How to install an OS
Hi. If you’re reading this, then you’ve never installed an OS before. Don’t worry — there’s nothing to be embarrassed or nervous about, we were all OS install virgins once. Installing an OS seems like something of a dying art; millennials and their damn embedded ‘smart’ devices — tsk. An OS is software like anything else, it just happens that part of its job is to load the OS kernel and generally boot the system to a usable state, the clever scamp, which means that installing it requires you to boot the system off an install media — a DVD or USB drive, in other words.
At the start of the walkthrough (back over the page), we direct you to download an ISO file of OMV. An ISO file is a standard file format maintained as ISO9660; shout out to our epic friends at the International Organization for Standardization!
To use that image, you need to do two things: burn it or write it to a suitable media, and then boot your target PC from that media. If you have DVD drives (USB DVD drives for the win), you’re set, as Windows will just write that ISO to any blank disc. For USB drives, our general go-to software is UNetbootin, from https:// unetbootin.github.io, cross-platform, open-source ISO-writing goodness. Download, install, fire it up, ignore the Distribution option, jump to Diskimage and select the ISO file.
Now to boot from that media. Many PCs offer an early Boot menu, accessed by tapping a key while powering up: F9 (HP), F12 (Dell, Lenovo), F8 (Amibios), or F11 (Award BIOS). Alternatively, use the BIOS/ UEFI to adjust the drive boot order. Again, tap a key during powerup — usually Del, but sometimes F1, or F2. Some UEFI PCs require access via Windows: holding Shift, select its Restart option. while even OMV is going to work more efficiently with more memory to buffer file transfers, though its storage really remains small.
Windows 10 wins here, right? It supports everything — what can beat that? It’s a touch unfair to compare Windows 10 Pro against OpenMediaVault. One is a consumerlevel OS designed for single-user systems, and the other is based on a multi-user, enterprise-grade, open-source OS.
“Sure, there are cloud solutions, but who knows where your data is going to end up being stored.”
Both do many similar basic things out of the box, such as hardware support, user management, scheduling jobs, multi-language support, network support with IPv6, wake on LAN, software RAID, disk quotas, print support and monitoring. The boring stuff. It’s the extra boring stuff where OMV tends to excel. For management, OMV delivers a web-based interface. Windows does provide Remote Desktop, but in many ways, it’s not streamlined for management, and only supports single-user access. OMV supports network Link aggregation for network redundancy and bandwidth improvements, Windows 10 Pro doesn’t. INSTALLATION AND UPDATES We’re going to just say it: OMV wins hands down here. It installs in 10 minutes or so, is up and running, and fully updated in that time. It’s licensed under the GPL v3 (copyleft open source), and based on one of the biggest Linux distros, Debian. So as long as the project has developer support, you’ll get all the updates and support you need, for free, forever. We think you know where you stand with Windows 10 on these points.
An associated issue with installation is driver support; in the past, you could have claimed Linux suffered from poorer support, but that’s rarely the case now. Intel generally puts open-
source driver development first; AMD is pushing its display driver stack to being entirely open source and part of the kernel. The main areas of contention are odd Wi-Fi dongles, but a touch of Google research typically unearths a Linux driver. But, then, printers and scanners can be a pain on Linux, too.
SERVICES AND ADMIN
A key differential is how OMV and Win 10 handle services and admin. With Windows, you can support all manner of services through clients, but it’s all done with separate interfaces and Remote Desktop, hardly ideal. With OMV, all admin and services are installed and controlled through the same web interface from any network-connected device. It’s the headless functionality that enables you to tuck your NAS away at the end of an Ethernet cable that makes everyone’s life easier.
While we’d say OMV has a slightly higher entry level of required knowledge over Windows, if you’re capable of installing an OS from scratch, you’re going to get on with either option. You’ll find help in abundance for both, while you’ll balance the unbridled flexibility of Windows versus the slick stability and security of OMV. The truth is, we’re all winners here; no one is forcing you to use OMV, it’s just another tool in the computing armory.
They say installing an operating system is hard to do...