Anyone using Linux

Greetings all. With all the discussion about the problems with windows 10 (I have 7) I am reluctant to upgrade at all. Have heard a lot about Linux and would like to explore this OS. Has anyone tried it?What is involved in obtaining the program and installing? Is Linux a better alternative windows?

Any advice will be helpful.

Thank you in advance.

73 de Geoff vk3sq

Grab a Fedora Live CD from Fedora Workstation
Burn to a CD/DVD and boot off it - this will give you a flavour of running Linux, but with nothing permanently installed. Once you’re ready, you can click “Install to disk” in the LiveCD to get a bootable Linux system, but I suggest you read the plethora of documentation options on the Internet if you intend to keep a dual boot Windows/Linux system (you have to resize partitions, generally, which can get messy)

I don’t run any Windows systems at home or at work, so it is easily possible to go zero-Windows, but I think if you think of Linux as an alternative Windows, you’re looking at it the wrong way.

(Disclaimer: I work for a Large North American-Based Linux Vendor)

HI Geoff,

I have been using Linux for over ten years now and love it. Way better than Windoz etc. There are many distributions (of flavours) to choose from; I use Arch Linux. Generally, it is customisable to your taste and does everything that you’d expect from a modern operating system. There are also good radio log books and other applications available.
hope this helps,
Grant VK4JAZ

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Thanks Grant, a great help. I now have a starting point to work from. More than what I had before my post

73 de Geoff vk3sq

Hi Andrew, Many thanks for the information and suggestions. 73 de Geoff vk3sq

Hello Geoff,
I am using Linux Mint 18 Sarah with Mate interface for many years now. Very easy to use with lot of ham radio SW, like CQRLOG for Linux( great logging SW), Flrig, Fldigi, Wsjtx, 4nec2 etc.
As Andrew said, you can try live CDs of different Linux distributions and then decide which one to install permanently to your computer.
73, Mirko

I have been using Linux for years; mostly dual boot with various flavours of windows.

Currently openSUSE Leap 42.2. running on my Dell E5410. Open Office/LibreOffice is excellent and largely compatible with MS Office. However, you will have some difficulty in getting proprietory software to run.
Good luck,

here is a tutorial on how to create a bootable usb stick to explore “ubuntu”:

btw: ubuntu 18.04 LTS was just released a few days ago …

73 martin, oe5reo

Don’t upgrade… buy a new computer with Win10 ready installed. You probably need a new PC anyway. It’s less messy and you can transfer what you need from the old one to the new one WITHOUT BREAKING the functionality of the old.

The horror stories you read about Win10 make it sound terrible. It’s not. It is different. The screen layout / start button is still not as nice as Win7 but it’s a huge improvement on Win8. Win10 runs faster than Win7 (disk, network etc.) on the same hardware from our tests at work. Whether you want to continue using Windows is your problem to solve. For some time to come, I have a personal investment in Windows software that means I cannot not use it in some way.

At work we have over 12500 user laptops with about half now Win10 and the rest Win7. We have over 1500 Windows servers and about 5000 Linux servers. All the Windows stuff is moving to Win10 (and WIn2016 server) and we’re not having the problems and issues that flood the internet. There again we don’t use cheap hardware from no name vendors!

A live CD is a great way to try but remember it’s running from a CD so will be a bit slow and clunky unlike when it’s installed properly. Fedora is fine, for long and boring reasons I use Debian Linux on servers and Linux Mint on desktops/laptops. The Mint live CD is another to consider.

Which is the right Linux to try? Asking people normally results in answers tinged with religious fervour. Simply, the right Linux is the one you like that runs on your hardware. Just like the right Windows is the one you like.

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I agree with Andy MM0FMF. Win10 is the best one since XP in my view, though I only use it when I have to. On my current machine (put together last year) I dual boot Win10 and Ubuntu Linux (which is now too big for ancient hardware in my opinion). Ubuntu does almost everything I need, but things like updating Sat Nav devices still have to be done with Windoze. (Yes, I have used Apple too, but for me the cost is too much.)

Well worth getting a cheap new machine with Win10 - then you can experiment with Linux on the old machine :slight_smile:


linux is good as an optional alternative to windows but the number of flavors of Linux is a disadvantage to Linux as much as an advantage, due to the differences in commands etc between versions and how things are done differently between flavors. If your not an IT guy like Andy, myself and others then some easy things in Windows start to become difficult as they are very different in Linux. Or at least troubleshooting things does.

I’d say try it and see, but try multiple flavors if Linux on the livecd’s. The live cd’s do make it run slower as Andy said so don’t think Linux is slow.

Well, nobody has yet mentioned running some flavor of Linux on a “virtual machine” in Windoze, so I’ll do my best to fill this gap, although I’d imagine the other contributors here could probably do a better job.

The software VirtualBox from Oracle is free to download and to use and, once installed in your Windows (7, Vista, 10), enables one to install another operating system within a “virtual machine” provided by VirtualBox, which itself would run in your Windows system. Incidentally, VirtualBox will also run on machines running Linux, Macintosh and Solaris systems, so it’s not limited to Windows.

I have myself often used VirtualBox to run various versions of Linux for evaluation within a VirtualBox virtual machine, and I must say I personally favour Linux Mint. One thing one should know from the outset is that Linux itself is in essence a command-line operating system (think DOS here), and that each of the various flavours of Linux often offer a choice of more than one graphical “overlay” or desktop (think Windows here). Each graphical desktop has its’ own “look and feel”, with it’s attendant admirers and critics, so it pays to do a bit of research before you decide which desktop you might prefer. Or simply install one and see if you like it.

So, my personal favorite is Linux Mint with the MATE desktop, but others here will doubtless have their own reasons for choosing something else. The bottom line here is that, when installing such an operating system
in a virtual machine, you can try it and, if you don’t like it, or if it won’t run - chuck it out and install another one. It won’t touch your main operating system AT ALL.

I note that Andrew VK3ARR has suggested you try Fedora: while I myself have some limited experience (thanks Andrew!) of using Fedora Server, which is a damn fine piece of software, I do have to say that when I tried to install the Fedora Workstation OS in a VirtualBox virtual machine, it turned out to be a disaster. Others may have had more luck. Installing Linux Mint, on the other hand, could not be easier!

You can find many guides online/youtube, etc. to installing VirtualBox and for subsequently installing some Linux variant in a virtual machine - it’s been done by millions, so you’d be in good company if you decide to try this approach. Good luck!


If you have much exposure to Raspbian on Raspberry Pis, it’s worth looking at the Raspbian Desktop, available from the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

If you do get a Win10 machine, Raspbian Desktop will likely install and run very nicely on your old hardware, giving you an opportunity to get comfortable with Linux.

I have been using Linux for over 20 years.
Previously, I used C64 and then Amiga, DOS and
I do not known why do I need Windows, which by nature mainly checking with checking whether there are no viruses …
Most useful programs such as MMSSTV work perfectly under WINE. (WINE is Windows API converter not emulator!)
I do not know if you are aware that Linux is currently the most popular operating system because all Android devices work on it. Android works under a “virtual machine” that is running on Linux. Linux supports also all hardware.
All super-computers in the world work under Linux.
Linux works in most devices such as routers, modems, drivers, televisions, washing machines, refrigerators, etc… You do not even realize that you’re using Linux !!
I see no reason to use something else!
I’ve tested almost all popular Linux distributions, but I stayed with Debian which is the basis for Ubuntu and Mint.
“Mint” is probably the most recommendable for beginners. It is easy to install and by default contains everything you may need for normal computer use.
I recommend installing it on a pendrive and booting it with USB to play with it before installation.
You do not have to get rid of Windows, you can have many operating systems side by side.
I have 6 on my old Toshiba NB100 which I use with the radio!
/XP (because it was), Debian, Mint and 3 versions of Android/
With “grub” you can start any of the installed systems at startup.
24 hours a day, my NB-100 works as a web server (WWW, SSH, VNC etc.)
and serves me both for logging in and work on emissions such as PSK, RTTY, SSTV or FT8.
These other systems are installed for testing only and I often change them.
Regards Mariusz

I had Mint set up on my shack computer and really liked it for a lot of reasons. However, what sent me back to Windows was I didnt have a Linux logging program (one of the primary functions of this computer) that I liked enough at the time to stick with Linux. So while I truly loved the Linux Mint, I went back to Windows to use DXLab Suite.

So the moral of the story is that Linux is great, but make sure you will have all of the software that you want and need on the platform before you make the leap.

For whatever it is worth, I have been running Win10 on several boxes at home and work and have not had any problems with it (other than drivers for my older than dirt flatbed scanner, but that was an issue long before 10 came around. :frowning: )

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I run Ubuntu at home now and have run other versions of Linux in the past (Suse being one of my favorites). Having been a unix administrator in the past, I don’t find it intimidating at all, but I know that some folks find it harder to use. I’m not really paranoid about it, but I’ve never been a fan of Microsoft or their Office products that are often bloated, overly complex, or try to think on my behalf.

For logging, I use CQRLOG and find it works quite well as a logger and for rig control.

My SOTA laptop is a Linux Mint laptop, running the SOTAlog.tcl script program. works very well and it’s light enough for my backpack.

I’ll second CQRLOG, and I also use FLDigi on it and WSJT-X on the same linux laptop.

The biggest caution I give folks that ask, there is no contest logger that I’m as happy with as N1MM+, Writelog, or N3FJP’s contest loggers… There are a few, but I haven’t really liked them.

73, de Bill, N3JIX

Even a new computer can have problems with Windows 10, hence I have recently replaced it with openSUSE Leap 42.3 (simply because I have already worked with SUSE Linux for many years) on a fairly new HP notebook. Now it runs fine. I have completely deleted all Windows-related stuff because Win10 never worked properly on that machine, and I did not want to waste more time trying to make it work. Might have been hardware compatibility issues, might have been a buggy installation, I don’t care any more. Linux is also a good alternative if you have a slightly elderly, but still reasonably powerful PC whose hardware may not be supported any more by Microsoft products.

However, it helps having a second computer with network connection nearby, so that you can search for solutions for unexpected problems, notably those concerning the network card or the WLAN chipset.

73, Jan-Martin

The problem I have with every upgrade; fortunately the wired connection seems to be found reliably :smile:
I am also using open SUSE Leap 42.1, 42.2 and just upped one to 42.3. I do run some Win but only because I don’t seem to get on well with WINE.

Greetings and many thanks to all who answered my question. This what I have done. I down loaded two version of Ubuntu- one for a 64 bit computer and another called XUbuntu for a 32 bit computer. As well, I downloaded a program called “Universal USB installer”. Created two 8 gig usb flash drives containing each of the programs. I went into system menu and changed the start up sequence to first read a flash drive on start up. Close down the computer, plug the flash drive into it and restart the computer… then started up in Ubuntu. Very pleased it worked.

The insights provided by you all has helped be achieve this outcome…again, many thanks.

73 de Geoff vk3sq

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