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Linux Discussion
Antza2Date: Thursday, 28.04.2016, 21:51 | Message # 1
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As followers of the "Show your desktop" thread may have noticed, i really like trying out different types of Linux distributions. Right now i'm running Ubuntu 16.04. I would like to hear your opinions on Linux distros and the platform as a whole.
Those who haven't tried Linux and would like to know more, i can answer questions you might have. smile





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MosfetDate: Friday, 29.04.2016, 00:03 | Message # 2
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My experience with Linux.

My work/home network is Linux-centric since ubuntu 8.04.
Previously I had briefly used Slackware or RedHat, but that ubuntu distro was the first one that gave me a (more or less) real hassle-free experience, and my powerful allergic reaction to Windows Vista was the small step that powered a giant leap.

I was well accustomed to Gnome 2 interface, when Unity came to visit with Ubuntu 11 something I think, and it was awful for me. It didn't worked well neither Gnome 3, I'm a "point & click" person, I like my mouse moving around the screen, so I don't really make use of keyboard shortcuts except for the basics.
Then I tried Xubuntu, and my old machines were responding very well, no problems with hardware components and such as in mostly all Ubuntu LTS. I don't need any particular windows software in my job, I use linux alternatives and a couple of virtualbox machines for assistance/testing purposes.
Now my OSs are Xubuntu, except for this new notebook which has Win10/xubuntu dual boot only because SpaceEngine and because I need to know how it works for my job. And Raspberry Pi because, well, OSMC or Kodibuntu.

I think I'll wait next month to upgrade to the next LTS because I've seen some errors while using Xfce file manager, and the hardware of this notebook forced me to write a couple of scripts in order to use some function keys such as display brightness.
I haven't been able to use yet the Nvidia card on my dual intel/Nvidia configuration. If SE will work well enough with Wine emulation, as I suspect it will, then Windows can go to hell..sewhere.





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ProteusDate: Friday, 29.04.2016, 01:05 | Message # 3
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Depending on your needs and preferences, Linux is no more or less useful or fine to use than Windows. If one wants some input about Linux, I would suggest they get it from a source that is not snobbishly biased toward Linux. There are communities as well as a lot of youtube videos with people giving Linux users a bad name by radically evangelizing it in a rather similar manner that conservative Christians do with their beliefs. It's deeply disappointing to see.

- If you like the idea of open-source software (if it appeals to you both morally and financially)
- If you are okay with spending time with tweaking and adjusting your OS for precise levels of customization and a self-motivation for troubleshooting, compiling, and learning the innards of your computers processes
- If your needs and demands are not too focused on gaming and the more involved type of media projects but more simply on general personal usage and/or server development

Linux will be right up your ally.

However...

- If you like to "just get your work done" without having to worry about the possiblility of critical instability with the software you work with
- If you don't care about customizing everything and don't have time or the patience to troubleshoot, fix, compile/recompile things
- If you are more dedicated to having a wider and more developed platform for your games
- If you don't buy into the dramatic crowd of conspiracy theories revolving around the ignorance of how Microsoft's development of Windows works, partly because you simply have nothing to hide anyway
- If you've already bought a computer in which part of the price was for Windows and you want to get the value out of the buck you already put in it

Windows will do just fine.

HOWEVER

You CAN use both for different purposes in which each of them carry strengths. Those strengths are actually shown in the bullet points above. Feel free to use Linux as your main OS with Windows in a VM, or with Windows as your main OS with Linux as a guest VM (like I do).

Just... whatever you do, think for yourself about these things and don't let yourself fall into the crowd of "Micro$oft is out to spy on you and rape you for your moniez!!!11 Linux is superior in every way and one day will rulz alll!!!"





 
HarbingerDawnDate: Friday, 29.04.2016, 01:24 | Message # 4
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First, let me just put out there that I'm primarily a Windows user. That said...

Quote Proteus ()
If you are okay with spending time with tweaking and adjusting your OS for precise levels of customization and a self-motivation for troubleshooting, compiling, and learning the innards of your computers processes

Absolutely none of that is necessary to use Linux. For example, I switched my mom over to Linux and she doesn't know a thing about computers, yet she's had FEWER issues with Linux than she had with Windows.

Quote Proteus ()
If you like to "just get your work done" without having to worry about the possiblility of critical instability with the software you work with

I have not had chronic issues like this during normal usage of Linux, at least not Linux Mint while using the most common Linux software. In fact, I've had just as many critical problems with Windows as I have with Linux. One time a Windows Update even bricked my computer; if I hadn't been tech savvy and had a spare PC to use to fix it, it would have been lost forever. Never had any Linux update do that.

Quote Proteus ()
If you don't care about customizing everything and don't have time or the patience to troubleshoot, fix, compile/recompile things

What are you talking about "compiling"? I've been using Linux for a few years now and I've never had to compile anything. I've had to troubleshoot some issues, sure, but the same can happen in Windows. I just don't notice Windows issues anymore since I have 22 years of experience in dealing with them.

Quote Proteus ()
If you don't buy into the dramatic crowd of conspiracy theories revolving around the ignorance of how Microsoft's development of Windows works, partly because you simply have nothing to hide anyway

I'm not saying that Microsoft is spying on you, but if they were, would you really let them simply because you have "nothing to hide"? Would you let me put a spycam in your bedroom since you have nothing to hide? It's absurd. Privacy rights should be respected, and a good way to have peace of mind is to use open-source software.

Quote Proteus ()
If you've already bought a computer in which part of the price was for Windows and you want to get the value out of the buck you already put in it

...What? That's like saying if you buy a car with a built-in stereo system, you would reject an offer for a new FREE stereo system which can work ALONGSIDE your existing one AT NO RISK. It's totally nonsensical.

Proteus, you deride the biases of Linux evangelists, and I'm very sympathetic to that, but you seem to be exhibiting your own biases against Linux, whether you're aware of that or not.





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ProteusDate: Friday, 29.04.2016, 02:34 | Message # 5
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Quote HarbingerDawn ()
Proteus, you deride the biases of Linux evangelists, and I'm very sympathetic to that, but you seem to be exhibiting your own biases against Linux, whether you're aware of that or not.


Nope. Everything I mentioned about Linux is something quite desirable to me and something I believe that more computer users should expose themselves to for the benefits it provides.

My description does not necessarily account for everyone's experiences and uses, but that does not mean that they are not an inherit part of how Linux is setup and works. There are many stories of people putting Linux on their parents' machine, etc. But the majority of the time that is because their needs are simple enough for the desktop environment to handle. That is neither good or bad objectively. But it is a matter of who you are and what your needs and objectives are in your computing world.





 
steeljaw354Date: Friday, 29.04.2016, 18:26 | Message # 6
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I honestly never heard much of linux, is it any good?
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Friday, 29.04.2016, 18:45 | Message # 7
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Quote steeljaw354 ()
I honestly never heard much of linux, is it any good?

In short, yes.

A longer answer is that it depends on which Linux distribution you use and what your needs and desires are. Compared to Windows, Linux offers many advantages and disadvantages. Advantages include price (most Linux distros are free), greater security, more customization, and more control over your software. Disadvantages include more time spent troubleshooting minor issues, and less hardware and software compatibility (i.e. a lot of programs and devices don't work with Linux).





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midtskogenDate: Saturday, 30.04.2016, 13:30 | Message # 8
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Quote HarbingerDawn ()
Disadvantages include more time spent troubleshooting minor issues, and less hardware and software compatibility (i.e. a lot of programs and devices don't work with Linux).

That depends on what you're used to. I bought my first PC in 1993 and installed Linux on it and hasn't used anything else since for practical work. Before that I used Commodore computers. For me Linux means that I can troubleshoot minor issues in no time, whereas if I am on a Windows computer, troubleshooting things is very slow. I feel very crippled on a Windows or Mac computer.

Hardware compability was an issue up to the late 90's, but hasn't been a big issue since. There is, however, a lot of software written specifically for Windows which may not work well in Linux. But it's the same way the other way. A lot of software written for Linux, may not work well in Windows even if you have the source code.





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DoctorOfSpaceDate: Saturday, 30.04.2016, 13:37 | Message # 9
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A friend of mine told me that you can use linux to "breathe new life into old computers". His reasoning was that because of how light weight linux is in terms of resource requirements you can make an older system function much better on modern tasks. I have never been big into linux so my knowledge on the subject is fairly limited.

Is there any merit to this idea?





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HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 30.04.2016, 14:54 | Message # 10
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Quote DoctorOfSpace ()
Is there any merit to this idea?

Yes. My mom's computer used to run Windows XP, and didn't have the hardware specs to run any newer versions of Windows. After support ended I switched it over to Linux Mint, and it works great. There are other distros of Linux that are much lighter-weight and would work on much older hardware. The reason is that you can have a lightweight interface built on top of what is, at its core, a fully modern and updated operating system. With Windows, you can't separate the core of the OS from its bloated desktop environment. With Linux however, you can, and thus can have very lightweight yet fully modern distributions.

Quote midtskogen ()
For me Linux means that I can troubleshoot minor issues in no time, whereas if I am on a Windows computer, troubleshooting things is very slow.

I was speaking from the standpoint of a Windows user migrating to Linux. Obviously a long-time Linux user would see things differently. However, it has been my observation that the absolute number of things that need to be troubleshot on Linux is higher than on Windows, so if you're equally proficient at dealing with both, you're still going to spend more time troubleshooting Linux.

Quote midtskogen ()
Hardware compability was an issue up to the late 90's, but hasn't been a big issue since. There is, however, a lot of software written specifically for Windows which may not work well in Linux. But it's the same way the other way. A lot of software written for Linux, may not work well in Windows even if you have the source code.

You're technically correct, but your statement implies a false equivalence. Yes, there is Win software that doesn't work on Linux, and Linux software that doesn't work on Windows, but there is a lot of Windows software for which there is no Linux equivalent, while the reverse is much more rarely true. So restrictions in software options more strongly affects the Linux user than the Windows user.

And regarding hardware, the issue isn't hardware support per se, but DRIVER support. There is a lot of hardware out there for which there are no Linux drivers, outdated Linux drivers, or inferior Linux drivers.





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MosfetDate: Saturday, 30.04.2016, 15:42 | Message # 11
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that's because there are very few hardware builders willing to support Linux, and license problems, so firmware and driver sources are not published. Nothing can be done unless linux (desktop) reach a sort of crytical mass of users, will ever be?.
On the other end, Internet structure and every sort of hardware appliances are Linux inside, so it will grow anyway. In which direction, few people decide this at the moment, as far as I can tell from what I read around.





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midtskogenDate: Saturday, 30.04.2016, 17:37 | Message # 12
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What kind of hardware isn't usually supported in Linux these days? Linux has become the preferred development platform for so many engineers, so releasing Linux drivers might be no big deal even if the producer don't see Linux users as a target market.




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Antza2Date: Saturday, 30.04.2016, 18:43 | Message # 13
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Welp. Right after i made this thread i was forced to be off my PC for a while, so i couldn't reply sooner.
Quote Mosfet ()
I was well accustomed to Gnome 2 interface, when Unity came to visit with Ubuntu 11 something I think, and it was awful for me. It didn't worked well neither Gnome 3, I'm a "point & click" person, I like my mouse moving around the screen, so I don't really make use of keyboard shortcuts except for the basics.

The same happened to me. I started using Linux when i got a live CD of Ubuntu 10.04 in a magazine i bought out of curiosity. I really liked the Gnome 2 DE and found it more usable on my EEE PC netbook than Windows 7 Starter that came with it. After Unity came around i was forced to migrate to a different distro. Unity was broken and poorly designed as a whole. I think it was a huge mistake for Canonical to release it in such a state.
Quote Mosfet ()
I think I'll wait next month to upgrade to the next LTS

I strongly recommend waiting until the first point release. Right now the 16.04 base has too many bugs to be worth it at least on the different flavours of Ubuntu. Regular Ubuntu seems oddly the most stable of the bunch.
Quote Proteus ()
If one wants some input about Linux, I would suggest they get it from a source that is not snobbishly biased toward Linux.

Are you suggesting that this thread is biased? I dual boot on all my machines and i completely understand why someone wouldn't want to use Linux.

Quote Proteus ()
There are communities as well as a lot of youtube videos with people giving Linux users a bad name by radically evangelizing it in a rather similar manner that conservative Christians do with their beliefs. It's deeply disappointing to see.

Yes, but this is also true for apple fans. All groups have their vocal idiot population. Best thing to do is not giving them attention.
Quote Proteus ()
- If you like to "just get your work done" without having to worry about the possiblility of critical instability with the software you work with

This isn't really an issue if you use a super stable (and usually rigid) distro like Ubuntu Mate or Linux Mint. I haven't had any catastrophic instabilities when using either of those systems. I just generally don't like using them because i like to go far with customization and sometimes i require more up to date packages.
Quote Proteus ()
fix, compile/recompile things

I have only had to compile something when i was testing Arch Linux, not something a normal Sunday user would do. And even then it was a simple one click operation.
Quote HarbingerDawn ()
For example, I switched my mom over to Linux and she doesn't know a thing about computers, yet she's had FEWER issues with Linux than she had with Windows.

I did the same to my dad and grandmother. Both have had a better computing experience on Linux than on Windows. Both are using Zorin OS.
Quote HarbingerDawn ()
One time a Windows Update even bricked my computer

This has happened to me and to people i know. Just yesterday my friend's laptop got corrupted because of a failed windows 10 update and he lost days worth of work.
Quote steeljaw354 ()
I honestly never heard much of linux, is it any good?

Mostly yes. I say mostly because you have to be willing to learn new things and to many people windows = how computers work. Apple users usually have easier time getting settled using Linux because they already know how software repositories work (or rather how to use them).
Quote midtskogen ()
What kind of hardware isn't usually supported in Linux these days?

I bought a hybrid laptop a few moths ago. It has really bad hardware support on Linux. On Ubuntu 16.04 i can get it booted, but sound, wifi, bluetooth and multitouch don't work. Also the battery is not recognized. Many newer laptops have such issues. This is why it's good to have a quick google search before buying.





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midtskogenDate: Sunday, 01.05.2016, 07:38 | Message # 14
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Most OS wars are meaningless, since they're basically "I'm more familiar with my OS than you are with your OS". Or they're based on outdated facts. Like, I believe that Linux was the better choice when I bought my first PC in 1993, since I wouldn't even consider Windows as an OS at that time, but rather an application running in DOS, which then was a quite outdated OS. But someone else buying a PC in 1993 might have argued that Windows is better, because at that time Linux had limited hardware support.

Linux and Windows have slightly different uses. Computers, in a broad sense, based on the Linux kernel outnumber by far the Windows installations. The Linux kernel runs on billions of devices, like smartphones, routers, cameras, your fridge, whatever. On the other hand, Windows dominates on laptops and desktop computers.

The grandmother test, i.e. what works best for someone without familiarity with any OS, is quite good.





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werdnaforeverDate: Sunday, 08.05.2016, 22:02 | Message # 15
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I recently stuck a new SSD in the second m2 slot in my laptop, and I'm now dual booting with Ubuntu Gnome.

Linux has always been a curiosity, but never something I relied on. I'd install distros in VMs to check them out, or, back when I was a Mac user, older Macs/on a boot camp partition. But I never really relied or kept installations for very long. Now that I have a decent dual boot setup, hopefully this will change.

For me, it was always about checking out the different GUIs in different distros. I appreciated that it was all free of charge, and I could customize things more, but of course I always found myself coming back to the terminal, and it drove me nuts.* On Windows or OS X you almost never have to resort to a CLI, unless you're tweaking or going beyond Apple or MS's comfort zones... but still, you can almost always do whatever you need to do through some sort of GUI (like... the windows group policy editor!). With Linux, this isn't the case.

I recently rediscovered Gnome 3 after hating it like everyone else when it first came out, and now have a change of heart, especially with the customization options in the Gnome tweak tool (dark theme FTW) which allow me to make things a bit more normal. For example, I put icons on the desktop, re-endabled the bottom bar (with open windows, like the Windows taskbar or Gnome2's default bottom bar). I basically chose it because it's one of the most modern, polished, well designed Linux GUIs. Yeah, I said it, and Linux fanboys might hate me, but who cares. Most other distros have GUIs which look terrible- yes, terrible. Still, I understand the complaints against Gnome 3 and agree they tried too much change too quickly, but I think that right now it works great and is perfectly usable.

I've spoken a lot about GUIs, which some might disregard as a minor point because they are focused on the technical benefits of different distros. But as far as I'm concerned, the GUI is a critical detail, as it determines how I interact with my computer, which ought to be as painless and efficient as possible.

The massive fragmentation doesn't help solve the issue of installing and removing applications. Linux programs are often set up as packages, which you can install or uninstall, usually from repositories. Ubuntu and it's derivatives had the Ubuntu software center (which was just replaced by "Gnome Software"), which was basically like the Mac app store which came after it. Aside from that, other package managers like Synaptic have been around for much longer. Yet, the process isn't as straightforward and concrete as it is on OS X or Windows; Linux doesn't have portable applications by default. Being careful and considerate about the ways you install software is important, I've found, because can be much harder to remove than to install if you don't go through a package manager. So, when SE is ported to Linux, my guess it will be on Steam before it is distributed any other way.

P.S. I dislike GRUB (grand unified boot loader). I just want something simple and graphical. There was something called "Burg" which was a GUI for Grub which made it look more like the OS X bootloader- which is the kind of thing I want, although I've had issues getting it to work recently. O_o

P.S.S. Richard Stallman... his negativity, lack of pragmatism, and socially inappropriate behavior drives me crazy, and his intelligence/genius is not an acceptable excuse in my eyes. He might be right about many issues regarding software and security, but his answer to everything is to use free software. I can't just discard all my proprietary software; the alternatives are all either crappy, inferior, or nonexistent, at least for anything I do. It might work if you are a programmer or scientist or sysadmin, but there's a large, intelligent segment of the population who relies on computers for things where there just aren't any viable FSF alternatives, including multimedia creation or even office work. Say what you want about Microsoft but I'll take MS Office over LibreOffice in a heartbeat.

And I refuse, refuse, refuse to ever call it GNU + LInux. See, the way Language works involves people coming to a consensus on the proper way of saying things. Today's slang is tomorrow's proper grammar. Language evolves, terminology evolves. If 97% of the planet refers to "GNU + Linux" as just plain Linux (which includes more than enough people who are credible/knowledgeable on the subject), then as far as I'm concerned it's just Linux now. Every time RMS interrupts and insists otherwise, it just strikes me as obnoxious and defensive. I agree with many of the principles of the FSF but IMHO they themselves have failed to stay relevant, and RMS is likely as frustrated with that as anyone would be. Whatever... if this was a Linux forum, cue the responses about how I'm uninformed about the issues or the underlying technology, and for blaspheming... :P

Just had to get that off my chest. Really though, evangelism in the FSF and Open Source communities is just crazy, and hasn't helped anyone.

*When googling around to find answers to Linux issues, you will find endless forum posts with code to enter into the terminal. If you are not aware of what you are doing, it can be a security risk. Someone once sent me a site which was basically full of examples of this, where websites had code that would really just install malware or erase your disk, rather than doing what its description promises... The commands are in plain sight, but because most people don't know what they mean they have no idea what it will really do.

EDIT:

Quote midtskogen ()
because at that time Linux had limited hardware support.

Actually, this is still somewhat true.

I have a Clevo laptop. I still can't change my screen brightness, or do anything to my multi-colored keyboard backlight... like turn it off or change the color. I want to change the colors. I paid for this useless feature and want to use it on Linux! sad Dont get me started on the wireless card issue. I ended up giving up and swapping out the killer networks card for an Intel. I'll have to sell it on amazon or something.

There is one vendor, System 76, that sells them with Linux, but they don't freely distribute the drivers (what they offer for download looks at your system and determines whether you bought it from them or not; you have to run a specific Ubuntu distro). So that doesn't work. They'd be out of business otherwise, I guess, because you can buy the same laptops from dozens of other vendors (xoticpc FTW), but they don't offer Linux/Linux driver support.


Edited by werdnaforever - Sunday, 08.05.2016, 22:14
 
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