General Skanky

Well-known Member
What is it?

I'm open to try another OS instead of XP for all the reasons people say; crashes, bugs, Microsoft license policies etc. It would be used as the only OS on a self build pc from new.

Problem is, Linux is totally new to me. Never looked at it before.

Who uses it and how do you find it? Is the GUI any good?

I have glanced at the websites, but it's all going over my head at the moment. I need some users opinions and some good start points to learn about it in depth.

One obvious advantage I've seen is XP is £150+ vrs. Linux ver. at £40 or so!


Distinguished Member
Linux you can download for free. Or simply buy a copy of Linux format etc.

Essentially Linux is a major headache if you are not PC literate. Yes, it is powerful, it can be very versatile and doesn't crash every 5 minutes. However, I would recommend you have a lot of patience and a little interest in some programming/PC architecture and maybe a big beard!

Compared to Windows it is very n00b unfriendly, it won't work out of the box plus you really need a decent internet connection to get the most out of open source software.

It can do everything your HTPC could desire though, just don't expect to play many games :p

General Skanky

Well-known Member
I've been reading up a lot about Linux. I have to admit my problem will be in typing commands etc. However, looking at a demo of the Red Hat 8 version, it looks very simple indeed.:rolleyes:

The download links I found didn't work. I'm intrigued.

Ad, the people at AVS Forums talk very geeky and use long computer type words. Very worrying.:D


i thought that about avs too...... so i kinda havent payed them too much attention! It sounds all to had for me!



Standard Member
Basically Linux is a kernel (the heart of any OS) which companies/individuals customise and add their own packages (GUI's, office apps etc) which forms a distribution. There are many distros out there all targetted at different types of people, there are the server OS's (redhat), the newbie friendly desktop replacements (Mandrake/Lycoris) and loads more versions.

Having used Mandrake 7, 8, 8.1, 8.2 and now 9 I can tell you that Linux has improved drastically recently.
Mandrake is just as easy as windows to install (apart from disk partitioning, that can become confusing) and depending what you use it for can be just as easy to use.

If all your looking for is something to surf the internet, write e-mail and do office type tasks then everything you need will already come with it and you'll be away.

However the file structure takes some time to get used to and you may come across hardware conflicts/things setup wrong which is where linux becomes difficult.

The GUI's for linux are provided by different companies, KDE is a major player - looks very much like windows, easy to use etc, etc.

However don't expect to play many games or run windows programs on linux, don't expect it to start in 30secs like XP and don't expect everything to work perfectly, a lot of the programs are made by people in the community and quite often don't work or crash.
The reason its said to be more stable is because if a program crashes you can get rid of that program and your OS will not crash, just the way windows2000/XP does.

If your an expert Linux is wonderful, unfortunately for us mere mortals it could still do with some more work before I'd use it as a complete replacement for windows.

And btw, you can get an OEM copy of XP Home for £80 or pro for £125.
Oh yes, and don't forget most of the really bad rumors you here about Microsoft are just that, rumors. The recent one being Palladium will stop us from installing other companies programs, using digital media without paying and allow MS to control our computers. Before XP was released it was how bad and difficult Activation would be, I've yet to hear one complaint about it since it was released though!

General Skanky

Well-known Member
Thanks MonkeyDonkey.

I like the idea of Linux. Implementation is another thing.

Looking at the RedHat demo on their site was educational.

I think if I were to go Linux, I'd actually have to go hands on and play with a system before I dove in.

I'm not adverse to XP, it's just that I'd heard a lot of good about Linux so thought I'd have a good look for myself.

I am totally crap at anything DOS like. Linux has some of that I believe. If I had to do that I'd probably end up starting a nuclear missile launch or something ridiculous.:rolleyes:

If the demo of RedHat is anything to go by though, it seems to be all GUI now. Promising. I'll have to pester my mate to load Linux onto his pc and use him as a guinea pig.:rolleyes:


Distinguished Member
Not that I have looked into it since Windows 98SE still does everything I need, but are there ANY HTPC applications of note that work on Linux?

Powerstrip, DScaler, Threater Tek, Cineplayer, Zoom Player?

General Skanky

Well-known Member
Jeff, one thing to be aware if you didn't already know, is that Microsoft are bringing in limited/no support now for all non XP software.

98/98 SE - now in extended phase of lifecycle. Ie, can't be sold off shelf anymore, and Jun 2003 is no longer supported by microsoft, youll be on your own.

ME - Extended phase 31 Dec 2003. Already doen't have any 'real' updates or big service packs. Dying off.

Win 2000 - Extended phase 31 March 2003. Approx 1 year after that before no longer supported.

How accurate it all is, see p96 PC Advisor, Dec 2002.

Point is, anything not XP has a limited lifespan from now. Wether we like it or not, Microsoft are pushing XP onto us. Media Player 9 is another example. You'll only be able to use it on XP, or some of the features.


Standard Member
You could always load a copy on to your current PC as a dual boot system first. You can download most of the distros.
Or I can send you a couple of CD's with Mandrake 9 if you've not got a fastish connection.

There is a lot of Command line work in linux, but tbh you can get by without most of it. I've hardly done any there a tools for pretty much anything and apart from my dabblings in MySQL all I've done is launched things from the command line.

As for its HTPC abilities I'm not too sure. During my late night browsing sessions I have come across people using it for an HTPC but don't know how easy it was to set up! Recently I have been warming to the idea of building yet another pc for use as a media pc (divx, Tivo like functions, and stuff like that) which if I did I would use linux on, because I'd be doing it on the cheap and wouldn't want to fork out £80 for XP. I might do some more research into it tonight and see what I come up with.


Distinguished Member
Microsoft support isn't of any real concern YET. Windows 98 SE has virtual support as long as ME is supported. Beyond that some of the stuff MS are doing in Windows XP right now is actually quite exciteing, is terms of multimedia support no other OS (includeing Mac OS) comes close. In any case I always go for the OS that suites the applications I want to run. If DScaler and Powerstrip were ported to Linux I probably at least give it a go.


Distinguished Member
Having discussed a while ago with my Linux crazy friend (he has long hair not a beard though) he recommended that Xine could pretty much do everything you could need

I watched some DivX's of Enterprise on his TV and it looked fine. Obviously did not have a projector to test :p

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