Is Linux actualy usable?


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Tha Bloo Monkee

I just installed Ubuntu 8.04 again after having not used it for about a year (I last used 6.04), and I noticed quite an improvement with my graphics card (ATI Xpress 200). I didn't even have to install the drivers this time! They were right out of the box, I just had to enable them because they were proprietary. It can even do all the neat window animations like Vista (unlike XP). I tried Starcraft on it as well (just to see if it worked), and before it didn't run very good and took some tweaks for my computer, this time it ran ALMOST as good as on Windows (only option I had to change was the sound emulation, besides that, right out of the box).

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+shift.
You may return your current card for one of equal or less value but only between the times of 7-9apm on September 31st

:rofl:

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fix-this!

i had ubuntu on my pc for awhile but since i didn't use it much i just formatted and stuck with vista x64.

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micro

This is what i want in a linux distro..

1. I want to be able to change resolutions via an actual built in GUI display manager regardless of videocard. * Editing the xorg config is just an unnecessary step and if a mistake is made can cause serious problems that can only be fixed via terminal in sudo mode.

2. Native support for dual screen fresh out of the burner..

3. more professional applications, i know linux comes with TONS and tons of software options, it just seems that many of the options are not professional in the sense that it requires the use of the terminal.

mainly my number one gripes are lack of display options/ ease of use and lack of solid retail quality applications.

other than that i think linux is a great operating system and i believe that with some time will become an amazing choice among operating systems.

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Budious
This is what i want in a linux distro..

1. I want to be able to change resolutions via an actual built in GUI display manager regardless of videocard. * Editing the xorg config is just an unnecessary step and if a mistake is made can cause serious problems that can only be fixed via terminal in sudo mode.

2. Native support for dual screen fresh out of the burner..

Gnome and KDE already have a GUI menu for selecting resolution and displays. You can switch with a mouse click, resolutions are taken from your xorg.conf but if you have programmed it with all the resolutions you require they are available.

3. more professional applications, i know linux comes with TONS and tons of software options, it just seems that many of the options are not professional in the sense that it requires the use of the terminal.

mainly my number one gripes are lack of display options/ ease of use and lack of solid retail quality applications.

other than that i think linux is a great operating system and i believe that with some time will become an amazing choice among operating systems.

Huh... point and click in the Applications menu. And use of the terminal isn't exactly "unprofessional," it could be preferred.

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micro

No im talking about programs that are professional quality..

You cant say that Nero is as good on linux as it is in windows.. Not even close.

I encode videos, copy my dvd's and burn music, where are the programs like anydvd and Vegas for linux?

Im in college and i need dependability. I dont want to have to access the terminal to launch a program or use it properly, if i mess up then i could potentially lose data and that is not acceptable.

Im very experienced with computers, its not a "i dont know how to use one kind of thing" Its a this should be built in already kinda thing, i shouldnt have to manually edit it.

I program all day and i write programs to be user friendly so that the majority of people can use them with little to no training.

I think these problems with linux will eventually be smoothed out.

Why cant linux detect your monitor and drivers and automatically put in the resolutions that are compatible with it? What is stopping it from doing so?

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James7
No im talking about programs that are professional quality..

You cant say that Nero is as good on linux as it is in windows.. Not even close.

I encode videos, copy my dvd's and burn music, where are the programs like anydvd and Vegas for linux?

Im in college and i need dependability. I dont want to have to access the terminal to launch a program or use it properly, if i mess up then i could potentially lose data and that is not acceptable.

Im very experienced with computers, its not a "i dont know how to use one kind of thing" Its a this should be built in already kinda thing, i shouldnt have to manually edit it.

I program all day and i write programs to be user friendly so that the majority of people can use them with little to no training.

I think these problems with linux will eventually be smoothed out.

Why cant linux detect your monitor and drivers and automatically put in the resolutions that are compatible with it? What is stopping it from doing so?

Are you sure this isn't just a trolling exercise? You've got to be joking, .... or.... :hmmm:

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micro

No im not trolling or joking, the last ubuntu release i used was 6.10, and in that one i had to manually configure my resolution, nero had a nero 6 with no options other than data burn and i for sure wasnt able to compile video, the graphics drivers for my x800xl didnt function properly.. :|

i want to be able to use linux daily, but as it is now i really am not able to.

unless i am unaware of changes that have been made.

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PixilEyes

MARK JENSEN come save this thread!

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sanctified
Are you sure this isn't just a trolling exercise? You've got to be joking, .... or.... :hmmm:

I dont think he is joking or at least I think I understad what he said.

Linux has some great alternatives, really, but for most professional software (professional in the sense that its software needed in business) like Vegas or Final Cut and Photoshop Linux has nothing at that level. Yeah, I know about WINE but its not perfect, certainly not enough yet.

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Budious
... nero had a nero 6 with no options other than data burn and i for sure wasnt able to compile video...

unless i am unaware of changes that have been made.

Well, as far as Nero goes, the Linux application has been completely overhauled in the past year. Linux Nero 3.5 supports many of the features of Nero 8 for Windows.

http://www.nero.com/eng/linux3-features.html

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micro

yea, its a shame that it doesnt have some of that stuff. It is a free and open source os though. If the development of linux continues like it has been i think there will be a very bright future for it.

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Gangsta

micro:

the last linux release you used was from October of 2006. Buddy, it's been two years. How about checking again before you jump to conclusions based on outdated data?

In addition, IMO, the terminal's integration into Linux is what gives the OS its flexibility. Oftentimes, I find it much easier to open a terminal and navigate ten directories deep (because of tab completion, go figure) than I do using Nautilus - or even Explorer on Windows!

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micro

well i would but i have a dual monitor setup and one is wide screen.. Im sure id have to dink around with the settings for a while and i dont really have time to configure it all right. Even if i did i heard that you cant get it exactly right anyway.

I use ultramon on windows to get it right, native just doesnt cut it.

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Gangsta

Trust me - Google's quite easy to use.

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=221174

Give Linux another shot - yes, you would have to configure, but I'm gonna say that I haven't had to restart my system in over a month and a half - compared to usually less than a week on Windows.

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micro

ill give it another shot, but in windows defense; i havent restarted in 27 days 8 hrs and 31 min and still going!!! vista business.

I wont be using as my main rig though for sure. I do graphics design as a hobby and i cant afford to not have my applications!!!

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markjensen
No im not trolling or joking, the last ubuntu release i used was 6.10, and in that one i had to manually...
As was posted earlier by Bloo Monkee, things have improved a lot since the 6.xx days. Each release every 6 months offers several improvements in usability. Not to say that 8.04 will be all that you need or expect, but it is a lot better than 6.xx.
...

I encode videos, copy my dvd's and burn music, where are the programs like anydvd and Vegas for linux?

...

Why cant linux detect your monitor and drivers and automatically put in the resolutions that are compatible with it? What is stopping it from doing so?

Vegas? Cinelerra is a great high-quality video editor. Burning music? That seems like you are just pulling a leg. Several burning apps exist, including Nero for Linux, which I have never used because I like k3b very much. And monitor resolution detection? That is usually very reliable. In some cases, better than a Windows install is out of the box, depending on video configuration.
MARK JENSEN come save this thread!
Errrr.. It's not my job. :p I will make some points where I feel it is warranted. But I have no problems in admitting that professional grade apps like AutoCAD and Photoshop just plain aren't supported, and even are known to not work in Linux. Linux isn't going to be the answer for engineers needing AutoCAD, or professionals using Photoshop. GIMP is fine for most common image manipulations, and for much of what I see requested here on Neowin. But it cannot handle CYMK colorspace, and that is an absolute deal-breaker for some.
I dont think he is joking or at least I think I understad what he said.

Linux has some great alternatives, really, but for most professional software (professional in the sense that its software needed in business) like Vegas or Final Cut and Photoshop Linux has nothing at that level. Yeah, I know about WINE but its not perfect, certainly not enough yet.

Exactly. While Linux is a perfect fit for me, the platform isn't quite ready for everyone yet. It would be great if Adobe at least supported running Photoshop in wine. I think that Google has put money and effort into it (or is doing it this summer), and that is a step in the right direction, but many companies don't see the advantage in porting to Linux if the userbase isn't established. And the userbase isn't going to be all that interested if the apps aren't already ported. Sort of a catch-22.

But for those of us common users not needing professional grade image software, GIMP works. Or Cinelerra. Or OpenOffice. Or wine to run the occasional Windows app.

Linux is well into the "usable" category. It just isn't the best choice for everyone.

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micro
And monitor resolution detection? That is usually very reliable. In some cases, better than a Windows install is out of the box, depending on video configuration.

so you are saying i will be able to install linux, then go to a display settings window and set my resolution while x is running without having to edit the xorg config?

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markjensen
so you are saying i will be able to install linux, then go to a display settings window and set my resolution while x is running without having to edit the xorg config?

Absolutely. I used to run a utility "krandrtray" in my panel back when I had a CRT and occasionally used different resolutions. Even easier to change than going to a display settings window. sample screenshot

Alas, now I have an LCD, I keep it fixed at native 1680x1050.

EDIT #2: In addition, X has always supported stepping through resolutions directly from keyboard shortcuts assigned to CTRL+ALT+[num pad plus] and [num pad minus]

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micro

nice, ill give it a try!

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zerologic
Ubuntu works fine for me. I love the way it looks and can be customised. All the software I use is stable and excellent. And it's all free, like me now that I use it. :D

+1 I really appreciate what Ubuntu has done with Linux. (Y)

I still use Windows but I use Ubuntu more and more.

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markjensen

Just for reference, if you want a "krandrtray" type applet (which uses KDE libraries) in a Gnome system like Ubuntu, you probably want "resapplet". Or I think you can right-click on the desktop and call up the screen info and change it there. I don't use Gnome, so I cannot be sure or specific, I am afraid.

If you have any fluxbox questions, though.... :D I will be happy to address those!

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BilliShere

You know what? Just like every other OS, after spending some time with it and clipping it down to your specific needs. It is actually very very usable. Except when there aren't Gui programs to do stuff that you are soo familiar with on windows. like say super video converter. can't live without it. as a matter of fact, i hate to use winff because it simply doesn't cut it when say..converting to 3gp.

another thing is the setting up bit. mostly linux distro are ready to use and fire up for your daily computing basic needs right out of the box. But its the more complex things like setting up say internet connection sharing, or intalling and configuring for hours just your basic ffmpeg that get on your nerves.

But like i said. Once that is out of the way. It's way more usable than windows. And if there is an app ya miss. There's always WINE to run many windows apps. (actually the new crossover 7 is much much better than the default wine).

As for driver support as long as you install your linux distro..esp ubuntu. fresh install...you should be fine. If something doesn't work its because it is old ATI drivers.. or broadcom wireless...and even they work pretty much nowadays but you can never be sure. My old computer was a pain in the neck because compiz fusion graphic effects won't work with ATi drivers.. i kept getting white screens on login. really annoying.

But hey.. if you got nvidia graphic cards and say...intel this intel that.. It works flawlessly.

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Mouldy Punk

I second the gripe about detecting screens and resolutions.

I have a Compaq 7500 17" screen that'll quite happily go up to 1280*1024 but despite the live CD of linux detecting the screen (to some extent, it won't go about 1024*768) once it's installed, it seems to forget what it's already guessed about my screen and it tries setting a refresh rate that's either too high or too low. Using Ctrl+Alt+-/+ makes the screen flicker like it's trying to change resolution, but the screen will still display it's message saying that something is out of range (can't remember what, but IIRC it's the sync rate it's on about). The only way to get my screen set up properly is to manually edit the xorg.conf file from the terminal (why it gets the resolution right for the terminal, but falls over and dies in X I don't know) and put in the correct horizSync, VertRefresh and resolution values.

Case 2;

My other screen us a 15" ADI something-or-other. Ubuntu does display something on the screen. But the picture scrolls with the mouse. It's like it's set the resolution of the picture to 1024x768 but the screen is only displaying 800x600, so that you can see the other pixels, the whole picture scrolls around as you move the mouse (not the easiest thing to use) and again, the only way to get it working correctly is to edit the xorg.conf (considering the lack of usability in X at this point, it is actually easier to use the terminal).

So despite these screens being fairly old and (the compaq at least) are relatively popular, ubuntu fails to detect them correctly every time. IIRC the only distro I've ever tried that detected 1 of my screens properly was SuSE 9.2. But even then it didn't have the full range of screen resolutions that are detected in windows.

Linux is as usable as the user is patient in my experience.

Like someone else mentioned and got falsely accused of trolling. Linux does also lack professional (read, industry standard) applications. Photoshop, AutoCAD, 3DSMax, CuBase, MS Office (docx support isn't in OO.org until version 3 if memory serves correctly [iDK if that's out yet]). While there is GIMP instead of photoshop, for a graphics professional who has been trained on photoshop, has been using it for years and knows it like the back of his hand, why should he learn a totally different (and totally unintuitive imo) user interface to do something that 'just works' on windows/mac. The blame of this can't be entirely on linux developers mind you, it's 3rd party developers that don't see the need to make linux versions which if you think about it, is fair enough. If your company can afford the ?800 license or whatever it is for photoshop, you can probably afford windows and won't skimp out by going for a free linux OS.

The question "Is Linux actually usable?" is too vague. If you have a machine that's (more by luck than judgement) hardware is entirely supported and all you do with your computer is browse the web, use email, msn messenger, write a few essays for homework or whatever, then yes. Linux is perfectly usable.

If, however, you're an engineer who has been trained to use AutoCAD then no. It is not usable. I don't know what AutoCAD alternatives there are for linux, but I'm 99% sure they won't be as 'good' as software that is used by thousands of professionals around the world.

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markjensen
...

If, however, you're an engineer who has been trained to use AutoCAD then no. It is not usable. I don't know what AutoCAD alternatives there are for linux, but I'm 99% sure they won't be as 'good' as software that is used by thousands of professionals around the world.

Not to split hairs here, but your points were all good up to this one.

The problem isn't that Linux is "not usable". It is that the app is not supported in that platform. Linux would be an inappropriate choice for an OS to run that app, but the Linux part would still be just as usable or not regardless of AutoCAD. It would be far more accurate to say AutoCAD would be "not usable on Linux" then to broadly declare "Linux is not usable".

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