Tips for switching to Linux

Announcements Posted on
Four things that unis think matter more than league tables 08-12-2016
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    3
    ReputationRep:
    I've been meaning to make the transition from Linux to Windows for a long time now and my course has finally forced me into it. I'm currenlty dual booting into both Ubuntu and Windows 10 until I'm comfortable using Linux for everything. The issues I'm having are that already I'm missing a lot of simple things (having my OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox synced rather than accessing them through a browser for example)

    Does anyone have tips (besides using Linux as much as you can to get used to it) for switching? I've currenlty got a very broken up system, whereby I'm using Windows and Ubuntu, OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox and having to write documents in Word, Google Docs and Libre.

    Also any general Linux tips to share, such as security, useful software or websites?
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    I guess you should learn simple commands for bash and dat stuff, but honestly, if you don't need specific software, you can just use it as you would windows. I don't even use windows anymore lol, I find linux much simpler, lighter and quicker.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    I never bothered with the whole setting up google drive etc. on my laptop, I've always accessed them in a browser so that never bothered me. The main issue I had was compatibility with uni sending me .docx files which didn't use to be compatible with libreoffice (I think they've improved on this since though...).*

    It is possible to run microsoft office through WINE (essentially a virtual windows machine within Linux) - although it never ran perfectly for my sister and I never bothered setting it up myself... Alternatively, I seem to remember that most universities have a deal with Microsoft where you can get an online version of Office 365 which should work fine in Ubuntu since it's in the browser I believe... Not entirely sure on this though - perhaps test it out while you're still dual-booting.*

    Is there any particular reason why you are planning to 100% switch to Linux rather than continuing to dual-boot? If it's just one or two things you need Linux for and the lack of Microsoft Office/ Google Drive etc. is a big issue for you than I'd recommend continuing as you are.*
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    I don't necessarily think that dual-booting is a bad thing to do. For a lot of ordinary purposes, Linux is not an objectively superior operating system. Unless you are spending pretty much all of your time on specialist applications that really require a machine running Linux, I can't really see any huge benefit in switching 100% to Linux because you are undoubtedly going to come across applications that require Windows. Okay, you can use Wine, still though.
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by dragonkeeper999)
    I never bothered with the whole setting up google drive etc. on my laptop, I've always accessed them in a browser so that never bothered me. The main issue I had was compatibility with uni sending me .docx files which didn't use to be compatible with libreoffice (I think they've improved on this since though...).*

    It is possible to run microsoft office through WINE (essentially a virtual windows machine within Linux) - although it never ran perfectly for my sister and I never bothered setting it up myself... Alternatively, I seem to remember that most universities have a deal with Microsoft where you can get an online version of Office 365 which should work fine in Ubuntu since it's in the browser I believe... Not entirely sure on this though - perhaps test it out while you're still dual-booting.*

    Is there any particular reason why you are planning to 100% switch to Linux rather than continuing to dual-boot? If it's just one or two things you need Linux for and the lack of Microsoft Office/ Google Drive etc. is a big issue for you than I'd recommend continuing as you are.*
    I'm the complete opposite, I've always accessed them via local synced copies. I'm not a huge fan of relying on online copies, especially when I can't always guarantee an internet connection. Mostly though it's what I'm used to. Trying to work off Google Docs online just feels incredibly clunky compared to working with a local document in Word for example.

    I should have access to an online version of Office, either via my personal hotmail account or my university version of office. I hadn't considered it, somehow the idea completely slipped my mind.

    I'm not looking to switch to Linux 100% for everything, I think I miscommunicated that in my original post. I still intend to use Windows for quite a few things (Office is better, I have a copy of CS6 and I use Windows for gaming for example). I currenlty have 2 computers, one for gaming which will stay as a Windows box and the other is my daily driver laptop that I work off. Currently all my work feels very disorganised. One class requires assignments be handed in with Google Docs, one class requires I pretty much exclusively use Linux and the material comes from Google docs, one class is a mix of Windows and Linux and the others don't matter too much. I'm happy to keep dual booting but I hate that I can't have all my work in one place and easily accessible. None of the online clients for Google Drive, OneDrive, etc. feel as intuitive as using a normal file explorer.

    I guess the issue is just how I feel about working with local files and my general distaste of Google Drive, Docs and so on. But mainly I'm trying to get more experience with Linux in general. It's just really frustrating to start using Linux, get given some work on Google Drive, download it to work locally with to make things easier, have to switch to Libre or Office because Google Docs suck, and so on.

    I don't know, I'm just ranting incomprehensibly at this point. I just wish I could have one cloud system and one good decent office suite to work with.
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    I don't necessarily think that dual-booting is a bad thing to do. For a lot of ordinary purposes, Linux is not an objectively superior operating system. Unless you are spending pretty much all of your time on specialist applications that really require a machine running Linux, I can't really see any huge benefit in switching 100% to Linux because you are undoubtedly going to come across applications that require Windows. Okay, you can use Wine, still though.
    See my above unstructured rant on this. I don't really intend to stop dual booting. The more I use Linux the more I prefer it and hate Windows but equally things like Office, CS6 and gaming are good reasons to continue using Windows.

    I think the issue more lies with the general fragmentation I'm experiencing now. Being given horribly formatted Google Docs, hating Google Drive, wanting to use Word and so on.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Acsel)
    I'm the complete opposite, I've always accessed them via local synced copies. I'm not a huge fan of relying on online copies, especially when I can't always guarantee an internet connection. Mostly though it's what I'm used to. Trying to work off Google Docs online just feels incredibly clunky compared to working with a local document in Word for example.

    I should have access to an online version of Office, either via my personal hotmail account or my university version of office. I hadn't considered it, somehow the idea completely slipped my mind.

    I'm not looking to switch to Linux 100% for everything, I think I miscommunicated that in my original post. I still intend to use Windows for quite a few things (Office is better, I have a copy of CS6 and I use Windows for gaming for example). I currenlty have 2 computers, one for gaming which will stay as a Windows box and the other is my daily driver laptop that I work off. Currently all my work feels very disorganised. One class requires assignments be handed in with Google Docs, one class requires I pretty much exclusively use Linux and the material comes from Google docs, one class is a mix of Windows and Linux and the others don't matter too much. I'm happy to keep dual booting but I hate that I can't have all my work in one place and easily accessible. None of the online clients for Google Drive, OneDrive, etc. feel as intuitive as using a normal file explorer.

    I guess the issue is just how I feel about working with local files and my general distaste of Google Drive, Docs and so on. But mainly I'm trying to get more experience with Linux in general. It's just really frustrating to start using Linux, get given some work on Google Drive, download it to work locally with to make things easier, have to switch to Libre or Office because Google Docs suck, and so on.

    I don't know, I'm just ranting incomprehensibly at this point. I just wish I could have one cloud system and one good decent office suite to work with.
    Oh, I always just downloaded, edited then re-uploaded the documents from Google drive...

    *Yeah, I find that all very annoying - can't you talk to your professors and perhaps discuss an alternative to using Google Drive for submitting work? I've never submitted work using Google Drive, it seems such an odd thing to do... If you can cut yourself clean of Google Docs etc. then it's just a matter of balancing stuff between Linux and Windows. You can run Microsoft Office 365 through WINE or just access it online, enabling you to completely shift to Linux if you really wanted to (although not so sure about the gaming - but you mentioned you have a separate laptop for that anyway). The only major issue I see here is the requirement to use online file sharing sites like Google Docs, but since you don't like editing them online in Google Docs anyway is downloading local copies each time too much of an issue? Have a look through the Ubuntu software centre in case there is a Google Drive application somewhere for Linux you just didn't know about - it would solve that problem entirely. Google is usually pretty good at supporting Linux, e.g. by releasing Google Chrome and Chromium for Linux right from the start.
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by dragonkeeper999)
    Oh, I always just downloaded, edited then re-uploaded the documents from Google drive...

    *Yeah, I find that all very annoying - can't you talk to your professors and perhaps discuss an alternative to using Google Drive for submitting work? I've never submitted work using Google Drive, it seems such an odd thing to do... If you can cut yourself clean of Google Docs etc. then it's just a matter of balancing stuff between Linux and Windows. You can run Microsoft Office 365 through WINE or just access it online, enabling you to completely shift to Linux if you really wanted to (although not so sure about the gaming - but you mentioned you have a separate laptop for that anyway). The only major issue I see here is the requirement to use online file sharing sites like Google Docs, but since you don't like editing them online in Google Docs anyway is downloading local copies each time too much of an issue? Have a look through the Ubuntu software centre in case there is a Google Drive application somewhere for Linux you just didn't know about - it would solve that problem entirely. Google is usually pretty good at supporting Linux, e.g. by releasing Google Chrome and Chromium for Linux right from the start.
    That's precisely what would annoy me hahaha. I'm used to just having one step, open the document from wherever it is stored in my files. Even if that location is a shared Google Drive or OneDrive folder. Having to manually download, edit and reupload every time feels like a step backwards

    Ideally I would be able to get rid of the Google Drive aspect altogether but it's far too integrated in the course. We get unlimited storage as part of degree, resources are shared with us or open in Google Drive and in general it's something we have to access every day for one reason or another.

    I did find a workaround to get OneDrive syncing to my laptop, although it requires using the terminal and manually starting the process. Naturally when I'm more proficient with Linux this is the sort of thing I'd be comfortable doing and would be able to automate it. I'd also hope to set up my own personal cloud, rather than accessing several different flavours and trying to consolidate my data.
 
 
 
Write a reply… Reply
Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. Oops, you need to agree to our Ts&Cs to register
  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: October 12, 2016
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Poll
Do you think you'll achieve your predicted A Level grades?
Useful resources

Articles:

The Student Room tech wikiTech forum guidelines

Quick link:

Unanswered technology and computers threads

Sponsored features:

Making money from your own website

Need some cash?

How to make money running your own website.

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups
Study resources

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Quick reply
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.