Windows installation vs Linux installation

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by eeyrjmr, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. eeyrjmr

    eeyrjmr [H]ardness Supreme

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    I keep hearing that Linux is very hard to install and it is hard to use
    Well the hard to use is just reletive: If you are use to Nokia phones then a Motorola is hard to use

    But as to the installation process it seems that Windows is actually harder (and extreamly dumb) when it comes to Linux

    Be it to a BASE installation or a full-fledge desktop Linux winds hands-down on ease and on speed

    http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-387405-highlight-.html
     
  2. dx2

    dx2 Gawd

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    maybe as far as installing a fedora core 4, ubuntu, suse, or mandrake....but if you asked someone that has just installed windows before to go and install gentoo from scratch they'd have an anyeurism with all the stuff they have to do from the command line. Cause if it didnt pick up all the hardware right away things get tricky if you have no clue where to start to look to get things up and running.

    Half the fun of installing gentoo or another linux distribution from scratch is the sense of accomplishment from setting up the OS *exactly* how you want it.
     
  3. acascianelli

    acascianelli [H]ardness Supreme

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    If I had a dollar for everytime I see some Gentoo zealot recommend Gentoo for a new linux user, then a week or so later they post how Linux is a pain in the ass and waste of time...

    Linux can be made extremely easy to install, even easier than windows. Get a copy of Linspire and run through that install. Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse, Mandriva are all very easy to install. I would venture to say that it is easier to install Linux because you do not have to reboot the system to enter the second stage of the install like Windows.

    I use Ubuntu, and I consider myself to be an intermediatte user. I know how to install Gentoo, but I prefer the ease of use and package management with Ubuntu.
     
  4. corrosive23

    corrosive23 2[H]4U

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    I use debian because its the distro I learned linux on. Its what I run servers with and my second desktop with. If only my wireless card on my laptop was supported debian would run on that as well.
     
  5. BillLeeLee

    BillLeeLee [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I am a former Gentoo user. I installed it about 5x, but lately, I've gone over to Ubuntu thanks to its fast fast fast install. However, installation of linux is easy or hard depending on how willing you are to learn new things and what distro you want. At the upper crust, you have Linux From Scratch, and at the lower end (easier to install) you will have distros like Ubuntu.
     
  6. acascianelli

    acascianelli [H]ardness Supreme

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    Have you tried the NDISWrapper? Thats how I got my Broadcom 802.11G card to work under Linux.
     
  7. Menelmarar

    Menelmarar [H]ardness Supreme

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    I can't see how anything would be easier to setup than windows, it can be described as anything but hard. Windows XP you just plop the cd in the drive and click next a bunch of times.

    I have little desktop linux experience but some of the more developed Linux distro's are simliarly easy to setup such as Red Hat.
     
  8. eeyrjmr

    eeyrjmr [H]ardness Supreme

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    maybe hard not the right word. how abt LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG

    So you start an XP installation.
    First 20min is the format of the parititon and copy files across. then a REBOOT

    Then the next 40min is spen as it sets up the OS (DCOM registry et al) then a REBOOT

    Finally a couple of questions abt network and you are finally at a desktop

    1hour. And that is just the BASE Windows. You then have to install drivers, low-level protection (virus scan...) then your apps.

    IN total you are looking at 10CD's 15reboots and 4hours to get to a useable setup and that isn't including SP plus patches

    Now look at Ubuntu, in 30 min you have a full-fledge working desktop (office and all).
    Then you look at FEdora and its massive selection of applications 1Hour later and you have a full-fledge desktop and the only reboot needed is the one to reboot off of th eCD into yr installation


    Equally say you have windows installed on yr HD and have a spare partition it is really easy to get a dual-boot working.

    Now say you have Linux as the only Operating system and you have a spare partition and you decide to install Windows. IT WILL HOSE YOUR MBR such that you will NOT be able to boot into your linux OS. Yo uwill have to boot off a linux CD and chroot and rewrite a more advance MBR

    This alone shows how low-tech MS is
     
  9. Menelmarar

    Menelmarar [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'm not real sure why they should be obligated to be concerned with their competitors product.

    10CD's? In a typical installation of windows I don't see near that many. Windows XP (1CD), SAV (1CD), Office 2003 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, Access everything a typical user needs = 1CD) (I need a 2nd CD for Visio but that isn't for the common user), Ideally you would be using a Windows XP cd with Service Pack 2 already present and you would have one reboot after you run windows update for the critical security updates. And a second reboot for SAV. Just pointing ou that 2 reboots and 3 cds is nowhere near as insane as what you propose.
     
  10. superkdogg

    superkdogg Gawd

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    I have to say that Winblows is easier to install. It takes next to no knowledge of your machine, just simple things like are you on a network, etc.

    I am an experienced user and I repair Windows pc's for $$ in my town, but I've been caught in dependency hell during a Debian install and no such possibility exists in Windows.

    There are distros that are shorter, faster, and easier. That being said, the point about ease coming with familiarity is well taken and you can only fake so much with Linux whereas in Windows you can fumble through gui's and eventually find the right answer in 99% of cases.
     
  11. SiathLinux

    SiathLinux Limp Gawd

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    Runninng Dual boots has given me some unique insite to Windows/Linux...
    First I've never use Ubuntu, Gentoo, or Debian.

    I have used the following:
    Windows 3.1 - yeah I'm old so what.
    Windows 95a and b
    Windows 98
    Windows 98SE
    Windows ME
    Windows XP pro
    Windows XP home
    Windows NT 4.0
    Redhat 6.0
    Mandrake 10.0
    Fedora Core 4

    I've dual booted the following successfully -
    Windows 95/Redhat 6.0
    Windows 98SE/Redhat 6.0
    Windows 98SE/Redhat 6.0/Mandrake 10.0 (triple boot with Lilo)
    Windows ME/Fedora Core 4.

    Always loaded Windows 1st, then the lowest version of Linux (refering to the triple boot)

    Also, just a thing about Windows easier or faster - not - with Windows you have to reinstall all of your games, all or your applications, each time I have to reinstall windows to nasty crash or hardware failure - I have Windows cd, Corel WordPerfect 3cd, Ultimate Solitaire 1 cd, Evo 4x4 2 (1cd), Hitman 2 (1cd), Icewind Dale 2cds, Star Trek Deep Space 9 Fallen 1cd, Tomb Raider III 2cds, Half Life Platinum 5cds... how many is that??

    When I reload FC4 well that's 4cds, until I get a DVD...then it'll be 1DVD.
    When I reload Mandrake 10.0 only 1 cd...
     
  12. hitman_forhire

    hitman_forhire n00b

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    I think drivers is probably the one HUGE thing that linux saves you on. That alone can be an hour or so once the initial install is complete. If you use a robust Linux OS with some great apps built in for auto detection then you will more than likely have 1 or less things to configure because they'll all be done for you. For Windows however, you have to install a driver for nearly everything.
     
  13. KoolDrew

    KoolDrew [H]ard|Gawd

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    Linux can be harder to install, however, it depends on the disto you choose. Some (Xandros) do basically everything for you, so it is actually easier. Others (Debian, Gentoo, Slackware etc.) are harder. However, if you just read the installation intructions some should be fine. Slackware is completely text-based, but is not hard at all.

    Since my favorite disto is Debian and you're a newb (not in an offensive way), I highly suggest Ubuntu. SimplyMepis is another good one.
     
  14. UMCPWintermute

    UMCPWintermute Limp Gawd

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    When I installed Debian, it didn't download security updates for me - I had to do that after install. It didn't install Snort for me, Ethereal, Nagios, nmap, or any of the other applications I needed.

    It all depends on what you're using the machine for. With a Windows machine, you can have it at the desktop and usable (for Solitaire, Notepad, and web surfing) in X amount of time. You can have a Linux machine at the desktop and usable (for websurfing and vim) in Y amount of time.

    I tend to have a more difficult time setting up post-installation programs in Linux than Windows, simply because of dependencies (even with aptitude). If I install one piece of software not in the dependency chain (for instance, I needed Nagios 2.0 when apt only had 1.3), I had to install everything else by hand as well, because I didn't know how to tell aptitude not to freak out about Nagios not being installed.

    With Windows, you can have a lot of install headaches as well - I've had more than my share of them when setting up and securing webservers, locking down security permissions, and IPSec. However, from my experience, I have more on Linux than Windows.

    Your mileage may vary, and this is only in my own opinion - but I find that for setting up computers to do more than word process, both operating systems take a long amount of time (and a few headaches/beers) to get everything working the way I want.
     
  15. Ranma_Sao

    Ranma_Sao 2[H]4U

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    So first off, I'm a little biased.

    1 hour is insane for a base windows install. My P3 1Ghz test machine can do a windows XP install in 25 mins. (My P4 does it in 18).

    Second, when doing dual boot tests, I have had linux (Red Hat) decide my NTFS partition wasn't needed and it blew it away. (This was 8.0 of Red Hat, 8.1 it actually asked before blowing away the ntfs partition). Windows has never ever, decided it needed to blow away a partition before asking, or being told directly to do it. (I don't know pre NT4.0, as I haven't done an NT 3.51 install in years)

    Ever had a damaged MBR? Linux fails since it doesn't replace it, windows succeeds because it replaces it. (Not the best solution for dual boot, but it is easy to fix)

    Thirdly, counting reboots is a little lame when decided how good an installer is. (Espically since it doesn't matter once the O/S is down)

    Now that I don't have to work on such things anymore, I have not seen an easy way to automate a linux install. Windows installs are easy to automate (Unattend.txt). (Maybe linux has it now, I haven't done a linux install in over a year)

    Yes, the MBR story does suck, but it is for a technical reason why it is that way.

    I definatly do NOT think the Windows Installer (AKA winnt32/setup.exe/msoobe.exe) is low tech. But you are entitled to your own opinion. If you're interested how the new setup works, you can find the slides I posted awhile back, when discussing F6 support.

    As to your application point of view, that is why imaging and sysprep was invented. ;) But I doubt I can convince you of how judging windows setup vs Linux setup is

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
     
  16. hitman_forhire

    hitman_forhire n00b

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    My favorite part of the discussion is when someone states that "the computer did it" and then suddenly decide it's either not good enough or too hard and they can't do it. A computer is a machine, it merely does what you tell it to, note that sometime if a program isn't developed correctly it may do some strange things, but not usually. In nearly 98% of situations it seems to me it was the users mistake or he/she just didn't really invest the time in reading the correct documentation for the project at hand. People get too utterly used to things being "simple" just "click and go" and don't realize how much power and control over the hardware and the computer they are throwing away by using 'one click methods' and such.

    Linux isn't a better or worse, easier or harder solution It's an alternative and is just as hard or as easy as learning anything else for the first time. Most people don't realize how many years experience they actually have using windows. Dating back from middle school or elementary school they've been exposed to windows or a mac. If you'd been using linux the entire time you'd feel just as equal in a controversial discussion like this. It's just what you're used to and you really honestly have to completely let go of that mentality to start learning faster, you have to stop comparing it to windows and realize you're using Linux and it's not supposed to be the same. It's different because it's supposed to be and yes it does take time to learn.

    I'm a Linux advocate loyal to no specific distro because I use them all. I have several servers in a rack right next to me and I use each one for it's strenth or weakness in a particular area. I use windows and macs alike. I would choose mac over a windows box anyday and I would choose Linux on a machine over either of them. It's just that somethings have to be done in windows/mac.

    I'm the president of a local LUG/BUG and have been emersed in OSS and Linux/BSD for many years now. I've seen lots of newcomers pass and go and a lot less embrace the power of *NIX operating systems and go far with it. It's all in what you want it to be. If a person is willing to devote time to learning it, it's awesome, things will come faster if you want to learn and aren't "just trying it" really still optimistic on the inside.

    The fastest most efficient way to learn is by emersion. I coach emersion all of the time. Just take a spare PC, and wipe it. Put linux only on it and make yourself learn it. It's nice to have another functional machine close by for troubleshooting etc. But once you get it up and running, use it exclusively and you will pick up and learn things 3 times as fast. Everytime you want to do something you will have to learn how, and the more you do the more you will learn, and if you make it the only possible way to accomplish something, you won't give up until you've conquered each and every task. Linux can do about 99% of the things you're used to in windows, if it wasn't for gaming I will come out and say it can do 99.99% but since alot of big games are still pretty reliant on Windows, I can't say 100%. The choice is the persons and it mostly depends on how bad they want it. When I first started I joined a LUG of 3 people that was crumbling after being established for several months without much hope. I cought the Linux Bug and went crazy, I took my first and only computer and went ballz to the wall with it. With little of ANY kind of experience I went all out. Over half a decade later here I am, heading a LUG/BUG managing around 7 machines and a web hosting business, loving every second of it and doing it all with Linux,OSS, and BSD software. Things just time, and anything worth having isn't easy to get.

    For me, Linux is life, and even with that said, I still use windows from time to time.
     
  17. GreNME

    GreNME 2[H]4U

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    Really? Try it with components that Kudzu or the other device detectors can't find drivers for.

    My system has a Hauppage TV card, a SoundBlaster Live sound card, and two USB PCI cards, not to mention three hard drives, and constant use of different USB drives, the Logitech MX700, and two monitors. I seriously doubt that a base working install of Linux will take less time. In fact, since I've tried it, I know it doesn't.
     
  18. GreNME

    GreNME 2[H]4U

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    That said, for most end-user stuff, Linux is no harder to learn than Windows. The problem is the support base is much smaller and assumes way more literacy of the OS than the typical end-user has. All *nix documentation assumes more knowledge than necessary in the explanation, making the documentation difficult to read and understand.
     
  19. corrosive23

    corrosive23 2[H]4U

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    yeah its a fully unsupported and undocumented card. It barely works in windows let alone in linux
     
  20. hitman_forhire

    hitman_forhire n00b

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    Haha, I can definately agree that it sucks when you realize some of the hardware you busted out cash for is hardly known on earth and has next to no support in windows let alone any other OS...It sucks, I feel your pain on my laptop, lots of crazy little inegrated things like pinhole cams, 6 card reader slots and a funky touchpad that took me like 2 months to tweak the driver for just to get to work.
     
  21. GreNME

    GreNME 2[H]4U

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    Yeah, but you know what? Once it works, it works. That's pretty damned cool, and I always give *nix mad props for it (and it seems XP is the only comparable Win to that, and that can be debatable).
     
  22. JTY

    JTY 2[H]4U

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    Linux installs take me ~15 to 30 minutes to complete, and that includes having all drivers/software installed. Windows in that time would just have the OS done, and I'd still have more to go.

    As for which is easier to install, I'd say they are about the same.
     
  23. corrosive23

    corrosive23 2[H]4U

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    im ready to get a new one anyways. Its a 1Ghz Athlon that only supports 512 ram.
     
  24. SirKenin

    SirKenin Guest

    Actually, there isn't a lot to a Linux installation. The only thing is when you don't want the default installation, then it gets really tedious. You have to sort through a zillion packages, manually configure networking and all sorts of other goodies. THAT is a real pain in the ass.

    However, like I said, if you just roll with the default configuration and let it do it's thing it's quite painless.
     
  25. HHunt

    HHunt [H]ardness Supreme

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    Then again, the same thing applies to windows, just to a lesser degree.
    Nothing like the fun of, say, windows not supporting your network card, so I have to dig up some form of storage to get it online, or having to find a floppy drive to install to SATA.
    (Not to mention the number of drivers I have to manually download to get everything up to date on a new windows install.)
     
  26. GreNME

    GreNME 2[H]4U

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    I think that "to a lesser degree" is the crux of my argument. It was my point. Saying Linux is easier on a specific hardware configuration is hedging the bench from which to judge.
     
  27. HHunt

    HHunt [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'd say that if you select your hardware with linux in mind, it will be easier to install than windows. Otherwise, windows will on average have fewer problems with hardware support.
     
  28. Xipher

    Xipher 2[H]4U

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    How many times does the average person actually install the OS at all though?
    Think about it, the average home user goes to a store, and buys the computer with the OS already installed (along with a bunch of other crap).
     
  29. HHunt

    HHunt [H]ardness Supreme

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    If linux install being easy means that a few more percent of curious users installs another OS, it's worth it in my eyes. :)
    (After all, new users have to come from somewhere.)
     
  30. GreNME

    GreNME 2[H]4U

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    That would be a smaller subset of specific hardware than would be for Windows, though. Not only that, such hardware is usually dated. Also, if they're just trying to switch with the hardware they have on hand, it will further complicate things. It's kinda like the good-old Apple tests that were using RC5 builds optimized for AltiVec while using a generic build on x86-- basically, they were hedging bets in their favor. Of course it will give them the results they want. Statisticians do it all the time.

    What I'm saying is that pound-for-pound, hardware-for-hardware, Linux is no more easy to install than Windows. However, while it is not significantly harder than Windows, there is not enough in its ease-of-install to be very compelling.
     
  31. Archer75

    Archer75 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I can do a clean install of Windows, install all of my apps and games and get everything configured the way I want it in 2 hours. For linux I still have not gotten to that stage. I can get it installed and my hardware working in about 2 hours. Getting all my apps installed and everything configured properly is another story. I have never reached this stage in linux.
     
  32. cuemasterfl

    cuemasterfl [H]ardness Supreme

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    I've successfully installed flavors of Windows thousands of times. I've tried many, many times to install Linux, and it wasn't until a few days ago I actually succeeded. I installed Fedore Core 4 to triple boot with my XP and Vista beta. It always questions about mount points, grub, etc. and I had absolutely no idea what any of it meant, so it would always mess up somewhow.

    With Windows, I don't have to worry about anything. It only takes 40 minutes too (Quick format, install).
     
  33. GreNME

    GreNME 2[H]4U

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    Getting a plain-jane install of Linux is not hard. With many installers, you can actually select a click-thru interface that makes almost all the decisions for you.

    Just because you can't set up a separate box with VNC and and Apache all set up or a slim box with IPTables all configured properly does not mean Linux is more difficult as an OS to install. It means working with a different software model has a learning curve.
     
  34. HHunt

    HHunt [H]ardness Supreme

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    While my point is that if both installers are working as intended, windows is the less elegant one.

    BTW, "usually dated" isn't stictly true. It's not hard to buy a new, fully supported computer. (Ok; soundcards are perhaps bit tricky. I use headphones and am perfectly happy with anything that gives plain stereo, so I'm not too familiar with the curent state.)
     
  35. GreNME

    GreNME 2[H]4U

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    "Usually dated" means implied not strictly anything... hence "usually." ;)

    what I am trying to say is that there is no compelling benefit to installing Linux by judging the installers against each other. Both are equally simple and difficult to warrant pretty much equal treatment.
     
  36. HHunt

    HHunt [H]ardness Supreme

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    Heh, true. That's what I get for posting after midnight.
    (Then again, that makes it is a completely superfluent statement unless you meant to imply something by adding it. Hm. :p )

    I personally prefer the linux installers I've tried recently, as I think they're slightly more polished than the windows one, and more forgiving if you want to go back and change (or verify) things; not to mention that if you want to, there's greater potential for customization.
    Also, windows is more "attention-wait-attention-finished", while some linux installers have a more relaxing "attention-wait-finished" layout.
    (The wait before you can interact with the windows installer isn't that long, but if you're waiting for it, it feels like an eternity.)
     
  37. MrGuvernment

    MrGuvernment [H]ard as it Gets

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    personal opion:

    Fedora Core 4 - easy
    Windows Xp - easy

    they are both point and click GUI installs they cant get any easier - NOW the linux hard disk partioner seems dififcult to me - maybe used to windows, but it doesnt seem to clear if you manaully want to do it, and 2 times i said auto partition and it didnt make enough space so %98 into the install i got a kernal error - sorry no more disk space.

    Now, want to talk command line - Linux is a biotch if you dont have a clue!

    if you cant figure out how to install Windows - you have deeper problems.
     
  38. GreNME

    GreNME 2[H]4U

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    I don't disagree here, and from what I've seen Vista has changed that. We shall see. Linux was definitely ahead of the game with the Anaconda installer system.