May 01, 2006

Easing the transition from Windows to Linux

I know that some of you are ready to make the leap from Bill Gates' creation to some version of Linux. There are probably at least two things holding you back:

  • Inability to run Windows-based applications on a Linux platform
  • Inability to migrate -sometimes- years of data from your current Windows environment

While I've made mention of WINE in the past as a solution to the first problem, I've had no real answer to the second. Until now:

Versora announced April 27 the release of its Progression Desktop for Turbolinux, a migration tool that helps users to transfer files and settings from their Windows system to a Linux system. Progression Desktop for Turbolinux moves critical data, application settings, email, calendar entries, contact lists, desktop settings and directory structures via a "Click-Next-Next-Finished" interface, according to Versora.
"People don't want to recreate their files and settings or risk losing them altogether -- it's one of the most common reasons people are hesitant to switch from Windows to desktop Linux," added Versora CEO Mike Sheffey. "Versora's Progression Desktop makes the migration process easy and provides immediate value to those making the move to Turbolinux."

How it works

Information from Windows XP programs, such as Microsoft Outlook, are moved to the equivalent Linux application (such as Mozilla's Thunderbird or Evolution), Versora said. Similarly, the tool will migrate a user's settings from Internet Explorer to the Firefox Internet browser, Microsoft Word files to, and Instant Messenger buddy lists to the Linux IM client Gaim. A full list of migration applications and their Linux equivalents is available here.

To accomplish the transition, Progression Desktop provides software that runs on both the source (Windows) and destination (Linux) systems. Once the Versora software is installed on Windows, it walks the user through simple steps to create the migration file (called a .pnp, or "Platform Neutral Package"). Once the Versora software is loaded on Turbolinux and the migration file is saved, the files and settings are automatically integrated in the corresponding programs, which are selected by the user.

So, what are you waiting for? This might be a good time to finally give Linux a chance.

Update: On a somewhat related topic, there's a new book out that provides some useful information: Linux Annoyances for Geeks. If you've ever been stuck trying to recover a lost root password, then this book is for you.

Posted by Physics Geek at May 1, 2006 02:08 PM | TrackBack StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!