Dual-boot install done

April 7, 2009 at 10:03 pm 1 comment

NOTE: Windows XP is quite old now and that it doesn’t really represent Windows as a whole anymore, especially in its setup time. I know this, but I installed Windows XP because it’s the Windows I’m the most used to and the only one I have. (I don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on the newest Windows when I don’t need it or particularly want it… as for a pirated version, I try not to get those.)
ANOTHER NOTE: Also note that I am not trying to do a “Linux vs Windows” type thing. What follows is simply a comparison of my own experience installing Linux and installing Windows XP.
ONE MORE: And I don’t have any data, it’s just my subjective view of the setup process.
SIDE NOTE: Ah, why am I telling all these disclaimers if I have only one person reading my blog… well I guess those disclaimers are for you, bro.
LAST NOTE: Ok, so here’s the post. No more notes.

I finished my dual-boot setup. I installed Windows XP and Linux Mint from scratch side by side on the same hard drive, XP first, then Linux. I had a few problems, but all were minor and quickly fixed. Here’s a summary of my install, and to make it more interesting I’ll compare XP and Mint in terms of convenience and speed of setup.

INSTALL TIME
Windows XP took a VERY time long to install (again, I’ve heard that the newer versions of Windows install much faster, so this is not an issue with Windows in general). Linux Mint installed pretty quickly.
Updates took about the same time on each – quite a long time.
Mint wins here.

DRIVERS
It’s been so long since I last installed XP that for a while I forgot that I had to get some drivers off of the CD that came with my motherboard. But then I remembered that last time I got newer drivers on the internet, so I did that. I installed 5 or 6 drivers in total, and most of them required restarting my computer, which was kind of annoying. (Wow… I’ve gotten so geeky that “restarting” sounds weird and “rebooting” seems like the better word.)
In Mint, all the drivers are installed automatically. Nice, but there’s a catch – these only include open-source drivers, which are sometimes not as good as proprietary drivers. Getting a proprietary video card driver is a must if you want nice desktop effects, games, and (not completely sure about this one) better video multimedia. For me it was easy: I just opened up the “Hardware Drivers” app in the menu and enabled the proprietary driver. I had to reboot… so much for “no rebooting in Linux”… of course, the proprietary drivers are out of the control of the Linux people, so it’s not their fault.
I also installed a proprietary audio driver, which was quite a bit more complicated, and for Linux newbies like me, quite time-consuming. I had to compile from the source… several times, actually, before I realized that I had to update ALSA (the sound controller thingy… dunno exactly what it is actually) and change some settings in order to make the driver work.
Summing it up, installing drivers was kind of a pain due to lots of restarting in XP and the complicatedness in Mint. I actually kind of enjoyed the challenge of installing my audio driver in Mint, but at the same time I feel like I wasted a lot of time doing something not very important. But for me I suppose that’s true for Linux in general. 😛
XP definitely wins here for convenience. I’ll give Mint an honorary second place for giving me an interesting challenge of installing a sound driver. And that is better than regular second place.

SOFTWARE
This post is getting pretty long so I’ll be brief. From a setup point of view, Linux Mint clearly wins here because it comes with lots of good programs. Windows XP comes with hardly any software, and what it does have out of the box is not very useful compared to some free third-party equivalents. Now, many more programs are available for Windows, but that’s a whole different discussion.

So which one won, you ask? For a regular non-nerdy person, Windows XP is definitely easier to set up. Linux Mint is faster to set up… for an expert Linux user. For a newbie like me it takes a long time to fix all the problems that come up, like installing drivers and making it so that booting up into Linux is not a chance type of thing.

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Entry filed under: Linux. Tags: , , , , , .

Reinstalling for dual boot Pretty gnome

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. drummerdoido  |  April 11, 2009 at 2:06 am

    “but at the same time I feel like I wasted a lot of time doing something not very important.”
    lol

    Reply

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