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[SOLVED] I do not trust Microsoft and wish to move entirely to Linux

  1. I do not trust Microsoft and wish to move entirely to Linux
  2. I know not how to even begin or what are the steps I must have before I go and go completely 100% Linux from Windows.
  3. If I were to lose everything tomorrow what should I have stored in order to install a complete Linux build from ground up if the internet kill switch happened in 24 hours for example.
    The system I will build for Linux is as follows, I can only hope these are compatible.
  • AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 3.4 GHz 16-Core Processor
  • Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero ATX AM4 Motherboard
  • XFX Radeon RX 6800 XT 16 GB Video Card

Update:
I have decided to Install Linux on 2TB NVME
The second 2TB NVME I installed Windows

I have two separate SATA drives one for Windows and the other for Linux for added storage to keep the boot NVME clean for only the operating system to operate from documentation files , video files , audio files etc…

Using BIOS to load either Windows or Linux depending on what I want and everything seems to be operating normally as I get used to the Distro Manjaro which i decided to go with after all the reading was done.

The system is super stable and I am happy for all the help the community has given me toward this project.

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  1. Welcome to the bright side :slight_smile:
  2. For starters, download a Live-CD from a Linux distro, like Mint, POP!_OS or Ubuntu (other flavours available), then make a bootable disk (USB, CD/DVD) with it and boot your system from it. Use it to see if you like it. Keep in mind that it’s much slower from that bootable disk then it would from an SSD, so don’t judge that.
  3. The most extensive/elaborate provision is to run your own local mirror of the distro you use. Depending on your distro choice that may take up several TB of storage. The optimal solution is an install-DVD or even Bluray disk, or a large USB storage device. In practice though, chances of the internet disappearing are nil: it was designed and build to prevent exactly that, some key player turn rogue and switch it off. There is NO internet kill switch. There are, however, foreign Gov’ts that control access of their population to the web (Russia, China, Iran and pretty much any and all other dictator states) as they force traffic through servers that Gov’t controls so they can turn it off or do other things with the data.
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Firstly back up everything you want to keep. You should do this regardless tbh. This is your reminder to back stuff up!!

When I was thinking this same thing I nabbed an old scrap laptop from work and installed Kubuntu on it and I used it as a testing machine to use daily while I got used to the differences. I was planning to to this for a year tbh, but the experience was so good it actually only lasted a week xD I still like this plan for trying new things though. But yeah, install software on this machine, particularly the software that you are wanting to use on your main machine, and have a go troubleshooting if things don’t work. i find this preferable to a live USB tbh because it’s full speed and you can install software permanently.

I recommend Kubuntu, Pop!_OS and Mint too personally as distributions to look at.

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You’ll need:

  • lots of patience

  • a bit more patience

  • time

  • resources … possibly additional hardware, either because you need it or because you’ll eventually want it.

  • more time again

  • possibly grab Ubuntu (it’s large and popular and relatively noob friendly)

  • plan for e.g. your wifi not working out of the box, or GPU support being meh.

  • games not working or things being slow

You might get lucky or unlucky when you first start using Linux, you might get fewer headaches or more headaches along the way.

Read things, watch things, ask questions about your use cases.

Good luck, and welcome.

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Functionally, if the internet killswitch happened tomorrow, you’ll have next to nothing to do with the computer. Disconnect from the network and see how much of your daily tasks you can do. I think this is a bit unrealistic to worry about.

Since nobody else even bothered to ask the important questions, I will.

  1. What hardware do you currently have, and what would you like to migrate first (if you have multiple systems) (Looking for CPU/Motherboard, wifi, GPU, storage and display specs here, specifically. If you have a laptop, the model would be incredibly helpful in addition to the aforementioned specs)

  2. What sort of tasks do you do on your computer? Are there any you do not currently do, but would like to?

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Welcome to the forum!

Depending on what you do, that may or may not be achievable fast. If you just use a web browser and an email client, that would be a pretty fast move. There are some mid-way solutions, like WINE or virtualization, but let’s not get into that for now.

So, what software are you using (as in, daily programs)? Make a list of them, see if they are available in Linux and if not, look for alternatives. If there are none, you may need one of the mid-way solutions I was talking about above.

Not sure if we’re getting into conspiracy territory, but I’ll play along.

In absence of internet, you will want:

  • hardware to run your OS and store your files (obviously).
  • some USB sticks and linux .isos.
  • some Linux manuals, because without the internet, you will be on your own, obviously.
  • preferably, a backup of the whole wikipedia and maybe the Arch Wiki too.
  • +/- Linux from Scratch (LFS), both the manual and all the source code linked in it.

I would argue that instead of holding the binary packages of a distro by doing a local mirror, like someone mentioned, in an internet-less situation it’s more convenient to go with a source-based distribution like Gentoo and only store source code and compile software as needed. But I doubt the internet would ever go down for an extended period of time, so I wouldn’t use Gentoo unless I had a really powerful PC.

This ^

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Let’s focus on helping OP to get moved over to Linux, then we can address his concerns with data availability.

This is a perfect example of a thread that’s on the knife’s edge of being dragged off into the weeds due to forum members not seeing the bigger picture.

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Probably the first step when wanting to switch your OS is:

After that come other choices, like what distribution to use (something more beginner friendly, I would assume would be ideal).

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Hey I have actually got a very good perspective on this since I’ve kind of done this for my own workflow

I think the first thing that you really need to approach is not approach it from which operating system am I running on point of view. You need to start cataloging your software and trying to make your workflow as operating system agnostic as possible.

What does that mean It means these tools are cross-platform in everything you do so you could use it even on an internet browser if you’re lucky. The reason you want this is because you’re still going to encounter other operating systems occasionally even if it’s not at home and it would be nice if your stuff crossed over That’s the best way to approach how do I get my software workflow to work on Linux It’s to do it from a operating system agnostic point of view

If I were to start anywhere if you’re just really itching to start on a Linux distribution don’t give into those kinds of distribution wars they’re all pretty much the same with different kernels and different defaults and the same basic compilers. you’ll encounter that a lot in the community of open source software especially Linux distributions and it’s just something that really comes with a territory try to ignore it the best you can.

With that mentality in mind… I highly suggest popping open a fedora ISO onto a virtual machine start playing around with it trying to understand it installing software and seeing what will work for you and what won’t before you go in a race your windows and Microsoft software off of your computer. Trust me a smoother transition is more important than a quick one.

It’s always good to start on a distribution that is well known and well supported.

Moving forward from there I would suggest that you do delve into basic scripting skills which are going to come in a lot of handiness on Linux. The most common shell terminal is bash or the bourne again shell. Learn a little bit of that and it’ll make your life a ton easier.

You’ll also need to assess out of the myriad of desktop environments which is going to suit you best and you can probably do that easier online than installing anything yet.

My approach here is going to lend you down a path where you virtualize Linux really understand it before you ever intend to install it and it also lets you get a very good backup solution going before you transition which I think is equally important whether you’re running Microsoft Windows or a Linux distribution

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My further suggestion is to really use the small Linux problem thread when you start encountering issues It’s here on our forum and it’s a good place for someone to provide a fix for you. The best thing about that thread is it’s already geared towards fixing Linux problems so you’re not going to encounter people who are just going to walk in and tell you to install Gentoo or sit in trash Microsoft Windows and fill everything up with useless sarcasm. You’ll get the help you need from people that are generally experienced with Linux

Idealistically I wish That’s how stuff went all the time but humans are variable. If you’re the kind of person that benefits from taking notes on what you do to really internalize it then make yourself a blog thread and go through and document your journey It’s another good way to internalize what you are doing.

Lastly know what you’re getting into It’s not going to be a perfect world and it’s going to take a lot of patience

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You are going to distrohop probably every few weeks only because you havent formed any real preference yet. My best advice is to separate your /home from your root partition so that you dont lose most of your settings and files when you distrohop.

Normally, I’d say if you have modern hardware, I’d recommend you go with a friendly rolling distro (like Manjaro or Endeavor) but since there is a dearth of new hardware releases, any popular distro should be fine. The only caveat is Wifi drivers, particularly if you are running a laptop. You need to search the WiFi module of your laptop. If its Realtek, you may have to be more involved (as in compile) in the restoration of WiFi functionality. A LAN connection or a separate functioning computer is recommended to have.

The desktop “feel” that is closest to Windows is Cinnamon and KDE. But you are not limited to that experience. You have a “Mac OS-like” in GNOME, a “Windows XP-like” experience in XFCE. There are less popular desktop styles. Try them all or not.

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Like Dutch_Master suggested, you might look to start with a “live USB” my main advise would be “google is your friend” (or ddg.gg /startpage etc)

A Live USB is literally a thumb stick, with the whole operating system on it, like a grown-up chromecast, but for a desktop.

You can run the computer from the stick, and do a bunch of stuff; web browsing, office work and stuff.

But, it would be a temporary setup, and you can install some games, but the graphics might not be great.

But, good enough to play around with, poke at menu’s, browse websites and stuff.

I would recommend making a coffee and checking this thread:

then this:

but really, start out and give it a go.

If you can get a spare SSD, and put your windows one away safely, then you can always come back to it, easy peasy, no muss, no fuss.
Or you can dual boot, but be careful not to get one system messing with another too much.

Welcome though, and be ready to search stuff.

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If your personal internet is at risk of being cut off and you may have to go to coffee shops to regain internet, you need a good portable Linux computer, and I would currently recommend System76 Clevo rebrands.

If you need smaller than a laptop and don’t mind a Bluetooth keyboard, Steam Deck fits that need.

Burn your Distros and data on M-DISCs if you are super paranoid of losing everything.

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Oh, and saving all the data to an external drive, Before installing, just in case never hurt anyone…

having the /home director on a separate partition is a great idea, and not too difficult to do, with the right online guide, but I would say that is more Intermediate level, not just beginner.

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While you can buy a new device (even a 2nd hand old laptop with 4GB of RAM or something, like older thinkpads or dell latitudes) and stick to only using Linux on it, I wouldn’t advice that at first. It’s cool that you want to try Linux and get into FOSS, but at the same time, rushing it and buying hardware… I’d say don’t rush to make purchasing decisions that you may regret.

Don’t get me wrong, after you try Linux in a live environment, using a Live USB with a Linux distro, or even inside a virtual machine if you want to install and test software, and you think you are committed to switching to Linux, only then, I would totally recommend getting a second device and try to daily drive it. Only go back to Windows when you need to run something that you can’t on Linux (like maybe completely incompatible games).

Personally, I started my Linux adventure back in 2012 when I first dual-booted Ubuntu 12.04 and Windows 8 (well, technically, I did try Ubuntu 11.10 before that, but didn’t use it more than 30 minutes). But because rebooting a PC to access another OS and file system was such an inconvenience, I mostly stuck with Windows. But after dual-booting lots of newer versions of Ubuntu and Windows, then trying Arch Linux for a few years, I took the jump (in 2018) and only used Linux as my main OS (Manjaro at the time). I used to distro-hop a lot, but I wasn’t satisfied until I tried forcing myself to stick with something and dual-booting was a big annoyance for me.

If I knew how much more convenient having 2 different PCs was, I would have probably used Linux as my main OS way earlier and only used Windows when gaming or something, kind of like a console (back when Proton wasn’t a thing and WINE was giving mostly garbage rating to titles I owned, or the ones that were marked as gold had strange behaviors on my old-ish system, like the game working, but only showing the first frame when loading the game - probably driver issues, I recall I saw a message that my Radeon HD 6670 wasn’t supported anymore after I did an Ubuntu update).

In any case, driver issues today aren’t that much of a deal as they used to be. To be honest, I encountered lots of drivers issues on Windows too (probably more than I did on Linux in the past 8 years). So I wouldn’t worry about drivers support.

So again, for now, just make a list of your software, see what’s available and what alternatives are for the things that aren’t available, then try to live boot or install Linux in a VM, then you can buy a 2nd hardware to use it on. A big rush to switch will only make more headaches and probably make you regret that you tried to switch, so do it at your own pace.

As someone else said, Linux distros aren’t that different from one another (well, the truth lies somewhere in the middle in this case), so using one where its users are friendly to newcomers and one that has a lot of documentation and how-to’s online would be preferable, which is why I still recommend Ubuntu or Pop!_OS, despite Ubuntu’s somewhat strange behavior / underlying configurations.

And like someone mentioned, use the “Small Linux problem” thread in case you need help, or feel free to create a new thread on the forum with the labels “Linux” and “Helpdesk.”

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First things first, you’ll need a second Harddrive (HD) and a usb to sata adapter. Greatest thing ever.


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  1. Pull out the windows HD in disgust
  2. Put in clean HD and install distro with full disk encryption and feel the weight lifted from your soul.
  3. Plug in old Windows HD with adapter (because that’s all it takes to defeat a login password) and straight copy everything you need to your new install.
  4. Then put the Windows HD on a shelf somewhere to be dusted and forgotten. A “just in case” Back-up

Whatever DAD! Everyone shills Linux & DE Snubs in there own way. Geeeeeeeeeez.


It’s been 8 hours where is this dude?


If @LinuxNoob is jumping windows they probably just want it to work - like a toaster.

So it’s POP_OS or Ubuntu, Das it. If the transition won’t work on either of these distros, it’s not going to work for him/her .


Welcome to Level1 @LinuxNoob
forrest-gump


@LinuxNoob, It’s pretty easy to have a home appliance NAS these days. Craiglist box, qnap, synology


Youtube has 10s of libraries with large catalogued tutorials of HOWTOs and DIY!!! Try it!!!
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anchorman

I think level1 may have a few video. Everyone has different learning capacities, conceptually you could pick this up fast and run with it. You a bit of a puter nerd already? @LinuxNoob

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Like others here have mentioned, there are two main things to consider;

  1. Is your hardware compatible? If in doubt I’d answer yes, but then you could be one of those people that bought a prebuilt from a shady Dell outlet, and that happened to have a non-supported Bluetooth or non-supported wifi module for instance.

  2. What are you doing on your computer? Here is a short list that should give you an idea of what Linux can do for you, not exhaustive by any means:

Linux is best for:

  • Programming
  • Networking poking and prodding
  • Browsing
  • Professional Audio
  • Server stuff
  • Embedded non-realtime computing (e.g. RPi and similar)
  • Learning computer stuff

Linux is not best at, but can do these pretty well:

  • Gaming (apart from eSport titles)
  • Retro gaming (old console games, that sort of thing)
  • Most Office tasks
  • Video Editing / Streaming
  • Photo editing
  • Embedded realtime computing

Linux is currently bad at:

  • Proprietary Windows-only software that requires consistent renewals (like Solidworks, Adobe CS etc)
  • eSports (due to EAC and similar)
  • CAD (FreeCAD keeps improving but still leagues behind pro software like SolidWorks)
  • Just-Works-Computing (yes, your grandma can still use it - but that’s because you are administrating the machine)
  • Exotic hardware support (the kind where the only known driver was delivered in 1996 on a long-since bitrotted floppy disk)
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I’d put that in the “not best at” category. FreeCAD can read/write all your AutoCAD files. Other options like QCAD are very easy for novices. And several more. On Linux software is quite often free, so it’s easy to try several different tools to find the one that works best for you.

Windows “just works” because you have an OEM preloading drivers and other needed software. There are a few Linux OEM systems out there, which should be just as easy to turn-on and go.

There are many counter-examples to this, though. Some very exotic hardware only works with Linux.

It’s fairly common to see old hardware that is no longer usable in Windows (because the drivers haven’t been updated for years) that still works perfectly on Linux.

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Another option is to jail windows in a linux vm and compartmentalize you computer habits.

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Put linux on a usb and boot into a live environment. Dick around with it. Don’t overwrite windows until you have replacements for all your software.

Gaming and Linux aren’t 100% compatible. Either keep dual booting or segregate the two activities between two machines. That’s usually the easiest advice to start with.

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