A few questions before I give Linux a shot

I appreciate the help, thanks guys. I've put Linux on things before (eg Mint on Laptop) but this time its going to be my daily driver on my precious desktop and I have some concerns.

PARTITIONING - I'm on Win 8.1 + StartIsBack atm. I have a 250GB SSD and 3TB HDD. The SSD is really just Windows + programs (below) because content is on the 3TB. I want to dual boot because of gaming/transitioning reasons. Iirc i'd have to partition my SSD? What is a sensible split? Isn't it difficult to go back? With the way I've set it up both OSs would be able to access content, right?

Also I'm looking at pagefiles, ESD and System Volume Information folders; they are taking up an obnoxious amount of space. Should I look into handling each one before partitioning?

PROGRAMS - Macro/Light Controller for my K95. How will I use this on Linux (need macros for job)? Corsair doesn't make CUE for Linux and I bet i'll find a bunch of specific things like this (eg FUNC mouse software). Companies won't do them, CUE doesn't even support Dvorak remapping. So will I have to hope there are good GitHub projects for each case like this?

GeForce Experience is another problem. Its Shadow Play and other features I'll miss.

I've been making plans for programs in my workflow. What do you think?
Photoshop -> GIMP
Maya (for Uni) -> Blender (after Uni)
Video Editor = Commit to Blender (used it once and seems good)
REAPER DAW = ?? (I tried many DAWs on Linux. I want REAPER and its coming. Also worked with Wine but delay not optimal)
Sublime Text -> Sublime Text
FileZillia -> FileZillia
CCleaner -> ??

In case you are wondering I am planning to do something similar to Logan with Ubuntu w/G3. I don't care if it doesn't get me as much nerd cred; i'll probably choose something better when I'm less of a Linux n00b.

So thanks for your answers and thanks to anyone who can poke holes in my plan and save me a bunch of time now.

  • BFalcon

To answer your question, I would give linux like 50GBs.

But seriously though, I would NOT be doing this. Although it is very straight forward to setup a dual boot, too many things could go wrong and mess up your windows drive.

If this computer is meant for productivity, then do yourself a favor and either get a second small SSD for 50 bucks or do not touch your windows drive.

Leave it the hell alone, and figure something else out.


I could manage that. There is another SSD bracket just staring at me in my H440. I think I will :D

Windows won't be able to access the Linux drive if it's using ext4 or any other incompatible file system.

LIke @Tjj226_Angel mentioned, if you don't know what you are doing you can really damage your windows partition. Make sure Linux only touches it's dedicated partition, a swap partition (if you're using one), and the EFI partition to install grub or whatever boot loader you wish to install.

Also regarding your K95, an open source driver has already been written for the K65/K70/K95 keyboards named CKB.

And yes, it's worth noting that since not many games that NVIDIA pays attention to runs on Linux many of the features of GeForce Experience are not available on the proprietary driver provided by NVIDIA (they also gave Linus and the Linux team a very hard time with writing the drivers in the first place).

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Thanks Mazen. I might have worded it a bit average but I was trying to confirm that Linux and Windows could both access the same steam library stored on the separate HDD.

I'll definitely check out CKB. NVIDIA certainly isn't the nicest company nowadays :/

While that's possible, Steam on Linux won't be able to do anything with the Steam on Windows unless you're running it in Wine, and Steam on Windows could not use anything that Steam on Linux uses. The native binaries for the two operating systems are not compatible with each other, so even if you have the game already downloaded, chances are that the game doesn't have the binaries necessary to work with another OS.

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VMware Player, free for non-commercial use. Use it to create like a 32 GB disk on your SSD. Install Linux in said VM disk. Run Linux on top of Windows with VMware Player. Huzzah, no harm done to your computer.

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Oh yeah. I came across that once but forgot. Thanks

I would install linux on a small SSD (thats what I have done on my rig) disconnect your other drives while installing linux after which you reconnect your drives and update grub in linux.

I am quite happy with the setup and tried many distros .

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Right on buddy! Answernig from one such setup. The only thing left is grub :D

That'll work much better, especially with Windows 8 and the new UEFI boot junk.

You'll still be able to access your Windows files on the other drive.

Also, I don't know if I'm wrong, but might be worth checking into some other video editors like Pitivi and Kdenlive. Blender is supposedly good, but holy crap its got a learning curve.

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"Iirc i'd have to partition my SSD? What is a sensible split?"

You would yes, but it's not all that difficult to do. During the Linux installation you can resize your SSDs partition and then work with the free space you make from that for your Linux partitions. A sensible split would be making about 50 gb, if you're planning on using your storage drive make sure to just store your multimedia and games stuff on there to control your disk usage and that 50 gb will last.

"Isn't it difficult to go back? With the way I've set it up both OSs would be able to access content, right?"

It's not, if you decide to revert what you can do is go within disk management in Windows and remove the Linux space and then extend your windows partition back into the free space afterward

"Also I'm looking at pagefiles, ESD and System Volume Information folders; they are taking up an obnoxious amount of space. Should I look into handling each one before partitioning?"

You wouldn't really need to unless you end up running low on space, in which case you can always go back and do that after


I can't really help too much on programs for your specific usage, but in regards to CCleaner linux doesn't work the same way as Windows does so to try your best not to think of it as such. With that said, bleachbit is similar-ish can and be used to help keep things clean but isn't really necessary.

Temporary files are stored in a directory called /tmp which generally is automatically cleaned, along with your trash. Remnants of uninstalled programs are handled by the package manager quite well, when you install something it generally requires some dependencies which are libraries and whatnot that the installed program needs in order to run. The package manager is able to remove those dependencies and the program with its files. Sometimes are there orphaned dependencies (undeleted dependencies left over), so a scan with something such as deborphan (Debian orphan remover) can quickly clean stuff like that up.

At times there are left over files and directories from programs, but while taking up some space doesn't effect Linux like it does Windows so while annoying doesn't hurt performance and slow the operating system down.

Things to think about

It's been suggested to use a virtual machine to run Linux, but something to consider is with full virtualization within windows the VM isn't going to be THAT fast so running linux natively will be much quicker not to mention the extra memory you'll end up with. So if you want to use Linux for more than occasional usage or playing around, I'd recommend installing it

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I got drunk and decided to switch and stick with it regardless of the problems. After the painful 4 or 5 days it's been mostly fine.

Im not sure there is any perfect way to change anything in life without some pain. Changing OS's is the same.

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Bring on the learning curve! I'm all for pain in the short term to get a good workflow in the long-term. Let's see if I'm still saying that after a few videos, haha. The frist one went fine :D(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPPhwR4ErlA)

Thanks b00v for the indepth answer. Each response cleared things up for me. Thanks a lot!

Hahaha. I was think of calling this post "Fuck it, let's try Linux"

It took me an entire year to completely switch to Linux on my laptop haha. I still have to run Windows on my desktop because I don't want to give up my game library.

Linux doesn't need a whole lot of space to run, but I'd give it at least 20GB, with 40-50GB be preferable. Be sure to spend plenty of time reading up on partitioning and configuring bootloaders (e.g Grub) as that will be the hardest part of the instalation. If you use a distro like Ubuntu, it should automatically configure things for you, but it isn't always a seamless process. The first time Iinstalled Ubuntu, I somehow messed up the grub settings and couldn't boot Ubuntu. I didn't know about Chroot, so I simply reinstalled Ubuntu. Needless to say, it would have saved me a lot of time and frustration if I simply did my homework on setting up Linux.

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I was thinking of making a thread like this as I've been playing around with it in Virtual box and I'm loving it. I think it's because I've been using computers for so long now I felt the whole install process was so fafless. Just apt get install is sooooo much quicker than opening a browser and searching for a program downloading it then running it. Then aptitude made it 100 times better and I've found out all the games I love seem to run as well as they do on Windows. So I guess my only problem from here on out is hardware issues like drivers and such. I don't really want to hijack your thread but I will make another as I plan my switch over with my new system.

also just one question @wendell am I right in thinking WINE is like installing an electrical system with different sockets to allow appliances from other countries to run rather than using an adaptor/conversion plug which would be like an emulator (some how this analogy sounded better in my head) But this system is hooked up to a battery so you can't power anything too demanding?

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I can change the bootdisk pretty easily in the BIOS/UEFI. Will definitely experiment with Grub when I get home tonight. As far as I can tell the only advantage is convenience?

I wouldn't really recommend experimenting with Grub unless you know what you are doing haha. You might end up with a system that won't boot. I'd only poke around in the cfg file if things don't work.

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