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What are the features of LINUX OPERATING SYSTEM!!





cyberbuddy
i am using XP presently and iam satisfied but i want to more about LINUX OS so any body with its features pls guide me




thank u
eznet
I think that most people would agree that one of Linux's biggest features would have to be that it is free. Furthermore, not only is most everything in regards to the operating system free, but so too are all the applications within it. Elaborating further on freedom, not only are most aspects of the system monetarily free, but also you are free to modify them to suit your specific needs if you are so inclined.

From a developers stance, it is really freeing to be able to take a peak at source from pretty much all types of applications available so that you know what is at work under the hood. Also, it is nice to feel that your entire OS environment is intuitive to your development workflow and needs. I know that Windows can be made this way as well, but I feel that my productivity via the shell is much higher in Linux than was the case in Windows.

In the end, it all boils down to preference and what it is that you are looking for out of your OS. For what I do, Linux has been a heaven sent. I run dual video cards in SLI and do a good deal of video processing and editing. I also do a reasonable amount of toying with design and development. For everything I need to do, my Ubuntu system is rock stable and a high performer. As an added bonus, I get the eye candy of a GLX desktop while I work - pointless eye-candy, I know, but pretty to watch, none the less.
Fire Boar
Free as in Free Speech, not Free Beer. That's the spirit behind Linux, and though everything is monetarily free as well, the big bonus is that nothing is tied to any commercial organization. "Security Patches" really are for security, and not for making Microsoft or Apple or any company more money. Anything which slows up or restricts your computer is just not found in Linux, because so many developers see what goes in that the release OS is completely free of these things.

So when using Linux, you can know that all your software is going to obey you. Nothing is going to phone home to any company or website without your knowledge and consent. Your computer becomes yours.

Also, Gnome, KDE and XFCE are all full-fledged desktop environments, suitable for everyday use just as Windows Explorer is. The applications you use are different, but perform similar or the same tasks in much the same way. For example, Konqueror for KDE acts just like a file manager should act: drag, drop, thumbnails, file status, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, etc. etc. The fact that it can be used for bluetooth, FTP, web browsing, PDFs and more, and that it supports tab-based file management is a bonus!

Finally, the Command Line Interface, or CLI. This is a turn-off for some, and a turn-on for others. It is extremely powerful, and with a little learning you can perform tasks that you would normally use a GUI for, very very quickly indeed. Using this tends to be unnecessary nowadays, but it is certainly extremely useful if you're willing to learn.
hunnyhiteshseth
But still if windows was your first OS and you are not a little tech savvy then linux will have a steep learnng curve for you.
Sometimes you wont be able to do things so intutively as you used to do in windows. But, after some time you will love it!! Laughing
Fire Boar
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
But still if windows was your first OS and you are not a little tech savvy then linux will have a steep learnng curve for you.


LOL, I dare anyone to say honestly that their first OS wasn't Windows. There are very few Linux users who didn't move from Windows at some point or another.

I don't think you have to be incredibly tech-savvy to use Linux. You just have to have an open mind. Installation of most popular distributions is incredibly easy nowadays, far easier than Windows since you don't need to install any drivers at all apart from possibly ones for the wireless devices. Seriously, my only failed operating system installation was a Windows install.
Diablosblizz
I would have to say the best feature of Linux would defiantly be the "eye-candy." Surely beats Vista any day, and it's much smaller too. Unfortunately, I don't have much use for it so I have it kindly stored on a secondary hard drive on dual boot.
mehulved
cyberbuddy wrote:
i am using XP presently and iam satisfied but i want to more about LINUX OS so any body with its features pls guide me

Best way is to help yourself, rather than asking others
Step 1: Visit a few trusted sites like wikipedia and read up about linux
Step 2: Get a live CD of some easy to use distribution like ubuntu and try it out on your PC, without installing or harming your windows install.
Step 3: Try out the live cd
Step 4: Read up more on linux
Fire Boar
mehulved wrote:
Step 3: Try out the live cd


Be warned: trying out a live CD is VERY slow, because everything is loaded on your CD rather than your hard disk. Also you won't be able to permanently install anything (though you CAN install programs up to a point, which is nice; they'll simply be lost when you reboot).

Another option is to use something like VirtualBox to create a temporary machine on your computer, and then install and run Linux from within Windows, at nearly full speed. That will give you a fully functioning machine, not particularly optimal but much better than the live CD and working as if it were a complete computer system. Then you can simply delete the virtual machine file when you've had enough.
Studio Madcrow
Linux's number one feature is that it is free, both in terms of "freedom" and (usually, at least) in terms of "doesn't cost anything) Due to the fact that Linux is fre (as in Freedom) anybody who has a good idea can add it, so Linux gets many other features that way.
moofang
I'm surprised no one has talked about it, but one very prominent feature of Linux over windows is its really really fast. Not only that, it is extremely resource friendly. Most distros are very small on your hard drive, and runs comfortably on a modest amount of ram - even with some really awesome eye-candy enabled. Software freedom means alot to people who care about OSS philosophy, but for most end-users, I think this is a far bigger perk and plus point Wink

Another strong point for Linux is customizability - you generally have much better control over your system than in windows. System files and config files are often readable, and virtually every part of your system can be changed to suit your taste if you would bother to dig in deep enough. You even get to choose the graphical windowing system to use.

Other plus points include : you don't ever need to defrag your hdd. You are automatically and practically immune to like 95% of viruses and spywares out there. And multiple desktops. You'll never tolerate a single desktop again after you've experienced having 8 Wink

Learning curve is very real though, and unfortunately there is no linux release for many good software out there. So there are catches. In any case, it definitely doesn't hurt to dual boot/virtualize/wubi and try it out Wink
Fire Boar
moofang wrote:
You are automatically and practically immune to like 95% of viruses and spywares out there.


All good points, but this one deserves contesting. All viruses are written for Windows. Any written for Linux simply would not work, because of the permissions thing. The first thing a Linux user learns about their new operating system is not to run anything as root. Ubuntu doesn't even tell you the root password - you just use sudo and either gksudo or kdesudo for everything administrative with your own password. Although that can be circumvented by typing "sudo passwd" into a terminal.

Anyway, the only way you could get a nasty virus on your Linux computer if you follow these sensible rules is if you install it deliberately, that is, supply a root password as it tries to install itself. Since viruses tend to rely on acting inconspicuously, that exposes them at once. Since pretty much all programs for Linux are open source, any viruses using the other method, the Trojan Horse method, would be pointed out and exterminated. So the only way of accidentally getting one is to install some shady closed-source software from a dodgy vendor.

Sounds like Windows Vista's UAC? There are slight similarities, yes, but many differences. You never run stuff with an administrator account unlike in Vista. The screen doesn't go all dark and freeze everything unlike in Vista. There's a "ticketing" system that authorizes all sudo commands for 5 minutes after the most recent one before having to enter the password again, unlike in Vista. Programs NEVER require you to run them as root on a day to day basis, unlike in Vista. Sudo has been around since 1980, unlike UAC. Sudo isn't annoying, unlike UAC.

Finally, I'd like to see a virus try and mess up your machine under Wine!

Summary: Yes, you are protected automatically from 95% of all viruses. The other 5% you are also protected from if you exercise common sense.
mehulved
Fire Boar wrote:

Finally, I'd like to see a virus try and mess up your machine under Wine!

A few of them do actally run. There's a whole thread on this topic on ubuntu forums
moofang
A virus running on wine is an interesting idea ;D

@fireboar : I'm pretty sure its not so simple. You are right that exercising common sense and good practice saves you from virtually 100% of malware NOW, but that is mainly because next to nobody is interested in writing malware for linux - its alot harder to write than an equivalent for windows, and there are so few people using linux, comparatively. However, the danger can exist if linux ever gains enough market share for malware authors to be interested in targetting it. Even if we restrict ourselves to open source software - how certain are we that someone would have actually read through the source if its a relatively obscure software, and even if someone has, how do we know? Besides, half the time we install software from binaries anyway, so even if the source is clean, malicious parties can still distribute modified binaries that contain a trojan. In the end, we the user is the person responsible - we decide when to sudo, when to give root permissions, and even if we do our best to limit this, there will still be those occasional times we would need to sudo a script that we haven't had time to actually read through.

Of course, another upside of linux is that virtually all common software you ever need is open source and surrounded by a healthy community - but that's why I said 95% Wink
Fire Boar
http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-99316.html

*steers the topic back to Linux features* This is very interesting, so please let's continue the virus discussion in the thread linked to.
{name here}
The basic feature of Linux is that it can be customized to have all the features you need, even support for windows applications.
snowboardalliance
eznet wrote:
I run dual video cards in SLI and do a good deal of video processing and editing.


Not to get off track, but I have tried Ubuntu in dual boot, but I rarely use it specifically because I have not found any good editing software. What do you use? I'm used to Adobe Premiere and (importantly) After Effects for really advanced stuff and I couldn't live with your basic cut/transition/title Windows Movie Maker-like software. What advanced editing software is available for linux?
moofang
snowboardalliance wrote:
eznet wrote:
I run dual video cards in SLI and do a good deal of video processing and editing.


Not to get off track, but I have tried Ubuntu in dual boot, but I rarely use it specifically because I have not found any good editing software. What do you use? I'm used to Adobe Premiere and (importantly) After Effects for really advanced stuff and I couldn't live with your basic cut/transition/title Windows Movie Maker-like software. What advanced editing software is available for linux?


I think its also relevant here to bring up that the linux/open source community still has a long way to go in departments such as this (video editting) Sad I have tried a few suggested tools and didn't like any, and reviews of the software available generally agree that they are not quite up to par with the (admittedly proprietary and costly) products you can get on windows and mac Sad

@Snowboardalliance : A few things you can try : check if you can wine those adobe software you use. Failing that you may want to try Ubuntu Studio (www.ubuntustudio.org/ ), which is a derivative of Ubuntu that comes pre-installed with a slew of media-related software.
Fire Boar
Of course, proprietary software for stuff like this is going to be better: it must be good in order to sell copies. For imaging Photoshop is very hard to beat (although GIMP is a decent alternative, its interface confuses some people). Fortunately, Adobe products tend to work pretty well on Wine: Fireworks, Flash and Photoshop all work fine in Wine 1.0 and above.
eznet
snowboardalliance wrote:
eznet wrote:
I run dual video cards in SLI and do a good deal of video processing and editing.


Not to get off track, but I have tried Ubuntu in dual boot, but I rarely use it specifically because I have not found any good editing software. What do you use? I'm used to Adobe Premiere and (importantly) After Effects for really advanced stuff and I couldn't live with your basic cut/transition/title Windows Movie Maker-like software. What advanced editing software is available for linux?


Although I don't have much experience with Premiere and other Adobe products for comparison, I have used Cinelerra and Kino with success. I am sure that there is a learning curve involved when coming from the Windows solutions, but with a little trial, error and experimentation, there is a lot that can be accomplished with these applications. I have read reports of people using Kdenlive, which looks promisingly intuitive, though I have not personally played with it yet - on the list of things to do Smile
jeremyp
Well to read all these posts you'd think Linux was sent by God to save us from our sins. Let me try to put a more realistic point of view.

Linux is a not bad operating system considering that you don't have to pay any money for it. However, partly because it's free (and Free) you will have issues. If you're not technically competent with computers, preferably with some experience of programming I would advise against it.

Hardware support varies from OK to flakey. Because Linux is Free some design decisions have been taken that prevent some hardware from being exploited to its fullest. Many hardware manufacturers, for instance, are reluctant to release open source drivers for trade secret reasons which is problematic because Linus Torvalds refuses to stabilise the driver interface. You can't guarantee your driver is going to work from one point release of the kernel to the next. The driver issue is particularly problematic with graphics cards. You might get full 3D support or you might not depending on the card, the driver and the kernel version.

The sound system is another problematic area. Because the Linux development team is a loose collection of mainly volunteers, there has been no direction to the sound architecture. There are several different and competing ways of getting sound to a sound card from an application. Sound might work for you or it might not depending on the combination of application, sound system and kernel version.

You might also find wireless networking doesn't work or some USB doesn't work or your SATA disks aren't recognised during the boot sequence or any of a number of other issues.

If you do have problems, prepare for pain. Firstly, the documentation is sketchy. Linux is written by volunteers and you can't order volunteers to write the documentation. You can go online and ask for help from the Free Software community but amongst the helpful answer, you'll get lots of useless rubbish from the more a-hole end of the community like: "works for me" and "read the docs" and "quit whining and fix the bug yourself" and "you don't need that feature" etc etc.

Once you have got Linux up and running to your satisfaction, is it any better than Windows? In the old days of Windows 95 and 98 the answer was unequivocally yes. However, when compared to Windows XP for the normal user, I'd say it's not better, just different. Windows XP is now just as reliable as Linux and you won't notice the speed difference. Linux is faster in a server environment but that's probably because you can turn the GUI off.

I've been talking about Linux as if it's just one thing, but in fact, it's really a term for the collection of different operating systems all of which are based on one or other version of the Linux kernel. So there's Red Hat, Debian, Ubuntu, SuSE, Knoppix, Mandriva, Slackware, Gentoo etc etc etc. The probability that any one application will install successfully on all of these different operating systems is remote to zero. This is why commercial companies rarely get involved in Linux because they'd have to maintain a huge variety of versions of their software for all of the different Linuxes. A case in point: check out the Opera download page for Mac OS X. There are two possible versions and they're only needed because there are two processor architectures used in Macs. Now check out the Linux download page. Oh, actually there are four, one for each processor architecture, so we'll go with the i386 Linux page. There are 15 different distributions to select from and each has a number of sub selects for operating system version, Ubuntu has seven of these, for instance. The software has to be packaged and tested for every single one of these distribution/version combinations which is a huge amount of effort.

Linux is a huge technical achievement and it's a great toy for geeks but it is less than ideal for normal people who just want to use their computers to get their work done.
jeremyp
duplicate
Fire Boar
Ah, you make some excellent points jeremyp, here are my views.

jeremyp wrote:
Hardware support varies from OK to flakey. Because Linux is Free some design decisions have been taken that prevent some hardware from being exploited to its fullest. Many hardware manufacturers, for instance, are reluctant to release open source drivers for trade secret reasons which is problematic because Linus Torvalds refuses to stabilise the driver interface. You can't guarantee your driver is going to work from one point release of the kernel to the next. The driver issue is particularly problematic with graphics cards. You might get full 3D support or you might not depending on the card, the driver and the kernel version.


Not quite. Certainly, full 3D support for graphics cards requires binary drivers, but these are generally well supported by good distributions and packages like "nvidia-glx" really do just work. Apart from that, everything is supported out of the box so there's no need for the driver hell that comes with installing Windows.

jeremyp wrote:
The sound system is another problematic area. Because the Linux development team is a loose collection of mainly volunteers, there has been no direction to the sound architecture. There are several different and competing ways of getting sound to a sound card from an application. Sound might work for you or it might not depending on the combination of application, sound system and kernel version.

You might also find wireless networking doesn't work or some USB doesn't work or your SATA disks aren't recognised during the boot sequence or any of a number of other issues.


I agree on both of these points, although I'd like to point out that I've found KDE4 to be very robust in the area of sound management. The desktop itself is in early days still, but it's coming on nicely.

jeremyp wrote:
If you do have problems, prepare for pain. Firstly, the documentation is sketchy. Linux is written by volunteers and you can't order volunteers to write the documentation. You can go online and ask for help from the Free Software community but amongst the helpful answer, you'll get lots of useless rubbish from the more a-hole end of the community like: "works for me" and "read the docs" and "quit whining and fix the bug yourself" and "you don't need that feature" etc etc.


What community boards are you looking at? I've NEVER seen that kind of response, and being a bit of a tweak-freak I have visited several Linux forums/mailing lists/IRCs.

jeremyp wrote:
Once you have got Linux up and running to your satisfaction, is it any better than Windows? In the old days of Windows 95 and 98 the answer was unequivocally yes. However, when compared to Windows XP for the normal user, I'd say it's not better, just different. Windows XP is now just as reliable as Linux and you won't notice the speed difference. Linux is faster in a server environment but that's probably because you can turn the GUI off.


Now, if speed were the only thing that matters, I'd agree here. But it doesn't. Reliability is fine for Windows XP for the first year or so, but after that I've seen Windows machines crash constantly. Most write off their computers, I install Linux to squeeze another few years of life from it. Also you choose exactly what you put on there. Your computer essentially belongs to you, and that's really the most important reason (at least in my opinion) why one would choose Linux over Windows.

Other than that, LaTeX (which I use a lot) is literally hundreds of times faster, launching apps is more convenient with certain standard tools (at least with KDE it is), the desktop is super customizable, you're immune to viruses so you can toy with one under Wine (whee!) and it runs a large proportion of Windows apps anyway thanks to Wine. Oh, and developing apps is far easier, and compiling is just a snap.

jeremyp wrote:
I've been talking about Linux as if it's just one thing, but in fact, it's really a term for the collection of different operating systems all of which are based on one or other version of the Linux kernel. So there's Red Hat, Debian, Ubuntu, SuSE, Knoppix, Mandriva, Slackware, Gentoo etc etc etc. The probability that any one application will install successfully on all of these different operating systems is remote to zero. This is why commercial companies rarely get involved in Linux because they'd have to maintain a huge variety of versions of their software for all of the different Linuxes. A case in point: check out the Opera download page for Mac OS X. There are two possible versions and they're only needed because there are two processor architectures used in Macs. Now check out the Linux download page. Oh, actually there are four, one for each processor architecture, so we'll go with the i386 Linux page. There are 15 different distributions to select from and each has a number of sub selects for operating system version, Ubuntu has seven of these, for instance. The software has to be packaged and tested for every single one of these distribution/version combinations which is a huge amount of effort.


Actually, that's completely unnecessary. Opera has simply built in tiny tweaks for the different distros to cope with certain quirks and differences in functionality. Most apps handle this, though, by releasing the open sourced code in a tarball. The tarball is then inflated and compiled by the user (relatively straightforward) and installed. I've often been asked if this isn't just a very roundabout way of doing things, well, no. It allows advanced users to customize to their hearts' extent whilst making it moderately easy for basic users to jump in. Most of the best open source stuff is on the repositories though, so you can just download the binaries.

jeremyp wrote:
Linux is a huge technical achievement and it's a great toy for geeks but it is less than ideal for normal people who just want to use their computers to get their work done.


A toy for geeks? Well, I know many people who use Linux every day as their primary operating system and say that they are really far more productive with Linux than they ever were with Windows and can't really imagine looking back. And I agree entirely with them. Once you've learnt the OS (and let's face it, we all had to learn Windows when we were new too) it's really a very useful and productive tool, and you can crack CDs without worrying about Micr... *cough* I mean, you can do what you can safe in the knowledge that what you do never leaves your own machine without your knowledge.
jeremyp
Fire Boar wrote:

Not quite. Certainly, full 3D support for graphics cards requires binary drivers, but these are generally well supported by good distributions and packages like "nvidia-glx" really do just work.

Until Linus decides to tweak the driver API in the next point release of his kernel.

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Apart from that, everything is supported out of the box so there's no need for the driver hell that comes with installing Windows.

What driver hell? You seem to be sadly misinformed about Windows driver installation.

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I agree on both of these points, although I'd like to point out that I've found KDE4 to be very robust in the area of sound management. The desktop itself is in early days still, but it's coming on nicely.

So you are saying you can either have a good desktop experience or good sound but not both. To be fair, the sound does work OK for most people but if you happen to be one of the unlucky ones, you are in trouble.

KDE4 was actually a bit of an embarrassing own goal for the KDE team. It seems they released a developer preview but called it 4.0. If you want to see a "community" under stress go to their forums or elsewhere:

http://lists.opensuse.org/opensuse/2008-06/msg01904.html


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What community boards are you looking at? I've NEVER seen that kind of response, and being a bit of a tweak-freak I have visited several Linux forums/mailing lists/IRCs.

It's late. I'll look some links up for you at the weekend.

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Now, if speed were the only thing that matters, I'd agree here. But it doesn't. Reliability is fine for Windows XP for the first year or so, but after that I've seen Windows machines crash constantly.

I haven't. In fact I have a Windows XP machine - I keep it patched up to date - and it is just as reliable as my Linux machine and more so than my Macintosh.

Quote:
Also you choose exactly what you put on there. Your computer essentially belongs to you, and that's really the most important reason (at least in my opinion) why one would choose Linux over Windows.

I think the ideological arguments for Linux are flawed. I'll address them later perhaps.

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Other than that, LaTeX (which I use a lot) is literally hundreds of times faster, launching apps is more convenient with certain standard tools (at least with KDE it is), the desktop is super customizable, you're immune to viruses so you can toy with one under Wine (whee!) and it runs a large proportion of Windows apps anyway thanks to Wine. Oh, and developing apps is far easier, and compiling is just a snap.

It runs some Windows apps thanks to Wine. I've generally found them to be less stable than on a proper XP installation or a VMWare image. As for development being easier, I question that. I've developed for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and I've found Visual Studio to be the best dev environment by a mile.

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Actually, that's completely unnecessary. Opera has simply built in tiny tweaks for the different distros to cope with certain quirks and differences in functionality.

So it' actually necessary then.
Quote:
Most apps handle this, though, by releasing the open sourced code in a tarball. The tarball is then inflated and compiled by the user (relatively straightforward) and installed.

Ah, you haven't done this much then. Compiling from source code is almost never straight forward. For a start, it takes a while. Why should a user have to wait a couple of hours to install his new software? Then there's dependency hell - making sure you have all the right libraries in the right place and then making sure you don't screw up your installation by accidentally upgrading your libraries.

Quote:
It allows advanced users to customize to their hearts' extent whilst making it moderately easy for basic users to jump in.

By which you mean moderately possible. No non techy is going to find it anything less than frightening to compile from source.
Quote:
Most of the best open source stuff is on the repositories though, so you can just download the binaries.

Ah, the repository. If I have a Mac or a PC I just go to the Open Office web site to get OO 3.0 and install the binary. If I have Ubuntu, I have to upgrade my whole operating system so I have the right repository in order to install OO 3.0. And why should I be dictated to about what software I can and can't install by Mark Shuttleworth? I thought you said Linux gives me my computer back.

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A toy for geeks?

You make it sound like that's a bad thing.
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I mean, you can do what you can safe in the knowledge that what you do never leaves your own machine without your knowledge.

Can you? Can you really?

Have you audited all of the software on your PC. Can you be sure that RHL or Ubuntu doesn't phone home? You can get the source code for all the packages on your PC but how do you know the compiled binaries are compiled from exactly that source. Have you looked at the source of, say Apache? Can you honestly say it's impossible to hide a trojan horse in it that the average user wouldn't find?

Before you start talking about the "many eyes make all bugs shallow" myth, let me remind you of the Debian - OpenSSL fiasco. A Debian developer patched OpenSSL in such a way that it failed to generate random data for encryption keys. The bug went undiscovered for two years.

The biggest problem of Free Software is one of ideology. Free Software advocates think that Free Software will empower computer users. Unfortunately, this has a detrimental effect on good engineering and is also wrong.

It has a detrimental effect on engineering because it imposes artificial restrictions on what you can do with components. I believe Gnu is in the process of redeveloping OpenSSL just because they don't like the licence. What a waste of time that is. They should bite the bullet, use OpenSSL and add CMYK support to the GIMP (which is something people really want).

It's wrong because having access to the source code only empowers people who understand source code.
moofang
Quote:

What driver hell? You seem to be sadly misinformed about Windows driver installation.

I'd probably not venture to call it 'hell', but driver woes in Windows is really only made better by one thing - every darn manifacturer out there makes sure they have a windows driver handy, while this may not be true of linux. It turns out that Windows really no better than the major linuxes in properly auto-configuring hardware. Its just that many computers ship with windows, and so gives you windows with all the necessary drivers installed in one neat package.

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I haven't. In fact I have a Windows XP machine - I keep it patched up to date - and it is just as reliable as my Linux machine and more so than my Macintosh.


You sir, have my most profound respect. I can testify with earnest honesty, however, that I myself, and a good few more people I know, are not remotely as gifted in managing a windows computer. Almost all my windows friends are very accustomed to formatting, and I even know one who had to pay to have it formatted because she couldn't do it herself.

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As for development being easier, I question that. I've developed for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and I've found Visual Studio to be the best dev environment by a mile.

An amendment is probably necessary here - Cross platform development. Microsoft puts alot of effort into (and also earns alot of money from) the Visual Studio suite, but not only do they only run on one platform, the often also only build executables for one platform. Guess which?

Also, its probably not too fair to compare a commercial product you buy (with alot of money) from a store with the development tools you get free with your OS. Windows has nothing (except notepad) to offer. The major linuxes on the other hand...

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Ah, you haven't done this much then. Compiling from source code is almost never straight forward. For a start, it takes a while. Why should a user have to wait a couple of hours to install his new software? Then there's dependency hell - making sure you have all the right libraries in the right place and then making sure you don't screw up your installation by accidentally upgrading your libraries.

This is true. However in many of the major linuxes, it is perfectly possible to survive (especially as an 'average' computer user) without ever building from source. In fact, building from source should be a 'last resort' of sorts. Package managers nowadays are getting really awesome GUI frontends, and even if you want more, most software come with binaries for the major linuxes which installs with a double-click.

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Ah, the repository. If I have a Mac or a PC I just go to the Open Office web site to get OO 3.0 and install the binary. If I have Ubuntu, I have to upgrade my whole operating system so I have the right repository in order to install OO 3.0. And why should I be dictated to about what software I can and can't install by Mark Shuttleworth? I thought you said Linux gives me my computer back.

This is inaccurate on several levels. First and foremost - Ubuntu, at the time of this writing, does NOT have OOo 3 in its official repos Very Happy Secondly debs and repos of OOo 3 exist, and compiling tarballs are not necessary. The first thing you learn when using Ubuntu is that Ubuntuforums (and google) is your friend. You see in Linux, we have this awesome thing called user communities Very Happy

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The biggest problem of Free Software is one of ideology. Free Software advocates think that Free Software will empower computer users. Unfortunately, this has a detrimental effect on good engineering and is also wrong.

I think you're gonna need a LOT of substantiating for that, because computer scientists and corporate companies are giving significant regard to the open source movement as a new paradigm in software engineering. Some regard it as a threat to the traditional model of proprietary software marketting, many others are convinced it is THE future of software development. You can say that Linux leaves much to be desired, and you would be absolutely right. But if you think that Open Source itself is wrong - in the department of engineering no less - then I think you need to do abit of research and rethink your reasons.

There ARE factions amongst the free software world who are a little obsessed with licensing issues, but you cannot denounce an entire software development model based on a faction of its practitioners. The Open Source movement has spawned innovations on a never before seen level, and many companies are already hard at work to harness this property in their business models.

Edit

Couldn't let this one go :
Quote:
Windows XP is now just as reliable as Linux and you won't notice the speed difference. Linux is faster in a server environment but that's probably because you can turn the GUI off.

I simply cannot fully express how much I disagree! EVERY desktop linux distro that I know is very very noticeably faster than Windows XP, and this a major reason I'm on a linuxbox right now. This is a personal but NOT a biased view - I was a windows user without a clue of what linux is just 2 years ago. And when I installed linux on a whim, I was astonished at how lag-free my desktop was and how many applications I could have open on my 8 desktops while still operating smoothly, with 3D effects ON. If you have tried both platforms and did not experience a similar sentiment, then either your windows is really something extraordinary, or you managed to find a really bad linux distro (in which case please let me know which one).

...

(onoes, am I going off topic again? >.<)
DoctorBeaver
Fire Boar wrote:
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
But still if windows was your first OS and you are not a little tech savvy then linux will have a steep learnng curve for you.


LOL, I dare anyone to say honestly that their first OS wasn't Windows.


I dare! My first OS wasn't Windows. I had an Apple IIe running DOS as my first that didn't have an on-board OS (my very first PC was a Commodore PET) then I bought a second hand DEC VAX running VMS . Windows actually came pretty late in my computer-owning life.
hummer010
jeremyp wrote:
Linux is a huge technical achievement and it's a great toy for geeks but it is less than ideal for normal people who just want to use their computers to get their work done.


A toy for geeks? There's a lot of companies that will be surprised to learn that there entire server infrastructure is run on a toy for geeks.

These days, I think there is very little difference between windows and linux in terms of user experience. There are plenty of linux distro's that will install and run perfectly out of the box, just like windows. There are certainly situations where both windows and linux installations have gone less than smoothly. If you want to get the best eye candy, both windows and linux will use a lot of resources.
hummer010
DoctorBeaver wrote:
Fire Boar wrote:
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
But still if windows was your first OS and you are not a little tech savvy then linux will have a steep learnng curve for you.


LOL, I dare anyone to say honestly that their first OS wasn't Windows.


I dare! My first OS wasn't Windows. I had an Apple IIe running DOS as my first that didn't have an on-board OS (my very first PC was a Commodore PET) then I bought a second hand DEC VAX running VMS . Windows actually came pretty late in my computer-owning life.


Me too. First was a TRS-80 running BASIC. I then moved up to a Commodore 64 running BASIC.
Fire Boar
Aah, old-skool computer users. Fantastic, well done!

jeremyp, what you really don't seem to understand is the ideology behind the whole FOSS movement. Freedom, as in free speech. Not everyone is a complete bastard who only thinks of making money, and Canonical, Novell, Mandriva and other companies who sponsor and distribute Linux, release Linux operating systems and have their own ways of making money, leaving the users to do whatever they please. There is no reason to deceive the users by modifying the source specifically for the binaries they release.

Microsoft are a giant corporation, and they are under a lot of pressure to release their products to be as restrictive as the copyright holders want them. Linux is a free-as-in-speech operating system, and its software is all copylefted. There is no reason to collect data about what someone is or is not doing because there is no pressure from the copyleft holders: users are ENCOURAGED to modify and redistribute programs!
eznet
Fire Boar wrote:
...Microsoft are a giant corporation, and they are under a lot of pressure to release their products to be as restrictive as the copyright holders want them. Linux is a free-as-in-speech operating system, and its software is all copylefted. There is no reason to collect data about what someone is or is not doing because there is no pressure from the copyleft holders: users are ENCOURAGED to modify and redistribute programs!


To take this further (and slightly more sinister in nature), Microsoft does some pressuring of its own to bring about these bugs. There are widely reported instances of vendors intentionally making their hardware difficult to utilize fully in Linux to earn Microsoft incentives and hardware-certification bonus arrangements - notably motherboard and notebook manufacturers. Microsoft not only condones this, but many internal MS documents indicate a near conspiratorial tone about their support of it... Exhibit A - Lets not even bring up the Halloween Documents...
Fire Boar
Quote:
From: Bill Gates
Sent: Sunday, January 24, 1999 8:41 AM
To: Jeff Westerinen; Ben Fathi
Cc: Carl Stork (Exchange); Nathan Myhrvold; Eric Rudder
Subject: ACPI extensions

One thing I find myself wondering about is whether we shouldn't try and make the "ACPI" extensions somehow Windows specific.

It seems unfortunate if we do this work and get our partners to do the work and the result is that Linux works great without having to do the work.

Maybe there is no way to avoid this problem but it does bother me.

Maybe we could define the APIs so that they work well with NT and not the others even if they are open.

Or maybe we could patent something related to this.


(Transcript of the above linked PDF for the benefit of those who don't want to open it.)

That's just shocking. I had no idea that they employed such underhand and dirty tactics internally. So much for "interoperability". Yes, the message is 9 years old but even so this is frankly disgusting.
Studio Madcrow
Fire Boar wrote:
Quote:
From: Bill Gates
Sent: Sunday, January 24, 1999 8:41 AM
To: Jeff Westerinen; Ben Fathi
Cc: Carl Stork (Exchange); Nathan Myhrvold; Eric Rudder
Subject: ACPI extensions

One thing I find myself wondering about is whether we shouldn't try and make the "ACPI" extensions somehow Windows specific.

It seems unfortunate if we do this work and get our partners to do the work and the result is that Linux works great without having to do the work.

Maybe there is no way to avoid this problem but it does bother me.

Maybe we could define the APIs so that they work well with NT and not the others even if they are open.

Or maybe we could patent something related to this.


(Transcript of the above linked PDF for the benefit of those who don't want to open it.)

That's just shocking. I had no idea that they employed such underhand and dirty tactics internally. So much for "interoperability". Yes, the message is 9 years old but even so this is frankly disgusting.

Microsoft has NEVER been above dirt tricks. You should look at the tricks they used to kill OS/2 back in the early 90s.
eznet
Fire Boar wrote:
Quote:
From: Bill Gates
Sent: Sunday, January 24, 1999 8:41 AM
To: Jeff Westerinen; Ben Fathi
Cc: Carl Stork (Exchange); Nathan Myhrvold; Eric Rudder
Subject: ACPI extensions

One thing I find myself wondering about is whether we shouldn't try and make the "ACPI" extensions somehow Windows specific.

It seems unfortunate if we do this work and get our partners to do the work and the result is that Linux works great without having to do the work.

Maybe there is no way to avoid this problem but it does bother me.

Maybe we could define the APIs so that they work well with NT and not the others even if they are open.

Or maybe we could patent something related to this.


(Transcript of the above linked PDF for the benefit of those who don't want to open it.)

That's just shocking. I had no idea that they employed such underhand and dirty tactics internally. So much for "interoperability". Yes, the message is 9 years old but even so this is frankly disgusting.


Ha! Yea, and its really nothing new nor is it something that is likely to have ceased. Remember, Bill was taken to court over anti-competitive practices back in the late 90s. There have been reports for years that this is one of the reasons that IBM kept at a distance with MS over the years (comparatively speaking) - IBM, being a giant in their own right, was more concerned with the progression of computing and seemed to shy from trying to cripple for the sake of securing dividends. Supposedly Balmer has picked up where Bill stepped out and has been promoting the will of MS over the good of IT. Don't get me wrong, although I am a Linux user, I admire the accomplishments of Microsoft and think that the computer world would not have progressed as quickly without them - but this alone doesn't mean that they aren't also anti-competitive jerks as well Smile
eznet
Studio Madcrow wrote:
Fire Boar wrote:
Quote:
From: Bill Gates
Sent: Sunday, January 24, 1999 8:41 AM
To: Jeff Westerinen; Ben Fathi
Cc: Carl Stork (Exchange); Nathan Myhrvold; Eric Rudder
Subject: ACPI extensions

One thing I find myself wondering about is whether we shouldn't try and make the "ACPI" extensions somehow Windows specific.

It seems unfortunate if we do this work and get our partners to do the work and the result is that Linux works great without having to do the work.

Maybe there is no way to avoid this problem but it does bother me.

Maybe we could define the APIs so that they work well with NT and not the others even if they are open.

Or maybe we could patent something related to this.


(Transcript of the above linked PDF for the benefit of those who don't want to open it.)

That's just shocking. I had no idea that they employed such underhand and dirty tactics internally. So much for "interoperability". Yes, the message is 9 years old but even so this is frankly disgusting.

Microsoft has NEVER been above dirt tricks. You should look at the tricks they used to kill OS/2 back in the early 90s.


Good point - yet another reason for IBM's malcontent Wink It gets murky quickly when figuring out what is competition and what is anti-competitive - where capitalism gets out of hand and 'good' is marginalised for increased profitability.
ato784
Another thing to mention about Linux is that it is also much more involved in using it, for most things you need to have a good understanding of how the system works. Unlike XP or Vista, etc. it is more complex of an operating system.
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