Originally Posted by ellement
Is it possible to install linux on a laptop with no operating system preinstalled? I thought I'd like to do that with my pending system, but that leads me to question #2: why would I want to use linux at all? I mean, can programs that run in Windows also run in linux? If not, then I'll forget about it, and eventually get a mac. I'm really not comfortable with, nor familiar with command lines and linux/unix in general. I'm cool with using open source stuff for browsing and typing and the like, but this isn't like having a poor-man's Mac, is it?
Oh wow I could have fun responding to this one.
1. thing that sticks out in my head, a Linux was here before the current Mac OS(OSX) was(Thus if anything wouldnt Linux be the common Mans Mac, and Mac be the rich boy's toy?)
2. If you want ease of use go with Mac, course you still wont be able to run everything you could in windows, so exactly why are you concerned with it if your choice is between linux or Mac?
3. You can run some windows programs under linux using Wine, but it requires work to do so, a lot of it can be on the command line at times. Plus no program is garunteed to stay working with newer versions of wine(It is constantly being developed) and not all programs work, in fact many dont. Many do, but many dont.
4. Installing an OS should never require another OS to do so, if it does your computer manufacturer has some explaining to do, or the OS has no buisness being an OS
CLosest thing I can think of is something like Gentoo where you boot off a live CD and then start compiling the OS off of that, but that is nothing different than an installation CD.
5. Poor Man's Mac?.... HehHeh that is funny on so many levels, and probably none of them what you meant it to be funny on. Pardon me if I do take a little offense at that one
But at least I can have a sense of humor about it. Funny thing though is you mention not being comfortable with Linux/Unix but want to go with a Mac which is run off a BSD kernel(Something so similar to Linux and Unix it often gets confused for linux by people not aware they are different
So really what I am saying is Linux is not at the user friendly level, what you choose will differ from person to person but really if you dont want to get your hands dirty with it, go with a Mac, still a better OS than windows and much more stable. Of course a bit overpriced as well. Or go with Windows if running those programs means that much to you, though it would help to answer wether or not you could run those programs(Or wether there are alternatives) if we knew what type of programs you were looking at. If you want something that is easily customized, can be really powerful once you get used to it, and MUCH more stable than windows will likely ever be, that owuld be linux.