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Member Since 05 Jan 2014
Offline Last Active Feb 15 2014 02:03 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Running RM on Linux

15 February 2014 - 02:04 AM

Hi Renee & JP,

Our ward Family History classroom is not an official FHC so we don't get any support from SL nor is there $$$ in the budget to upgrade PC's (hence the need for an alternative to XP support disappearing on 4/8/2014). I believe our 4 Dell (XP) PC's were purchased in 2006 and maintaining them so ward members can use FS/FT (& programs like RM6) has been a pain to stay ahead of the malware out there (it usually comes onto these PC's by something someone clicked on OR via their thumb drive).

It's too bad that there are no plans to port RM6 over to Linux.

I've loaded a version of Linux called Zorin (a Ubuntu derivative) that is built to look and act a lot like Windows (it has themes setup for XP, Window 7, etc.). Compared to Windows it is much smaller and runs much faster than XP (I set it up to dual-boot so I can run either XP or Zorin). Google Chrome is native the native browser in Zorin or you can switch to Firefox, Opera, Safari, etc.

Zorin comes with "Wine" that allows one to run many Windows programs. Wine (originally an acronym for "Wine Is Not an Emulator") is a compatibility layer capable of running Windows applications on several POSIX-compliant operating systems, such as Linux, Mac OSX, & BSD. Instead of simulating internal Windows logic like a virtual machine or emulator, Wine translates Windows API calls into POSIX calls on-the-fly, eliminating the performance and memory penalties of other methods and allowing you to cleanly integrate Windows applications into your desktop.

I installed and ran RM6 using Wine and it runs until you minimize certain sub-windows (the sub-window minimizes but I cannot see how to maximize it again). I'm still playing with it but I believe there must be a missing option because I understand Apple Mac users are running RM6 using Wine via their Mac OSX (and perhaps others are running it on Linux). This is all with just a few hours of installing and playing with RM6 under Wine on Zorin (Linux).

I looked at Crossover but they want ~$60 per machine so that would be ~$240 to get RM6 running under Zorin (Linux) on our 4 PC's. Not a viable solution. If I understood more about what was running under the hood on RM6 I could probably have it fully running under Wine (it appears to me that there is a Wine (Windows) option that I need to install so that everything runs correctly under Wine on Zorin (Linux).

From what I've read 29% of Windows users are still running XP and many of them are not satisfied with having to upgrade (or can't) their machines to move to Win7 or beyond (according to the Linux forum boards many of them are moving to Linux as it has become more user friendly). I suppose that is partly why Apple has put OSX on their Macbooks so Mac users can run all the tons of available software out there. Unfortunately in the Family History arena I have seen very little software available (there are maybe 2-3 that I have seen and they aren't rated very high).

The bottom line is I'm trying to squeeze a few more years out of these 4 old (2006) PC's to be able to teach ward members how to use FS/FT and programs like RM6 (Rootsmagic) to work on their Family History during the Sunday School portion of the block or on weeknights.

From what I have seen the Linux environment is more stable (i.e. absence of crashes or hangs), & secure plus updates to the OS are easier and quicker than in the Windows world. YES - There is a learning curve to installing the Zorin software but there are several videos on Youtube & other resources showing you the steps needed to install the software and how it works (I've only spent a few days researching it before I installed Zorin on my old laptop).

Anyway I just wanted to report back on what I have initially found.

Thanks Renee & all the RM developer folks out there!
John, aka n7tek

Posted 06 January 2014 - 12:36 PM by Renee - RootsMagic....

RootsMagic does not have any current plans to create a Linux version of our software.

Personally, I think moving to Linux on your center computers is a poor idea. There would be an entire learning curve for people using those computers that you have to factor into. Your probably better served by keeping Windows XP on the computers. If you are using Deep Freeze on your computers every night and wiping them clean you really won't have security concerns.

Deep Freeze I believe is free for FHC.