What started out as wanting to become proficient in Linux command line use is taking a turn here :)
I've been using Linux on my old desktop almost exclusively for the last week, barely booted my new laptop. This has just accelerated in he last 2 days after discovering Ubuntu Unity Desktop! Oh my gosh how is this thing managing to remain hidden from the general public? I have to say for me (as a non-Linux user in the past) there has always been a mystique of complexity surrounding the OS.
Based on my experiences of the past week this isn't deserved. It's as intuitive to use as Windows is. In fact right now anyone transitioning to Windows 8 (Metro?) from a previous version would have an easier time figuring out Ubuntu Unity than Windows 8.
I've been stumbling along here discovering all sorts of power tools and I really luv the total control I have over my system with Ubuntu.
What started out as trying to install Ubuntu Desktop 12.10 (unsuccessfully) has in fact brought me to that point but through the backdoor. I ended up abandoning my attempt with desktop and instead installed 12.04 Server LTS. Then I discovered GUI packages that gave me (what I considered archaic as compared to Windows) desktop functionality. I think it's what's known as GNOME or KDE?
Finally 2 days ago I discovered Unity and I'm loving it so this brings me to the point of jumping back in here. I want to install this setup on my modern hardware on my laptop as a dual boot. By the way in all the stuff I had mentioned previously I had not indicated that I installed Server 12.04 on my old system as a dual boot leaving Windows XP in place for emergencies or as a potential software environment for program incompatibilities with Windows 8.
That intention was primarily due to 1 critical SEO program I use that I could not work without, got it from some Russians a few years ago. It's not available for download on the internet anywhere, I checked a few weeks ago. I've had it for years and have backup copies of the original exe stashed on disks, thumb drives, HDDs, all over the place! I was concerned it might not run on Windows 8 but to my delight it does.
I cannot get over the simplicity of installing programs via Linux Ubuntu. When I became aware of Unity, and because I'm just using the setup for learning, I just typed in 'aptitude install ubuntu-desktop' (I was already 'root') on the command line and away it went. I don't have to go looking for software on the internet, the OS just takes care of it all for me. It even installs dependencies if there are any.
Back to my reason for this post. I have a question concerning file system compatibilities. On the old box I didn't care if the whole thing went BANG and burned up like a meteor over Russia. None the less all has been well with the dual boot being managed by GRUB (and it's not like I haven't been providing the setup with opportunities to break itself). But, I have not tried reformatting the whole drive to see if it can all be reclaimed if I wanted to revert back to only Windows again.
From within Windows XP disk management it says it doesn't recognize the file system that Linux is using. I'm not sure if that means it just cannot read the contents or it would not be able to format that virtual portion of the HDD if I were to attempt it. I could get my answer by trying of course but figured it would be less time consuming to ask here.
If there is no issues with file system compatibility then I now want to go ahead and also install Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS and Unity Desktop on my laptop as a dual boot alongside Windows 8 to use the abundant system disk space, CPU and RAM resources. I just want to make sure I can revert back to only Windows HDD if need be -- even if it means performing a factory reinstall from the recovery disks. What say ye fine folks?
PS: I am so luvin' the abundance of open source programs available for Linux, especially the network tools and the Aptitude management interface is quite nice too :)
If anyone reading this is curious check out some screenshots via image search for [Ubuntu Unity]. Also if you have an insatiable curiosity (like I do), and have an old box kicking around gathering dust, it's worth every bit the experience if even only for the sake of discovering something new.