Science and Technology : Does anybody want to explore linux?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by anAfrican, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. anAfrican

    anAfrican Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    it is entirely possible to explore linux WITHOUT affecting your windows/mac installation.

    a number of linux distributions ("distros") are complete operating systems, with various application packages, on a CD rom that runs COMPLETELY in memory. they do not touch your hard disk in any way ... unless YOU tell them to.

    since they do run in RAM, it would be good to have at least 256 megs of memory - more would be better, of course; less would be very very painful and slow. (you can try with 64megs, but you will be thoroughly disappointed. 128 megs will work, but you must have patience.) how this works is that the programs are stored, on the LiveCD, as archives that must be decompressed to run. this takes place in ram and the program is run from ram. this means that starting programs will be slower than running them from your hard disk. (technically, they will actually run faster since they are in ram, but if ram is limited, the entire program can't be fully uncompressed and still leave ram for data storage or processing. they will also start slower because they have to be uncompressed.)

    i think that i'd like to toss this idea out to the Family as a sort of "class" or "group project" or something. since these LiveCDs don't affect the hard drive, folks can fire them up, play with them, and even surf with them! (yeah; you can get here from a LiveCD!! there will be a couple things that will have to be configured, in some cases. it is also probable, actually, intended, that the LiveCD will find your internet connection and set it up for you so you can surf straight away.) if any problems or questions develop, it is a simple matter to shut down the distro, pull the cd out of the drive and reboot right back into your familiar environment and toss up questions and/or comments.

    the biggest reason i haven't suggested this before is because there are so many choices.

    PCLinuxOS and Ubuntu are the latest two that i have been playing with. (descriptions)

    Ubuntu LiveCD PC (Intel x86) and Mac (PowerPC) and 64-bit PC (AMD64).
    PCLinuxOS LiveCD

    these files are all over 600 megabytes in length! download the file of your choice and burn it to cd.


    if there is anybody that is interested in exploring this, step right up and fire off all your questions, comments and reviews.
     
  2. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    i have a million dollars in windows apps will linux run them all?
     
  3. brother Malik

    brother Malik Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thanks for the info. Can you tell the family what you believe are the benefits of linux over windows?
     
  4. ibrahim

    ibrahim Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother.
    I have the Ubuntu LiveCD but don't know how to use.
    I also have the installation CD as well.
    I want to use the LiveCD but don't know how.
    Could you please help.
     
  5. anAfrican

    anAfrican Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    "it's better than it used to be." truthfully, linux will prolly only run about 400 to 600 thousand dollars worth of them. :)

    there are open source apps that will provide quite a bit of the functionality of quite a lot of windows apps:

    the GIMP is a graphic images manipulation program.

    OpenOffice.org is an office suite that has been used as a replacement for Office; there's also AbiWord, if a full featured suite isn't desired.

    for email there's Evolution, Sylpheed, Mozilla.

    for browsing there is, of course, Firefox, as well as Galeon, Dillo, Mozilla.

    there isn't as much need for malware control, but there are some apps available; i just haven't looked for any.

    linux uses iptables for firewall support. there are "front end" apps for configuration; firestarter is one.

    lots of media players out there! MPlayer, Xine, Xmms (which looks a lot like Winamp). with a little bit of extra effort, one can even watch DVDs, but one will have to install extra codecs. the same is true for playing mp3s.

    not sure what you use your puter for, or what apps you use. hopefully these few might suggest that there are possibilities?
     
  6. anAfrican

    anAfrican Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    ok, you did ask for my opinion. there are other reasons that others have put forth. one site i ran across today lists 25 reasons to convert to linux, but that's them; you asked for mine.

    1) malware. yeah, sure; folks have said/will say that "if linux were in use as much as windows, it would be vulnerable too." i don't believe that to be true due to the way they are built.

    2) windows is a single user OS that has been patched, tweaked and "MUNGed" (mangled until no good) into doing network stuff. linux/open source operating systems have been built from the ground up for [inter]networking. (frankly; microsoft uses the FreeBSD tcp/ip stack for it's networking functionality - it didn't code it's own.)

    3) costs much less - to acquire; requires more thinking to set up. but thinking is actually good for you.

    4) mental exercise. thinking outside of the box, as well as waking up them brain cells.

    5) a minor jab at the entrenched order of things.

    6) "do it yourselfing" is fun!!
     
  7. anAfrican

    anAfrican Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    i browsed through and saw these responses and just felt like it would be really appropriate to fire up the live cd to answer! :)

    have you tried it? how far did you get?

    when the puter first boots up with the live cd in place, you'll come to a boot screen. please do read everything that you can get to from there!! true enough; there are gonna be a lot of words and concepts that are gonna look like complete gibberish. but DO believe that you can make sense of them!

    just hitting the enter key when that boot screen comes up will get the ball rolling.

    however, the purpose of that boot screen is to give you options to configure a few things before you start:

    on my computer, since i don't have any PCMCIA devices (laptop stuff, generally), i'll add the boot parameter hw-detect/start_pcmcia=false.

    (also, the computers on my lan all have static ip addresses, so i don't need dhcp (dynamic host control protocol). however, many, if not most, ISPs give out dynamic ip addresses. (your provider will tell your computer what it's address is.) if you can fire up the live cd and click the blue globe (firefox) on the top panel and get to the internet, it's all configured for you.)

    in this case, at the boot screen, type in "live hw-detect/start_pcmcia=false" (without the quotes) and hit enter.

    truthfully, it really doesn't hurt a whole lot to just use the default settings by just pressing enter. turning off stuff, or rather, telling ubuntu not to install stuff just allows more room in ram for running things.

    er ... just thought of something: will your computer boot from the CD if there is one in the drive when the computer comes on? that will definitely slow you down if not!

    while the computer is booting, press the delete key to get to the BIOS setup. it might be under advanced options, peripheral setup or it could even be simple like boot options; somewhere in there is a page that allows you to set the order of which device the computer will boot from first, second, third and/or fourth.

    if that setting is available, make the necessary change and press F10 to exit, being sure to save changes. if that option is not there, or if it does not need to be changed, press esc and do not save changes. be very careful!! while it is possible to recover from BIOS boo-boos, it usually involves opening your computer.
     
  8. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    will linux photoshop?
     
  9. anAfrican

    anAfrican Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    not being a graphics person, i don't know.

    as i said, however, the gimp does a lot of stuff - but i don't know quite how "photoshop-ish" it is.

    there might even be a port of the gimp to the windows platform. heck, for that matter, there might be a port of photoshop for linux.

    but, again; i don't know.

    (on the other hand; there are efforts to allow windows apps to run "natively" on linux using wine, winex, cedega and crossover.)
     
  10. GrandHustle

    GrandHustle Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Great Post. (leaving rep on this one)
     
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