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Last post Author Topic: I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.  (Read 15283 times)

40hz

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Re: I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2009, 04:18:20 PM »
...PCLinuxOS just blew me away with its professional appearance and hardware compatibility...Anybody use this distro?

I'll +1 that. :Thmbsup:

PCLinuxOS is another good first choice for first-time users.
I've found it works very well on otherwise problematic 'last generation' laptops. It inherits all the stability of Mandriva, which it's based on, but adds a few touches of its own.

Nice choice of desktop managers too.  :)

A very civil and helpful user community can be found over in the forum. (Note: Be sure to read the PCLinuxOS Usage Rules and How to Ask Questions the Smart Way threads before posting in order to enjoy the best experience. They can be found in the Usage Rules PLEASE READ section of the forum.)

« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 04:19:55 PM by 40hz »

zridling

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Re: I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2009, 12:29:32 AM »
What sajman99 said. That's probably the main feature that lures me to Linux -- a distro for everyone. Whether you're into video editing, programming, cloud computing, netbooks, long-term stability, or bleeding edge tech, there's a distro tailored for the way you work. PCLinuxOS has long been a favorite among many. Here's my desktop with Chrome and FileZilla running and it looks a lot like any other OS on the surface.

kde-desktop02a.png
I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.

(click for larger)

superboyac

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Re: I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.
« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2009, 10:26:59 AM »
Thanks for the tips, Zaine.

So many things to try!  This will probably be a longer experiment than I anticipated.  So it seems like I have to not only be open to different programs, but to different distros as well.  I may have to use multiple distros to cover all the things I like to do.  What's the most pain free way of switching between distros?  Using virtualization software, or multi-booting, or some way else?

f0dder

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Re: I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.
« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2009, 11:16:33 AM »
Multi-booting sucks - virtualization to find something that fits your needs is much nicer, but of course virtualized won't run as smooth as on real hardware. So start by judging on features and user friendliness/whatever, not performance.
- carpe noctem

40hz

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Re: I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.
« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2009, 12:47:59 PM »
The only problem with virtualization is that it introduces its own complications and issues to the mix.

If you read the bulk of the slam reviews against Linux, you will find that about 90% of them were written by somebody who is having trouble getting it to run smoothly on one of the following:

  • a virtual machine
  • a low-power netbook
  • a tricked out multimedia laptop with the latest and greatest hardware

So unless you're experienced with running virtual machine environments, just be aware that what you experience in that environment will not be the same as your experience on native hardware. The reason I bring this up is because I'm constantly annoyed by people who write negative reviews about NIX after having only run it on a VM. To my mind that's no different than criticizing a Windows app after only testing it on a Macintosh under Parallels or CrossOver.

(The same goes for my attitude about the validity of broadly judging a general purpose distro after installing it on either an extremely low or high end laptop. But that's a subject for it's own rant!  ::)  ;D)

If you want to evaluate without installing, I think you're better off just sticking to the "live" versions until you're ready to give something a real run for your money. I'm a big fan of using swappable HD-drive trays for testing different operating systems. But that's probably overkill for most people. Live versions will give you a decent feel for the distro's user experience without introducing any oddities that installing to a VM can often bring.

Just my 2ยข  :)


P.S. I'll half agree with f0dder on an earlier point he made. Multibooting Linux and Windows does leave a lot to be desired. But multibooting different versions of Linux works just fine thanks to the way the boot process gets handled in that environment. NIX isn't jealous of other operating systems, nor does it insist on being the primary one.

And since you can share the same HOME directories and SWAP file among multiple installations, it doesn't waste very much space. Many Linux users do just that when they want the best of KDE and Gnome without the risk of one set of dependencies screwing up the other. It's also a great way to keep a working  'test' and 'real' installation on the same machine.

Something to think about. 8)

« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 01:09:56 PM by 40hz »

40hz

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Re: I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.
« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2009, 01:14:43 PM »
So many things to try!

Yes there are...

Here's your new case badge:

WhateverDistro.PNGI'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.

Welcome to the club! :P ;)


« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 01:16:25 PM by 40hz »

superboyac

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Re: I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.
« Reply #31 on: December 22, 2009, 01:20:22 PM »
Ha!  I love that cartoon.  So weird.  Bill the Cat has the greatest faces ever.

40hz

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Re: I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.
« Reply #32 on: December 22, 2009, 01:41:37 PM »
Bill the Cat has the greatest faces ever.

OK.

Just for you then:

multibootnix.pngI'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.


 ;D



MilesAhead

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Re: I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.
« Reply #33 on: December 22, 2009, 01:49:10 PM »
@40hz I have to agree with you about booting multiple Linux versions.  When trying to accommodate hardwire sometimes I would build several kernel versions.  All it took was a few lines in the boot manager configuration file to load the specific kernel, and particular modules depending on the kernel version in startup scripts.  Sometimes I would have to boot a kernel to use a device when an older kernel may be generally more stable or whatnot.  One of the things I really liked about Linux was the ability to boot a floppy that pointed you into the Linux partition on the HD.  If your boot manager got hosed you could boot the HD install from the floppy.

Some guys over at Boot Land have done the same thing using USB key drives and Windows boot manager. Boot from USB and the same boot manager menu comes up.  Very cool.

I do think though, if you really want to become an adept then immersion is the key. I have too much invested in Dos/Windows quirks to just chuck it all and go Linux.  But I'm glad I messed with it for awhile. I'm surprised how many tidbits I still remember from those days.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 01:54:35 PM by MilesAhead »

superboyac

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Re: I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.
« Reply #34 on: December 22, 2009, 01:53:19 PM »
Ha!!  Thanks 40!  Great.  Freaking Bill is such a spaz.

MilesAhead

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Re: I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.
« Reply #35 on: December 22, 2009, 01:59:22 PM »
@superboyac they may have changed it a bit with a time-out in the new distros, but one trick I used to do was open a console and use the 'su' command to log in as admin.  Then just leave the window open if I was installing or configuring stuff.  When done I'd just exit the 'su' session.
Also the distros usually set up virtual terminals.  Often if an X session was hung you could still hotkey to a virtual terminal, log in as admin, then kill X and just restart it.  Once Linux kernels got to 2.x it was very rare to get a hardware lock that required cycling the power.

My feeling when multi-booting Windows and Linux was that they were the inverse of each other.  Windows was better for installing and using software right away.  Linux took longer to set stuff up, but it almost never broke once you did.  They've converged a bit since then.  It may be less frustrating doing Linux if you acclimate yourself to Linux/Unix style editors on Windows.  It's very distracting if you have to constantly figure out how to use the editor when you really just want to fix the configuration file or startup script.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 02:01:35 PM by MilesAhead »

40hz

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Re: I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.
« Reply #36 on: December 22, 2009, 02:09:56 PM »
Some guys over at Boot Land have done the same thing using USB key drives and Windows boot manager. Boot from USB and the same boot manager menu comes up.  Very cool.

@MilesAhead - Nice find! Thanks for the link. :Thmbsup:

When trying to accommodate hardwire sometimes I would build several kernel versions.  All it took was a few lines in the boot manager configuration file to load the specific kernel, and particular modules depending on the kernel version in startup scripts.  Sometimes I would have to boot a kernel to use a device when an older kernel may be generally more stable or whatnot.  One of the things I really liked about Linux was the ability to boot a floppy that pointed you into the Linux partition on the HD.  If your boot manager got hosed you could boot the HD install from the floppy.

And it will only get easier with time. On the FOSS side we're all looking forward to the finalization of the Grub2 boot manager. Still a little too early in the dev cycle for general deployment - but the current version does work quite nicely. No real showstopper bugs so far.

Link: http://www.gnu.org/s.../grub/grub-2.en.html

 :Thmbsup:

f0dder

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Re: I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.
« Reply #37 on: December 23, 2009, 08:10:42 PM »
40hz: my gripe against multibooting isn't making it work (pretty easy, just install OSes in the right order ;)), but that it's so damn inconvenient having to do all the partitioning (and reserving space!) and, mostly, all the reboots. VMs are so much more convenient.

Sharing HOME between distros sounds a bit dangeorus... don't you risk .config files being clobbered?
- carpe noctem

40hz

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Re: I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.
« Reply #38 on: December 23, 2009, 11:05:53 PM »
40hz: my gripe against multibooting isn't making it work (pretty easy, just install OSes in the right order ;)), but that it's so damn inconvenient having to do all the partitioning (and reserving space!) and, mostly, all the reboots. VMs are so much more convenient.

Agree. But I've just seen too many weird things go down with Linux under VMs to be an enthusiastic endorser. My attitude is it's OK to use a VM if you have to - or have a compelling need, such as an ultra-secure platform for browsing, malware hunting, or for a security appliance. But it does introduce an additional layer, which can cause oddball problems and sap performance. I'm sure a lot of it comes from people not sufficiently understanding how to best configure and effectively use a VM. (I'm sure I'm one of them! ;D) But either way, it's a problem I've seen.

Interestingly enough, the most common complaint I hear from new adopters at various LUG meetings revolves around performance issues. Most of the people I know who end up completely walking away from Linux do so because they're not happy with performance. So performance is a very big issue for most users as far as I can tell.

Quote
Sharing HOME between distros sounds a bit dangeorus... don't you risk .config files being clobbered?

I haven't run into any borked .config file issues so far (knock wood), although there *is* the issue of user/group file ownership and RW access to consider.

The trick is to make sure your account has the same unique UID and GID for all installations. You may need to use usermod and groupmod after a secondary install to change it to match your first. If you made a change, you will also have to chown -R from/to owner:group starting at root (/) to make sure you get full RW access to everything on the drive.

Hmm...now that I think about it, I guess it isn't really all that simple or intuitive is it? :redface:

OK, I'll concede using a common /home isn't something a first-time Linux adopter could (or should) be doing.  

Good catch! :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: December 23, 2009, 11:26:17 PM by 40hz »

zridling

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Re: I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.
« Reply #39 on: December 24, 2009, 01:14:16 AM »
On the flip side, I have Win7 running in a VM and it works fine. Go figure!

40hz

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Re: I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.
« Reply #40 on: December 24, 2009, 07:08:55 AM »
On the flip side, I have Win7 running in a VM and it works fine. Go figure!

I'd guess that since Windows is *the* dominant OS, it behooves the creators to make sure their VM works well with Windows rather than the other way around.

And that's not going to change any time soon - if at all.

I personally think that any real opportunity for Linux to oust Windows from its dominant position on the desktop has long gone by. If Microsoft screwed up royally on Windows 7, there might have been a chance. But they didn't.

There's been some serious discussions about the whole concept of "good enough" software in previous DC forum threads. And I think there's a very real truth behind that notion. Windows is "good enough" for the desktop. And that's really all most people will ever need. So barring some external factor (cost, curiosity, special requirements, or simple bloodymindedness) there's really very little reason to try to escape Microsoft's gravitational pull.

I've recently come to reassess my thinking about what Linux is all about. To my mind, it's no longer so much about revolution as it is about choice.

And I guess that's "good enough" for me. :)


« Last Edit: December 24, 2009, 05:22:21 PM by 40hz »

Deozaan

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Re: I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.
« Reply #41 on: December 25, 2009, 05:42:04 AM »
- Discover the Droid fonts. They're nice. Along with that, subpixel rendering. Makes every word on the screen crystal clear with a decent monitor.

Am I being daft? I don't see any information on that website about how to get the Droid fonts for linux (or if they're available for Windows that would be cool, too). Do you have to use Chromium OS?


40hz

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Re: I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.
« Reply #42 on: December 25, 2009, 07:10:00 AM »
- Discover the Droid fonts. They're nice. Along with that, subpixel rendering. Makes every word on the screen crystal clear with a decent monitor.

Am I being daft? I don't see any information on that website about how to get the Droid fonts for linux (or if they're available for Windows that would be cool, too). Do you have to use Chromium OS?


You can download the Droid fonts from here:

http://damieng.com/b...y-of-google-ascender

(scroll to the bottom for the download links)

 :Thmbsup:



zridling

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Re: I'm beginning my experiment with Linux and other OS's.
« Reply #43 on: December 25, 2009, 03:39:30 PM »
No, Deozaan, I was being daft. Sorry about that. Thanks for the link, 40hz.