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Johnr65
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Linux

Post by Johnr65 » 07 Jun 2021 08:28

Does anyone use Linux instead of Windows? Is it better or worse than Windows for FH7?
:?:

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Valkrider
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Re: Linux

Post by Valkrider » 07 Jun 2021 08:38

There are a couple of ways of using FH on Linux, with an emulator such as Wine or with a Virtual Machine. see Family Historian on Mac, Linux, iOS, Android etc

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Johnr65
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Re: Linux

Post by Johnr65 » 07 Jun 2021 08:50

Doesn't look too good Colin, seems to make matters worse especially FH7?

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Mark1834
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Re: Linux

Post by Mark1834 » 07 Jun 2021 08:54

I've got a Linux box under my desk (Mint 20) with FH6 installed under Wine. It's really just for play and experiment rather than any serious work.

I think it is unlikely that an app could ever be "better" running under Wine or an emulator than in its native environment, but that is subjective and you may have such an aversion to Windows that it is worth putting up with the inevitable compromises. My own approach is to use Windows for things that run best in Windows, and Linux for things that run best in Linux, via a twin input monitor and a USB switch for peripherals.

CP support for Linux and Mac can probably best be described as "best endeavours". It is clearly not a core market for them, but they support it as far as they can with their limited resources.
Mark Draper

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Re: Linux

Post by Johnr65 » 07 Jun 2021 09:25

Can you run Windows and Linux side by side then Mark or do you need another pc?

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Re: Linux

Post by Valkrider » 07 Jun 2021 09:28

You can run Windows and Linux on the same box either dual boot or with a Virtual Machine such as Virtual Box. FH v7.0.4 improved things with regard to Crossover, there are still issues with tables in Rich Text but imho that is manageable

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Re: Linux

Post by mjashby » 07 Jun 2021 09:40

FH7 does work on Linux systems with, I would estimate, around 95% functionality. This of course involves using Wine to create a functional Family Historian app; and possibly a front end GUI application such as Winetricks, PlayOnLinux, Q4Wine, Bottles Crossover for Linux etc. if you prefer to avoid a totally command line experience.

In my experience a native Wine installation together with Winetricks and Q4Wine has produced a better end product than the Crossover for Linux application.

The most significant issues I've found to date:

- The internal Web Browser doesn't work with Wine, even after applying the latest FH7 Update (7.0.6) which corrects that problem in Windows installtions.
- There are substantial issues with Rich Text notes, some of which seem to be limited on-screen display, which seem to print/export to RTF correctly, but Rich Text Tables are largely unusable as Tables can't be satisfactorily edited or adjusted in FH once they are created.
- Haven't tested many Plugins so far, but would anticipate potential problems with any that require internet access or use Rich Text features.

In short, running FH7 on Linux mostly works. It offers a better experience than running it on MacOS (using Wine), but obviously less effective than running natively on a full Windows 10 installation (whether on real hardware or in a virtual machine).

Mervyn

FH7 and AS installed on MX Linux (a Debian derivative):
Attachments
MX Linux.jpg
MX Linux (with Wine Version 6.x)
MX Linux.jpg (262.29 KiB) Viewed 399 times

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Mark1834
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Re: Linux

Post by Mark1834 » 07 Jun 2021 09:55

I've never found dual boot fully satisfactory, so prefer to have a second dedicated PC. But remember Linux runs on just about anything, so it's a common use for an old PC after upgrading. I did spend £30 to replace the old mechanical hard disk with a 250 GB SSD, and that transformed performance. Linux on basic hardware feels similar to Windows on an i5 with plenty of RAM.
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Re: Linux

Post by mjashby » 07 Jun 2021 10:19

Mark,

Agreed, most Linux based OSs are much less resource hungry than Windows. The image above came from a Linux Virtual Machine running on an 8 year old MacBook Pro with an allocation of 2 CPU cores and 2GB RAM, which represents a pretty low-level hardware setup by modern standards, but it runs FH together with Ancestral resources and other apps at least as fast as a native Windows installation on an i7 HP Spectre with 16GB RAM (apart from the limitations already mentioned). One reason I tend to experiment/test with Virtual Machines is the ability to share data storage locations on the host machine relatively easily, which keeps the size of VMs under control and also limits data duplication.

Mervyn

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Re: Linux

Post by Johnr65 » 07 Jun 2021 13:50

What is a virtual machine?

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Valkrider
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Re: Linux

Post by Valkrider » 07 Jun 2021 14:34

It allows you to run one operating system on another.

See Running Family Historian on a Virtual Machine

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Re: Linux

Post by tatewise » 07 Jun 2021 14:44

To expand that a bit further, a Virtual Machine still requires a licensed copy of the OS.
So if a Virtual Machine is running in Unix you need a licensed copy of Windows to run Windows in the Virtual Machine.
In that case, the Windows environment should be the same as Windows running on a bare PC.
Some Virtual Machines are free and some must be bought. You must always pay for the Windows licence.

Conversely, an emulator imitates one OS while running on another OS.
So a Windows emulator such as WINE running in Unix does NOT need a licensed copy of Windows, but the emulated Windows environment does not usually support all aspects of Windows, which is why some FH features don't work.
However, Unix and WINE are free.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Johnr65
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Re: Linux

Post by Johnr65 » 07 Jun 2021 15:03

Hi Mike, does the Windows licence that I have already got to run Win 10 enough for a VM or do I have to buy another one?

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Mark1834
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Re: Linux

Post by Mark1834 » 07 Jun 2021 15:12

To clarify for those not familiar with the arcane world of Operating Systems...

Unix was a computer Operating System originally developed in the 1970s. Although not part of the original specification, a key feature of Unix was its portability, meaning it could run on many different types of hardware. Many modern non-Microsoft Operating Systems are derived from Unix, but are not actually Unix.

MacOS, and therefore iOS, are derived from Unix, but are proprietary to Apple.
Linux is free and open-source software with many different flavours (Ubuntu, Debian, etc), but based on Unix.
Android, which powers 85% of the world's mobile phones, is based on Linux, but often sold with proprietary add-ons.

"Unix-like" is a term that is not formally defined, but is generally taken to mean this family of Operating Systems that share a common heritage.
Mark Draper

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Mark1834
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Re: Linux

Post by Mark1834 » 07 Jun 2021 15:14

I'm not Mike, but one Windows licence = one installation. You can generally transfer the license to a VM (unless it is a restricted OEM version), but you cannot create a second installation. You need a separate paid for licence for each VM. There are some exceptions to this, but they are for short term testing purposes, not long term use. I'm sure one of our VM specialists can elucidate further on this if you want to pursue that option.
Mark Draper

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Re: Linux

Post by tatewise » 07 Jun 2021 16:01

John, as Mark has said, it depends on what type of Windows 10 licence you obtained and how you intend to use it.
There are two popular types of licence: Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and Retail.

You probably have an OEM licence if:
1) You obtained Windows 10 by upgrading from Windows 7 or 8.1 that was bought with a new PC.
2) You bought Windows 10 integral with a new PC.
That type of licence is restricted to the PC you bought and cannot be used elsewhere.

If you bought Windows 10 separately from your PC then it is probably a single user Retail licence.
That allows Windows 10 to be installed on any machine but only one at a time.
i.e. You cannot install that copy of Windows 10 on your PC and in a Virtual Machine on a separate Unix PC.

You may read that Windows 10 will run on any system without activating a licence and apart from nag messages works OK.
However, I believe that is in violation of the terms of the licence and would not be condoned by the FHUG.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Linux

Post by Johnr65 » 07 Jun 2021 16:55

Seems best to me then to stick with Windows even though it's updates usually cause problems. Thank you all for your advice and knowledge.
:D :D

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