Linux is a choice users make. It is hard to find it pre-installed,
but if you try hard you can find pre-installed Linux. That means that
people who come to Linux have made a decision for whatever reason to
turn away from what they were using. There are lots of reasons to turn
to Linux. It has an advanced file system that requires no maintenance,
that logs everything and the new ones have rollback features. The file
system is faster and more durable which makes it suitable for servers
and your most precious data. Linux currently has no viruses in the
wild and security is such that it would hard to get infected and even
harder for it to spread. Not saying it can't be done, but you would
need lots of careless people to make it happen. Linux pioneered the
concept of the app store which everybody is familiar with. We have had
secure repositories and package lists since the 1990s. Finally Linux
gives the user ownership and control over the computer. Nothing goes
in without your permission. It never forces you to update, upgrade or
nag afterwards. It does not carelessly add icons everywhere, messing
up your system. It will never check up on you or monitor your computer
looking for illicit material. There are many advantages.
This also provides Linux with an advantage that new users initially
find frustrating and even see it as a disadvantage. That is choice. If
you have never had choice then getting it can be either exhilarating
or confusing. What choice to make when you have so much?
I can't tell anyone what type of shoes to wear. It is a personal
thing. Why would I presume to tell them what distribution to run? I do
not know their past, their habits, their intended use, their hardware,
etc. That si why Linux has had a hard time making it on the desktop.
We offer so much choice and many people want to be told. Apple has
made a killing doing just that. They offer you only a few systems and
one software choice. They make sure that they work flawlessly together
and you can do that if you are a dictatorship. You are calling all of
the shots. Linux is at the opposite end. Nobody is calling the shots
and we have no hardware made specifically for it. It is a wonder that
Linux works at all. Buy lots of people work very hard to make it as
good as it can be under these circumstances.
How to deal with choice?
You computer will determine the number of options you have. A newish
computer (4 - 5 years old) can run just about everything. An older
computer reduces choice. You may have to consider a more modest
Desktop environment is probably as big a decision as the distribution.
There are several. Not all are equal. You can run applications from
most desktop environments in another. There are few exceptions.
The oldest of the big ones is KDE. It has been around for over ten
years and preceded GNOME. KDE uses a traditional desktop approach, but
is very configurable and has all of the bells and whistles. It has its
own applications and is complete. It is comparable to Windows 7.
GNOME is the next biggy. It is the most popular largely because of
Ubuntu. However, Ubuntu no longer uses a GNOME frontend. GNOME si
still largely popular, but has undergone a major overhaul. It is
written in GTK. The previous versions of GNOME used GTK 2 but it
became maxxed out in terms of what programmers could do so GNOME came
out with GTK 3 and rewrote their desktop environment, That upset a lot
of GNOME users who longed for a traditional desktop environment, which
GNOME abandoned. The new one is called GNOME Shell and it is not what
most people are used to. It can be configured with extensions to look
and feel more like a traditional desktop. Only one distro comes
configured this way, at present, Linux Mint.
The new kid on the block is Unity which is Ubuntu's answer to GNOME
Shell. It looks similar, but bolder. It takes what GS does and moves
it to another level. It has upset a lot of people like GS did.
However, it is answering back with more configuration options and its
own extensions called lenses and scopes.
GNOME 2.x is the old GNOME it is still around on older versions of
distros. Debian stable uses GNOME 2, as do older versions of Mint and
Ubuntu. You can still download them and try them. The problem is they
have no future as GNOME killed GNOME 2.x
XFCE is a traditional desktop that comes closest to old GNOME. It is
fast and very configurable. It has been around for a long time and is
in active (but slow) development.
If you have an older computer then you have other choices. LXDE is
lightweight and attractive, but low on configuration. Openbox and
Fluxbox are even lighter and less configurable. There are many more
such as Enlightenment, but you really have to get into basics to
Distributions choose a desktop environment, window manager, package
manager and applications and libraries to run on the Linux kernel they
base everything on. You can often tell how old a distro is by looking
at its kernel version. That will tell you how up to date it is and
whether it will run the most recent hardware. So a distribution is a
package deal (operating system) and the desktop environment is what
you see up front and use on a daily basis.
What you need to know about a distro that you cannot see on a Live
DVD/CD is the package manager and how well it works, the number of
packages available and the size and friendliness of the community.
There are two main package types: rpm and deb. Distros are referred to
as being an RPM distro or a Debian distro. RPM packages do not work on
Debian based systems and vice versa. Debian is widely considered the
easiest to use, the more stable and has by far the most packages.
There are more RPM based distros, though. The most popular distros use
The more popular a distro the more users it has and therefore the more
help available to you. Because Ubuntu has corporate backing they have
the most online information, the most forums, most web sites, podcasts
and journals dedicated to it. It also has the biggest repositories
because it is Debian based. In addition many third party developers
release packages in Ubuntu format only or Ubuntu first. Ubuntu also
has PPAs which are personal package archives which you can add to your
sources and get things nobody else can. Many of these work with Ubuntu
based distros such as Mint, but that is beginning to change because
Mint has gone with GS instead of Unity. So Mint users have to be more
careful than in the past.
The most popular distros are Ubuntu (Debian based, Unity 2 and 3D or
GNOME classic desktop environment, depending on version), Linux Mint
((Debian based, GNOME Shell with extensions or GNOME classic desktop
environment, depending on version), Fedora (RPM based, with GNOME
Shell), openSuSE (RPM based with GNOME Shell and KDE versions),
PCLinuxOS (RPM based but with apt and KDE desktop, only in 32-bit),
Mageia (RPM based fork of Mandriva, KDE), Mandriva (RPM, KDE), MEPIS
or SimplyMEPIS (Debian stable, KDE), aptosid (Debian experimental,
KDE) and Debian (Debian stable, GNOME 2.x).
There are many Ubuntu derivatives which come from Canonical but have a
different desktop environment. Kubuntu is KDE, Xubuntu is XFCE,
Lubuntu is LXDE, Ubuntu Studio is for media and it uses XFCE now.
Edubuntu is for education and uses Unity 2D. Mythbuntu is MythTV with
an XFCE desktop. Linux Mint is not from Canonical. It is based on
Ubuntu, but uses GNOME Shell with extensions and they are working on a
clone of GNOME 2 called Cinnamon. Ultimate is not from Canonical but
it is Ubuntu (older version usually) with everything but the kitchen
sink added. Fuduntu has nothing to do with Ubuntu. It is Fedora based
but took the untu part because it aims to take Fedora and make it easy
to use like Ubuntu. Unity OS has nothing to do with Unity desktop. It
is Mandriva based and uses Openbox as its DE.
There are other things such as the installer. Ubuntu and its kin have
a good one, as does openSuSE. I am not big on Mandriva's or Fedora's.
It is complicated, but you can simply things by asking yourself some questions?
Do you want Debian based or RPM based? That cuts choices in half.
Do you want a large community or do you care about support?
Do you want a large number of applications or will you run only a few?
Which desktop environment suits you best?
Then you match things up and try a few live disks. If you don't like
one then try another. Use a usb stick or re writable disk. If you are
like the typical Linux user then you will start with one distribution
and then change after a time.
A comparison of distributions can be found on Wikipedia at:
Somethings to pay attention to in this.
Developer - one person development often means control by one person.
Development could slow or stop at any time should the developer not be
able to work. This happened to PCLinux OS when Bill Reynolds, AKA
Texstar, became ill and MEPIS has been marred by slow development.
Corporate backing can mean many things, good and bad. Corporations go
under or are taken over as happened to Novell. Community based distros
can be good, but they have their own set of problems. Getting
agreement is hard so things often move at a slow pace and disagreement
leads to division and forks.
Look at release dates, first and last. It shows how old it is and
whether it is being actively developed.
Base distribution we have talked about.
Purpose should match your own. Desktop instead of server, etc.
In the Technical section look at Install time desktop environment. You
can add and desktop you want after in many distributions, but you get
this one as part of the package.
Architecture means what chipset. Most users will only care about the
first three columns.
Package Management and installation is important. Pay attention to
overall number of packages, package management tools and format. Also
look to see if it has a graphical installer. Some do not.
The last section is Live Media. Green straight across gives you the
best testing options.
Security features is next to useless info since anything you would use
would come with either SELinux or AppArmor.
Anybody who says use this or that is basing it on his or her personal
preference and since you do not know them you cannot know if it will
work for you. Take your time. Do your home work and try various
possibilities. All of the major distros are good or they would not be
where they are. But likely only one is good for you.
Using Kubuntu 11.10, 64-bit
On 12 January 2012 04:16, dvdpst <dvdposton@...> wrote:
> Not all are live Distros. Most are but you do not understand what I said. I
> built the system
> for that company. It is very security demanding. The system count And times
> the run time
> of all drives. Not only the HD but the CD/DVD drives to. Among with any
> saves and to what
> drive. Only way I could bid on that contract. Government requirements. I
> needed some thing
> that would load to ram and run from ram.
> I am trying to convince management to switch to Linux as their OS. Will
> know tomorrow
> if I have clearance to bring my laptop to do an clean install of Linux. If
> you have any other
> suggestions, I am open to them.
> On Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 9:49 PM, g.linuxducks <g.linuxducks@...>wrote:
>> All of Linux distros are "Live Distros" meaning they all pop in and run
>> only the demo mode without installing anything and allow you to use
>> Linux in a limited fashion to decide whether to install it right from
>> the demo ' "Live Distro". It is not only Puppy that does that - all of
>> Linux distros do that in other words. (Either from CD/DVD or from USB
>> Drives and those also for Netbooks).
>> I believe Ubuntu Linux is the best "presentation" of Linux and
>> especially for Windows lovers. These want a system that can do
>> everything that Windows does and better. Showing these Users a limited
>> Linux distro is certainly NOT turning them onto Linux as you think. In
>> fact they will laugh at you. If those are not presented with good cause
>> to leave Windows or add Linux they WILL go on their merry way with
>> Windows with the impression from a stripped down version rather than a
>> full blown does everything version.
>> This is very simple. I can log onto Ubuntu Linux and check just about
>> all of several email acounts in the same amount of time it takes Windows
>> to fully load ready for use. That is NO exageration at all from myself
>> as a Windows lover since year 2001 (XP then Vista).
>> I think you would want to show that and a full blown Linux that rivals
>> Windows. Take it from a Windows diehard.
>> On 01/11/2012 03:59 PM, dvdpst wrote:
>> > Most people I deal with just want to see what linux is. Most are using an
>> > company computer when they
>> > ask to see what Linux is. So I need some thing that will not touch the HD
>> > as I have developed the programme
>> > that the IT dept. uses to monitor the systems. And I need some thing that
>> > will only load in ram.
>> > No reason to go to time and trouble to install an real system when they
>> > get an idea of what it is from
>> > Puppy. Plus that is the only one I have on CD at this time. Of the ones
>> > that went with Linux, they wanted some thing better.
>> > I always show them Ubuntu and Kubuntu. I do mention that there are
>> > countless distos out there.
>> > Of the ones that saw Puppy like it and ask for some thing better since
>> > Puppy looks and acts so much like Windows.
>> > Only one that I show it to stay with Puppy. But all they wanted was some
>> > thing for internet and email.
>> > david
>> > On Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 1:51 PM, Roy<linuxcanuck@...> wrote:
>> >> **
>> >> That will turn off many people if they want a Windows replacement. It
>> >> look like a toy compared to Windows. Puppy is fast and simple but it is
>> >> representative of a full installation of a good distro.
>> >> I urge people to try a full distro on a live CD or DVD or USB. For just
>> >> little bit more time they get all the bells and whistles. They are more
>> >> likely to be wowed when they see they have Firefox and Thunderbird plus
>> >> Libreoffice than if they see something basic and not as well done. If
>> >> ask for speed and don't care about appearance then I would direct them
>> >> Puppy.
>> >> Roy
>> >> Sent from Android tablet
>> >> On Jan 11, 2012 1:26 PM, "dvdpst"<dvdposton@...> wrote:
>> >>> Roy, I tell people that wants to try linux WITH OUT installing it to
>> >>> Puppy first. If they want more I tell them
>> >>> to go with Ubuntu. But you have to agree, Puppy is the easiest to use
>> >>> see what linux is. Puppy 5.28 is base on Ubuntu 10.10.
>> >>> I tell any one that Puppy does not represent what Linux can do. But it
>> >> does
>> >>> do enough to see if you would like it or not
>> >>> and want some thing more powerful. I had one person to tell me all they
>> >> was
>> >>> looking for was some thing to
>> >>> go online and to read email.Now Puppy is great for that as wi-fi is
>> >> to
>> >>> set up.
>> >>> david
>> >>> On We
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