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As I write this thread/post, I am running Knoppix OS from my cd-rom. It has run pretty smoothly and was into the OS in a minute or two, which is pretty good for an OS running from a cd.

I did this to test out what Linux is like and has to offer. So far it has been pretty good impression.

This thread can be to talk about Linux. Will write more when I get back to windows.

What Linux do you use? What are good programs/packages?

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Currently I use Open and NetBSD, Red Hat, SuSe and Ubuntu. And to be hounest in a year I want to replace Windows compleately with one of those. . Solaris or OSX.. . havn't desided which one yet.

Good programms.  ... they are all just as bad. . . ;)

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I have kubuntu 5.10 on my AVERATEC 3270.  Let me tell you, that machine was the suckiest choice on earth to start my Linux experience on - the sound controller, MIDI synth, Wireless, Graphics card, and touchpad are all unsupported.  I have KDE coming up through a hack on the GPU, but I still can't run full-screen OpenGL apps, I have the WAV sound working, but not the MIDI synth, and I installed some hacked drivers for the wireless that let me manually type in the IP/Gateway/SSID/WEP key of the network I need to connect to.  The touchpad's special features don't work, but it functions as a standard two-button mouse.  And there's an error that holds up the boot for about 30 seconds when trying to connect to the wireless network while out of range, and another one that holds up KDE's startup for about 20 seconds due to the graphics card.

But I wouldn't go back to Microshit Windows for anything.  I want to set up a dual-boot on my I9300 next, which should be easier as Intel has wirelss drivers, and the GPU is an nVidia GF Go6800 instead of some VIA integrated POS.

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Linux is good for servers, but I don't really see much point in it for anything else.  Possibly embedded systems, but why anyone would want it for a standard desktop OS is beyond me.  It cannot seem to grasp that we're trying to move away from command line interfaces, and it's compatible with about three games in existence.  And don't come up with the same argument all Linux fan-boys do, saying you can emulate Windows, because it's pointless (and barely ever works, according to my penguin-loving flatmate).  Why not just get Windows? ::)

Yes, it's free, and it runs fine, and you can keep a computer on forever with it running, and it's secure, and there's no viruses and blah blah and also blah.  But it's the ugliest, most user un-friendly, incompatible piece of junk I've ever come across.  :P

Hell, I'd prefer a Mac to a Linux PC; at least you can play World of Warcraft on them. :P having said that, Linux can play UT2004, and Knoppix is handy for booting up busticated PCs to fix them, so it's not all that bad.  But compared to Windows, for most things it just sucks. :)


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KDE/GNOME.  That pretty much debunks most of your complaints: unfriendly, uses a CLI, etc.  Both of those desktops are both relatvely user-friendly and far more powerful than Windows Explorer.

Also, Linux is overall just plain <i>faster</i> than Windows.  Case in point: under Windows, the program SuperPI took 2:16 to calculate PI to 2M digits on my 3270; from the Linux CLI, 1:47.  The Windows system cahce is <i>well</i> over 650 MB; on kubuntu Linux, even with KDE and several processes I don;t need (Bluetooth, OpenGL extensions, et al.) running, the cache is just under 380 MB.  And on my 3270, that's the difference between always running in the swap file and never accessing it.  And on a 5400RPM 2.5" HD, that's an important distinction.

I do a lot of Java (hey, a Unix-based programming language...and Linux is a Unix-based operating system...hmmm) programming, and under Linux + KDE, I can compile programs almost instantaneaously on my Mobile Sempron 2800+ running at 800MHz on battery...a task that slayed a far more powerful Pentium M 740 (which is generally about 30-40% more efficient clock-per-clock) running at the same 800MHz power-saving mode on Windows XP Pro.

And I've seen Doom3, FarCry, Splinter Cell, StarCraft, WCIII, Generals, and UT2004 all run easily on Linux machines.  There's easily as many games for Linux as for the Mac.  Although you don't run Linux for gaming any more than you buy a Mac for it.

And do you want to know how many fatal system crashes I've experienced since I got kubuntu up?  Hmmm...zero.  I get about 2-3 a month on my I9300...and that's great by XP Home standards.  Number of Viruses I've gotten on my 3270 since installing Linux?  None.  Windows PCs?  I get a couple a month (fortunately caught by AVG).  Spyware?  None on Linux, but Ad-Aware detects several pieces on each weekly scan on my other machines.

I don't pretend that Linux is right for everyone in every situation, but on a mchine where you need power for programming and office tasks, you don't game, and you need security...well, Windows just can't compare.

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You can play WoW on Linux fine from what I've read at one linux forum.

Sure it may be emulated, but if it works fine, who cares?

If I were to install a linux distro on any computer (say an old one), does it give the option to format the hard drive before installing (or create a partition?)?

If I cant find win98 cd for my roomates computer, I might want to format it, install linux, let them see how they like it (and if it runs faster than win98), and if they don't, find a win98 cd and format the computer again putting win98 on it. Is this possible to do? (Her computer is a p3 700mhz, 128mb ram 10gb HD, so it should run just as good as win98 ? It is not used for games, just school projects and internet browsing)

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Yes Andrew, Linux has a full formatting/partitioning utitlity in the installer.  A good distro for a first-time user is either Ubuntu or SUSE, both of which should be faster than Win98, and certainly much, much, much more stable.  Ugh, '98.

And it should be perfect for her needs as you've stated.

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So I could easily format HD using a linux distro, install linux, if they think its crap and want win98 back, I just pop in win98 installation cd, format hd (using the win98 cd as it usually has that option as long as a newer version of windows is not installed)) and install windows and everything should go fine?

I assume updating the software such as openoffice (as some distro still don't have 2.0 final version) is easy. Getting them to like openoffice over MS office xp will be the biggest jump after getting used to it not being windows (although it is not that hard to get used to from what I saw).

EDIT: Also wondering if linux would run faster/stable than win98 on my old pentium 2 300mhz, 60 mb ram (+4 mb for onboard vidcard) 3gb hd. Although some linux seem to install 2gb of OS, I'm guessing there are options to make it much less. (damn small linux only installs 50mb :P and the screenshots look good.)

Actually, installig linux on my friends laptop (has win 95, p1 100 like 16mb ram) could be interesting as he has wanted me to fix it for some time (although I am pretty sure there is a power problem which causes the laptop to crash a lot and can not get into windows or start the computer sometimes)

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Hell, I'd prefer a Mac to a Linux PC; at least you can play World of Warcraft on them. :P .... But compared to Windows, for most things it just sucks. :)


You prefer Mac OS above Linux ? .. ok guys. . finger on who takes this statement seriously ? .. come on. . . don't be shy now. . show those fingers. . .. thougth so...

Andrew, a note of warning. The latest Red Hat has a way os screwing up your HD after you have had it installed. Sometimes WindowsXP can't change your HD partitions after a recent Linux distribution has been installed on it. (don't ask why it just happends some times). In that case use Linux Fdisk (on the installation CD) to delete all Linux partitions. And format the mbr (dos boot diskette and type "fdisk /mbr". After that you can install Windows again without any hassle. :)

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One thing I notice about linux is that it doesn't seem to do a good job supporting printers. I couldn't find a driver for my canon mp360 using google or when in linux, and I couldn't find a driver for my roomates canon i850 (although google showed that you could use another canon driver for i850 to work somewhat).


Searching through google again I think I might have found driver for my mp360 and my roomates i850.

Although It says you need to pay for it... (actually there is a free edition)



Has a list for knoppix that says my printers work.

Interesting, guess drivers are not as hard to find as I thought.


Now testing Ubuntu live CD. Took longer to load the OS than knoppix, but that is alright. Started me off with a 1792*1344 resolution (which I don't think I've ever had at before), switched it back to my regular resolution (pretty quick to find the option).

Once again I see nothing (no option) to do with color depth. At least firefox looks a lot better than before, as the text was really bad looking using knoppix live cd. I don't seem able to find any options that deal with animations when minimizing windows and such though.

Also, when opening applications, there are some flickers on my screen.

Q that wasn't asked before:

Do you prefer Gnome or KDE?

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I just read that I could run MS office using wine tools/crossover office in linux. That's a good thing :) Only 2 components of office needed are word and excel.

I keep reading that scanners don't seem to work (or at least my canon mp360) in linux. That's too bad.

From what I could tell between knoppix(kde) and ubuntu (gnome) is that gnome seems even more simple, especially with the menu system. Knoppix kde had way too many menu items.

EDIT: after running ubuntu, my MS windows clock time was ahead 4 hours. Odd.

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I have a CD with Knoppix for several years and I used it to repair my PC several times. It's a handy piece of programming.

As for other Linux... well... Seems very interesting... but I don't plan on moving to Linux any time soon. I'll try Windows Vista soon, and then I'll decide what I'll do.

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Been reading up on the dualboot, which is an obvious choice to start with to test/use linux. Sounds kinda scary, especially since Windows XP is on my hardrive (it did not come with a cd, when I format my computer it does so without affecting an area of the HD which hosts the windows installation files and installs windows from there).

Just wondering how easy it is to do so.

http://users.bigpond.net.au/hermanzone/p3.htm shows how to do it, although there are some points that confuse me. Just me or is the formatting of that webpage really horrible with the text?

Of course I would never try this until after I back up all my important files (although losing Windows XP installation files would really suck).

I'm also guessing that my refresh rate for my monitor will be better than the current 60hz that is runs with on ubuntu live cd (knoppix ran it at 70 or 80 at same resolution)

EDIT: Interestingly, running ubuntu live cd, took a lot longer to load than knoppix (ubuntu took ~13 min) on my roomates old computer, and funnily, the taskbar at the top and bottom are not showing, although they did appear when first loading the desktop. The cd-rom icon is on the desktop like normal, and I can right click the desktop normally, but I find it odd that on my roomates computer the taskbars are not showing.

Adjusting the monitor does nothing as well (does not show the taskbar anywhere). Hm, seems ubuntu live is not working good at all on her computer. cd-rom keeps running, but doesn't do anything. Guess knoppix live cd is all I wil use for that computer. Ubuntu live cd works fine on my computer.

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I've been testing Windows (XP) and Linux(Ubuntu;Warty, not Hoary). I must say that for the standard user, Windows is the most user friendly. Linux is still only an os for more technologically advanced part of the users. However, that said, it seems like Windows is the visually best looking system and then comes Linux(with Gnome desktop, better than KDE imo).

What impressed me, however, was that Linux came with a better set of standard programs than especially Windows. You can more or less live with the standard set, without going on a hunt in the package manager (I did, though, and found some more or less usable programs). But ultimately you want to display some nice graphics on your monitor. At least I wanted to. Drivers are very well supported in Windows, but alas I can't say the same about Linux. Of course you can get your driver if you search around the Internet, and download and compile it yourself, but that's not very user friendly imo. I got my graphics driver in the package manager. That made me happy. So in the graphics driver section, both systems are equal.

What happened was that, the next day(after installing the graphics driver) when I booted my computer, the graphics driver wasn't working anymore. My screen saver was running at about 5-10 frames per second, and the driver showed as being installed. I tried asking the people in the Ubuntu IRC channel, but they had no clue whatsoever. What also bothered me so much that it was the reason for dumping Linux was that the font in Ubuntu seemed a little smudged out instead of crisp and clear, as in Windows. This might be some setting I overlooked, but I turned the whole os upside down to fix this, without being able to.

As I program a lot, I usually see page up and page down of text on my screen, and that text better be good looking.

I never tried any games on Linux, but I can tell you that it's much more easily done in Windows, since you can't find any good games in the package manager (thus having to go hunt on the Internet for a source you can compile, or something).

I guess that if you could get all these things fixed, Linux would be better. But I just don't have time for tinkering, and in that case Windows is perfect. I can't say much negative about it. It never crashes(Linux didn't either, but people say Windows crashes a lot). It runs fairly fast. I have other things to do than to calculate pi, so I guess the difference isn't as big for me as it is for DukeLeto.

Hmm, I'm not feeling biased about this, but I must say that Windows has always satisfied me. Linux hasn't.

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Good to see Damn Small Linux works like a charm on my new computer, although some glitches (like no scrollwheel, but I read somehwere that it is easy to fix). Might be a contender to install on my old pentium2 300 for speed and reliability.

Posting from DSL on my good computer. Ahh, got some online radio to play from UPEIweblogs (xmms player). Sweet. Couldn't get it to work under the other linux's, most likely due to software.

For all you Ubuntu people, have you tried out

Automatix (Automated GUI installation script)?

Seems to easily install lots of software.

Lice CDs are great to test out the linux distros operating systems.

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Stumbled upon a link that compares software for windows and alternative software that runs on linux. Huge list.


I was happy to see there were Personal finances manager software. Also some other business programs such as ERP/CRM. Found it odd that there were no open source accounting software in english.

EDIT- GnuCash says that it is accounting software.

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  • 1 month later...

Yep he did apparently

It was on slashdot with lots of commentary.

Linus says use KDE

Slashdot article

The thing about KDE and Gnome is the user can choose which he like and wants to use. I'm glad there are two distinct versions as giving consumers choice is a good thing.

Wish I had an old (but still good enough to run linux easily) computer to play with. Maybe they are still selling old government computers for $60.

My old pentium II 233mhz is too old to run good linux.

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my 2 cents on this Linux hype:

Linux = a working OS, which crashes as much as Windows XP Home/Pro and is not for newbies (aka, if you know Windows, you have a hard time on Linux)

Windows = a working OS, world-wide known, hated and loved, works, its installed on all computers, everybody KNOWS Windows. Its just run, read, go.

My experience in trying out Linux:

- There is no 'standard guide-line' in Linux itself, there are too many 'shells' (Gnome, KDE, etc).

- The commands are not user friendly. Ie, if i want to do a 'dir' command, i have to figure out its something like 'ls', or whatever it was.

- Several Linux packages said i have a 32 bit super duper GFX card, run the setup (of the particular linux installment) in highest colours, but when finally launching the OS it says "cannot detect video card" and leaves me with a computer dead.

- Even when my computer does not die , its due Knopix and it is able to browse internet.

Anyway, if you want to have an easy time , stick with Windows:

- it does not crash at all (didnt have a crash for a year now, even with my rough time buggy programming :))

- you are asured that everything works, buy a webcam, use USB port, and you're on your way

- all games work for it, since everything is made for it.

Instead of spending time on replacements, that 'are just like windows programs' is a waste of time imo. Which generally concludes my opinion about Linux.

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It's free and customizeable. And they usually have OS updates every year.

What are the average rates microsoft charges for companies? I cant really think of why a company would want to spend $100 per computer and enter into licensing agreements and such just to get it, other than for some specific software. Wonder why little amounts of companies have upgraded to WinXP. For the licensing, do companies have to pay microsoft every year or just the one time fee?

The only thing I hear people say is that with microsoft you get "support" (in companies), while with Linux you don't (unless you pay, I think red hat has some). Might as well hire someone to do that support.

Microsoft released XP in 2001. Sure they had service packs, but that didn't seem to do a whole lot that I noticed.

Linux= less worries about spyware and viruses. :)

Now if only companies would support making drivers for linux the switch would be easier.

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Funny that. We will probably move to Redhat linux 4 ES soon. Next 3 months. Dont envisage need for support, as we hired that person you spoke of. Someone to do the support. Problem solved. All for a lot less then the cost of covering a single branch with windows.

Assuming the feasability study shows we go with linux.  ;)

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