LinuxQuestions.org
Review your favorite Linux distribution.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 01-27-2005, 08:20 PM   #1
Octavius
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Posts: 4

Rep: Reputation: 0
Stupid newbie questions


Hi I'm like to try linux but I don't really know anything about it. I've tried reading some thngs but they just sound confusing. It's like they use certain words that linux specific and expect everyone to know what it means.

So here are my questions

1. Does all linux software run on all distributions? Or is every linux distribution considered a new operating system which requires it's own software?

2. Same as question 1 but in regards to hardware drivers.

3. What is KDE and why does it seem to show up in every distribution. Is it part of linux?

4. Why are there different distributions? Why doesn't everybody just work together to create one killer easy to use desktop OS like mozilla does with the firefox browser? Seems like everyone would get a lot farther and it would be easier to understand for people like myself.

5. Does anyone build any real killer apps for linux? I notice alot of stuff that seems like a rip off of photoshop or office or something but I can't seem to find anything really full featured and easy to use like you can on windows and mac OS. Can you point me to some software like that? I'm most interested in media software like video editing, photo editing/organizing, music recording/playback, and DVD creation.

6. Do you need to know command line stuff to use linux?

Thanks. Sorry for all the questions. I know some are probably really dumb to all of you, but like I said I'm a complete newbie.
 
Old 01-27-2005, 08:40 PM   #2
musicman_ace
Senior Member
 
Registered: May 2001
Location: Indiana
Distribution: Gentoo, Debian, RHEL, Slack
Posts: 1,555

Rep: Reputation: 46
FYI: You didn't tell us which distro(s) you might be interested in.

1. It should, but dependancies will be the key. If your compiling the program, then it will work on any distro assuming the dependancies are in place. If your using a certain distro's package (like rpm), then it will most likely work, but there is no guarentee. RPMs are most likely to work. If your trying to install .deb(debian) or .tgz(slackware) onto other distros, I'm not sure it will work as planned. Since RPM is the unofficial standard, I'm willing to bet they'll work.
Most distros will tell you that they are based off of another, so Redhat Package Managment works on Mandrake/fedora/redhat and many more.

2. Hardware "drivers" are supported in the kernel, so all distros are capable of supporting the same hardware. You may have to compiling a module or build the driver into the kernel in order to gain support. Also, newer hardware is going to require a more recent kernel release and possibly a pre-release of the stable kernel tree in order to work.

3. What is KDE and why does it seem to show up in every distribution. KDE is not part of linux. Linux refers to the kernel only. KDE is a software package and is one of several Window Managers. It is probably the most Microsoft like Window Manager and has a great number of administrative tools. It also consumes computer resources and can slow down your computer. I use KDE on suse(desktop), and gnome on slack(servers). KDE and Gnome are packaged on every distrobution I have ever tried, and most distrobutions I've tried have KDE set to the default. Gnome is just as good, but I got used to KDE before trying Gnome.

4. There are many distros because there are many flavors of ice cream. If we all liked vanilla, then we would all be using redhat. Vanilla is boring and needs some flare, so people create distros with more flare. If you want a "killer distro" create it yourself, otherwise try all the distros and keep your favorite.

5. Search sourceforge.net for killer apps. Every app I install is killer when I compare it to the MS alternative. If your looking for a specific type of app, post it and we'll try to find the alternative. Some apps are just as good as the MS alternative. GIMP can compete with photoshop, K3B with nero or Roxio, Xine with any media player I've seen on windows.
For the software you listed,
photo editing = GIMP
music recording/playback = XMMS
DVD creation = depends on the meaning of creation.

6. You have greater control over the system if you know your commandline. Even when doing things like burning CD/DVDs.

Last edited by musicman_ace; 01-27-2005 at 08:41 PM.
 
Old 01-27-2005, 08:45 PM   #3
Hangdog42
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Maryland
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 7,803
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 416Reputation: 416Reputation: 416Reputation: 416Reputation: 416
Welcome to LQ!

Here is my rip at your questions:

1) Pretty much all linux software will run on all distros. The issue tends to be that different distros have different libraries installed so resolving dependencies can vary. That is what makes programs like apt-get from Debian so popular. There are some programs that won't run on certain distros (just ask a Slackware user about Gnucash) but they are the vast minority.

2)Drivers are a lot like software in that by and large they all run on all distros. That said, sometimes distros will configure things that can make life difficult for a particular driver

3)Unlike Windows where the GUI is the OS, in Linux you can have a variety of different GUIs on top of the OS and KDE is one of those. Others are Gnome, Fluxbox, XFCE, etc....... If you do a little searching you'll find that there are literally dozens of GUIs for you to choose from. KDE tends to be popular because it if very full featured and has a very nice selection of eye candy. That said, some of the more stripped down interfaces like Fluxbox are noticibly faster. However, KDE will seem reasonably familiar to a Windows user. Strictly speaking the only thing that is "Linux" is the kernel itself.

4) Well, variety is actually one of the strengths of Linux. It may seem chaotic at first but when you get into it you'll find that the variety is actually a good thing. A lot of ideas get tested out that might get lost if everyone were working on a single distro.

5) That depends on how you define killer app. For me, Apache is a killer app, to someone else, its just another server. Windows and Mac software does tend to be more polished, but there are few programs in Windows or Mac that don't have a Linux equivalent. It may not be quite as good, but the majority of them are close. I can't give you and video editing tips, but you may have a look at what is available on Sourceforge.

6)With some of the more GUI-centered distros (Mandrake, Red Hat, Suse) you will rarely have to touch the command line. However, speaking as a user of the most command-line centric distro out there (Slackware), you'll find that the command line is nowhere near as scary as it sounds. In fact once you get the hang of it, you can do things faster and easier with the command line than in the GUI.
 
Old 01-27-2005, 08:47 PM   #4
BajaNick
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: So. Cal.
Distribution: Slack 11
Posts: 1,737

Rep: Reputation: 46
1. Yes most Linux software runs on any distro Except the specific window manager programs, Like If a program is for gnome only, Or kde only but sometimes they work anyway.

2. Yes, Most drivers work but make sure you check out the HCL (Hardware Compatiblity List) to make sure your hardware is supported.

3. KDE is a Desktop Window Environment, One of the many GUI`s available for Linux. It is pretty popular and has lots of features but uses more resources than the others.

4. Customizability? There are different Distros for different uses possibly or levels of use, I dont know exactly.

5. There are comparable apps. for Linux. I dont know off the top of my head as far as video editing goes. Just do a google search or maybe someone can lead you in that direction.

6. In Linux, It is very helpful to use the command line but you dont have to. For installing programs its almost a necessity, for me at least cuz I find it much easier than using a gui.

 
Old 01-27-2005, 08:48 PM   #5
BajaNick
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: So. Cal.
Distribution: Slack 11
Posts: 1,737

Rep: Reputation: 46
Dammit! Both of you posted replies while I was writing my reply.
 
Old 01-27-2005, 09:02 PM   #6
musicman_ace
Senior Member
 
Registered: May 2001
Location: Indiana
Distribution: Gentoo, Debian, RHEL, Slack
Posts: 1,555

Rep: Reputation: 46
Talking

Quote:
Originally posted by BajaNick
Dammit! Both of you posted replies while I was writing my reply.
commandline junkies type fast
 
Old 01-27-2005, 09:06 PM   #7
JaseP
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jun 2002
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Distribution: K/Ubuntu 12.04/14.04, Scientific Linux 6.3/6.4, Android-x86, Pretty much all distros at one point...
Posts: 1,799

Rep: Reputation: 157Reputation: 157
Re: Stupid newbie questions

Quote:
Originally posted by Octavius
Hi I'm like to try linux but I don't really know anything about it. I've tried reading some thngs but they just sound confusing. It's like they use certain words that linux specific and expect everyone to know what it means.

So here are my questions

1. Does all linux software run on all distributions? Or is every linux distribution considered a new operating system which requires it's own software?
Pretty much. The only exceptions tend to be the utility tools for configuring your distribution. They are often different. SuSE, for example, uses YAST. Mandrake has tools like harddrake, etc. All software that is released for Linux as open source can be compiled for any other distribution, provided you meet all the dependencies. Sometimes you must compile a program specifically for your distribution if it's package format is not supporte by your distro. RPM based distros, like RedHat, Fedora, SuSE and Mandrake use the redhat package manager format. Debian based distros use the debian package format. Tools like Apt-get have made this a little less of an issue.

Quote:
2. Same as question 1 but in regards to hardware drivers.
If your hardware is supported, you may have to compile driver modules for it, but usually, most distros will support it right out of the box. I recommend an nVidia card for 3D video, by the way, their driver support is best.

Quote:
3. What is KDE and why does it seem to show up in every distribution. Is it part of linux?
It is a Window Managing Environment, much like the GUI that Windoze uses. Alternative ones include Gnome, Enlightenment, fvwm, etc. It's recommended to have both Gnome and KDE installed, especially for newbies. You can switch back and forth for the most part, and software for one can run within the other for the most part.

Quote:
4. Why are there different distributions? Why doesn't everybody just work together to create one killer easy to use desktop OS like mozilla does with the firefox browser? Seems like everyone would get a lot farther and it would be easier to understand for people like myself.
Because there is infinite diversity in infinite combinations (like Star Trek's IDIC). Having different distros is a strength, not a weakness. One can be tailored for ease of use, another for servers, another for specialty use. Each distro publisher pushes the envelope and inspires competition. Because the software is open source, no one can have a monopoly, and each can build on the other's success.

While ease of use is a goal, it is not the only goal. Linux is and needs to be multiscalar. It runs on everything from supercomputers to handhelds. It is not M$. Linux is like water, it will expand and contract to fill the available resources. One distro is not the answer.

That said,... most distros are so much alike that switching between them is not an issue. I have switched distros several times to no ill effect.

Quote:
5. Does anyone build any real killer apps for linux? I notice alot of stuff that seems like a rip off of photoshop or office or something but I can't seem to find anything really full featured and easy to use like you can on windows and mac OS. Can you point me to some software like that? I'm most interested in media software like video editing, photo editing/organizing, music recording/playback, and DVD creation.
OpenOffice.org is fully featured office software. It includes features that aren't even present on M$ Office XPee. BlueFish is great for creating web pages. The nice thing is you have choice and are not locked in. You can switch tools at a whim. Plus, there are Linux versions for a lot of software as well... all you need to do is search for them.

Quote:
6. Do you need to know command line stuff to use linux?
Not necessarily, but it certainly helps. To get the most out of the operating system, a working knowledge of the basic command line commands like;
ls, cd, cp, rm, chmod, etc.
is recommended.

Technically, Linux is only the OS,... not the GUI, not the configuration tools,... only the kernel. It's closer to the relationship between the old DOS and Windoze 3.11, only all the software is 32 (or true 64) bit software.

It works like this:
Linux = the Linux kernel
Graphics system = X, the X-server, either XFree86 or Xorg
GUI = KDE, Gnome, fvwm or any of a host of others.

Quote:
Thanks. Sorry for all the questions. I know some are probably really dumb to all of you, but like I said I'm a complete newbie.
The only dumb question is the one that is not asked...
 
Old 01-27-2005, 10:33 PM   #8
Octavius
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Posts: 4

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Thanks guys. Some of that is helpful, some of it just sounds like programmer talk again. What's compiling?

Why can't linux just be easier to use so it can replace windows without having to learn anything new?

I guess different distributions makes sense. Each has it's own purpose, that's cool. But why is that really. I mean windows and MacOS can be a webserver, used for editing and organizing photos, playing games or as a big 3D render farm. And it's all easy to use and understand. Is linux just not powerful enough to do all that in one distribution?

Last edited by Octavius; 01-27-2005 at 10:38 PM.
 
Old 01-27-2005, 10:57 PM   #9
PennyroyalFrog
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Michigan
Distribution: Gentoo 2006.1
Posts: 107

Rep: Reputation: 15
Some people say Linux is easier than Windows. To some degree I agree with that and some i don't. As you don't have to deal with spyware, malware, etc. And if somebody never touched a computer before and you gave them Linux to play around with, they'd probably learn at the same speed they would learning Windows. People forget that we all had to LEARN Windows (at least those who have ever used Windows

Some parts are more complicated for good reasons. A couple that I can think of is power over your computer and security. The easier you make things the less control you're going to have over what you want your system to do. As for security, you almost always sacrifice convenience for secuirty. An easy example of that would be logging in to check your email. Yea, it's a pain to enter your password everytime you want to read your email, but it's better than anybody being able to just login to your email account and reading it.
 
Old 01-27-2005, 11:45 PM   #10
musicman_ace
Senior Member
 
Registered: May 2001
Location: Indiana
Distribution: Gentoo, Debian, RHEL, Slack
Posts: 1,555

Rep: Reputation: 46
Quote:
Originally posted by Octavius
What's compiling?
Compiling is taking the programmers source code and creating the "Binary" which is the installation file , the windows "Setup.exe" type file. You use the make command to make it and then install the Binary file you created.

Typically for a simple program, you would do this

./configure
make
make install


You can add parameters to ./configure to install to new directories or sometimes add funcionality.
like

./configure --prefix=/new/directory/I/created
 
Old 01-27-2005, 11:52 PM   #11
Octavius
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Posts: 4

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Wow man. Forget that. I'll just keep using Windows. I need to be able to edit video and organized photos. I don't need to program a rocket. It's hard enough doing taxes and all the other complicated stuff in life then to have to mess with that.

Thank's anyway though, you guys been helpful, really. But it's not for me. I just need something that works out of the box.
 
Old 01-27-2005, 11:58 PM   #12
musicman_ace
Senior Member
 
Registered: May 2001
Location: Indiana
Distribution: Gentoo, Debian, RHEL, Slack
Posts: 1,555

Rep: Reputation: 46
Quote:
Originally posted by Octavius
Wow man. Forget that. I'll just keep using Windows.... I just need something that works out of the box.

Anyone else find that statement a little funny

I haven't seen a MS product work "out of the box" since DOS.
 
Old 01-27-2005, 11:59 PM   #13
btmiller
Senior Member
 
Registered: May 2004
Location: In the DC 'burbs
Distribution: Arch, Scientific Linux, Debian, Ubuntu
Posts: 4,284

Rep: Reputation: 371Reputation: 371Reputation: 371Reputation: 371
Quote:
Originally posted by Octavius
Thanks guys. Some of that is helpful, some of it just sounds like programmer talk again. What's compiling?

Why can't linux just be easier to use so it can replace windows without having to learn anything new?


Why doesn't everybody in the world learn English, so you don't have the inconveniance of having to get by in another language when you travel? This isn't meant to be a snide answer (honest ). Linux is different from Windows. I personally find it easier to use because I've used it for nearly five years now and am used to it. Think about it a minute ... is Windows truly easy to use, or are you just used to it? Anyhow, if Linux was just like Windows, it would have all the strengths and weaknesses of Windows, in which case you may as well just use Windows. Linux, as a Unix clone, comes from a different OS heritage that is very sucessful in its own right (arguably Unix is more sucessful than Windows). There's no fundamental reason for it to change to be just like Windows.

Quote:
I guess different distributions makes sense. Each has it's own purpose, that's cool. But why is that really. I mean windows and MacOS can be a webserver, used for editing and organizing photos, playing games or as a big 3D render farm. And it's all easy to use and understand. Is linux just not powerful enough to do all that in one distribution?
There are general purpose distros like Fedora and Slackware that function equally well as servers and desktops. The main point is there is no authority that controls Windows like Microsoft does. So people create what they want to create with the Linux kernel and free software. There's no right or wrong way about it -- people simply like having a choice, much like the flavors of ice cream mentioned above.
 
Old 01-28-2005, 12:23 AM   #14
Octavius
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2005
Posts: 4

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Well guys. I'm not a windows junkie or anything. Hence the reason I'm here.

But I guess from what I know so far this sentence pretty much sums it up.

Quote:
Anyhow, if Linux was just like Windows, it would have all the strengths and weaknesses of Windows, in which case you may as well just use Windows.
So why should windows users like myself who don't want the fuse of linux bother switching?
MacOSX is not windows. But it's just as easy to use.

You can't tell me that having to remember commands to compile and install a program is just as easy as clicking an icon and having the program be installed. Who's going to learn all those commands? I guess you guys are but not the rest of the world. We don't care enough. We have enough complicated things to concern ourselves with in life. If linux wants to come into it's own on a desktop of the average person it needs to become more userfriendly. KISS (keep it simple stupid). Why can't it be simple and incredibly secure/stable at the same time?
 
Old 01-28-2005, 12:29 AM   #15
musicman_ace
Senior Member
 
Registered: May 2001
Location: Indiana
Distribution: Gentoo, Debian, RHEL, Slack
Posts: 1,555

Rep: Reputation: 46
You may never have to compile anything. SusE 9.2 comes with over 5000 applications. There should be something there to work with.

And if you can't find an app native to linux, there are window's emulators for you to use your windows programs. Now they don't support every windows program, but popular ones
--

You also get help. Cause if you start asking me NT/2000/XP questions, I'm going to charge you an arm and a leg. However, linux knowledge is free.

Last edited by musicman_ace; 01-28-2005 at 12:31 AM.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Stupid Newbie Questions PapaSmurf88 Mandriva 4 05-21-2005 01:09 PM
I'm a stupid Newbie and I need help dleo Linux - Newbie 4 06-16-2004 03:29 PM
Stupid Newbie Questions Part 3 LouisTheDamned Linux - Newbie 9 04-07-2004 09:34 PM
Some general, stupid newbie questions... figgypower Linux - Newbie 1 08-20-2003 08:56 PM
stupid newbie questions about linux retroman Linux - Newbie 3 03-24-2003 03:40 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:42 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration