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Author Topic: A Guide to Trying Out Linux Distros  (Read 3612 times)

zridling

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A Guide to Trying Out Linux Distros
« on: May 07, 2007, 09:46:23 AM »
Want to try a Linux distro to see what the fuss is about? Which one! Check out IBM's GNU/Linux develperWorks page.

techchanges.jpg

(Thanks to Carl [below], I changed the link to a much better, newer page).
« Last Edit: July 02, 2007, 06:03:22 AM by zridling »

cthorpe

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Re: A Guide to Trying Out Linux Distros
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2007, 10:03:14 AM »
That's pretty old page. It was written on 11 Apr 2006.  The Ubuntu section, for example, lists version 5.04.  Most of the links still probably work and point to newer information though.

zridling

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Re: A Guide to Trying Out Linux Distros
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2007, 12:14:58 PM »
Yikes, yet it's listed in their latest newsletter as a new item! Oy. Better to go straight to the source: DistroWatch.

craigcolby

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Re: A Guide to Trying Out Linux Distros
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2007, 04:45:20 PM »
or even going to www.lunixcd.org , and downloading it free from there, or order cd's from them for $1 and up.

justice

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Re: A Guide to Trying Out Linux Distros
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2007, 04:50:27 PM »
So with all this interest in linux, has there been any increase in support from commercial software yet?

Josh

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Re: A Guide to Trying Out Linux Distros
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2007, 05:18:05 PM »
No, and there wont be until linux is as easy to install and use as windows. Thats what most techies dont understand. Linux is all well and good, its fast, stable, and powerful. However, the weakness it has is that windows has spoiled users and given them what they want. Something that JUST WORKS and doesnt require all this extra work to keep running. Until linux can achieve this, it will remain a niche product (much like opera)

Carol Haynes

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Re: A Guide to Trying Out Linux Distros
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2007, 05:22:37 AM »
Linux is dead in the water until they get WiFi working properly (and encourage manufacturers to write proper drivers for printers and scanners).

I really want to like Linux but the only way I can use it is through VMWare - that is the only way I can get internet access.

Printer support is abysmal - if I buy a printer I want to use all the facilities it offers, not just basic printing. I have tried Linux with HP, Canon and Lexmark printers and none of them have been supported beyond basic printing (and even then it wasn't good quailty on my Canon). What about multiple paper sources, automatic duplex and CD/DVD printing etc.

As for scanners ...

f0dder

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Re: A Guide to Trying Out Linux Distros
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2007, 05:48:43 AM »
Carol Haynes: all that trouble is because of the EVIL KAPITALISTIK MANUFACTURERS! though, and doesn't have anything to do with the reluctance to make a stable ABI and accept closed-source drivers.
* f0dder ducks and covers.
- carpe noctem

zridling

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Re: A Guide to Trying Out Linux Distros
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2007, 05:52:22 AM »
Here's a better GNU/Linux start page.

Ubuntu's got WiFi going pretty well. As for internet access, I take you you don't have a high speed connection, Carol, is that why? And Josh, Apple uses that same argument to sell its computers — use our hardware, our software, our chips and it will all magically work. GNU/Linux is still in the tinkerer stage unless you sit down with a big distro like Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, Fedora 7, or SLED (SuSe Linux Enterprise Desktop), the latter of which mimics Windows very well, but makes some stunning UI improvements, if you ask me.

Carol, I couldn't agree more about printers. You can download proprietary drivers through an easy link for many, many printers (at least 225 HP printers alone), but I also ran into the same problem when I upgraded to Vista and lost both my [new!] printer and older scanner. On the flip side, that same HP Laserjet 1020 printer will work under most GNU/Linux distros. As far as I can guess, HP just intends to mostly leave all but the color models unsupported for Vista and force everyone to buy new printers. That really pisses me off, because I live on a very tight budget and have to scrape together the money to buy hardware; it's never an impulse item. Hardware companies just don't see the need to write drivers for such a small [GNU/Linux] market... yet. Maybe soon. But if HP won't write drivers for Vista (which had a long, long beta period), then I'm not counting on it.

This is the biggest reason for all the LIVE CDs you see with almost every Linux distro; you can boot the CD and see how well all your hardware works with it. If not, try another distro or stay with Windows. Working to switch to GNU/Linux has made me appreciate some things I took for granted under Windows, but after using Windows since the 2.0 version (1987?), I've earned my chops and it's time to give another OS a try for a while.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2007, 06:00:37 AM by zridling »

Carol Haynes

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Re: A Guide to Trying Out Linux Distros
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2007, 06:14:23 AM »
Carol Haynes: all that trouble is because of the EVIL KAPITALISTIK MANUFACTURERS! though, and doesn't have anything to do with the reluctance to make a stable ABI and accept closed-source drivers.
* f0dder ducks and covers.

LOL - Actually it is chicken and egg syndrome ... small Linux user base => not worth writing and supporting drivers.

Also the sheer number of distros makes support practically impossible - esp. as most Linux users expect everything for free.

When will we see 'Open Source Hardware' (ie. you just pay postage and get your hardware free too ;))

Carol Haynes

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Re: A Guide to Trying Out Linux Distros
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2007, 06:27:07 AM »
Here's a better GNU/Linux start page.

Ubuntu's got WiFi going pretty well. As for internet access, I take you you don't have a high speed connection, Carol, is that why?

No I have 8Mb broadband via a wireless router. Trouble is Linux just doesn't support the majority of WiFi clients. I have tried with both Netgear and LinkSys kit and neither are supported directly. OK there are some projects out there to 'get things to work' but life is too short to spend days/weeks/months working out how to install cryptic patches and recompile the kernel etc. which seems to be the Linux solution to everything. I tried UBUNTU (at least the run from a DVD version) and couldn't get network or internet access so I gave up.

One day Linux developers will start to realise that they need three Linux features above all others if there is any hope of it being accepted for many users:

1) Consolidation of efforts into a tiny (2 or 3) mainstream distros at most (preferably fully compatible in terms of software installation etc.) - not the ever growing plethora of distros that can achieve nothing but alienation of software companies and hardware manufacturers.

2) For the majority of users: install and it works (with most standard and common hardware combinations including network/WiFi, printers and scanners - at least by the most common manufacturers)

3) One click installation packages for software and drivers - not mind numbing "su ..." and "rpm ..." commands and then a mad hunt for the executable to make a shortcut to actually run the thing!

Once all three of those is sorted Linux will take off big time and scare the life out of MS!

If (1) is achieved alone there is a chance of convincing more manufacturers to provide Linux installed on new hardware instead of having to pay licenses for Windows OEM versions that no one wants  (effectively MS have, with Vista Home Editions, produced software destined to be licensed via the OEM and almost immediately replaced by a proper version as soon as the box is opened - so Vista is bought twice for a lot of machines - they are on a real gravy train as they no longer even need to supply a new discs - just a license code!)
« Last Edit: July 02, 2007, 06:28:43 AM by Carol Haynes »