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# 1  
Migrating to UNIX

I am looking for a stable, reliable system to replace my current Windows systems in the home. These are simple systems that I purchased from the local Big Box store.

I have heard many good things about Unix and it's various children and it sounds like a good option to me. I have worked both in hardware and
software in my time and I have a few questions about migrating to Unix. We don't do much except browse the Internet and exchange emails with friends.

Will my current hardware work with Unix or must I purchase a new driver, does Unix offer a GUI user interface? My wife is not a computer person and I don't want to load her down with lots of things to learn.

Where can I get spreadsheet, database and word editor applications for Unix?
# 2  
Hi donschurter,

welcome to this forum; have fun!

You don't mention the hardware you're running at home; I guess that you're talking of a plain "compatible PC" with x86 (or equivalent) architecture? There are unices out in them there hills that run on such PCs, e.g. FreeBSD and friends, and they are free to download.

Me personally, at home, I'm running a windows-free environment for roughly a decade now, and I don't regret anything nor am I looking for a way back. I tried several linuces like SuSe, Ubuntu, and Lubuntu, and was quite satisfied with either. They all are very powerful in hardware recognition and provide drivers for nearly everything, except for very rare and remote cases.

Coming from windows, you have to get used to the new environment, but then you won't miss anything. There's a cornucopia of web browsers, e-mail-clients, and office suites, and several GUIs like Gnome, KDE, or Enlightenment. Plus a wealth of other applications, programs, packages.

Only drawback is the compatibility when exchanging documents with the "other" world. People over there are lazy and don't think when saving or loading data, and so don't use a commonly known format in lieu of the default proprietary one. But this gap is becoming smaller with time.

Try and have fun! You may want to start with a live CD to get a feeling without changing anything on your actual PC setup.
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# 3  
Welcome to the forum.

Everything that RudiC said plus..............

You owe it to yourself to check out a few distros as there are some variations well worth exploring. Many (even most) Unix/Linux now have GUI's. A well recommended one is Ubuntu which comes with a full GUI to which you can install email and office suites (all free).

One Lunix project team have specifically addressed the issues of having to retrain Windows users onto a Linux platform by creating a distro that looks, feels and behaves like Windows. The project is called "Zorin" so check that out on the internet.

Hope that helps.
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