Windows to Linux - operating systems

Created; 14/12/2013, Changed; 04/06/2021 - 04/09/2020

An evaluation of Desktop Computer Operating Systems

Carried out mostly between October 2013 and March 2014 (with subsequent amendments) Figures given are 2014 unless stated.

Windows XP end-of-life support has been reduced progressively to just essential updates then no updates, fewer optional features and drivers. Drivers have been withdrawn by some computers manufacturers websites. This is not the case for US companies such as HP, XP 64 drivers and optional features are still available on HP's website. Lenovo latest BIOS update of 2012 leaves the PC broken (As of January/February 2019 and March 2020);

Windows 7 is in end of life support and receives security updates only and also earlier versions of Windows 10 on some PCs can not be updated (2020).

Linux desktops distributions provide all the common things people generally use a PC for, games, office, camera picture scanning and downloading and web-browsing. Linux desktop's also have many of the specialist things e.g. picture editing tools and some computer aided design, embedded programming. But if want you use a windows program then having a dual booting set up computer so that you can use Linux or Windows is a good option and is the usual option. Many very expensive CAD tools that were once only available on Unix now runs on Linux, FreeBSD, Unix and most are likely also ported to Windows.

  • My objective is to consider operating systems that are reasonably flexible but not overly technical; To be able to fix or make adjustments without needing a deep technical knowledge but have enough control and context sensitive help or support groups to be able to set up what I need, for example a printer. I have found in the years that I have been using Linux, those things are different to Windows but are covered well. I believe Linux does not have the registry wear out and become broken issues that is a big inconvenience in using Windows (Windows 95 on). It is also said that Linux filing systems take care of themselves, don't fragment files (and therefore do not slow down) even when the disk is very full. Linux used to periodically check the filing system when you shut the computer down, now it does the filing system checking on every power up but it is quick. You never get an hour or minutes of installations or configuring at power up or power down Linux either wholly or mostly takes care of those things in a plain and discrete way whilst you are logged on and running.

  • I am not trying to review all Linux’s Distro Watch does that well. What I have said will be wrong as soon as I write it because Linux is improving and changing quickly.

Comparison between Windows and Linux

Gnome desktop

Different to Windows pleasantly uncluttered available for FreeBSD, Linux, Unix. Has been available since 1999.

Running on an HP Compaq Desktop PC

Linux Debian 10.3

Opening main screen Skype and MegaSync running. When the tray is developed running tasks will be in the top bar right.

Debian 9 version would be complete. This is an early version and the icon tray at the top of the screen is not developed yet.

The software update GUIs (graphical user interface) may have been developed by Ubuntu. If you need support looking at either the Debian or the Ubuntu forums or Wiki's will help you for either.

Generally the help explains the solution using the terminal but very often there is an easier GUI solution. You need to look at the key words and uses those with the GUI.

At the present time I have switched to Debian 10.3 Cinnamon on this desktop PC. Cinnamon is very nice looking with smooth opening and closing windows but conventional function desktop like if the graphics hardware does not suport then use MATE or XFCE.

Click top left to open the task screen.

This shows all running programs (two). I have placed more favourites in the left hand side favorites bar.

Debian desktops are all faster than Windows 7 or higher. The lightest desktop variant LxQt is comparable in speed to XP.

Click bottom left favourite to see commands utilises and settings.

Recent are shown click all below and scroll through a few pages of icons.

A few Debian servers have been running for over 20 years and during this time have been kept updated. The log file shows over 175,000 hours.

Click top left to return to the main screen.

This time there are no programs running. The clock, network. volume and power icons are shown top right. The top right pull down also has hibernation and settings.

Life on Earth by comparison has been evolving whilst running for over 3.77 billion years. A partial log exists in our RNA/DNA.

Debian LXDE 32 and 64 bit update from 8.x to 9.x ran amazingly smoothly and without fuss, need to restart or slowing an already slow computer on the times I carried the update out.

Depending on the desktop variant you chose you can trade off; Fast, slick, smooth running or basic for older computers and I guess those fast options would be suitable for running Mechanical CAD (such as Solidworks) programs which are very processor and memory demanding. It seems that Linux is catching on in PC's fast. Linux dominates; servers, mobile phones and things that have more computing within them than a washing machine, for the last decade. May be I exaggerate but don't be mislead when reading Linux does not have virus scanners, disc maintenance tools or registry fixers - those things are addressed well without patching on those things. You will find password requests pop up periodically as you are working on Linux machine to permit changes and updates - those things don't just happen casually like they do with Windows.

----- Linux Distributions ----

Easy to install but if it does not work install it again.

Mint Mate - Is a very safe choice. So is Mint XFCE. I tried Mint Mate in 2013 and returned to it in November 2016. I am currently using Mint Cinnamon as of Nov 2017. I believe it may be Europe and Canada based. Mate desktop the search also looks on the web for answers if an application is not found or application to install but it is not a fast desktop. Mint is Ubuntu based which in turn is Debian based and these are all Linux Kernel.

Mint Cinnamon (includes WINE) (now supports Dropbox well 1/2019) and Debian Cinnamon (fully supports Dropbox) are both plain but smart feel desktops but they require suitable graphics hardware and then this desktop is also fast. Mint XFCE is also well implemented but a slower implementation than some. Mint uses a very easy helpful Ubuntu based installation that is easier than Windows install but with all the important questions about configuration are asked in a plain simple way.

Despite some weakness this is one of the most recommended Linux's to start with ; (March 2020)

Using old software is not generally a problem except if you run multi-boot with another Linux Distribution that uses the current version EXT4 partitions.

  • Mint 18 and 19 still do not support Ext4 properly but supports the earlier version. Ext4 petition type was introduced in Debian 8, I believe and was soon after updated during 2016? most Distributions support the updated version.

  • The problem is if you want to manipulate a partition or data with Mint on the other installation.

Mint Cinnamon 18.2 to Mint 18.3 and to Mint 19 update works but unlike Debian update the PC will be impractically slow whilst this is occurring to do anything else with it.

Ubuntu - The long term stable version is also a safe choice very different slick comparable in speed to a well running current Windows 7 but faster than Windows 10 (April 2020). I have used this for a many years it is the flagship top of the range Linux desktop. Ubuntu' was a branch off from GNOME and was called Unity but now Canonical has sold Unity to Microsoft and has returned to being part of improving GNOME, as of April 2018. Some of the Ubuntu variants did not support Dropbox properly for some years but this is fixed now (April 2020) .

Canonical Ltd of London funds Ubuntu set of desktops and the development is based in South Africa. Ubuntu is an African word for Human. These are the easiest to use and most features are very well developed but they do not run so fast on a PC as other Linux distributions but they are either comparable to or faster than Windows XP or higher.

Weakness is that it is the flag ship therefore leading Linux and so seems a little less stable than others. Conversely issues will be fixed sooner, Dropbox keep running whereas it remains unsupported and may not run on others such as Xubuntu, Lubuntu or any other. (Dropbox are very clear about what Operating Systems are supported and their technical support is good).

I have been using Ubuntu 18.04 for a number of years and some issues arise, currently updating does not run smoothly but it works manually.


Xubuntu - Stable version is fast and is a safe and very like Windows 7. The XFCE desktop is one of the oldest current desktops. XFCE, KDE, GNOME were all launched in about 1996.

Lubuntu 19.04 (LxQt)- This is less complete so issues will arise. It is preloaded with Thunderbird, Libre Office etc.

Alternatively; Lubuntu 18.04 (LxQt) - Is more complete and is preloaded with light weight email and office programmes. I switched them to Thunderbird, Libre office etc.

The Alternative installer will install on more computers that the regular installer will. This fairly easy installer is text based, similar to the Debian full installer.

Lubuntu - (now LxQt 18.04) is the fastest and lightest of the Ubuntu set of distributions and runs well on a low spec. PC even so just 1.5GB DRAM 64Bit PC but will run faster with the 32 version installed. It is not restrictively cut down but is something like a Windows XP but plainer. I've use this on a lower spec. old computer. Dropbox may work and other applications run with little issue.

There was no WiFi and no warnings or options offered after installation on an HP nx6125 laptop, this is unusual for this distribution. It was necessary to install the Broadcom b43 drivers using the Synaptic software installation GUI (which is easy alternative to using terminal as the Debian Wiki describes). Use Windows to turn on the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices, then restart Lubuntu and the WiFi was offered. This is typical of this Laptop although some Linux distributions did not require the step of starting Windows, enable and turn on the WiFi and Bluetooth.

The desktops Linux's above have uniquely a very user friendly application store were you can purchase or add for free many things. You can review them as well and it is set out in a neat and ordered way. Everything about Ubuntu and Ubuntu based distributions including installation and support is plain and straightforward (04-2020).

Lubuntu is now one of the fastest full feature, supported Linux's using Kernel 4.x.x that I've evaluated.

MX Linux - This Linux is very light, fast and installation is straightforward. The user interface is plain and I find it difficult to avoid clicking the wrong thing. Functional and will run on most of the PCs that are now too slow to run anything else.

The XFCE desktop has a command search line like Windows 7.

MX has many maintenance tools included.

The above distributions are Debian based but improvements cross between all of them all ways.

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Fairly easy to install if it does not work the installation media may repair it.

Debian 10.3 LxQt - Dropbox first time launched.

After Dropbox is installed and launched it will download and update itself periodically. With many installations on Linux, Dropbox will download and update daily.

Debian promises to be excellent when Debian version 10 is developed further and things like the icon tray and the country setting are resolved (April 2020).

Debian has become easier to install (02/2017) and usually installs, runs very well. GNOME and CINNAMON are very nice uncluttered fast desktops and easier to install than it had been. XFCE and LXDE is the fastest and Is a nicest fastest plain smart I've come across but there can be a little work to add some things Debian after it is installed. Down load the *-1.iso full download version.

Debian 9 is the stable version but does not include LxQt desktop option.

The installation usually goes through easily but you may then need to add missing non-free drivers subsequently this is not done automatically or semi-automatically unlike other distribution, for you. This is why I have recommended MX Linux above or both if Debian does not workout for you.

Debian 10 LxQt 64 bit is about the same speed as Lubuntu 18.04 but is pre-loaded with the regular rather than lighter programmes. This distribution is faster than Lubuntu 19.04 though. The wireless uses Connman utility that could be turned on without needing to run Windows by comparison with Lubuntu. On the other hand It needed three non-free drivers to be installed but one of those (r300_cp Video) may cause the HP nx6125 Laptop to overheat and freeze so I have not installed it (there are other issues including a poor connection to the screen and reduction of the heatsink efficiency). The other Non-free drivers are; Broadcom tg3_tso5 and particularly required was the Broadcom b43 wireless driver.

Debian 10 LxQt still is one of the fastest full feature, supported Linux's using Kernel 4.x.x that I've evaluated.

Mageia could also be put in this category.

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Harder to install and or use

Mageia XFCE - Is more technically orientated. I used this for a year 2013 to 2014 it is good in. This dualArch installer works out the computer spec. approximately and install 32 or 64 bit appropriately. I was using this but have taken it off my computer because it has needed to be re-installed a few times so Mageia did not worked out well. I tried it again in Oct. 2016 for a few months but there were issues with it but once again briefly version 6 in autumn 2017 there were no issues it was not distinctly fast as it used to be.

Mageia was the best Redhat based distribution I tried at that time. RedHat and Debian are two of the oldest Linux distribution developers there distributions were first launched in 1993.

Weakness Mageia has become difficult to install; After selecting install Mageia the installer starts then USB driver can not be found may occurs. This has been the case with some PC's since about version 4 or 5 and is still an issue with version 6.1 (02-2019, Samsung R50, similar age HP laptop).

An automatic update button offered from 3.x to 4.x but I did not use it until the end of 3.x life and it failed. The better method offered was to keep "/home" partition and clean install to the "/" Linux system partition then re-instate fairly clean all the programs required.

Mageia 7.1 64 bit Cinnamon (July 2020) worked a few times and I reinstalled it on a HP destop then failed (the desktop did not launch) after running for a few days. Dropbox and Megasync were installed successfully and this version has a lot of good features if it works for you to guide you through set up.

Resolved how to install; (May 2020)

Version 7.1 usually does not install from a USB stick the same as some of the earlier versions and different computers over a number of years. Megeia 7.1 could be installed from a DVD though and the big classical installation was then straightforward, well presented.

  • From KDE, GNOME or CUSTOM, Custom was selected - Plasma desktop but LXDE was also offered.

After initial installation a Welcome interface was offered to guide the user through configuration and updates. This appears to have provided the problematic graphic driver on a nx6125 laptop which causes the screen & PC to freeze same as with Debian. On the other hand the wireless driver may have also have been installed but this did not work (even after enabling and turn on Wireless and Bluetooth in Windows)

  • Plasma desktop is minimal, well finished off and I used this to install LxQt desktop.

  • LxQt is light well presented, fast on this slow laptop but as warned by Mageia. I then uninstalled Plasma this was also easy but I did not need to do that. The installation now had full feature and lighter weight programmes so some rationalisation of what is installed would be useful.

    • Dropbox and MegaSync could not be installed from downloaded Fedora .rpm files offered. Undoubtedly there would be a solution for the wireless but I have not investigated those.

    • Here is the solution for Megasync; https://forums.mageia.org/en/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=12132

    • There is also a solution for Dropbox on the Mageia wiki. This worked with Mageia 7.1, 64 bit, Cinnamon but there is a warning that other solutions not using dropbox program but another for other desktops.

I had put Fedora in this category but all Linux's have got easier and the very good ones have stayed very good. Fedoria looks very good but turns out harder to complete setting after basic the installation was completed even so.


ArchLinux - is reckoned to be one of the hardest to install and strongest security. There is an easier Arch based Manjaro - this is easy enough to used but there are fewer .arc applications than there are for Debian/Ubuntu (.deb) or Redhat (.rpm) for it.

Puppy Linux - Is one of the fastest and is very very plain. If you need that also look at AntiX it is fully of manual settings but installation is very easy and everything is set up ready for you when it is completed.

By Comparison Windows XP is not straightforward to install all British English and because some of the settings are not apparent but there are three places you set the language two are in sub-menus of the installation procedure and one then lets you remove USA.

Chosing a Desktop - the basic user interface style

More distribution and more detail

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Safe Web-browsing

Look at the URL to see if it looks correct or plausible. For example if you wish to download Firefox the domain is; mozilla.org is highlighted and you will see something like;

https://www.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/new/

Thunderbird is now not part of Mozilla and the URL is;

https://www.thunderbird.net/en-GB/

Once again the registered domain is highlighted do not download it from anywhere else. But you should use the Linux repository version they are the safest and best version. Conversely some programmes such as Chrome are best download installed from the its website in order to accept conditions, pay or donate and get all features.

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Linux with an older versions of Windows on a slower PC;

Windows XP support ended in April 2014; http://www.microsoft.com/.../wi.../business/retiring-xp.aspx But you do not need to continue with Windows or scrap computers their are other options. Microsoft Security updates continued monthly until November 2016. Microsoft Security Essentials continued ant-virus until June 2017. Some programs are still available for XP, Firefox ESR continued to be supported until April 2018 and it loads many websites still (4/2020). Skype for XP continued until at least Jan 2019. Java 8.201 does not run on XP any more (Feb 2019). Windows Live essentials feature has not been installable for a number of years since XP status was changed to end-of-life.

Update authentication or something cloud based may not work briefly;

  • Briefly it was necessary to turn off the Windows XP firewall and any virus scanner to complete updates and optional features; (this was only an issue briefly and is fine now 3/2020)

  • MX 16 which is in long term support gets some security updates but has not got a security update for Thunderbird. It was necessary to download an updated public key in-order to continue receiving updates in 2019.

  • Mega.nz application for Linux could not be updated through normal secure repository channel and a new version needed to be download and installed. The windows version continued to function on XP or more recent versions.

  • An apparent fault or seeming end of support may not be the situation. But do check your own work and assumptions it usually is is you not someone else.

NOTE; three laptops each over 10 years old;

  • XP 64, SP2 is on HP Compaq Laptop (nx6125) and all drivers are available on the HP website.

  • XP 32, SP3 is on a Samsung R50 (I have the original installation CDs) and a Sony Laptops (PCG-GRT996ZP) the manufacturers have withdrawn XP drivers from their website.

  • Lenovo M71e Desktop the last bios update prevent the PC from turning off. This make has not got a good reputation. I have reverted to using an older 64 bit HP Compaq desktop DC7700p.

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The first web-browser;

But for name changes Netscape was the first commercial Web Browser it became free to individual users (Microsoft did not charge extra for IE 3.x for Windows 3.1 which made it easy to get a dial-up connection if you did not have a paid for ISP like CompuServe). Open Source caught on subsequently and perhaps that marks the end of using patent and copyright to take things created for the good of all away from all of us? Microsoft copied Sun Micro-Systems' Java calling it virtual machine but had to stop doing that and supply Java on subsequent editions of Windows 98.

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Some PCs are more difficult to install an Operating System on

Example; Sony Vaio - heavy Laptop that requires a high power expensive power supply. It has been out of support for a few years so consequently the BIOS can not be updated.

Linux Kernel's up to 3.x.x will run on this laptop but Kernel 4.x.x causes a failure at start up. Bios reports something wrong about the hardware to the Kernel. The message about a timer missing in the top lines is the issue and the bottom line includes a fatal exception message .

When Debian LXDE is running there is no brightness or a few other controls. I did not find the correct drivers. Debian 8 was updated to Debian 9 leaving the wider range of Linux kernels.

All operating systems require more and more memory and processor power but not all computers can be updated adequately even so. Not that I recommending doing that but you can install older version of Linux Distributions that are out of support. Older Linux operating systems may run newer versions of Firefox or Thunderbird the Mozilla website explains how to download unzip and run those and they will then keep up-to-date using there own systems. This gives you some security and comparability with nearly all websites. Web browser is likely to be the slowest application and older versions of web browsers do not work with all websites?

  • Debian 8 probably and MX 16 offer Thunderbird 52.x in their repositories does not support oAuth2 (preferred by Gmail) security properly.

    • The easy option is to set gmail security to allow less secure devices. Alternatively;

      • Downloading, unzipping and running 68.x (March 2020) does not resolve the issue because that version of Thunderbird tries but fails to convert your .thunderbird directory where your email profiles are kept.

      • Solution download, unzipping and running 60.x this will do whatever conversions necessary and will automatically update automatically to 68.x or whatever is the current version.

      • Tip keep a copy of .thunderbird so you can try again if it fails and remove the older repository version of Thunderbird.

      • Tip create a short-cut on the desktop by right clicking the executable in the new thunderbird directory. Alternatively adding an icon to the panel can be done in a few steps starting with a right click on the panel; You chose or add a launcher then add thunderbird and a icon to that launcher.

    • A related issue occurred in one instance of Linux Debian 9 that had not been started up for a year after updating none of the email was visible and the email all needed to be set up again. I resolved the issue by re-installed Linux and copied a working .thunderbird directory into that distribution. Note; .thunderbird directory is hidden and is where all the email profiles are kept.

Making Thunderbird email work again

    • BUT THIS METHOD SHOULD WORK; but it is counter intuitive.

      • Copying an old .thunderbird or one that has been run on a slightly different version of thunderbird may not read. One solution that worked copying profile from version 68.9.0 to 68.8.0 - the Thunderbird help does not help but the solution is similar to above;

        1. Download an older version I found 60.9.1 worked in this case.

        2. Start up Thunderbird see if you email opens, it did.

        3. Open the repository version of Thunderbird see if your email opens properly. If not go back to the downloaded version and startup again and let it up date once then restart the repository version again repeat 2 and 3. until it opens the email properly in the repository version.

        4. You now don't need the downloaded version and you can delete it. You can also delete any other empty profiles. I HOPE THERE IS AN EASIER WAY BUT IT IS THE SOLUTION OFFERED BUT IT DOES NOT WORK.

        5. This has left the .thunderbird directory full of extra clutter (deleted but not removed created profiles which I manually deleted). What is counter intuitive is that all this was required to move was to a lower version not a higher version? But the simple method given in the help of opening the profile manager and selecting the old profile failed.

I am also running MX16 multi-boot as described here in the Vaio laptop above and below - this distribution has taken care of finding and install the correct drivers most likely from the Debian repositories.

Sony Vaio, PCG-GRT996ZP Laptop. - Grub boot screen, Select Debian Advanced;

Go down the list select and to start with an older 3.x.x Linux Kernel.

Debian 9 will now start running with an older 3.x.x Kernel is in full support at the present time and will continue to be supported but will move to End-of-life support this year until June 2022.

Alternatively MX16.1 can be running but using Thunderbird email program (client) download not the normally recommended repositories version.

    • Most distributions do not install on Sony Vaio PCG-8P1M from the USB port so I have - installed plop which allowed the USB under 2G to boot but alternatively a CD or DVD could have been used.

    • The highest version MX that will install and run on this Laptop is MX16.1.

Repositories must be changed when using unsupported old versions of Linux.

  • for Debian 8 look up the Debian Wiki but for MX 16 which is partly supported look up the MX Wiki it will advise you to change some of the repositories.

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  • Debian Linux uses a more stable version Firefox-ESR because this distribution is particularly robust.

  • The Windows XP version of Firefox-ESR is different and has been out of support since about April 2018.

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Warning; There are differences between 32 bit and 64 bit operating systems and applications. For example AVG and Avast work on XP 32 bit and 64 bit but Panda does not work with Windows XP SP2 64 bit (3/2020). There are other antivirus software for XP but the three I mention are the only free ones that work when I evaluated a range in 2018/2019.

32 bit and older 64 bit computers use legacy BIOS and MBR partitioning, Newer 64 use UEFI boot system and GPT partitioning.

Legacy BIOS v UEFI

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Which version to download and install

If you are up for testing a very new release, like all distributions, you will get new features but issues will arise. long Term Stable versions are all more stable and all of them are more stable than the current versions of Windows. These current versions have been tested and are the downloads you are invited to take from the distribution's website and its Wiki pages discuss.

All the variants of Ubuntu desktop have a LTS Long Term Stable version so if you rather not have the most current but have a more stable reliable with fewer changes this is a good choice. It is not the most stable. Debian has simply one variant the current which is well tested and the previous version which is stable both change very little. Along with those all Linux distributions have versions that they are working on that you can use and end-of-life versions that get security updates for a short period.

The meaning of LTS version (look at the distribution's Wiki) but approximately; Ubuntu is a versions they are going to support for a longer period of time it does not start out stable but it is well tested and tend to be even numbers 14. 16. 18. . Debian's meaning of LTS version is the previous version that is now stable. Mint's meaning of LTS version is a long period of support and stable.

Debian is even more stable you manually update then everything will run okay. That can be straightforward or can take some rereading of the Debian website and talking to people on social networking or a Linux forum.

Mint is also more stable but you may find old drivers can be a limitation. On the other hand it has all the automatic updating and driver updating the the Ubuntu's have. Like many some are based on Debian 8 which is not receiving updates now but Mint, MX and other supported version are.

Obviously you can select the lowest version that is still in support for maximum stability. But many people run Linux distributions that are out of date because they are faster and work fine on old computers. These will be comparable to using Windows 7 which is getting security updates only or using XP (4/2020).

As a general rule it seems that the primary distributions that are built on a Linux Kernel are a lot faster, more robust and are very well finished off but have better than just basic features and functions. Those as far as I know are; Debian, Redhat (Fedora) but much less often Arch-Linux.

Installation of Linux Desktop

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Getting the Best from FireFox

The number of open tabs that this browser can cope with depends on operating system and computer speed as well. Firefox (30) and (57) were markedly faster than previous versions - like most things periodically this software is taken apart and put back together tidier. Netscape/Firefox launch a version every few years that greatly improves on what went before.

If you set Firefox to open old tabs [restore] and you have a lot of Tabs running it will go progressively more slowly. This is true of either Windows or Linux versions. The remedy is to close Firefox, when the disk activity stops, open it again. All the tabs will be there again memory straitened out and the tab you are viewing will be the only one running. It will then go full speed you can also open a few more Tabs if you chose too.

Firefox always has used lots of memory. It also fragments or uses more memory the longer it runs. So closing Firefox and re-opening it is a good strategy. Do that before the computer freezes up. The issue is also apparent in other browsers.

Other web-browsers also slow down when may tabs are open and they have been running for a while. They also benefit from closing and re-opening periodically. They probably use the same Firefox intellectual property.

Irrespective of the operating system Firefox operates faster with more RAM and 2GB is a lot better than 1GB for example.

The main point is and issue arises you can google and if that fails ask for help on a forum or Facebook group etc. for most things.

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Some disk maintenance tools run on XP but there is a catch, Reconfigure or repair and also bios updating is more complicated and may not be possible in another OS other that what was originally loaded on that PC. Unfortunately in some laptops the catch is that the BIOS cannot be updated (easily) without Windows XP running and the with a good battery.

Windows repair tools

Bexhill-on-Sea Old town

Bexhill-on-Sea Old Town May 2015 - nothing to do with computer operating systems but to break up the text a bit. The bendy road leads your eye into the picture.

Why alternative operating systems should be considered now?

Many Linux distributions can be Installed on most computers in a straight forward way, It did not used to be like that. There are also many Linux's which you do need to be a Linux Nerd to use. In any case you need to be reasonably comfortable with technology. Unlike Windows though, you don't need to worry about; virus updating and scanning, registry maintenance, disk de-fragmentation and ChkDsk to keep it running efficiently. Also updates occur whilst you are logged in so there is no delays whilst the operating system configures or updates when starting or closing down, they don't do those things that way.

AntiX Linux is very fast, light and full of manual controllers. To get to all my programs and all the settings plus update I first click on the pull up then click on Applications and all I would have on another desktop is there. This is not really a regular desktop for example I have to manually start up everything.

Dual boot windows and Linux.

Ubuntu and some distributions based on Ubuntu the clock may be wrong in the UK in the summer. Debian is fine though.

The fix is straightforward to set Linux to use local time in the same way that all PC's running Windows have always worked. This command-line may need to be carried out again after applying a major update of Ubuntu (update from 18.? to 20.? for example).

Execute the terminal command line in the case of Ubuntu 16 and 18:

timedatectl set-local-rtc 1

Or (for Lubuntu 18.4)

sudo timedatectl set-local-rtc 1

See: https://askubuntu.com/questions/169376/clock-time-is-off-on-dual-boot

MX or AntiX Linux - set the clock to local time (not UTC) during installation.

Windows 10 - I found it necessary to do the above change as with any other Windows but then I needed to manually change the time after the autumn hour change go back and do the same in Linux. This solution works after over a year (Feb 2019).

--- Partition numbering; Windows XP, 7 or 10 matters so Windows can delete the highest number partition if the partitions are numbered out of order 1-2-3-4-5... etc. By comparison Linux does not care about the partition numbering other than to obey the rule that primary partitions are numbered 1 to 4 for MBR type and will renumber primary partitions rather than delete other partitions by comparison with the Windows partition tool ---

The problem arises if you move a Windows partition to another disk then repair the installation in order to make it start up. Installing Windows 7 does re-order partition so that they are number consecutively including any Linux partitions.

I have found Gparted Linux partition tool very clear so as safe as is possible of a tool that manipulates partitions. Some of the propriety Windows tools are also safer as possible and are much safer than using the tools integrated with Windows. The tools integrated with windows are quick and work on system with just one instance of Windows installed.

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What an awful work cell he is working in?

The guy in the picture picks the computer up and chucks it then smashes it. The World" is full of demanding expectation, intolerance, discrimination and good legislation that is not enforceable.

"Personal comfort with a Computer

  • Set the Contrast and Brightness at a noticeably low level And you will find you can do intense work for much longer.

  • Break off from work periodically have proper tea and food breaks. They are statutory (Trucking Acts) built in to work to increase your productivity as well as keeping you well so are they are mutual beneficial.

  • Move the mouse on to the desk so that you have to reach a little.

  • Avoid resting your wrist on the edge of the desk. Such as move the keyboard as well.

  • Position the screen fairly vertical to avoid light reflecting from the screen.

  • Plan things on paper before you do anything on a computer. When you have years of experience using a computer you will find this tip less important. But anyway plan as much as you can see, when you can see further plan some more but only detail as much as you need to or as far as you can see - the plan will change anyway.

  • As with anything break off from what you are doing and do something else periodically. Easy to advise hard to do.

Change things and move yourself before your physical aches set in.

The Borg

The Borg cube (from Star Trek); "Resistance is futile"

Alternatively be patient, do something else, come back and try again you will find a solution.

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DISTRIBUTION can be the Linux Kernel, the desktop (the main graphical User Interface {GUI} ) and a collection of other applications web-browser, office and GUI's for configuration. There are other Distro's or Distributions that instead of the Linux kernel may use the same desktop but with UNIX or FreeBSD based, all of those are meant. Other tools with GUI's rather than using the text terminal are; installers, configuration and also be complied for specific set of electronic devices in this case I am considering a PC (@IBM). PC although originally was supplied with IBM DOS or CP/M 86 but is an open specification to allow a range of operating systems. PCs are not made specifically for Linux, Windows or other Operating Systems - the operating systems are made for the PC or other.

More installation details;

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The best home computer

The best performing home computers of the 1970's-1980's where the Acorn Atom, BBC micro computers and this latter computer displaced the Commodore PET as the desirable home computer. The microprocessor used in these and the also the Commodore 16 and 64 was a Rockwell R6502. The R6502 was pin interchangeable with the by then quite old MC6800 (the MC6800 was used by the military, I understand, for quite a long time before its commercial launch in 1976 hence it has a very well refined architecture).

The structure of the R6502 tended to constrain programmers to do the work where the data was rather than move data, this made the program fast. By comparison the Z80 and i8080 had very good data moving instructions higher quoted clock speeds but this was very misleading because the machine (memory) cycle was a similar speed and that is a more accurate measure in Comprehensive Instruction Set Microprocessors (CISC) performance.

These home computers generally consumed 5W plus 100W for the monitor. Compared with 250W power supply that a modern PC is fitted with. Note book PC's power consumption is more modest but still they consume much more power than an Acorn Atom. A laptop's power supply is 60W or less.

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Keeping a Back up.

Memory sticks and large serial flash used to only tolerate being formatted FAT and the sector size should not be changed. I have found though that USB sticks usually can be formatted to other Windows or Linux formats reliably.

USB memory sticks should be formatted; FAT, FAT16 or ExFAT these impose less wear on the memory stick which in any case the memory stick takes care of data reliability.

Make sure that there is a DOS partition zero, the first partition, so that that one partition can be used on a windows computer. This is a Microsoft limitation.

Cheap (discounted) things found in supermarkets and discount shops; These may not be set up properly or customer returned product but not fixed properly.

  • A USB memory stick 64GB in one case was formatted wrongly but after reformatting to ExFAT became full spec. capacity.

  • Another was not fully USB compliant and does not operate with USB 1.1.

  • A number of the older 1 and 2GB USB sticks fail after being used to install an operating system after few cycles of reprogramming. This is inconvenient because many Linux distributions only require 1 or 2GB memory sticks and in any case the BIOS in the Vaio laptop above will only read those smaller USB sticks.

Using a cloud drive and backup to the PC

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Conclusion - What you get with Linux is not better but it is different.

Linux is better all the same.

note - the animations and cartoons do not belong to me if they belong to you and you would like to be acknowledged please tell me.

Unfortunately this Google hosted website does not allow the animations to run.

One page Linux guide Basic Linux Commands youtube (These have been recommended I have not use them much)

To discussion this go to; blog.andrew-lohmann.me.uk