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Old 05-24-2005, 02:01 PM   #1
richardblade
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Can i have some opinions on what linux is about and the advantages over windows?


Howdy.

I am new to the world of linux and am hoping that i can ask a few questions. I have used pcs for a while, and have got fed up with various things about windows. I have looked into apple macintosh, but the prices are high, and configuration options are quite limited. Basically what i would like to know is:

1. Does linux have a registry like windows?

2. Does linux get slower and bogged down like windows does after installing and uninstalling programs?

3. Is linux stable, and able to be left on for days?

4. I already know of a few reasons why linux is an alternative to windows, but i am hoping someone can give me some objective opinions on linux. It would be really good if the opinions were from people who have used or use both.

Thanks for any help.

rblade
 
Old 05-24-2005, 02:18 PM   #2
craigevil
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To answer your questions.

1) Everything in Linux is a file. SO basically no. The filesystem does interact.
2) Not normally, as long as you know the proper way to install/uninstall programs. You do not have to defrag a Linux system like you would windows.
3) Depending on the distro very stable. I haven't had to reboot since December 2004.


"10 Good Reasons to Use Linux

Since its introduction in 1991, Linux has grown to become a much appreciated operating system capable of solving daily tasks for users in many areas. Here are several reasons why Linux may be right for you:
1. Open Source
All source code is freely accessible; there are no secrets, no proprietary ties, no license fees.
2. Fast
Linux is fast, and will run on lesser hardware than many other modern operating systems. Your old 486 can do something useful again with Linux.
3. Stable
Linux is stable. It normally doesn't crash. A Linux server can be up for hundreds of days.
4. Transparent
With Linux, you can always find out what the system is doing, and why. All configuration files are in plain text. Linux will do what you ask it for, no more, no less. It doesn't do magic stuff behind your back. NO hidden files that keep tracks.
5. In rapid development
Linux develops from day to day. Often you can get bugfixes within a few days from when the bug was reported. You can, however, also choose to run a stable version and only upgrade when security problems are found, or when a major release takes place.
6. Many programs
There is a great amount of software available for Linux, for free download on the Internet. Furthermore a wide variety of commercial software is available if your needs aren't satisifed by the free software. Just using the sources I have in my repository/source list I have access to over 22k packages.
7. True Multi-Tasking
Linux provides the ability to run more than one program at the same time. Linux also supports multiple processors as standard.
8. Born on the Internet
Linux has been network enabled since the very beginning. Networking and Internet tools are built into the system. Linux is the leading operating system for Internet servers.
9. X-Window System
Linux comes with an excellent window system called X, as well as several Window Managers where you can set up your preferred look & feel, virtual desktops, window behaviour etc.
10. From super computer to handheld
Linux can be used on a wide range of computers, for a wide range of purposes. It can be used as a webserver or file server, a firewall, a desktop computer, in a cluster of PC's making a super computer for scientific calculations. It can run on Sun Sparc, MIPS and Alpha processors, PowerPC, laptop,Xbox handhelds and much more. Linux has even been ported to a wrist watch! "
http://linuxlab.dk/ten-reasons

That said Linux is a hands-on experience if you do not have the patience and time to learn a new OS then Linux is not for you. You need to do alot of reading, It is a trial by error process. If you take the time to learn everything about the distribution you pick then you will like using Linux.

A good way to get a feel for how it works without installing anything is by using a LIVECD.
"KNOPPIX is a bootable CD with a collection of GNU/Linux software, automatic hardware detection, and support for many graphics cards, sound cards, SCSI and USB devices and other peripherals. KNOPPIX can be used as a Linux demo, educational CD, rescue system, or adapted and used as a platform for commercial software product demos. It is not necessary to install anything on a hard disk. Due to on-the-fly decompression, the CD can have up to 2 GB of executable software installed on it."
http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html
 
Old 05-24-2005, 02:21 PM   #3
rylan76
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Re: Can i have some opinions on what linux is about and the advantages over windows?

Quote:
Originally posted by richardblade
Howdy.

I am new to the world of linux and am hoping that i can ask a few questions. I have used pcs for a while, and have got fed up with various things about windows. I have looked into apple macintosh, but the prices are high, and configuration options are quite limited. Basically what i would like to know is:

1. Does linux have a registry like windows?
At the risk of feeding a troll :

Depends - as far as I know there is nothing similar. But there are components that "look" like a registry. Mostly this is confined to the /etc folders and also maybe /dev folders on most linux installations. But the linux "registry" like facilities are IMHO much easier to manage and less prone to getting into a mess than the Windows registry.

Quote:
2. Does linux get slower and bogged down like windows does after installing and uninstalling programs?
No - never seen that. No program puts "stuff" into the "system" like it seems Windows apps do. You have much, much more control over what gets loaded and what is done before your system comes up, so you can precisely control how and what gets run. I have had a Linux installation that has run about a year with no appreciable difference in speed or startup time, even after installing and uninstalling about 150 different programs/packages.

Quote:
3. Is linux stable, and able to be left on for days?
Very much - I worked in the local equivalent of a 911 control center for about 5 years with Linux and Windows in a mixed environment. It was common for the Linux machines (Redhat 7.3 abouts) to run for up to three months without a reboot, while the Windows XP machines connect to the Linux servers crashed at least once every day, sometimes more.

[QUOTE]
4. I already know of a few reasons why linux is an alternative to windows, but i am hoping someone can give me some objective opinions on linux. It would be really good if the opinions were from people who have used or use both.
[QUOTE]

As someone who have used both, it is the same as anything else - it depends on what you want to do! If you want total stability, reliablity, control and configurability, go for Linux. If you don't like getting your hands dirty with details, working a problem hard, or learning about computers in general (much more that you have thought you might ever need) DON'T use Linux. If you want to play games easily and painlessly, use Windows. If you want to work (really work - serve files, run databases, serve webpages) and work reliably for months and years, under a heavy load (running programs hunderds or thousands of times over, months at a time, without a reboot), use Linux.

I can sincerely state that during my time at my previous job, many people had their lives saved because our Linux based EMS/Fire system stayed up and was able to relate where the next fire or ambulance call was - while the Windows machines in our control center often crashed during a critical incident at the exact moment you needed them the most.

So:

Easy and automagically, crashes and is unreliable, is only marginally good at games: Windows
Relatively easy and rarely automagical, totally reliable and crashes almost never, but demands dilligence and some computer knowledge: Linux.

My two cents - this is a very broad question and different ppl have as many opinions as there are people!

Regards,
 
Old 05-24-2005, 05:07 PM   #4
jonaskoelker
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1. No
2. No
3. Yes
(like it's been said before)

4. isn't `objective opinions' a contradiction in terms?

Anyways, my views. Well, my background first:
I've been running windows from '95 to '05 (95, 98, xp); I've been running Debian GNU/Linux from may '04, and it's currently running. I've also flirted with various live CDs, but I stick with `me good ole debbie'

I'm considered a geek by myself, my friends, my gf, my family and my fellow computer science students.

(note that when I say something that applies to all unix-like systems (including GNU/Linux), I use the word *nix; when it (according to my knowledge) is specific to GNU/Linux, I use that term instead) (did the parens match? --I'm not writing this in emacs)

very briefly:
windows it's both the king and slave: it makes the important decisions and does the druge-work.
GNU/Linux is the trainee: you make the important decisions and give instructions about how you want it done.
(`important' should be slightly emphasised).

the longer one, mostly about linux in the ways it differs from windows:
number one: it's much, much, *MUCH* easier to do something programatically under *nix. For example, I want to download all files matching the pattern http://www.foo.com/bar((00 to 99)).png
in linux, I type this at the shell prompt:
$ for i in $(seq 0 99 | xargs printf "%02d " $i); do wget http://www.foo.com/bar$i.png; done
in windows... uh... I download paqrat and hope that there's some webpage that (transitively) refers to them all, and not much more. (paqrat is basically a gui around (the functionality of) wget).

which touches a key point: thing are a little more textual and command-line oriented in *nix. This means that one has to learn a little, but it also makes one able to do in ten seconds (the above for $i in ...) what takes minutes (or hours) to do by hand in windows. If the command line scares you, don't worry: there are plenty of gui-enabled end-user-friendly application programs that act as front-ends for the important command line tools.

Also, what you might notice when moving to *nix-land is that there are more alternatives for doing the same thing than on windows. For example playing sound: there are two different basic architechtures (sp?) (oss and alsa), and (at least) three programs that join multiple sounds into one (esd, jackd and artsd) (you may notice that they all end in `d' for `daemon' (which basically means `program that runs in the background')).

Another topic I wish to adress is installing programs:
Having been on linuxquestions for a while now (since may '04 ~ debian install), I've seen enough `I am having trouble installing <program>' threads, and I've always wondered what it is that I do that they don't.

for me, it's easy. I open synaptic (the program installation program), search for a name/description, hits `mark', hits `install', waits a bit, quits. Done. Similar for uninstall and whole-system upgrades. Maybe it's because I use a distro that uses a centralized program repository and they don't. I dunno. For me it's been easy. According to the simple description, I make the important decision (`Install foo') and tells GNU/Linux a guideline (apt-get install foo -- though here, synaptic does it for me), while leaving the trivial details to get taken care of (exactly where to install).

also, while I'm at it, the file system has a more rigid layout. Summarised:
programs: /bin, /usr/bin, /usr/share/bin
(global) configuration: /etc
libraries (dll's in windows): /usr/lib
manuals: /usr/share/doc
"my documents": /home/username
(per user) configuration: /home/(dot program-name) (for example /home/jonas/.emacs) (filenames starting with '.' means that the file is hidden)

opposed to windows: each (non-ms) program gets a directory where it has to hold both its config, executables, docs and in some cases (yuck!) libraries.

the very long one:
if you really want to `get' GNU/Linux, I recommend `The Art of Unix Programming' (http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/taoup/). Some of it (especially the programming-related parts) may be of little interest, but it does draw pretty clear images of various OSes.

actually, I recommend that you go browse through it. At least look at `what unix gets right' and -wrong, respectively.

a recommendation, if you choose GNU/Linux, is to learn a little bit of programming. It's entirely optional, but doing so may give you (1) the ability to use your system much more efficiently and (2) a much better understanding of what goes on. If you understand what the above `for i in ...', consider youself knowing the amount of programming I recommend. Have a look at `Advanced Bash Scripting Guide', http://www.tldp.org/LDP/abs/html/

also, I've heard good about The Linux Documentation Project, www.tldp.org

^D
 
Old 05-24-2005, 05:13 PM   #5
richardblade
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Registered: May 2005
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Thanks for the replies. I am not wanting to troll, just to get opinions from folks like yourselves who have used linux and can be objective about it. The main things i ask from a pc are stability and security. I am not a gamer, i dont have the latest and greatest hardware, and i am prepared to tailor my system to meet the specifications of a distro.

I know it is a broad question, but i thought that by not being specific i would hopefully get more opinions and thoughts from you folks. Thanks
 
Old 01-14-2006, 09:01 PM   #6
357mag
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My recommendation to most people is stick with Windows. It works great straight out of the box, unlike Linux. I've messed with Xandros, Fedora, and Mandrake and there are so many areas that Windows is superior in.
 
Old 01-14-2006, 10:08 PM   #7
techentral
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windows ROCKS !! NOT!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 357mag
My recommendation to most people is stick with Windows. It works great straight out of the box, unlike Linux. I've messed with Xandros, Fedora, and Mandrake and there are so many areas that Windows is superior in.
Windows superior.. yes i agree ..superior in needing to be rebooted .. superior at needing protection from viruses and adware junk..new releases of windows are costly so it superior in wasting your money god help you if you own many systems and want to install XP on them all. Slackware Linux is about the best distro out there.. it can tak a bit of work to get it up and running but once its there you have built yourself one hella SYSTEM!
Best of all ITS FREE!! Just my opinion though
 
Old 01-14-2006, 10:20 PM   #8
amosf
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Mandriva 2006 and suse 10 work straight out of the box. Mandriva even set up nvidia 3d for me this time which was nice. I haven't just 'messed with' a couple of distros. I've used them for many years on the desktop. And these are boxes that are up 24/7...
 
Old 01-15-2006, 12:02 AM   #9
357mag
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I've used Windows 2000 for 6 years and it's never crashed once. Even when something freezes I can easily open Task Manager and kill it and everything is fine again. I tried Suse. Probably the worst distro I've used. Could get absolutely nothing to work. No printing. No internet. And all the posting on the forums just led to more confusion. Not what I'd call a positive experience.
 
Old 01-15-2006, 12:12 AM   #10
corbintechboy
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Ok, I will give you that windows 2k is pretty stable I have used it with no problems. Why would you want to send an xp user or any windows user back to windows? Linux is stable (more so then even win 2k imo), no virus probs, no adware probs, no crash probs unless user error. We have all went throu our problems with this or that in linux trying to get something to work, but to me it makes it even more fun and rewarding when you do get it to work. Simple comes at a price and windows gives you simple and headaches.
 
Old 01-15-2006, 12:57 AM   #11
foo_bar_foo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 357mag
My recommendation to most people is stick with Windows. It works great straight out of the box, unlike Linux. I've messed with Xandros, Fedora, and Mandrake and there are so many areas that Windows is superior in.
yes windows is superior in my experience too.
everytime i try to install something in windows i end up with an executabe link that when i click it a dialog box comes up and claims im trying to install something else thats already installed but windows cant find the disk where is the disk -- come on where is the disk ? then you play hit the cancel button every chance you get for a while and see if you can make it stop and eventually you do. cool fun.
even some of the menu clicks in basic "integrated" apps do this.
the spellchecker in outlook express tries to install picture it.
its the kind of wrist agility training linux is really missing
and the coolest thing is -- you have no earthly chance of ever fixing it cause its so userfreindly and automajical.
 
Old 01-15-2006, 01:02 AM   #12
foo_bar_foo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 357mag
I've used Windows 2000 for 6 years and it's never crashed once. Even when something freezes I can easily open Task Manager and kill it and everything is fine again. I tried Suse. Probably the worst distro I've used. Could get absolutely nothing to work. No printing. No internet. And all the posting on the forums just led to more confusion. Not what I'd call a positive experience.
just because you can't use Linux doesn't mean much.
i have a nuclear accelerator in my garage and everytime i turn it on i -- well i can't get it to work well. For legal reasons i can't really go into details. But that just makes me kinda dumb when it comes to nuclear acceleration.
I thinks others might be able to use it fine.
I can't play the tuba either. it's very sad.
 
Old 01-21-2006, 12:07 PM   #13
Infernal211283
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not very useful reply but... Lol...
 
Old 01-21-2006, 02:24 PM   #14
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 357mag
My recommendation to most people is stick with Windows. It works great straight out of the box, unlike Linux. I've messed with Xandros, Fedora, and Mandrake and there are so many areas that Windows is superior in.
Do you hang out here just looking for opportunities to wax eloquent on the benefits of Windows? Please send full background info so we can hire a PI to see if you are paid by MS.....Meanwhile, you are hereby informed that you have stated some factual errors and therefor have limited credibility.....So there!!!

Now for a HELPFUL response: Take a look at this marvelous writeup:

http://www.bellevuelinux.org/reasons_to_convert.html

At this same site, there are some other really good articles --including one on monopolies. One of the best Linux sites I have found.
 
Old 01-21-2006, 02:34 PM   #15
DanTaylor
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1. Does linux have a registry like windows?

No, The Linux filesystem is very efficient and clean. It tells other programs what programs are installed by putting files in certain directories.

2. Does linux get slower and bogged down like windows does after installing and uninstalling programs?

Not unless you are an idiot who doesn't install programs right.

3. Is linux stable, and able to be left on for days?

Absolutely, although I don't normally do it(for $$$ reasons) I have left my computer on for 3 months nonstop whithout any problems. This is mainly thanks to the simplicity of how Linux mods, and programs work

4. I already know of a few reasons why linux is an alternative to windows, but i am hoping someone can give me some objective opinions on linux. It would be really good if the opinions were from people who have used or use both.

I have used Windows most of my life and just recently switched to Linux. I used to think that windows was the best thing that happened to the world but now(thankfully) I know different.

I am not going to lie to you, Linux is hard to learn and the ease of use factor is low, however if you are willing to spend the time necessary to learn this operating system, you will never want to switch to another.
 
  


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