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Compleat Idiot's Guide to Linux and EL with Linux

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So basically by installing Ubuntu you will only be left with 2D drivers, and half of your hardware won't work (well, at least on the laptops).
not necessarily. ati/nvidia will run in software mode without closed drivers, but a lot of motherboards and especially laptops will come with integrated video... often intel... and while it isn't great performance, it's acceptable for EL (I ran EL on my lappy with an intel chip, FPS of 15-30 on average, slightly higher under windows)

the wireless card required firmware, so that's not as good, and it has a winmodem (but then, I think these days most people will use a local network and a broadband router, rather than dial-up... plus support for winmodems is getting better even without NDIS wrappers for windows drivers)

 

binary programs are another kettle of fish, sure, but how many of them are needed? there's the flash/java/DVD stuff (which is available in an open source alternative or potentially illegal anyway), but most of what's needed will be available as open source, in my experience

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For those who want to test various operating systems without an installation hassle I would recommend installing VMware Player (free for all!) and then get the virtual machine with the OS you want to test installed from here. You can get many flavours of Linux, *BSD, even some Windows.

 

Download, run and have fun.

 

Regards

 

Chryzopraz

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I can't really believe at the stuff some people write here. Why are you so damn scared of it!? What is so wrong with using terminal and writing few commands that do the job faster than you would open some fancy graphical interface and click ten times to change the name of something!?

 

None of us was born with knowledge of how to use Windows, so, none of us is born with knowledge to use another operating system either. What's the problem with learning it?

I wrote some of that stuff here, and I have no problem typing commands instead of using a GUI. In fact, I've used DOS since version 3.2 (before there was a "real" Windows OS), and I can handle a command line just fine. The problem with Linux is that it requires a lot (and I mean a lot) of reading and, unlike Windows, there is no option for a GUI for the commands by default.

 

Too many versions? Too many programs that do same thing? To many graphical interfaces? So? Is it wrong that it lets you choose what suits to you, even change it if you don't like how it looks? It's better if it behaves like Windows and ask you to behave and USE it how OTHERS made it work and no other option at all!?

 

Many versions of something = competition between makers = happy users with better and better software.

Another thing is that the different versions of Linux are actually different from each other, which mean you need to learn a different OS each time you change a version (or at least a desktop). This is not the case in Windows - all versions of Windows, since Windows 95, looked the same, which mean you know where everything is.

 

As for graphical interfaces - there are just too few of them, and not for the right commands. I personally want a GUI for setting the TV-OUT in my video card, and a GUI to mount NTFS and FAT partitions so I could use my files. I've installed 4 different versions of Linux in the past month just because of it (Mandriva, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and today - OpenSuse 10.2).

 

As for the many versions of the same program - it seems there are even more of this than there are different versions of Linux, so you can never know what to use, since every person would recommend a different program, and you can't just try them all...

 

 

 

Give it a try for a month or two (I recommend Fedora Core 6), don't treat/use it like you used Windows, ask other people that use it about how some things are done, you'll discover something new and you won't be comming back to Windows after that.

If I can somehow find a way to run a version of Linux as smoothly as Windows (watching movies using TV-Out, accessing my documents, running the programs I need), then I would be happy to switch to using just Linux.

Until some big company or union of companies won't make a good version of Linux, with all the needed tools, a good GUI, and a good and short manual for it, I don't see how Linux would even be able to beat Microsoft.

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Another thing is that the different versions of Linux are actually different from each other, which mean you need to learn a different OS each time you change a version (or at least a desktop). This is not the case in Windows - all versions of Windows, since Windows 95, looked the same, which mean you know where everything is.

That's not true, I didn't use windows on my computer since 98 version, few months ago friend ask me to fix his computer, he has windows xp installed there - i have really big problems to find there things that i remember from 98.

So i tried to use command line but that also works different, many commands known from 95 and 98 dosn't exist, other requires different args.

 

I second hand all Unixes have one standard for that, so when i must do something on other computer always same command works as in my computer.

Also dossent matter witch linux distribution I chose I can always install window manager that I like - and make it to look that I want.

 

[edit - fixed some typo, forgive me my bad English ]

Edited by Kedrigern

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I can't really believe at the stuff some people write here. Why are you so damn scared of it!? What is so wrong with using terminal and writing few commands that do the job faster than you would open some fancy graphical interface and click ten times to change the name of something!?

 

None of us was born with knowledge of how to use Windows, so, none of us is born with knowledge to use another operating system either. What's the problem with learning it?

I wrote some of that stuff here, and I have no problem typing commands instead of using a GUI. In fact, I've used DOS since version 3.2 (before there was a "real" Windows OS), and I can handle a command line just fine. The problem with Linux is that it requires a lot (and I mean a lot) of reading and, unlike Windows, there is no option for a GUI for the commands by default.

I'm sure you had to read stuff to use DOS commands, you didn't just figure them out on your own. Even so, on GNU/Linux you have 1000 times more commands than on DOS so comparing using console in DOS and GNU/Linux is insane. When you get used to it once you wont get out of console, I have it as first application on the panel, hell I even play my music from console and watch movies from console.

 

Too many versions? Too many programs that do same thing? To many graphical interfaces? So? Is it wrong that it lets you choose what suits to you, even change it if you don't like how it looks? It's better if it behaves like Windows and ask you to behave and USE it how OTHERS made it work and no other option at all!?

 

Many versions of something = competition between makers = happy users with better and better software.

Another thing is that the different versions of Linux are actually different from each other, which mean you need to learn a different OS each time you change a version (or at least a desktop). This is not the case in Windows - all versions of Windows, since Windows 95, looked the same, which mean you know where everything is.

What's different? Normal user won't notice 90% of anything that changed. I don't really get what you said here.

 

As for graphical interfaces - there are just too few of them, and not for the right commands. I personally want a GUI for setting the TV-OUT in my video card, and a GUI to mount NTFS and FAT partitions so I could use my files. I've installed 4 different versions of Linux in the past month just because of it (Mandriva, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and today - OpenSuse 10.2).

Graphical interface is not same as application with GUI. When I say graphical interface I have Desktop Enviornments in mind: GNOME, KDE, Xfce, E17, fluxbox, blackbox... Windows managers: beryl, compiz, metacity... Theames? Skins? Icons? Everything related to your gfx card is configurable through programs that come with video drivers, I have almost same set of settings with nVidia drivers like in Windows. Every installation nowdays will add all your other drives automaticly you dont have to mount anything by hand!? I dont get it you would rather change 4 versions than type "ntfs linux mount" on google and get the problem solved in 5 minutes?

 

As for the many versions of the same program - it seems there are even more of this than there are different versions of Linux, so you can never know what to use, since every person would recommend a different program, and you can't just try them all...

That's just not being serious. You have 1 000 games for Windows and yet you get to choose which you like :blush: so.. let's talk serious. Never seen anyone complain how there are too much games :hehe:. The thing where problem might be is, that all of those programs are good :o, which is what is important right?

 

Give it a try for a month or two (I recommend Fedora Core 6), don't treat/use it like you used Windows, ask other people that use it about how some things are done, you'll discover something new and you won't be comming back to Windows after that.

If I can somehow find a way to run a version of Linux as smoothly as Windows (watching movies using TV-Out, accessing my documents, running the programs I need), then I would be happy to switch to using just Linux.

Until some big company or union of companies won't make a good version of Linux, with all the needed tools, a good GUI, and a good and short manual for it, I don't see how Linux would even be able to beat Microsoft.

GNU/Linux runs more smoothly than Windows, and like I said, don't treat it like Windows because it's not. Don't make it work like Windows does. I'm sure you can watch movies on TV-OUT look at your gfx card settings after you install drivers. What's problem with the documents? Most of the programs you would ever want to have come with standard installation. Things aren't perfect, but for most programs from Windows you have same level counterpart.

 

Sounds to me like you are talking this wihout giving it a chance for more than 5 minutes. I seriously don't believe you even tried using it, maybe ran a Live CD "click here click there, nah this isn't Windows", well of course it isnt :).

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Why are you so damn scared of it!? What is so wrong with using terminal and writing few commands that do the job faster than you would open some fancy graphical interface and click ten times to change the name of something!?

 

Good point, Wexy! Call me chastened, but I did mention the old dog/new tricks syndrome. Learning new rules while my head is still memorizing the old ones can be a daunting concept!

I did go from a very early Mac OS with a simple desktop GUI after typing lines of BASIC into my Atari 130XE. After that it was a buggy hand-me-down Win 3.1 machine and DOS to keep it working. After that, Win 98 was like watching TV, so I became spoiled. Maybe this can explain some of the apprehension! One thing's for sure, I'd love to get out from under the yoke of MS....

 

Compleat Idiots Guide to Spelling. laugh.gif

 

Sorry I could not resist... I humbly accept that I deserve a slap. whistle.gif

 

:o Hee! Here's the slap, SharkBite. Back in the olden days before there were "Dummies" books, there were "Compleat Idiots" books. I still have my copy of 'Compleat Idiots Guide to Volkswagen Repair".... yep, old hippie. :) The spelling is Olde English, or at least supposed to look that way.

 

:hehe: Tons of info to absorb here! Looks like I started a campfire with an EFE! Thanks, and keep it up (just don't get me in trouble for starting a flame war! :blush: )

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http://www.linux-tutorial.info/

 

lots of info laid out in an easy to use format in my opinion. It also does quizing flash card style.

 

As far as trying linux, as was mentioned, get a live version. It will not be windows but also it will not be for everyone. Windows has the benifits of being a monopoly(many companies want to be able to work with it so as to not be left out) and the negatives(charge more than nessicary, provide poor product). Even so, many will stick with windows. My choice came from no longer wanting to HATE computers as I recognized that they amazing tools that could be put to so many uses if they would stop crashing for no reason that I could fathom.

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senkrad:

While I like the idea of Linux, and used Linux ocassionally, I am not sure it makes people not hate computers.

There are still many problems with Linux, the most frustrating being that you generally don't have good hardware support. Many Linux distros I tried couldn't even find the right resolution of my laptop's screen, and some didn't even have it in a list, despite for the fact that it's a standard laptop resolution (1280x960).

Installing the WiFi drivers can also be a pain in the ass, depending on what WiFi chipset you have. ndiswrapper and modprobe are not exactly user friendly, let alone newbie friendly.

In fact, I tried Ubuntu once, and it was so messed up in respect to the WiFi that I gave up (it was loading the wrong driver, so I tried to uninstall the old one and put the new one via ndiswrapper, but it didn't work).

Mandriva, on the other hand, has anice GUI over ndiswrapper so installing your WiFi support is pretty easy.

 

The another issue with Linux is that the interface for many programs sucks. It's not intuitive, it's bulky, lacks features, and looks ugly.

 

Then when it comes to installing software, it can be either very easy (if what you want is in your distro repository, or if there is a binary program such as Skype and VMware), but it can be extremely frustrating if you have to go the configure/make/make install way and you are missing some dependencies, or you have the wrong version or something.

 

I have another problem with KDE/Gnome, and I'll probably get flamed for this, but here it is anyway: I happen to actually like the Windows taskbar. That's either because I am used to it, or because it was designed by smart people.

While both Gnome and KDE have taskbars, I could not make them look like the windows taskbar. What I want is to have a small space between the tak windows on the taskbar, and to have it so that the active window is colored in such a way that it is obvious it's open. Gnome sort of has that, but it will not make the taks on the taskbar smaller when there are too many of them, which is, again, annoying for me.

Now, probably those things can be configured in some theme somewhere, but there is no obvious way to do that...

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Gnome sort of has that, but it will not make the taks on the taskbar smaller when there are too many of them, which is, again, annoying for me.

Now, probably those things can be configured in some theme somewhere, but there is no obvious way to do that...

If you are talking about task icon grouping, it's actually working very nice with the basic version of gnome shipped with ubuntu 6.10 ;)

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No, not grouping, I don't like that.

What I would like is some feature where for example if you have 3-4 windows open, they are big on the taskbar, but if you have 10 windows open, they should be smaller, so all of them can fit.

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No, not grouping, I don't like that.

What I would like is some feature where for example if you have 3-4 windows open, they are big on the taskbar, but if you have 10 windows open, they should be smaller, so all of them can fit.

 

Do you mean something like Gnome's window list? It auto adjusts for the number of windows you have open.

 

Screenshot.png

 

Edit: The middle section of the lower menu bar.

Edited by larrystorch

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I recently switched to linux from the dreaded windows. It wasn't too hard of a transition, but I have friends to help me. I am currently running KUbuntu. So, don't be scared give linux a try. I chose KDE because freeone3000 told me too and because I like the interface more than the GNOME based operating systems.

 

Screenshot of my desktop running KUbuntu.

snapshot1sx0.th.png

Edited by Beorn

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larrystorch:

Yes, that is exactly what I mean. You see, in windows those task window 'buttons' become smaller, while gnome just puts them on two lines, but at the same size.

 

Chryzopraz:

Actually, I tried xfce that came preinstalled on a FreeBSD live CD. The problem was that I couldn't, for the life of me, merge those two bars (the bar with the buttons and the taskbar), and it ended with both on top of eachother (the task bar covering the menu bar). I could relocate the taskbar up, but not the launcher bar.

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The newer versions of Gnome does adjust size of the buttons depending on how many windows are open. There is preference setting to limit it within limits you define. My setting is 500 pixels minimum to 700 pixels max.

 

Screenshot-2.png

 

I will admit that it did take me time to learn about all these settings over the years. The default install leaves alot to be desired in my mind. That could be considered a big minus to some while others love it. Some people don't want to have to dig to get things "just right", and for them, they are correct, they shouldn't have to.

Edited by larrystorch

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Right click on most menu bar items will bring up a preference box. In the case of the window list, it's the vertical anchor bar on the left side.

 

And like you said, unless the programs you want come installed with the distro or from a repository, it can be a royal pain to install from source. I'm fortunate that Slackware have linuxpackages.net which has alot of compiled programs contributed from other users.

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Omg, youre discussing about GUI's and think, its a pro/neg point for Linux.

 

The first thing which pops up when my SuSE/KDE starts, is a shell. Thats the place where you should go and type your commands. The flavour of the GUI shold not really matter.

 

Ppl are complaining that there are too many distros/GUI's while using Linux? Well, then use Windows and stay with the only one Microsoft supports. Or, better, whith the whole mess they support.

 

Linux gives you an *OPTION* to use more than one interface. Like GUI's? Try some and find the one you like. Dont like the distro because others have more software? Try them.

 

Dont like GUI's? Just start a terminal and use a shell.

 

Its all up to you, and no ebul Billy_Boy forces you to use just a stupid windows where you get lost in menues or stoopid assistens pop up and give you hints you would never expect and never ask for... (not to mention the mother of all viruses...)

 

Seriously, try some Live-CD's, find the distro you like and use it.

 

Personally i like it just to type "c" (which is a shell script for make) than finding my way through some strange menues or icon bars to compile a program. Or setting up options for compiling a program in some menues hidden somewhere where no one would expect them.

 

And starting Star Office isnt harder than starting Word. Well, you have a lot in the unix/linux world you can use. You just must try it.

 

Just my 2 cents, as usually ;)

 

Piper

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The_Piper:

Huh?

Who complained about the many GUIs? I don't think anyone ever complained about them.

Wht people complain about is the fact that none of them are good enough for their needs.

 

As for the command prompt, yeah, that has it's uses sometimes, liek doing remote admin. But most of the people do not have fun using their command propt (especially in conjunction with vi) to recompile the kernel so that they can have 3d video drivers, or so edit fstab to install a windows disk, etc.

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I used redhat, mandrake, then finally Fedora Core Series.

I tested some debian-based distros, but I didnt liked too much, maybe because they insisted on use XFree86 instead of xorg in the past (dunno how they are nowadays).

 

I use both here, more windows, specially because I didnt find a distro that recognizes all devices from my notebook (and sadly hp doesnt support notebook drivers for linux :/).

 

Other point, to navigate on web with linux is way more beautiful than windows. The font are smoother and better to read :)

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Unfortunately, Debian has gone to xorg as of the licensing change in xf86(i'm xf86 4 life).

 

now, to continue in the spirit of this thread:

i settled on knoppix for my workstation pc (i prefer NetBSD for my servers) after trying redhat for a few years(god i hate rpm package management systems X( )and then mandrake/mandriva(i quit mandrake right before the mandriva fiasco). i chose knoppix because, well, i was lazy and didn't want to spend an hour getting a desktop up and running(knoppix takes 20 minutes to install to hard drive and is up and functional upon reboot).

however, if your laziness extends to the point of NOT wanting to learn new stuff, well, hell, give up living then since life is always about learning and bettering one's knowledge of the world around them and how it functions. i know many, many people who are more than happy to just take life at face value and never investigate the mechanics/dynamics involved. this complacency, my friends, is how tyrannies of the most vile sort arise. this complacency, my friends, is what has allowed microsoft to deem how you will use your computer, your property.

now, i will say, Linux distros aren't for everyone and i dread the day Linux, in it's current incarnation makes headway into the mainstream and onto Average Joe's desk at home, for it is this Average Joe who will be calling my shop every 5 minutes with an issue because he hasn't taken the time to assess whether Linux or Windows meets his need because all he has seen is the difference in price, and not the differences in costs (in essence, he's trading saving money by investing more of his time understanding how his system functions and learning how to install software packages. while he has made a financial savings, his investment of time has more than doubled, so has he really saved anything? and if his domain is not computer configuration and repair, then is this investment of his time a worthwhile investment?)

if your reason for wanting to switch to linux is because you are weighing it against the forthcoming, ever-more-bloated, ever-less-functional latest and greatest marketing triumph from microsoft, the only thing i can say is suck it up and stay with windows 98/2000/xp/vista/WindowsWhatever.

however, if you want to learn more about how standards-compliant systems(as in following POSIX standards and established networking standards that aren't hooked with Genuine Proprietary Goodness), you want to maintain control of YOUR property and bathe in the fuzzy warmness of a software license that actually encourages you to share software with others, then please, by all means, try linux.

 

and, as an aside, i know some of you guys just "have to have" that one game that you can get to run under WINE, but please consider this for a moment: if you want the application landscape to change and offer you a choice of what OS you would like to be able to use an application with, please considering NOT using it under WINE in Linux. when you use WINE to run that game or office suite, you give legitimacy to the concept that software developers can dictate to you how you should use your system(ie: "we would rather you used windows and we won't support our software under WINE in Linux"). This gives credence to the claim that "no one uses linux and no one is asking for our software in native linux binary format". i have managed to wean myself from using windows software when i have a choice in the matter and believe it or not, i don't miss many of the over-hyped games and applications from $BIG_SOFTWARE_CORP.

as it is right now, when i have customers ask me if there's something they can use besides windows, i tell them to buy a mac. when they complain macs cost too much, i then ask why they complain about the cost of windows. i won't even tell them about linux at all. why? when you boot a system and it never makes it to the desktop because it is so overloaded with viruses, trojans, and adware, you realise that not only are they incapable of running linux, they are far from being able to keep themselves from engaging in behaviours that led them to bring me their machine in the first place.

 

now i realise that this post may come off as somewhat elitist, but please understand that this is not my intention. I see alot of these "is linux right for me?" posts all over the internet in variuous forums of sorts and my only reply is "if you have to ask that question, it isn't right for you then". but if you know for sure that proprietary software, licenses that impose restrictions upon you, and having control of your property taken away from you is not right for you, and you're willing to invest some time into learning, then perhaps linux just might be whatt you're looking for.

 

walk in peace.

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Yes, that is exactly what I mean. You see, in windows those task window 'buttons' become smaller, while gnome just puts them on two lines, but at the same size.

 

 

Entropy, here are some snaps of my task bar under kde. I did nothing special to it except switch off the grouping because you said you dont like that

 

Only a couple of Apps - the bold is the currently active window

TBsnapshot1.png

 

The rest show that as the number increase the window buttons get smaller

TBsnapshot2.png

TBsnapshot3.png

TBsnapshot4.png

 

This has been a feature of KDE for as long as I remember

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Omg, youre discussing about GUI's and think, its a pro/neg point for Linux.

 

The first thing which pops up when my SuSE/KDE starts, is a shell. Thats the place where you should go and type your commands. The flavour of the GUI shold not really matter.

 

Ppl are complaining that there are too many distros/GUI's while using Linux? Well, then use Windows and stay with the only one Microsoft supports. Or, better, whith the whole mess they support.

 

Linux gives you an *OPTION* to use more than one interface. Like GUI's? Try some and find the one you like. Dont like the distro because others have more software? Try them.

 

Dont like GUI's? Just start a terminal and use a shell.

The problem with Linux is there are too many desktop environments (which I call GUIs), and somethings would work with one desktop but not with the other. It's not a question of which one is better, because that's a personal preference, but the fact that some desktops allows you to do things the others won't.

 

The other thing is the lack of GUI interfaces for some of the more needed commands (at least by default) - like a GUI interface for the mount command. I had to search the Internet to find out how to mount my windows partitions, until I found I need to edit a file named fstab. Now since that file is a root file, I had to use the terminal to switch to SU mode and then run an editor to edit that file. The problem is that the answer I found on the Internet didn't say all that - it just said to edit the fstab file, so I had to figure all this myself. Now, I have some understanding about computers and softwares, so I could figure it out myself, but if you give this to someone who only used Windows all his life, I really don't think s/he would have been able to solve the problem.

 

I also have a few other problems (like making my TV-out work without disabling my monitor, or setting the "right" resolution in openSuse/KDE, or making my printer work), but at least I'm trying to use Linux.

Edited by smalul

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@Entropy

Yes, that is exactly what I mean. You see, in windows those task window 'buttons' become smaller, while gnome just puts them on two lines, but at the same size.

Why would they become smaller if there is enough space for them to fit? Isn't it better for you to see the complete title of the window?

 

@smalul

The problem with Linux is there are too many desktop environments (which I call GUIs), and somethings would work with one desktop but not with the other.

Example please?

 

The problem is that the answer I found on the Internet didn't say all that - it just said to edit the fstab file, so I had to figure all this myself.

Not flaming but, this is a lie. You didn't even need to search the internet, just type "man mount" (it's a manual, so read it).

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