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Old 09-10-2012, 05:26 AM   #1
0nathan
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A couple of questions !


Hello, I've been assigned a school project which involves me to learn about Linux and it's basics. No specific distribution, just general knowledge about this operating system.

This assignment constists of multiple parts, however mentioning them are probably not necessary, as I doubt anyone is that interested =p.

Nonetheless, I figured I'd add a couple of questions and answers from more experienced users that will provide some credibility to this project.

That said, here are the questions, any answer(s) will be much appreciated:

PS. These questions may be considered simple, but they're supposed to provide the readers (which may have never even heard of linux) get an idea of what it is.

1. Why have you chosen Linux over other operating systems?

2. Does Linux have any mentionable downsides? If so, what?

3. Is it possible for a total beginner to start using Linux without any major difficulties?

4. How has Linux developed during the years?

5. Which distro is your favorite?

That is all, thanks in advance.
PS2. Sorry if this is the wrong forum for these questions, I did not have permission to post on General and this project is due wednesday.
 
Old 09-10-2012, 05:32 AM   #2
sycamorex
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Hi and welcome to LQ.

We're always happy to assist you with your homework. Giving you answers is an entirely different thing. Can you post your answers so that we can help you improve or elaborate on them?
 
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:36 AM   #3
0nathan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
Hi and welcome to LQ.

We're always happy to assist you with your homework. Giving you answers is an entirely different thing. Can you post your answers so that we can help you improve or elaborate on them?
I'm glad to hear this, however this is not homework, this is a project which involves interviewing more experienced Linux users. The questions are something I made up in order to provide some credibility to the project.

I'm sorry if I didn't make this clear in the first post.
 
Old 09-10-2012, 06:29 AM   #4
wigry
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Here are my answers

1. Linux has a good command libne utilities for development and technical work. Also if you get bored from one appearance, you can easily switch to a different one.

2. The major downside to linux is its constant motion. Everything is constantly evolving in apparently random dir3ection, no agreed standards (apart from POSIX I think) You cannot trust Linux in a sense that if you write your program today you can expect it to work without issues 5-10 years later (you can easily run 10 year old windows programs on the latest Windows becaise the frameworks and compatibility is still there) Thats why you will not see big players in linux (like Adobe for example) because it takes too much effort to keep up. Also there is countless different incompatible versions of linux which is a BIG problem. This video sums it up pretty well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh-cnaJoGCw

3. If you can handle the installation part of the linux, which is not that difficult but still many people are scared to installing an operating systm into their computers, you will end up with desktop and you can for example browse the net and read emails. Watching movies however is quite often technical thing that requires special knowledge to set up. So beginner user can start using linux without problems but quite often one discovers that one cannot do all the things in linux.

4. More bling in a cost of speed. You need high-end computer to run latest and greatest.

5. My favorite is Slackware. As I mentioned every now and then you need to go deeper into your system to configure it to get something working and running. Majority of distros make massive effort to hide the techhnicalities beneath leaving an impression that it old linux is not here any more and we now have modern tyools etc etc. Well I need to have direct access to all parts of my system and Slackware is a perfect tool for that. There is no sugarcoting, no babysitting. When you boot up Slackware, you are presented with scrolling kernel messages instead of beautiful preogress bar. You end up with command line login prompt instead of fancy graphical login. Thats hardcore sutff yes but thats what Linux is and I personally like it that way.

Last edited by wigry; 09-10-2012 at 08:41 AM.
 
Old 09-10-2012, 06:37 AM   #5
pixellany
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You have a mix of factual/historic questions---and some that are completely subjective. For the history, Google will overwhelm you with information.

For many of the questions, you'll have more credibility if you actually install and use Linux.
Quote:
1. Why have you chosen Linux over other operating systems?
Lower cost--avoiding the microsoft monopoly

Quote:
2. Does Linux have any mentionable downsides? If so, what?
A minority system and therefore still has occassional support issues

Quote:
3. Is it possible for a total beginner to start using Linux without any major difficulties?
depends on the beginner!!--My assertion: someone who has never installed or used ANY OS would be able to get started faster with Linux.

Quote:
4. How has Linux developed during the years?
Google

Quote:
5. Which distro is your favorite?
Arch
 
Old 09-10-2012, 06:48 AM   #6
sycamorex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0nathan View Post
I'm glad to hear this, however this is not homework, this is a project which involves interviewing more experienced Linux users. The questions are something I made up in order to provide some credibility to the project.

I'm sorry if I didn't make this clear in the first post.
Oh, I see. I thought the questions were directed at you.

Quote:
1. Why have you chosen Linux over other operating systems?

2. Does Linux have any mentionable downsides? If so, what?

3. Is it possible for a total beginner to start using Linux without any major difficulties?

4. How has Linux developed during the years?

5. Which distro is your favorite?
1. I needed something more flexible/configurable and stable than WinXP.
2. It's not actually Linux's downside but it affects Linux. Big commercial game developers do not really release games for Linux because of its low market share. That said, have a look at Wine (http://www.winehq.org/) + Valve and Steam for Linux.
3. Yes it is. It's probably easier for a total computer beginner than a Windows convert (Windows users have acquired habits that are difficult to unlearn)
4. The hardware support has improved a lot.
5. Slackware

Last edited by sycamorex; 09-10-2012 at 07:46 AM.
 
Old 09-10-2012, 07:21 AM   #7
Johnny Who
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1. I started using linux recently, motivated by a documeent called "how to become a hacker", which stated that you should use an open source unix system. I gave ubuntu a try, liked it very much and never looked back to windows from then on. I noticed the freedom that a linux system provides you with. On windows, you are even discouraged from changing the color theme. Also, there are noticeablle differences in speed between linux and other OS. Although this is highly depended on the distro, Most linux distros I have tried boot in less than a minute in machines with moderately low or very low system resources. Apart from that, you have a whole world of choices on any aspect of your system, from desktop environment to kernels, email clients or anything else. Moreover, I personally toy with my computer as a pasttime, which is not possible to do with closed source OSs.
2. Of course it has. Firstly, it is generally geared towards more technically minded people, and its high level of configurability gives you both control and "responsibility". By this I mean that, you can use it for virtually any application, but does require effort and things can get really messy if you d not know what to do in certain circumstances. Secondly, it doesn` support major game tittles, and finally, although this isn` t linux `s fault, as most people are more familiar to windows, it takes some time to get used to.
3. It depends on the beginner. A person who haas never used a computer before and tries to install, say, ubuntu, will have a really good start in setting up their system with neither major dificulties nor being vulnerable to viruses or being in danger of using an insecure system. A perso who has casually used win most of time will surely face a cold shower when using linux for the first time. Also, not every distro is for begginers. If a newbie tries to install, say, gentoo, is probably bound to be traumatized for life against linux systems.
4. It is easier for newbies to star, with mature desktop-oriented distros. In the past a noob would either have to go through the cli for the very first time or face a non-functional and immature GUI desktop environment.
5. Sabayon and Gentoo, which I use. Also AntiX for old machines.
 
Old 09-10-2012, 07:42 AM   #8
brianL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0nathan View Post
1. Why have you chosen Linux over other operating systems?
It's far more interesting than the other operating system I've had experience of.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0nathan View Post
2. Does Linux have any mentionable downsides? If so, what?
Not as far as I'm concerned.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0nathan View Post
3. Is it possible for a total beginner to start using Linux without any major difficulties?
Yes, as long as they're prepared to read, follow instructions, and think.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0nathan View Post
5. Which distro is your favorite?
Slackware.
 
Old 09-10-2012, 08:31 AM   #9
rubankumars
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1.Because
Linux is stable (way better than windows)
Linux is opensource
Linux is very secure
Linux is free
Large no of distros are available
Different desktop environments are available
Many architectures are supported
2.
Lack of commercial hardware support
Some proprietary applications have no alternatives Eg Wolfram mathematica
Printer support is bad
3.
Depends on the user and the distro he choose.If he/she choose Ubuntu and the like ,it will be a lot easier.
If he/she chooses slackware,it will be a nightmare to install os itself(Slackware is an advanced distro not meant for beginners)
4.
I heard the Ubuntu linux did very much for popularity of linux.
5.
I like Ubuntu for printing support(Very good)
I like Debian for stability.
I also tried slackware.But it has less no of official supported software.So I preferred Debian to it.
 
Old 09-10-2012, 08:35 AM   #10
jsaravana87
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Hi
Answer for your questions

1. Why have you chosen Linux over other operating systems? Opensource,Lots of opportunity,Linux admin paid salary is quite high compared to other Os admin (except Esx admin)

2. Does Linux have any mentionable downsides? If so, what? I dont say any downside in linux .I could find some saying linux is not good as windows,if u ask them a unique answer they will not come up with correct answer.Its support said to be a downside but currently lots of google search give up answers and linuxquestions.org is there to help beginner,I dont feel support a greater downside
of linux



3. Is it possible for a total beginner to start using Linux without any major difficulties? Its depend upon the individuals, To Learn it 90 Days is enough

4. How has Linux developed during the years? By Its community support mainly Linuxquestion.org

5. Which distro is your favorite? Ubuntu

Last edited by jsaravana87; 09-10-2012 at 08:41 AM.
 
Old 09-10-2012, 08:55 AM   #11
tc_
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1. It is free and I neither want to pay hundreds of dollars for an operating system nor use an illegal copy. There are of course the BSDs and other free operating systems but I tried some of them and returned to linux because of its larger community.

2. As any piece of software, linux has downsides. Although this may start some nice flames, I consider the lack of particular commercial applications a major problem. Finding a free alternative to some commercial application is often a tedious task and sometimes just not possible since few open source projects have funding comparable to what software companies are able to spend on their projects. This includes computer games but also scientific software or drivers for your favourite hardware. Another problem and simultaneously its greatest strength is the community-driven development. Projects are sometimes deceasing abruptly and leave you with half-finished and hardly usable pieces of software. However, if there is a problem that bugs enough people, chances are very high that there will be at least one solution to this problem in the very near future.

3. Yes, if he/she is willing to use a search engine like google and ask questions at forums like this one.

4. Well.

5. Slackware.
 
Old 09-10-2012, 09:20 AM   #12
lrzak
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1. Why have you chosen Linux over other operating systems?

I haven't really "chosen" Linux over others, I continue to use it along with other OS's. As a small software company I followed the market (by Volume) - 1.Windows, 2.Apple, 3.Linux. Until the last few years Linux was the most stable. And probably because I started on Unix, I find Linux more comfortable for many things. And it being the only open source of the bunch, many more choices to do things the way I want to do them, not constrained to how others think it should be done.

2. Does Linux have any mentionable downsides? If so, what?

Some of it's downsides are also it's up sides - being open source there are many choices (good) but that means, as stated above, that some things work on one flavor and not the others (bad). That splits the market. Until what I saw as a push from Ubuntu, Linux was not something I would give a "user". Just too many NON "just click here" things to learn. The majority of people using computers today are doing a very limited number of things over and over. With many users if I say "Just go to the command line and.." I get to the word "line" and there's a glaze over their eyes. I've always believed a computer should be like the telephone or television - an amazing amount of technology that almost anyone can walk up and use.

3. Is it possible for a total beginner to start using Linux without any major difficulties?

The later releases of Ubuntu and a couple others are easily contenders for this. My most recent experience is with Ubuntu 12.04 desktop - I think it may pass the "Girl Friend Test" - an article you should look up about this very topic by Linux Format. Reading that mag wouldn't hurt you either. (no I'm not associated with them.)

4. How has Linux developed during the years?

See 2 and 3. But if you're talking the mechanics - I don't think it would have happened if not for being open source. One of the early PC Shows I attended there was no MS Windows. There were things like Seattle Dos, CPM, TRS DOS, UCSD P-System, (all closed systems as I remember) and Unix(s) (some of which where what we now call "open" systems).

5. Which distro is your favorite?

For the past couple years, Ubuntu. Just seems to be more support, not just company, but community, which with open source is extremely important. Though I do have systems running other flavors, Ubuntu's the one I grab first. You can download the Desktop, burn it to something, give it to a user and tell them to put in the drive (or plug it in sometimes) and reboot the system and they can get it into a running system. It's not that others can't do this, I've just not tried them recently.

The reality is the leader in interfaces (I think that right now it's Apple) establishes the goals of the user interface. Not to say it's correct but the first interface a user starts with is usually what they expect everything else to use. (I had no problem with the interface of Electric Pencil.) Ubuntu seems to be putting up a good fight in that area.

Last edited by lrzak; 09-10-2012 at 09:21 AM.
 
Old 09-10-2012, 10:15 AM   #13
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0nathan View Post
1. Why have you chosen Linux over other operating systems?
At work I use both Windows and Linux because I am required to (I develop software and our customers use both).
At home I use Linux, primarily because my sons tend to be careless about malware, so our home LAN is unsafe. Wiping and reinstalling Windows to get rid rid of difficult malware is a regular activity on the Windows computers in our home. I don't want to need to do that on my personal computer.
But also, I like to use Linux for the feeling of control over my own computer that is provided by open source. Linux offers a wider range of choices over how things work and open source lets any programmer take even more complete control over any aspect of his system that matters enough to be worth that effort.

Quote:
2. Does Linux have any mentionable downsides? If so, what?
A) Choices. In theory all the choices are a good thing. But in practice, most people are more confused than enabled by having all those choices.
B) Documentation. Open source documentation tends to be written by people who have zero understanding of the needs of less expert users. Man pages may be effective at reminding an expert of things he once knew but forgot. They are usually horrible at telling a beginner how to use the tool.

Quote:
3. Is it possible for a total beginner to start using Linux without any major difficulties?
Depends on the person. Many have tried and failed. Many have succeeded easily. I don't have enough insight into how ordinary people think to offer much explanation of why.

Quote:
5. Which distro is your favorite?
An obsolete version of Mepis. But I will need to drop that soon. For reasons I don't fully understand, a lot of software won't allow itself to be installed on obsolete Linux, even though it will install on equally obsolete versions of Windows. So I need to pick a new favorite distribution. But the things I like about that obsolete version of Mepis don't seem to be available in any current Linux.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wigry View Post
When you boot up Slackware, you are presented with scrolling kernel messages instead of beautiful preogress bar.
The last time I tried many distributions (years ago), one of the first thing I tried to do in every distribution is turn off the "beautiful" splash screen and progress bar, so you get the scrolling kernel messages instead. That gives me a much better idea of the actual progress, especially if some LAN glitch or other issue is making things go wrong.

It appears that most people prefer the beautiful splash screen. I can't understand why. For those who would rather see the kernel messages, you don't need to select a distribution that defaults to no splash screen. In almost all distributions, it was easy to turn off the splash screen. I find it easier to turn off the excess features in a more "hand holding" distribution than to turn on the missing by default features of a less hand holding distribution.

Quote:
You end up with command line login prompt instead of fancy graphical login. Thats hardcore sutff yes but thats what Linux is and I personally like it that way.
I don't understand wanting to start at command prompt rather than GUI any more than I understand wanting a splash screen. I'm not distracted by free information that I only partially understand and usually don't need and can easily ignore, so why do I want a splash screen to hide it. But on the command side, I know how to get a command prompt when I need it. I know how to look up the commands that I never memorized when I need them. Why would I want the extra work of starting in command mode.

Last edited by johnsfine; 09-10-2012 at 10:29 AM.
 
Old 09-10-2012, 11:21 AM   #14
guyonearth
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1. Why have you chosen Linux over other operating systems?

I use Linux alongside other operating systems. Linux works well on my laptops where specialized application support is not required.

2. Does Linux have any mentionable downsides? If so, what? This will cause howls of rage, but Linux does have downsides, just as all operating systems do. The major downsides for the desktop user is lack of support for certain industry-standard applications that have no real Linux-native equivalents. The downside for enterprises is that they may have large investments in proprietary applications that are Windows-native (or some other system) that would be prohibitively expensive or even impossible to port to Linux. Smaller enterprises that could transition to Linux may be put off by lack of support and having to hire specialists or buy expensive support contracts.

3. Is it possible for a total beginner to start using Linux without any major difficulties?

Yes, if you qualify that a "total beginner" as someone who is familiar with computers and computer hardware, just not a previous Linux user. Lack of familiarity with Unix architecture and methods could be a stumbling block.

4. How has Linux developed during the years?

Linux has developed from a hobbyist OS with few capabilities into a fully-developed operating system that has been ported to numerous architectures and scaled to work on the largest computers made. There is essentially no computing task it cannot be adapted to do.

5. Which distro is your favorite?

Ubuntu/Mint, for their excellent packaging and presentation, excellent repositories, and huge user support communities. Ubuntu/Canonical has done an excellent job of making Linux not only available but recognizable to the larger computing world. Linux is not really a household word yet, but Ubuntu has done more to make it that than anyone else.
 
Old 09-10-2012, 01:36 PM   #15
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0nathan View Post
1. Why have you chosen Linux over other operating systems?
It is free (as in beer), I ususally have more than one computer at any given time and running Windows on them would be to expensive.
It is free (as in speech), which gives me a much better opportunity to learn, since you can study its inner workings.
It is very configurable, which means I can make anything of it, a HTPC, a server, a desktop PC, an OS for a phone or a special purpose system (I once created a system with the only purpose to boot from CD and zero out all harddisks in the system for work, just 5MB in size, try that with Windows). That also means that I can make it exactly like I want it, unlike Windows or MacOS X, for example changing the window manager or desktop environment, replace system components with other components, ... .
There is only one reason why I am not a pure Linux user, which is my main point in your second question:
Quote:
2. Does Linux have any mentionable downsides? If so, what?
For me their are two main points that I would consider to be downsides of Linux:
a) Lack of support from hardware manufacturers. Sometimes even when they support Linux you are a second class customer (AMD drivers anyone?).
b) The only point why I still have a Windows installation on my main machine: I am a gamer. Almost any major game is Windows only.
Quote:
3. Is it possible for a total beginner to start using Linux without any major difficulties?
Define total beginner. A newbie to computers is not the same as a newbie to Linux. From my experience with both groups, it is not more difficult to find the way around Linux than it is in Windows for the user totally new to computers. This is different for people that are used to Windows, but new to Linux. Since most people have no concept of an OS at all they expect every computer (well, at least desktop PCs) to work like they are used to. That was the same for me also, it took me quite some time to unlearn some of my Windows habits, while nowadays sometimes it is quite difficult for me to work with Windows machines. Ever searched how to handle a task in Windows that would be done with a one-liner in a Linux shell? Sometimes I find myself typing Linux commands in a Windows terminal.
Quote:
4. How has Linux developed during the years?
Better hardware support, more modern GUIs (regardless if you find them useful or not).
Quote:
5. Which distro is your favorite?
Definitely Slackware. Over the time I have used Ubuntu, Debian, Arch and Slackware, with some distro hopping between them.
I landed at Slackware for some very simple reasons: It is a simple distribution adhering to the KISS principle. Everything is configured using text-files, the package management system and the package format are clean and simple, it has sane defaults, it is very stable and it has a very knowledgeable and active community (although some people think that Slackware users are elitists).
 
  


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