really what got me hooked on it. That and Xbuntu were the best that I found.

Now that I have more powerful hardware, I really prefer Gnome over KDE. Although, I think Ubuntu has gotten really good over the years. I feel that Unity is too much of a departure from the Gnome OS that I knew and loved. So I started using Mint XFCE more and more.

Ultimately, I think that Mint provides the easiest transition for a Windows user. They have laid out the menu bar in a very similar manner. In addition, it is ready to go for multimedia out of the gate. Nothing more to install.

If I wanted to tinker with a system, I think I would opt for a MUCH lighter install. I would go with pure Debian or Arch and build it up from there.

But for now... Mint is my go to OS for myself and for recommending to others that want to try Linux for the first time. Ubuntu is a close second now that it is so polished.
thanks for the great information which i found very helpful and has given me lots to think about.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:55 AM   #11
TSDible
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thanks for the great information which i found very helpful and has given me lots to think about.
No problem.

I suggest just trying a bunch of distros and see what you like.

I used VirtualBox pretty heavy for a while to try them.

Now I've flipped... I still run VirtualBox. But it is now a Windows guest OS in a Linux host. There are just some things that I still have to have windows for unfortuneately.

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Old 02-11-2013, 08:27 PM   #12
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That was a good read TSDible. I think your experiences echo why a lot of people have become Linux users over the years.

When I was in graduate school (1994 - 1995) I was thrown into a world dominated by HP-UX workstations and a few other Unix systems. My research relied heavily on C programming that needed to run on HP-UX and Solaris machines. Linux was an absolute lifesaver for me because I could write code in my apartment without needing to fight for one of the few open workstations in the computer lab. Windows (3.1) was a nightmare to program in mainly due to non existent memory management, and all of the programming tools were bulky and expensive. I installed Slackware on my 486x100 and ran that OS exclusively until my college days were over.

Somehow I lost touch with Linux for years but once I discovered Mint (11) I got hooked all over again. It was liberating and exciting, frustrating and rewarding. For me it isn't a matter of running libre or open source out of principle (but I do respect the community) I just find Linux to be more fun. I like the control it gives me and I like the knowledge I gain from it. I would love to start contributing to open source projects again someday but the skills required these days far exceed my limited capabilities.

Anyhow, not trying to jack this thread just wanted to share another convert's experiences.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:02 PM   #13
TSDible
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Well... I got my x201 dock and the display port to DVI adapter...

My ditching of the windows desktop is complete.

Just the linux laptop now.

I got my dual monitors set up... There was annoying problem with the panel being on the wrong display, but I've worked it out.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:32 AM   #14
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I only fire up my windows pc to use Visio and to game on. I use a Mac most of the time due to workflow. If I didn't require specific programs, I would have gone Linux long ago.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:16 AM   #15
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I do a small amount of VBA programming (hacking) for Excel and Word.

I'm taking care of that now with a virtual machine. The hardware I was running before really wasn't great for doing that.

I do want to beef up this laptop a bit... I'm thinking 8GB RAM and a SSD. It should really fly then.
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