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  1. #1
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    My Journey into the World of Linux

    I have recently come to the decision of moving toward Linux. Here is my experience.

    I downloaded and installed Oracle VirtualBox, and I then installed Ubuntu Linux in the virtual box. (Windows 7 Pro is my host system.) Once I have gotten everything set up and working, I will then switch things around: I will install Linux on the computer as the host system, and Windows 7 in the virtual box.

    I downloaded Virtual Box, the VB extensions, and Ubuntu Linux before installing anything. This was a good thing, because once I installed VB and then set up a new session, it asked me where the OS was that I wanted to install. The first time, I didn't specify an OS; I then tried to go back later and install it, but I couldn't find anywhere in the VB to initiate an install; so I deleted the session and created a new one, and this time I installed Linux when it prompted me to.

    The first time I tried installing Linux, it failed; I did it again by clicking on the Linux icon in the VB, and this time it worked fine. (I told it to erase the drive and do a clean install.)

    Everything worked once I got Linux fully installed, except for my printer. I have a wireless printer/scanner, so I'm not sure how that will work with Linux, because I'm not sure that Canon has a printer driver for Linux. I am also concerned about two other issue: Anti/Virus software, and a driver for my USB network adapter.

    Once I have resolved these three issues, I will post the results back here.

    I'm looking forward to proceeding further on my journey into the world of Linux.

  2. #2
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    Linux will make friends with your printer without a driver as such; it works a different way. Quite a good article here.

    Edit: Well, ok, it does use a driver, but the process is unlike Windows.
    Last edited by tonyl; 2016-09-02 at 10:56. Reason: afterthought

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  4. #3
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    I used this Canon Drivers for Ubuntu and Linux Mint article 2 years ago to get my partner's Canon printer/scanner installed on my laptop running Linux Mint.

    However, the Ubuntu documentation has improved a lot since then so have a look at HardwareSupportComponentsPrinters/CanonPrinters.

    Hope this helps...

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Thank you both for this information! I will get to it this weekend and will report back on how it went.

    I am determined to move forward with this as quickly as possible. My goal is to get Ubuntu Linux working as well as Windows 7 has to meet my computing needs. At that point, I will have a legitimate alternative to Windows.

    I remember when Windows 8 first came out. I got tired of making comments about Windows 8 without actually trying it out for myself, so I installed it on one of my computers. And I "toughed" it out for about a month, without any add-ins (e.g. StartIsBack), determined to make it work "as-is". After about a month, I gave up and installed StartIsBack. Once I did that, I really grew to like Windows 8.

    I am determined to make Linux work. But I am in it for the long haul, not just for a month. I believe that I will succeed if I stick with it. And once I achieve that, I will have a valid alternative to Windows. (That is my ultimate goal here.)

    A humorous note: I told my wife that I had installed "Ubuntu Linux" on the computer, and she answered: "Huh?"

  7. #5
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    A humorous note: I told my wife that I had installed "Ubuntu Linux" on the computer, and she answered: "Huh?"
    She probably thought that you should have just said that you had installed Ubuntu, since adding the word Linux was redundant...! (And maybe she would have preferred Mint Cinnamon?)
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  8. #6
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Just wanted to say, I've been using a Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon x64 USB key in 'live' mode for the last 4 days to access a rapidly failing HD in a 4 yr-old HP tower running Windows 7 Pro x64.

    At first the PC would just slow in use then hang completely after about 30 minutes use (which is when I was called in). Although its owner had bought a portable hard disk for backup at the time, she had never backed up her personal data - 17 years of photos, writing, etc. By the time I got to it her profile folder showed as 'empty' in Windows and she was distraught. I used every data recovery tool I had but with no success because of the time they took to scan... which meant the HD heated up then froze.

    I ended up booting from my Linux Mint USB stick and using it to transfer her data, stopping every 20 minutes or so when the HD heated up and froze, allowing it to cool then starting again.

    The owner was overjoyed that I managed to get all her data back - all 59 GB of it - then put it onto a replacement HD with a new install of Windows 7. I'm taking the PC back to her tomorrow to show her how to use her backup drive.

    There are times when I'm still amazed how Linux can help out so easily when Windows doesn't recognise a damaged NTFS file system. I also have a 'Ubuntu' USB stick but must admit I tend to find 'Mint' just easier and have it as a dual-boot on a laptop.

    The only downside was a power cut broke the USB stick's file system so I had to recreate it using Pendrivelinux.com's Universal USB Installer to put Linux Mint back on (with a 2 GB persistent file to store additional apps and data):

    mint-live.png
    Click to enlarge

    Hope this helps...
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2016-09-03 at 20:01.

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Update:

    I did some research and found that Sophos is likely the best free antivirus for Linux, so I tried to install it. I found quickly that there is no GUI installer for Sophos for Linux; you have to do it the old-fashioned way: download the program, unpack the "tarball" (Linux's name for a compressed archive), and then run the install script, all from a command prompt ("terminal"). And even though I have an administrative account, it wouldn't let me install the program unless I put "sudo" in front of the install command!

    I finally got Sophos installed and running. And I found two very helpful documents on the Sophos website for installing and for configuring the program under Linux.

    I've been dreaming of how wonderful things were in the DOS days. Well, with Linux, I'm back in that world, because much of what you do in terms of installing programs must be done from a command prompt. Fortunately there are similarities with DOS, such as "CD ..". The ".." and "." mean the same thing in Linux that they meant in DOS. And the slash means the same thing in a path, except that you use a forward slash rather than a back slash.

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    Have you looked at clamtk? It is a GUI for ClamAV. It is used by a lot of Linux users, is free and is available through the Ubuntu software installer.

  11. #9
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrdad View Post
    Have you looked at clamtk? It is a GUI for ClamAV. It is used by a lot of Linux users, is free and is available through the Ubuntu software installer.
    Thanks for the info. I looked at how several Linux AV programs were rated, and ClamAV was rated poorly. Sophos was highly rated (and free), and that's why I chose it.

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    Just out of curiosity (and not to start a which is better debate), why did you choose Ubuntu over the flavor-du-jour (which I believe is Mint).
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

  14. #11
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith-plm View Post
    Just out of curiosity (and not to start a which is better debate), why did you choose Ubuntu over the flavor-du-jour (which I believe is Mint).
    When I went to ubuntu.com, they had everything all laid out -- a link to get updates, a link to get apps, etc. In other words, it appears to be well-supported at that site. I prefer that over having to hunt around for everything.

  15. #12
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Sorry about my slow pace here, but life keeps me busy.

    Anyway, here's another update. I have just ordered a SATA hard drive switch which I will install in my computer. I will then put two additional hard drives into my computer. I will put Linux on the 2nd drive, and my data will be on the 3rd drive. I will power on either the Windows or Linux hard drive before I power the computer on, with the other drive being powered off, while my data drive will always be powered on. In this way I can keep Windows and Linux totally separate from each other, while having my data accessible in both environments.

    This approach will allow me to keep working on Linux until I get everything in good working order, while always having Windows to fall back on in the meantime. At some point I will permanently power down the Windows drive, only powering it up if I need Windows for some reason. I'm not sure if I want to go with Windows in a Virtual Machine, but I may at some point do that rather than have a separate hard drive for Windows.

  16. #13
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Update: I now have three hard drives in my computer: one for Linux, one for Windows, and one for my data. I also installed the SATA hard drive switch which I referenced in my previous post. I have the Linux drive on button 1 and the Windows drive on button 2. I didn't put the data drive on the switch, because it is always on, available in both environments. I feel that the way I have set up my hard drives is the smartest move I have made, because my data is always available, no matter which OS I am running. Also, it is easy to switch between drives; I just have to remember to power the computer down before making the switch.

    A couple of things: There were no extra mounting rails for my additional hard drives, so I had to jury-rig them in the computer. Also, the SATA power cords stick straight out, rather than being L-shaped, which means that I can't put the cover back on my computer. I will order additional mounting rails, and will try to find L-shaped adapters for the power cords. One other thing: It took over an hour to move my data from one drive to the other. If you decide to install Linux in the way I have, be prepared for these things before starting the install.

    I was amazed at how well everything worked. Early in the install, Linux found my wifi and asked for the password. I thought that it would be a challenge to get the wifi working, but it was as easy as it is in Windows. Also, cut-and-paste works just like it does in Windows -- you can cut or copy a file from one folder and then paste it into another folder. Or you can highlight some text and copy it, then paste it somewhere else.

    One thing I haven't figured out yet: when I'm in Terminal (a command window), I can't figure out how to change from one drive to another. My antivirus -- Sophos -- was on my data drive rather than my Linux drive, and I had to do the install in Terminal, so my workaround was to copy it to the Linux drive and install it from there.

    Next job - get my wireless printer / scanner working.

  17. #14
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I installed my printer - it could not have been easier! I went to settings / printers and added a network printer. It appeared in the list, so I added it and successfully printed a test page!

    Now for scanning...

  18. #15
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps
    One thing I haven't figured out yet: when I'm in Terminal (a command window), I can't figure out how to change from one drive to another. My antivirus -- Sophos -- was on my data drive rather than my Linux drive, and I had to do the install in Terminal, so my workaround was to copy it to the Linux drive and install it from there.

    Next job - get my wireless printer / scanner working.
    You still use cd but you don't really change drives, per se. First ensure the drive is mounted then treat it as a directory. Have a look at post #3 in this LinuxQuestions.org article which explains it far better than I can.

    (PS - I don't know if it's useful to you but I still find this command comparison helpful.)

    Hope this helps...

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