I feel like I'm ready to take the plunge to Linux/ de google myself. I like the convenience and the pretty/ clean ui ms Windows gives me. Can I get that on Linux? I have used Ubuntu before but never really liked it. Is there a Linux distro that has good ui and programs that compare to the ones on Windows?
I'm considering the plunge myself, I liked the look of Mint with cinnamon desktop.
Other users and myself have already done a long post avout breaking down distros a few times please look in the Linux sub forum.
I wouldn't use Mint it is just all the bugs from Ubuntu with more bugs and package dependency issues. They also have a bad update cycle.
I should of checked the Linux fourm first before making this post.
It OK man. Use this thread to record your experience and journey into Linux. I just didn't feel like re typing all that on a phone.
But really don't get too wrapped up over distributions. Once you find something stick with it so you can learn how to use it distro hopping is really distracting.
+1 linux mint cinnamon is absolutely beautiful. not only is it heavly customizeable, but it runs pretty well too
Theres some good threads on the Linux section of the forums. One thing to remember is that most distros you can easily install a different UI. People have mentioned Cinnamon, you'll also find KDE to be failure to use.
I always suggest looking at openSUSE (default DE is KDE) and Fedora (default DE is GNOME), both are very good, easy to install and have a lot of support.
I agree with Taco Bell, pick one distro and stick with it for a little bit and learn how to use it. Remember, your not using windows, you need to set just a little time aside to learn what is a new operating system, just like you had to learn how to use windows for the first time.
programs that compare to the ones on Windows?
What kind of programs are you looking for?
Rain meter (desktop widgets)
KDE and GNOME has widgets by delfualt
There are tons of Text editors in Linux it is heavily used for programming one comes with any GUI you choose
You don't need anti virus as long as you don't stay as root (admin) and leave the security settings and fire wall as is.
Just remember Linux is not "free windows" They are fundamentally different operating systems. If you stick to mainly open source software it will be smooth.
To add to Taco Bells suggestions.
desktop widgets: conky, is a highly configurable system monitor, you can make it do all sorts of things, take a little configuring.
adobe photoshop: krita, incscape, blender(3d)
notepad++: the defaults gedit, kate, etc that come with GNOME, and KDE are very good. But if you want to stick with Linux, getting used to and learning how to use vim or emacs can be very beneficial.
The sooner you move to linux, the better off you'll be.
Rainmeter has nothing on Conky.
Linux mint is good, it's been working great for me and I've used Windows only for years. The only gripe I have is that I installed cinnamon desktop and themes are pretty stupidly managed. I've heard better of xfce and MATE.
Get zorinOS if you want the closest thing to windows, it's ubuntu based but with programs and themes already installed.
If you take the plunge to linux you might as well dabble in command line since it's one of it's best features.
This stuff is general and easy if you have reference or a tutorial to follow, and there's always help (even though it gets confusing even for simple programs like unrar)
I recently switched from Linux Mint/Ubuntu/Debian over to Fedora 21. So far, So good. So Freaking Good. Ubuntu should have stayed with Gnome 3. Seriously, Gnome 3.14 FTW! Fedora is the only distro that has the latest Gnome code. Aside from Arch. Fedora is also the test bed for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It is also very solid. It supports all the listed software.
Gnome 3.14 can be installed on any distro, but yes, Fedora 21 Workstation edition ships with it by default.
Like two years ago or so, when Fedora first partly implemented Wayland, and had Gnome 3.10 or so, and LibreOffice 4 was out, that was definitely the moment where it was obvious that the graphics quality and GUI experience, with super smooth fonts and just a very comfortable and efficient working environment, was so far ahead of MS-Windows and OSX that the dice had been thrown.
It is what it is, Windows or OSX look like major downgrades in comparison to bleeding edge linux distros with Gnome 3.10+ or KDE 5. Whatever everyone has to say about everything, that is just an objective fact that nobody can deny.
I am looking at elementary OS, is there anything bad with it?
It's packages are pretty old so is it's Kernel normally RMP and Aur based distros will be more up to date.
AUR is not an official repo, it's a supplementary feature of Arch, but the distro is not based on it.
It's not RMP but RPM, it stands for "RedHat Package Management".
I agree that on a standalone desktop that's going to be used for entertainment and where performance is required, it's a good idea to go with a bleeding edge distro, just to get the most out of the hardware.
Also, Elementary is Ubuntu-based. Ubuntu looks like a nice compromise at first sight, and without taking into account that RPM-distros have evolved quite a lot in the last couple of years. But Ubuntu has its problems that RPM-distros just don't have, because they allow third parties to directly maintain their packages on the Ubuntu repos. This plus the lower quality packaging standards of the DEB-distros, leads to occasional problems that RPM-distros don't have. On my present Ubuntu 14.10 install for instance, even though I'm using the open source AMD drivers, I get an occasional graphics stack crash, total loss, not even solvable by switching TTY. Other things are memory leaks in Google code, because Canonical lets Google submit their code directly to their repos without even checking it, and doesn't debug the code either, so the same Google code works perfectly fine on OpenSuSE, but it has severe memory leaks and other problems on Ubuntu.
I just don't think that for a standalone desktop-style use case scenario, Ubuntu does not deliver the best linux experience, and unfortunately, that also goes for Ubuntu-derivatives like Mint, Zorin, Elementary, etc... whereby it also needs to be said that non-Canonical community spins of Ubuntu (Kubuntu, Ubuntu with Gnome, Xubuntu and Lubuntu) solve quite a few of these problems, and are much more usable. So does Mint, but Mint has another big problem, in that the update system is fundamentally unsafe, and I personally think that is a dealbreaker.
Sorry about that typed it on a phone.
To add to what you said: I have seen more dependency issues with Ubuntu based distros than any other. They aren't hard to solve but it is irritating. The issues seem to have gotten worse since they don't put as much effort into their desktop distro as their mobile.
Fundamentally unsafe due to the way it prioritizes the software updates? Trying 17.1 now but i am having issues with what i can only explain as massive over processing of the audio in Mint 17. Trying to get my Htpc set up. May have to find an even lighter distro with no audio issues to sort.
I'd actually still stick with Ubuntu, just replace the terrible Unity UI with something else, you can install as many UIs as you like and can pick them from the Login screen.
The reason why is the repositories, the Ubuntu repos are pretty good and you can use any .deb package, as well as add any of the several quite useful 3rd party repos and PPAs.
Normally I'd have said Mint, but Mint has gone to LTS only and it's a simple matter to add Mint's Cinnamon desktop UI on Ubuntu, so Ubuntu is just better for more up to date software with less fiddling then backporting the new software to the older version of Ubuntu that Mint is currently based on.