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A Linux User's Perspective Of Microsoft Windows 8

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  • A Linux User's Perspective Of Microsoft Windows 8

    Phoronix: A Linux User's Perspective Of Microsoft Windows 8

    For those Microsoft Windows users that also use Linux and are thinking about upgrading to Windows 8, here's the perspective of one Linux user who tried out Microsoft Windows 8...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTIxNzA

  • #2
    Interesting results...

    I've never been one for upgrading my Windows OS, but I have upgraded three friends to Windows 8, of which 2/3 upgrades worked without issues, the last one requiring a clean install.

    I do think its slightly disappointing that the upgrade does have a decent amount of failures, I think MS should recommend a clean install when the upgrade assistant detects that a system upgrade is likely to fail (they should be able to do that, perhaps too many apps, install is old and messy etc...)

    I have always found Ubuntu updates to be a pain myself, especially with my AMD Card and 3 monitors. I like OSS, and the ideologies behind it, and the 3 monitors are very useful when using Blender 3D, LuxRender and Gimp (post pro/textures) which I have taught myself to use over 3DS Maxx (free student licence) and Photoshop (crack lol)

    I've read before on Phoronix that if you don't want to change config files to get your graphics setup you shouldn't be using Linux, I think that's ridiculous. The above software (Blender, Lux and Gimp) are all OSS, and don't require hacks to setup properly, and its OSS. I would like to have a full OSS setup, but the 3 monitors make that difficult.

    So right now, Windows 8 is the OS that works best for my content/game uses, so that's what I will use until otherwise possible (here hoping) and Ubuntu for web/music etc...

    Comment


    • #3
      OK, I'll go ahead and self-identify. I wrote the mail to him.

      For clarification, the poke at Lennart wasn't meant to be disparaging at all. I totally understand if things break in Rawhide. In fact, I laugh at it and move on. I don't like seeing this kind of breakage in a stable release; but fortunately it doesn't happen all that often in a stable release. For the record, I love Lennart's work. I was just referring to the recent breakage on F18 testing and Rawhide with boot looping -- see this bug. Honestly it's to be expected, because Fedora 18 hasn't been released yet (not even beta!) and Rawhide is always a mess.

      But I was contrasting the expected instability of Red Hat folks breaking stuff in pre-releases and rawhide, versus the unexpected instability of Windows 8's upgrade procedures for software that spent months in testing and had been officially released "To Manufacturing". Furthermore, I paid for Windows, so I expect to receive a good experience in return. Also, the company developing it has virtually limitless resources. So there's really no excuse.

      Other than that, I stand by my assertions that Windows 8's upgrade procedure is a crapshoot. If anyone else here dual boots, you should make sure you have good backups before you upgrade, or better yet, save yourself some time and just reinstall clean, then copy over your data from your backups.

      The thing I wanted to get across that I didn't really enunciate in my email is that Microsoft's failure helped "snap me out of" a period when I had been running Windows on both my boxes habitually because of my desire to run Windows games. I hated it and kept swearing to go back to Linux, but nothing had given me a "shove" enough to actually do it, even though the dual boot partition to a working Linux install was right at my fingertips.

      Ironically, it was Microsoft and their incompetence which gave me the final shove to move back to Linux. I've been using Ubuntu exclusively all weekend after weeks of running it in a VM only, and I'm very satisfied. I even donated to Canonical after downloading the ISO.

      If you need to be reminded of just how terrible Microsoft's software quality is, just upgrade to Windows 8. You'll be glad to use a modern Linux distro after that.

      Comment


      • #4
        Basically i would always do clean win installs and never upgrade. That's usally lost time to do so.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by zeealpal View Post
          I've never been one for upgrading my Windows OS, but I have upgraded three friends to Windows 8, of which 2/3 upgrades worked without issues, the last one requiring a clean install.

          I do think its slightly disappointing that the upgrade does have a decent amount of failures, I think MS should recommend a clean install when the upgrade assistant detects that a system upgrade is likely to fail (they should be able to do that, perhaps too many apps, install is old and messy etc...)

          I have always found Ubuntu updates to be a pain myself, especially with my AMD Card and 3 monitors. I like OSS, and the ideologies behind it, and the 3 monitors are very useful when using Blender 3D, LuxRender and Gimp (post pro/textures) which I have taught myself to use over 3DS Maxx (free student licence) and Photoshop (crack lol)

          I've read before on Phoronix that if you don't want to change config files to get your graphics setup you shouldn't be using Linux, I think that's ridiculous. The above software (Blender, Lux and Gimp) are all OSS, and don't require hacks to setup properly, and its OSS. I would like to have a full OSS setup, but the 3 monitors make that difficult.

          So right now, Windows 8 is the OS that works best for my content/game uses, so that's what I will use until otherwise possible (here hoping) and Ubuntu for web/music etc...
          Why doesn't Ubuntu work with your AMD card and 3 monitors? I don't know any reason why it wouldn't. It's worked fine here on my HD5970 and that's fairly "old" hardware by now..

          Comment


          • #6
            I actually like Windows 8

            Yep. As a fan of gnome-shell, I didn't find "Metro" to bad. I used both with and without a touchscreen and like them a lot.
            Windows 8 is on my laptop, Arch Linux on my desktop!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by allquixotic View Post
              Why doesn't Ubuntu work with your AMD card and 3 monitors? I don't know any reason why it wouldn't. It's worked fine here on my HD5970 and that's fairly "old" hardware by now..
              That's not something I'm sure about, it was working at one time, but then it broke when I upgraded my Ubuntu to 12.04. I had tried both installing Ubuntu new (64 bit 12.04) (on a spare hdd, no other hdd's installed) and did the auto install from downloaded catalyst driver, the build packages option, and the Ubuntu default driver install.

              However, I've found it better to separate my 3d/gaming work on windows to my other crap on Ubuntu (lots of music, pics, testing interesting linux apps etc...) so I'm happy leaving it as it is.

              I was not intending any offense to anyone (hopefully I didn't) I just said what I had experienced on both. Perhaps I will try again with 12.10 once I've backed up my new files.

              Comment


              • #8
                Wtf is he talking about? I'm using Windows 8 pro rtm since august. Had no problems installing and using it. Everything is just working. BTW I'm mainly a gentoo user.

                p.s. the only thing ubuntu does out of the box is to suck. What are you awaiting from an african distro for african monkeys...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by allquixotic View Post
                  Other than that, I stand by my assertions that Windows 8's upgrade procedure is a crapshoot.
                  That can really be said of any OS upgrade. I can't count how many times a openSUSE, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora upgrades have failed over my lifetime, many of them failing at even the bootloader stage. You are usually fine if you stick with the base given config of the OS but once you have a well used OS with a bunch of customization it is nothing but luck of the draw if the upgrade goes well or not.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    One thing I've learned from Windows 7 that might be relevant here is that it doesn't like being booted from GRUB. GRUB will boot it fine, but I've had eg. the installation of SP1 fail because Windows can't find the BCD store it booted from (this is normally in the "System Reserved" partition created by a default W7 install).

                    Having said that, the only OS I'll trust to upgrade without fault is Debian. It's still possible to break it, and I have recently had some Ubuntu installs upgrade without issue (I was amazed), but Debian's the only OS who seem to take upgrades seriously.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Too be fair, I do not attempt to upgrade my Fedora boxes either, always opting for a clean install. Now, the one time I did do an update nothing too bad happened, but as a general rule I just do a fresh install anyway.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        windows 8

                        i'm using windows 8 upgraded from windows 7, it dual boots with ubuntu quantal upgraded from ubuntu precise.

                        currently, to boot windows 8 i have to do:
                        c
                        set root=(hd0,msdos1)
                        chainloader +1
                        boot

                        it used to have windows on the boot menu.

                        on first install, video worked "ok", but installed ati official drivers anyway. initial impression was that it boots kind of quick. and that i hate metro.

                        i ended up researching start bar replacements for a while, none of them being very great. stardock had one, but it just emulated metro in a smaller place, and had the same annoyances with search having to specify files/apps/blah

                        generally speaking, with windows i have terrible problems with rearranging windows. i only have 1920x1200 resolution - but even that is probably on the "high" end... and i'm constantly rearranging windows due to lack of space. the same
                        bug still exists, that as you boot focus will randomly disappear, which had been an issue since XP.

                        chrome works about the same as in linux. it feels slightly faster than windows 7, but still not as fast as linux. i'm using a proxy server to a better connected host with the larger initial tcp window size, so i go about searching to see if i can enable support for that - and it seems that alas, no i still cannot. tcpdump shows 8k initial window size, versus linux defaulting to 14k.

                        playing movies is about the same as linux.

                        copying files on the other hand, over network, seems to still be an issue with multiple simultaneous file copies, or accessing data as stuff is being copied over - i get network transfer speeds of 105mb/sec, but single hard-disk can do 170mb/sec. copying two files at once, slows down to a crawl.

                        at the same time, during my testing, i had a hard-drive failure, and shifted the file server from openindiana with zfs to linux with lvm/btrfs, which surprisingly seemed to not quite cope as well. (rma'ed hard-disk, same model, seagate 3tb from seagate 1tb on windows, both bench around 170mb/sec)

                        overall, i'm still struggling to get used to windows, it still doesn't include virtual desktop support built in, but there's an external program to allow such - but it's painfully slow when you have lots of windows open, which is normal for me. in linux i'm using notion window manager, which feels a LOT faster.

                        there's also still no inbuilt ssh, having to again use an external program - in this instance putty, which surprisingly still doesn't support ecdsa keys.

                        load times for applications seem slightly faster for applications, but games still take ages to load. can't compare against linux, as linux doesn't support games. (starcraft 2, borderlands 2)

                        the task manager isn't really any better than the old one. i don't know why some people like it. it still seems harder to use than top. i've had a few weird crashes of applications, and at least two random reboots of the computer while not at it. at least one was some kind of forced windows update, which i thought i'd told to not happen automatically. although i do remember something prompting me it wanted to reboot, not sure for what.

                        over time, things got a little better. stardock fixed their start8 application to have a more windows 7 interface, but you still can't drag searched documents to skype. and you don't seem to be able to do "open file location" either. you can do properties, and cut and paste and open folder that way. but it's over-complicated.

                        one curious thing i noticed, is that even though i don't have ipv6, i can use ipv6 in windows (but not linux). and windows ping will even do it by default! where as in linux you have to do ping6.

                        from further exploration it seems there is some kind of tunnel service than windows makes use of, to a nearby ipv6 relay.

                        overall, i'm not really impressed, but it doesn't bother me too much, and i've been meaning to go back to linux for more stuff, but i'm kind of hoping that linux fixes their issues soon.

                        currently with my linux i don't have good video card support, as i have a radeon hd7850, which isn't supported using open source drivers, and the binary drivers don't work with recent linux version. the ubuntu kernel doesn't support usb on my gigabyte P motherboard (before Z were around), and my self-compiled kernel (3.6.0) and xorg (recent) isn't compatible with the current binary drivers. so i had to downgrade. i found the ubuntu precise kernel with downgraded X to work, kind of, but has some screen corruption issues. i can also apparently not use the fglrx module, and have a more recent kernel, but with slow scrolling, and some kind of flickering issue.

                        i made an attempt at using the new ati drivers that just came out, but that's not working otu so far. i've been meaning to take another look at it - but just prior i'd upgraded the windows drivers, with no issues at all.

                        i'm also wondering if windows will ever add support for tcp fast open. one of the reasons i've been wanting to use linux 3.6 and newer is to play with tcp fast open, and i realised that windows may never support it

                        so my current solution is to just keep linux for non-desktops, and do my tests from headless linux hosts, and virtual machines. i was doing virtualisation under openindiana before, but i thought i'd try doing it on a shared desktop, but that seems to create even more complications with xen and linux.

                        overall, it seems to suffice as a basic skype/games/word/vnc/putty/movies client, and my main outstanding problems are with dragging files to skype, copying multiple files over network at once (the pause/unpause thing is annoying but necessary! with linux it's not necessarily a lot better, but you can stick a sleep on the beginning)

                        i also have a feeling that putty connects slower to remote hosts than ssh. but i can't easily measure it. i have no idea if putty is making use of hardware acceleration for ssh, but it shouldn't matter for interactive sessions.

                        just today my start8 expired, so now i'm wondering if i should pay money for it, or try and find something else.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've had it with Microsoft years ago. Never going back or using their software. If a third party wants a MS file format then they can goto hell, or be open file compaitible. I also now refuse to fix anyone's computers if it means getting Windows working.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ubuntu does this too

                            And when I upgraded my laptop from Ubuntu 12.04 to 12.10 it made it unbootable. I had to PXE boot and rerun grub-install at which point the booting worked again. Every single one of the last few Ubuntu releases has caused problems on upgrade for me, with them getting increasingly worse. And I get to experience them every 6 months instead of every few years as with Windows.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                              That can really be said of any OS upgrade. I can't count how many times a openSUSE, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora upgrades have failed over my lifetime, many of them failing at even the bootloader stage. You are usually fine if you stick with the base given config of the OS but once you have a well used OS with a bunch of customization it is nothing but luck of the draw if the upgrade goes well or not.
                              -I second this. In my past experiences, most of the time upgrading a (customized) Ubuntu system would result in an unstable system or some missing functionalities, or just a plainly failed upgrade and stuck at boot. So now I always do a clean install instead.

                              Regards.

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