View Full Version : What is Linux?

13-08-2002, 09:58 PM
Please excuse my ignorance, what is Linux? I've heard so much about it, is it an OS (or a state of mind ;)) I was wonderin if maybe you guys could fill me in on a few things, maybe help me get up and running with it?

I think i am ignorant as i was bought up in the Microsoft Generation....
"Generation M" lol.


13-08-2002, 10:11 PM
linux is a free OS that is modeled around the UNIX style of thing.

there are many flavours of linux (redhat, mandrake)

linux looks a bit like windows but wont run windows programs.
there are way to run some windows apps on linux but lets not go there now.

a version of linux in the shop could be any where for $20 to $300.
you will get sevral CDs books and support.

if you are crazy you can go to redhat.com and download a version.
3 ISO images of 500Mb and no books. but it is free :-)

linux is often used by super geeks and tech heads.

to install linux you will need to know a lot about what is in you computer.

driver support is a bit thin for some stuff.

the big advantages of linux are:

1. it's free
2. it's not an MS product
3. it's more stable (a linux box can run for weeks with out a crash or reboot)
4. you can get the source code and play with it.
5. it can be fun if you have the right kind of mental disorder :-)
6. it's free

i know i listed it's free twice but it is a big draw card :-)

13-08-2002, 10:13 PM

anything you can do in windws you can do in linux with the right programs.

have a took at www.redhat.com for lots of info.

BTW i dont run linux.

Heather P
13-08-2002, 10:15 PM
>is it an OS (or a state of mind

Definitely a state of mind!

13-08-2002, 10:18 PM
Linux is an operating system. Which comes out in a lot of different distributions (Mandrake, Red Hat, debian, etc). It's open source and is free. It has a command line interface, though there are GUIs for it.

Graham L would be the resident Linux and other free OS's guru[/b]

Chris Wilson
13-08-2002, 10:38 PM
>>>to install linux you will need to know a lot about what is in you computer.

please i beg to differ..
to make the most of linux what you say is true, but getting "sam" the machine i am using now going was an easy install.. i have seen windows installs that proved alot harder.. the only thing i got stuck on was the sound, but the card is a tad suspect, so i've tossed it till i can borrow /buy one i can trust

OP= suse linux 8.0

i once installed redhat on a machine 2 years ago, it was a breeze, and the machine flew compared to a later windows install, the windows install was more problematic

Chris Wilson
13-08-2002, 10:47 PM
suse comes in a 7 CD set (or DVD) and has just about every application imaginable on those CD's. Linux being extreemly customisable , if you want your comp to learn a new trick, just insert the CD, and install it..
unlike windows, it is not then nessesary to reboot.
when i set this machine up, i set it up so that it connects to my cable modem, and my other machine connect to a seperate network card in it. One of its basic funtions is to provide a gateway/firewall for my other machine, vanessa, a windose box. sam did this faithfully and has for the last week and a bit. there have been many things installeed and reconfigured.. quite frankly i don't yet know what i am doing.. BUT during all of this core system tasks remain funtioning, and tvannessas connection to the outside world was uneffected

this is why the core systems of the internet run on linux, things such as routers, mailservers, and the pressf1 web server all run on linux because downtime is unexceptable!

Elwin Way
14-08-2002, 12:27 AM
I have done a few Linux installs using various distributions (Mainly Redhat and Mandrake) on a range of PC's varying from a 486 to a late model pIII 1.2 .

Overall, quite easy to set up, as long as you RTFM, (Read The Manual) and watch out for Winmodems.

Incidentally, my last install was well over a year ago. Are winmodem running under Linux yet? I presumed it would only be a matter of time.

Chris Wilson
14-08-2002, 12:03 PM
yes linux is supporting some winmodems, but not well. My friend who helped me install suse-linux was running one, but found that (like with doze) a real hardware modem worked better. The winmodem was a ***** to install.

]:) of course i've never seen doze have a problem with modems! ]:)

I cant say anything on winmodems from personal experience, this time round it's a cable modem, last time round it was a dynalink internal (real) modem.
As for RTFM.. i would if i had one, i didn't, but the recourses on the web are huge, and after a basic strait forward install are available, as are the man files (man= manual, the help files for linux)
i'm on a huge learning curve, and the answers once found seem so logical!

Graham L
14-08-2002, 04:05 PM
Tones: have a look at my posting in the "Linux 7.3 resources" thread of Aug 9. You'll be ably to find it with the search here. Lots of Ms.

It's different ... but it's more logical. But it does take a bit of learning. So does Windows.

Tony S.
14-08-2002, 04:21 PM
Hi guys. You are right about Winmodems being a *****. I have had Linux installed on my machine for two months, Mandrake 8.2 I think, and it will not recognise my "Lucent Winmodem." All of the experts in this little town of Waihi have had a go and still no go. I am itching to try it out, but it looks like I may have to dump it.

Graham L
14-08-2002, 04:24 PM
Have the look at the Fount of Win/Lin modem wisdom (http://www.linmodems.org/) .

14-08-2002, 08:44 PM
I think Winmodems are more trouble than they're worth. My new PC can't take my old US Robotics internal because, like most/all new systems, the motherboard lacks an ISA slot.

I therefore bought a Dynalink external 56k from http://www.advantage.co.nz for ~$120. And, of course, having an external gives you the advantage of being able to see the cute flashing LEDs (which always does a good job of impressing less PC-literate friends).

Chris Wilson
14-08-2002, 08:48 PM
l like the pretty lights on my cable modem, and my hub for the same reason! They face the door to my office.