Hey all, Im without a doubt a still a rookie programmer, and my hardware knowledge could be a bit more expansive. But im going to be building a new computer in a few months. Looking to spent around 1500 on the machine and I rather not make 2000 by buying windows 8 or even windows 7. So I was consdering Ubtanu. However I am building this for both gaming and for my programming, (side projects and maybe even some work related stuff). And im not the best when it comes to working with stuff that operates "under the hood" so to speak when it comes to operating systems. I have worked with linux quite often but thats just doing basic command line routines as well as some shell scripting.

Would you guys advice I use ubantu to save a few bucks or would you say ubatnu is not for me??

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Ubantu is a good distribution and now a days it is pretty easy to install however when you mentioned gaming it kind of forced the OS back to Windows. Most PC games are Windows based and very few have ported their game to the Linux world. Although many run on the MAC so the transition would not be tough there is just no effort on the part of most game manufacturers.
With that said may I suggest this:
Find a decent system pre-configured at your favorite retailer or online store that includes Windows 7 64 Bit. Once you have the system look in to adding something like Oracle Virtual Box. It is free and runs on Linux, Windows or MAC and will allow you to run Ubantu in a virtual system under windows. You will be able to access Linux via the virtual NIC it will create as if it were another computer on your network. Ubantu will be able to access the internet through your Windows system in much the same manner.
This way you can use all of the power of the system for Gaming and when you need to bring the Virtual Linux system on line for development.

Ubuntu is pretty good (personally I prefer Kubuntu, but it's a matter of taste).

One issue is that you might have trouble finding a place to buy a computer without a Windows pre-installation. Some small computer stores that assemble custom computers might be one option, but be careful about what you are buying from them, they tend to rip people off with sub-par parts that they want to liquidate. As for main-stream vendors, they have vendor-lock-in contracts with Microsoft that prevent them from selling computers without Windows pre-installed. I think Dell might still allows some business/professional grade computers to be bought without Windows (and with Ubuntu instead), but you have to call them up to find out.

Then, you have to consider hardware compatibility issues. Today, Ubuntu distributions are pretty good with hardware, most things will work out-of-the-box. However, there can be a few snags. You would be wise to search on the web for your considered models if they work well in Ubuntu, especially the graphics card. Here is a good start.

The biggest problem is gaming. Gaming in Ubuntu is pretty limited, mostly limited to indie games and open-source clones of classic games. Personally, that serves most of my purposes for gaming, but don't expect any new commercial games available on Linux (although, apparently, Steam is going to be ported to Linux, I don't know what games they'll be able to offer). You could always try to run games under Wine (Windows emulator for Linux), or by installing Windows (XP, most probably) in a virtual machine. I don't know how good the performance can be in either cases. So, it all depends on what kind of gaming you want to do, just passing time with classic games, or running all the cutting edge commercial games.

All in all, you should probably just watch for a good deal with Windows 7 pre-installed. Then, setup Ubuntu in dual-boot. It is just as easy as running Ubuntu in a virtual box, with a more "native" experience.

The only problem I have with using a dual boot system is you can only use one OS at a time. If gaming is one of your main focus points then boot Windows and run Linux virtually. Linux does not require half the memory or processing power that Windows does and can do just fine as a VM. Even the Linux games work great on the VM. I personally run Linux on my laptop and love it although I do have Windows 7 as a VM but not for playing games. Windows as a VM does not always work with the Graphics settings that some new games (starcraft II) need. There are a few applications that I use that are only available for Windows (at this time) or require WINE (Windows emulator). For Games I have a desktop that has WIndows 7 (64 bit) and a 1GB graphics card and a 1TB HD.

Thanks for the replies all, I plan on building the rig so finding not pre-built in wont be a problem. Sounds like I may just have to run both. (use ubatnu to develop in) but play games in windows. Just have to do my research, or just cross my fingers my license from my old school has more then one user install allowed :P At least I know going with ubantu isnt a crazy idea :)

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