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Old 12-02-2017, 04:17 PM   #1
mazerunner
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Getting started with Linux Mint


Hello to everyone,
eventhough I have used FreeBSD almost 17 years back and Unix even more way back, I have been a constant Microsoft user for the rest.

Lately, fed up by using that disastrous o.s. called Windows 10, I decided it's time to try the alternatives.

I just got Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" - Cinnamon (64-bit) installed on my HP laptop and I the first impression is good, in many different aspects.

There is a lot to understand and learn and even more to get used to. I'd appreciate it if you'd bear with my newbie questions.

Here are the first ones:
1. The first thing I used to do after a clean Windows installation, was to install some anti-virus (live Avira, Avast, AVG etc) and firewall (like Comodo). Windows supposedly has it's own firewall but I never really trusted it much of doing any serious job.

What's the case with my Linux? Do I need anti-virus? and is the incorporated firewall good enough?

2. Even though I respect LibreOffice and I will be using it up to a point, I feel way more at home with MS Office (preferably 2007). In additions, there are other MS programs that I'd like to keep using them, too, if possible, like Corel Draw X3. Do I understand it correctly that that's possible with WINE?


thanks

Last edited by mazerunner; 12-02-2017 at 04:19 PM.
 
Old 12-02-2017, 05:55 PM   #2
jlinkels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mazerunner View Post
1. The first thing I used to do after a clean Windows installation, was to install some anti-virus (live Avira, Avast, AVG etc) and firewall (like Comodo). Windows supposedly has it's own firewall but I never really trusted it much of doing any serious job.

I know my answer will at least draw 17 replies which state the opposite, but Linux hardly knows any viruses. Virus scanners are few and far apart and hard to find.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mazerunner View Post
What's the case with my Linux? Do I need anti-virus? and is the incorporated firewall good enough?
A firewall does not stop viruses. The firewall is more than adequate. Perhaps you machine is not even directly connected to the internet then you need it even less. In any case, you can issue netstat -a in a terminal and see which ports are open, to which services. If you don't need those services you can stop and uninstall them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mazerunner View Post
2. Even though I respect LibreOffice and I will be using it up to a point, I feel way more at home with MS Office (preferably 2007). In additions, there are other MS programs that I'd like to keep using them, too, if possible, like Corel Draw X3. Do I understand it correctly that that's possible with WINE?
Interoperatebility does not exist between LibreOffice and MS Office although it is claimed it does exist. You could try to install MSOffice in Wine. YMMV. It is said that WPS Office offers good compatibility but I haven't tried.

Graphics in Linux is mostly done in Inkscape and Gimp. Depending on your needs they might be suitable replacements for Corel. Inkscape is quite powerful if you know how to use it. Gimp has a crazy learning curve, but it can do anything.

OT: I didn't know the current status of Corel so I checked their website. Funny how nowadays software manufacturers fill pages and pages telling how good the software is and how it solves your problems, but do not tell what it actually does. Very 2017. Swipe an icon and you are done. No thinking required!

jlinkels
 
Old 12-02-2017, 10:54 PM   #3
frankbell
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As far as I know, there are no Linux viruses in the wild. Many experienced Linux users do not use anti-virus. You should, however, most definitely configure you firewall. Firewall capability is built into the Linux kernel. You can either configure it directly using iptables or install a command line or GUI front end for configuring it. I recommend gufw; it should be in the repos.

The biggest attack vector to concern yourself with in using Linux is social engineering--stuff that attacks the user, not the computer: phishing, dodgy websites, malicious links, and the like. Many such vectors may not run on Linux, because they are targeted at Windows, but some will. If someone sends you an email pretending to be your bank and you click on the link, you may have just toasted yourself. I also recommend running NoScript or an equivalent in any browser you use. I also use a hosts file to cut down on pop-ups. See man hosts for more.

You can use MS Word under wine. For more information, see the wine application database.

As one who has used variously DisplayWrite (back in the DOS days), WordPerfect, and MSWord, I recommend that you take the time to learn LibreOffice. It's similar to Word in that it is based on styles and, for someone adept at Word, the learning curve will not be steep. There is nothing I could do in Word (I used to write 200-page training manuals, workbooks, and instructors' guides in Word) that I cannot do in LibreOffice, with this proviso: MSOffice macros are written in Visual Basic, which is a MS thing; they will not work under LO.

Remember, all word processors to pretty much the same things. They just hide them in different places on the menus, just like, if you go to a new supermarket, the general layout is the same (produce on one side, dairy on the other, meat in the back), but the aisle are different.

I must take some issue with jlinkels. Simple documents in LO and Word can be inter-operable. I have found that documents with complex formating (embedded tables, text-boxes, call-outs, and the like) may lose formatting if transferred from one program to the other.

There's an excellent in-depth series on LibreOffice at Hacker Public Radio.

Last edited by frankbell; 12-02-2017 at 11:18 PM. Reason: More information
 
Old 12-02-2017, 11:15 PM   #4
wpeckham
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I recommend ClamAV Antivirus. Unlike most Windows AV programs, this does not go resident and scan every disk read slowing the system, but it can scan every file on your system on a regular schedule and alert or isolate on any virus hit. There are a TON of Linux and Unix virus examples out there, but every time they find a new one all newer versions of Linux (kernel and distribution) soon become immune. Using ClamAV is as much to protect the REST of your network as to protect the host it runs on.

The built-in firewall is fine, adequate for protection from most network based threats, and free. You should configure it, but need no additional general protection at that level.

If you have network access to the wild at all, I recommend one of the rootkit protections. RootKitHunter is an example that will detect some malware that is NOT a virus in nature, but that can zombie your system or put it under the control of an external player. (what you might call a hacker, I would call something much more nasty.) Just check the output report of scheduled runs for sudden changes.

The odds of a successful infection of your system is much lower than when running a Microsoft OS, but does still exist. Having a regular backup will be useful if you need to recover the system should it become compromised. That said, I would just take precautions and then drive on and have fun. While there are threats, it only takes a little care and prevention to secure your system, and the tools are free and readily available to you.
 
  


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