Windows to Linux Conversion Plan.
- Take inventory of all software programs used. Start / Control Panel / Programs. Record all sofware employed on your current system. Also go through c:\\Programs and c:\\Progrfams (x86) and record all programs currently installed.
- Take inventory of all data files and databases used. Search for all filetypes of .dat, .xls, .doc, .docx, etc. for each software program depending upon the filetypes employed.
- Convert files to ensure carriage return and line feeds (and any other different system delimiters or special characters) are replaced with Unix delimiters.
- Decide which distro (Linux distribution) that you prefer, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Debian, etc. We will be choosing Linux Mint here because it closely resembles Windows and is fairly easy to use for beginners.
- Create a bootable flash drive or CD using a software tool called Pendrivelinux or use a similar tool.
- Test your selected distro by doing a live boot. A "Live CD" version will boot into Linux without disrupting or affecting your current Windows installation. This will allow you to "test drive" the various distro versions first before committing to any specific distro.
- Select your application software and data access method(s): browser, spreadsheet, word processor, database system(s), etc. Look for the open source applications operating under the GNU/Linux license as these are truly free and open source.
- Backup your files before installing your new operating system. You will need to backup the entire file system from your C Drive and/or any other drives that contain your data e.g. c:\\Users folder and c:\\Program Files and/or c:\\Program Files (x86) (to save your old program settings and data). You will not backup the operating system files e.g. c:\Windows folder.
- Install the new Linux operating system from the flash drive or CD. If you wish to bridge your conversion then use a dual boot system. You will keep your exisint Windows operating system and install another Linux operating system on the same hard drive. When you boot up you can select between the two operating systems. This can act as a backup system as you can completely retain your old system while trying out the new system.
- Whenever adopting new procedures then choose to do so on the Linux platform to wean yourself from the Windows environment.
- You can, after a successful conversion, delete your hard drive of the old Windows operating system to regain some space. Do not do this until you are fully comfortable with Linux and you have successfully converted all files.