What do you know about Ubuntu? | INFJ Forum

What do you know about Ubuntu?

Discussion in 'Computer Science' started by Questingpoet, Aug 25, 2010.

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  1. Questingpoet

    Questingpoet Not Afraid to Use His Beard
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    I have a very bad Trojan Downloader virus on my computer. After trying many different things to get rid of it, I've decided to install a new operating system before it locks up completely. I am going with the advice of my good friend and technical advisor Entyqua, and am going with the freeware program known as Ubuntu. I have several questions I would like advice from the fourm on. I am ok with computers and software, but certainly no expert--especially compared to most younger people.


    Do any of you use Ubuntu and how do you like it?

    I use MSN Windows Messanger Live to chat all the time. Can I still use that? What chat can I use with this?

    What Windows programs will work on this new OS?

    Is this truly virus safe? So you don't need anti-virus with this?

    Any other hints or tips for someone who has only ever used a Windows based OS?



    Thanks guys!
     
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  2. athenian200

    athenian200 Protocol Droid
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    It's a very easy to use version of Linux. I like it, and it works just as well on older computers as on newer ones.
    Yes, you can use Pidgin. It's a good chat client that works on several operating systems. It's compatible with MSN, as well as AIM and Yahoo chat. I use Pidgin on Windows, it's that good.
    Natively, none. However, some programs can be emulated via Wine. The ones that can't, can be run inside a Virtual PC program like Boches, but you have to have a copy of Windows for that.
    Essentially, yes. If you don't give yourself administrator permissions, things can't happen as easily as they do in Windows. Also, viruses for Linux are nonexistent at present, but that may change if it becomes more popular.
    Use Mozilla Firefox and Pidgin. There are a bunch of free programs for Linux, and it's hard to decide what you need. Tell me what Windows functionality you want to replicate, and I'll tell you an application that gets you close. Like this:

    Microsoft Office - OpenOffice
    WinAmp - XMMS
    Adobe Photoshop - GIMP

    There are more, and certain libraries you'll need to install to view WMV files, but it will be easier to walk you through that after you install Linux.

    Finally, there are a lot of support forums for Linux, and a particularly helpful one for Ubuntu. If you ask for help there, they should tell you what you need to know.
     
    #2 athenian200, Aug 25, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
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  3. Peppermint

    Peppermint Well-known member

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    I would recommend trying a good antivirus product like Norton, or a free antivirus recovery CD before going with a new OS.

    Antivirus rescue disks are actually usually built on Linux and are used by "experts" to recover a badly infected system. It works the same as a Linux Live CD, and it should do the trick.

    more information: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2363533,00.asp

    Despite what the enthusiasts will tell you, Linux isn't exactly virus-proof. Linux malware exists, but considering the amount of Windows based malware floating about, the probability of catching Linux malware is smaller.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_Viruses
     
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  4. OP
    Questingpoet

    Questingpoet Not Afraid to Use His Beard
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    Thank you both for responding so quickly with good advice. I will get a list of things I want to emulate. My wife is VERY non-computer savy. She uses AOL still, I assume this wil work on the new OS. I use Google Chrome right now. I have both Norton Anti-virus and AVG. They are cleaning up some of the infection. Both have located the main source, but cannot purge it. I get messages like "Unacessable". I don't have money to spend on a bunch of programs right now (either anti virus or a new OS), that's one of the reasons for the freeware. I wanna do this soon before my computer is in real trouble. It's coming, I spend a lot of time on it and I can tell.
     
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  5. durentu

    durentu Regular Poster

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    If you're coming from windows and going to ubuntu, all the necessary stuff will be there, but the luxuries will be different. Also, it'll be like moving from an english speaking country to a european country. You have a vague notion of what things are but need time to figure stuff out.

    I've used a who bunch of operating systems myself and built a few for embedded microprocessors.

    You don't need to install ubuntu if you're not ready to move to another country yet. There are Ubuntu Live CDs in which you can download them and burn them onto cd or dvd. Then you can boot your computer to the cd/DVD and experience the ubuntu operating system without installing anything. The old windows operating system will be left untouched while the computer is operating in Ubuntu Linux.

    After you get acquainted with ubuntu linux and you have zero hope of reparing the trojan infection, you can go install ubuntu and have fun
     
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  6. athenian200

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    Ahh!!! Abort, Abort!

    AOL will not work on Linux! It's one of the few ISPs that doesn't, because it requires you to use their software. Normal ones do. If you want to use AOL with Linux, you'll have to set up a Windows PC as a gateway or something
    (even a really old one will do). Or else manage to get the Windows version of the AOL software running on Wine or Boches, noting that it will be your only lifeline to the Internet under Linux.

    Linux is the reason that I switched to Earthlink from AOL, because of the frustration of trying to get Linux to work with it. I use AT&T DSL now, though, and it's better than either one, in addition to working with any OS that supports DHCP.

    There's no Linux version of that, either. It can probably be emulated, although I'd recommend using a native browser.
    Oh, man... that kind of sucks. :(

    There is one thing you can do other than installing Linux, though. Just wipe the hard drive, and reinstall Windows. Start backing up your data regularly, and install AVG again. Learn how to avoid getting infected... if you don't go to the wrong kind of websites, you can generally avoid infection without needing an expensive anti-virus, though there are still risks.
     
    #6 athenian200, Aug 25, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  7. NeverAmI

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    Linux frequently does kernel recompiles which makes it hard for viruses to stay around long. The lifecycle management of open source applications is so different than proprietary that it makes it quite hard to exploit.

    Ubuntu is good if it works natively on the hardware you have, if it doesn't then it can be a nightmare to troubleshoot.

    It is generally a safe to assume no native Windows programs will run in linux. It is good if you do general web surfing email, etc. If you do very specific things with this computer then you will want to make sure equivilant software exists in the Ubuntu respositories.

    If you start getting into customizations and tweaking there will be some learning curves, but overall if it works on a default install you will probably be ok with it.

    Printer drivers is another gotcha, if you use a printer check to see if there is a postscript driver for it.
     
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  8. NeverAmI

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    QP, download avast (installable antivirus) and set it to do a boot-up scan. A couple spyware scanners wouldn't be bad either.
     
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  9. NeverAmI

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    Chrome has native linux.
     
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    Questingpoet

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    Wow, more issues than I thought here. I'm glad I asked. The wife will not like changing her email from AOL. I have several Email accounts and they are all linked on hotmail now. She likes her little AOL world. I have used Firefox too and have no problem using that. Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of Windows. It was on the computer when I bought it already. I tried going back to a saved restore point too and it wouldn't let me. Never had that happen before either. I'll try Avast NAI and see if it can purge it out. Is it free? I don't want to FU my printer either. This is getting complicated....


    One other question, would you guys consider this a better OS for just an average Joe Computer user?
     
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    #10 Questingpoet, Aug 25, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  11. Peppermint

    Peppermint Well-known member

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    It's never a good idea to have more than one anti virus software running at the same time. It usually causes them to conflict and impair each other. You can try removing one of them and make sure they are updated.

    There are plenty of good free security software. If you don't want to try to install new software, you can try something like this: http://www.softpedia.com/get/Antivirus/Kaspersky-Virus-Removal-Tool.shtml

    Another option is this tool for very persistent infestations: http://security.symantec.com/nbrt/npe.asp?lcid=1033

    If it all fails, try the Rescue CD.

    (they are all free btw)
     
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  12. athenian200

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    Oh, I knew they were coming out with one, I just didn't think it was out yet.

    Never mind, my info is out of date.

    But if AOL won't work on it, that doesn't do you much good...

    There might be some new programs like PengAOL, but AFAIK, AOL doesn't work on Linux.
     
  13. NeverAmI

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    What brand of computer is it?

    Avast is free. Like Peppermint said, make sure you only have 1 AV installed at a time.
     
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  14. athenian200

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    Well, she can still use her AOL e-mail account through the web interface, but she just can't use AOL as an ISP. I haven't had AOL in years, but my e-mail account with them still works.

    Your printer should work, but if it's very new, it may not work.

    Ubuntu is very user friendly if you have a typical setup, but if you have to do something technical to get things working, it can get complicated.
     
  15. durentu

    durentu Regular Poster

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    For someone who is hooked into AOL, linux would not be a good choice to move to. Apart from that Linux isn't for everyone because the technical support for linux comes from everywhere, and not just one company.

    If you are uncomfortable digging around the underbelly of a computer "windows registry, command prompt, backup formatting hard drive, etc" then it might be time to get professional help. Make sure you make a backup of all your files and export your bookmarks from chrome/IE/firefox before you send it off to the shop.

    Many of the better shops will 'ghost' your hard drive. This means that it will do a low level bit-by-bit copy of your computer before any recovery procedure is attempted. This way, if something really does go bad, they can restore the exact condition when you brought it in. It's more expensive and takes more time, but there is zero loss of data.

    Many people can get 'lucky' catching and removing the infection with free software. However if it turns out that this infection is a bad one, or if you just don't want to deal with it, you'll need to call in a specialist.
     
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  16. youhemmein

    youhemmein awkward turtle
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    I considered this briefly also because for the longest time my laptop was running Windows 2000. That was a nightmare. Instead I just installed XP Home, because Vista is terrible and 7 was a bit too heavy for my computer.

    Props to you if you can sort it all out. It would have been more practical to attempt learning a Linux OS if it wasn't my only functional computer. If your wife isn't computer savvy, and you share a computer, I wouldn't suggest risking such a leap.

    Also, if it isn't too late, try downloading malwarebytes' anti-malware and AVG free edition and running those back to back until the scans come up clean. One time my roommate's laptop had a virus identified as "anti-virus" and it was blocking access to most of the programs on her computer, saying THEY were infected files. It was malwarebytes' that got rid of that one.

    Anyway, I think switching to a Linux-based OS should be your last resort, considering the circumstances. Good luck, at any rate.
     
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  17. athenian200

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    If all else fails, you can get a copy of Windows XP by "wearing an eyepatch," if you know what I mean. But you didn't hear it from me. :whistle:

    You might also be able to find a cheap copy on eBay.

    If you're really stuck with Windows, there's no real reason to pay for the latest version yet. Most stuff is still 32-bit and compatible with XP.

    Not suggesting you should stick with it permanently, but just until you can afford Windows 7.
     
    #17 athenian200, Aug 25, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  18. OP
    Questingpoet

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    Ok, I've gotten enough good advice here that I can at least procede with a few more things and try to get rid of this infection. I have AVG on there already. Is what you are suggesting different Jenn?
     
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  19. youhemmein

    youhemmein awkward turtle
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    No, it's just that there is a free version and a paid version. The free version seems to do pretty well.
     
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  20. frozen_water

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    Linux probably doesn't have the programs you want, but it does usually have subtitutes which work just fine (MSN -> Pidgin is one such good example)

    If the only reason your wife likes AOL is for the email address, that is available elsewhere. Just google AOL mail. I'm not sure if you can transmit an existing AOL account into a pure-email account, but I can't see why you wouldn't. If she likes using the Instant Messanger, that is available through Pidgin as well. Pidgin works almost identically to AIM.

    What NAI said, though, is absolutely true. Ubuntu is great if it works properly on your hardware "out-of-the-box", but a nightmare to troubleshoot. That said, it works fine on most computers, and there's a much better chance of it working if you're on a desktop. I used it for about a year, and then had to switch versions of linux because (after an update) my computer started freezing every time it tried to wake up from suspend, and I had no idea why. The screen just started flashing random static-y looking colors. However, I'm using a laptop and my hardware is kind of tricky.

    I second peppermint's diagnosis. Get some sort of antivirus (NAI's suggestion of Avast is a good one) and look around for the option to run a boot-up scan. My intuition thinks that this will solve your problem. If that fails, then try a rescue cd. If that fails, then tell your wife to use AOL mail, teach her firefox, and give Ubuntu a shot.

    Some other thoughts worth mentioning, because I haven't seen them yet.

    1. You can try Ubuntu without installing it, if you go to their site, download it, and burn it onto a cd. When your computer starts, look for something that says "hit f12 [or some other f-number] to [do something]" (my memory's foggy... but you won't hurt anything if you hit the button and then just exit whatever menu first pops up), and tell it to boot from cd. That should put you in a fully functional ubuntu (although it will be a lot slower than it would if it were actually installed), so you can test whether it works with your hardware beforehand, and see whether or not you like it. If it seems to work fine (make sure you have sound, it works with your printer, flash-programs work through firefox, etc), then it's safe to install for real.

    and

    2. You can probably call up either Microsoft or the place where you bought your computer and get them to send you install disks. I didn't know this, but when I was having trouble with my laptop I called up Dell, and since my computer also came with Windows installed, they sent me the install disks so that I could wipe it if I needed to. It was still within warrantee, so that might have something to do with it... but either way, it's worth a try for you. Also, most computers that come pre-installed with windows, but have no install disks, have a separate piece of the hard drive with all the "windows installer" stuff which is (I think?) protected from viruses. You might want to check to see if that's the type of computer you have, because you might not need install disks in order to reinstall it.

    less importantly (but still important):

    3. I would not recommend going to a professional and asking them to fix it. A very cheap new computer would probably not cost too much more than getting someone to fix your current one, because they're really expensive, and to be honest, they'll most likely just erase everything and use the same Windows install disks which you could get for free to reinstall it.
     
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