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Old 10-11-2004, 11:43 AM   #1
Waxy
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Registered: Oct 2004
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Question What is Linux???



OK, i exaggerated a bit with the subject.


(For home - not professional - use)

I've never been around any UNIX/Linux based OS. but i'm tired of
upgrading Windows, customizing it, it getting phased out, and having to
pay $$ to buy the next version and start all over again.


Can linux be the OS that i can just install and forget about?

How compatable is Linux software with other Linux flavors?

how do i hear about security update patches for new Trojans/hacks that
are out?

What kind of Linux flavor is best for point-n-click windows style?

can i install Linux on my secondary 3GB HD and use a boot menu of some
kind to choose between my windows and my linux?

Where can i find a step-by-step "how-to" on installing and using the flavor
of Linux you recommend?

Thank you in advance for helping someone else shun MicroSuck... er ... Microsoft.


-Waxy
 
Old 10-11-2004, 11:54 AM   #2
djhoppy
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Linux is a kernel not an operating system...
 
Old 10-11-2004, 11:55 AM   #3
djhoppy
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It is the base that people build the OS from. I like suse 9.1 live it is the easiest to install
 
Old 10-11-2004, 12:33 PM   #4
qwijibow
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Quote:
Can linux be the OS that i can just install and forget about?
Yes... if you dont update, then you may miss out on the latest shade of blue that all the up2date kids are uing on there window title bars... but do you care about that ? maybe not

Quote:
How compatable is Linux software with other Linux flavors?
completely... any program will install on any distro... however some distro's try to make it easyer by using what they call packages.. some packages are specific to a set of flavours, (for example Redhat Package Manager packages (RPM) willl only work on Redhat, Mandrake, Suse, etc etc.

but ignoreing that... any Linux program can be installed on any flavour (commomly called a Distro)

Quote:
how do i hear about security update patches for new Trojans/hacks that
are out?
websittes like this one (see the security section)
slashdot.org
linux.com

but you dont have to worry (unless you are planning on running a webserver from home)

Linux is 99.999% virus free. unless you do somthing really stupid like give an untrused file like an email attachment root access, then you will not get a virus / trojan / worm.

just dont login as root unless you need to perform major systemwide adjustments... and even then, login as root, perform changes, logout.

Quote:
What kind of Linux flavor is best for point-n-click windows style?
Most Linux Distro's use the same Desktop environments (usually KDE). so any of them really.... but some distro's go a little bit further to make it extra easy for windows users.. distro's like Mandrake, SuSE or Linspire (Linspire is not free)

Quote:
can i install Linux on my secondary 3GB HD and use a boot menu of some
kind to choose between my windows and my linux?
EEEEASY ! search this forum for theads on Dual Booting.... Most Linux distro's will automatically setup dual booting for you. basically, this mens when you power on your machine you get a graphical menu (just after the bios screen) letting you choose whiich OS to boot.

Quote:
Where can i find a step-by-step "how-to" on installing and using the flavor
of Linux you recommend?
at the distro's website....
mandrake.org / suse.com / whatever.

but its not as hard as it sued to be years ago..
you download somthing called a cd image (a file that ends in .iso) then you use a cd writer (like nero {demo version}) to burn a cd-image (not a regular data cd), then you insert the cd, reboot the computer, (selecting cd-rom as a boot device) and you get a graphical install rpogram a but like WIndows-XP installer.

Quote:
Thank you in advance for helping someone else shun MicroSuck... er ... Microsoft.
your welcome.
 
Old 10-11-2004, 12:35 PM   #5
ylawayjdp
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Yeah I would go for suse 9.1 pro. You can usually find the disc's through google. The great thing about suse 9.1 (pro or personal) is that it has an update tool which changes color when a new update is released. These are usually security releases that people have found but it is also an update tool for actual programs when SUSE update to the latest stable release. That way your PC is always up to date for free!
Think you might have to pay for the Pro disc's as I have only found the home user disc's on the SUSE website but if you do not wish to spend hours downloading there are people selling the Cd's and DVD versions of pro on on line auction sites and other websites I think http://distrowatch.com has them for sale.
J
 
Old 10-11-2004, 12:35 PM   #6
Basslord1124
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If you wish to step into Linux...do a little bit of basic research 1st...particularly installation and how much different it is than Windows. As for distribution...I think as a newbie you will hear common ones such as Red Hat, Fedora, and Mandrake. Ubuntu (I think that's right) is a new distribution geared at making an easy to use version of Linux. I've never tried it myself but the others mentioned will work just as good too.

Linux has updates and such with it too....of course probably not to the extent of MS. Most Linux updates don't even have to make you reboot the system which is nice...that always bugged me Windows. Compatibility...well that depends on your distribution sometimes.

Linux can fit on a 3GB HDD...and as for dual booting, it can be done...don't ask me to help though.

And one last thing from me...when you do get Linux installed and running...take it easy! Do little bits with it at a time. If not, you will overwhelm yourself and give up.
 
Old 10-11-2004, 02:55 PM   #7
Komakino
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Registered: Feb 2004
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Why not download Knoppix if you have broadband. It runs straight from the CD so you can try it out before you decide to actually install a distro. Just be prepared for the occasional issue in getting some hardware to work - mainly modems. Modern ADSL modems aren't usually a problem though.

You WILL run into problems, but persevere and don't be afraid to ask for help. We were all newbies once!
 
Old 10-11-2004, 03:00 PM   #8
plnelson
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Speaking as a Linux newbie myself (professionally I'm a Windows sw engineer, and an HPUX (Unix) sw engineer in the 1980's) , the big thing you have to get used to with Linux is:

1. You can't avoid getting geeky with it.

2. It's more anarchic than Windows.

By #1 what I mean is that my mother-in-law and my dentist and my sister have all bought Dell or Gateway PC's running Wndows and had them up and running and using them happily without ever talking to a geek. None of them know what a "directory" or "folder" is or a "driver" or what "source code" is. None of them have a clue what a filename extension is. Nor do they need to.

. . . until something breaks, that is. The myth that Windows can be used by non-geeks collapses the minute something goes wrong. And sooner or later somethng WILL go wrong with Windows because it's so fragile. And then sometimes even an uber-geek can't straighten it out. I have a Toshiba laptop running XP that hangs at random when attached to USB devices. It's been back to Tohiba once so far, and I've been experimenting with it for months, and we have NO IDEA what's wrong! I can't imagine what my mother in law would do!

Linux assumes you're a geek to start with, or that you have access to one. As you've seen with the thread below about installation concepts, even something as simple as installing a common browser (Mozilla Firefox under KDE) is fraught with complications, wheras I've install exactly the same Browser on 3 Windows PC's at home and one at work and each time it was automagical.

By #2 what I mean is that there's no OS to enforce a common methodology for anything. Linux isn't really an OS - it's a kernel with a lot of stuff hung off it. And that stuff is different for each distro. Windows tries to take over everything. So the Windows OS owns the kernel, the GUI, the graphics, the media, the application-registration, etc. One good thing about that is that once you learn Windows concepts everything will look the same on every Windows PC you encounter. On Linux, the ONLY thing that two Linux systems need to have in common is the kernel and that's very small. So depending on the distro, the window manager / desktop environment and the applications that are installed, when you switch Linuxes you could feel like you're on a whole new OS! Another good thing about Windows that is that every Windows application can be written to a common environment. That's also the bad thing about it because it makes it impossible to port Windows to other devices, whereas Linux can run cell phones and cameras and PDA's and TV settop boxes, etc.

Bottom line: Linux assumes more geekiness when it's running well, but Windows turns geeky real fast when it crashes, which it does more often than Linux. If cost is your #1 priority you can't beat Linux. If you LIKE to mess around under the hood Linux is a goldmine. If you DON'T want to deal with files and directories and permissions, and scripts and other propellor-head stuff avoid it like the plague. If you want an OS that's highly reliable AND not very geeky I suggest the Mac, allthough it's not cheap.
 
Old 10-11-2004, 07:55 PM   #9
AnanthaP
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While plnelson raises some good points about MS, Linux and Mac, that should be in a different thread. It isn't anarchic, its choice.

Formally Linux may be just a kernel but to me it is a kernel plus lots of programs and shells that are bundled as a distribution and could completely replace DOS/W9x/NT .. (OS es mind) on an x86 box.

So it is an OS.

It has got a few applications and if you are tired of customising, upgrading, paying out dollars to MS or to another company, Linux is today's best. Most of it is free and you don't really need to be a geek to get it running. Today some companies and vendors will load Linux out of the box for you (in place of Windows). Beyond that you still need a "geek" whether it is windows or Linux.

As a home user one will find all the apps but you got to choose one that fits your distro, GUI (yes you got a choice of GUIs) and budget.

End
 
Old 10-12-2004, 04:03 AM   #10
theYinYeti
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Linux can be the thing you install and leave it as is. But you won't want that
When you have Linux, you'll want to upgrade with the latest and greatest, because:
- Linux development is moving very fast
- and Linux upgrading is free

Yves.
 
Old 10-12-2004, 04:28 AM   #11
bigjohn
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Both AnanthaP and theYinYeti are correct IMO. The only thing is to try and use the terms linux when refering to the kernel and distro when refering to the system that you've actually got installed.

It makes replying/answering questions a lot clearer. Plus with that in mind, especially with RPM based distros i.e. Redhat/fedora, SuSE, Mandrake, etc etc I've found it best to only use rpm's that are optimised for your particular distribution, as it makes it so much less likely that you'd end up with dependency problems, similar to what you can get if you try to install a SuSE rpm in mandrake or redhat/fedora.

Sure it can be done, but it makes installing things a lot easier/straightforward.

Hope that helps some.

regards

John
 
Old 10-12-2004, 08:24 AM   #12
plnelson
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One important factor that has prevented me from switching entirely to Linux
is the lack of certain professional quality applications.

A good example for me (Studio Nelson )
is Photoshop. The strongest photo editing tool Linux has is GIMP. GIMP is
in about the same category as Photoshop Elements or Paintshop Pro - a good
tool for advanced amateurs or very light duty professional work, but still well
short of the power and feature set of Adobe Photoshop CS.

Despite Microsoft's best efforts, the world of the future will almost certainly be
heterogeneous. My current network is a mixed Windows/Linux environment.
I recently bought a Toshiba Windows laptop that's turned out to be a real
lemon. So I'm considering replacing it with an Apple ('cause I need to run
Photoshop), which means I'll have 3 different OSes on my little network here.
The point being that there's no one OS that can do it all.
 
Old 10-12-2004, 09:13 AM   #13
qwijibow
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Unless ofcourse the Wine Project ever reaches full 100% working 100% api replacement for windowsXP / 2K / LongHorn.
it COULD happen... maybe not any time soon... but maybe one day ?
 
Old 10-12-2004, 10:33 AM   #14
Waxy
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Registered: Oct 2004
Posts: 3

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Thanks for the input guys.

I'll probrably go with SuSe and install it on my next day off ylawayjdp &
djhoppy, it was also recomended by Popular Science BTW.

Big Hairy Baboon - er, i mean Quijibow ( 2 bart simpson) it'd be nice
if such a platform were made, how ever if they ever did make it
then the first thing microsoft would do IMO is imeadiatly come out
with a new OS that makes the previous 3 obselete ( @ Microsuck).
And thanks for the breakdown you gave to my first post.


Basslord1124, tks for the advice, but when it comes to me and computers
i allways jump in with both feet, panic, pull some hair, cry for help, work on fixing it
lose sleep, kick the tower, and eventualy realize i missed something increadably
simple and obvious.

Komakino - i'll go with an install instead of a boot dummy because there are already
several things it'll come in very handy for. like America's Army (even though i know
linux isn't the best for games)


Thanks guys.
i'll post again some time and let you know how it went.


PS: Komakino - nice siggy. btw, eye kan't cpell. LOL
 
Old 10-13-2004, 03:02 AM   #15
Waxy
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Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh i like what i'm seeing about this Wine project
on the net.
Tks Qwijibo.
 
  


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