A good while ago (maybe 7 months), I discovered Linux. I was very happy with it, and I liked all of its features, but in the end, I could not get programs to install. Every program I compiled gave me errors. When asking on a Linux forum for help, I was told that the problem was because I did not have any video drivers installed, but there was no doubt in my mind that I had properly installed my ATI Radeon 9800 Pro display drivers correctly, as I had been playing the 3d games that came with my distro on it. In the end, I found out that ATI's support for Linux was simply not adequate, and this was why I could not install my games on Linux. I continued to fight as I had spent my life savings (17, live with my parents) on a copy of SuSE Linux 9.1 Professional, but in the end, I had to give up. I'm now back to using just Windows and DOS as opposed to all three operating systems on my computer. When my birthday comes up May 2 next year, I will be buying an Nvidia card, but in the mean time, I'm stuck because I need to buy a new motherboard (and consequentially new RAM, and a new case), to keep up with my lan party friends for Christmas.

I do not mind using Windows, but there are a few things I miss, mainly having more than one desktop to switch between. I have recently heard about software that adds this feature to Windows, and I have found a very large number of competitors in the field. I badly want this, but I have two concerns about it:

1. I have no money - Nor have I any way of obtaining any. My parents do not want me to have a job. They won't say why, but I suspect it's because I'm partially autistic and they don't think I can handle it. With the fastest source of income being $5.00 a week in allowance, it's not practical for me to buy anything.

2. I am extremely paranoid about spyware/adware - I really can't psychologically handle getting this junk on my computer. I scan with Ad-aware every morning, use Microsoft alternatives as much as possible, pull my cord out when not using the Internet, and do a variety of other things to protect myself. I am afraid that if I download one of these free programs, it will come bundled with spyware, and as I can never feel safe after removing a severe infection, I would have to reformat again, which I didn't do that long ago, and I'm just about ready to reformat anyway for Christmas.

So my question is this? Does anyone have a recommendation a good virtual desktop program that is free and does not contain spyware? I have found free versions already, but I don't know if they have spyware bundled in them, so I cannot install them.

I am using Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2.

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why did you buy linux you should have just downloaded the free versions. You only pay for the extra programs that come with the distro because it is illegal to sell linux. And since you can get many programs for free on linux that are just as good as the ones you need to buy then i would say that you wasted your money. Next time get something like fedora core3

As far as I know, Federa does not use RPMs, nor do any of the other free distros out there. The ATI installer is only available as an RPM, and since at the time I believed that these drivers would actually work, I bought Linux so I could have video drivers for it.

If there was a way for ATI cards to work with Linux, I would not be having this problem, but as it's up to ATI to support Linux properly, there isn't much I can do. All I can do is switch to Nvidia as soon as I'm financially able to. As that isn't happening for a while, I was hoping there was a way I could at least have virtual desktops in the meantime.

all linux distros use rpms they are just ways of installing the source automatticaly sort of like an exe. I have installed programs using rpms and the programs that come with fedora core that are on the cd are rpms.


He may have purchased Linux on CD-ROM as if you are on a dialup, it is not feasible to obtain the disks in a timely fashion. Not everyone has high speed.

A lot of distros do use rpm's. I cannot name them all, but Fedora and RedHat do... rpm is "Redhat Package Manager".

I have yet to find software that I could not compile / run on my RedHat 9 box. Granted, I have had to go and track down dependancy failures through the years, and keep things up to date, but the installation of software worked just fine. I have not tried any high-end games on the linux box however, such as Free-Civ.

If I were you, I would go back to Linux and give it another chance. Ask specific questions in our forums, and achieve the computing success you are seeking.


Not all Distros of linux use RPM's but it is a main stream. Anyway, theres nothing wrong with PAYING for somthing you like.

You pay to keep them developing, you pay to have them release updates, if NO ONE pays then no advancements are made.

That being said there is the windows powertoy that is a great desktop manager, I use it at work and on my laptop.

I must have not explained it correctly, sorry. ATI's Linux drivers suck...in fact they're so terrible that its not even possible to compile games when using them. I cannot afford to purchase an nvidia card at this time, and am thus unable to use Linux. I plan on using it again on May 2 (my birthday) which is when I will have the cash to by an nvidia card. Until then, I wanted a virtual desktop program to try to compensate for temporarily being stuck with only Windows.

I am not on dialup, but at that point in time I thought that ATI's drivers actually did something, so I got a distro that had RPMs. I had been told that only Mandrake, SuSE, and Redhat had RPMs, so I had to buy one of them.

well i dont think you can get a free version of any software that will let you do that but some good programs are microsoft virtual pc and vmware workstation both allow free trials.


If you get Nivida Card, they their drivers do supply cheap version of Multi Desktop. Dosen't have all the options which I don't like either, but it works. That's if you opt for that. Personally, I like ATI Better. =P

Right now, I don't think there is any real good software. I've tried lookin' and lookin', but none I like so far. http://www.cyhproject.com/html/index.php This is one that I liked the best, I just had a hard time changing the wallpaper (I think this is one, for I tried so many.)

If you wanna do VMMachine type of thing, I would go for VMWARE. A lot more options open to you, and MS only has select OS. VMWare at least lets you choose more, or config it so you can run others.

Just my thoughts,

A feature of Microsoft Powertoys for XP is to have multiple virtual desktops. It's a free download from the Microsoft website.

Congrats CSGAL the first sensible option i would of said this too, and as it's from Micosoft it won't have spyware(dont belive the consiracy theorists) and it will work..

My heart bleeds as i know EXACTLY what you're talking about with ATI drivers they S.U.C.K on linux when i put mandrake onto my laptop i only could have the basic ati drivers so i couldn't run any games ie the table tennis game that comes with it was shuddary, but it all worked fine for open office gimp etc

The URL for these tools (winders) is:-


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