Well my sucky windows XP has another damn virus or something or other on it and the only way it works is if I boot it in safe mode. So this week I was reading about Linux and found out about Knoppix. I downloaded the ISO file and burned it to a disk. Then I booted up the computer from the disk. So far everything in Knoppix is working great! I even download Blender for Linux and installed it on the system. Now I just do my regular work on knoppix. Maybe I can fix windows but for now this is working fine.
What is linux like anyway, I have thought alot about downloading it but the simple fact I dont actually know what it is is a barrier to me getting it.
Is it a text based system program like dos or is it like windows?
Linux distros today usually come with either GNOME or KDE desktop environments, which work on the same premise as windows (except they are safer, more stable, and with loads and loads of features) Compared to windows though, it’s still no cake walk.
Well, I won’t lie to you like some of the other Linux “fan boyz” (who are sure to appear in this thread). Linux is initially going to be very difficult for someone coming from the Windows world. You won’t be able to just download and run the most current software on the web, because the repositories from which your software can automatically install are only updated several months after the fact. So basically when new stuff comes out, you still have to wait (unless they specifically offer a linux package for you). Long story short you will have to learn how to “compile from source”, because that’s what you will have to do most of the time (one word: tarballs)
Also, the initiall setup will be somewhat confusing, because while Linux comes with Open Source drivers for your GPU and Sound card etc, those drivers are usually a step behind their commercial counterparts. Then there is the search for instructions on how to install the proprietary drivers on your machine, so that you can actually have things like 3D acceleration etc.
Even though Linux comes with a shiny GUI environment (GNOME, KDE, or whatever else have you), you will be forced to deal with the terminal console (command line) at one point or another. So get ready to learn how to divert installation paths so that you can make room for upgrades without messing up something else that could be “system critical”. That along with several other commands, each with it’s own set of options and arguments, will make Linux a nerve racking experience to say the least. Even after that, there is just a mile long list of tiny annoyances that you would never even have to look at in Windows.
What are the benefits?
- You no longer have to pay for software.
- You know more about software and computers in general, then you ever would if you stayed on windows. (because you are forced to learn)
- You have a system that is more reliable, stable and less susceptible to viruses, spyware and all those other “nasty things” that you had to deal with on windows.So if you have the time and patience to learn Linux, I would recommend starting with Ubuntu.
If you like knoppix,
you will Love kanotix!!! Kano has written scripts for teh installation of the hardware graphics drivers, and many many other cool things like Compiz!! and XGL!!.
all you need to do is drop to a commandline on a HD install, and type a quick command to execute the script.
it is Debian SID after a Hard disk install… it defaults to KDE, but you can install GNOME, fluxbox , or whatevery else you need.
I recomend Ubuntu as well as a second choice for a newbie… Lots of documentation, great IRC help, and they stay pretty up to date with the software packaging system. you will find quite a few newer things compared to debian.
I dont like the Ubuntu installer, nor do I like the partitioner that they use.
another really easy distro is PC Linux… they have all the “Bling” of Compiz and XGL right out of the box.
The coolest thing about PC Linux is that you can re-master a live CD with one small command!
just keep it under 2 gigs and it will poop out a nice live CD ISO from the script
This is an awesome way to back things up! you set up all the software that you want… customize the desktop to your prefrences… and make a live CD.
then if you ever crash your hard drive, you just run the live CD and install your own custom distro (and because you have all the software you usualy use, you can do a bit of blender work while the installer is running 8) )
I think knoppix, Kanotix, and Ubuntu all have ways of remastering as well.
Yeah linux is hard. I will say that. But in my opinion it’s much better the windows. It’s not by far just limited to command-line, You can do thing with x-windows like gnome you can only dream of doing in Windows. Plus no viruses or spyware.
It does take alot of work to get it up and running if your not one of the lucky ones. Especialy getting hardware up and running, and don’t get me started on dial-up modems. But once you have all the configurations up right it’s the dream computer you wish you always had. And the stuf you learn doing all this I’m sure you could make a career out of. One thing I like is the choices are great especially with software like open source and commercial not even to mention the ability to run alot of windows games and programs with wine.
All in all I like linux alot and personally I think the world might have been better without windows. But just remmember that it does take alot of work and knowledge to get things configured and working in linux, but that’s not really a bad thing. Things in linux usually work better because of this. You’ll see it like this too eventually; you just have to get out of the Windows mentality of point and click before you see this. Just remeber just because you started with the point and click it works of windows doesn’t mean it’s the best way. That’s something I had to get to understand before I became good at linux. Linux is different then Windows, that’s because hint it’s not Windows. And because of this things usually work better in Linux. I would use Ubuntu, I found Ubuntu and haven’t used another since. Ubuntu has a gift of a good community and making things understandable.
Thanks for the replies everybody. Linux might be hard in some areas but this switch was not meant to be permanent. It was meant to be the OS I use until I can get windows working correctly again. In the mean time I’ll be sure to try out some other builds of linux such as Ubuntu.
if you want an artist’s disrto, try these!
Median linux (debian), and Chainsaw Linux(redhat)…
Both come with a bunch of multimedia creation software…
Blender, cinelerra, Ktoon, GIMP, inkscape, yafray and many many other common applications installed with linux
as far as easy tho, I still recommend KANOTIX for the newbie. everything gets auto-detected from the live CD. the only thing you have to install later is the propriatory drivers for nvidia or ATI. which is automatic when you run a script… it fetches all the library’s needed, and tweaks the kernel for you.
Seems like with Ubuntu, I had to visit the forums for install tweaks on almost every application and most of my hardware (video driver, sound driver, and kernel)
Very few things actually worked from synaptic for me, without a trip to the IRC or the forum.
Ubuntu even had a special driver from ATI ,with an automated installer!
but it no longer works. you must do a manual install, and later manually edit a text file. (this is great for newbies! be sure to read up on how to do things as the Super User [root] or you get to do a lot of typing, and it will tell you you cant save when you are done.)
Oh! I almost forgot! before you get to make your graphics card work you must first re-compile the kernel so it is for your processor, and not the generic kernel.
but after all that fuss and muss, you get a really nice linux box, with very up to date software, and a pretty large community to assist when needed.I personally liked my ubuntu partition… just not all the install hastles.
as far as speed Ubuntu was pretty nice,tho I have had faster… Kanotix is faster booting… Yopper, and Gentoo are Much much more speedy, but require quite a bit of linux know lage to install them.
there you have it… p00f’s opinion and maxims for a happy linux experience
every computer is diffrent… some linux distros will be smoother than others to install .
Re-compile the kernel?
Uhh, why not just use “easy-ubuntu” with ubuntu, and get all the proprietary stuff you need in a matter of seconds.
As you don’t dare to switch entirely to LINUX, you could always use the Live-CD for surfing. This way you avoid most dangers of virii and trojans, cause windows seems to be much more vulnerable to this pest. And you will prevent ALL possible trojans from getting active via the net. This might save you trouble in the future, imagine your Windows- Internet PC gets used for relaying illegal content, like DDOS- attack as part of a botnet, or a (spam-) mail server or as a plain Proxy to disguise illegal activities. Nasty stuff and i don’t understand the people who just shrug and ignore this.
If you are comfortable in windows, and want to learn linux, here is a neat way…
Get VMware workstation (free 30 day trial, and allows you to make images, that you can play with the free VMware player.)
you need quite a bit of ram to do this… but it is a nice way to learn linux without a reboot, and without the lag of waiting for the live CD to load.
Right now you can get a free Ubuntu image from VMware!! it is right where you get the VMware player!
This I recommend for learning the linux basics… the Hardware graphics drivers for the VMware are not so hot with accellerated 3d stuff. but for learning the basics, it is verry convienient.
VMware workstation also can load from ISO images… you can play live CD’s too…
I use VMware in windows to surf the net, and for my IRC stuff… Like 3D-Penguin says, there is a lot of malware for windows… so when running windows, I totaly suggest useing a virtual computer over a NAT virtual network , and a non-windows OS, like Unix, linux, Freebsd, Solaris, ETC…
Re-compile the kernel?
Uhh, why not just use “easy-ubuntu” with ubuntu, and get all the proprietary stuff you need in a matter of seconds.
I never knew this existed! hope they have a 64bit version…
Compileing the kernel and installing the drivers is not so hard… it just wasted lots of my time tracking things down in the forums.
A pre-rolled distro is just what i have been looking for.
Why do all the Linux people say it’s so hard? Sure, your parents might not be able to do it, but if you have basic computer knowledge and reading skills, it’s just the matter of reading tutorials! I’ve had good old 'Buntu for about 2-3 months, and there’s always a simple work around. Except for getting CDs to rip as MP3s, I gotta work on that…
Like it was said before, it sure is no cakewalk, but KDE, Gnome etc. will take 90% of the pain away. About distro’s: just look live cd up in google and you’ll get hundreds of live cd for every occasion. My favorites are Dynebolic (really check it out please!) , knoppix, advance cd (for playing mame games), Movix etc etc. Maybe a little explanation about the differences between Linux and Windows. Windows is damn monolithic. You can’t strip it to it’s bare component because the graphic environment IS the operating system. Well… windows kernel are 4 programs really if I’m not mistaken (user32.dll, gdi.dll and what not… I’ll have to look it up again). Windows XP doesn’t have DOS. It has a command line shell that for intent and purposes looks a lot like DOS. A command line shell could be faster in some cases than it’s graphical counterpart. Now linux is very modular. You may customize the kernel. You can make the kernel boot and run on as much as a floppy (printer servers, routers, firewalls). When Linux bootup, it lands on a command shell just like DOS. But don’t let that fool you. There are a lot of processes running in the background. To view them, just type in “top”. DOS is totally passive after startup, just waiting for keystrokes and the ENTER key. Linux shell has a autostart too like dos/ windows so most of the time it startsup the X server and on its turn the X server is configured to use KDE or Gnome or whatever as a graphical interface. It’s that flexible. Although the graphical interface is comparable to the one of windows, its foundation is radically different. X is a network protocol that tells the server (yes, it is inverted in this world) where to draw rectangles and such. So you can have your applications on a big computer and with a light computer (which is the X-server) start up applications . The graphical interface runs locally and the programs runs remotely. But for most people it is totally because everything is stacked on the same PC making it look like your running in a Windows like environment. I’m not anxious for windows vista or something, because there is stuff in the GUI department for KDE / Gnome that even Windows XP doesn’t have. In fact , it looks like more that windows XP is imitating what I know from linux for years (like user switching, except XP’s version is like a light version of this, and lot’s of XP UI enhancements is barely scratching the surface of what KDE has to offer).
Try k3d for all your ripping needs… If you have KDE already installed you probably already have it…
If not all you need is some of the KDE librarys to let it run under gnome.
I had this working with Warty warthog Ubuntu and Breezy badger Ubuntu… I have yet to try edgy…
Why do all the Linux people say it’s so hard?
when i say it, I am talking about people who just know windows.
I was fortunate when I tried linux, I already know DOS like the back of my hand. (yes I am that old, I come from the pre-GUI era.)
you are right, it is not “hard” … it is just time consuming, and sometimes frusterating to the new user (just like any new OS or software package).
the fewer non-windows things that the new user has to do the better in my opinion.
Later they can conquer their ignorance when they wish to do more advanced things.
Some things are MUCH more easy in linux, especialy installing and maintaining software… I am still in love with APT!
Yeah, if your in love with “version behind” software. As I previously stated, the main problem with the repositories and the whole APT system is that they are usually a version behind.
So basically if you want the latest version, you’ll most likelly have to deal with a tarball, and compile from source. (unless they provide you with a .deb or other fitting install packages, which they usually don’t).
Kinda ironic if you ask me, for what is supposed to be a “on the bleeding edge” OS.
If I am not mistaken, you need to add the “Backports” repository to get more bleeding edge stuff…
even then tho …
- you are still a usualy version behind.
- it more than likely is broken, and will break other things.
- it might cause unforseen security problems.
but for the Noobie, Working software is much better than broken software, because they have no clue how to fix it on their own.
un-compressing a Tarball, fetching dependancys, and compileing is definately no place for the noobie.
I have been a linux user off and on for the past 5-7 years, and I still have a hard time compileing stuff (well I am on a 64bit system, I have to CHmod and CHroot a 32 bit jail to get most applications to work)
Knoppix comes with KDE with a whole bunch of applications already installed on it. Knoppix is designed so that even the complete noob can run it with a little help. Of course I am not a complete noob. I have been using windows all of my life but I am sure that I could learn linux with the help of the internet. In my school I am considered kind of a computer geek and I am fine with that. I maintain my reputation my tryng new things. I explore. And I will not let linux or anything else stop me.
Thanks for all the comments! Feel free to keep commenting. This weekend I will burn some other builds of linux and tell you how it goes!
Well today I downloaded and burned Ubuntu to a CD. Then I put in the disc and restarted the computer. Everything seems to be going fine for awhile. It displays the boot screen and then it starts to load everything. Then the screen on the computer goes black and it just sits there, not doing anything. It won’t do anything at all after that point. I do not think it is a problem with the disc because I have already done a disc check. Does anybody know why this happens and if there is a way I can fix it?
I like Ubuntu with apt. When I’ve needed something newer than what could be found in the repositories, I almost always found that it was easy to install (like Blender) or that there was a deb or other install file available somewhere. The only things I found hard to install were apps that weren’t in the repositories in the first place, probably because they were hard to install.
If you use dyne:bolic then perhapes you can help me a bit. I’ve tried to use dynebolic and the thing seems to boot beutifully (untill I accidentally logged off, BAAAAAD mistake!) but I’ve had trouble with Kino on it. The thing will simply not let me capture and gives me the (infamous) “raw DV module not loaded” error message. Ive tried the fixes for it, but because Dyne:bolic is such a unique OS (or perhapes because of my own stupidity) they don’t seem to work. This is made worse by the fact that with hours of google search time logged I have yet to see a decent support forum or wiki to help me.
If you can help me then I would be most thankfull.
Just wanted to put a little plug in for Gentoo. I tried it first when I made The Switch, and couldn’t make heads or tails of it. Three or four distros later I came back to it, and I couldn’t be happier. There was always one or two things on the other distros that wouldn’t work (sound card, wifi) and the help available on the web for Gentoo is much better.
The installation process is actually a great first step at learning Unix bash command-line.
Its an (almost) all-compiled distribution, meaning you’re retrieving the source code from the repository and compiling it, which can take a long time, but their Portage system automates a lot of that for you.
To be honest, I just prefer to know what’s going on inside my computer. I found with Windows I spent a lot of time waiting for the OS, or (worse) trying to figure out whether it was locked up or not.