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Avinevo 01-06-2007 08:37 AM

Hi! I'm a newbie!
Hi friends!

Since this introduction post is gonna be very long, please be patient (if you can)!

I can be called YALN or "Yet Another Linux N00B". My computing background has been deeply related to Win 98, Windows NT, 2000, XP Pro and Win 2003 Server in last 6yrs.

I tried to use Linux many times (in 2005 and 2006) but things kept disappointing me about Linux because of some technical problems. And I hadn't so much free time to dedicate in Linux problems. Maybe it was the main reason I kept getting back to Windows all the time.

Finally, in October 2006, I planned to develop my own distro that can work better than Windows Operating Systems. I've seen almost all the Linux distro developers promising to compete Windows but to be honest, every Linux distribution is full of bugs and won't run smoothly. No matter if it's Novell's SuSE or the currently most popular distro on DistroWatch, Ubuntu.

Even if a Linux distro runs nicely and is powerful than Windows, it needs huge RAM. This idea always makes me pissed off about such distributions. I always kept thinking to build a Linux distro that is both powerful and bug free.

And for this goal, I've been researching about Linux, finding and collecting all the possible OS development, Kernel compilation, and such other docs since October 2006.

I started with Cygwin in October 2006, mastered Bash on it and kept my research on. On December 31st, when my friends were enjoying party, I was on DistroWatch reviewing all the distro details. I downloaded SLAX ISO, burned it on a CD ROM, rebooted my system and wow! It was so sexy and full of nice tools. Since it was based on Slackware, I downloaded 3 Slackware ISOs, burned them on CD ROMs, finished the installation process and after rebooting my test system, what I found was my screen, full of boot errors. I formatted the system. Then I planned to download Debian but.. a thought came in my mind and suddenly I changed my plan. I downloaded Ubuntu ISO because it was the most popular distro on DistroWatch (and based on Debian!). I downloaded the desktop edition but the live cd installation didn't work because of 128MB RAM on my test system. It pissed me off. I went back to Ubuntu download section, downloaded alternate version, burned it and this time, everything went fine. I was happy. :)

BUT after logging into Ubuntu, my net connection wasn't working. Damn! YET ANOTHER LINUX BUG (YALB). I searched in Google and after 5 or 10 minutes, I found two similar problems. After fixing the net connection problem, there was one more problem standing before me! Package Managers weren't working. After fixing this problem, the third problem was : 128MB RAM seemed to be too low for Gnome Desktop Manager. I downloaded XFCE, still the system was slow. Finally, I downloaded IceWM and have been using it since that day.

So, my story is enough to tell that even Ubuntu Linux, despite of being so popular, is buggy. Windows XP Pro runs so smoothly on a system powered with 128MB RAM but Linux distros start to give nightmares!

Well.. since I'm doing all the nasty researches to develop a *really cool* Linux distro, I may come handy for the newbies, I hope!

Thanks for your time (if you really read the complete post)!

See you around..


MensaWater 01-06-2007 08:47 AM

Windows XP is a good OS (much better than the earlier Windoze).

However for people who know what they're doing UNIX/Linux is far superior both in scalability (try running a multi-TB database on a single Windoze server and see what happens) and in manageability. To get any sort of control over Windoze you have learn how to manage the registry and even then you're limited. Even the task manager in Windoze doesn't tell you WHEN a process was started and does nothing to relate "apps" to "processes". The simple ps command in UNIX/Linux gives far more power than that.

One key benefit to Linux that you seemed to have missed is that you aren't beholden to one provider as you are with M$ products. If you really don't like any of the extant Linux distros you should look at Linux From Scratch (LFS) so you can build it exactly the way you want.

P.S. How long have you worked at Microsloth anyway? :p

Avinevo 01-06-2007 09:02 AM

Thanks for the reply!

First of all, I don't work at Microsoft or Microsloth or however you call it. :P I know the capacity of Linux and UNIX. But when we talk about the Distro developers who promise to make their Linux *Desktop* nicer than Windows, who talk about making Linux more user friendly than Windows, who talk about making Linux easier to use even for computer newbies, here is a message for them : Such promises are lies, all lies.

If they were talking about the capacity of *nix using command line, I was ready to agree with them. If they were talking about the server capacity of *nix, I was ready to agree with them. But whenever I see someone talking about Desktop centric Linux distros, everytime I see them telling lies.

IF any Linux distro is easier to use than Windows (as far as a normal computer user is concerned) or even closer to Windows in the easy of use category, it requires huge RAM.

I've used many Linux distros, from Damn Small Linux to Novell's SuSE and not a single Linux distro is like Windows or even closer to it, as far as we keep geeks away from this conversation.

Yes, if you say that Linux is great for Geeks, I'm 100% agree with you. I'm not a Linux hater. I love Linux because of it's amazing open source nature + available software ports + the stability (stability is limited to command line folks) and not forgetting about the configurable options.

Brian1 01-06-2007 10:06 AM

Linux would be easier to someone who never used a computer before. But if using computers for years (25years) going from TRS-80 to IBM compatiables and some Apple/Mac and one OS to the next it is a learning curve. Ive been from dos 2.1 through Digital Research Dos ( The best dos in my opinion) to novell 7 dos wih Windows 286 and up to current Windows 2003, Used OS/2 Warp2 to OS/2 Warp4 extensively for years till support got less and less. Still a fine OS OS/2 is just old. Went from OS/2 to Linux with kernel 2.0 Caldera 1.2 to today Centos 4.4 with kernel 2.6.20-rc3. Going from one to the other is a learning experience and google has become a good companion since the invention of the Internet. One thing that I am sure that has helped me along is the understaning the command line or terminal session. The heart of any OS. The gui is nice but you really don't learn how things are done. Since using Linux understanding Windows structure is easier to understand. Agian the notice of bugs from all distro is inherent. One reason is many distro were based on either BSD, Redhat, Slackware structure. So even though they are all Linux the filestructure and scripts differ slightly. Some use specific commands that only that distro has developed and even though one reads post on a fix it may fix it the commands it uses may be distro specific. So one then needs to learn thier distro variant for that command. The gui is one amazing feature that tries to bring Linux to a more Windows type enviroment. Even though it can look like it, it still will not function like it. There are so many different guis and windowmakers out there with Gnome and KDE being the dominant and of course this are the most memory hogs. But others like icewm, fluxbox, and many more are less memory required since not using fancier looking eyecandy like the big two. But all still reside on the X Server interface. No matter what one uses as long as they are happy with it then that is fine.


MensaWater 01-06-2007 03:59 PM

Right. Having learned DOS starting with 2.0 (the one that didn't make you specify the drive when you typed "format" d'oh!) on the original IBM PC up through Novel 2.01 and on to UNIX.

It isn't really easier for only geeks to use Linux. The deal with M$ is that no one really does well at it so they've just gotten used to rebooting when they get the blue screen of death or other things. It is only its ubiquity that makes it appear to be easier. The average end user doesn't know how to do simple things like updating registry or even look at simple batch files. They just load and hope it works. It's not unusual to have to complete reload a Windows system to get around issues due to crappy or no tech support for Windows. Even experienced Windows admins I know will simply opt to reload the OS to solve problems.

On UNIX/Linux hobbyists will do such reloads but in actual operation in professional shops reloads typically only happen due to catastrophic hardware failures involving the boot disks. Even that is rare for people who were smart enough to mirror the boot disk AND do regular backups.

The "all lies" comment sure seems to indicate a bias. It is only the ability to dig deeper to solve issues that make it sound like it is more difficult to work with. Ask yourself how many end users actually do things like setup DNS servers, mail servers, share out drives, do print servers or the plethora of other things that can be done by the basic Linux user.

IHMO If M$ hadn't had monopolistic practices like forcing vendors to only ship their products in the early days they wouldn't be so dominant now. WordPerfect was better than Word. 123 was better than Excel and Paradox was better than Access. It was only by bundling "Office" in that M$ was able to force adoption of those packages and in turn force people to stick with their OS to run those packages in the long run.

Avinevo 01-06-2007 10:54 PM


Originally Posted by jlightner
The "all lies" comment sure seems to indicate a bias. It is only the ability to dig deeper to solve issues that make it sound like it is more difficult to work with. Ask yourself how many end users actually do things like setup DNS servers, mail servers, share out drives, do print servers or the plethora of other things that can be done by the basic Linux user.

But we don't expect all the end users to be geeks, do we? Setting up DNS servers, web servers, mail servers, etc isn't the job every end user need to do. And if you say that majority of end user wants ease of use while using his/her operating system, it won't be wrong.

I'm not going against Microsoft or Linux in this conversation. Both have done amazing developments that has completely changed the computing world. Yesterday, I was in a voting thread (What was the first operating system you started working with?) here on LQ and was amazed to see that 0 vote was for Linux. So it's clear that Microsoft has done great works to change the way we use computers in the present computing era.

I've tried my best to mainly point on the "Desktop Centric Linux Distros" in this thread and the truth is : Not a single Desktop Centric Linux can run as smoothly as Windows on a low resource Machine. And I can say that majority of computer users have less than 129MB RAM.

Few months ago, I read an article that was related to software development and the assembly language. Now a days, people tend to ignore the "lower end machines" while developing a software.

Back to the main point, only one thing I can say about Linux : Linux is great for geeks, for the people who love to configure stuffs, for the people who have a lot of spare time to keep searching for similar problems in Google, Google Groups, Newsgroups, IRC channels, etc.

But for the majority of computer users, Linux is not better than Windows. So is UNIX.

Linux has a long way to go if it wants to be easier for the "majority of computer users who use their PCs to run simple applications like MS Office". Such people really won't care if they find themselves searching for help in Google as soon as they install their OS, no matter how powerful that OS is for the people who know what they are doing.

P.S: I'm not anyway related to Microsoft. I'm just trying to be fair while discussing the pros and cons of the both Microsoft and Linux platforms.

MensaWater 01-07-2007 09:17 AM

You missed the point. It isn't "ease of use" that makes M$ prevalent. It was monopolistic practices as indicated by the start of an antitrust case by the US Justice Department (quietly quashed afer the millionaire's buddy Dubya became President) and the EU equivalent (not quashed) that gave them their prevalence.

It is the ubiquity that has resigned users to "rebooting" and "reloading" to solve issues. M$ itself can't even support the products without resorting to these things. Early on things like Lotus 123 and other "desktop" apps WERE available for UNIX. Those monopolistic practices such as forcing bundling of Offcie with Windows that killed these superior products. It is hard to compete when the other guy gives away his product. Now that they have the lion's share of the market you can't get Office quite so cheaply which is exactly why monopolies are so bad.

Despite all this there have been counter movements. You say it is "geeks" and I can't deny that (I've always been happy to be a geek) that drive this effort. M$ is NOT superior in any way - it is simply more widely adopted and that only due to what IMHO are very unethical and probably even illegal practices.

The fact is that Windows does not stay up all the time under any sort of real load so your comments about lower resource usage are bogus. If all you do is surf the internet then low resources are sufficient for Windows but also for Linux.

Personally it sounds more and more to me like you work for Microsloth.

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