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Linux

Started by s8man, January 26, 2007, 07:11:52 am

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s8man

Hi all,
Just a question about Linux OS (you might have to forgive me a bit of ignorance - I'm pretty computer literate and take an interest in what's happening in my PC, but I'm not a proper tech-head... yet...).
Do any of you use a Linux OS on your desktop computers (not servers, etc.)? Or, do any of you know a lot about how it is as a typical, general-user, desktop OS?
I realise Linux, following in the illustrious UNIX footsteps, exists in so many variations this is a bit like asking "any of you eat chocolate bars? What are they like?" but I've always been a Windows user and I've got ichy fingers... I want to see what else is out there and the few times I've treid a Mac I've not really taken to them (though the graphical interface is pretty impressive and it seems to run flawlessly when I've seen it).
Anyway, any suggestions or thoughts would help, up to and including "don't use it!", hehehe.

C-Chan

Yo s8man,
I use Xubuntu myself, and love it!  ^v^

If you're just starting out, I believe the Ubuntu family of products is a great start.  It's  a great and popular Linux distros that's relatively user friendly, full-featured and has a huge support base.

For modern computers, with tons tons of gig and RAM, try Ubuntu or Kubuntu:

http://www.ubuntu.com/
http://www.kubuntu.org/

For older computers, or just clean and simple interfaces, Xubuntu does the trick:

http://www.xubuntu.org/

If you want kids to use your system, Edubuntu is designed for that:

http://www.edubuntu.org/

Keep in mind that Linux in general is an open source OS -- all programs are well-written, but most have a "piece meal" feel to them courtesy of being designed by countless different programmers with their own style and goals.  If you like programming or are technically inclined, Linux is probably the dream system that allows you to modify just about anything.

If you want complete user-friendliness, the road might get just a tad bumpy.  ^^'

Myrdin

Also, make sure the programs you need are either available for the OS or have a compatable equivalent. I'd love to switch entirely to a Linux based system but have to maintain a windows installation for certain programs. My first Linux install didn't start off well.

Fedora-Tan

Hi ^_^
(and thanks to C-Chan to have pointed that thread to me)

I definitely use linux as my only OS for years now, for personnal usage, games, office and server apps :D

First, i'd suggest you to take a look at this site :
http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/

It's a "distro choser" which will help you to see which one is the best match for your usage. It's quite accurate i guess since it showed Fedora for me (but i was already using fedora for years before that :p ).

Anyway, if you have any questions or problems about linux or want to know anything, feel free to PM me or post here. ;hi

(not much time atm but i'll post more about this a bit later :D )

Added after 1 minutes:

For more infos, i use Fedora 6 (a Redhat spawn) with Xfce as desktop.

About [anything]buntu, it's a very good distro as long as you don't need professional tools. There is no "bad" distro, just some that doesn't meet your needs anyway...

Xyanide

thank you very much for the link!! the distribution choser gave me Ubuntu and Kubuntu,

So what's the difference between these 2?

ok so it seems on Ubuntu stuff you can only use the applications provided, so basically I can't use my FL Studio (music production software) anymore when i switch to Ubuntu?
Basically what i want from linux is that it makes my applications and processor run more efficient at high levels, is that even possible? XD

Fedora-Tan

Unlike Windows, the linux distributions have a separate "core" and "desktop".

The core is the way the system will handle things, and it's what we call "distro". You can have Fedora, Ubuntu, Mandriva, Debian, etc...

Once you have this core distro, you may want a graphical Desktop to go with it (remember that basically a linux distro is text-based :D ).

Graphical Desktops are Gnome, KDE and XFCE for most used.

Ubuntu is using Gnome Graphical Desktop
Kubuntu is Ubuntu Linux using KDE Desktop (instead of Gnome)
Xubuntu is Ubuntu Linux using XFCE Desktop (instead of Gnome)

Note : You can usually install the Desktop you want on any distro, even if it comes with a default one. For example, i use Fedora (default : Gnome) but i have XFCE installed instead.

Now the differences :
KDE : The most user friendly, the most heavy too. Looks the most like Windows.
Gnome : Less user friendly, i'd say graphics are quite sober (some will say : bad). Less ressources consumming, too.
XFCE : The lightest. To make you an idea, i don't use any bar on desktop, in fact my desktop is merely my wallpaper. (no icons, no bars, nothing). Of course, it's my settings since XFCE comes with all of these. Just, unlike the 2 above, you CAN remove whatever you want.

There are other desktops too, i won't mention them here since they are rarely used.

I hope it helps to understand a bit :)

Added after 2 minutes:

That's a bit same with DOS and Windows 3.11 in fact.
Imagine Linux distro as DOS and graphical desktops as Windows 3.11.

This is really useful when you think about it : for servers, no need to install any graphical desktop, therefore a big save of ressources. On windows server, AFAIK, the graphical desktop is embedded (as usual with windows 95 and earlier)

Xyanide

Ok...yeah i got the idea of this but...basically it's just a more efficient way to work and surf the web on your PC? general porpouse only?

Fedora-Tan

Quote
ok so it seems on Ubuntu stuff you can only use the applications provided, so basically I can't use my FL Studio (music production software) anymore when i switch to Ubuntu?


Not at all. You can of course install anything you want on any distro. It's not an embedded system ^^;;

Quote
Basically what i want from linux is that it makes my applications and processor run more efficient at high levels, is that even possible? XD


My comp is slower on Windows XP. (Athlon 1800+ ; 1Gb RAM)

Reasons :
* No antivirus on linux (you _can_ put one, but if you stay in user account and don't make stupid things, there are no problems with that).
* I use XFCE
* I don't load tons of things i don't need (on windows, it's harder to do same)

Now, if you intend to have faster apps on linux, i can't tell since it'll really depend on the apps. If it's a tool designed for linux (or cross-platform), i'm positive it'll be faster. Now if you emulate the windows app, i don't think it can be faster. :p

I don't use any windows apps other than games, and for games, it's about same i'd say. But i don't play recent games either (i play mostly diablo 2)

Added after 1 minutes:

Quote
Ok...yeah i got the idea of this but...basically it's just a more efficient way to work and surf the web on your PC? general porpouse only?


It's also free while windows is not, and most softwares are free too (as in money and in source code).

That is important in the way you don't depend on the good will of the software publisher ^_^

Xyanide

ah i see, well i'm running on an AMD 64 3000+ (socket 939) at the moment with 1GB of low latency ram,
I think i'll just upgrade my system to an AM2 with 2GB of DDR2 to save myself the hassle lol :P

Fedora-Tan

What doesn't work on linux (or bad) :

- Webcams
- Recent games (but you should be able to make them work anyway, may be tricky however)
- ATI cards :p

What works :

- Printers, scanners (avoid Canon)
- Multimedia keyboards, mouses
- Digital cameras, Multimedia players, etc...
- NVIDIA (provides drivers for linux)
- MS Office (even if i think Openoffice is far better)

The odd thing is, firefox on windows often hangs, when i never had a problem under linux.

Quote
ah i see, well i'm running on an AMD 64 3000+ (socket 939) at the moment with 1GB of low latency ram,
I think i'll just upgrade my system to an AM2 with 2GB of DDR2 to save myself the hassle lol :P


Hint : Linux dislikes new hardware, too. Since most hardware manufacturers don't make drivers for linux, it takes time to the community to develop working drivers. If you use very recent hardware (recent : < 2 years), then i wouldn't recommend linux honnestly.

That said, i never seen my computer using more than 650Mb ram (and it was playing games). When i just do office things (like now), i use about 100-150Mb max. (firefox, gftp, gedit, music player, database manager, ssh shells, etc...). And even, firefox is the most hungry one :p (about 40Mb)

Added after 2 minutes:

If you change hardware i do accept gifts ^_^ :p

C-Chan

Gyaaahaha,...  ^__^
I made well to bring Fedora-dono here, because naturally I'm still a n00b in the Linux scene.  But I love it for many reasons, not the least of which is that it allows you to custom build your own super system for pennies on the dollar.  A distros like Damn Small Linux can go a long way towards extending the life of aging hardware.  ^v^'

Keep in mind that there are other OSes you might be interested in depending on your needs (don't forget the free BSDs), but hardware problems will ALWAYS plague every system that's not Windows, for the reasons Fedora-dono mentioned.

It's really the reason behind Microsoft's success,....

The irony is that the hardware manufacturers didn't flock to Windows because it was a better system -- quite the contrary, Windows is their darling child because it makes them the most money.  What with all the crashing, heavy memory consumption and WinRot.  

By now, Windows users are accustomed to replacing their hard drives/computers evern few two years, or buying a new system/graphics card to play the latest games, and the hardware companies want to keep it like that.  ^___^

Had OS/2 been the primary operating system endorsed by IBM/Microsoft, you can be sure most of them would be out of business....  ^^;

Xyanide

so my hardware must be older than 2 years 0_o ok i've made up my mind i'm not going to get this OS haha i'll stick with XP and learn some system tweaking instead XD

p.s. my windows rarely crashes maybe twice a year

s8man

Ahh, cheers all.
And thanks Fedora-dono: that distro chooser was just what I was after - something to help me narrow down what was out there to some reasonably practical choices. It said Fedora would suit me, actually, except it failed on the 'may require previous Linux experience'. Still sounds quite attractive though - I've heard good things about Red Hat.
Am still undecided, obviously. Though you say MS Office works with Linux? (Have pinched myself... nope, still says that... wow.) That would be a bit of a plus, just on familiarity grounds - though I frankly don't know what else is out there with things like OpenOffice these days...
I might just see if Linux is for me - I have a good deal of Home/Office type use, and if I partitioned this, I could hang onto Windows for at least as long as I found there was anything I couldn't get an equivalent for with Linux.

C-Chan

Good plan, s8man.  ^__^
Lest you forget, btw, that you can install more than one distros for evaluation purposes.  Get Ubuntu or Freespire for learning purposes, and Fedora or Slackware for more hardcore stuff.  ^.^

Course if you ever want to build a Beowulf Cluster, that might take something with even more muscle (Arch Linux?  Debian?).  ^^'

s8man

Quote from: "C-Chan"Course if you ever want to build a Beowulf Cluster


Cheers, C-Chan. If I ever need something that big I'll get right on it, but don't think I'll need that for a while yet...  ;077