1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

I am a long time windows user... convince me!!!

Discussion in 'Linux and Unix' started by Sphinx, Mar 31, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Advertisement
  1. Sphinx

    Sphinx Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    606
    I agree windows has many faults. But I do think Windows XP Professional is a great OS. I have it tweaked to the settings I want and it is very fast.

    I do want to try Linux. I have seen some friends using Ubuntu, and I thought I'd give linux shot.

    I've been looking at few different things, and was hoping someone could explain the differences...

    FreeBSD, DesktopBSD, Ubuntu, Ubuntu Desktop.


    I am a fast learner, but still , I don't want to dive into something I have no experience in.

    I want a FAST, RELIABLE desktop computer, used mostly for web browsing / multimedia purposes. I realize linux isn't the good choice for games - that is why I will keep my windows computer.

    I've been trying to decide between DesktopBSD and Ubuntu Desktop -

    can someone help me with this.


    Also is "ubuntu" the same as "ubuntu desktop" or are they separate entities?

    Thanks
     
  2. leroys1000

    leroys1000 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    Messages:
    6,319
    Ubuntu has a server and desktop edition.
    You can download and burn ubuntu desktop to a CD and boot
    to it and run it from the CD to see if you like it,without installing.
    BSD is a different unix variation I don't have any experience with.
    There are also different linux editions available on live CD.
    http://www.livecdlist.com/
     
  3. Sphinx

    Sphinx Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    606
    Out of the many linux versions , why is ubuntu so popular?

    I will try out ubunto desktop, but I am also curious about DesktopBSD.

    Again, I want SPEED and RELIABILITY.

    Gaming is not issue, I will use windows xp for that.

    Can anyone link me to an article that compares speed tests for linux(ubuntu) vs windows.

    All I would use it for basically is lots of web surfing, open office, data storage, and other multimedia purposes.
     
  4. Sphinx

    Sphinx Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    606
    I just tried out Ubuntu on a live CD, I was impressed but I have a few questions


    1. Doing certain things seemed slow to its windows counterpart. However at some points it seemed extremely fast. Could the slowness just be from it running off a CD? Is it MUCH faster when running from an actual install?

    2. If I end up doing an actual install, whats this SWAP partition I keep reading about - I mean I know what it is, but do I have to create this, or is everything done for me automatically when I install?

    3. After an Install, what should I do? Is there a need to get antivirus or anything of that sort? How should I set up my user name. In the live cd, I saw the only user was "root", but I should create somethin separate and never use root correct?

    4. Is this setup possible ?

    1 Computer with two hard disks.
    1 hard disk with WINXP, the other with ubuntu.
    2 monitors.

    So Id have one comptuer, with windows xp being displayed on my left monitor, linux on the right monitor.

    Is this possible with one video card?
     
  5. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2003
    Messages:
    20,583
    Hi Sphinx,

    What things seemed slow - did you measure them with the following scheme?
    $ time <command>
    in order to measure the time it takes to execute the command (on both Windows and Linux).

    It is best if you do create the swap partition. Here is my layout with an 80GB disk:
    Disk /dev/sdb: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x5fd95fd9

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdb1 * 1 13 104391 83 Linux
    /dev/sdb2 14 9538 76509562+ 83 Linux
    /dev/sdb3 9539 9729 1534207+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris

    I have 1GB RAM, so, you can do the math between RAM size and swap size, i.e. 190 cylinders at the number of bytes specified above/cylinder=1,534,207 1k blocks (1024 bytes/block) or roughly 1.5 times RAM size.

    By all means when installing, the root account and its password (saved in a safe place) + a user account should be created. In the Live CD, the ubuntu user account is created, and the root account access is gotten to by issuing the command: $ sudo -i which gets a # prompt. Also, in the Live CD environment, the file system is created in RAM - i.e. it is not on a hard drive!

    Never surf using a root account - period, as that makes it that much easier to be compromised.

    Read my posts on setting up iptables (search for iptables in the Title Only) for Beginners in order to activate the iptables firewall, or use the Synaptic Package Manager to download and install FireStarter.

    I typically only use the iptables approach, and periodically use ckrootkit and rootkithunter scans, no AV, AS, AT, etc. and no extra cost. Also, I only use a Live CD environment (from the regular ubuntu user account) with my hard disks unmounted so they are not exposed to the Internet, and have a command to spin down my disks to save power and further prevent compromise (to my 4 disk system). Also, when I power down, if any malware does manage to make it past my firewall (all of my ports are stealthed so any netscans do not reveal that there is a computer at my DHCP ISP generated ip address when I login to my account to get access to the Internet) the malware goes poof!.

    -- Tom
     
  6. Sphinx

    Sphinx Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    606
    ugh, that post only made me realize how truly little I know about linux!
     
  7. Sphinx

    Sphinx Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    606
    can you explain what hard disks mounted/unmounted means? You say you only run from a LiveCD?? Why?
     
  8. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2003
    Messages:
    20,583
    Hi Sphinx,

    Normally, any installed OS on a HD exposes the HDs to malware since the HDs do not run unmounted, i.e. they need to be mounted during the boot process after any chkdisk when they need to be unmounted. After bootup, the OS needs to access the HDs to run programs and record system logs and such which are all on HD.

    If a HD is unmounted which is normal during a Live CD session, i.e. the OS and file system is built in RAM and any malware that gets through would think it has accessed a HD unless it bothers to check the filesystem. Having a RAM at least 1GB supports this idea.

    I have been a system software engineer for over 25+ years - been working in Unix since early 80s, so I know my way around the OS - Unix or Linux. I have chosen to run only in a Live CD environment and adapted saving my runtime session modifications onto HD - after I have disconnected from the Internet - I have only a dialup 56k connection through my ISP. I don't want or need a 24/7 live connection to the Internet. I have a very restrictive firewall implemented with the kernel features that come standard with Linux - iptables. Although it is standard with Linux, it accepts everything, so it needs to be setup properly (which is very easy) before connecting to the Internet.

    My method has kept me secure for over a 1 1/2 years now, and I have not had to be constrained by paying $$$ every year to keep an AV for Windows and Spy Sweeper for AS.

    When I power down - given that everything exposed to the Internet while I am online is in RAM - it goes bye-bye until I power up again in the morning, which is any malware got though and was hiding in the file system built in RAM - is toast when the power is turned off.

    -- Tom

    P.S. I am working on building my method onto a USB which is both persistent and inherently more portable.
     
  9. Sphinx

    Sphinx Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    606
    I see.. but doesn't this get inconvienent? First off you need to always have the live CD to turn on the computer.

    If this would not be an option for me,
    what do you recommend as the first steps I take after installing the OS to the hard drive, and before connecting to the internet?

    Thanks- I appreciate your advice.
     
  10. Sphinx

    Sphinx Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    606
    Just an update on my progress,

    I have a semi-old laptop with windows XP on it. I wanted to shrin kthe winxp partition and put on ubuntu desktop 7.10 in a dual-boot configuration using GRUB.

    So I go to run ubuntu live cd so I can go into GParted and resize windows...

    however when running the live CD i get..

    "[197.064000] buffer I/O error on device fd0, logical block 0"
    "[235.168000] buffer I/O error on device fdo, logical block 0"

    Despite these errors it turns on OK.

    But when I go into Gparted to set up my partitions, it gets stuck on "scanning all devices"

    I looked up this error and people mentioned I need to disable Floppy drivei n the BIOS. However I have no floppy drive on this laptop, and the BIOS is extremely simple on this laptop - barely any options. Only options there are system info, battery test, HD test, boot order and some other simple options. I even found a BIOS update on compaq's site, but I can't notice any difference - it looks like the same BIOS to me.

    help!
     
  11. tomdkat

    tomdkat Retired Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,143
    "mounting" a disk means connecting it to the filesystem so the data on the drive can be accessed. An "unmounted" drive is a drive that is physically connected to the computer but isn't available for use since it's not connected to the fileystem.

    Some LiveCDs will actually mount Windows partitions found on physical hard drives automatically but lotuseclat79's LiveCD doesn't do this (obviously). :)

    Peace...
     
  12. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2003
    Messages:
    20,583
    Hi Sphinx,

    Believe it or not - I get the same fd0 errors when booting up my Ubuntu 7.10 Live CD. The problem is that the floppy drive has stb'd - i.e. a new one needs to be installed. Since I have a floppy drive and you do not - I would go with the BIOS disabling (try going through the boot order to disable the floppy setting).

    -- Tom
     
  13. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2003
    Messages:
    20,583
    Hi tomdkat,

    Thanks for explaining what I didn't! When I used Ubuntu 6.06 LTS Dapper Drake, if I brought up (I forget what it is named) either the File System tool or the Hard Disk tool - it automatically mounted the first disk which, of course, is my WinXP Pro SP2 disk, but only when the tool was initiated from the main pull-down menu.

    -- Tom
     
  14. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2003
    Messages:
    20,583
    Hi Sphinx,

    I keep the Live CD in the tray when I close it, so when I boot up in the AM - the Live CD boots up. Inconvenient maybe to those whom have no patience for what they want vs what they expect - I suppose. Differentiating between wants and needs mitigates any inconvenience - at least for me.

    All Linux kernel distributions come with iptables these days. However, it accepts everything and is wide open to an attack. What is necessary is to set it up with rules - very simple rules that protect against attack.

    Before connecting to the Internet - use the Advanced Search for my (lotuseclat79) thread posts (Titles Only for the keyword pull-down) in this forum and specifically look for the ones on iptables, iptables=keyword. One of them mentions a Beginners guide. The link goes to the Ubuntu forum for a guide written by frodon. I use that very restrictive iptables setup with bittorrent and emule commented out as I don't use them - i.e. the only ports are through http and https, and then only when you request something from the Intenet (WWWeb). Common sense rules, so do not visit web sites known to be on the wild side and you should be fairly secure.

    I test all of my ports (0-65535) with the nmap tool, so try and read all of my threads about iptables and do the same to make sure that all of your ports are closed (stealthed). On the web page for the Beginner's guide (at Ubuntu forums) is a link which I mention in my thread to the Intermediate iptables guide written by frodon. There is an advanced guide that is about all the nuts and bolts of iptables in another thread somewhere else on the Internet. If you use a hardware router, don't forget to change the default admin password which is a common vector of attack on the Internet. Get the router manual from the manufacturer's web site if you do not have it - usually in PDF format (e.g. Linksys manuals - about 1MB).

    If you want a GUI approach then you will have to download and setup the Firestarter firewall. I have never used it so I can not comment on it. I have used GuardDog which has a nice setup for trusted DMZs. Search for and read the documents on either, but most Ubuntu users are probably more familiar with Firestarter.

    In order to do the Firestarter download safely, you can do it on your Windows OS - assuming you have strong AV protection and a firewall turned on, saving it in a folder on your desktop. Then you just burn it to an ISO filesystem on a CD and transfer it over to your Linux OS when it is booted up, i.e. installed on HD since you probably only have one DVD/CD hard drive (I have two).

    If you have not yet joined the Ubuntu forums, go there - ubuntuforums.org, and join. Search for answers and guides - there are many, and don't forget you can order Hardy Heron for free here and/or here as of April 24, 2008 when it is released. Takes a couple of weeks by snail mail, but its free! I usually order 1 CD from both websites and they are shipped together.

    Hope this helps,

    -- Tom
     
  15. tomdkat

    tomdkat Retired Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,143
    It varies with the LiveCD you use. I believe Knoppix will "auto-mount" any Windows partitions it finds as did another LiveCD I tried out (but I forget the distro). I believe with Knoppix, icons for the HDDs it detects will appear on the desktop.

    Peace...
     
  16. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/698807

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice