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#26 2012-03-22 01:15:15

ewaller
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From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 12,419

Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

/dev/zero wrote:

I would consider legal action. Tertiary institutions are bound to provide you with the best educational experience they can...

You're not from around these parts, are you?


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#27 2012-03-22 01:23:52

/dev/zero
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From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2011-10-20
Posts: 1,176
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Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

lol. We all aspire to go to the great US universities but unfortunately we're not all Terry Tao!


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#28 2012-03-22 10:14:42

ksira
Member
Registered: 2009-10-27
Posts: 31

Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

I'm a 4th year PhD student and started using Arch at the beginning. As far as essential software goes, I write my papers in LaTeX.

As others have mentioned, sometimes Arch will spectacularly break, or least it appears that way when you are new to it. Arch isn't really the same as openSuse, in that it expects a lot more from the user. As a university student especially you need take extra steps for stability, and restoring files. The best way you can avoid headaches is keeping regular backups of important files (including a copy of /etc in a worst case scenario). Keep the /home directory on a separate partition. Use snapshots so you can roll back any botched upgrades. Keep an Arch iso USB handy, and learn how to chroot from it into your main install. Avoid the temptation to pacman -Syu right before you turn in your assignment.

I know I make it sound scary using Arch, but don't get me wrong, I wouldn't use anything else but Arch Linux. Overall the level of control you get saves you time, unless you get addicted to it smile. Over the last 4 years I've only had a handful of problems upgrading, and most of the problems were due to my own incompetence. I'm of the mindset that Arch is one of the few distros where you never really need to wipe clean and start over. Still, we are all human, so protect your hard earned work!

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#29 2012-03-24 12:46:56

usagi
Member
Registered: 2011-11-21
Posts: 54

Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

I've had ubuntu, and the arch, throughout my entire University career. I'm about to graduate, and i've had zero issues. The only issue i've had is with the Autodesk suite, but i have a windows 7 guest on my laptop that i use there, it's just SLOW. Also, i can use rdesktop to get into our 'Virtual Computer Lab' which has the Office Suite and Matlab. (Actually, for matlab i just SSH into our university's general purpose linux server big_smile)

Also, remember that according to Microsoft's EULA, they allow you to use an OEM copy of windows inside a VM, so long as that VM exists on the system the Genuine sticker is attached to. This means that i was able to run Arch with a virtual Windows guest, legally, and for no extra cost to me.

Last edited by usagi (2012-03-24 12:48:47)

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#30 2012-03-24 13:51:51

defears
Member
Registered: 2010-07-26
Posts: 218

Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

While I'm not a Uni student, I do own a buisness. Both are very important for uptime. Run arch and XP in virtualbox for the odd things people send me which is usually CAD oriented. This goes without saying but having a good backup solution should be first priority, then you should never have a problem no matter what OS you use. Also update when you have time if something goes wrong.

http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Product.a … 46&ID=1895
Best money I ever spent. The esata version of course. Fast.

Get 2 hard drives the same size as yours and use dd for the root partition and rsync for the home partition. Put one hard drive in a safe place offsite, (Mine's in storage 10 minutes away) with a custom live arch usb stick just in case. I use Dropbox for the files I'm working on this month and backup the home partition everyday. Once every 2 weeks I update my arch box, but before I do I dd the root partion to the backup. If something goes wrong during the update you can still boot in an exact state with the backup drive if you can't figure it out yet and need to get something done.

Once a month I'll swap the hard drive from storage so If my office burns down I still have everything and dropbox for current files easily from any computer like my netbook which is already synced with Dropbox or someone else's with the live usb stick.

In 3 years of using Arch I only had one problem with an update where I couldn't print and NEEDED to get something done days later. (HP, go figure) But it was easy as rebooting into the other drive until I had time to fix it.

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#31 2012-03-29 02:18:30

BurntSushi
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From: Massachusetts
Registered: 2009-06-28
Posts: 362
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Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

Another student (Ph.D) chiming in!

I've been using Archlinux full-time for several years. I haven't had much of a problem, particularly because many of the people around me are using Unix based or Unix-like operating systems.

I will say this: VirtualBox is a piece of cake on Arch. It was literally dead simple to install it with pacman, load it up, create a new Windows 7 partition and install it like normal. It runs great :-)


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#32 2012-03-29 06:42:27

McDoenerKing
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2010-06-21
Posts: 57

Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

Chemistry Student here!

All important chemical programs to draw atomic structures etc works native/effortless in wine! Also for my lab protocols I use LaTeX and received good marks for those.
Besides I wrote some scripts. For LaTeX one so I can better work with people together to translate for example ä,ö,ü,°,ß etc into its proper latex form.
Also I wrote a rename script, which will replace upper with lower case, replace umlauts with ae,ue,oe, spaces with "_" and more.
Then I have a script which will sort my files in Downloads/ based on their endings. Since I have to download tons of files sometimes for university and it gets messy really fast.
Now I'm thinking about writing an index.html script for my study folder to access it via my web browser.
In short using linux can be pretty good for studying. Less distraction, it's easy to write very useful scripts and it is even more easy to create a small, sufficient backup just in case.

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#33 2012-03-29 11:02:04

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 13,510
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Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

McDoenerKing wrote:

In short using linux can be pretty good for studying. Less distraction, it's easy to write very useful scripts

But that can become a distraction ....

I've lost track of how many days I've spent perfecting a script or some means of automating work so I can be more productive.  End result: I've got cool scripts, but no productivity!


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#34 2012-03-29 11:55:57

mythus
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From: MS Gulf Coast
Registered: 2008-05-15
Posts: 509
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Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

nomilieu wrote:

So what, they knew it wasn't made using 2010 because it wasn't in the fancy new file format, or because it didn't render correctly in 2010?

I can't recall excatly, but I think it was a little bit of both. However I remember that the document looked/renedered right on my end in Office when writen in LO.

I also recall, there were things that were only specific to Office 2010. Such things like those little graph images... spark lines I think they were called, and those "smart graphy things" - can't remember proper term here. For 99% of it all, she was able to convert the lesson/homework to LO instructions/features. But yeah, somehow they "knew".


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#35 2012-03-29 14:12:17

McDoenerKing
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From: Germany
Registered: 2010-06-21
Posts: 57

Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

I've lost track of how many days I've spent perfecting a script or some means of automating work so I can be more productive.

This is a problem of wrong priorities. I had a problem (too many files in my Downloads/ ) and so I wrote a script to solve it. It works. It doesn't take ages. It is sufficient. After it run flawlessly I spent my time with my studies .
If your script is more important to you than your actual job, then something is wrong and needs to be reconsidered.
On the other hand if I have spare time I like to improve my scripts, but it doesn't have such a high priority as long as there is no gigantic error in it.

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#36 2012-03-29 18:16:42

nomilieu
Member
Registered: 2010-07-03
Posts: 133

Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

Trilby wrote:

I've lost track of how many days I've spent perfecting a script or some means of automating work so I can be more productive.  End result: I've got cool scripts, but no productivity!

It depends on your workflow.
If you're captive at your job, you might as well blow your free time writing scripts so that you can do even less actual work (while still getting things done).

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#37 2012-03-29 20:11:13

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 13,510
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Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

Wow.  I thought I would share a slightly humorous comment on a minor vice I assumed many here would share.  I didn't expect it to be followed by casting doubts on my work ethic or priorities.  Don't worry McDoener - I get my job done and am quite well respected for it.

*note to self: no more self deprecating humor*


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#38 2012-03-29 20:36:39

Earnestly
Member
Registered: 2011-08-18
Posts: 804

Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

Trilby wrote:

*note to self: no more self deprecating humor*

Don't be like that Trilby! The rest of us have a perfectly functional humerus big_smile

PS: There was an amusing graph about scripting vs time/productivity but I can't find the blasted thing.

Last edited by Earnestly (2012-03-29 20:37:46)

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#39 2012-03-29 21:35:35

McDoenerKing
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From: Germany
Registered: 2010-06-21
Posts: 57

Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

@Trilby
Well you often see people, which overthink everything. A certain someone in my vicinity creates first a ToDo-List, create a draft to every point and sometimes even some diagrams and he always  uses the same programming language to solve his problems.(I think it is pascal) It is very counterproductive, because he justs wastes too much time into preparation it isn't even funny anymore.
Oh and eh next time tag it please tongue It wasn't too evidently to me. smile

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#40 2012-03-30 14:28:59

nomilieu
Member
Registered: 2010-07-03
Posts: 133

Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

Trilby wrote:

Wow.  I thought I would share a slightly humorous comment on a minor vice I assumed many here would share.  I didn't expect it to be followed by casting doubts on my work ethic or priorities.  Don't worry McDoener - I get my job done and am quite well respected for it.

*note to self: no more self deprecating humor*

Sorry, I didn't mean to ignore your humor and jump on you.
I just meant to say that, while I used to waste a lot of my own leisure time playing with scripts, now I waste my otherwise boring work time doing it.

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#41 2012-03-30 16:27:17

geniuz
Member
Registered: 2010-04-10
Posts: 127

Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

In general, I would say yes. Being a senior aerospace engineering student I have been using Linux ever since my first day in university and have hardly required Windows for anything. Sure, there was the occasional project where my fellow students prefered to use some Office flavour for writing reports and at those times I usually kept Windows running in a VM as a backup for when LibreOffice decided to fail on me. I also required 3D modelling software (CATIA), which forced me to use Windows.

However, I would say 99% of all university related work gets done in Linux for me. The department at which I am graduating strongly encourages, if not requires, all papers and reports to be written in LaTeX and we use Matlab for scientific modelling and computational purposes. Lower level software is usually written in C/C++ (sometimes directly generated from Matlab). So, nothing that binds me to Windows in any specific way.

Yet, lately, I decided to keep Windows installed on a separate partition on both my laptop and desktop computers. My university provides me with a free license and Windows is useful to have available and running natively for whatever might be required at some instant in time, or for the occasional game if I am in no mood for studying or writing code. Also, with an SSD, the time required for a reboot is negligible.

Last edited by geniuz (2012-03-30 16:31:28)

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#42 2012-03-30 16:56:36

skanky
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From: WAIS
Registered: 2009-10-23
Posts: 1,838

Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

Trilby wrote:

Wow.  I thought I would share a slightly humorous comment on a minor vice I assumed many here would share.  I didn't expect it to be followed by casting doubts on my work ethic or priorities.  Don't worry McDoener - I get my job done and am quite well respected for it.

*note to self: no more self deprecating humor*

It's worth remembering that, for a lot of posters, English is their second language, so humorous remarks are easily missed as such (it happens enough in the written word for English speakers, so it's not that surprising). It's not necessarily a sense of humour failure when that happens, just language and culture.

Anyway, I got it. wink


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#43 2012-04-18 18:09:42

BKLive
Member
From: Georgia
Registered: 2008-01-28
Posts: 125

Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

I used arch for papers in college and just had an online backup for all of my papers (dropbox)  The problem is doing work vise fiddling with my system smile


Main Arch Setup: HP Pavillion p7-1209, Quad-Core i3-2120 3.3Ghz, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Intel Graphics
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#44 2012-04-18 20:09:01

sankeytm
Member
From: California
Registered: 2012-03-05
Posts: 28

Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

Computer science undergrad here. So far, I'm able to submit papers using LaTeX + pdflatex in all of my classes (that require digital submission) except introductory english. My professor only accpeted the Microsoft .docx format, specifically the one generated by the latest version of Microsoft Word. Of course there were so many freely available resources for students that I couldn't argue "I don't have Microsoft Office." I wrote my papers in vim and went out of my way to convert them to .docx format.

In other news, our last remaining GNU/Linux laboratory was recently converted into a Windows lab. Meanwhile, our linux users group is still going strong.

Last edited by sankeytm (2012-04-18 20:10:30)

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#45 2012-04-19 03:27:29

insanum
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Registered: 2007-01-15
Posts: 26
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Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

Last year I finished my masters in computer science and I did all my work with arch linux.

LyX is an incredible application.  Editing math equations is a snap.  Nothing in the app is "in your way" and you can remain focused on your work.  Also PDF exports from LaTeX is very clean and professional.  All my professors commented on great the output was.

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#46 2012-04-19 03:31:14

insanum
Member
Registered: 2007-01-15
Posts: 26
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Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

insanum wrote:

Last year I finished my masters in computer science and I did all my work with arch linux.

LyX is an incredible application.  Editing math equations is a snap.  Nothing in the app is "in your way" and you can remain focused on your work.  Also PDF exports from LaTeX is very clean and professional.  All my professors commented on great the output was.

Also used gnuplot, octave, and R quite a bit.  Dabbled with maple too.  Great tools.  Heard a lot of great things about SciPy as well.  The point is IMO everything is a better experience under Linux vs Window$.

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#47 2012-04-19 15:23:48

blackout23
Member
Registered: 2011-11-16
Posts: 780

Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

I'm also a full-time student. Never had problems. I simply keep the fiddeling with my System to a minimum when I'm just a few weeks away from my exams.
Handed it an essay written in Office 2007 which was installed with Wine. Not a problem. Keep your /var/cache/pacman/pkg stocked in case you need to revert
some packages and store you personal files + evolution backup on dropbox.

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#48 2012-04-27 04:32:40

Brcher
Member
Registered: 2011-06-20
Posts: 31

Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

I had a home made desktop with a pretty cheap videocard as a student. The only warning I would throw WRT using arch as a student is if a package has xorg in the name, and you have a cheap videocard, you may want to to pacman -Syu on friday afternoons, to give yourself some time to fix things.

My laptop, on the other hand, never failed. Later the desktop gained stability as the Noveau drivers matured. (later still I got a new graphics card, which... probably should have been my initial solution).

If you have a weirdo teacher that doesn't accept PDF's, switch classes.

Last edited by Brcher (2012-04-27 04:34:27)

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#49 2012-04-27 06:13:32

Yurlungur
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2012-01-06
Posts: 116

Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

Full time physics student here. I dual boot Arch and Windows and I've never had any problems (Fedora, on the other hand, broke periodically). I suggest dual booting just in case, so that you have a working system if catastrophic breakage of either OS happens. I store all my working data on a separate NTFS partition that both my OSes can see in case either OS dies catastrophically. I also suggest going through all the precautions suggested here, and whomever suggested dropbox and an external backup knows what he's talking about.

LibreOffice/OpenOffice can do some weird things to .docx files, but the issues are usually pretty minor and my professors almost always want .doc.

My presentations (including my undergraduate honors thesis defence) have always been made in LibreOffice and presented on a linux box. Never had any problems.

Silverlight might be a big issue for you if there's DRM videos you need to watch. If so, a virtual machine or dual booting are both easy solutions.

If you need to make pdf documents, I suggest learning LaTeX. It has a steep learning curve, but, as has already been mentioned, its much better than adobe.

Trilby wrote:
McDoenerKing wrote:

In short using linux can be pretty good for studying. Less distraction, it's easy to write very useful scripts

But that can become a distraction ....

I've lost track of how many days I've spent perfecting a script or some means of automating work so I can be more productive.  End result: I've got cool scripts, but no productivity!

I'm with you, buddy. Entire evenings can disappear in a flash. My switch to XMonad was expecially bad/awesome. smile


Lenovo Thinkpad T420; Intel sandy bridge i7 2.7GHz; integrated graphics card; 4GB RAM; wifi; Arch; Xmonad WM

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#50 2012-05-01 04:34:11

bolshevik
Member
Registered: 2011-04-24
Posts: 47

Re: I'm a online university student. Can I replace Windows 7 with Arch?

Political science student here. Been on linux for about three years on my school laptop, and arch for one (had debian before). I write all my papers in LaTeX, and if you've ever tried to use it in windoze you know it's a good reason to run linux. My school does not require anything fancy, and LibreOffice would be okay if I did not insist on using something else. Previously with my old laptop I was running exclusively debian. Now that I got my new thinkpad, I do have a dual boot with the factory-installed win7, but it is rarely used. I actually asked Lenovo before buying to see if if I could get one without the OS for a discount, and they said no. My desktop is mostly used for gaming so it's running the obligatory windows, but I recently gave it a dual boot with arch so i can work in LaTeX on a big screen if I want to.

Never ran into any serious problems either. Sometimes stuff breaks, but it is usually easily fixed. I do updates sporadically... When I find that everything is working as it should, I'll often not update until the next time I need to install something in order to limit potential breakage. I was never blocked from accessing any part of my university's online resources because I run linux. They even provide a little VPN client for linux, so we can access the uni's network from elsewhere (admittedly, it doesn't work very well).

Last edited by bolshevik (2012-05-01 04:37:20)

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