View Full Version : Linux
28th December 2006, 12:29 PM
I have windows xp like many others, however I am sick of all the security issues with it and I had thought of going for ima, however I need to replace both my laptop and PC to costly for me.
I have thought of going for Linux, however Iam confused by redhat and others. Can some one help out by advising which one to go for and how or were to download it.
I note some are free others are not, i idealy would like something on a CD or DVD and just to install it onto the devices.
28th December 2006, 12:52 PM
Don't know much about Linux - but when I had a look around a couple months back, there is a version that runs on windows like from a disc - Ideal for trying it out ! then if you get on with it you can install the full version
Will have a root around to find it
28th December 2006, 01:08 PM
There are a squillion distributions (distros) of Linux and they are all much the same at the core, but at the front end can differ widely. Most, if not all, can be downloaded from the home websites or the likes of Softforge.
If you are of an enquiring mind it may be an idea to download the full versions and run them in "Live" mode - this means they run right off the CD without needing to be installed to a hard drive partition. This will certainly give you a flavour for the various distros before you settle on any one. Thats what Miffed is on about :D
My own suggestions are Ubuntu and Knoppix, both will run Live. There are lots of others too, just do a search in Google or have a look at http://distrowatch.com/ where you can read up on the various distros out there (1000+ according to the site).
Be prepared for a bit of a change though. Linux is not Windows, although it has the same notion of WIMP (Windows, Icons, Mice and Pointers) but the actual doing is quite different. Much of the config is in text files in the /etc directory tree. You'll have to get used to how and where Linux puts is files.
Most of the recent distros have fairly good front ends to configuring the system, but there are times you may have to dive into the text config files. There is an ocean of help out on the Internet, so just find the forum for your chosen distro for all the help you'll need. Just make sure you RTFM first :)
Apps are much the same in general - good eMail clients, web browsers, multimedia apps and best of all, few if any virus issues.
Do tell how you get on
29th December 2006, 01:42 PM
I vote for Ubuntu 6.06, although having used it non stop for a few months I ended up having to go back to XP as my wireless card just stopped working one day and I could not fix it. Aside from wi-fi problems, I couldn't recommend it highly enough. Fairly straight forward to use. I was able to do everything I can under XP and probably more, however I couldn't live without wi-fi. I just have one of those troublesome cards, or motherboards or something else that just didn't get on with ubuntu. Will definitely go back to it again at some point.
Go here for ubuntu forums (http://www.ubuntuforums.org/) and here for the download (http://www.ubuntu.com/products/GetUbuntu/download?action=show&redirect=download). What you will find is 6.06 has long term support, but there is a newer version 6.10 which I just could not get my wi-fi card working with and then 6.06 never worked again! Try the live cd download and see what happens when you run that. The forums are useful as well. If you are any good with pc's linux should be picked up fairly quickly. It is different and can be quite a shock, but I found it a worthwhile experience.
Don't expect easy phone sync'ing though.
29th December 2006, 02:22 PM
@gorilla - I assume you was trying this with a Laptop? I had the same problems and the support forums for WiFi chipset working are alive with info, much of it seems to work for various versions of the distros but it is all too easy, as you found, to cripple something that formerly worked.
Much of the issue lies within the /etc configuration directory tree, although I'm not sufficiently expert enough with the OS to tell you exactly what. Also, as far as I can recall, there was a need for a supplementary utility under Ubuntu to get a small set of WiFi chipsets working. I even went to the trouble of buying one of those [very cheap from Dabs] Edimax WiFi cards to get the system working - but never quite followed it through to a working conflusion.
Digression: Edimax kit from Dabs is ridiculously cheap, but works so very well compared to some of the mainstream. Try getting a WiFi repeater working with the otheres - with Edimax its a snap using their AP device (http://www.dabs.com/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=3K7Q&SearchType=1&CategorySelectedId=11178&SearchTerms=edimax&PageMode=3&SearchKey=All&SearchMode=All&NavigationKey=11178) for £28!
Having taken up an Apple Mac Mini of late I find the entire Un*x experience staggeringly straightforward. You can still, if you insist, hack around with the flat files, but I wouldn't recommend it. Apple have, with their OS X, implemented the GUI front end to configuration that I believe the Linux community can only aspire to. But that they should replicate if they want Linux to seriously take on Windows. That, above all else, is the key to Linux really getting a firm footing.
Although, with the inside info on Windows Vista and its crippling DRM issues (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/12/28/vista_drm_analysis/) becoming apparent, it may well be that Linux will leap to the fore! More on this in a separate post on Talk3G once I've had a chance to digest the article <hic!> :D
7th February 2007, 11:37 PM
Another new distro has surfaced .... Mint Linux (http://linuxmint.com/index.html). This distro is based on Ubuntu but has been added to significantly, if what I read is right.
Linux Mint's purpose is to produce an elegant, up to date and comfortable GNU/Linux desktop based on Ubuntu.
It does look rather interesting and may well be a closer answer to Windows to those looking for alternatives. It may work more like Windows straight out of the box without having to develop a guru-like Linux mentality, if what they say is borne out in reality .....
Linux Mint is like a customized version of Ubuntu. It uses the same repositories and the same packages. It follows the Ubuntu releases and innovations. Basically, it is 98% Ubuntu, with a few differences:
- Ubuntu has a fixed 6 months release cycle. Between each Ubuntu release, Linux Mint produces one or more releases with up to date packages.
- The artwork is different in Linux Mint. Our goal is to make the desktop as pleasant as possible. Although Ubuntu's artwork is really good, we believe it can be better.
- We believe in choice. Ubuntu and Kubuntu tend to follow the "free software" philosophies and for this reason do not include "dirty" software (patented or proprietary technologies for instance). This is great and this is the way it should be. However, other distributions provide the choice to the user (for instance Mandriva 2007 can be downloaded as a "free" or "non-free" version). If you're like us, you probably do read encrypted DVDs and listen to MP3 songs. It is important to understand why these formats are indeed "dirty" but since we'll end up adding them to our Ubuntu installation anyway, we decided to give an option to lazy users. In other words, if "freedom" is more important for you than "comfort" you should consider using a "clean" distribution such as Ubuntu (or Debian, or Fedora...), if it isn't then Linux Mint is made for you.
- Linux Mint doesn't necessarily use Gnome. For instance, when Linux Mint 1.0 was released KDE seemed a better option than Gnome. In version 2.0 it was the opposite. The desktop itself (home folder, places, panels) can also be changed if we believe it can give a better experience to the user.
- The default selection of software and packages is different in Linux Mint. First universe, multiverse and unofficial repositories are configured to give more choice to the user. Then some software is removed and some added (for instance Amarok is preferred to Rhythmbox). Also a lot of codecs for "dirty" formats (encrypted DVDs, MP3, divX, win32) and plugins (Java, Flash, Realplayer) are added.
I'm downloading a copy of it right now - will hopefully give it a bash over the weekend. The ISO image is of a Live CD so you can try without installing it on the hard disk.
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