So the subject name pretty much says it all. I am wanting to get into linux for a long time now but the fact that from the day I got a pc,  I had windows and now I am aware about it's insides does not allow me to switch my os entirely. So here I welcome all answers from linux and window users, why they hate/like each operating system etc. Please also note that I'm a developer that's why I'm bothered about getting it. I've heard linux is called the os of programmers. command line allows us to work faster and gives more power in our hands. these are the things I've heard but I don't know how much true they are. And if we talk about accessibility, how much usable things are with orca in linux? reading pdfs and such. and games, well, I Don't think that's a thing on linux.

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yes ;you can play games on linux. use the tintin client for audio adventure games. rs-games works good, eloquence tts engine also works good. you can read pdfs with evince pdf reader.

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linux is just like any other OS now. what it really comes down to is what do you want to do with your computer. linux has easy to use graphical desktops and everything. if you want more human sounding voices, use windows, more games than linux? use windows.

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Linux is great for a number of reasons, most of which are a google search away so I won't go on about that. Thw downside is that if you want to do CLI stuff, and you probably do, its a process getting into. The good thing is here is help out there, you get in touch with the right people who have experience with stuff, and they can help you fix things that come up.

Command line stuff is nice, there are open ended possibilities. an easy little trick to find a certain process if you know its name, but need its PID is to do like ps -ef | grep <process name>

Grep is a powerful tool which I don't pretend to fully understand, but that shifted backslash key, which looks like a straight line vertically on the screen, or a broken vertical line with a cap in the middle on some fonts. That's pipe symbol and it doesn't just work on grep, you can pipe things in and out of tools and redirect std:in and all that jazz. I really only know the basics though.

cd for change directory, EX:  cd /home/dingbat123/myshit or cd ~/myshit
ls, as a bunch of options, I use ls -l when I want to check perms, and most other times ls -1 which makes things single column and one entry per line.
man <anything> tells you all about it in glorious detail with a viewer you have the ability to scroll up and down by various units
mkdir to make a directory
chmod to change perms, I too stupid to learn octal so I just do like chmod -R u+rwxXst mydir the -R means recursive
touch creates a file, can also do with the one redirect symbol which is >, or the two which is >> to append. It's worth noting you don't have to type then redirect, like piping, you can get the info from wherever you want, from other utilities etc.
systemctl for a lot of admin type shit, restarting services, and even rebooting or shutting down the machine
pwd to figure out what directory you're in, stands for print working directory
cp and mv to copy or move, mv can be used to rename as well
rm to remove, haha, sure you're aware of the huge thing about not using rm -rf *, even though its since been protected against, but I do use rm -rf <dir> a lot because if you don't, it makes you clear out directories before it will delete them.
top and htop, a bit problematic for screen reader users because it keeps updating and forcing changes to read
Vi... Vi scares the shit out of me. I've only used it under the guidance of a master tongue I do not really know how to do anything in it
nano is the CLI editor that you can find on most distros
tail, this one lets you grab the last bits of a file and is configurable, but I don't know how to configure it
startx will start X11 if its configured correctly which you shouldn't need to do unless you install something like Arch or Gintoo from the ground up.
shit what else, idk other peeps take over, I'm friggin tired.

I'm a cat! What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine to :P XD

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Okay you got a few ways to get into Linux....

1. Virtual machines. This is probably the easiest way, get VMWare or VirtualBox and a Linux ISO and set up the VM

2. Actually making a bootable ISO and installing Linux on your physical system

For the second one you'll need to turn off secure boot however which is going to be a bitch to get to and turn off....but if you can do it....I'd recommend it personally if you want to ditch Windows.

Orca works perfectly fine with Gnome based desktops, I'm partial to the Mate desktop myself, I'd suggest it for everyone as it's easy to learn and everything is easily and logically laid out, you got your applications in on menu, places in another menu.

Games on WINE is a thing, you can run Windows programs with WINE and once you get that set up....it should run a good number of Windows programs.

For accesssibility again, Orca keeps on improving, and it's open source so you can view the code and make tweaks and help improve itt as well, unlike on the Windows side where things are closed source and tweaking closed source code is often viewed as hacking and/or illegal and/or piracy and/or <insert favorite hysteria here>

Is Orca perfect? No, but it's absolutely useable with Firefox or its derivatives....plus it comes preinstalled with most distros, so that's a plus.

Last thing....I've used both Windows and Linux and I've said it many times, on a laptop, Windows FEEELS slower, even if the numbers are the same.

Here's a few distros to get you started:

Ubuntu Mate

Why? It's Ubuntu, it has a metric load of stuff in the repos, and it's perfectly useable with Orca, but it will stop being supported at some point. That being said, upgrades are free. That being said, again, you're stuck with the software and versions in  a particular version you download, 16.04 does not have the 16.10 software for instance, though there are ways around that.


Why? If you want to go the ultra hardcore geeky Arch route then there's Antergos or Sonar that, in the latter case is accssible Antergos which is an installer that simplifies the Arch install. Advantages of Arch? You get the latest software without waiting for it to be curated or added to a repo. Disadvantages? Bugs, Lots of bugs Oh and Sonar comes with the Gnome desktop by default


Why? Indie distro, it has a Mate and Gnome flavors that work fine with Orca and  it's a midle ground btween the cutting edge of Arch, and the fixed releases of Ubuntu.

Hopefully that helps, I'd say Solus is your best bet as far as getting into Linux goes frankly, it's walked through how to install it on their site and it doesn't come with half the bloat Ubuntu's saddled with, plus you get put into a live session to try out Solus without having to go through a menu like in Ubuntu

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Thanks for the information guys. keep it coming. and just before downloading some iso, I would like to also make sure the usability of desktop environments like KDE and Cinnamon, (popular desktop environments used in linux mint) etc. is anyone using these?

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Neither of those are, AFAIK, accessible.

Start with the ones I mentioned in my last post. I know for a fact that the Mate (and by extension Gnome) desktops work flawlessly with Orca. KDE as far as I'm aware, isn't accessible  easily, but don't quote me on that, I don't use KDE as I personally don't like it.

Cinamon isn't, as far as I know, accessible with Orca, or at least when I tried a few weeks ago it didn't work. I'd try out a bunch of desktop environments and find what works for you, but I'd say stick with Gnome based desktops  since they do work fine with Orca, the Gnome 3.X, the Mate 1.X and even their derivatives.

Note: XFCE/LXDE do not, AFAIK work out of the box without exporting variables.

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8 (edited by Amit 2018-01-10 16:43:12)

So I downloaded the "solus" os from your last mentioned distros. for me luckily, it installed after I booted it up and now I have two operating systems(windows and solus) on my pc. it's actually a nice operating system. I know I was adviced to get mate or nome but I decided to get the other version and I think it's not bad at all. I can press the windows key and it opens the start menu like in my current windows. although I'd not say it's much accessible, but it's usable just fine. now the problem here is that there is no network connection at all. I went in the hardware and drivers section and installed my wifi driver a million times. each time I do, it tells me to restart but no luck after that either. any advice? the wifi card is broadcomb.

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For those running linux on Windows via Virtual Machine, make sure to have a computer with at least 4GB Ram, and dedicate 2 GB of ram to the virtual machine itself.

If you wish to run linux on physicall hardware, check out "either Lenovo ThinkPad Laptops," or "Del Laptops." You can find Thinkpads Refurbished for under 300 USD.

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Ah the thing with the Broadcom drivers is this, they provide two different ones for LTS and current kernels, make sure you're installing the correct ones for your kernel type

Alsosince you're on Budgie do NOT update the system since it'll convert Budgie to QT which breaks accessibility. I'd have to double check on Mate if the Broadcom drivers are installed, here, but you could always grab the linux drivers from a Windows OS, save them, go into Solus, and copy them from your Windows partition to your Linux partition and install them that way. I know, it sounds convoluted but it should work, I don't have a broadcom chip thankfully, mine just worked out of the box so to speak.

@Trenton: Dell Vostro user here, works fine for my needs. Also for Linux no, I'd say 6-8 GB of RAM needed for a solid VM experience, not 4 gigs.....nono, or at least, for the bloated distros you need 6-8 gigs of RAM for a VM.sincce

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11 (edited by Trenton Goldshark 2018-01-11 00:31:10)

Under a virtual machine, how much  would you recommend if using Ubuntu or Fedora? For ubuntu, particularly 17.10 and later?

In addition, has anyone ran windows 10 under Linux itself?

Also, I'm trying to find places where you can get a good linux machine which does not cost so much.

I did find a list of Thinkpads over at
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss … 3DS1QRBJTU
, which seem not bad deals (even if they refurbished, though does anyone have other ideas?

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For the RAM...8+ gigs of RAM for any VM if you got 16+ gigs IMO

I'd say check companies who sell refurbished machines, I got my Vostro from  a tech firm in the UK that sells accessible tech (though why they sold me a top of the line gaming laptop for $450 is beyond me...but hey, it workss), Those ones aren't bad prices really, but I'd keep hunting around, for a good deal. Check eBay as well FWIW.

Also I forgot how easy Solus is to set up, install, restart, click and it does the updates and such for you.....though I did read they apparently fixed the Broadcom driver issue but that's a problem across Linux distros.

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Thanks for the helpful tips there!

I do like the idea of Windows 10, though one person told me I'd better running it in a virtual machine under Linux if I absolutely needed it.

Long as the Self-Voicing install from Narrator works, I should be ok.
I do want to play A Heroes Call for example under there. smile

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why not get a lenovo laptop with AMD a6 quad core processor off amazon for $260 or so, put in your solus or ubuntu mate disk, wipe the hard drive and all partitions, then install ubuntu if you want? best part is, these laptops do not have broadcom cards. my laptop has a realTek network  card.

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Eh I dunno, If/when I get a new laptop I'll probably just get a cheap Dell I can throw a bigger HDD in or one of those portable machines.

Also, I'm not the world's biggest fan of Ubuntu, simple because Solus is leaner, cleaner and doesn't have half the bloatware Ubuntu comes with. I get that you want programs to do everything but....I'd rather personally install them myself after setting the machine up. Rather than having a distro bundled with apps I'll (probably) never use......which is a lot of them Solus comes with, the photo/graphic editing ones for instance, so I'll always remove them, , though I still do think Ubuntu is far far worse for including bloatware apps than other distros.. IMO I'd much rather have a distro that comes with (say) the Mate desktop, a terminal, and the whole range of Gnome stuff preinstalled, a web browser, and just go from there. I only use Ubuntu because it's quick and easy and about half of the Linux distros are based on it in some way, shape or form. That being said I'm not against the idea of Ubuntu....I'm against the idea of packing a distro full  of apps people may not use just because some people might use it once or twice.

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so I have finally made my solus mate to work. everything is good and fast. even my wifi card is working. now, the problem is, I lost my windows boot loader somehow and can't boot into it. and that's being said, any tips for linux newbies? I also tried installing eloquence on my pc but it says this distribution is not yet supported.

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1. Keep your system up to date

2. Don't be afraid to customize your system how you like it

3.  Windows key gets you the same menu as in the Budgie one....but you probably already found that one
For the Windows one....there's a command to get  GRUB to check what you have on your system and rebuild itself, not got it to hand right now.

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18 (edited by Amit 2018-01-14 12:23:08)

I've been just trying and discovering a bunch of destros to see which one is my fit. so far the options are pretty good. HOwever, I encountered a problem. I"m a student, thus have to read documents all the time. the problem now is, how can I read pdfs or more specifically, convert them, OCR them. And how about reading daisy, epub and others? This is really an issue and can change my decission on being a linux user. If there is no good software to read these documents on the OS then I will be forced to stay with windows 10. Having said that, I've recently started learning commandline and discovered  it's sgrenths too. So some handy commands you really love to use? Pleae note that in my distro, the "evense" pdf reader or however it is spelled is not accessible.

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