Preparing myself for Linux and Vista

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 12, 2006
Updated • May 22, 2013

Today I'm going to write about my master plan to install Ubuntu Linux and Windows Vista on my system to have them at my disposal next to my current Windows XP installation. I personally try to make the switch to Linux because I'm fed up with all the restrictions that Microsoft added (on pressure I assume) to Windows Vista. Nevertheless more than 99% of all my readers use Windows XP and I will continue writing articles for XP and Vista.

I don't advise the switch to Vista but many will do it anyway, that's why I will be installing Vista so that I can cover Vista here as well.

I know that some readers would love to switch to Linux as well, probably for the same reasons I'm making the switch. I hope that many find the courage for this step and my articles about switching to Linux hopefully show them that switching is indeed easy.

I decided to install Ubuntu on a new external hard drive that I will purchase. This has some advantages: First, I do not need to partition the hard drives that are already installed on my computer which means I don't have to fear that I will be losing data in the process. A minor disadvantage is that there will be no default bootloader that gives me the choice of the operating system, I probably have to switch information in bios to start the operating system I want.

Having said that I compiled a list of applications that I need to find and install on Ubuntu that I require for work. Please note that this list is not complete, I tried to add only essential applications. If you know such a tool exists in Linux let me know, would be glad if some of you could help me get it going.

  • FTP Client
  • True Crypt
  • Browser (Firefox)
  • Email Client (Thunderbird)
  • Word Processing (Open Office)
  • Image Processing (GIMP)
  • Video Player like VLC
  • Music Player like Winamp
  • Binary News Reader like Newzbin
  • Bittorrent Client (like Bitcomet)

I will also have to do some research to find out if I can run programs such as Skype, Teamspeak or Rivatuner on the system. If not, I'd have to find compatible programs that I can run instead.

I'm pretty sure that I will find equivalent tools and I have decided to install Ubuntu without searching for them. I will do that once Ubuntu is up and running.

If you have something that you would like to add let me know. Are you also considering switching to Linux and need a certain tool? Maybe we can figure it out together.


Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. long time vista and ubuntu dual booter said on March 17, 2009 at 12:35 am

    I also think everyone should be forced to use both at some stage, such as a work or school/uni environment, so they learn to appreciate the difference between ‘open source’ and ‘propriety’ software. Also that users understand permissions, and why the UAC is put into VISTA, and why it is one very very small step closer to the right way of handling permissions.

  2. Bruce T said on March 20, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Like me you will try many of the Linux concotions out there but will finally decide that windows is not so bad after all , i feel everyone should be forced to try a linux distro before using windows and then they will appreciate windows more, (even with windows glitches). So good luck and enjoy many long hours of reading forums and changing from one distro to the other.

    Ps. I will wait for you here back here on windows

  3. redtux said on May 22, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    Cant agree with mplayer over vlc – vlc just rocks AND plays everything AND can be used on windows and Linux.

    BTW KDE/Gnome are about equal, personnally much prefer gnome.

  4. Samer Nakfour said on December 24, 2006 at 1:10 pm

    Skype has a Linux-compatible version :) – Teamspeak too!

  5. adrift said on December 12, 2006 at 6:11 pm

    I started off with Kubuntu, but felt that for a first time user the support i needed wasn’t really there. I’m currently running Ubuntu on a dual boot, and the support through online forums and whatnot is great. I also recommend installing Nicotine which is the Linux version of SoulSeek. I’m not recommending it so much for music p2p stuff (though i love it for that too), but for the Nicotine chat room. I’m sure there’s plenty of Linux based chat rooms in IRC, but i’ve always hated using IRC so Nicotine’s chat is a great alternative for me to hook up with folks running Ubuntu when i have a question i can’t seem to figure out on my own.

  6. jenStar said on December 12, 2006 at 5:10 pm

    i used to have ubuntu!
    great OS but i didn’t know how to connect to the internet so i’ve change my mind and now i’m using xp as my Os

    i dont know how to configure it….

    anyway i have a lot of ubuntu cd as i request for it…

    i also introduce it to my college friends….
    they love it….

  7. Devdatta Akhawe said on December 12, 2006 at 9:44 am

    Install into the external HDD. GRUB/LILO will be installed on it .. configure it so that it can go to Windows on your other primary HDD. Then change your BIOS settings to always boot to external HDD. The idea you are thinkin is good though,.. thats what I also did during my first Linux install.

    Sorry, no edit option in your comments :(

  8. Devdatta Akhawe said on December 12, 2006 at 9:41 am

    Most of the other standard apps come prebundled .. with KDE/Gnome.

    Again … I will strongly urge KDE.. cos I am also using it so we could figure stuff out together :D ;)

  9. Devdatta Akhawe said on December 12, 2006 at 9:39 am

    Try mplayer on Linux … much more easy , fast and actually plays everything!

    True Crypt requires a very new kernel… I dont know about ubuntu but most distros dont come prebundled with it.

    Music Player : if you want something like winAmp then XMMS but try Amarok its really really good. First music player whose collection interface actually is intutive.

    Email client : I would recommend KMail … thunderbird just didn’t work well for me. IF you think abt it , firefox is also a shitty browser , a memory hog, the only reason to use it being the large number of extensions. (which aren’t much there for Thunderbird).

    Don’t go through the pain of findin a Download Manager for Linux … use DownThemAll plugin for Firefox.

    Also are you switchin to Kubuntu or the standard Ubuntu? I would recommend Kubuntu … cos I feel KDE is much more widespread than Gnome , and future development in KDE (Qt) will be high whereas GTK and Mono are a mess. My 2 cents … finally upto you though.

    Also remember to get ntfs-3g , its really usefull. And also keep a FAT32 partition handy while installing , it will save you on a lot of pain.

    Best of Luck … I switched to Linux and WinXP a few months back. Though I would install Vista when it goes gold, but never felt the need. :D

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.