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Author Topic: Linux - Freeware or Shareware?  (Read 4141 times)
alecjw
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« on: January 01, 2006, 12:48:26 PM »

I've had linux reccomended to me several times by friends because I absolutely hate microsoft and anything vaguely microsoft related (eg. windows). They say it's freeware. I tried looking on www.linux.com but it was all too confusing for me and I couldn't find my way around. So is linux freeware or shareware? If it's freeware, is it compatable with anything?
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AbteriX
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2006, 02:48:54 PM »

> So is linux freeware or shareware?
Not the one and not the other.
It's OpenSource, so more then freeware you could even modify the code
an make your own operation system, but you have to give away your own
work for others too.


>  If it's freeware, is it compatable with anything?

comparably ??
It's like (and very near) UN1X.
And so completly differently from W1ndows(TM)


There are "Live-CDs" on some computer magazins
so you could test "Linux" without modify your current W1ndows system.



sorry, i miss the right words to tell you more.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux


.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2006, 04:36:42 PM by Stefan » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2006, 03:22:49 PM »

Linux, itself, is freeware. The kernel is what I refer to when I say linux. However, various companies have their own distribution of linux which they charge for, E.G. Redhat's enterprise workstation. However, you can find various free distributions that are free to download/burn to cd (They also sell various cd's that usually come with very basic documentation at the various websites) such as Ubuntu, Suse 10 Pro (best in my opinion), Fedora Core, Gentoo, or slackware. Now, for compatibility. The various distros include a tool, WINE, which is a windows emulation layer that allows you to run various windows programs from within linux (for those that need to do so). This program isnt perfect, so you might not get every piece of software to work. But, there is an open source app for pretty much any application you need (openoffice for office suite, gaim or naim for instant messaging, thunderbird/k-mail for email, firefox or opera or konqueror for internet browsing, etc). I really recommend getting an old PC off of ebay or from someone who is looking to upgrade, and install a couple of different distros, try each out for a month or so, and get the hang of it and choose which one works best for you. Ubuntu and Suse 10 Pro (suse if you're willing to pay) are both very good distributions and provide easy software management solutions that allow easy installation of applications and upgrading patches on the system. Anyways, if you have more questions, let me know.
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alecjw
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2006, 03:37:19 PM »

So could I install it so that when I start up my computer, windows boots but I could easily switch it to linux. And would it run on an NTFS hard drive?
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mouser
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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2006, 03:51:49 PM »

i think as stefan mentioned, a "live-cd" is your best way to experiment with linux - you just pop the cd in your cd drive, reboot your computer and tell it to boot into linux using the cd.  no files on your computer will be harmed..
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alecjw
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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2006, 03:59:22 PM »

So it would run off of the CD rather than installing it onto the hard drive?
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2006, 05:31:10 PM »

Yes, use one of the various livecd distros, as you wont have to worry about dual booting issues that usually arise. And no, I wouldnt recommend running linux off of an NTFS partition. While it can be done, this is more for advanced users since linux NTFS support is very limited at this time. I recommend trying ubuntu or if you plan to reinstall windows, repartition your drive and make a seperate linux partition so you can dual boot that way instead of putting it onto your windows system drive.
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Edvard
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2006, 01:19:40 PM »

If I may, I would point you down the path I took getting to know Linux.

Step 1- To answer your first question, let me point you to http://www.linuxiso.org where you can find download links to the most popular distributions (distro for short). Yes, try a Live CD first- Knoppix is the most popular and hence, the most updated. As mentioned, it runs off of the CD so you can give linux a 'test drive'. No, it doesn't cost you money, but for your convenience, you can buy CD's, Books, etc. that will make things easier. You will have to pay for (and probably already have) a good net connection to download all those humongous .iso files and some CD-r's to burn them on. What it will really cost you is Time.

Step 2- If Knoppix or some other live distro turns your crank and you want more, your next step is to start reading. Really. A lot. Reading about it prepared me for the harsh reality of having a Linux system in my face. When the forum regulars start ranting "RTFM" they mean it. I've seen too many forum posts along the lines of 'Linux $ux0Rz- it doesn't do (insert desired task) followed up by "RTFM!" and "Yes it does, just (insert techie explanation here that could be answered by doing a little research)". Trust me, be prepared. Read about the "guts" of Linux so you know exactly what you're dealing with; the command line interface, the tools available from there, filesystem, man pages (Linux's version of 'help'). Go to your library and see what Linux books they have. They will probably have a Red Hat book (an ok place to start) get that one and if they have a Debian book or The Linux Cookbook or Linux in a Nutshell definitely get those (FYI Knoppix is an offshoot of Debian, Edit:and now Ubuntu). Go for the free Linux books available on the 'net. There's a whole lot to read atThe Linux Documentation Project, look under "Guides"and "HowTo's". I highly recommend 'Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide' by Machtelt Garrels. It's a tad old, but still relevant and info-packed Edit:(has recently been updated). Also Learn Unix in Ten Minutes is a short, great read. And while you've got your Knoppix system up and running, read the howto's and help files there. Figure out a few mundane things like setting up an internet connection, printing, etc. Go to theKnoppix Forum, LinuxQuestions.org or your friend Google will give you a zillion hits to whatever questions you might have.

3- Now that your head is exploding, play some more, get comfy with Knoppix (or any Live distro you may have chosen) and get ready to dive in headfirst.
When going dual-boot:
-Rule 1: Install Windows first. If you install second, Windows will get all 200-pound gorilla on you and wipe out whatever you have going. Linux plays nice and happily goes to the corner you send it to.
-Rule 2: Find out what Lilo and Grub are and choose which one you would rather use as a boot loader, which is what will let you choose between Windows and Linux at boot-time.
-Rule 3: Learn about re-partitioning (if you don't already know) what it is and how to do it as safely as possible to make room for Linux. Learn about and choose a filesystem to format your new partition with. NTFS support is incomplete in Linux as yet, but there are many workarounds so stay tuned.
-Rule 4: If at any point, you are not sure you know what you are doing, stop and read some more, ask more questions and maybe consider doing this whole process on a "play" box, a computer you don't mind making mistakes on. Don't put the screws to your working box with your really important files on it unless you've backed them all up and are ready to give Windows the heave-ho.

4- If all goes well and you have a working Linux system that successfully dual-boots to Windows (if that's how you have it set up...) then pat yourself on the back, go out and do something with a friend or a group of friends entirely not involving computers for at least a few hours. I have found that Linux auto-installs cobwebs in my head and I found that a beachcombing session or a hike in the woods or a dip in a cool swimming hole clears them out pretty good. Welcome to Linux. Buy a bumper sticker.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2006, 11:29:13 AM by Edvard » Logged

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Edvard
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2006, 05:06:21 PM »

Also try Linux.org's Linux 101 online tutorial.
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