Moving from Win 7 to Linux Main Challenges

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by ozdennisb, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. ozdennisb

    ozdennisb Member

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    What are the short & long term challenges, both now and in future in working with Word 10 files in a totally Open Source Software on a Linux platform? There are several thousand Files that are 99% text with very few graphics/photos etc. The file content is mainly information to be used for educational purposes and distributed free of charge. Will the files be easily and securely accessed, edited in the new environment, then seamlessly exported to 3rd World users who are likely using Windows and Word etc? I am considering discontinuing all things Microsoft (I have been using Win 7 Ultimate and Office10 Pro). . All advice will be gratefully received.
     
  2. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    Hello and welcome here brave soul.
    I'll try to make it simpler, and to the point.
    There is a LOT to discuss, but the main point are applications, the software user need to get the job done.
    As in, if the user has the proper tools, and the task is done, the OS is of latter importance.
    That being said, I think the focus should be on a stable , real alternative to the Office.
    This could be a challenge.
    The best suite with almost perfect compatibility with MS Office with back Nd forth edit and modification without any changes to original layout or content are WPS and OnlyOffice.
    Libre office comes third, but for me is my n 1 tool. But everyone I different, right?
    WPS has a Linux client, has cloud acces and lots of polished features, but it is a Chinese company and Wireshark could give you the giggles watching the connections made to Chinese servers.
    OnlyOffice is based in Lithuania and their strong point is native file support, as in . docx and the whole Microsoft office suite.
    Their software is rather simplified but doesn't matter, you'll have you task done and every document can be produced, edited modified with BOTH OnlyOffice and MS Office seamlessly. And you can implement this suite in your NextCloud server...a lot of big companies are having this for years now.

    I am a Linux user, but I am a scholar at heart and logic has to overcome personal opinion and preferences.
    Try first those applications first, use that software within Windows. If you're getting comfortable with that step, latter is what Linux version you need , want or fancy
    Take it in small steps, there is no perfect alternative, just proper tools for you task. Tools with you are comfortable with.
    The main issue is you being ok with all this, without dealing with another layer of complexity within the change.

    Transition to Linux is a process, and should be made deliberately, without constraints and dogma.
    Freedom is a choice and you sir, are in control to express yours. Just take your time and ask questions, we are more than glad to answer.
     
  3. ozdennisb

    ozdennisb Member

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    Thankyou AntiCupidon
    for your response. It was most helpful.
    I sense your scholarship and appreciate it. Since I have an earned PhD (i.e., permanent head damage, due to having attended Uni some years back) I appreciate how little I know about anything.. So, in order to ensure that I read you correctly, let me ask if t the distilled essence of what you have so lucidly put, is that:.
    If I install OnlyOffice, their native file support, will allow the ongoing use of files that currently are in the MS Office 10 Professional suite, (files such as have .docx and .xls extensions) etc., and this means that all such files can be loaded into the OnlyOffice app., as is required.
    This being so, then future problems due to Microsometime shifting any more goalposts are likely thwarted.
    This also means that files resident in OnlyOffice (‘OO) can be moved back into MS Office, edit them there if wanted and then moved back to OO/
    Is it correct to state that by your words “Implement this suite in your NextCloud server,” you mean the OO suite?.
    If these 2 conclusions are correct, then is it also correct to say that I can then access Linux at my own pace, without any loss of my data? Or likelihood of major stuffup. In due course, OO and hopefully most of other Apps or their Open Source equivalents can be installed in Linux.
    I also am seriously committed on philosophical grounds to Open Source , though am likely not the ‘brave soul’ you so graciously suggested.
    One last Q for now. My Xigmatek Computer Chassis provides cradles for the insertion of another 5 hard drives. (probablyu for use by Gamers which I am not)
    Would you please care to advise whether I should, in due course, add another SDD to the chassis and having disabled the existing HDD, and install Linux on the new one and proceed from there. All Data is cept on one external Drive and Files are Backed up on another external HDD
    I am most grateful for your time and most helpful comments. That's a favour i owe you.
     
  4. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    This is want I wanted to try first hand , make test and see the results on your own terms, not based on my personal saying or a company claim. Install it on Windows, test it.
    Then try the same OO under Linux. Getting the same constant results? Task acomplished.

    Just look at the Google drive, you can edit your documents there, the "office"suite is inplemented in their cloud storage setup. This can be also achieved with OnlyOffice, by having a private own cloud solution on premises or otherwise with NextCloud inside you can nest and implement the OnlyOffice server running in paralel who deals with the edition task of .docs, spreadsheets and presentations, all on the sma cloud.

    But this is rather advanced topic, but there area ton of step by step tutorials and it is achievable.

    If you want to try Linux, there are a few routes.
    One, create a Linux USB thumbdrive with Etcher and your choice of Linux distro and boot it up. Enjoy and decide.
    This website will help you a lot when you want to choose.
    I ve been there when there wasnt this option avsilsble, i had to download and try byhand almost aallof them and make my own conclusions.
    Today we have Distrochooser https://distrochooser.de/en/

    Second, using the power of virtuallzation and VirtualBox create a virtual computer with your distro of choice. Run commnads, create destroy, do whatever. go wild. It's contained and virtualized, so no harm done, but you get the learning and the knowledge.
    Third, install Linux on a spare disk, disconnect first all other disk fronm the motherboard, Play it safe, better than sorry. But this step Ill rather not encourage now, best to try some open source apps first, boot a live linux medium to see what is all about.

    you are too kind sir!
    Well, if there is someone getting the thanks, It should be the whole linux community as an individual.
    I had my fair share of Windows troubles and after losing data on a partition and no tutorial was available or free software, the most unexpected gift I've received was a message on Ubuntu forums telling me about Testdisk.
    Solved my problem, recovered my data and some, was free and I've got to run Linux live for the first time. Was a world changer for me.
    I made a promise to myself to help anyone, anyhow I can. That is why sir I am not worthy for receiving thanks, I am still in debt with Linux community, I am still under my promise to help and share the good knowledge.
    Currently translating for EndeavourOS and petitioning also for transaltion for OpenMediaVault, those pojects are dear to me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020

  5. ms178

    ms178 Active Member

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    I just want to chime in as I tried to migrate some of my tasks using Linux during the last year and tried out LibreOffice for my workflow as an alternative to MS Office. As I do work with complex Word files which do use some advanced features like automatic change of in-document-links, automatic table of contents, footnotes etc., I just can tell you from my experience that it can be a nightmare to work and edit one file in both LibreOffice and Word (but also between different MS Office versions). If your Word documents are not that complex you might have a better experience than me. I would also highly recommend to try out typical files first.

    Also the quality of the tools within the LibreOffice suite varies a lot: Writer is okay with the already mentioned constraints (their workflow with footnotes could be improved). But I found their PowerPoint equivalent non-intuitive to work with, Google's online alternative was way better for my needs. On the other hand, Google's Word processor isn't advanced enough for my documents. Sadly, I have no experiences with the other tools mentioned in this thread but thanks for the hints, I'll try them out.

    There are some great distros out there for desktop usage, chose one which fits your needs (I was using mostly openSUSE Tumbleweed, but Manjaro and Ubuntu are worth a try, too). There are different release models, a rolling-release distro with very recent packages or more stable long-term releases. Another point is the desktop environment, GNOME and KDE Plasma are the two most widely used. People coming from Windows are usually better served with KDE as it is very similar and GNOME does some common things differently (e.g. no desktop icons). The variety in the Linux world can be a blessing and a curse though it all depends on your needs and preferences.
     
  6. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    for the best Microsoft Office compatibility use OnlyOffice. Install it in Windows and make tests.
    LibreOffice offers a certain compatibility level, but OnlyOffice offer
    From their webpage

    Now, for complex documents, there is always Lyx, as https://www.lyx.org/

    My new approach to new people wanting to try Linux:

    Get the tools/programs first for your task. Use them in Windows. Already feeling comfortable with the tools?
    Now, those tools are available over here in Linux. If you please and want. No pressure.

    For vast majority all that matters is to get things done. The underlying OS is rather trivial.
    There is a hidden danger in offering transition to Linux, some techies just forget about people needs and the software they will use, they tend to overstep the actual facts , just to have one person converted to a free OS. Really, what about the user computing tasks, their end results?And all those done in a way the user feels at ease as much as possible?

    People generally care about their stuff to be done, and convenience will always win. Not converting to something. Just being realistic here. Forget about holistic Linux approach.


    You do whatever in Android, because you are familiar with the apps, but very few understand , want to develop for Android or use because of the core philosophy.
    Same goes for any OS.

    Don't offer someone your Linux way as the only way. PC stands for personal computing, let each one to choose their own personal computing.
    Operating systems are tools. Use the proper tool for the right job. Don't become a tool yourself shoving Linux down on people's throats, because of reasons.

    We, as Linux user pretend to be on a higher plane, or better in every way. No, we aren't.
    We are humans and we do errors. Sometimes, the whole Linux elitisim sounds so cringy.
    We own respect to others and respect their choices.


    We can do better, we can educate, we can show core difference and show real cases and results.
    If a user comes to Linux in his own terms, and having their tasks done and everything is done at user's own pace, you'll have a zealot, not a convert for the time being.
    Built it and they will come. Let's not showing our peaceful ways by force.

    /just had to vent, and by this we all can learn something. I become a Linux user by measurement, logic, reasoning and comparison. It's my own choice now, no strings attached. And I don't care who is better or choose the lesser evil. For me Linux offers what i need. If I have to use other OS for a specific task, or job related, getting things done is what matters at the end of the day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
  7. ms178

    ms178 Active Member

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    Aye, I agree fully. I am not religious about my choice of OS, it is about getting things done efficiently. My primary reason for trying out Linux on a laptop was that the hardware support on Windows 10 was atrocious (Sand Bridge laptop with a AMD 6770M, this combination was quite a diva in terms of driver support from the beginnig, there is a famous thread over here in the Radeon driver section about that particular combination, modded drivers and its quirks) and was barely useable without heavy tweaking which resulted in much more power draw on idle, and as I needed the mobility and Linux provided a way to prolong the usability of that laptop, I gave it a try. I tested a lot of distros and as my past Linux adventures were from the 2000 era, things matured a lot since then which was a pleasure to see. But not everything is smooth and polished and had to solve or workaround quite a few issues (e.g. tearing during video playback), so there can be a lot of tinkering involved if you want to have an optimized experience on Linux, too (which can also vary depending on the hardware used but also on the software side). I really like to have the power to do these optimizations. Do you want to compile your own Kernel tuned for your hardware, grab the source and compile it with the appropriate flags yourself (not that I would suggest to do this to newcomers, but it was a great learning experience and a free speed upgrade). Of course it boils down to your particular needs and trying things out on your own hardware. I really like to tinker around and being in control of my software, not the other way around. But there are things Linux is just not ready yet. Unfortunately in my job it was more efficient to stay on MS Windows/Office as I usually had to work with my professor on the same file and the limited compatibility between LibreOffice and his older Word version was driving me crazy.

    But I see much potential, even gaming is getting better thanks to Steam and Valve's efforts.
     
  8. Shakey_Jake33

    Shakey_Jake33 Master Guru

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    Just throwing this out there - I know the objective is to ditch Microsoft, but it's worth knowing that MS Office Online is a thing and free, and can be a lifesaver on those annoying occasions when something doesn't look right in LibreOffice or any other alternative office suite, or you just want to check the file looks correct in MS Office.

    Just going cold turkey on MS Office completely is better, but it's good to have that 'safety net'.
     
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  9. RzrTrek

    RzrTrek Ancient Guru

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    To anyone who's reading this (or doesn't like using their phone), don't bother with Amazon's Kindle app, it won't run, just read your books online: https://read.amazon.com/
     
  10. JoeyJoeJoe5500

    JoeyJoeJoe5500 Member

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    Manjaro, and PCLinuxOS are my personal go to distros. Not a hardcore user, I use linux for everyday things like gaming, music, browsing/email, chat and whatnot, and they are just fine for that stuff, and they have incredible software managers. Linux has made a ton of progress in user friendliness. I honestly find Manjaro easier to use than Win10 lol.
     

  11. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    What I learned is never to advice or to answer - What the best Linux Distro?
    Well, what's the best beer? The answer is rather subjective and a personal choice and experience. Each user/person has a unique perspective of their needs.
    You say Manjaro...on the surface well polished. But when trouble appears, fixing a derivative of Arch Linux is not for the faint of heart.
    PcLinux is a rolling release. And uses rpm packages, and also apt. On the surface no problem if anything works as it should. But when it doesn't , fixing it would be rather a demanding task.

    I use almost all distros now, I have a install script to set things how I want, the distro and desktop manager are rather trivial. On my desktop and laptop I have EndeavousOS and Fedora 32 on my HTPC.
    Would I recommend those distros to a newcomer? Absolutely not.
    Why? Simply for the fact I let the newcomer try and see for himself what is best for him, not for me. I would assist in some technical details . partitioning, some software setup, but that's all.
    The rest is up to the new user...There is nothing like personal experience and that it can be given to someone, each one has to do the rite of passage.
     
  12. JoeyJoeJoe5500

    JoeyJoeJoe5500 Member

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    Yeah, thats sound advice, as I took the same route of finding out for myself what works best for me when I was new to Linux, so yeah, you are correct. Manjaro ended up being everything I personally was looking for.
     
  13. sykozis

    sykozis Ancient Guru

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    That's an easy question to answer though....
    The "best" Linux distro is whatever distro the user is most satisfied with =D
     

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