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Hey guys and girls,
Much to your dismay I have been using Windows for far too long, considering myself a 'power-user' I thought I'd never wean myself off the disgraceful passion that is using Windows. I've reformatted, reinstalled, reformatted, reinstalled and it goes on from there. The sheer absurdity that is the very existence of Windows bewilders me, I don't know I have been using it for this long.
As much as that comes to no surprise to you, I write articles for technology website and studied journalism so I should be in the 'loop', right? I still for the life of me, without little hints and sudden brief stories here and there, can work out why an increasing majority of people prefer Linux over Windows.
My belief has been; it's faster, lighter, more secure thanks to open-source allowing for better and more in-depth unlimited collaboration but apart from that, I'm stuck as to why these actual beliefs can be truths..
Apart from the very minimal opinions I hold, what constitutes as fact as to why Linux reigns supreme over Windows? It interests me greatly but I suppose I've been ignorant to the evolution of Linux and naive to it's power and capabilities, that being said, as the title suggests, I'm making the move.
So, to wrap this up without me rambling on...
- Why do the internet security 'scene'/activists/darknet/ prefer Linux over Windows? And relating to that, what sort of security does Linux offer 'out of box' that Windows doesn't?
- In relation to above-mentioned, I can find a decent AV/Firewall for Linux, right?
- What are the repercussions of software compatibility? If I'm to take up the primary partition for Linux and leave an equally sized partition for Windows, what sort of software am I expecting to lose? I generally use well-known general software and also specialist software too, just how much in general/rough guess am I expected to lose in software compatibility?
- Direct correlation to that or pretty much so I believe anyway... driver compatibility, how compatible is Linux with hardware drivers? If I'm getting a new HDD for example, is there a whole different process for getting it to work? Does PnP fly out into the sunset?
- And general stability, the main belief I have is Linux is in general, more stable than Windows, so that being said, software hangs, abrupt process termination, the behemoth of anger that is the Windows slowdown period after the fresh install 'honeymoon' period of speed and stability, I'm getting that more 'longterm' with Linux aren't I?
- And why is the Linux command line more attractive to Linux users over the Windows command line? I see that a lot of people use the command line much more frequently over those who use Windows, why is this? Is this a correlation to the needs of the user or is learning the Linux command line a worthwhile process to improve the experience?
I ask all these questions because I'm very much willing to accept Linux into my life, I'm sick to my stomach (not sure if I'm mentioned my hate for Windows already) of Windows and it's failings.
Bring on Linux I say!
It would be great for everyone to add their comments, answer my questions and maybe add something I have forgot to mention about surrounding the positives of Linux, it would be great to know more than what I'am asking of as I feel my questions are very generalized and basic and you may have some great information to share with me, and please do feel free to share!
I'm thinking of moving to Debian. I'm not sure why, I will admit I probably made the 'noob' decision of liking the UI over the others, then again I heard FreeBSD is great too, and then Ubuntu and Linux Mint... But Debian for some reason, feels more larger than life in terms of it been more of an appealing selection, do correct me if I'm wrong and state your reasons why.
I guess that's it, thanks for taking the time to read my thread and I look forward to hearing from you
Last edited by portedpacket; 09-21-2014 at 07:19 PM.
This is a great attitude to have. And Debian is probably a pretty good place to start, if you're willing to accept the learning curve.
As for your questions:
1. There is a really good explanation of the Windows vs Linux security model here. It's long, but it explains the differences very clearly.
2. With Linux, you don't really need a antivirus. The Linux model of permissions and software management just makes it really hard to write viruses for Linux. And most people use Windows anyway. As for the firewall, I honestly don't know. My router functions as a firewall, so I've never needed to use one.
3. Anything that's closed-source isn't going to run natively in Linux (with a few exceptions). However, there is a tool called "wine" that tries to emulate a Windows runtime environment. I've never used it, but from what I've heard it's hit-and-miss. However, there are usually open source alternatives to the applications you use. For example, LibreOffice or OpenOffice would replace MS Office. Firefox would replace IE. (Hopefully, you're not using IE... you seem to know what you're doing ) (Also, I know that you can get Chrome on Debian, if that's what you like to use).
For hardware compatibility, it really depends of the vendor. Intel almost always works with little or no configuration. I've heard mixed reviews about ATI and Nvidia. HP supplies great drivers for 99.99% of their printers. On the other hand, there are brnads where everything is guesswork. If you have Broadcom wifi, it's almost a flip of a coin. If you're concerned if a piece of hardware will work or not, LQ has a HCL (Hardware Compatability List, at the top of the page).
4. For hard drives, I think it has more to do with the motherboard. If your hard drive controller is compatible then you should be just fine. As for plug-and-play, yes we have it. (Well, not by that name, but the same general idea.) You can insert and remove flash drives, USB and PS/2 keyboards and mice and pretty much anything else just fine.
5. Yes, Linux will usually keep its speed. I've been using Linux for a little over a year, and my computers seem just as fast now as they did when I first installed Linux.
6. This is a question that I think many people need the answer to, but nobody asks. In Windows, the command line couldn't do much other than make you look "cool." (just type "tree c:/" and you will see what I mean.) But to install something, you use a GUI. To edit the registry, you have to use a GUI.
In Linux, the command line is what its name means: it commands the computer. 95% of the things you can do are possible to do in the command line. Package management (adding/removing software), system configuration, adding/removing users, music players, web browsers... The list goes on forever. You could debate that a Linux root terminal is the most powerful position you can have on a computer. (the Linux user "root" is like "Admin" on Windows)
I hope this answers most of your qusestions. If you have any more, feel free to post them here!
Good luck, and welcome to the community!
EDIT: Something else that goes along with #6: Linux will let you do almost anything, regardless of how stupid it seems. For example, you can write a hard drive completely with zeroes. You can delete everything even on a running system (ever tried to delete C:/WINDOWS?) It will let you destroy your system from the inside out if you try hard enough. But it will almost never tell you "no, I don't care if you're root, you really can't do that" like Windows will.
Getting down to more specifics answers on how it will work for you, you will need to explain what you want to use it for, is it for desktop, and what are the specs for your pc. And that might also give a clue as to the better choices of distros for you. Debian is fine, but would require more effort at first. The ubuntu and Mint you also mentioned are very newbie friendly.
Debian is a great distribution. I would not get too starry-eyed over which distribution is this or which one is that. They are all Linux, the rest is just a variation on a theme. The fact that 600 distributions exist is mostly a red herring; pick one that appears to work for your hardware, and start down the long path of learning it like you used to know Windows. That's my opinion anyway.
1. The liberty to do whatever we want, security policy inclusive. No false sense of security: that is what Linux offers that Windows does not. Windows tells its users that as long as they click the right buttons and pay a given price, they are More Secure. Linux tells its users that you are never secure. One is true, the other false.
2. ClamAV for Linux. Firewall, I would do iptables personally, but there are a few dozen others, as well as some designed to help you create iptable policies.
3. Compatibility depends mostly on the software vendor. If you use open source software on Windows, then it will or can work on Linux. If they are closed source applications, then obviously in order for it to work natively in Linux, the vendor must provide you Linux binaries. Also, there is WINE, a sort of compatibility layer that might run a Windows binary on Linux, but it's all reverse engineering, so whether it will work or not depends on the dll's.
4. I have not had to even think about hardware compatibility in years. I am sure there are exceptions, but for me and my cameras, GPUs, wacom tablet, scanner, printer, mp3 players, and so on, I have not even thought about it. I plug them in, and I use them. Harddrives certainly will not require drivers, unless you are using filesystems that are not native to Linux; in that case, you will need a driver for the filesystem.
5. I cannot remember the last time I shut down my Linux workstation at work, and I work at a movie studio, so we are not just running Open Office. We run heavy applications, and we do not shut down.
6. The Linux shell is attractive because it is effective and robust. I have heard people say nice things about Windows Power Shell; I have not used it, so I do not know what it is like, but the Linux shell has been around for ages, and it has so many tools available for it, and it is so tightly integrated into everything else on the system, that it's basically amazing.
I'm thinking of moving to Debian. I'm not sure why, I will admit I probably made the 'noob' decision of liking the UI over the others
I'm not even going to suggest that the choice of Debian is a bad thing, but your logic is a bit odd. Once you have made a choice of which GUI appeals to you, you could run that GUI on more or less any distro.
In relation to above-mentioned, I can find a decent AV/Firewall for Linux, right?
Given that viruses (virii?) are more or less a 'lab feasibility demonstration' only, most people don't feel the need to run AV, unless they get files that are passed on to Windows boxes.
Really, the windows habit of having some kind of 'Swiss Army Knife, security package' that does a multiplicity of ill-defined things that might be constructive for security does not translate from Windows. There is more of a tradition of having programs that do one thing and do that well.
Good firewall? Well, there is iptables, and that is really a simple programming system for firewalls (well, it is actually more complex than that to describe it accurately, but that is how it appears to a user). So most of the things that are described as 'firewalls' are really nothing more than 'easy ways of configuring iptables' rather than being actual firewalls.
Of course, it is good for the soul to write your own firewall script, and you'll be a better human being for doing it, so you shouldn't necessarily take the easy way out.
Direct correlation to that or pretty much so I believe anyway... driver compatibility, how compatible is Linux with hardware drivers? If I'm getting a new HDD for example, is there a whole different process for getting it to work? Does PnP fly out into the sunset?
If you get a new Hard Disk Drive, you plug it in and it works. If you buy a motherboard, you plug it in and it works (to the extent that it has a chipset supported by the kernel). Generally, the difference is that for standard interface and protocol devices (SATA, etc), the kernel knows what to do and does it. What you don't need to do is to go out to manufacturer web sites, or more dubious third party sites, to get drivers.
For some reason, some new Linux adoptees have become so attached to this process that they still want to collect CDs full of third party utilities before an install, but it is generally useless and unnecessary (and getting fundamental programs from dubious third party sites is an obvious security risk).
There is stuff that you might have to configure (partitions, which interface to use, etc). But, the real question is what advantage does Windows give to end users out of making this stuff more difficult than it needs to be?
Why do the internet security 'scene'/activists/darknet/ prefer Linux over Windows?
Well, you can see the code. You can hack the code, if you want. You are not beholden to some cabal of big corporations. If you are of that mindset, you'd add 'What's not to like?' Of course, that it works and you might even get a chance to show off how clever you are (to people who think that you have to be some kind of propeller head to use Linux, and even more so if you use some kind 'hacker' distro...just don't expect that this gives you a guaranteed invite to their next dinner party, although you might get an invite when they next have a problem with their 'net connection).
Last edited by salasi; 09-21-2014 at 08:27 AM.
Reason: grammar error
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan, in what used to be the USA
Distribution: (Ex-Ubuntu due to Unity), Debian Squeeze, Bodhi w/ E-17 "Stable", MacPup525, Legacy (TeenPup) Live
I think others have covered most of what you asked about, but I thought I'd address a few of your questions, and put my 2 cent's worth in. I have been using linux since 2005, starting with Ubuntu. I really would prefer to never use Windows again, after living through the Windows 9X plague. You have probably been up against the "everybody uses Windows" circular argument, but I find Linux more useful when I actually want to get things done.
Example: I have used a few different webcode creation programs in Linux, and they had one thing in common. They produced validatable webcode. In comparison, Windows programs have been responsible for a fair number of crap-webcode sites that I've seen in the wild.
I used Open Office nearly from its inception, and found it a capable Office suite. Nowadays, however, I'd recommend Libre Office, as it has many of the original developers from Open Office. Last time I checked, it supported importing / exporting / saving as, in more of the recent Microsoft proprietary document formats, than Open Office did. I think, based on experience, that Libre Office makes dealing with Microsoft-only Office users just a bit easier.
Professional photographers have told me that Adobe products are actually slightly better than the standard photo manipulation program for Linux (GIMP), but have always conceded that for 99% of the world, GIMP is all they will ever need, and more.
Linux's 3D animation flagship is Blender, and it IS professional-grade stuff, having been used for movie effects and feature animations. That horrific scene in the movie "Enemy at the Gates" where Stukas are dive-bombing and strafing the barges full of replacement infantry headed over the river to Stalingrad? All done in Blender. There are NO flying Stukas left on the planet, let alone a full squadron. And Blender is free. When I checked the cost of the hottest "Windows-only" animation program back in 2005, a full license ran $6000, and that was without a $600 ray-tracer, where in Blender, you have your choice of at least three ray-tracers, all free.
Which brings me to that whole "free" thing. It has been observed that free software means free as in freedom, not as in free beer. Lots of people put lots of effort into making that software. Some are lucky enough to do it for money, but most do it because they want to. One of the reasons that Linux is generally more robust than Windows is because the code is open. That is the freedom part of the equation. If something is really mucked-up in Windows-land, and the suits don't want to put the effort or money into fixing it, it stays screwed-up. In Linux-land, if something is mucked-up, either people migrate to another similar program that isn't, or they open that code right up, and figure out how to fix it! For MS, good code is a COST to be mitigated, and for Linux, good code is just plain desirable, and the way you do it right, and something to be proud of when it works well.
Or, to put it in a somewhat harsher way, Windows is about making money. Linux is about computing.
I have never used an anti-virus under Linux, and don't know anybody that has. Under Windows, I needed an AV, an anti-spyware program, and a general clean-up program, in addition to the de-fragging of hard-drives, and the yearly or so total re-install of Windows. Without all of that, you soon find your system dragged down by various exploits. That is the reduction in speed that so many experience. I'm not sure if it still is the case, but back when I used Windows, they had successfully avoided a gigantic lawsuit. They did it by giving both their mail program and browser far too deep of a connection to their OS, effectively claiming that they were an integral part of the Windows OS. What I read at the time indicated that those deep connections were the way so many exploits were getting past the security of Windows, like building a castle with concentric rings of mighty walls, but with a superhighway through the center of it. Software design by legal counsel, you might say.
Not being nearly so corporate, Linux avoids these sorts of convoluted and wrong decisions. Mostly. It's not perfect, but it's a lot less screwed up than the other players.
Then, there's the power structure. It's far more of a meritocracy than any modern corporation. The Linux community values cooperation, open discussion, and politeness, in a way that corporate entities have proven they can't even comprehend.
I've had the privilege to meet and get to know some old hot-rodders, from back when hot-rodding was a new thing, and I see many parallels with the Linux community. People that want to master a given technology, or a part of it, working together with at most a VERY loose chain of command, not afraid to try new things, or even to try silly things if they get a kick out of it. Wide-open experimentation without having to consult the bean-counters first. Highly intelligent and skilled people willing to try building something that they suspect is going to work really well.
Lastly, there's one other difference I noted, though it took me a while to put my finger on it. It's possible to screw up a Linux system. I've done it many times. But the difference, is that while finding out how to fix Linux problems, I _learned_ things. My memory of getting Windows problems fixed, is that I never learned _anything_! It was like waiting for some primitive high priest to shake the rattles and bells to drive out the evil spirits. My favorite example of this is the way so many people will try the same thing over and over until the Windows problem is "fixed". The same thing, over and over, waiting for a different result (which all-too-frequently happened!). That is also a functional description of psychotic behavior. So, it's not perfect here in Linux-land, but it's a mite saner.
BTW, Debian is a fine choice; it's reputation is conservative, but STABLE. For a newbie, especially coming from Windows, I would also recommend Mageia with the KDE desktop. Most things work out of the box, sane defaults, a good selection of basic programs, and a fair update / package management system. I run one desktop box each with these systems.
Guess I wrote a movie. Anyway, hope you like it here! Good luck to you!
Once you have selected and downloaded the ISO image you can use one of the 'MD5SUM' checkers below to verify a valid download on a MS Windows system. Then use 'Imgburn' at a low burn rate (setting of 4) to insure a valid burn on your hardware.
M$Windows: Windows Burn tutorial <- 'Nero' Live Video for the newbies who burn the iso instead of the image of the iso. Imgburn <- 'ImgBurn is a lightweight CD / DVD / HD DVD / Blu-ray burning application that everyone should have in their toolkit!' + Freeware -- MD5SUM: M$Windows iso md5sum checking <- LQ Post on how too md5sum.exe <- M$Win Application to perform md5sum checking. winMd5Sum Portable <- FREE + Good for all M$ Windows
As to the query about the command line(cli), you can do more within the cli than you can with a GUI. With most GUI you are restrict by the design used by the author/designer and that persons abilities to perform the task completely. No background restrictions when you as a knowledgeable user using the cli.
I like to provide these links to a new user;
Just a few links to aid you to gaining some understanding and knowledge;
Hardware is not a problem these days, except that some cheap printers are not supported.
Stability is good. The Windows registry is the source of a lot of problems, and there's nothing like it in Linux. That means that performance does not degrade with time or with the installation of extra software. Fragmentation is not a problem, either. I had a HD that ran for 8 years and reached only 14% of non-contiguous files.
A good place to find out about available software is here http://linuxappfinder.com
But get the stuff from your distro's repository: mixing and matching is not for the beginner.
The command line is not essential, but it does enable you to get some jobs done very simply. 50 jpg files that need to be png?
mogrify *jpg *png
For choosing a distro, unless you have limited hardware a good move is to choose the GUI first. Unlike Windows there are lots: big, small, plain, fancy, weird http://www.renewablepcs.com/about-li...-gnome-or-xfce
It's generally a good idea to use a distro with its default GUI, because that's the one that most of the developers and users have: the one that gets the most attention. Good choices are
KDE (king of bling!): PCLinuxOS
Gnome (make your computer look as if it's turning into a tablet): Ubuntu Gnome
Mate (more traditional): Mint Mate
Xfce (ditto — the old reliable): AntiX MX
Don't forget that most distros come as a live DVD/USB image, so you can try (a bit slowly) before you take the plunge and install.
Hey guys! Thanks a lot for all your wealth of information you flooded me with!
I have made the move to Linux, I hope by remaining in the same thread I can get some help as I'm now having trouble!
Alright so I moved to Ubuntu, I tried Debian but I kept getting 'fatal' errors so whilst I could reboot and jump back into Windows and search the problems I were facing I thought I'd be able to fix them. If I remember correctly, it was earlier this afternoon and I've done alot since then, Debian couldn't install because it couldn't write something to a partition...? Something like that, it said if you don't know what you are doing then stick with sda, otherwise select whether you want to write to the original partition, write to another and write to another.. I tried ALL of them, to no avail. So I got a little tired, maybe myself a coffee and I downloaded Ubuntu.
I setup Ubuntu to boot from USB as I tried with Debian, wahey! It worked! Booted into setup, had no problems, strolled around Ubuntu in Live OS mode, decided I liked it and went to install. Little did I know that the new few actions would totally format my HDD and install Ubuntu on. I was under the impression it would identify the fact that I had another partition present which had a Windows OS on (that of Win7) but it didn't. So it installed, rebooted, told me to type in a few details like my name, username, password, domain, root password etc. Started up for the first time... And...
- I'm restricted to 1024x768
- I can't install my ATI graphics driver because I get a pre-lim message that says I have to install various files before I can meet the installation criteria
- I've tried Terminal and trying to hard switch the resolution to as high as possible, it says the maximum resolution is 8128x8128, don't worry guys I'm not working on a 100 inch TV here, it's an LG 22EN33 but the installation CD for the driver is OBVIOUSLY Windows and I can't for the life of me find a Linux based driver so I'm guessing my monitor isn't compatible. It's coming up with unknown which I presume is either..
because I can't install the monitor driver or/and I can't install the graphics driver.
Apart from that, everything is okay I guess, the GUI is amazing, it's clean and quick and it's perfect, simplicity over complexity anyway for me. But...
Because of these niggles along the way, which I'm sure I can iron out. I'm in a quandry as to what to do, whilst I'm not using the full potential of my hardware here and ofcourse Ubuntu by being limited to what I can use as default before any hardware can be made to be recognised.
It looks like your three bullets all come down to this ATI graphics driver issue. In bullet #2 you mentioned you need to install some files before you can meet the installation criteria. This is likely very easy, just a simple "apt-get install <package-name>" and you're done. Did you happen to note what files it was requesting?
One thing I've noticed with Windows users attempting to migrate to Linux is that they see an error message and just shut down, without even bothering to read the error message. This is PERFECTLY understandable in the Windows ecosystem, since error messages are completely meaningless and provide absolutely no information about what actions you need to take to rectify the situation, but that is not the case in Linux. Unlike Windows, Linux is very specific and descriptive in its error messages. Where with Windows you might get a "General Error 203: Invalid Operation" or some other unintelligible nonsense, in Linux you'll get something like "Unable to locate libxml2.so.2, please install the libxml2 library", in which case you run a simple "apt-get install libxml2" and you're done.
So, with that in mind, what was the exact error message you saw when trying to install the ATI graphics drivers?
NOTE: If your system has logged the missing packages required for installation, install them in the order as per the log file to resolve package-dependency issues.
Package dh-modaliases is missing from the system. Install it using the command apt-get install dh-modaliases.
Package execstack is missing from the system. Install it using the command apt-get install execstack.
Package dpkg-dev is missing from the system. Install it using the command apt-get install dpkg-dev.
Package debhelper is missing from the system. Install it using the command apt-get install debhelper.
Package dkms is missing from the system. Install it using the command apt-get install dkms.
Package lib32gcc1 is missing from the system. Install it using the command apt-get install lib32gcc1.
Package build failed!
Package build utility output:
./packages/Ubuntu/ati-packager.sh: 294: ./packages/Ubuntu/ati-packager.sh: debclean: not found
./packages/Ubuntu/ati-packager.sh: 295: ./packages/Ubuntu/ati-packager.sh: dpkg-buildpackage: not found
./packages/Ubuntu/ati-packager.sh: 294: ./packages/Ubuntu/ati-packager.sh: debclean: not found
./packages/Ubuntu/ati-packager.sh: 295: ./packages/Ubuntu/ati-packager.sh: dpkg-buildpackage: not found
[Error] Generate Package - error generating package : Ubuntu/trusty
And I follow what it's telling me to do, install the missing files.. And I'm getting this.. And yes, I'am root. I'm the only user with SU on the system.
apt-get install dh-modaliases
E: Could not open lock file /var/lib/dpkg/lock - open (13: Permission denied)
E: Unable to lock the administration directory (/var/lib/dpkg/), are you root?
Last edited by portedpacket; 09-21-2014 at 08:27 PM.
Ubuntu uses a stupid security model that differs from all other Linux distros in existence. It's something that, if you plan to continue using Ubuntu or its derivatives, you'll have to get used to. Rather than using a "real" root user for administrative tasks, they disable root and make the first user an "admin" with full sudo rights, just like Windows's ineffective and ridiculous "security" model.
In Ubuntu and its derivatives, if you need to do any administrative tasks, you need to stick "sudo" in front of the command. So instead of "apt-get install dh-modaliases", use "sudo apt-get install dh-modaliases", etc.
Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 09-21-2014 at 08:46 PM.
Should he be getting those errors in the first place? It's over my head, but some of those "missing" things look to me like there is no way they should be missing unless something went horribly wrong with the install. I just wonder if it is better to start over and do it right rather than have a big ongoing mess that will sour his linux impression.
To original poster: Did you do a md5sumcheck on the download? Also, if you do start over and still want to keep the windows, the ubuntu installer should give you the choice of "install along side windows 7" (assuming you first reinstalled the windows7). Do you remember seeing that? Usually it detects it Ok.