View Full Version : Linux??

Wild Dingo
04-22-2004, 08:45 PM
Whats with this Linux thing? I keep hearing how its the ducks knuts in computer running systems and is free? sounds weird but Im sure sick of windoz and its eternal blue screen... well I havent had one in ooohh 2 days but then Ive also got a new hard drive and its all fresh installed... but its comin I just know its gonna come crashin through my system just as some really crucial point where Im almost about to save everything but WHAMMO!! blue death of windronez uuuggg so whats with Linux?

The technogaggled fellas around here seem to be hessitant about it and dont seem to know too much about it but an uncle of Jos whos studyin Computer science in London reckons its the second coming for computers!

should I? shouldnt I?

Computer geeks inform us non technophyles :rolleyes:

J. Wellington Wimpy
04-22-2004, 08:50 PM
Linux (Linus unix) is the stable O/S. If it locks up ,the procedure is to wait a few seconds and it resolves itself.

that is all.

Wild Dingo
04-22-2004, 08:53 PM
Originally posted by J. Wellington Wimpy:
that is all.that is all??? THAT IS ALL??? WHAT IS ALL!!!???? egad mate... that is all?? how can that be all? if that was all then EVERYONE would be running it whats it do hows it do it and why I needs to know!!... mmm I think? :cool:

"I know nuthink" as schultz in Hogans Heros used to say

High C
04-22-2004, 09:18 PM
Shane, Linux is not for the faint of heart, it's kinda the OS for geeks, if you know what I mean. Not as easy to install and learn as Windows, but certainly more reliable if you can do it.

Biggest problem is that almost none of your familiar software will run on it. There's lots of good programs for Linux that will do anything you want, many are free or cheap, but they're just different from what you're used to.

Perhaps the most user friendly variant of Linux is one called "Lindows". That might be a good place to start. Lindows Web Site (http://www.lindows.com)

04-22-2004, 10:47 PM
I like RedHat Linux. Linux takes some patience to set up...stability & security are the big benefits. Great for geeks & tinkerers but I haven't seen it done well enough for say, my Mom to use it (my standard on whether a technology is suitable for general use). And can't use your Word, Excel, etc. Shouldn't have any problems just Web browsing and using the forum!

[ 04-22-2004, 11:49 PM: Message edited by: Drake ]

04-23-2004, 12:32 AM
Shane, Linux is a different operating system than Windows. This is good and bad. One of the easiest ways for you to try it is to use Knoppix, which runs entirely from the CD it's distributed on. You can get one from



ion barnes
04-23-2004, 02:17 AM
Linux is the core [proper term: kernel] of the Operating System [OS]. I say this cuz you won't find something specifically called Linux beyond that - it's fractured into various distributions [referred as distro's for short] that employ various ideas of how Linux can be presented. For example, for someone new to Linux - Mandrake (http://www.mandrakesoft.com/) or SuSE [pronounced soo'suh <-It's German/Sie duetch] would be good to start with. RedHat used to be, but they've let the free distro market to focus on corporate. More "hardcore" users will want more hands-on approach to Linux, will look to use Debian, Slackware, or Gentoo among others that exist.

But there's Linux for embedded computers, like electronic devices we see more of today in the likes of TiVO [US TV recording] - likely to see in naval equipment if not already. That's the spirit of Linux - to be deployed on various electronic computer devices because the core is configurable - you can add/remove support as you like to make the computer faster or support typically encountered hardware, which is why Linux can run on a 386.

Because it's not Windows, software comparable to what you find on Windows is becoming more available as Linux becomes more popular. For example, rather than shell out $$ for Microsoft Office, you could download a copy of OpenOffice for free - OpenOffice supports MS Word, Excel, and Powerpoint formats for both reading and writing. But some software is lacking, and of that which does exist can be immature.

Something to keep in mind about Linux is that it can at points require knowledge of computers - beyond point'n'click. There is no C: drive in Linux - it uses a tree structure where files are located in naming schemes that aren't user friendly [IE: files called at startup will be found in /etc; log files will be in /var]. Installing software can be tricky - it depends on what distro is used, and software can depend on other software.. which you might not find out about until after you tried to install it.

Viruses & worms aren't really a concern at this point, they exist for Linux but are quite minor compared to what's there for Windows.

If you're interested in learning more, I recommend finding your local Linux Users Group [LUG]. They likely have monthly meetings, and converse primarily via email lists but often organize "installfests" where people are invited to bring their computers to install Linux on, and just get general help on.

04-23-2004, 11:36 AM
Saddly now, LaMess worked almost exclusively with some form of Linux on his PC. I fear his life's work died with him. :mad:

04-23-2004, 06:14 PM
Linux is for those who want to fool around with their computers ALL the time. I looked at Red Hat a while ago and it really gave me a new appreciation for Windows.

Has anyone developed a decent Linux GUI yet? I mean one that works?

[ 04-23-2004, 07:56 PM: Message edited by: Victor ]

High C
04-23-2004, 06:23 PM
I played with the Knoppix disc a bit. Fascinating idea to run an entire operating system from CD. But it would only start on one of my 4 computers, for some reason.

The most bewildering part of it to me was the file storage structure, didn't get that at all. redface.gif It was kinda cool though, and it didn't crash!

04-23-2004, 06:55 PM
Speaking of not crashing, and I approach this subject very cautiously, I'm wondering how y'all are doing in that regard with your fancy-schmancy XPs.

High C
04-23-2004, 07:00 PM
Originally posted by Victor:
Speaking of not crashing, and I approach this subject very cautiously, I'm wondering how y'all are doing in that regard with your fancy-schmancy XPs.My laptop has XP, and it has locked up maybe a half dozen times in a year and a half. Very stable.

My main desktop has Win2000 Pro, and it never, never, never, locks up or crashes. Though it did go all to hell once and require an OS reinstall, but that was almost three years ago.

Both are based on the NT kernel, and are waaaaaaaaaay better than the old 95, 98, ME versions.

Bob Perkins
04-23-2004, 07:21 PM
Gnome is a good linux gui - very similar to windows (i.e. Like the difference between sailing two different boats, they both feel different - but they have all the same controls. get it?)

On top of Linux - There is Star Office (Microsoft Office look alike). Star Office 7 is very good at doing MSoffice functions. This is also know as Open Office.

There are a few ways to put all of this easily on your computer and get it to work - it is less common than windows and with that more complicated.

If you were someone who Only did email, web browsing, and office - linux can work.

My guess is within the next 3-4 years it will be a real alternative to the average computer user. Today it is still *mostly* concentrated to *computer people*.


John Gearing
04-23-2004, 11:12 PM
I saw a headline the other day on CNN that WalMart may start selling $300 desktop computers running Java as an OS. I'd always thought Java was neat because it would run any program, but had forgotten all about it's potential as an OS. Anyone have any more info on this?

Henning 4148
04-24-2004, 08:39 AM
Linux is possible, but ...

After encountering my first virus under Windows (early this year) I decided "that's it, from now on surfing is under Linux!".

Of I went to my lokal distributor and came home with a pack called SUSE Linux 9.0.

Some reading in the manuals, some trying and hey presto, I had two operation systems on my old 266 tower (Win 98 and Linux) and my relatively new laptop (Win XP and Linux)!

So far, so good, approx. 2 or 3 evenings so far, no data loss under Windows (don't rely on this, make safety backups), both machines boot and work under Windows and Linux.

If your machine is very standard, with no second harddisk and no partitioning done before, it will even be faster if you accept all standard suggestions during the Linux installation.

The downside is, that I haven't got my modems to work yet.

The tower has an USRobotics sportster winmodem, the model I have seems to be a definite no no under Linux. So, to surf with this machine I will need a different modem.

The laptop has an HSP World Micro Modem. It seems to be, that there is a solution for this, but to get it going will probably require a very knowledgeable friend, or a few nights on different internetsides, reading up, trying this, doing that, downloading a few files, following links, starting all over again etc etc. ... .

A good site to start the topic of modems is www.linmodems.org, (http://www.linmodems.org,) you will also find a table here that shows which modems are supported.

The next :-( is the printer: After my over 10 years old and trusted printer packed up, I got a similar and brand new model end of last year. Apparently noone has written or adapted a printer driver under Linux for this model yet. So, I may have to wait a bit, until someone issues a printer driver for this model, or ... . The old printer would have been 100 % compatible under Linux ...

A good point to start the topic of printers is www.linuxprinting.org/database.html. (http://www.linuxprinting.org/database.html.)

The nice sides of Linux are the big selection of free and shareware, many of the programs handle similar to Windows programs, there are possibilities to give commands in a shell which is a bit similar to a DOS window etc etc. And yes, it is an operation system with a lot of software that comes for free or if you buy a distribution for little money. Under the distribution I have, the topic of interdependance is taken care off by a program called "SUSE Yast", so far this works well.

The downside seems to be, that you must be willing to spend time and that you may have to select hardware that is fully compatible or some things will simply not work ... (I am still surfing under windows ...).

With a dual installation of Windows and Linux, you probably can have the best of both worlds and switch the operating system depending on what you want to do. And you can get used to Linux and sort everything out while still having Windows available ... .

[ 04-24-2004, 09:44 AM: Message edited by: Henning 4148 ]

04-24-2004, 05:49 PM
Personally I doubt Linux will ever catch on in the consumer market. Someday it might be as good for home use as Windows was years ago. Who cares? Maybe for commercial applications, but in that case there may be better OS's. So it's free, so what? Robust? Yawn. More efficient? Again, does it really matter? Those who need max efficiency write their own apps. And you can diddle with the code yourself! Wow! So every app is different every time you go to use it? Like I said, it's for geeks who want to fart around with their PCs all day. But even geeks like to do something useful once in a while.

[ 04-26-2004, 06:31 PM: Message edited by: Victor ]

04-24-2004, 08:33 PM
Microsoft does not care as much about the consumer market as you might think. They have more sales, at better margins, from commerical sales. That's why they have traditionally sold crippled OS's if it's possible that a home user might use them.

04-24-2004, 10:49 PM
Well that's only if you buy into the shtick that you gotta have the latest and greatest. I have a robust OS that is 100% reliable, pages only at startup, almost never crashes, runs any app, runs entirely in memory, and executes every app instantaneously. I ain't tellin ya what it is.

04-24-2004, 11:22 PM
Psssst... the BIOS Monitor really isn't an OS ;)

Lucky Luke
04-25-2004, 11:11 PM
Shane: go for Mac if you really have that much problem!
....although, personally, I think that this "blue screen" phobia is more a legend than a reality: I might have seen it a few dozen times in the last ten years, mainly with early 98...very seldom with NT and Win 2000, almost never yet with XP....
All my programs work fine, new and old printers print, modems modulate and demodulate (what else you want?), and I can even read your crazy posts, guys, on this nut's forum :rolleyes: ....although some folks tend to make me a little....irrritated at times :mad: