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Linux is not Windows


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#1
silverbeard

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There is easily room for debate as to which Operating System is the one to use. But If your considering changing to Linux you might want to remember that Linux is not Windows. It's a good read.
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#2
Kemasa

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It is interesting, but there are some obvious (at least to some) problems and missing concepts. It is a good read and does serve to help people understand the difference. I just have some issues as to how accurate it is.

vi is a good example. vi is what it is because it was designed back in the day of dumb terminals when you did not have a mouse or any other graphical option. Also, I have seen new users have little problems in using it, but that was back when they were not expecting something else. I suspect most people who drive today would have serious issues with driving a Model T. There are many drivers today who can't drive a manual transmission.

Some of the comments regard commercial software is also lacking since it fails to understand that companies produce software and want you to buy their upgrades. It is not perfect and often has many problems (just look at M$ products for many good examples). On the other hand, free software has no expectations or desire to try to get more money out of you and the personal reputation of the developer is on the line. They want to do a good job. Personally I think that Linux has more customer focus than then greed of M$ who seems to only want more and more of your money.

Another item is the lack of understand of where Linux came from. In a time long, long ago, there was an operating system called Unix. This was back in the days before Windoze ever existed. There were two main versions, BSD and SystemV. The creation of Linux came from the desire of Linus to have such an operating system on the PC platform, so he recreated it (so as to avoid copyright issues since BSD is public domain, but the base of which it came was not). The roots of Linux go further into the past than does any M$ product.

Unix was designed for developers, not end users. There has been quite a bit of change in this respect, but that is where it came from. It is designed to be able to put tools together, much like the lego example. You can create a "new" program on the command like by stringing together comands with pipes and conditional commands.

The real problem with switching is due to the differences. What you already know is easier than something different, even if the different item is much better.
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#3
HandiComp

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I would agree with most, but not all, of what was said above. As a long time Unix System Administrator. I can assure you that Linux has no UNIX in it's history. Linux used an experimental OS called Minux that was written to teach OS creation at the college level. If you ever used Minux, you would quickly realize that ' UNIX it ain't' And 'vi', the editor UNIX users loved to hate, has been replaced with 'vim' which is somewhat friendlier. Another thing is, Linux is UNIX-like. Why, is simple. first of all, there isn't one line of UNIX code in it and secondly, Linus refused to pay the licensing fees to attach the 'UNIX' name to it. Therefore, it cannot use UNIX in the name in any way other than to say that Linux mimics UNIX, or is UNIX-like.

Is it a replacement for Windoze, infatically, YES! It is faster, cleaner, and immune to 99.99% of the spy-, ad-, mal-ware, and virus infections because of the way it operates. The kernel (that part that is linux) is solid, heavily tested, and secure which is something you can't say about M$ Windows. About the only reason NOT to move to Linux is if you are a Gamer, but even that is slowly being taken care of. There is very little else you cannot do on Linux. Office Suites include OpenOffice with it's full support of M$ Office (file wise) and koffice, databases like MySQL and even Oracle run nicely, and the development software has to be seen to be believed.

Don't get me wrong, I use Windows, and I use an entire stable of software to keep the system running, but that is on one of my several systems. The others run Linux distros from Novell SUSE, Fedora Core and others, with Solaris 10 Intel runng as a file and print server. As soon as XP SP2 goes to the M$ boneyard, I will be running Linux on this machine, too.
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#4
Kemasa

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Sorry, but there is much in terms of Unix history in Linux. I was at a talk by Linus where he talked about the history of Linux. As I said, it was re-written from scratch to avoid the copyright issues. Linux is not close to Minux nor was the source of that used, at least to my knowledge and based on what I recall Linus said. Many of the Unix commands were re-created, as well as the design of how things are setup. Many things are different too.

You can not claim that there is no Unix in Linux just because the source code is completely different. You have to look at why Linux is what it is and just the name should give you a very good hint of that!!!

Also realize that Unix is not Unix, it all depends on the platform, so in reality there is no such thing as just Unix. SystemV is not BSD, both are very different, as is SGI IRIX, Sun Solaris, HP-UX and AIX is not even close (IBM OS with Unix-like mask overtop of it).

Just try to define just what "Unix" is and you will find that it is more of a generic term than anything else. Try to define what Linux is and you will have a similar problem. Look at all the different versions, all of which are different. Yes, the kernel might be the same and many of the programs, but many aspects are different.
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#5
HandiComp

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Strange, I got a completely different tsake on it.

When I use the term UNIX (or Unix) I am refering to the label and not the code. If it were the code, then IBM would call AIX UNIX, which they don't, or HP's HP/UX. Yes, there are several different 'flavors' but they all work basically the same. It is true that one set of commands are different from another in UNIX distributions, but the overall general design leans toward certain processes that are comparable. (Enter the Posix standard). Up until just a few years ago, Linux wasn't Posix compliant. It says a lot for the developers and the work they have done that it is today.

But in the case of Linux, I think you'll find that, with the possible exception of version differences, all of the distros use the same kernel, and THAT is Linux. The collection of applications and shells that are bundled with it make the distro. (sourced from Linux Journel)

System V was the model used and Minux was the trigger. Linus decided to do something better. The various applications that make up the distros may have had their inspiration from UNIX, but I think you will find there is no code shared.

Edited by HandiComp, 08 October 2006 - 03:02 PM.

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#6
Kemasa

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Since you say that SystemV was the model, that means there is a lot of "Unix" in Linux, which is my point.

I did say that there is no code shared in the kernel, but that does not really make any difference since Linux was modelled after Unix. Since you say that you are a long time Unix System Admin, you should be able to see how similar Linux and Unix are. Due to that, you should be able to see the history of Unix in Linux.
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#7
HandiComp

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:whistling: Not worth arguing over! Linux is UNIX-like. End of statement.

I DID make a mistake on one item, however. The UNIX vsrient was Minix, not Minux, that got Linus started. It was, and still is, a rather 'wimpy' version and Linus decided he could write a better kernel.

Have a nice day!

Edited by HandiComp, 09 October 2006 - 04:09 PM.

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#8
Kemasa

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I did a fair bit of work on Minix (whatever the spelling). I still have the floppies somewhere. It is a good platform for training/teaching about operating systems. I don't think I would use it for much else though. I did find a major bug in the memory management (I forget the exact issue) and fixed it, but only on my version. The current versions of Linux do not provide the same opportunities for learning since it is much more stable and much larger.

It is a starting point though.
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#9
HandiComp

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Simply as a point of conversation, Linux has proven to be the ONLY Open Source OS that is so stable that IBM is using it to run all of their RS-6000 servers that have been strictly AIX in the past. RedHat ES and SUSE ES are currently in IBM's catalog as available for installation. And IBM has some super heavy servers. SMP servers with 64+ Processors, 4 GB of memory per procerssor, and disk space that exceeds 34 Terabytes.

That says a lot for an Open Source Operating System that can be used on PCs by home users. :whistling:
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#10
SpaceCowboy706

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WOW... that argument just scared off all the potential new linux users who originally clicked on the link "Linux is not Windows" hoping to find like a list of differences or some pros and cons.... Heck Im a linux user and i started humming a snazzy tune in my head while trying not to fall asleep. Next time lets just break out the rulers and get it over with early.

Im going to approach this debate from a differrent angle. Can you Make a fancy desktop like this for FREE?

MyDesktopWebversion.jpg

I think not.... You still got that ugly START bar dont you.

Can you also surf the nastiest bug infected web sites on the net..... WITH NO FIREWALL, NO VIRUS PROTECTION, AND NO POP-UP BLOCKERS.... and not get infected?

I think not.... unless you want to spend a week in the Malware removal forum :whistling:

Do you have just about any software that you could ever want for FREE?

I think not.... unless your a Pirate :help:

Can you run the most current up-to-date Windows OS on the oldest cruddiest PC in your garage and still sail along like it was brand new.

I think not.... unless the oldest pc in your garage is just like my new one.

I can EASILY do all of these with my Ubuntu Linux and home made pc built from the spare parts of 20 other office machines :blink:
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#11
HandiComp

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You forgot a couple things! :whistling:

When you buy a copy of Linux in a retail store, you are NOT buying a license, but the physical media, a manual of some sort, and a short term Support contract.

You can easily say you actually own wnat you bought. You can't say that of Windows. If you read the EULA (and who really does that), you will find that you don't own it. You have a license to run it, but Microsoft does NOT transfer ownership to the user. As a matter of fact, Microsoft has been making noises about their licensing program such that you will have to pay for it on an annual basis! YUCK!

Since you can get the souurce code for Linux, you can make changes to it. Not that it's a good idea if you don't know what you are doing, but if you do, you have 'joined the club'!

Security flaws in Linux are fixed, usually within hours of being reported. Microsoft needs the user to convince them they have a problem (which ain't easy) before they will even consider looking into it. The mean time between the report and the fix can be as little as a month but more often much longer than that. In the mean time, somebody will publish the flaw, attackers will jump on it like white on rice, and we have another set of nasties to fight.

Installing Linux gives you everything you need, office productivity, ddatabases, web servers, development tool, and libraries, the list goes on and on. All on the installation media. With Windows you have the absolute bare minimum to run your system. To get all the stuff mentioned above, you need to purchase (usually for a lot of money) and install seperate packages yourself.


Getting updates for a Linux distro are much more than getting 'critical' updates from MS. In Linux, an update actually installs new releases of installed software, including the kernel.

ou will never need to defragment your hard drive.

Support is freely available

You don't need to buy a new computer when your Linux based distro has an all new release. You can't say that about Windows. This will impact businesses more than home users in that their PC inventory would need to be totally replaced for a Windows upgrade but not for Linux. Reduced TCO (Total Cost of Operation). In a large business, that can mean hundreds of thousands in costs.

The system is stable! That means no reboots because the system is extremely stable.

There are a few more but I think this is enough for now! :blink:

For those that were put off by our exchange, look upon it as a pair of folks debating the differences between a Ford and a Dodge. In the long run, it doesn't really make any difference.

Edited by HandiComp, 11 October 2006 - 09:32 PM.

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#12
SpaceCowboy706

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Good job handi... we are trying to win the hearts and minds and get folks to transition.
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#13
warriorscot

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There are still advantages to a windows OS.

Ease of use being one, and top notch hardware support, DirectX being another.

My gran could use windows she could even install it no bother but she would struggle with setting linux up.

And all the fancy effects you cant get for everything, for example with ATI cards its much harder and on edgy i cant even get it to run beryl and compiz isnt available for it. Takes a fair bit of work and experimentation to get even basic things working, look at the wireless difficulties we both have had and this is on 32bit linux 64 wouldnt even boot up and im running x64 vista fine.

Linux is good and ubuntu us fantastic but im not ready to use it as my only OS for my home system its just not quite good enough yet, but its close.
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#14
dsenette

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congratulations...you've gotten a moderator interested...keep it civil if you want it to stay active
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#15
HandiComp

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I do have a tendincy to get 'busy' when ALL the facts arn't stated. I use Windows, I have for years, because of device support and other considerations. BUT, Linux has become of age in the past couple years. There is little you cannot do with Linux anymore.

When I saw the system requirements and pricing for Vista, I could just hear the screams of agony from businesses watching their TCO(Total Cost of Operation) skyrocketing through the ceiling. New PC's by the gross, dumping high end equipment because it wouldn't run Vista! And for what? Not very much more than cosmetic changes to a desk top. All the promises of improved this or that have been dropped in typical MS style! Vista is a total miss in my estimation.

Moving to Linux now is a great idea! There are few devices that are yet unsupported. About the only group of users that shouldn't move to Linux are the hardcore Gamers. Linux will extend the operational life of those PCs to the extent that replacement will depend upon maintenance costs and NOT on whether Windows will run on them.

Case in point, I current have an old 486 DX100 running Fedora Core 5, the lastest version since 6 is in test. It runs fine albeit slowly, but, it IS a 100 MHz system. :whistling:

I doubt I have scared off anyone from Linux. Active debate just brings differing points of view into focus.
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