The Linux Thread

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The Linux Thread

Unread post by Wage Slave » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:23 pm

Well, I've been using Ubuntu for about a year now. Still doing the dual boot thing but spending more and more time in Ubuntu, On my 3Gz Pentiium 4, 2 Gb RAM, modest graphics card machine it runs very fast. A much nicer experience than any Windows browser. There are a few issues around the graphics card but everything else works just fine. I think computer number 3 will probably be a second hand, 4,000 Yen Pentium 3, which I will upgrade to 500Mb of RAM. It can then run Ubuntu and will be the kid's computer.

What's your experience? Got any tips?
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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by ripslyme » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:41 pm

Why is this not in the Tech Corner?

Anyway, I do like how Ubuntu (and other Linux distros) work quite well on older hardware. I had an old P3 laptop that I was getting ready to throw out when my brother asked if he could have it to have something to play around with Linux on. I tried it out after he got it up and running and the thing never ran so good on WinXP.
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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by Wage Slave » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:44 pm

ripslyme wrote:Why is this not in the Tech Corner?
Because I am an careless idiot! Shawn/ABs can you move it? I don't think I can do anything now there is a reply.
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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by Shawn » Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:02 pm

OK, thread moved.

I've been dual booting Ubuntu and Fedora for a while now. Linux is very nice and one hell of a way to extend the life of a PC. It's becoming a lot more easy to use and install. For example, there'sWubi, which let's you install Ubuntu within Windows. If you're not confident about how to set things up to dual boot your distro, there's always Easy BCD. :hug:

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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by Wage Slave » Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:23 pm

Shawn wrote:OK, thread moved.

I've been dual booting Ubuntu and Fedora for a while now. Linux is very nice and one hell of a way to extend the life of a PC. It's becoming a lot more easy to use and install. For example, there'sWubi, which let's you install Ubuntu within Windows. If you're not confident about how to set things up to dual boot your distro, there's always Easy BCD. :hug:
Many thanks for moving it to here. I started with Wubi and then decided to go ahead and install Ubuntu properly. The latest version has an excellent installer. As long as you have 10Gb or so of HDD space free then all you need to do is decide how much space to give it and let it get on with the job. Within 5 minutes you will have a dual boot system.

What advantages does Fedora offer over Ubuntu?
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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by lordCONAN » Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:34 am

I was running solely Ubuntu up until about 4 months ago when my motherboard crapped itself and I built a new PC. After building the new PC I just installed Vista, I do have Ubuntu on a virtual machine, but don't have a need to start it up at the moment.

The reason I went back is that I do use my PC for mostly playing games. And while Ubuntu was able to run the majority of games I played (but not all of them), it was a real pain the arse at times to get them working. Also some of the suffered very noticeable performance issues. So I went back to vista so I can use DX10 and crap like that. I figured if I was paying for a new computer, I might as well utilise the hardware to its fullest.

Of course I could duel boot ... but I'm just too lazy. I never turn my machine off, and only reboot when I have to.

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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by Tall Tall Tree » Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:37 pm

Are BSD fans welcome too?

I recently purchased this book on FreeBSD and have been reading through it. It's pretty hardcore; definitely not for newbies, but more for people who are already (l)users who want to become power users or sysadmins. There's so much you don't know you don't know about how operating systems work until you do know it…

Besides dual-booting, there's also virtualization if you want to try a new OS on your system without wiping out your old one. This lets you set up a "virtual machine" inside of an application which can boot operating systems and otherwise behave like a second computer, but it's really just a normal program on your first one. A free open-source virtual machine program is VirtualBox, though it has issues; there's some commercial ones too, but I'm not sure what your options are for Windows.

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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by Wage Slave » Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:29 pm

Tall Tall Tree wrote: Are BSD fans welcome too?
Yes, most definitely. I have to confess that learning commands and the intricacies of how an operating system works is just not for me. I can see the appeal but I'm just not interested enough to put in the hours.

What I like about Ubuntu is that pretty much everything is GUI driven now. I haven't had to venture into Terminal once with my current installation and that's the way I prefer it. The issue with my NVidia graphics card is sort of resolved now. If I want to play games I need to change the driver over to an earlier version. A bit of a hassle but that is NVidia's fault more than Linux's.

A popular alternative to Ubuntu seems to be Linux Mint. I read It is built on the same foundation but is even more graphical and simple to configure.
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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by Shawn » Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:40 pm

Wage Slave wrote:What advantages does Fedora offer over Ubuntu?
Probably none, unless you think SE Linux is a big plus. The big difference is in the philosophies of the distros. As you say, Ubuntu is very user friendly. Fedora probably appeal to more experienced users. The only reason I use it is because it happened to be the first distro I tried. I got sick and tired of downloading the DVD iso or collection of CD isos and decided to give Ubuntu a try.

That's the beauty of Linux. Pick a distro and play with it. I've learned a lot about about computing through having to use terminal commands.

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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by Tall Tall Tree » Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:34 am

Wage Slave wrote:
Tall Tall Tree wrote: Are BSD fans welcome too?
Yes, most definitely. I have to confess that learning commands and the intricacies of how an operating system works is just not for me. I can see the appeal but I'm just not interested enough to put in the hours.

What I like about Ubuntu is that pretty much everything is GUI driven now. I haven't had to venture into Terminal once with my current installation and that's the way I prefer it. The issue with my NVidia graphics card is sort of resolved now. If I want to play games I need to change the driver over to an earlier version. A bit of a hassle but that is NVidia's fault more than Linux's.
Indeed, it seems my goals are different than others in this thread. You all are on the lookout for a Windows replacement, and that's fine; anything that stops you from using Windows and running the risk (inevitability?) that your machine turns into a spam-spewing botnet node really is good not only for you but for humanity as a whole. But there already is a user-friendly non-Windows OS on the market with unparalleled style and ease of use, and it's unlikely that any Linux distro will ever catch up to its level of "it-just-works-ability." It's called Mac OS X. Maybe you've heard of it. :P

But being a web developer, I'm concerned with web servers, and that's why I'm learning BSD. On a web server, a graphical user interface just wastes resources. There's a joke amongst BSD graybeards that goes "Linux is for people who hate Windows; BSD is for people who love Unix." It seems to be truer than ever given the rise of Ubuntu, and that's fine, but using Linux (or BSD) as a Windows replacement on the desktop is not where my interests lie personally.

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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by MacGyver » Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:28 pm

Until about a month or so ago, I had been running Ubuntu for about a yr on an old IBM X31 laptop. Works very well but unfortunately I had to start dual booting with XP because there were a number of things I had to do natively in XP. XP is a bare-bones install and used only when I absolutely cannot do what I want to do in Ubuntu, and therefore runs well. Beyond playing games (as the laptop is a biz machine so just doesn't have the specs to do so) I feel I get the absolute best out of both. By doing all downloading, web-browsing and anything else I do at a reasonable clip on Ubuntu and then using the bare-bones XP for stuff I can't do on Ubuntu, I reckon I get the best of both worlds! :thumbsup: :D
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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by Tall Tall Tree » Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:28 pm

novawhiz wrote:TTT, I've used OSX once and it turned me off something terrible. too simplified, no choices, I think the mouse had only one button...... yuck!
"Right-clicking" is done by holding the Control key while clicking the one button, or, if you're on a laptop, you can right-click by tapping the touch pad with two fingers at once. And if you must have more buttons on your mouse, just get a mouse with more buttons and plug it in; it'll just work, even if it's not sold as being Mac-compatible. For Urban Terror, I use a Logitech mouse with four buttons plus a scroll wheel that spins back and forth and tilts left and right.

When I was in high school, I occasionally volunteered with helping senior citizens use computers. For newbies, having two buttons on the mouse really is a source of confusion, no joke. They would double-click the right button on an icon and then get frustrated when some dumb menu with confusing commands came up instead of whatever they were trying to open. With the Mac, the ease of one button is there for newbies by default, but the power of a right mouse button is easily available for those that need it.

A lot of the "issues" people have with Mac OS X are just due to unfamiliarity, I think. Because Linux runs on standard PC hardware, and Gnone and KDE emulate Windows so disgustingly much by default (the Control key for most common keyboard commands, menu bar inside windows instead of the top of the screen, window controls on the right side of window title bars, etc), people coming from Windows might find Linux easier to adapt to upon first impression.

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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by Shawn » Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:15 pm

novawhiz wrote:TTT, I've used OSX once and it turned me off something terrible. too simplified, no choices, I think the mouse had only one button...... yuck!
You must mean that puck/mouse they came up with. It's not a problem now as you can plug in any USB mouse.

I use a Mighty Mouse with my MacBook. Works like a charm.

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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by lordCONAN » Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:23 am

Seeing as OSX is built on BSD, I don't see its market share been taken away too quickly by freer versions of *nix.

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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by Tall Tall Tree » Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:49 pm

novawhiz wrote:
lordCONAN wrote:Seeing as OSX is built on BSD, I don't see its market share been taken away too quickly by freer versions of *nix.
pretty sure it's based on unix, and licensed so not free.
It's based on FreeBSD. In fact, the Unixy guts of OS X, called Darwin, are available for free… but you boot it up, and you get a straight command-line interface, just like with FreeBSD. You don't get the OS X GUI or any of the things that make a Mac a Mac.
my point was if linux (example: ubuntu) is taking away market share from MS because it can do everything windows can do without freezing or giving hackers a way to turn your machine into a zombie, then why would it not eventually take away market share from Apple since linux can do everything OSX can do and do it for *way* cheaper?
Well, there's the OS X GUI I touched on above. There's the fact that much of the first-party software is still a step ahead of the rest of the industry, open-source or otherwise, and especially in terms of user friendliness and it-just-works-ness. And in the corporate realm, there's the momentum of the Adobe suite which holds a dominance over graphics houses around the world which probably isn't going to go away any time soon. (What's the best alternative to Photoshop? GIMP? It doesn't do CMYK graphics… it's useless for serious print work.)

Now I ain't no open source hater at all. In fact, I spend pretty much my entire workday nowadays building sites with Drupal, an open-source content management system, and have even released a few of my own modules for it for others to use. But often it's worth it to pay for software - and get what you pay for in terms of quality and technical support.

But just to back up a bit and look at your original argument, pretty much the only place where Microsoft is sweating over Linux is in the server space, where Windows is in clearly running behind the combined various Linux distributions (and possibly to the BSDs as well). Despite Ubuntu's success, it has made such a teensy dent in MS's market share that they're not even sweating it. They have more to fear from the gradual growth in OS X's market share, as their "I'm a PC" campaign makes evident.

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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by Wage Slave » Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:53 pm

TTT, do you think then that the popularity LInux on netbooks was just a flash in the pan? Has Microsoft released a slimmed down version and dropped their price?
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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by Tall Tall Tree » Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:51 pm

No, Microsoft hasn't released a slimmed-down version of Windows specifically for netbooks, but they have extended XP's lifespan for the netbook market (why do so many netbooks ship with no more than 1 GB of RAM? Because their licensing deal with Microsoft prohibits them from shipping a Windows XP netbook with more). And even though you and I may never buy one, we're in the minority in that regard; Windows netbooks are still far outselling Linux ones. Sorry, them's just the facts.

EDIT: Though in Windows' case, I would say it's more due to peoples' familiarity with it, than any validation of Windows' quality… :P

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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by lordCONAN » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:26 pm

novawhiz wrote:why would it not eventually take away market share from Apple since linux can do everything OSX can do and do it for *way* cheaper?
Because Apple's OSX market share is invariably linked to their hardware market share. You can't order an Apple without OSX, so while a very small portion of people would delete OSX in favour of another flavour of *nix, I think it would be extremely marginal.

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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by Wage Slave » Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:52 pm

I made the mistake of upgrading to Krappy Koala. Total disaster. NVidia graphics drivers not only don't work anymore but actually prevented the machine from booting into the desktop. Even running a basic driver there were odd artifacts on the menu bars. On top of that the sound disappeared without trace or reason.

I hear lots of other people have had the same/similar/other problems with this version. I have had to go back to Jaunty (v9.04 I think). That, thankfully still works flawlessly. Far faster than XP and prettier too.

It looks very much to me that Ubuntu have a Vista type fuck up on their hands. If you were thinking of upgrading, I would wait for a month or two.
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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by MacGyver » Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:33 pm

Wage Slave wrote:It looks very much to me that Ubuntu have a Vista type fuck up on their hands. If you were thinking of upgrading, I would wait for a month or two.
Although the important difference is that they are open source and free :wink: So chances are they'll get it fixed sooner rather than later, especially if a lot of others are having the same problems.
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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by Wage Slave » Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:39 pm

MacGyver wrote:
Wage Slave wrote:It looks very much to me that Ubuntu have a Vista type fuck up on their hands. If you were thinking of upgrading, I would wait for a month or two.
Although the important difference is that they are open source and free :wink: So chances are they'll get it fixed sooner rather than later, especially if a lot of others are having the same problems.
Very very true. It will be sorted quickly I am sure and in the meantime all I have lost is a bit of time poking around. I have also learnt how to install MSMincho and Gothic in the Japanese input system and make Mincho the default font so no hard feelings at all.
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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by MacGyver » Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:54 pm

Wage Slave wrote:I have also learnt how to install MSMincho and Gothic in the Japanese input system and make Mincho the default font so no hard feelings at all.
On Jaunty or Koala? I remember when I installed the input system it was actually a little tricky. Hopefully installing specific fonts on it isn't as hard...
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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by Wage Slave » Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:13 pm

MacGyver wrote:
Wage Slave wrote:I have also learnt how to install MSMincho and Gothic in the Japanese input system and make Mincho the default font so no hard feelings at all.
On Jaunty or Koala? I remember when I installed the input system it was actually a little tricky. Hopefully installing specific fonts on it isn't as hard...
On Jaunty. I had to abandon Koala and do a clean install to downgrade. You are right it was a bit tricky on earlier versions. In my case it had just survived the upgrades to my old install of Jaunty.

Installing it on a fresh jaunty install is now very easy. You can just do it through the Admin menu. The default font is a bit crap though so it's nice to get Mincho and Gothic. The only tricky(ish) part is setting Mincho as the default. Luckily as is often the case with Ubuntu someone has written a how to and I just copied and pasted the code.
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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by Wage Slave » Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:23 pm

Here's the how to for the fonts:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=812552

It's actually written for Hardy. The first bit about installing the input system is no longer needed in Jaunty as it can easily be done from the desktop. The second bit on installing Mincho and Gothic plus making Mincho the default is excellent and works fine in Jaunty.
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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by Tall Tall Tree » Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:39 pm

Wage Slave wrote:Luckily as is often the case with Ubuntu someone has written a how to and I just copied and pasted the code.
At the risk of sounding condescending, you should be very very careful when "copying and pasting the code." In particular, you should make sure you know what every line you're pasting actually does. It would be a little too easy for someone to write up a "how-to" with some extra steps in the middle which actually end up compromising your system's security, either out of malice or ignorance. You should take the reputation of the source into account, too - if it's something from Ubuntu's official documentation site or forums, it's probably been vetted enough by others to be safe, but be suspicious of anything from any other sites. Are you familiar with how to read manual pages (the "man" command)?

Of course, this goes for Windows and OS X as well.

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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by Wage Slave » Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:57 pm

Tall Tall Tree wrote:
Wage Slave wrote:Luckily as is often the case with Ubuntu someone has written a how to and I just copied and pasted the code.
At the risk of sounding condescending, you should be very very careful when "copying and pasting the code." In particular, you should make sure you know what every line you're pasting actually does. It would be a little too easy for someone to write up a "how-to" with some extra steps in the middle which actually end up compromising your system's security, either out of malice or ignorance. You should take the reputation of the source into account, too - if it's something from Ubuntu's official documentation site or forums, it's probably been vetted enough by others to be safe, but be suspicious of anything from any other sites. Are you familiar with how to read manual pages (the "man" command)?

Of course, this goes for Windows and OS X as well.
Yep. Good point. This was from the official Ubuntu support forum and lots of other people had thanked the guy. Apply common sense as always.

I'm not familiar with the "man" command. What can it do?
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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by Tall Tall Tree » Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:11 pm

Wage Slave wrote:I'm not familiar with the "man" command. What can it do?
It shows you information and directions - a manual - for various tools and programs installed on your system. To use it, simply type "man" followed by the command you want to learn more about - for example, "man chmod". It will start up a program called a "pager" to show you the information inside the terminal itself (probably the "less" pager; "man less" to learn about that). Press the space bar or arrow keys to navigate through the document; press the "/" (forward slash) key and then type a search term to search the document, then press "N" to to go to the next found search term; simply press "Q" to quit.

So basically, if a command in the code you want to use looks fishy, try looking at the man page for that command so that you're sure of what it might be doing to your system.

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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by Wage Slave » Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:43 pm

Very useful tip TTT. Thanks for that.

On another note I think Ubuntu has really improved a lot over the last two years or so. Even my wife prefers it to familiar old Windows now. I only ever boot into XP now for iTunes, Photoshop and the odd specialist program to make New Year's cards or something. It's really nice working on a snappy computer and it is very snappy even with wobbly windows and so on. Nice not having to wait ages for the thing to boot as well.

If you haven't done it yet try Jaunty. The only thing is that the default colour scheme is not great but it is easy to play around with the themes and effects to find something you like.
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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by MacGyver » Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:40 pm

Article about recent malware on a linux box. Interesting read if you use linux and/or have an interest in security.

Linux malware: an incident and some solutions
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Re: The Linux Thread

Unread post by Shimano » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:40 am

Malware Schmalware.

As Unix users, malicious code will not be an issue; rather, it will be a nice OCD massaging exercise in housekeeping.

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