Why Linux?


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TtamNedlog

I'm sure these threads have been done a million time, but I'm not bashing Linux, I'm just wondering what the advantages are over Windows XP Pro (which is what I have atm).

I ask because I saw some Ubuntu Beryl/Compiz/whatever vids on youtube and wanted to setup a dual boot for Ubuntu and XP, but then I got to wondering what would I actually do in Linux? There would have to be some reason for me to actually boot into Ubuntu instead of XP at least sometimes, otherwise there's no point in my setting up a dual boot heh.

I play the occasional game (Team Fortress 2 and WoW), Photoshop CS3, and occasional Office apps. From what I've read (and tried), the open-source office alternatives are plenty suitable for me since all I do is type up a paper from time to time and throw together a simple power point. Gimp doesn't cut it though, so gaming and Photoshop sound like problem areas. I've read about Wine, but it sounds hit or miss. Some people do alright with it, some people have problems. Photoshop supposedly runs buggy in Wine. *shrug*

So what would I do? Just get on Ubuntu to browse the net or chat/email with buddies? Then boot back into XP if I wanted to play a game or use Photoshop? Even then I'm not sure why I would want to browse/chat in Ubuntu aside from the purdy Compiz UI. I know the security this and security that about Windows, but 95% of that is related to how computer savvy you are to begin with. Common sense and know-how go a lot farther than antiviruses and firewalls. This is what concerns me about trying to use Linux. While I constantly use XP (as administrator for that matter) and know what I'm doing, I would basically be clueless in Linux. That eliminates the "know-how" and I think I would be more likely to stumble upon a virus in Linux than I would XP. =\

What advantages does Linux provide?

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PL_

First of all, it's free.

Second of all, it's free in the sense that everything is open to you. The amount of modification a Linux user can do to his OS is on a scale that a Windows user can only dream of. Also, the open nature means that instead of seeing many competing products and packages for Linux that don't work together, they all work to make each other better. The Package Manager (a way of upgrading everything and installing anything in one place) and the Progress Manager in KDE 4 (a way of seeing the progress of anything currently happening, like burning a CD all in one place) are two examples that spring to mind.

Linux is very secure (hence why a lot of servers use it) and the amount of viruses is in the double figures. You're extremely unlikely to get a virus. I haven't even looked into anti-virus for my Linux because I know (almost arrogantly you might say) I won't get a virus.

You don't need to worry about help and assistance, there's a huge Linux community out there, even here on Neowin :)

Gaming on Linux is almost non-existant, even more so than Mac. But there are some games out for Linux (like UT3) so who knows. Remember, with Ubuntu you can try right off the CD before installing to see if you like it or not :)

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ViperAFK

You really don't need to worry about security in linux, it's much more secure than windows, and you aren't going to get any viruses. Linux is very customizable, much more so than windows, you can tweak it to your very liking.

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TtamNedlog

If I did wind up with a Linux virus, how would I even know? What about firewalls? Is there a need for those in Linux?

And what about some of the periodic Windows maintenance, like defragging. I'd still need to defrag with Linux, wouldn't I?

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soldier1st

linux does not get viruses and does not need to be defragmented and it is also free of patents and there is plenty of software out there for linux just linux sucks in the gaming area(you can use wine but that wont always work),also linux takes some getting used to and you may need to know the linux commands.and indeed linux and most of it's distros are free,some you need to buy but they are cheaper then windows in most cases,also linux is good in either a desktop or server but it is better for a server role as you dont need to take linux down for maintenence wheras with windows if you install updates you need to reboot,also with linux many have a live distro meaning you can try it without installing it if you want but with windows if you want to try it you need to install it.hope that helps.

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luv2rip
If I did wind up with a Linux virus, how would I even know? What about firewalls? Is there a need for those in Linux?

And what about some of the periodic Windows maintenance, like defragging. I'd still need to defrag with Linux, wouldn't I?

Linux has very strong firewall and you can select options while installing it. you do not worry about defrag. It's much faster that windows disk operations...

trust me .. I use Linux since 1997 (redhat linux 5.0) .... install any linux u like (I heard much about Ubuntu) and see yourself ... KDE looks amazing ...

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Barney T.
If I did wind up with a Linux virus, how would I even know? What about firewalls? Is there a need for those in Linux?

And what about some of the periodic Windows maintenance, like defragging. I'd still need to defrag with Linux, wouldn't I?

Linux comes with its own firewall. There is no need for anti-virus software as long as you keep your distro up-to-date. That doesn't mean that you can't get a virus....... it just means that the chance is very, very small. I took a poll among six or seven linux websites on who ever got any virus or malware... no one had ever.

Linux does not need to be defragged. The file system does not require it and I have yet to have any performance issues with Linux.... I've run it without rebooting for over a year.

Here is from my Linux site:

Why Use Linux?

Up front it should be said that Linux is not for the faint of heart. In other words, those that do not feel very comfortable with Unix should just stay with Windows/MacOS unless you are determined to learn Linux.

Advantages

Price

* Many vendor's distributions of Linux are free for download as are many programs which run on Linux. If a vendor's distribution is not free, it is often very reasonably priced.

* If you are unable to download distributions/programs, because of slow internet access or other reasons, there are often places where the media can be bought for a nominal fee.

* Most software is distributed under the GNU Public License or a similar license; licenses that allow anyone to modify the internal code of the software to fit their individual needs or to provide improvements.

Upgradeability

* The core of the Linux operating system is free and is updated constantly with new features and support for new hardware.

* Many of Linux's large quantity of programs are "open source," allowing the holder of the software to improve the software in whatever way they want as long as credit is given.

* Some distributions (Debian, SuSE) allow for updates to be done online and are free. Other distributions (Red Hat) allow for free online updates for a first computer but charge for any others past that.

* Older "slow" machines can be turned into useful workstations or for other tasks.

Security

* Well-done administration of a computer with Linux allows for a very secure multi-user workstation.

* Viruses are less of a threat now. The system setup of a Linux system does not allow a virus to act as it does on a Windows machine, and the fact that almost no viruses have been written for Linux allows for a very secure feeling.

Customization

* Thousands of applications, applets, software, etc. to customize the look, feel and overall performance of your workstation.

* A wealth of people that have tastes similar to yours that have made themes or written programs that accentuate your personal tastes.

Miscellaneous

* Support for the Linux operation system can come from both the group that releases the distribution or else from the thousands of Linux users all over the world that are willing to help others with problems.

* Retail versions of Linux have helpful documentation (in the form of manuals) that is not included with the downloadable version.

Disadvantages

Computer Ability

* To install and keep a Linux system working at its best, the user(s) must be a proficient with computers and the user should ready to be "hands on" (aware of possible vulnerabilities).

* The responsible person should be used to Unix type commands. A working knowledge of Unix is useful because some work may be needed to be done in a non-graphical environment.

* Programs that are not provided as a package or binary require a more adept computer user to install.

Security

* As with any clean (initial) system install, Linux security needs to be tightened to make sure any malicious attempts to gain access to a computer will be in vain.

* This can be accomplished with system policies and a secure firewall.

User Friendliness

* The installation procedures for Linux are getting better but are not as refined as Windows/MacOS.

* Graphical interface has progressed, but still has some issues that have not yet be fixed.

* Not all distributions are the easiest to administer changes. A select few have graphical interfaces for their administration.

All that being said, the command line stuff is of less significance with the modern day, current distros. Ubuntu and others can be administered with their package manager. You can do this without ever touching the terminal for command line interface (CLI). Still, the option is there, for those who want it.

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-JMC-

I believe de-fragging is not necessary in Linux because it uses a different file system.

I now use Linux as my main system (Fedora Core 8) but I still have Windows Vista installed. The only reason I go back to Vista is to use Photoshop. Everything you do in windows, you can do in Linux but 100 times quicker and more efficiently.

I love Linux and I won't go back to Windows as a main system. Windows runs sooooooo much slower on my brand new laptop. Linux always seems squeaky clean and runs very nicely (although, I agree, not totally bug-free).

I would advise you (at very least) to get the Ubuntu live CD. This will allow you to test out the OS WITHOUT installing anything on your hard drive, the OS basically runs straight off the CD. It gives a very good taster as to what you can do in Linux. Good luck with it.

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TtamNedlog

Thanks for the info. I went ahead and downloaded the Ubuntu installation CD. I'm not sure if it's the one I can boot straight into Ubuntu with or not. I'll give it a shot.

Sounds like I'll need to keep Windows for gaming and Photoshop like I assumed, but maybe I'll find Linux superior in the other areas. :)

(For the recrod, I tried Mandrake Linux about 4 years ago. I liked it for the most part, but I couldn't get it to install my audio drivers so I had no sound. A computer with no sound got old fast, so I ditched Linux. I've read Ubuntu is a lot better in the "it just works" department, at least these days.)

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PricklyPoo
You really don't need to worry about security in linux, it's much more secure than windows, and you aren't going to get any viruses. Linux is very customizable, much more so than windows, you can tweak it to your very liking.

Well linux most likely is more secure but some of the reason it has less viruses is because not very many people run it compared to windows. The same goes for Apple's OS, it might not be more secure, but since less people run linux and other OSes besides windows, the people whoa making viruses would rather target 90% of computers (windows) than other operating systems so they will cause more destruction.

I always like linux because of the packages....You can just click one button and it will update all your packages and you can download that way too, its just really neat.

Thanks for the info. I went ahead and downloaded the Ubuntu installation CD. I'm not sure if it's the one I can boot straight into Ubuntu with or not. I'll give it a shot.

Sounds like I'll need to keep Windows for gaming and Photoshop like I assumed, but maybe I'll find Linux superior in the other areas. :)

(For the recrod, I tried Mandrake Linux about 4 years ago. I liked it for the most part, but I couldn't get it to install my audio drivers so I had no sound. A computer with no sound got old fast, so I ditched Linux. I've read Ubuntu is a lot better in the "it just works" department, at least these days.)

Well that is one problem with linux: driver supprt....There are probably drivers out there for linux that will get your soundcard to work but it can be a hassle some times. :/

And did the cd you downloaded for Ubuntu say live cd? A live cd is what you need to run the OS straight off the cd to try it out without installing.

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WelshBluebird

The reason I'm using ubuntu anyway, is so I can actually use the old PC we have downstairs. The newest version of windows that will work well on it is Win 98. With, I can have a OS that isn't too slow, and has all the modern features that Win 98 doesn't

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benderthefender

just wondering virtualization?

keep your windows installed as the primary OS and if you can get a virtualization software like vmware, you can virtualize many linux environments and try the one you like?

or install linux and virtualize windows on to linux?

linux is very secure os, i use it daily for embedded programming, also you can build your own kernel and install it yourself (it quite an easy process) which is quite awesome (you become a proper computer geek :rolleyes: )

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Impact

Kinda funny how this turned out:

answerxp4.th.jpg

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Elessar

I installed OpenSUSE 10.3 a few weeks ago just to see how much faster it ran than Vista and it was quite noticeable. On average i'm using close to 1 GB of memory on Vista with FF and a handful of other apps open, but with Linux (OpenSUSE 10.3) i was only using a couple 100 MB. Not bad at all.

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TtamNedlog

Apparently the CD I downloaded had the Live CD on it, because I'm running Ubuntu as I post this. So far I'm fairly impressed. It feels quite polished, especially compared to Mandrake that I tried years ago. Not sure if it's because Ubuntu is nicer than Mandrake, or just the fact that it's been at least 3 years since then and Linux has improved a lot.

I assume my sound works by default now as well, as I heard some little jingle when Ubuntu started up. I am looking for my mp3's to verify this, but I can't find them. EDIT: I found them. I had to "mount" my other partitions. Crazy Linux terminology lolz?! Anyway, I tried to play an MP3 but it didn't work. It said I lacked the required media codecs. Is this just because I'm running on the Live CD? Would a full Ubuntu install let me play mp3s?

Also, where are temp files being saved while I'm on this Live CD? For example Firefox is already keeping history of the sites I visit. When I reboot without the Live CD, will all temp files like that be wiped from my drive?

Edited by TtamNedlog
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Janitor

If your sound works on the LiveCD it will work when you install Ubuntu to your HDD, also i tried Mandrake a few years ago and left Linux after that, i would never install it again however i would use Ubuntu!

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Shadrack

There is a lot of awesome free and highly professional quality software on Linux. I think that as much as the average user uses their PC they would be just fine in Linux if they took the time to learn the software.

As far as the whole Linux vs. Windows (any version) debate, I'm going to try and give you a simple and honest answer. Linux is, by design, a more secure user platform. In my humble opinion, that is probably the only thing that Linux has over Windows. Windows can be just as secure as Linux, but a lot is left up to the end user and their own computer habits.

Windows has much higher quality productivity applications (on average) than Linux, but they are often very expensive. There are just too many applications that I run that are Windows only that I require to do my job.

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TtamNedlog

I noticed an "example files" folder on the Ubuntu desktop here, and I checked it out and it had some presentations, documents, GIMP files, music, video. Open Office is nicer than the last time I tried it as well! GIMP still falls short of Photoshop, but meh.

My sound works, but I have to turn the volume up pretty high. My Klipsh speakers are normally set on around 30-40 in Windows, and here I had to turn them up to 60+ to hear much. Think there would be better drivers for Ubuntu that would resolve this? My computer's a bit old, I have an Audigy 2.

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simsie

^ Have you changed the volume level's in Ubuntu?

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BoDEAN

No game support, no thanks

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Foub
You don't need to worry about help and assistance, there's a huge Linux community out there, even here on Neowin :)

I've found it to be far more stable and reliable as well. If you format your hard drive in ext3 (Like FAT, NTFS, etc) you don't really have to defrag your hard drive either.

Gaming on Linux is almost non-existant, even more so than Mac. But there are some games out for Linux (like UT3) so who knows. Remember, with Ubuntu you can try right off the CD before installing to see if you like it or not :)

In regards to games it is changing quite fast.

http://freeonlinefun.blogspot.com/2007/12/...x-3d-games.html

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markjensen
No game support, no thanks
Ummm... Did you even skim through the thread? I didn't think so. Your post makes about as much sense in this thread as me posting "Lots of malware, no thanks" in a Windows thread.
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Janitor
No game support, no thanks

You like posting pointless posts dont you? I'm beginning to think postwhore, have you even looked into gaming on Linux? I doubt it.

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Foub
Apparently the CD I downloaded had the Live CD on it, because I'm running Ubuntu as I post this. So far I'm fairly impressed. It feels quite polished, especially compared to Mandrake that I tried years ago. Not sure if it's because Ubuntu is nicer than Mandrake, or just the fact that it's been at least 3 years since then and Linux has improved a lot.

I assume my sound works by default now as well, as I heard some little jingle when Ubuntu started up. I am looking for my mp3's to verify this, but I can't find them. EDIT: I found them. I had to "mount" my other partitions. Crazy Linux terminology lolz?! Anyway, I tried to play an MP3 but it didn't work. It said I lacked the required media codecs. Is this just because I'm running on the Live CD? Would a full Ubuntu install let me play mp3s?

Also, where are temp files being saved while I'm on this Live CD? For example Firefox is already keeping history of the sites I visit. When I reboot without the Live CD, will all temp files like that be wiped from my drive?

If you want all of those fancy desktop effects to work you have to do this to get compiz-fusion to work. You have to open a terminal window as Root. It is like the Command Prompt under Windows. You can do this once you've learned a bit more about Linux.

When using apt-get, please close Synaptic Package Manager or Update Manager.

1. Enable fgrlx driver.

Install linux-restricted-modules and restricted-manager provided in the restricted repositories:

Code:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install linux-restricted-modules-generic restricted-manager

Open the restricted drivers manager in "System -> Administration -> Restricted Drivers Manager" and select "ATI accelerated graphics driver". (That is if you have an ATI video card)

2. Install xserver-xgl package

Code:

sudo apt-get install xserver-xgl

3. Install compiz

Code:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager compiz compiz-core compiz-fusion-plugins-main compiz-fusion-plugins-extra compiz-gnome compiz-plugins libcompizconfig-backend-gconf libcompizconfig0

4. Reboot

5. Log in. 3D effects should be enabled!

I noticed an "example files" folder on the Ubuntu desktop here, and I checked it out and it had some presentations, documents, GIMP files, music, video. Open Office is nicer than the last time I tried it as well! GIMP still falls short of Photoshop, but meh.

My sound works, but I have to turn the volume up pretty high. My Klipsh speakers are normally set on around 30-40 in Windows, and here I had to turn them up to 60+ to hear much. Think there would be better drivers for Ubuntu that would resolve this? My computer's a bit old, I have an Audigy 2.

In the system tray there is an icon, like in Windows, that you can use to set the volume. It also has an option to boost some settings as well. I use the ALSA sound engine myself.

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Impact

^ He hasn't installed yet. As for your question on the codecs, you can download the required codecs from synaptic package manager after you install it to play music files and video files, etc. All of the files when the livecd is booted are stored in RAM I believe.

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