Replacing Windows 7 with Linux

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Which is the best Linux variant?

  • Ubuntu

    Votes: 7 31.8%
  • Ubuntu Mate

    Votes: 1 4.5%
  • Fedora

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Mint

    Votes: 12 54.5%
  • Lite

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other...

    Votes: 2 9.1%

  • Total voters
    22
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Deleted User

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Hello :)
I’m looking for a great Linux replacement for windows 7, because as you know, support for the long living Os is ending in 2020, and I don’t want any hackers or viruses on my pc (again :ph34r:). And I already have he newer versions of windows (8.1 and 10), and windows 8.1 will last another 3 years. So I thought why not replace windows 7 with Linux, but first I need to know some things:

1. What is the best Linux variant? (Vote above)

2. Will my pc device drivers install automatically? (Even though they are not officially for Linux)?

3. What about the boot loader? Will Grub replace my current boot manager? And is Grub fast?

Thanks guys :)
 

Exannor

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1. Depends on what you want, not what we want, imo, I prefer alpine for application devoted servers/docker containers and ubuntu + cinnamon desktop environment for development(Because I'm still technically a windows weeb since I have to use windows still) and the compatibility of certain programs without going through too many hoops so I can devote more time to developing and doing things rather than installing.

2. Linux provides it's own open source drivers for most things, depending on what you have, Linux will provide them or you'll have to install them manually which isn't all that hard at all as long as the person who made the hardware provided the driver in a compliant package(.deb, .rpm, etc) or in a tarball(tar.gz usually or maybe even a zip file).

3. Grub can replace your current bootloader. If you don't want that to happen because you want to use window's bootloader or your special bootloader, you need to make sure to configure it to not write over the boot partition and instead a partition of its own and it can be configured to have no wait time. I usually use grub customizer to change some of the settings because I'm lazy. For the most part, it's pretty fast. Also if you use ubuntu, during ubuntu's installation there is an option to install it alongside windows which is something that I bet you want.
 
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Mythical

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For a beginner I would recommend Linux Mint cinnamon flavor as it simplifies a lot of things for a new user of linux and it works well on older machines. https://www.linuxmint.com/
You can also make a drive that you can boot from by changing boot priority in bios settings to test out various linux types such as Solus and Ubuntu before fully installing one
it has a built in software updater/driver updater and a checklist that will help you set everything up as well (I would recommend installing a few apps manually to learn some stuff)
 
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For a beginner I would recommend Linux Mint cinnamon flavor as it simplifies a lot of things for a new user of linux and it works well on older machines. https://www.linuxmint.com/
You can also make a drive that you can boot from by changing boot priority in bios settings to test out various linux types such as Solus and Ubuntu before fully installing one
it has a built in software updater/driver updater and a checklist that will help you set everything up as well (I would recommend installing a few apps manually to learn some stuff)
And the boot loader is still grub, or is it another one? Can I customize the bootloader? (Themes, entry order, default OS)
 

Exannor

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And the boot loader is still grub, or is it another one? Can I customize the bootloader? (Themes, entry order, default OS)
Yup, most linux distros nowadays use grub by default. You can customize the bootloader using Grub Customizer, but with all distros that use grub, you can also customize the bootloader in /etc/default/grub.
 
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Yup, most linux distros nowadays use grub by default. You can customize the bootloader using Grub Customizer, but with all distros that use grub, you can also customize the bootloader in /etc/default/grub.
I went to the mint site and the latest version is 19.2 Tina. Is it stable or still buggy?
Also. I’m in legacy mode with a disk using the MBR partition style. Will the mint installer create additional partitions on my SSD?
 

Exannor

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I went to the mint site and the latest version is 19.2 Tina. Is it stable or still buggy?
Also. I’m in legacy mode with a disk using the MBR partition style. Will the mint installer create additional partitions on my SSD?

Yes and no. You would have to be the one to create those partitions yourself which is why in my post, I pointed out an option that ubuntu had during install. Linux mint doesn't have this and as I'm typing this I literally pulled up a video of a person installing 19.2. If the person that I'm watching had the option, then it would've been at least greyed out. Also mint is based on ubuntu so you get all of the things that mint also has.
Also if you use ubuntu, during ubuntu's installation there is an option to install it alongside windows which is something that I bet you want.

Select this option and it'll create a partition called an extended partition if windows 8 or 10 in whichever order hasn't already created one and create logical volumes inside of the extended partition which should not affect your windows partitions and SSD's primary partition count except for the extended partition
 
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Taleweaver

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I also vote for Linux Mint (cinnamon). Keep in mind that this is a PERSONAL choice, though. There is no single 'the best' Linux variant. I suggest simply trying it : most if not all distros can be run from an USB stick. That way you can get an idea of the look and feel of the system, as well as testing out your peripherals (1).

19.2 is stable, yes. But even so... 'buggy' isn't a word I'd use to describe any but the bleeding edge linux distros. Yes, there are patches and security updates, but unless you're hellbent on breaking it, things simply work.

(1): on linux mint, the only issue I've had was my very old printer. And it took me about ten minutes of googling/Trying to get it to work
 
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Mythical

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One thing to note is that your windows install(s) won't be able to see your linux install unless you partition it to fat32 (your linux can see all of your windows partitions though)
I'm not really sure there's a good reason to have windows 7 anymore other than legacy software which you can get running by other means or through a virtual machine

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

just remembered the thread name welp if you have software you wanna run that only windows 7 can vm got you back
 

vecst

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Solus, you want solus.
I've used linux for about 13 years now and never have I been so impressed by a distro.
I was always an advocate for mint or manjaro depending on if you like debian or arch, but solus makes those OSes feel inferior.
 

Mythical

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Solus, you want solus.
I've used linux for about 13 years now and never have I been so impressed by a distro.
I was always an advocate for mint or manjaro depending on if you like debian or arch, but solus makes those OSes feel inferior.
I haven't tried Solus, but have heard it is one of the better linuxes for beginners. What do you like about it?
 

vecst

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I haven't tried Solus, but have heard it is one of the better linuxes for beginners. What do you like about it?

Everything runs extremely well, great system response.
All the packages are up to date and well maintained.
Stability
Rolling Releases
All of my hardware worked OOB, which isn't ever the case for mint or manjaro.

This isn't exclusive to solus, but budgie is also pretty sweet.
 
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Kraken_X

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If you have never used Linux before, you might also consider trying it in a VM. VMware player is free. That way you don't need to mess with partitions, and you will have 100% hardware support without needing to install any drivers besides VMWare tools. You will also have access to your Windows machine while you use it in case you need to troubleshoot something or want to listen to music during the install.

I run Fedora. It's not the right choice for someone new to Linux since it's basically RedHat's beta and has some stability issues as a result. It's also more aimed at an enterprise environment.

Mint is probably your best choice for a beginner. Unlike Windows, your choice of Window manager is separate from your choice of OS. I'd recommend Cinnamon because it's the easiest to use and most Windows-like. Gnome is very customizable, but misses core functionality out of the box.
 

Mythical

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If you have never used Linux before, you might also consider trying it in a VM. VMware player is free. That way you don't need to mess with partitions, and you will have 100% hardware support without needing to install any drivers besides VMWare tools. You will also have access to your Windows machine while you use it in case you need to troubleshoot something or want to listen to music during the install.

I run Fedora. It's not the right choice for someone new to Linux since it's basically RedHat's beta and has some stability issues as a result. It's also more aimed at an enterprise environment.

Mint is probably your best choice for a beginner. Unlike Windows, your choice of Window manager is separate from your choice of OS. I'd recommend Cinnamon because it's the easiest to use and most Windows-like. Gnome is very customizable, but misses core functionality out of the box.
a vm is a bad way to test a new install generally. It would be better to load a live install from a usb/sd
and Fedora IS Redhat minus extra support (the part of Redhat you're actually paying for)
 
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If you have never used Linux before, you might also consider trying it in a VM. VMware player is free. That way you don't need to mess with partitions, and you will have 100% hardware support without needing to install any drivers besides VMWare tools. You will also have access to your Windows machine while you use it in case you need to troubleshoot something or want to listen to music during the install.

I run Fedora. It's not the right choice for someone new to Linux since it's basically RedHat's beta and has some stability issues as a result. It's also more aimed at an enterprise environment.

Mint is probably your best choice for a beginner. Unlike Windows, your choice of Window manager is separate from your choice of OS. I'd recommend Cinnamon because it's the easiest to use and most Windows-like. Gnome is very customizable, but misses core functionality out of the box.
Do virtual machines count as emulators? (Will it be slower than if I install it on a real HD partition)?
 

Mythical

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Do virtual machines count as emulators? (Will it be slower than if I install it on a real HD partition)?
Yeah you're emulating an os. It would be better to run a live install to test.
You'll get optimal performance from a real install to ssd or hdd
 

Kraken_X

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Yeah, it will run quite a bit slower in a VM.

But you could be running it in 45 minutes from now with no change to your current system or even needing to get up and find a USB stick.
 

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