The good, the bad of Linux?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by acr1965, Jun 2, 2007.

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  1. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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    I have been a Windows user for a while. But all these security apps, conflicting, BSOD's, etc have me wondering about some type of option. What are the good and bad points of switching to Linux? Will I still be able to view all web pages, see and play videos, get all email, etc with Linux? Is it easy to learn and is there a Linux version that has a similar GUI to Windows?

    Also, what about the security I will need with Linux? I assume there are some Open Source options. Is there a way to keep my Windows while I learn Linux? Currently I have XP home edition.

    Thanks.
     
  2. steve161

    steve161 Registered Member

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    Hi acr1965:

    I recently switched from windows to ubuntu and like it. The install from the live CD was almost automatic, and ubuntu detected all my hardware immediately. Right out of the box, I had internet, OpenOffice, printing, scanning, and sound, A few easy downloads later, I had full video capabilities. Also, the email client, evolution, seems as good if not better than outlook. There are also repositories that have numerous programs for anything you may need. There is a bit of a learning curve with ubuntu since you need root privileges to do certain things, and I am still on the learning curve.

    I have also played around with PCLinuxOS. It seems easier to use than ubuntu, and more windows-like. It also had good out of the box hardware detection, and the install is, again, almost automatic.

    As far as dual booting Windows Xp and linux, that is tricky. I have heard many stories of not being able to boot windows after repartition, but there are many sites that have documetation on how to do a dual boot correctly.
     
  3. midway40

    midway40 Registered Member

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    I never had any problems using Partition Magic to create a Linux partitions when I was using XP. I felt more comfortable using a Windows program to resize a Windows partition. I tried GParted(?) once and it did screw my Windows partition up. Then I would install Linux and use whatever bootloader it uses, i.e. Ubuntu uses GRUB; PCLOS uses LILO, which gives you the choices of which OS to boot into. In my experience PCLOS was easier to set up than Ubuntu and would probably be better for a newbie. The main preference between the two are the windows managers: PCLOS--KDE or Ubuntu--Gnome. KDE is more Windows-like while Gnome is kind of Mac-ish.

    (For those using Vista, no need for third party partition managers--a basic PM is built right in :) )
     
  4. midway40

    midway40 Registered Member

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    Oh, to mention the bad of Linux which is gaming. While you can get some Windows games to play on Linux, it takes some tweaking to do (using Wine or Cedega). I had installed Quake 4 (first game I bought while running nothing but Linux) which did run OK. But some time later I reinstalled XP and Q4 and noticed effects I never saw when I was playing it in Linux. While Linux gaming is getting a lot better in the past few years, it still has a way to go.
     
  5. Durad

    Durad Registered Member

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    Yes, if you play games forget about Linux.

    Fortunately I do not play games no more and Ubuntu is doing good job for me.
     
  6. midway40

    midway40 Registered Member

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    Ok, one more thing to add, lol-- Linux security.

    There has been much debate on whether or not to run an AV in Linux. Personally I don't see the need to unless you share data with a Windows machine or it is being used a server for Windows machines. The odds are that you will never run into a Linux virus. Compare the amount of Linux viruses to Windows. And most of these have already been rendered harmless by kernel upgrades. Any vulnerabilities found are usually patched fairly quickly through updates (I did like the update system in Ubuntu where it checks for updates and if there are any available a icon in the systray informs you so--just like in Windows).

    You do need to run a firewall though. However Linux already has a built-in FW called iptables. You will need a GUI to control this firewall (unless you are one of those uber Linux users that can set up iptables via Console, lol). In Mepis I used Guarddog, in PCLOS Shorewall, and in Ubuntu, Firestarter.

    There are several things you need to leave behind when you take the plunge into the Linux world. The more RAM usage in Linux, the better. This is because Linux uses RAM like a cache. When I first saw that I only had 7MB free out of 768MB, I freaked until I read about how RAM was used in Linux. Another thing to leave behind is what I already went over, the security. The root/user system is the heart of security in Linux. As long as you always run as a user you will be OK. Anything that requires root privilege will pop up a password window. No antiviruses needed. And the last thing is disk fragmentation. There is very little if any fragmentation in the Linux file system so defraggers do not exist in the Linux world.

    Vista has taken a couple of ideas from Linux such as UAC (root/user privileges) and SuperFetch (RAM cache).

    And now I am finished :D
     
  7. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    Some notable projects are reaching maturity in that field. Or look like it.

    Anyway, the first obstacle is weirdness. But it goes away slowly. BTW, Kubuntu use KDE.
    That's a good example: KDE seemed less weird first, because things weren't upside down. But then, GNOME is very good. After a while, all i care is how it works, and what programs come with it.

    acr1965: if you haven't, i strongly suggest getting VMware or VirtualBox and seeing for yourself without leaving Windows. Move on from there.
     
  8. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    Before I start with good or bad.


    1. Linux is muc easier than it seems.
    2. Most popular distros (SUSE, Ubuntu, Mandriva, PCLinuxOS...) are very very simple. Installations are automatic and even drivers can be installed without command line.


    Good

    1. Stability, robustness.
    2. Free.
    3. Developed and maintained by community.
    4. No bloodsucker bullshit that Microsoft, Sony, AOL, and other vampires try to jam down our throats.
    5. No security hassle.
    6. Fully customizable, to the last bit.
    7. Far more hardware support, far more programs available.
    8. Much better 64x support and compatibility.
    9. Much better programing and compilation.
    10. Helps really understand how operating systems actually work.


    Bad

    1. If you happen to have a unique mobo or such, some drivers might not work. Here start the would-be problems.

    But these problems are not Linux per se. These problems are related to vendors of the drivers, who do not bother to write drivers, test them properly, provide good help etc. The same applies for cameras, printers etc.

    Still, with a bit of googling and foruming, you'll find everything.

    Myself, I had such a problem. It went as far as actually changing the C code in sources and recompiling. But boy was it fun!

    2. Gaming is somewhat botched in Linux, again because vampires do not want you to migrate and pay huge sums to game developers not to make games for Linux.

    3. Centralized support.


    That's about it.

    Cheers,
    Mrk


    P.S. I have written many articles, including installation, dual boot, virtualization. Use them.

    P.S.S. GRUB tutorial and Mandriva and PCLinuxOS guides on the way!!
     
  9. steve161

    steve161 Registered Member

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    Hi Mrk:

    Indeed, it is. From a newbie windows (tough) guy, I was surprised how easy it was to get ubuntu up and running. So much so, that even though I have the PCLiuxOS live CD, I am sticking with ubuntu. Mrk, do not kill me, but I did download the avast on-demand antivirus scanner. It found........nothing o_O
     
  10. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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    Thanks for all the info everyone. I am still trying to get brave enough to try Linux sometime. I remember someone saying on here one time that they have never had as much trouble with malware as they have had with all the problems that come with most anti-malware programs. I totally agree.
     
  11. zorro zorrito

    zorro zorrito Registered Member

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    using linux could I go into "chat rooms" in yahoo? not just people that I have added like friends, but "get into roos"? thanks
     
  12. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    It depends on the browser, not on the OS. If you can do it in FF or Opera, you can do it in any OS.
    Mrk

    P.S. As a last resort, you can always install WINE + IEs4Linux.
     
  13. Rock Smasher

    Rock Smasher Registered Member

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    OOH WEE OOH WEE OOH! WAH, WAH, WAH.


    Sorry. I couldn't resist.:D


    The Good, The Bad, The LINUX. ;)
     
  14. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Linux is not the only alternative to MS Windows.

    There is also BSD, like freeBSD and Solaris or openSolaris.
    The BSD licenses are considered more friendly than the GNU GPL licenses, which are the basis for Linux.
    Solaris is rock solid, openSolaris has better hardware support.
     
  15. Rock Smasher

    Rock Smasher Registered Member

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  16. coolbluewater

    coolbluewater Registered Member

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    How did this thread morph from Linux to BSD and Microsoft?

    Anyway -
    The good:
    Linux + firewall and browser protection means that malware and viruses go away; the OS uses comparatively less hardware demands than what you're used to; you can change your desktop environment since it's not to the kernel ("OS"); pretty much all the software is free.

    The bad:
    It's new for alot of people, so the learning curve aspect; getting some new hardware to work correctly; gaming; high-end video editing.
    The Good seems to be gaining ground and the Bad seems to be shrinking.
    YMMV.
    Stick with it; it's worth the experience.
     
  17. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    The worst is we keep calling it "Linux". I can imagine the frustration of the man who started all this. His name is not Linus, nor did he call it Linux. :blink:
     
  18. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    I'm really liking PCLinuxOS-2007. But it took 2-3 years to get over the internet access block. I'd try for 2-5 days every 6-9 months, then quit. This is most acute & mostly limited to dialup. Finally not only did I have to get an ext serial modem but also a new ISP. It was quite maddening & embarassing.

    And I'm still at the point where reading user guides don't make sense. It's just a different language. So people restating the info differently works. But it's getting fun.
     
  19. midway40

    midway40 Registered Member

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    While you can get some winmodems to work in Linux, to me the work involved isn't worth it. I have a Intel 567EP winmodem that came with my Dell. When I saw what it took to make it work (compiling code) I just went out and got a ext. modem. I really prefer hardware modems anyway, they do not leech off the CPU.

    Hang in there, Z :)
     
  20. DonMartin

    DonMartin Registered Member

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    He's name is Linus Torvalds, and he is from Finland (Scandinavia, Europe).
    I think that he really likes the debate about Windows vs Linux.
    More info from:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linus_Torvalds


    Regards /Don
     
  21. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    He finished it, yes. Linux is the kernel, the missing part (key part, definetly). The Operating System is much more.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux (read History and Naming controversy)
     
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