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Gonna take the Linux plunge, got questions

Poll Results: Should I use Gnome 3 as a first time Linux user?

 
  • 37% (6)
    Yes
  • 62% (10)
    No
16 Total Votes  
post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
So, I am about to install Linux on my HTPC. I am looking at getting my hands on Gnome 3 and looking for guidance. Here is what I got hardware wise:
Dell XPS 420: Q6600 /w intel mobo. 4gb RAM. 8800 GTS (about ot dump a 5770 in it instead), and wifi card.

Now, I plan on installing winamp for my music (moving to FLAC as well). And of course, vlc and divx for all my "acquired" movies and shows. My question is this, while I understand I can network my win7 pc to a linux pc (from what I've read at least), would the drivers for say a Linksys wifi card work on linux? And what about drivers for ATI cards?

All of this is gonna be hooked up to a receiver (via optical cable and dvi-hdmi cable) and to a 42" plasma. Anything I should be aware of/take into considerationg before I take this plunge? Also, I want to switch mobo's and stick everything into a new case, will I have to reinstall Linux after hooking everything up to a new motherboard?

Also, keep in mind, I want a very slick looking GUI, and so far Gnome 3 looks pretty cool...just throwing that in there lol.
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post #2 of 13
Setting up a wifi network (the drivers) is sometimes a bit problematic.
The drivers should be no problem (are available for 32&64bit)
VLC should be also no problem. But most are comming with a nice player.
Gnome is just a desktop environment. You should decide which distro you want.
Good for starters are Ubuntu and Debian.
Maye consider KDE or LXDE but if you prefere Gnome is fine too.
Edit: Slick looking? Forget LXDE. But Project Looking Glass is slick. But i`m not shure if this is so
beginner friendly
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Looking_Glass
Edited by Mr.Eiht - 5/8/11 at 7:21am
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post #3 of 13
Which distro do you plan to use?
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
DLing Ubuntu right now
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post #5 of 13
Take a look at Linux Mint, which is a great starter Linux.

For a slick GUI, take a look at some of the E17 distros, or add E17 to another distro of your choice.
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post #6 of 13
Winamp is Windows only. There are numerous music applications to choose from that are just as good if not better.

Also you should really use some form of MPlayer instead of VLC.

----

If this is all for a HTPC, you should just use a distro that was made for HTPCs. You don't even have to know a thing about GNU/Linux to use them.
post #7 of 13
Absolutely not. Gnome 3 is more rigid and locked down than Windows. What you see it what you get. You can't even change the wallpaper without using the command line.


Since you're just starting with Linux, go with Linux Mint KDE. It should be slick enough for you.
    
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post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldoh74 View Post
So, I am about to install Linux on my HTPC. I am looking at getting my hands on Gnome 3 and looking for guidance. Here is what I got hardware wise:
Dell XPS 420: Q6600 /w intel mobo. 4gb RAM. 8800 GTS (about ot dump a 5770 in it instead), and wifi card.
Congratulations! Make sure you get the 64-bit version of whatever distribution you plan on trying out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by waldoh74 View Post
Now, I plan on installing winamp for my music (moving to FLAC as well). And of course, vlc and divx for all my "acquired" movies and shows. My question is this, while I understand I can network my win7 pc to a linux pc (from what I've read at least), would the drivers for say a Linksys wifi card work on linux? And what about drivers for ATI cards?
You'll find a lot of useful stuff in my Linux Software Guide (in my sig). As for ATi drivers, I can't really comment, since I have NVIDIA.

Most WiFi cards work just fine out of the box. (The ones that don't, well, they just don't.) I don't think anything from Linksys would be a problem, but if you're specific about the model number, then we can find out for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by waldoh74 View Post
All of this is gonna be hooked up to a receiver (via optical cable and dvi-hdmi cable) and to a 42" plasma. Anything I should be aware of/take into considerationg before I take this plunge? Also, I want to switch mobo's and stick everything into a new case, will I have to reinstall Linux after hooking everything up to a new motherboard?
Linux doesn't even blink at hardware changes that on Windows would require a complete reinstall. That's because most hardware is autodetected every boot (by default; some people change this). So I don't think that would be much of an issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by waldoh74 View Post
Also, keep in mind, I want a very slick looking GUI, and so far Gnome 3 looks pretty cool...just throwing that in there lol.
GNOME 3 looks all right, I'll grant you that. It probably would even be nice for your HTPC setup. While I wouldn't discourage you from trying it out for yourself, I would advise you to be familiar with some of the complaints people have had about it, such as that it's unfinished, missing important features, or gets in the way while you're trying to do something. Personally, seeing GNOME 3 coming, I switched back to KDE.
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post #9 of 13
Gnome 3 is slick, but it is still in its infancy even though it has been released. Unlike Gnome 2, it is very difficult to customize and there are very few themes for it. I have been cursed with it since Arch Linux switched from Gnome 2 to Gnome 3. However, it is quick and doesn't use compiz, so it's actually not that bad... just a little stiff right now.

There is no winamp for linux. If you simply cannot part with it, then run it in WINE. However I recommend against that and rather, you should broaden your horizons and try some of the native applications. XMMS is the most "Winamp-like" but isn't really that great. I use Rhythmbox, but there are other programs like Banshee or Audacious. I like MPD a lot, but I don't use it because rhythmbox fits better into GNOME.

To answer other questions, ATI has generally poorer support on Linux than Nvidia. Nvidia has the best hardware accelerated video, VDPAU, but ATI isn't too far behind with VAAPI.

Most wireless cards work in Linux, but I warn you that sometimes it can get screwed if the card isn't widely used.

As far as I am concerned, you will not need to reinstall Linux if you seriously change your machine.

Mplayer is like the "Media Player Classic of Linux", so I would use that over VLC. However there is a program that is supposed to be for HTPC's that is called XBMC. It is very well polished and looks really slick, but you can't do everything in it (like effective web browsing). That also plays videos very well.
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post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
thanks for the help so far guys. As of now. I got Ubuntu loaded up as a dual boot. Played around with it, but haven't had a chance to really mess with it. Been loading all my old CDs with to FLAC format. Gonna do some more research for a good media player. Not a winamp fanboy. Today was actually the first time in about 10 years I have even had it on one of my computers. Only reason I got it was for FLAC support. No big deal.
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