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Old 10-12-2006, 11:53 AM   #1
arzer
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Smile Linux Development


Hi all,

I am very new to Linux, having been a Win32 developer (and working for a company publishing Windows based software) for many years developing applications in (mainly) C++.

The company has recently managed to get a deal porting some of our simple game titles to Linux. I have often wondered about the world of Linux but never really taken the plunge (I attempted to install a couple of distributions and on both occasions got so lost I just reinstalled Windows!).

I have successfully managed to install Red Hat 9.0 on an x86 machine (and I have to say the installation program was far better than anything else I had previously seen for setting up Linux) and I am now wanting to take a look at how I get on developing for the Linux environment. I am now totally confused by the wealth of software etc available and dont really know what to do next.

I was thinking about starting off writing some simple apps using Java, as I have had exposure to it before under Windows, but I can pretty much only get as far as downloading the JDK and NetBeans from Sun, then get stuck with a .bin file that I dont know what to do with!!

Can anyone help me or point me in the right directions as to how to actually get the JDK installed, and a Java IDE working so that I can get developing!

Thanks very much!
 
Old 10-12-2006, 12:09 PM   #2
pljvaldez
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The installation instructions for JDK are on the Sun website (although they should also be included in the tarball you downloaded).

Red Hat 9.0 is from circa 2000, you might be better off with a newer distro (they've improved much for desktop use since then). If you like the Red Hat distros, try Fedora Core or CentOS. Or if you're looking for something different to try, take the quizes in my signature. Personally, I always recommend Debian, but many newbies struggle a bit with it (but it made perfect sense to me as soon as I tried it).

EDIT: My bad, sun's website is terrible and the installation instructions seem non-existent. But generally with a *.bin file, you open a command line, navigate to that directory using cd /path/to/directory and then type ./program-name.bin

Last edited by pljvaldez; 10-12-2006 at 12:13 PM.
 
Old 10-12-2006, 12:17 PM   #3
weibullguy
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Here's the instructions for installing.
 
Old 10-12-2006, 03:34 PM   #4
arzer
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Thanks very much guys.

I will certainly try a more recent distro from those you have suggested. I'm not particularly a "Red Hat" committed user but of the few that I had tried I found it to be much more pleasant, smoother, and much much easier and user friendly during the installation.

I tried a god-awful thing (in my opinion) called alinux previously, which nearly scared me off for life with its 780Kb ISO image which doesnt fit on a conventional CD, and strange attempts at humour during the install which when you dont know your "sda" from "hda" or your swap partition from the root user can leave you in a far from humourous mood!

Anyway, I will certainly try a more recent distribution as you suggest.

Thanks for the link Arow - I will try and follow this information. The problem I find is that most "instructions" kind of assume you know what the hell youre doing in the first place; which I quite clearly do not!

BTW: Are .bin files the equivilent to .exe files in Windows? Also, is there a GUI file system application (similar to the Windows Explorer in WinXP) that you can use to navigate and execute binaries rather than using a command line approach?
 
Old 10-12-2006, 03:51 PM   #5
pljvaldez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arzer
BTW: Are .bin files the equivilent to .exe files in Windows? Also, is there a GUI file system application (similar to the Windows Explorer in WinXP) that you can use to navigate and execute binaries rather than using a command line approach?
I would not say .bin is equivalent to windows .exe files. Most programs in linux are called packages, and each distro really has it's own package format. Red Hat uses RPMs and Debian based use DEB format. But .bin are binary files. I believe usually though they are more equivalent to a *.msi file on windows (the windows installer setup wizard minus any gui interaction) and are used to install programs to your machine.

The "Explorer" app in linux differs depending on which desktop system you use. Typically KDE uses Konqueror (which also doubles as a web/ftp browser, much like Explorer) and Gnome uses Nautilis.
 
Old 10-12-2006, 03:59 PM   #6
arzer
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Thanks pljvaldez,

I see. Actually, I did wonder about KDE vs GNOME myself. I believe the default RH9 desktop environment is GNOME however there seems to be references to KDE all over the place too such I dont actually know what the hell I am using!!

It all seems so very muddy to me at the moment, like I will never really understand all the different tools, variants, distributions, packages, and so on!! But I am convinced there must be something to this Linux lark so I will keep plugging away at it.. It's really frustrating when I am so very competent at Windows and Web based development - but in a way I think that makes the switch to Linux all the harder.

Last edited by arzer; 10-12-2006 at 04:02 PM.
 
Old 10-12-2006, 04:18 PM   #7
pljvaldez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arzer
It's really frustrating when I am so very competent at Windows and Web based development - but in a way I think that makes the switch to Linux all the harder.
It really does make it harder for power users to move because they're so set in there ways and what features they can take advantage of. The biggest thing is to realize that Linux is NOT Windows, so don't expect it to act exactly the same. That said, there's a glut of tools and equivalent software that works just as well (sometimes better). Honestly I find linux more intuitive than Windows, and I use both everyday.

When you get some time, I would run through some of the tutorials/documentation at http://tldp.org/guides.html and google for the RUTE tutorial. They'll really help you get started. Also maybe check out some of the following:
http://www.tuxfiles.org/
http://linux-newbie.dotsrc.org/
http://www.linuxnewbieguide.org/

Just because I'm shameless, I'm going to plug for you to use Debian. There's a really good in depth website here that will really teach you a lot about linux (and computing in general). Just be aware that it's geared toward the command line and does almost nothing via gui.

Last edited by pljvaldez; 10-12-2006 at 04:24 PM.
 
Old 10-12-2006, 06:12 PM   #8
zekthedeadcow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arzer
The problem I find is that most "instructions" kind of assume you know what the hell youre doing in the first place; which I quite clearly do not!

lol I know the feeling... it seems a lot of instructions are "Install in the usual way." - literally... those weenies!!!

There are a lot of significant improvements in recient distributions. I really like slackware myself... but as it was previously stated linux is a very personal thing. It takes some time to learn what you actually want, and a method that does it the way you like... like if you develop for Gnome... you probably don't want slackware I actually started back in 98 on slackware because thats what my roommate at the time used. I used a Debian varient (DeMuDi starting last winter on a audio workstation until last weekend where I moved that to slackware 11... My home webserver has always been slackware... but I do very little coding... generally speaking if you're looking to develop, slackware might be a good option, though it has the reputation of being the hardest major distro to learn, I think everything you need is already installed.

But basically, as a linux newbie, you found this website and that will resolve 99% of your questions...
 
Old 10-12-2006, 06:14 PM   #9
weibullguy
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Give it a few, honest months and you'll be answering questions here instead of asking them. If you're going to be developing for GNU/Linux and have a few spare GB on your hard drive, I would recommend you take a weekend and build a LFS system. You can blow it away when you're done, but you'll definitely learn something about how a GNU/Linux system is put together. Just reading the book is educational. Hell, even if you're not going to develop I'd recommend you do it.

Last edited by weibullguy; 10-12-2006 at 06:16 PM.
 
  


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