Author Topic: Linux for desktop?  (Read 4969 times)

dtruchan

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Linux for desktop?
« Reply #30 on: March 07, 2004, 02:41:43 am »
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While I\'m waiting, I\'m going to take another swing at Debian

You must have the patience of a saint.

I\'ve used Slackware for years.  Ive tried distributions from Behive to Yggdrasil.  
Even though I\'v done it many times, I cant stomach a Debian install.  It\'s too convoluted and time consuming.
Slackware is easy.  
860 Debian EABI
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WCF11 v2.5
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Gentoo

ran

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« Reply #31 on: March 07, 2004, 05:00:24 am »
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Then came Mandrake...this is different from Windoze...how?

By having something solid behind the eye candy  ;-)

Since you mentioned that you\'re installing on a laptop,  I recommend visiting http://www.linux-laptop.net/,  because laptops often have proprietary hardware that can cause headaches.

Mandrake may be a little too RAM-hungry to run confortably on your system.  I\'ve used Vector on a couple of older PCs that weren\'t really up to running a full KDE desktop,  and found it relatively quick and easy to install.

I have Mandrake 8.0 installed on what used to be my \"main\" PC,  and put 9.2 on the Shuttle \"breadbox\" I\'m using in the trailer.  But I had some issues with its built-in nVidia controller,  and wound up with Redhat,  because it didn\'t make the mistake of trying to use the nVidia features that weren\'t properly supported by the GPLed drivers.  And now I understand why Redhat kept saying \"Linux isn\'t ready for the desktop\":  if my only experience had been with their lameware,  I\'d probably say the same thing.    :x

Eventually,  I\'ll be forced to switch (probably to Debian,  because they seem to be the most \"careful\" packagers,  and don\'t cut off all support for old versions mere months after they\'re released),  because Redhat\'s GUI package manager is severely broken,  and it\'s royal pain doing all the dependency finding and fixing by hand.

I strongly disagree with the suggestion that you wait for Mandrake 10 and download it:  much better to go with a version that\'s been out for a few months,  because most of the unpleasant surprises have been found.

There are some Debian derivatives out there that are easier to install (Vector might even be one of them,  but I think it\'s built on slackware).  If you anticipate using Linux for the long haul,  that\'s likely to be your best bet.

Ran

ScottYelich

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Linux for desktop?
« Reply #32 on: March 07, 2004, 12:59:02 pm »
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A long time ago I used SCO UNIX for several years, and knew a little, but I haven\'t touched any UNIX/LINUX for the past 15 years.  It\'s been a microsoft world for me.  OS\'s are a tool that let me use the applications I need for work.  (construction management) 

It recognized all my hardware, including USB ethernet adapter, and in 3 hours I was browsing the internet.  In 1 more hour I had SAMBA running and the Linux Harddrive is accessible to WinXP machine.

I had a lot of problems with learning curve for the Zaurus/Qtopia SDk stiff, but it is all running fine now.

2 weeks. No crashes,  the network shares are always working. 

But still, It is easier for me to still do my testing of software on the WinXP box and then thansfer it to the Linux box for testing with the crosscompiler.

jdf

still, you are a success story... you took iniative, you read, learned.. and did.
was it perfect, probably not.. but you now can speak from experience, instead of just
passing FUD or second hand info -- as so many other people do.

the bottom line is, as you said... you (meaning everyone) need to run what works for you.

I think it\'s amazing just how far along linux has made it.. I assume fedora is the latest redhat, and winxp is the latest win... try running winxp on the box where you installed fedora?  the point is, you actually have not only a choice -- but something that actually works.  The issue of productivity and just how WELL it works -- is another discussion.

Ethereal

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« Reply #33 on: March 08, 2004, 10:30:18 pm »
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While I\'m waiting, I\'m going to take another swing at Debian

You must have the patience of a saint.

Now there\'s something of which I\'m rarely accused!  

Actually, I\'m \"at large\" for the next couple of months (rotating at a hospital about 100 miles from where I live, based in temporary accomodations), so I\'m as patient as my free time in the evenings is abundant.

However, I\'m happy to report that I\'m posting this from my laptop, freshly installed with Debian!

startx works!  (Actually, the GUI login starts by itself!)

wvdial, uhh, well, needs some polish, but I\'m posting this via PPP!  (Status post a little route fixing...)

Life is good (for now...)
SL-6000L, Sharp ROM 1.12;
Socket Rev 2.5 CF Bluetooth::SE T608;
Sandisk 512MB SD, formatted ext2;
Pocketop IR Keyboard

dtruchan

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« Reply #34 on: March 09, 2004, 12:25:17 am »
860 Debian EABI
Lexar Cards
WCF11 v2.5
Mittoni SD-CF Adapter
Gentoo

havoc

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« Reply #35 on: March 09, 2004, 12:49:35 am »
Congratulations, Ethereal!  I was going to toss in another recommendation for SuSE (with which I\'ve had outstanding results in the way of other total-non-tech people to use as a Windows replacement), but it looks like that\'s not needed.

If you can get Debian up and running on your own, there\'s nothing that any other distro can do for you that Debian can\'t (with the possible exceptions of the fully compiled-on-the-spot distros).

That said, KDE, Mozilla, Konqueror, OpenOffice.org, gaim, KimDaBa, KOrganizer, kvim, GIMP, Kmail, XMMS  (or the Gnome equivilents of the KDE-specific tools I\'ve mentioned.).... and away you go!

Enjoy your new found freedom and stability!

havoc
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wigglit

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« Reply #36 on: March 19, 2004, 07:11:38 pm »
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I think too often, people look for different distros to make up for the fact that they are not comfortable configuring the system or using the command line.  I would suggest that newbies to linux learn the following basic things before they write linux off:

- vi (knowing how to edit your configuration files is key.  If you don\'t know how to edit these files from the command line and you can\'t get your gui running, your dead in the water)

Uhh...I\'ve been using Linux since Slackware 3.3, and actually started back in 1997-98.  I didn\'t touch vi then and I don\'t touch vi now.  Unless you\'re programming or heavily coding in any number of languages, vi is waaayyyy overkill.  To be proficient in a given distro, vi is NOT an essential tool...not for admining a box.  Coding, yeah, admining, no.  There are tons of lightweight editors out there that aren\'t as cumbersome as vi.

I\'ve been helping admin #slackware on irc.freenode.net for a few years and we see vi vs. emacs vs. other editors and it always boils down to what you need an editor for.  For admin and scripting purposes, vi is overkill...akin to using a sledgehammer to kill ants.   End the end, on #slackware, at least, I tell the user to test vi against any other editor and make the decision for himself which is better.  I never hand-feed noobs when they ask questions like that...I tell them to try it and make their owns observations and use what they like.

BTW, Slackware is a good distro to try, if you\'re looking for something light and tight.  

havoc

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« Reply #37 on: March 19, 2004, 08:49:05 pm »
wigglit, dood, I have a bud who REFUSES to learn vi (actually, vim).  He still hacks massive DOS batch files (in DOS edit) line-by-line, and it takes him all day.  I keep telling him, \"Jerry, regular expressions are your friend!\"  He keeps ignoring me.  Oh, well.

The thing about sledgehammers is, once your proficient with them, you can REALLY kill ants in a hurry with them!

:-D

Slackware and Debian are both excellent distros.  The fact that I don\'t use them does not diminish their quality in my view.  In fact, they are probably what I would consider the quintessential Linux distros.  I hold them both in the highest regard.

LordDavon

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« Reply #38 on: March 19, 2004, 10:20:53 pm »
Being involved with Linux since 1996, I have to admit that I have tried almost all of the distros; started with Slackware, used RedHat for my ISP, played with Mandrake, SUSE and Debian (and distros based on Debian) for my desktop.  

I currently use Gentoo, but it is not for the weak.  Some people play with it since you can pretty much have a system with the latest-and-greatest, but few keep it because portage can break your system faster then it took to set it up.  Honestly, it is the only distribution I have had on my system for over a year because I use Linux not as my primary OS, but my only OS.  Again, this is for the advance users because if you decide to tinker with Gentoo, you will only have a stable system for a short period of time.  ebuilds (the files used to tell the system how to download and compile the sources) are maintained by anyone and everyone and many broken ebuilds make it into the main branches.  It is a bitch to setup properly and making sure it stays running is something for the more advanced users, but you get one heck-of-a tailored system and setup exactly the way you want it.  Since you are upgrading only small sections at a time, it is the easiest for updating.  

Before Gentoo I was a Debian user.  Debian is the most stable OS I have ever used and there are many spin-offs that have nice installers and updated components.  apt/dpkg is probably the single best toolset for dependancy tracking ever imagined.  I was never able to upgrade my system fully without issues though.  Once Woody was released, I ended up having to reinstall.

SUSE/RedHat/Mandrake/RPM Based distros - are great for fast installs and hardware detection.  SUSE is the best of these.  The problem is that upgrading is also a beast and dependency tracking is a joke (I know all about the latest tools Madrake has and they DO NOT compare to apt).  I used to use partition tricks in order to make sure the I could do new installs without needing to reconfigure everything.  I made /home, /usr/local, /root and /opt mountable partitions so I would be able to install clean the latest versions and only have to play for a day or two to get my system back in shape.

Slackware is a great distro.  It is the most \"UNIX standard\" of the Linux distributions.  It is powerful and probably the cleanest distribution ever.  Heck, it was the first distribution ever.  It is not without its faults as well and still contains upgrading flaws.  It is also not for the new users as many things still need to be customized manually (not nearly as manually as Gentoo).  Many people swear by Slackware, but I feel it falls behind Debian and Gentoo.  Just personal preference.

*****************************

Once you select the right distribution, you will start to play with your system.  At first it is a toy.  You will be presented with a pretty GUI and lots of windows.  You may never really realize the power that is in front of you.  Screw vi (it is my favorite, but I lived in HP_UP and Solaris for too many years), the power of Linux is the choices you have.  You don\'t like KDE?  Try Gnome.  Not liking Gnome?  Try Afterstep and use a screensaver as your background!  XFCE4, Fluxbox, twm, etc...  there are so many more.  Need an office suite?  Siag, Open Office, Koffice, etc...  So, don\'t want to learn vi?  Use one of the other hundred editors!

Like a command prompt?  Need to work on a ton of things?  Toss them into a while loop, if statement, etc....  You have this ability on the command line.  Bash is a very powerful shell and it is backward compatible with korn, c shell and born (so it understands my crap).  Need to lowercase a ton of files?  ls | while read file; do mv $file `echo $file | tr [A-Z] [a-z]` done (probably incorrect but I have had a bit too much to drink tonight).  The power of the command line is endless and since you are no longer using a command interpreter, any file is a command!  If you need to pass a result from one tool to the next, use a pipe (|) symbol.  i.e...

Let\'s break down this command:

ls -l | grep Mar | grep -v log | awk -F\" \"  \'{print $3,\" \",$9}\'

ls -l: Gives a directory listing of everything in a directory in detailed columns separated by spaces:

-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users    691255 Mar 16 13:39 klimt.log
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users   9058832 Mar 11 15:41 mamed37b15sdc.zip
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users  32244591 Mar 17 12:18 nx-X11-1.3.1-12.tar.gz
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users   7307712 Mar  2 21:22 open-wonka-snapshot.tgz
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users   1163183 Mar  2 19:50 orp-1.0.10.tgz
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users    806776 Mar  2 23:44 pilot-link-0.11.8.tar.gz
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users     10689 Mar  4 08:34 pocketkaffe.diff.gz
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users   5115148 Mar 14 11:31 se007e6.tar.gz
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users    137546 Mar 17 10:28 source.tar.gz
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users   1273544 Apr 18 14:58 src-v0.07.rar
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users     62578 Apr 18 10:44 strace_4.4.98-1_arm.ipk

We send this output to grep which will return only the lines with the characters Mar in them.  

-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users    691255 Mar 16 13:39 klimt.log
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users   9058832 Mar 11 15:41 mamed37b15sdc.zip
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users  32244591 Mar 17 12:18 nx-X11-1.3.1-12.tar.gz
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users   7307712 Mar  2 21:22 open-wonka-snapshot.tgz
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users   1163183 Mar  2 19:50 orp-1.0.10.tgz
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users    806776 Mar  2 23:44 pilot-link-0.11.8.tar.gz
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users     10689 Mar  4 08:34 pocketkaffe.diff.gz
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users   5115148 Mar 14 11:31 se007e6.tar.gz
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users    137546 Mar 17 10:28 source.tar.gz

We then send that output to grep again telling it to remove lines with the characters log in them.  

-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users   9058832 Mar 11 15:41 mamed37b15sdc.zip
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users  32244591 Mar 17 12:18 nx-X11-1.3.1-12.tar.gz
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users   7307712 Mar  2 21:22 open-wonka-snapshot.tgz
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users   1163183 Mar  2 19:50 orp-1.0.10.tgz
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users    806776 Mar  2 23:44 pilot-link-0.11.8.tar.gz
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users     10689 Mar  4 08:34 pocketkaffe.diff.gz
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users   5115148 Mar 14 11:31 se007e6.tar.gz
-rw-r--r--   1 davonz users    137546 Mar 17 10:28 source.tar.gz

After, we send the output to awk which uses space as a field separator (I used a -F to set this to space even though awk defaults to space) and prints out only fields 3 and 9 separated by a space.

davonz mamed37b15sdc.zip
davonz nx-X11-1.3.1-12.tar.gz
davonz open-wonka-snapshot.tgz
davonz orp-1.0.10.tgz
davonz pilot-link-0.11.8.tar.gz
davonz pocketkaffe.diff.gz
davonz se007e6.tar.gz
davonz source.tar.gz

You may think, \"big woop\"... but with a single command line you were able to pull the just information you were looking for out of a few lines.  What if there 5000 lines, but you only wanted to pinpoint a few of them?  You can do that easily.

Ok.  I am rambling...  I am heading back to my drink.  ;-)

LD

catachresis

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« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2004, 05:59:17 am »
It\'s been suggested to me and other linux would-be\'s many times that for a first venture, we should try Knoppix, which is \'live\' and runs entirely from the cd, so it never touches the fragile Windows hard drive.  Knoppix can also be installed to the hard drive once you\'ve gotten the hang.

I bought Moving to Linux by Marcel Gagne for the reason that it wallks a Win person though Knoppix and even provides a Knoppix disc to work with.  Book + disk = ~$20.