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Old 09-27-2011, 04:29 PM   #1
nobodya
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I think I'll switch to linux


Hi,
I am a 13 years surfer using microsoft's windows. I believe I suffered as no other from intrusions (trojans, viruses, hackers etc) I changed 4 systems and still cannot do my job online despite all the security measures I took (antivirus, firewall, antimalware, non-signature antimalware, sand box etc).
Now I plan to purchase some new pc, perhaps a laptop or a netbook.
It's the first time I thought to switch to Linux and I am afraid that I must start all over learning to use a new os.
I think I'll rent a linux laptop to see if it΄s a difficult one, prior to buy my own.
But I would appreciate yr opinions about those two subjects:
1) Security
2) Easy learning to use it
regarding linux
Tks
 
Old 09-27-2011, 04:47 PM   #2
T3RM1NVT0R
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@ Reply

Hi there,

Welcome to LQ!!!

Good to hear that you are planning to switch to linux.

1) Security

No doubt that linux is more secure than windows main reason being that .exe files does not run on linux. This reduces the chances of your system getting affected by trojans, spywares, malwares etc. Remember using linux reduces the chances of your system getting affected but that does not mean that nobody can hack or infect linux. You should take care of the following things when using linux (to make it more secure) or any other OS:

a. Always keep your root password very complex basically a combination of number, characters and special characters.
b. Never login to gui using root account. This increases the chances of getting your system infected the reason being if somebody hacks into your system he will then have root access to your system.
c.Make sure that you use inbuilt firewall and only allow the traffic which you trust/required.
d. Never allow root to have ssh access. ssh using normal account and then su - root if you require root access.
e. Only use root account when you are administering the system. Rest of the time use the limited user account.

There are many more points that you should take care of. Take this as starter.

2) Easy learning to use it

I would say go with Linux Mint or Ubuntu as they are quite friendly distributions which will ease your transition from Windows to Linux.

Let us know if you have more queries.
 
Old 09-27-2011, 04:56 PM   #3
sycamorex
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Lucky you. You're 13 and want to switch to linux. I wish someone had told me about linux when I was 13 (well it was 1992 and linux was still a baby). I found out about linux as late as at the age of 26

1. Not much to be said. Linux is considered a much more secure system. Having said that, your system will be only as secure as its weakest link, which in most cases is the user. I'm not sure what you'd like to hear about security. You don't have to run antivirus software. It's a good practice to do it (to protect your windows friends) but it's not essential. Linux does a much better job in terms of security, but remember NO system is 100% secure.

2. Well, it's a question of getting used to. I used Windows for almost 16 years and then I switched to Linux. I've been running linux (apart from work) for 6 years now and when I installed Windows 7 (work reasons) a couple of weeks ago, I seriously found it very confusing and difficult to use. When you switch to linux, It'll be good to forget all your windows habits. Although most computing concepts are similar across the platforms, there things that you do slightly differently on linux. Try it out.
Make sure you make use of so called 'live CDs/DVDs' - most linux distributions provide them. You won't have to install anything on your computer, the system will run off your RAM memory. Obviously it'll be slower but it's a great way to try it out.

Last but not least: Read: http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm
 
Old 09-27-2011, 05:49 PM   #4
etech3
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Welcome to LQ!

You could try a live linux cd to get the feel of it on your older computer.
 
Old 09-27-2011, 05:52 PM   #5
MTK358
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nobodya View Post
I think I'll rent a linux laptop
Why? Just try a Live CD.
 
Old 09-27-2011, 07:29 PM   #6
wagaboy
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Welcome to LQ! There is a learning curve involved with using Linux, and you may find things difficult initially, but don't give up. There is a lot of community support and help available online. Try the Live CD. For a beginner, I would suggest Ubuntu or one of its derivatives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
Lucky you. You're 13 and want to switch to linux. I wish someone had told me about linux when I was 13 (well it was 1992 and linux was still a baby). I found out about linux as late as at the age of 26
It's never too late. I taught my compute illiterate parents how to use Ubuntu. They have no clue about Windows.
 
Old 09-27-2011, 08:58 PM   #7
frankbell
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There is a good tutorial at About dot com oriented towards persons new to Linux that might answer a lot of your questions.

As regards security, Linux has always had a good security model from the git-go, because it was built to Unix specifications, and Unix always envisioned networking and the resulting security issues. Windows was developed from DOS, which had no security model. Ever since then, Windows' attempts to improve its security have been akin to putting more locks on a screen door.

Linux is not difficult to learn as a user for day-to-day purposes. It's different, so a learning curve is natural, but it's not harder (and I say that having come to Linux with a thorough DOS/Windows/NT/2000/XP background, including doing tech support for software designed to operate in a Windows domain environment).

Do not expect it to act like Windows and don't look back.
 
Old 09-27-2011, 09:17 PM   #8
mreff555
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I agree with the above posts. The Ubuntu derivatives would probably be the best option for a new user. Fedora 15 might not be a bad choice either. While a lot of experienced users don't like the simplified interface, it's really easy to learn.

You should burn some live cd's and check them out. Live CD's are basically just boot disks which load the OS in to RAM so you can see what it looks like. When you want to install you just click an icon usually somewhere on the desktop.

For the most part adjusting from windows to friendlier distributions is fairly easy, especially from a user perspective.

-Software managers can download and automatically install thousands of various free programs

-Window managers like Gnome, KDE, and even XFCE are very easy to adjust to. Honestly, I have to "adjust" back to windows seven when I have to use it at work because I can never find anything.

-Unlike windows there is no reason to have anything to hate about linux because if you don't like something, there is most likely a way to change it.

-The most appealing factor is that if you have a question about ANYTHING, someone on boards like this has already been there, done that, wrote the book (quite possibly literally). An us nerds on community forums like nothing better than finding a question we can answer.


The one major pitfall you are going to have is video game compatibility. There are some Games ported to Linux, and wine for the one's that aren't, but installing them can be rather challenging.

Good luck!!
 
Old 09-28-2011, 01:53 AM   #9
EDDY1
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I beg to differ on the Ubuntu, why not try debian it doesn"t use as many resources & has become quite easy to install. Also my system has been quite stable.

Last edited by EDDY1; 09-28-2011 at 04:16 AM.
 
Old 09-28-2011, 02:59 AM   #10
FredGSanford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDDY1 View Post
I beg to differ on the Ubuntu, why try debian it doesn"t use as many resources & has become quite easy to install. Also my system has been quite stable.
+1
I aqgree.
During a full install is as easy as any other distro. If one does the netinst, then it may be some diffuculty, but also a good learning experience.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 09-28-2011, 07:29 AM   #11
mreff555
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDDY1 View Post
I beg to differ on the Ubuntu, why not try debian it doesn"t use as many resources & has become quite easy to install. Also my system has been quite stable.

It really just depends on the users motivation. Personally I like Debian a lot and I'm not a big fan of Ubuntu. But if somebody tells me they just want to install and run and aren't all that interested in learning much beyond a typical user perspective I recommend Ubuntu. After that if he wants to get his feet wet he can try something a little more raw.
 
Old 09-28-2011, 07:55 AM   #12
foodown
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<Sigh> ... And now comes the ubiquitous time on LQ where we all pitch the newbie our distros of choice.

I'll let you in on a secret: Linux distributions are all basically the same software. For your first time using one, which one you choose isn't going to be nearly as important as how much time you spend exploring your new OS and learning about it. Once you have a few good hours under your belt, you'll have a better idea about what kind of distributions you may want to try next, but this is all just window dressing.

Learn the command line. That's it. That will make you powerful.

You're 13; your brain is at its zenith of learning ability. Dive in. Have fun. Say goodbye to malware.

Welcome to the club.

[EDIT] BTW, your question is very well formed. Thanks for that ... you should give some of the full-grown among us lessons ...

Last edited by foodown; 09-28-2011 at 07:57 AM.
 
2 members found this post helpful.
Old 09-28-2011, 06:48 PM   #13
nobodya
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I though it was like linux cannot be ever affected by malware?

Hi, all
tks a lot for all yr answers which right now cannot study thoroughly but I just get a general idea, and probably will come back to them later.
As in subject line, I thought linux is not possible to be hacked.
Root account seems to me like admin account of wind, I very rarely surf with it, only if obliged. For instance there are some weird sites even popular ones that require admin rights for any kind of updates, (I believe adaware is one of them?) even so I use run as to avoid it.
It's my fault cause english is not my mother tongue, I meant I surf during the last 13 years but I'm not 13 years, old much much older than that, sorry.
Tks for the live dvd suggestion didn't know such thing existed, and already contacted two merchants for to rent a linux system.
Nevertheless, you spoiled my security dream I though I would make true with linux.
I understand that if somebody is to be hacked, linux won't save him, but statistically at least, what is the percentage of security comparatively to wind?
Tks again
 
Old 09-28-2011, 09:22 PM   #14
frankbell
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There are currently no Linux viruses in the wild. A virus that will run on a Windows file system cannot run on Linux, much like a boat cannot cruise on a highway.

The Linux security structure is far more secure than Windows's. If you are computing as user, and your computer gets invaded, the worst that is likely to happen--and it is extremely rare--is that your user directory is likely to be trashed. The invader will not have access to the configuration files and the executable located elsewhere in the directory structure.

It is unwise to say that Linux cannot be hacked--anything one person can build another person can invade. But the likelihood that a home user's system is will be hacked is almost nil.

Linux is not immune to malware that targets the user (as opposed to the computer). Linux cannot prevent a user from voluntarily giving away his bank account to that fellow in Nigeria, for example.

It is immune to the "ransom-ware" that targets Windows, though. For example, just for grins and giggles, I visited one of those sites that promises to scan your machine for viruses, infects your machine, and offers to sell you a cure (which is likely infected with more malware).

The site performed a scan faster than was possible with a local scan, let alone one over the internet (that is, it ran a movie of a scan), then told my that my C:\ drive was infected.

There is no C:\ drive on a Linux machine.

It is to laugh.
 
Old 09-29-2011, 07:54 AM   #15
mreff555
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Nothing is completely secure. but comparing security of windows to linux would be like comparing a tin shack to a castle.

Additionally generally, when a Linux system is hacked it's because somebody REALLY wants in. Not by some worm floating around the internet collecting passwords.
I doubt anyone is going to target your machine.
 
  


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