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#1 Koba

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 12:42 AM

Hi

I'm having some general doubts and worries about Linux. The operating system you use is one of the most important things that affect how you use a computer.

I have been on Windows till now and it is really hard giving it up (simply out of being so used to it). This is why the Linux world has thrown me into confusion.

I have used GNU software for many years now. A problem with open source is partially its own success: development is so much quicker and so much more varied. Having different branches and versions is fine if it is a 2-3MB program (so downloading fresh versions regularly is no problem) but Linux is rather larger.

I simply can't afford to spend a weeks at a time downloading gigabytes of operating system on a 56K modem. I'm using RedHat 9 which I understand is the last of the free RedHat series. Fedora Core is the new thing it seems. So here are my questions:

-If you get used to one distro, can you easily pick up any other distro without any hassle? Or is it a whole new learning-curve each time?

-Does anyone else feel like they are being left behind unless they are up to date on the best distribution? How often do people upgrade their distribution?

-How easy is it to transfer downloaded applications across distributions (eg transfering rpms across using a CD)?

-Have I chosen the right distro? Does it even matter?

These questions have been really bothering me so can anyone help me put these doubts to rest?

Koba








#2 Dapper Dan

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 02:00 AM

Koba I'm sure you'll want to hear from as many users as possible, so I'll also give you my take on your questions.

Quote:
-If you get used to one distro, can you easily pick up any other distro without any hassle? Or is it a whole new learning-curve each time?
After using one distro a while it is far easier to pick up and understand another. Many things remain the same. From the command line, hardly anything changes. It's kind of like being a really good Chevrolet mechanic and having doubts about whether you could also "wrench" on a Buick or a Pontiac. smile Many things on the surface will appear the same but a little different, but the engine and drive train will be almost exactly the same. It may take you a little getting used to, but your basic knowledge and understanding of the engine and drive train will make the transition fairly painless. That's why having a good understanding of the basics of the command line is key and vital.

Quote:
-Does anyone else feel like they are being left behind up to date on the best distribution? How often do people upgrade their distribution?
I don't feel "left behind", but rather know and anticipate that with each new update or version, significant improvements in apps and programs should likely make my job easier and less time consuming. The same could be said for Windows too couldn't it? They also make changes and improvements in their apps and programs for the same reasons. On the other hand, once a box is configured to do a job, and it does it to your satisfaction, there is little if any reason to change, except for security and bug fixes. I have two boxes at work running Mandrake 9.0. At present, there's no need to upgrade them to Mandrake 10 because both are doing what I want them to do. There are users out there who are still using Red hat 7.3, and see little need to upgrade.

Quote:
-How easy is it to transfer downloaded applications across distributions (eg transfering rpms across using a CD)?
It all depends on from what to what. There are mainly three ways of installing files. RPM, Debian and Source. All three have their proponents and detractors. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. And even though the package systems may be the same, their own version of the file will likely be different. If you're using RH 9, you will also be familiar with Suse and Mandrake. If Debian, then Knoppix and Mepis. If Source, then Slackware and Gentoo. Many if not most have package management systems to make installing and uninstalling packages easier. There is apt-get RPM, apt-get Debian and portage for Gentoo. All are designed to make your life easier.

Linux is not for everyone. The advantages are, Microsoft can no longer keep their hands in your wallet, you don't have to worry much about viruses, and you have a far more robust operating system that you don't have to defrag and scandisk, not to mention Norton and MCaffee which you will endlessly pay for. The disadvantage is, you necessarily must know more about computing, and must spend more time learning it, so you can tailor it to your specific needs. I for one believe the advantages of using Linux far outweigh the disadvantages. I for will never go back to using Windows! smile

I hope you will stay with the rest of us who have taken the red pill. wink

#3 iamroot

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 03:20 PM

Basically most distros are the same with a few exterior differences. The working environment which is the Desktop will most likely be either KDE or GNOME so what won't be a problem. As for the part abt being left behind, that won't be problem because older distros normally have greater software compatibility than newer stuff like FC2 (miss those days with rh9 man). And you've chosen a right distro. A newcomer to linux shouldn't use latest distros as these have a helluva bugs and it would be hell for a new guy to figure out all those.

#4 Koba

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 01:53 PM

Hi

Thanks for clearing those doubts.

I'm currently learning C which is keeping me firmly in the Linux domain (what is the point of using Cygwin when you've got Linux??).

Using gcc and make etc all the time means I am mainly using bash which is good for when I decide to change distro. Aren't there other shell emulators and how do they differ?

For developing software or anything technical, there is no beating Linux. Linux has ALL the tools I need which is simply incredible. Thing is that Windows is still the easy option if I get too frustrated.

No doubt Linux is daunting. I need to recompile the kernel to get my Wacom drivers working, learn to use Wine for my games and other Windows programs, get Linux Skype working (which has a major Qt dependency) and so on.

I bought a couple of games a few weeks ago and I think that was what was pulling me back onto Windows.

It's going to be a long road ahead. I think I am going to be around this forum A LOT.

Thanks,
Koba

#5 Dapper Dan

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 05:14 PM

Koba have you checked into winex3/cedega for Windows games?

http://www.transgaming.com/




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