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Old 10-17-2009, 07:11 PM   #16
catkin
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As someone who jumped out of the Windows frying pan into the Linux fire relatively recently (~18 months ago) and who was something of a WXP Workstation "adept" I hope I can answer some of your questions -- but where to begin?

First off, WXP when screwed down nicely really shouldn't need reinstalling often. I used to follow the school of "re-install every 6-12 months" but then I got registry-savvy, spent some time learning how to tweak WXP and have not had to re-install either my own system or supported systems in the last 5 years (shameless self-plug: see http://sourceforge.net/projects/registrywrkshp/).

Any OS transition is going to demand a lot of work if you are anything but a casual user; you go from being a savant to being a neophyte. Depending on the depth of your knowledge and your self-expectations it will take more or less time to get back to your accustomed level of expertise; after ~18 months of Linux I don't quite feel to be as much on top of Linux as I was on top of WXP and that is with the advantage of several years as a UNIX sysadmin and developer.

So what are the key factors?

Choice! In the Linux world there are many solutions addressing similar requirements; I spend a lot more time researching "best-of-breed" solutions that I did in the WXP world and considering how they will integrate with the rest of the setup.

Community. There's a great Linux community. Equally there was (and presumably is) a great WXP community. The WXP community is bigger; the Linux community is more active; ultimately it works out about the same.

Taint. I felt increasingly dirty using Microsoft products. This subject has been done to death so I will write no more.

Isolation. While the online Linux community is large, very few people locally use Linux. That's OK regards my getting help -- it can all be done online -- but I do like to work with people in my face-to-face community and there are few opportunities for that.

Virtualisation. You may use some applications that you can't find Linux equivalents for. Running Windows in a virtual machine allows you to (relatively painlessly) continue to use those applications after changing over to Linux for most things.

Pre-positioning. Prior to changing from Windows to Linux you can start using applications that are available under both OSses on Windows; that way you spread the learning curve. For example, changing from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice (or alternatives) while still on Windows helps a lot. Having seen "Big Bang" migrations where OSses and the entire applications suite are changed overnight, I am convinced that a staged migration with as much pre-positioning as possible works better.

Your question is multifaceted; it is late; surely there is much more to say but that's it for now.
 
Old 10-17-2009, 09:17 PM   #17
Mulsiphix
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I can't tell you folks how much I appreciate these detailed responses. I have a question about upgrades/fresh installs/rolling updates. I'm wondering if Linux is as horrible as Windows.

In Windows I have to backup all of my data, document all 150 to 200 programs I have installed, their settings, service listing (I disabled a lot of services I wasn't using to improve performance), and the ridiculous amount of tweaks I've made to the OS. Windows right out of the box is slow, cluttered, geared for visual eyecandy at the cost of speed, and therefore requires a great deal of tweaking to get running right. I read a 180 page book dedicated to tweaking windows settings. It wasn't a published book either so every single page was full of tweaks and little chit chat. It takes about three weeks to backup/document everything, install Windows, tweak it, reinstall all my programs, and then configure those programs.

For me a fresh install is a nightemare in Windows. How does a fresh install in Linux go? Is it the same? Over time will Linux come to a crawl and start falling apart like Windows does? I've been using Windows for well over a decade and, regardless of version, it always seems to degrade over a year or two to the point that I break down and reinstall it. Any information on Linux installations and the definitions of rolling updates/upgrades/need for fresh installs would be most appreciated!
 
Old 10-18-2009, 12:28 AM   #18
mrrangerman
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Quote:
Mulsiphix

For me a fresh install is a nightemare in Windows. How does a fresh install in Linux go? Is it the same? Over time will Linux come to a crawl and start falling apart like Windows does? I've been using Windows for well over a decade and, regardless of version, it always seems to degrade over a year or two to the point that I break down and reinstall it. Any information on Linux installations and the definitions of rolling updates/upgrades/need for fresh installs would be most appreciated!
Each linux distro is different, one of the fastest and least amount of problem linux installs I've had is with moonOS 3.0 I just installed it on my daughter and son inlaws pc as a dual boot this morning, from start to finish I had about 1 hr. into it. I also installed Ubuntu 9.04 on one of my spare drives just for testing, so I didn't do any tweaking to speak of, that took me about 45min. Then for more testing I installed Debian lenny then did a dist-upgrade to the testing branch squeeze and all total that took about 2hrs. For some reason I couldn't get squeeze to install from the cd.

Last night I started setting up the pc for my daughter, I partitioned the drive (a 500gb drive) with one primary partition of 150gb for windows with all the windows reboots and messing with the drivers, I think I have about 4+ hrs. just into the windows install. And they still have to replace all the photo backups and install their programs. I then set up two more partitions, one at about 100gb for the linux root/ and a 512mb partition for swap. The remaining free space was partitioned for sharing between OS's

My gamer runs windows xp and from start to finish to get it how I need it to be takes no less than 3 weeks so I know how you feel. But on the flip side the first time I installed Gentoo I had about 6 weeks into it to get it installed how I like. I say all this to show you that any OS can take some time to install but as a general rule window does take longer to install and tweak than linux. As for linux "come to a crawl and start falling apart like Windows does?" I have one of my pc's that run Debian sarge that I installed on it in October 2005 I have heard of servers having up to 3yrs without a reboot. My firewall, this is the uptime up 62 days, the last time before that was over 100 days. Unlike windows that needs to be rebooted at times just to clear and give back the ram memory. My advice is if you want to use/try linux then use it, don't go running back to window every time you have a little problem, if a problem does come up (and it will) work through the problem, that will help you learn more.
 
Old 10-18-2009, 07:07 AM   #19
Mulsiphix
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With a fresh install is there any form of program setting or OS setting data importing/exporting or is pretty much like Windows where you download all of the programs over again and one by one manually adjust their settings?

I am also curious if Linux requires a lot of tweaking once installed in order to suit the user or intended purpose of the machine. For windows I had to tweak the system to extreme optimal performance to get the best framerates out of games with visual settings applied to their maximum. I doubt I will be gaming at all under Linux but wonder if any/many of you spend lots of time tweaking Linux to your ideal of perfection based on your personal needs/intended use of the OS.

Any info on this or thoughts on my previous post concerning fresh installs/rolling updates/stand alone upgrades would be most appreciated =)
 
Old 10-18-2009, 07:24 AM   #20
Hangdog42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulsiphix
In Windows I have to backup all of my data, document all 150 to 200 programs I have installed, their settings, service listing (I disabled a lot of services I wasn't using to improve performance), and the ridiculous amount of tweaks I've made to the OS.
To be honest, that isn't a bad habit regardless of what OS you run. Backups are good, and even in Linux there are a few times I've been distracting my head wondering how I did something. If you run Linux as a server you end up doing a lot more tweaking than if you run it as a desktop system where you can simply shut off un-needed services.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulsiphix
It takes about three weeks to backup/document everything, install Windows, tweak it, reinstall all my programs, and then configure those programs.
On occasions where I've had to do a complete re-install, I'm usually back to a functional system in a day. Getting ALL of the software installed can take longer, but what lags is stuff I don't use very often. In comparing my full Linux re-installs (Slackware) to full Windows XP re-installs, I can honestly say, Slackware wins by a huge, and I mean HUGE, margin. Part of this is that I maintain my home directory on a separate partition, and since Linux programs maintain your personalizations in your home directory (usually), the hassle of re-customizing everything is largely gone. For example, I use Fluxbox fequently as my GUI and have heavily customized it to meet my tastes. When I did a fresh install of Slackware64 (upgrading from 32 bit Slackware wasn't an option), all of my Fluxbox customizations were right there. I just had to install Slackware64 and the GUI was good to go. Even if you just look at OS installs, with Slackware I can launch the installer and then go do something else. It doesn't bug me ever 5 minutes to click on something, it just goes ahead and installs stuff. And after it is done, there is exactly 1 round of upgrades to get to a fully patched system. In contrast, last time I installed XP I spent and entire day downloading all the "security" crapola from Microsoft and rebooting till my CPU begged for mercy.

Quote:
Over time will Linux come to a crawl and start falling apart like Windows does? I've been using Windows for well over a decade and, regardless of version, it always seems to degrade over a year or two to the point that I break down and reinstall it.
The short answer here is No. Windows problems in this regard stem largely from the registry, which (in my opinion) is the single worst idea ever in the entire history of computing. Linux doesn't have a registry, or anything like it. Linux is built in a much more modular fashion than Windows is, which means that when you upgrade something, you're generally working within a fairly constrained area and usually you can just restart that bit of the system instead of rebooting the whole OS. Unless you upgrade your kernel, there is almost never an upgrade related reason to reboot. On my server I went through many, many upgrades of Slackware without a clean re-install, and the system performance never suffered. The only time I did a clean install was when I added more disk space and it made sense to do a pretty thorough repartitioning.
 
Old 10-18-2009, 07:25 AM   #21
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To get a distro with a rolling release, there are probably 3 good ones in this category (I'll probably be flamed by missing someone's favorite). With these distros, you never need to reinstall, just keep them up to date.

Arch
Gentoo
Slackware-current

I've tried all of these and they each have their strong points. My personal favorite is Arch. I currently have it installed on my entire home network of 4 computers.

Slackware is more stable and safer than Slackware-current, but it uses discrete releases.

With Gentoo, you compile everything from source for your specific box. This takes a lot of time for installs/updates, but the resulting system is very optimised.

With Arch, you get rolling updates that are binary packages optimised for either i686 or X86-64. Or you can build your packages from source if you wish.

All of these will take more time to get to an initial level of productivity than some of the popular entry-level distros, like Ubuntu, Mandriva, Suse, or PCLinuxOS. But they will probably get you to the "guru" level much quicker because they involve you as a system administrator right from the get-go.

I could have also mentioned Debian Unstable, but I don't know it well enough to compare it to the others.

Everybody has preferences, and every distro is best for somebody. I pointed you to these specific ones based on your wish to avoid periodic re-installs.

You might try reading http://www.michaelhorowitz.com/Linux.vs.Windows.html for help in transitioning your thinking from Windows to Linux.
 
Old 10-18-2009, 07:35 AM   #22
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulsiphix View Post
In Windows I have to backup all of my data...
...a data backup is good, is always good, and I must make a new one right now... certainly make sure that you have a good one before you do anything major with your hard disk..

Quote:
document all 150 to 200 programs I have installed, their settings,
In Linux, services keep their configurations in /etc. If you have a backup of /etc, you have a backup of the configuration of all your services (how the services are set up, if they run, there is a slightly different question about whether they run, but I've never found that problematic something that causes much of a problem on a desktop). So, backup /etc.

User's personal files are kept in /home, and you'll have all you need for your own stuff right there.

If you want to make future upgrades easier, put your /home on a separate partition; you should still make a backup, but, if you don't do anything wrong, you shouldn't need to use it (but backups are good and you should still make one).

Quote:
...and the ridiculous amount of tweaks I've made to the OS.
Don't expect to make 'ridiculous' amounts of tweaks straight away...that would be ridiculous

Quote:
Windows right out of the box is slow, cluttered, geared for visual eyecandy at the cost of speed, and therefore requires a great deal of tweaking to get running right. I read a 180 page book dedicated to tweaking windows settings. It wasn't a published book either so every single page was full of tweaks and little chit chat. It takes about three weeks to backup/document everything, install Windows, tweak it, reinstall all my programs, and then configure those programs.

Don't expect exactly the same situation; there are things that you can do to alter how your system behaves, but
  • the biggest thing is the GUI (actually, the GUI is an option, so you could even choose not to have one, if that's your kind of thing); here you have a complete choice of gui and I'd advise you to start by trying KDE or Gnome; there are 'lighter' alternatives such as XFCE, LXDE, Enlightenment and others...but you'll know which gui you have chosen and you won't need a book of tweaks to tell you that this one is the right one for you when you come to re-install
  • probably the biggest difference you can make to how snappy your system feels is to use a lightweight GUI; this issue of the tradeoffs between an environment that has all the features to automate stuff in the background for you, has attractive eye-candy and has the ability to run snappily on slightly aged hardware is an interesting balancing act; even within GUIs like KDE, there are a number of options for turning miscellaneous eye candy on or off, and you can spend excessive amounts of time 'optimising', if that's what floats your boat
  • every distro has its own method for controlling which services you run; its easy enough to turn them on and off; for a few distros (none that I'd recommend to a newbie to Linux) fiddling with files in /etc is the way to do this; for most that you are likely to try, there will be a gui tool for this
  • mostly distros do a reasonable (but not perfect) job of configuring a sensible range of services; the one that I can think of that gets this wrong (IMNVHO) is the otherwise newbie-friendly Ubuntu; Ubuntu tends to run anything that you install, unless you intervene, whereas most distros take the 'its installed, now its up to you to decide whether you want to start it' point of view, which I find safer and clearer

Quote:
For me a fresh install is a nightemare in Windows. How does a fresh install in Linux go? Is it the same? Over time will Linux come to a crawl and start falling apart like Windows does? I've been using Windows for well over a decade and, regardless of version, it always seems to degrade over a year or two to the point that I break down and reinstall it. Any information on Linux installations and the definitions of rolling updates/upgrades/need for fresh installs would be most appreciated!
No, its not a nightmare. Remember that a Linux install sets up the most likely apps for you, if you select that you want them, so that having installed everything, you should be able to use the box straight after the install. Some are slower than others (OpenSuSE is particularly slow, but it gives you finer control over what you get than many; the Ubuntus are at the faster end of the spectrum, but I usually find that I need to go back over what is installed immediately afterwards, because you don't get a fine enough level of control for me; but then I tend to install much more than most people will do).

In general, slowing down to a crawl is something I've only seen once, and that's on a laptop that is running out of disk space, and I think that the disk space is the biggest issue rather than anything else, although it also could do with more memory, what with the heavier usage it is getting these days.

In some ways, I quite look forward to upgrades (on a laptop/desktop) because that's when I get the new stuff, and new stuff is shiny...
 
Old 10-18-2009, 07:36 AM   #23
Hangdog42
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Quote:
Slackware is more stable and safer than Slackware-current, but it uses discrete releases.
Not a flame, but a correction. Slackware-current isn't a "distro", but rather Slackware's testing environment. At some point, Slackware-current gets locked down and becomes the next discrete Slackware release, which in turn is the starting point for the next Slackware-current. Upgrading between discrete Slackware releases just means you missed out on all the development shenanigans. The upgrade process is largely the same.
 
Old 10-18-2009, 07:45 AM   #24
pixellany
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Record (broken) perhaps I am, but:

Time for you to install Linux now it is......Do it just!!!

(apologies to Yoda......)


Seriously, you will not get completely satisfactory answers to many of these questions until you actually try it. There is no OS that will meet the needs of a discriminating user out of the box. The good news with Linux is that the tweaks are pretty straightforward (Flashback---Registry---Arrrgh, someone wake me---quick..)
 
Old 10-18-2009, 08:13 AM   #25
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulsiphix View Post
For me a fresh install is a nightemare in Windows. How does a fresh install in Linux go? Is it the same?
In Linux (compared to Windows), more of your software will be installed through the distribution package manager and less through various downloads and CD's from all over with inconsistent install methods.

A Linux system probably will have some software installed by inconsistent methods. A Debian based distribution will need less of that than other Linux distributions.

So the chunk of a reinstall relating to getting all the same packages installed is far easier in Linux than in Windows.

Even the inconsistent install methods in Linux are less inconsistent than in Windows.

But duplicating all your setting and tweaks after a reinstall probably takes the same level of care (document what you've done) and effort as it does in Windows.

Quote:
Over time will Linux come to a crawl and start falling apart like Windows does?
No!

Linux is far better than Windows on both time scales of such issues:

1) Running a long time without reboot. Depending on how you use Windows, most systems will have resource leaks over time. After you have leaked enough resources you need to reboot to get them back. Linux OS resource leaks are almost non existent. It is very unlikely that your use of Linux will hit any OS resource leaks at all. Where I work, we have several Windows systems running very similar activities to several Linux systems. We have an auto reboot of each Windows system once a week to flush out the resource leaks and sometimes that isn't enough. We don't reboot the Linux systems. We moved most of them several months ago, and there are occasional reasons (never resource leaks) to reboot a Linux system, so we no longer have any Linux systems that are over a year since last reboot. But in the past, we usually had a few over a year since last reboot and they never had resource shortages from being up too long.

2) In use a long time without reinstall. Windows suffers from malware and FUD. Linux doesn't.

A) Malware: More of it is written for Windows. It is harder for an ordinary user to run Windows without constant admin rights, so malware has more opportunities to install itself.
The wide variety of install methods for add in software also brings in things I personally consider malware. I think most installed software ought to sit around as files on my hard drive until I use it. But too many software developers seem to assume their package will be the most important thing on my computer, so once it is installed it will start on every boot and wait in the background for me to want it and/or for it to decide to update itself.
That nonsense exsts in Linux as well, but far less often.

B) FUD: Much of the design of Windows is there intentionally to stop you from understanding how your computer works and stop you from being in control of your own computer. If you see a process running in your Windows system whose purpose you don't understand, you might try googling the name. You will certainly get hundreds of hits from third party services offering to sell you information about whether that process is harmful or helpful (I've never bought any of that info, so I can only guess it isn't worth the price). You probably won't get any helpful links telling you the actual function of the unknown process. In most cases, Microsoft or whoever else put that process there, actively doesn't want you to know.
That sort if thing in Linux is certainly not well documented. The intention of whoever put the process there and whoever tried to document it was that you should be able to understand why it is there and what it does. They just didn't have the effort level or skill needed to document it well. On the surface that may make the list of processes and OS modules in Linux just as mysterious as in Windows. But modest extra effort on your part with Google will show the difference.

The contents of the registry in Windows even more clearly demonstrates the intention to keep the user confused. Even armed with the best registry cleaners, it is almost impossible to keep your registry from filling up with crap that slows down your system.

In Linux, the setting are usually more obviously tied to the programs that use those settings. So as you add and remove programs, you are much less likely to accumulate obsolete settings. Also settings are in files that don't get into ram unless they are used (unlike the registry, where dead settings slow down the process of finding live settings and increase the amount of ram the OS must use for registry activities).

Bottom line: In Linux you are much less likely to accumulate processes and settings that you didn't intend to have. If you do accumulate a few, you will find it much easier to identify them; make a well informed decision about whether to remove them; cleanly and completely remove them if you so decide.

Accumulation of undesired processes and settings simply doesn't add up to a reason to reinstall Linux, the way it does Windows.
 
Old 10-18-2009, 09:39 AM   #26
onebuck
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by dickgregory View Post
To get a distro with a rolling release, there are probably 3 good ones in this category (I'll probably be flamed by missing someone's favorite). With these distros, you never need to reinstall, just keep them up to date.

Arch
Gentoo
Slackware-current

I've tried all of these and they each have their strong points. My personal favorite is Arch. I currently have it installed on my entire home network of 4 computers.

Slackware is more stable and safer than Slackware-current, but it uses discrete releases.
<snip>
Quote:
excerpt from 'rolling release';

In software development, a rolling release approach refers to a continuously developing software system, as opposed to one with versions that must be reinstalled over the previous versions. It is one of many types of software release life cycles.

A rolling release is typically implemented using small and frequent updates. However, simply having updates does not automatically mean that a piece of software is using a rolling release cycle; to qualify as a rolling release, the philosophy of developers must be to work with one code branch, as opposed to discrete versions.
The first two in your list meets this definition but Slackware-current doesn't. Slackware -current is a testing tree that hopefully will mature to a stable release over time. The is no release for Slackware -current, it's continuously in flux to make corrections whenever necessary for software changes or implementations. This includes anything from simple applications to support drivers under test. The test bed is varied over time because the upstream changes to software that is introduce to -current. Slackware 'stable' is just that a stable release to the public. Sure there will be security and possible software changes but those are addressed when the snake pops it's head up. Slackware release is stable. Not more stable -than current because each has it's purpose which is independent of the other.

Some Slackware users like living on the edge therefore they maintain a '-current' system but not on a production machine. They use it for 'testing' and feedback to the Slackware team.

I for one support Slackware but in a different manner. My giving back is via LQ forums.
 
Old 10-18-2009, 07:15 PM   #27
chrism01
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Just to clarify an important point, as mentioned, Linux doesn't have a central registry. Each program comes with its own flat text cfg file, so trivial to read (understanding is another qn ) and backup/restore if reqd.
The system tends to be very stable and not accumulate cruft nearly as easily as MS, especially if you stick to the approved software repositories, as accessed by you package mgr, normally via a GUI.
Linux is based on Unix, thus designed to be multi-user capable and secure by design and to be a server OS, thus typically having very long uptimes.
As an example, the NY Stock Exchange runs RHEL (Redhat Enterprise Linux) and the London Stock Exchange recently decided to switch from MS to Linux.
The free version is Centos; updates for 5-7 yrs.

As above, you put your /home dir on a separate partition, thus enabling you to do major upgrades without affecting any settings therein.
Tweaking is up to you, you may find a system (aka distro) that suits you perfectly or you may decide to customise. Most people do a bit.
You also have access to the src code for ALL sw, so you can finally see what's going on and contribute if you want.

Remember, Linux is not MS http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm so a different mindset is reqd and you will go from being a guru to a neophyte for a while.
Just pace yourself and you'll get there.

The built-in cmd line language is called the shell, and the most common/default on Linux is bash:
http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz
http://tldp.org/LDP/Bash-Beginners-G...tml/index.html

Most things can be done from the GUI, but a power user understands the shell; it's just faster and more efficient for a lot of stuff, almost anything can be automated (scripted).
Speaking of which, Perl is also part of the std install and is more powerful, kind of a halfway house between bash and C.
http://perldoc.perl.org/
http://www.perlmonks.org/?node=Tutorials
(Personally I'm a fan, but its a subjective thing, see next sentence)

You'll find the big thing is choice; of versions (aka distros), languages, editors, web servers etc, etc

Welcome to LQ

Last edited by chrism01; 10-18-2009 at 08:24 PM.
 
Old 10-18-2009, 08:01 PM   #28
Mulsiphix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrism01 View Post
Most things acan be done from the GUI, but a power user understands the shell; it's jsut faster and more efficient for a lot of stuff, almost anything can be automated (scripted).
Speaking of which, Perl is also part of the std install and is more powerful, kind of a halfway house between bash and C.
This is a subject I am very curious about. There are two books coming out that I plan to buy for help learning linux and as general offline reference material (Practical Guide To Linux... & Linux Bible), both of which are the 2009 editions that will be released in November and December. The first book apparently has coverage of Perl. I'm curious as to what role Perl plays in Linux? Is it just the preferred programming language for software developers or would learning Perl really help me complete my Linux knowledge/capabilities?
 
Old 10-18-2009, 08:32 PM   #29
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulsiphix View Post
This is a subject I am very curious about. There are two books coming out that I plan to buy for help learning linux and as general offline reference material (Practical Guide To Linux... & Linux Bible), both of which are the 2009 editions that will be released in November and December. The first book apparently has coverage of Perl. I'm curious as to what role Perl plays in Linux? Is it just the preferred programming language for software developers or would learning Perl really help me complete my Linux knowledge/capabilities?
I have been setting up Linux systems for well over 5 years, and I have never learned PERL---nor have I ever seen a PERL script.

PERL is just another programming language...

What is particular to Linux--or to any OS--is the shell language, ie what you use in the terminal. The most common is BASH, but there are a few others. Learning BASH is a definite benefit in the day to day use and maintenance of a Linux box. I don't think there is ever a day that I don't use the terminal for something.

I'm going to repeat my earlier advice: You REALLY need to install Linux and start using it. Some of the things we have been discussing will start being MUCH clearer.
 
Old 10-18-2009, 08:37 PM   #30
chrism01
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Well, as I said, the built-in cmd line env uses the shell (usually bash for Linux) and this is an interpreted lang, basically the std cmds put into a script file eg something.sh.
Kind of equiv on DOS batch files, possibly MS Powershell (never seen that though).

Perl is compiled on the fly (http://www.perl.com/doc/FMTEYEWTK/comp-vs-interp.html for gory details) and is a complete lang. Think C, but you can treat it as a script lang.

bash is slow(er), but you need to know those cmds anyway.

Perl is roughly 80-90% speed of C, but much easier because you don't have to declare a var as a particular data type, and all arrays are sized on demand, so you don't have to worry about going off the end.
Similarly 'strings' in Perl are a type known as scalar (any single value eg int, float, char, 'string') and again are sized on demand.
(3 basic var types: scalar, array, hash. You can stack those for complex rec structures)

Basically, it tries to give you the power of C, without needing to worry about the fiddly details that get in the way of thinking about the actual prob you are trying to solve.
Have a look at those links, they define/describe Perl by example. Especially see the tutorial links at the first site.

A lot of sysadmin stuff has been written in Perl, it can talk to DBs, use sockets etc. There's a lot of O'Reilly Perl books, even a dedicated 'Perl for Sysadmins' book.

However, as I said, Linux is all about choice.
BTW, a lot of FOSS sw, inc Perl, runs on MS as well, so you can try them out there.

HTH
 
  


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