What's Your Opinion of Linux?

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Hulk701

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Hey Gang,

I really would like to take myself off the Microsoft treadmill. I just saw the system requirements of VISTA. I'll have to get a whole new computer just to install the new operating system. Not only that, there's no guarantee I'll have trouble free operation after I run it. If its like the past three OS's it'll be three years before they have all the bugs worked out of it.

As long as I'm going to have to get a new computer eventually and as long as I will have to re-learn a whole new operating system, I'm asking myself if I wouldn't be smarter to use that effort on an operating system that is free of charge and relatively low maintenance.

I'd like to ask you who have actually tried Linux, What's your opinion of it? What are its pluses and minuses..How bad are the compatibility issues? How about Tech Support?

Thanks,
HULK
 

Stoner

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Depends how much you value your time and the amount of commitment you want to put in learning a new OS.
I started with Windows so the change would mean giving up the time I've already put in it plus the investment in some software. Not all apps for Linux are free and not all apps even offered .
Voice recognition in particular.
I have tried several installed distros and also Live CDs.
Works OK.

Going from 98se to win2k to XP has taken less relearning, imo, than jumping ship for Linux.


I do like the Linux Live CDs ......Slax in particular.


So far, I haven't seen any reason or need to upgrade to Vista for myself.

I do keep watch on the Linux crowd, however, in case a jump to it becomes advantageous for me ;)
 
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I like Linux, it's a great OS with a good community, but it isn't compatible with lots of programs I use.
 

Hulk701

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Is it compatible with MS WORD or Notepad? How about jpg images or bitmaps?
 
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You've really got the wrong idea about what linux is. Linux is just the kernel which handles input/output on the system and file level. The gui, applications, etc are just running on the kernel (linux).

There are distributions of linux, which is a preconfigured linux kernel distributed with a collection of applications. My favorite distribution is OpenSuse 10.2.

Depending on what applications you install on linux(there's thousands of them), is what determines what files you'll be able to use.

Is it compatible with MS WORD or Notepad?
Most distributions include openoffice, kwrite, staroffice, or another office suite that's compatible/comparable to MSword and notepad, and will read/write those files.

How about jpg images or bitmaps?
Yes, there are plenty of graphic apps shipped with standard distributions that are compatible with bmp's, jpegs, etc.

There really isn't much that windows can do that linux can't. After a while of using linux, if you don't just give up due to the small learning curve, you'll find that you'll be able to do most of the things you can do in windows much easier, faster, and with greater power and flexibility. Except run the full version of AOL.

I like Linux, it's a great OS with a good community, but it isn't compatible with lots of programs I use.
About the only thing I haven't been able to get running on linux is AOL. What programs are you talking about?

As far as your windows applications, there's most likely more powerful and easier to use, linux alternatives.


If you have to have your windows programs, I highly recommend you get crossover office (for standard windows apps like office and photoshop) and cedega (for compatibility with a large number of windows games). You'll be amazed as how much works with linux.

WARNING: Here's a catch you need to be aware of with most linux distributions. Even though most linux distributions ship with all kinds of applications, there's going to be a bit missing that you'll want and need to fully appreciate your PC.

The problem is that distributions normally only include open source programs. That means, no adobe pdf support, no windows media codecs, no flash player support, no encrypted (store bought) DVD support, no closed source video drivers etc. You'll have to install support for these things yourself. Luckily, there's plenty of guides and help available on the net, and it's much easier to get this stuff installed than searching down the driver disks to install windows (which you'd have to load the same things on after installing as well). Here's one for opensuse 10.2 : http://www.softwareinreview.com/cms/content/view/60/

You should look for these types of reviews and guides for any distribution your considering.

Also, take a look at youtube, and search for a few videos of xgl, beryl, and compiz in action running on some distros. They really make the GUI of windows and Mac seem very outdated. Once you decide on a distro, look for a guide on installing xgl w/ compiz and/or beryl on it. :) Also, check out mythtv, and Asterisk for making free telephone calls from your linux machine.

Also, don't knock linux if you don't like the first desktop that you boot into, or the first distribution you try. There's many different desktops you can try that might suit your taste better, and I recommend you try at least both of the leading ones, KDE and Gnome. I prefer KDE, but some prefer Gnome, or one of the others. And, there's many, many distributions to try. Take some time to test a few to find the one you like.

I also recommend that when you run setup, you install all the developer packages and programming stuff, including any for Gnome and KDE. They tend to become useful later.

How about Tech Support?
Google works 24 hours a day, and it's much faster than waiting for someone in India to answer the phone. :) You could just leave me your root password and IP though... :)
 
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Not all apps for Linux are free and not all apps even offered .
Voice recognition in particular.
How to: Dragon Naturally Speaking with wine
http://appdb.winehq.org/appview.php?versionId=3227&iTestingId=54

Probably work great with crossover if it works with wine.

ViaVoice is available. http://www.icewalkers.com/Linux/Software/522370/IBM's-Java-Embedded-ViaVoice-speech-SDK.html

Not to much open source stuff though. A few on sourceforge your might try: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...cd=1&q=sourceforge+speech+recognition&spell=1

Never thought about it before, but it should be pretty easy to use the speech recognition in my trixbox install to capture speech into apps.
 
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I knew that Linux is a kernel, I was just inferring that they meant Linux distros.
 

Hulk701

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Okay, I'll admit my ignorance. What is a kernel and why is it important to this discussion?
 

Stoner

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Thanks for the info on Dragon, gotrootdude :)
Not enough development to make the conversion to a Linux distro, but worth keeping an eye on.
Already own L&H, however.
 
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:rolleyes: Yeah. Wireless can be a pain to get working unless you plan ahead when purchasing a wifi adaptor, and choose one that's linux friendly. Otherwise, your stuck installing and trying to configure ndiswrapper, which generally doesn't work as well as native linux drivers.
 
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I have an Intel PRO Wireless 3945 whic I read several places worked "out of the box" on several distros. It never worked for me and the various Linux forums were no help.
 
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gotrootdude said:
You've really got the wrong idea about what linux is. Linux is just the kernel which handles input/output on the system and file level. The gui, applications, etc are just running on the kernel (linux).

There are distributions of linux, which is a preconfigured linux kernel distributed with a collection of applications. My favorite distribution is OpenSuse 10.2.

Depending on what applications you install on linux(there's thousands of them), is what determines what files you'll be able to use.


Most distributions include openoffice, kwrite, staroffice, or another office suite that's compatible/comparable to MSword and notepad, and will read/write those files.



Yes, there are plenty of graphic apps shipped with standard distributions that are compatible with bmp's, jpegs, etc.

There really isn't much that windows can do that linux can't. After a while of using linux, if you don't just give up due to the small learning curve, you'll find that you'll be able to do most of the things you can do in windows much easier, faster, and with greater power and flexibility. Except run the full version of AOL.


About the only thing I haven't been able to get running on linux is AOL. What programs are you talking about?

As far as your windows applications, there's most likely more powerful and easier to use, linux alternatives.


If you have to have your windows programs, I highly recommend you get crossover office (for standard windows apps like office and photoshop) and cedega (for compatibility with a large number of windows games). You'll be amazed as how much works with linux.

WARNING: Here's a catch you need to be aware of with most linux distributions. Even though most linux distributions ship with all kinds of applications, there's going to be a bit missing that you'll want and need to fully appreciate your PC.

The problem is that distributions normally only include open source programs. That means, no adobe pdf support, no windows media codecs, no flash player support, no encrypted (store bought) DVD support, no closed source video drivers etc. You'll have to install support for these things yourself. Luckily, there's plenty of guides and help available on the net, and it's much easier to get this stuff installed than searching down the driver disks to install windows (which you'd have to load the same things on after installing as well). Here's one for opensuse 10.2 : http://www.softwareinreview.com/cms/content/view/60/

You should look for these types of reviews and guides for any distribution your considering.

Also, take a look at youtube, and search for a few videos of xgl, beryl, and compiz in action running on some distros. They really make the GUI of windows and Mac seem very outdated. Once you decide on a distro, look for a guide on installing xgl w/ compiz and/or beryl on it. :) Also, check out mythtv, and Asterisk for making free telephone calls from your linux machine.

Also, don't knock linux if you don't like the first desktop that you boot into, or the first distribution you try. There's many different desktops you can try that might suit your taste better, and I recommend you try at least both of the leading ones, KDE and Gnome. I prefer KDE, but some prefer Gnome, or one of the others. And, there's many, many distributions to try. Take some time to test a few to find the one you like.

I also recommend that when you run setup, you install all the developer packages and programming stuff, including any for Gnome and KDE. They tend to become useful later.


Google works 24 hours a day, and it's much faster than waiting for someone in India to answer the phone. :) You could just leave me your root password and IP though... :)
The reality in my opinion is that Linux is not generally suited to the average user. I have tried both installed and Bootable varieties and many problems exist that simply don't with Windows that make it a real turn off for many.

Many applications aren't supported through Linux, that's widely known but there are many types of programs that don't have viable Linux alternatives. Mainly games. I've tried using Wine and it didn't work, I've heard it only works for some programs and since it's using emulation the performance of the program is affected. This isn't much of an issue for non gamers but for those like me it is a big one!(n)

From what I've found there's generally 2 types of installation packages for Linux, rpm and another one I can't remember. Both are generally more different to install than Windows programs and trying to figure out its file management system can make you dizzy.(n)

Basically I think Linux is best suited for more tech minded users and those that aren't gamers. This applies even to the more user friendly versions. Why change to Linux and go through all that hassle when Windows does it easier? I agree Linux generally gives a user more control over their computer and the OS and the programs are in many cases free but it all depends on what you prefer.

The other alternative is to have a dual boot system and I've been there and done that. While it'll generally be fine I'll never go there again. After deleting the Linux partition since I could find no other way I getting rid it it left a boot loader behind that since I don't know enough about Linux had trouble getting past. I realise I should have gotten rid of Linux a different way but it's likely a lot of average users would use the same method and possibly end up in the same mess but that's another story.

Until Linux makes a OS that can realistically run most programs(including games) regardless of what type of emulation they use and makes the installation of programs and file system easier to understand I doubt it'll be a realistic contender for Windows on the Desktop market.
 
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