View Full Version : who really uses linux???

16-04-2002, 11:20 PM
Who really uses linux???

I have seen on this forum that a number of people say that they use a flavour of the free operating system ?Linux?.

I wonder if what they say is true??

I would call myself a reasonably knowledgeable person in various technical areas as I have been studying in the computer systems and information systems fields for the last five years and enjoy playing around under the hood of my pc and my operating system.

However, as part of my course, I am taking a paper in which I have to compare the differences of setting up the Apache web server and an ftp service under windowsXP and Caldera Linux.

One thing I have found is that the transition from the ?traditional? Windows environment to the Linux environment is quite a difficult process ? I have to relearn how to do everything. Under Windows, if I want to install a piece of software, I download it and run it and lo, it is installed. I have been taking this paper for quite a while and I still have no idea how to do this supposedly simple task.

I can do other things like write shell scripts, set up users and groups and other stuff so I?m not a complete newbie, but if this process eludes me, even with a huge amount of on-line resources, how many others will it elude??

I suppose what I am saying is that although Linux is widely touted as the OS of the future, it is still not intuitive enough for most people (even myself, perhaps) to use.

So, a show of hands, please:

Do you use Linux?
How easy was the transition from Windows?

Please note: I am not interested in help with installing stuff under Linux ? I would have asked if I was.

17-04-2002, 12:02 AM
I use it. I love it.

The transition wasn't easy back then.

Installing stuff was harder - I had to actually read things ... not just click OK - Accept - Next - Next - Next - Finish.

Configuring meant actually editing configuration files, sometimes LARGE files - but rarely caused a problem.

What was hard was finding good desktop applications. Thankfully that is not a problem any more - and the situation gets better every day.

And installing something is now as easy as 'apt-get install xxxxxxx'. What could be easier?

Not only that ... If I put up an FTP or web server on Linux, I can expect it to still be mine (as opposed to 0wn3d) tomorrow.

17-04-2002, 12:46 AM
I agree with the above post, I use and I love it.

In terms of transition it all depends on what you've known all your life.
For instance put yourself in a world where the tables are turned and linux rules the desktop and windows does'nt. You grew up using linux, your school uses it, that flash new computer you just bought had it pre-installed...

Meanwhile your hacker friend swears by this cool new os that calls itself 'windows'. You decide to give it a try but get stumped at the screen where it asks you to enter your 'cd key'. You get the point.

I think linux is great but I think the main thing that makes it great (open source) is also the what is holding it back. What I mean by this is when you go out and buy that new copy of windows you've always wanted it's very easy because it is made by one company and windows is windows is windows.

On the other hand you decide to venture into the world of linux and the immediate feeling you get is an overwhelming overflow of 'Aghh which one do I choose?!'.

Looking at these stuations it is easy to understand why there is so much software out there for windows, number 1 reason: there's more money in it and number 2: when you develop a new program you have strict (well sort of) guidelines to stick to, you know what operating system you are writing for and you know that the person next door is probably running the same operating system as you.

Developing for linux however can be a nightmare, for starters with all those distributions out there where do I start? Then there is the whole glibc fiasco, do you use this version or that..

Oh well, good luck with your paper.


PS. You should be using Slackware 8.0 for your test, leaner and meaner!

17-04-2002, 09:46 AM
I don't use it, mainly cause I wouldn't be able to run most of the software I own, most particularly my CADD. I know I could use WINE, but not after what I've read. However, I am following with interest Lindows which is heading towards running both Linux and Windows programs natively on a Linux core. www.lindows.com. Yes, it's still will cost (like Windows but so does Linux off the shelf) but you will only buy one copy (at US$100) for as many computers as you own.

17-04-2002, 03:39 PM
I would say if I started on Unix/Linux beforehand I would be in the same place as now but more knowledgeable in it.

I was 4 when I had my first computer. An IBM PC with PC-DOS and proprietary menu.

Everywhere I went was only IBM compatible PCs running DOS and Windows. So I learnt what I had. If I had Linux at that time I would have learnt that.

But I grew up shadowed from everything other than IBM compatible computers running DOS and Windows. It's only because of this that I know a lot about DOS and Windows.

I only started running Red Hat end of last year and although the change wasn't easy it's still easy to understand it. The more I run it the more I learn about it. This is what you need though because with Windows it's easy to put down that manual that comes with your software.

With Linux you start off reading more and sooner or later you'll stop reading and find Linux just as easy as Windows.

I use Red Hat and WinXP both in different ways as I find some tools on Red Hat are far better than on XP.

As a result Red Hat is like an addon software just to help me along it hasn't completely rid me of Windows and probably won't because of friends who too use Windows.

17-04-2002, 05:29 PM
If someone tells you that Linux isn't user friendly, don't believe them. Its simply that Linux is choosy about its friends ;^)

I've tried it and am due to try again, but I can't imagine moving my lovely wife from the simplicity of Windoze to the complexity (but more configurable) Linux.

17-04-2002, 07:11 PM

I use Linux, I love it also. However, a Linux newbie (me) should stay away from using linux for things that are crucial, as when linux breaks, it BREAKS!

I've lost important data several tiems on linux, just because I'm tinkering with things I don't understand.

I've decided to use windows for all the things that really matter (email, Customer Data etc), and use linux for playing around on until I'm able to correct anything that goes wrong.

Having said that of course, had I been using linux first, I would think EXACTLY the same way aobut windows.

I've been using windows for about 8 years, from windows 3.1 upwards. I've been using linux for about 8 months, Mandrake 8.0, and 8.1.

If those were in the reverse situation, I'd still be using linux for all my important things, and windows for things I'm meddling with.

When it really comes down to it, I should have all my important data on Linux, as it's far safer there, but I risk losing it by playing with things.

In the long run I intend to use Linux for important things, and I can only see one use for windows, and that's gaming. However, give Linux 5 years and I think it'll be taking windows to the cleaners as far as gaming is concerned. The only game I got running on Linux (UT - Which I borrowed from a computer buff), runs a good 15 frames faster under Linux...

All things considered Linux is the superior operating system from where I'm standing. 8 months of use, and it's never crashed when I haven't fed it some crappy alpha release.

My windows crashes in the last 8 months have totalled over 150 no doubt, and in with that goes 3 re-installs.

Linux's drawbacks are in the power it gives the user. I've completely rooted (mind the pun) my entire OS several times by clicking OK (as you do in windows), without understanding completely what the message box said. Later is when one learns that the box was asking you if it was OK to wipe off X-Server... :)

Linux also looses on gaming titles, but not on performance. Performance not just in games, but in running apps in general. Everything happens a lot faster, and I can run my desktop at 1024x768x32bit with a high-res image without it 'peeling', as it does in windows.

Well, that's my two cents worth.



17-04-2002, 10:55 PM
I personally don't use Linux and never have. The main reason for this is that I don't have my own computer to put it on at the moment. As soon as I get my own computer, I will definitely be tryig out Linux, BeOS, BSD and the like.


18-04-2002, 07:30 PM
Ah yes, I've heard this argument before.

I'm willing to bet, though, that you end up like most of us - stuck with lame-duck windows.

sam the kingpin

13-05-2002, 01:59 AM
Yup, I use it. If you are trying to cross the great divide from MS to Linux try Mandrake, it is the bomb. I've used windows from 3.1 to 2000 and then I switched. No regrets except for a gui for mySql along the lines of Enterprise Manager, but its on the way.
I found the transition relatively painless once I'd got my head round the file format and permissions, then sweet as, thank you OSS.

16-05-2002, 07:12 PM
Agree 100% with you there Bob. I was a Linux newbie 2 months ago - downloaded Redhat 7.2 - Installed it at least 6 times before I had it configured properly. Now using Mandrake 8.2 (much more user-friendly) in a dual-boot setup with Win2k (Xosl is the best boot manager I've ever seen :) Once you learn to understand the directory structure and a few handy Konsole commands its starts to make sense.
One thing about Linux is that its HIGHLY CONFIGURABLE. There is not much you can't customise in there and that is probably dangerous for the inexperienced (me).
When all is said and done its more stable than any flavour of Windows and as soon as Adobe port Photoshop to Linux I won't need a dual-boot :)