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Author Topic: Help with choosing a Linux distro - online quiz
radiorahim
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posted 06 January 2006 10:36 PM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
For those of you thinking of taking the plunge into using Linux, one of the big questions is which distro (version for newbies) to use because there are so many of them! (Open source operating systems give you choice!)

Some folks in Norway have come up with an online "quiz" to help you decide which distro would be best for your needs.

You'll find it at:

Linux distro chooser (beta)

It told me I should try Kubuntu, Mepis (both of which I've tested) and Xandros which I've used on one of my machines for over a year.

[ 06 January 2006: Message edited by: radiorahim ]


From: a Micro$oft-free computer | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 08 January 2006 05:31 AM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the link. mepis was the first choice followed by ubuntu for me.
From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michael Watkins
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posted 08 January 2006 12:08 PM      Profile for Michael Watkins   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I highly recommend FreeBSD.

http://www.freebsd.org/

FreeBSD is not "linux" - what makes it different is that its a true Unix in the full sense of the word but more importantly is a complete operating system - from kernel to userland, its designed to be shipped as one. There are no "distros".

Its "ports" and cvsup system is an excellent facility for installing and upgrading and maintaining your system.

I use FreeBSD in my business to run web, database and application servers (as does Yahoo); I also run X-Windows (xfce4 as a desktop/window manager) on FreeBSD in my office.

Its worth a look if you are not already far down the Linux road for some reason, and especially so if the goal is to get exposure to different OS's.

Free, too, of course.

[ 08 January 2006: Message edited by: Michael Watkins ]


From: Vancouver Kingway - Democracy In Peril | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Brian White
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posted 08 January 2006 05:54 PM      Profile for Brian White   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Is there a version for amd 64?
Also, do you dual boot?
Also, have you ever tried Solaris?
There is open solaris now too and solaris has a reputation for security. amd 64 version?
My main gripe with windows is viruses. When i used it as the main os, there were virus losses of work and data all the time.
Linux never gave me that problem.
I did try and put free bsd on my computer (Old thing) and it did not want to install.
Solaris is probably too programmy for me though.

From: Victoria Bc | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
aRoused
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posted 08 January 2006 08:15 PM      Profile for aRoused     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It didn't tell me much that I didn't already guess, but what I particularly liked was that it listed all the other options in its database, along with the reasons they were removed from consideration by the test. Very nice, rather than a black box where the excluded ones fall away completely and are never heard of again!

Doubly so because I had to guess at some questions: I know about partitioning, but I've never attempted it personally, I might be Intermediate, I might be Advanced, etc..

Good stuff.


From: The King's Royal Burgh of Eoforwich | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
rbil
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posted 08 January 2006 09:37 PM      Profile for rbil     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brian White:
Is there a version for amd 64?
Also, do you dual boot?
Also, have you ever tried Solaris?
There is open solaris now too and solaris has a reputation for security. amd 64 version?
My main gripe with windows is viruses. When i used it as the main os, there were virus losses of work and data all the time.
Linux never gave me that problem.
I did try and put free bsd on my computer (Old thing) and it did not want to install.
Solaris is probably too programmy for me though.


Installed Solaris 10 on a Linux box running VMWare. Wasn't impressed with it at all. Took way way too long to install (don't imagine it would be any faster outside of VMWare) and didn't offer nearly the functionality of Linux.


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Michael Watkins
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posted 09 January 2006 01:52 PM      Profile for Michael Watkins   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brian White:
Is there a version for amd 64?
Also, do you dual boot?

There is indeed a 64 bit version of FreeBSD for AMD64, as well as installation images for IA64, PowerPC, Alpha, sparc64, pc89, and, of course for most Intel users, i386 machine architectures.

As for security - FreeBSD has a good reputation there as well; other *BSD variants specialize in this area (OpenBSD) but for the average user, FreeBSD is more accessible and certainly has a much larger user community.

Dual boot is available and relatively easy to configure. Myself I don't bother; all my windowing desktops are FreeBSD except for one single machine which unfortunately runs a Windows-only application I can't live without at present (a business app). All other work I do - development, office admin, QA/testing, documentation, email and the usual, is done on FreeBSD.

Including writing this note...


From: Vancouver Kingway - Democracy In Peril | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Nikita
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posted 15 January 2006 01:29 PM      Profile for Nikita     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I took the quiz becuase I'm sick to death of the Windows operating system. The quiz recommended SuSE Linux 10.0, which sounds pretty good to me.

There are instructions on how to download SuSE but I have no idea how to do that. I would rather purchase it and have the CDs, but I am a poor, poor student and am loathe to spend almost $70 on something I don't understand. Has anyone used SuSE, and would you recommend it?


From: Regina | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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posted 15 January 2006 02:08 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My impression of the quiz is that one needs to be familiar with Linux in order to answer many of the questions. A total newbie is up a creek. If one chooses the easy answers, the program chooses SUSE. Is SUSE really the easiest initiation into Linux? I have my doubts.
From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 15 January 2006 05:06 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Nikita, do you have a cd burner?

For an absolute beginner, at this stage, I think I would recommend Kubuntu.


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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posted 15 January 2006 07:16 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by rasmus raven:
For an absolute beginner, at this stage, I think I would recommend Kubuntu.

Yes, I was thinking along the same lines. A "live CD" would be the best start as the user could take a look without commitment.


From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
radiorahim
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posted 16 January 2006 06:48 PM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have Suse 9.3 running on one of my boxes and its not that hard to install.

One thing though is that its a bit of a pain with some multi-media formats and things like bittorrent and P2P software "out of the box". I suspect its because the target is a bit more the corporate desktop and for that I think it would be fine.

For that kind of stuff, I've found Mandriva and anything Debian-based is a bit easier.

If you don't have a highspeed internet connection and aren't familiar with burning "ISO images" (though lots of babblers could walk you through it) then another cheap (though not free) way to get Suse 10.0 would be to hit a "large" Chapters/Indigo store and pick up the latest edition of one of the British Linux magazines. It seems all of them this past month or so have a copy of a Suse 10.0 DVD disk with the magazine.

Look for "Linux Magazine", "Linux Format" or "Linux User and Developer". They run about $20...a little on the pricey side.

The "live CD" is a great way to test out Linux. If you have a decent capacity USB thumb drive you could just about completely run off a live CD version if you wanted to.

As for installing on a machine, what I recommend is installing on a "spare" clunker box computer at first. It's a no risk proposition. Also you can play with a number of distros till you find one that you like.

You just gradually teach yourself how to do all the things you used to do on Windows the Linux way. Over a period of time you'll pick it all up and eventually kiss Windows goodbye.

You'll also find that there's a good crew of "Linux babblers" around.


From: a Micro$oft-free computer | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
asterix
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posted 17 January 2006 02:43 AM      Profile for asterix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've been seriously pondering a Linux switch myself...but I'm still just a bit afraid to actually take the plunge. I don't have a spare clunker to run it on, and can't afford to buy one, so my only option would be either to install it on my existing computer as a dual boot or to just go whole hog and trash Windows completely, and I'm not at all confident that I wouldn't screw those options up.

So mostly I just sit here wanting to do it but not able to make that step. Bleah.

[ 17 January 2006: Message edited by: asterix ]


From: deep inside the caverns of my mind | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Nikita
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posted 17 January 2006 06:07 PM      Profile for Nikita     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Cool. I will look for some info on Kubuntu when I have some time... which will be after the election ends and I get caught up on my assignments. Until then I will hope that my computer stays alive long enough to finish my assignments (I'm having ridiculous Windows XP issues over here).
From: Regina | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
radiorahim
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posted 17 January 2006 06:33 PM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I've been seriously pondering a Linux switch myself...but I'm still just a bit afraid to actually take the plunge. I don't have a spare clunker to run it on, and can't afford to buy one, so my only option would be either to install it on my existing computer as a dual boot or to just go whole hog and trash Windows completely, and I'm not at all confident that I wouldn't screw those options up.

Not sure about how broke you are...but you can find used Pentium III class PC's these days for around $100. Used Pentium II's for less than $50. They make perfectly good Linux test boxes.


From: a Micro$oft-free computer | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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posted 17 January 2006 06:37 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by asterix:
I've been seriously pondering a Linux switch myself...but I'm still just a bit afraid to actually take the plunge.

Join the club. We all go through that hesitation followed by a learning curve. This is why most Linux distros allow dual boot, and why there is a trend to "live" distros that run off your CD. Whatever you do, don't trash your Windows until you are completely comfortable with Linux. It took me two years to realize that I no longer used Windows and that it was a waste of drive space.


From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Maritimesea
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posted 17 January 2006 11:20 PM      Profile for Maritimesea     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hey everyone,

I'm a windows user (XP) and I personally love the OS and never, I mean have never, had a problem with XP. No virus, no crash, nothing. I'm moderately windows savvy so I have thus far had a pleasant computing experience. I mainly use my machine for the internet and gaming. I get all my software, including my XP OS from P2P.

From what cursory glances I have given Linux, it just seems simply more complicated to perform tasks. I see alot of \mount\p or some such to do something in windows that would require a mouse click. Yet I also hear people saying that once you get used to using Linux, you'll wonder why you ever used windows. So, I'm curious, of course as to why people are saying this when to my mind they are both just OS's and one (Linux) is simply more complicated to navigate than the other. Does Linux serve you breakfast in bed, or what?

So I guess I thought I'd pop in and ask what the heck is so great about Linux, because you are all making me feel like I'm missing out and I can't have that!

Forgot to mention, I took the test and it said Mandriva.

[ 17 January 2006: Message edited by: Maritimesea ]


From: Nova Scotia | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 18 January 2006 01:32 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Asterix, all the computers I use, at work and home, are Pentium II's, so that would be plenty to run Linux on. A dual-boot is also an option -- this is how I migrated. Eventually I took the step of wiping my Windows partition once I got used to Linux. How big is your hard drive?

As for what's so great about Linux, maritimesea, I can't speak for others, but for myself, I'll say a few things. I ran a linux distribution based on the 2.2.19 kernel, which is 2001 vintage I think, for four years. Now, that kernel was of legendary stability. (The current 2.6.x series is not as known for its rock-solid stability, from what I have read, but I've NEVER had a crash with my new install). Once I got up to speed and had all my software installed, it never crashed. I even forgot how to do all the configuration, because I never needed to. It was rock-solid and predictable. I used to use Windows 98 and it crashed all the time. What was more irritating was the bossy design. It was hard to tweak because the default assumption is that you are a complete idiot. When it crashed and the start-up message blamed YOU ("remember to always choose shut-down from the start-up menu") that would infuriate me. Software always came with more bloat and crap than you needed, and it was hard to get the gunk out. The whole experience is of patronizing manipulation and bossing. The Windows registry is just a monstrosity in my experience. Windows also looks like hell. They just don't care enough to hire designers Even some Linux desktops pay more attention to design. That being said, from what I have seen, XP is a stable operating system built on modern (ie 1970s) principles, indeed, the network stack was more or less stolen from BSD, a flavour of unix. I've rarely seen it crash, but on the other hand power tweaking, even if it is point and click, isn't all that much easier or more intuitive than with Unix. I find when I'm on Windows a lot, I'll install Cygwin with a full suite of Unix utilities and use some of them in preference to the bloated Windows apps.

But if your interest is gaming, video editing, or graphics applications, unless you are using very high end custom-written software, Mac or Windows are going to be better choices for you.

[ 18 January 2006: Message edited by: rasmus raven ]


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
aRoused
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posted 18 January 2006 07:53 AM      Profile for aRoused     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think the other thing you're omitting, Maritimesea, is that you (presumably) bought your computer with XP preinstalled and preconfigured. If you bought a computer with Linux preinstalled and fully configured, you'd equally only be dealing with a GUI interface. For that matter, some distributions can be set up from scratch using point and click menus rather than command-line stuff.
From: The King's Royal Burgh of Eoforwich | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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posted 18 January 2006 12:00 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Maritimesea, Windows, even XL, is not always easier. Just think of what you have to do to install a new program. say the Firefox browser. First you have to find a source, then you have to get some kind of installer and go through the processes. I do "apt-get install mozilla-firefox" and then continue Babbling. Debian Linux does the install for me; it goes out on the net and grabs the necessary packages and installs and configures them for me; I don't have to do anything. In fact, I was doing an upgrade when I started this post. A couple of weeks ago, I upgraded my kernel; it took about four minutes.

I have never seen a Windows distro allow proper multi-tasking. The issue is memory allocation. Maybe XL solved that; I don't know.

Windows is a security hole! Need I say more? The world's worst viruses have no effect whatsoever on my Linux box. The only thing which knocks this box off its rails is when the hydro fails; but afterward, journelled file system remembers where it was and the whole thing reboots without loss.

Windows does some things better, particularly games. This is not because Windows is a better platform, but because Microsoft has persuaded software and some hardware manufacturers (video cards) to be designed around Windows. When products are designed to generic, or open source, standards they perform as well or better on a Linux platform than a Windows one.


From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
scooter
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posted 18 January 2006 12:42 PM      Profile for scooter     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cougyr:
Windows is a security hole! Need I say more? The world's worst viruses have no effect whatsoever on my Linux box.

No arguement from me on that point.

But don't kid yourself that linux is a secure operating system. Yes, you will not have virus problems but it opens you up to all sorts of other security issues.


From: High River | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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posted 18 January 2006 04:01 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by scooter:
. . . you will not have virus problems but it opens you up to all sorts of other security issues.

Such as?


From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
scooter
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posted 18 January 2006 05:05 PM      Profile for scooter     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cougyr:
Such as?

PHP security problems, using default passwords, leaving ports open, using default ports, linux services, problems with PNG and GIF image libraries, not implementing proper security policies, running pre 2.6 kernel, misconfiguration, not using authentication certificates, X11 security issues, not setting up a firewall, not keeping current with security upgrades, not monitoring for hacking attempts.

Then there is the RPM hell when you upgrade something and other software is installed without your knowledge (i.e. don't use rpm -U).

To clarify the security issues, the majority are related to the software running on linux, not the kernel itself.


From: High River | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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posted 18 January 2006 05:27 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by scooter:
To clarify the security issues, the majority are related to the software running on linux, not the kernel itself.

I run a Debian variant with my own passwords and the Firestarter firewall. And I use the 2.6 kernel. I shutdown the ports that I don't use.

I don't pretend to be perfectly secure. I'm sure the CIA could break in, but the kid next door can't.


From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Maritimesea
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posted 18 January 2006 06:24 PM      Profile for Maritimesea     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the replies everyone, I may set up a dual OS situation with Linux as my "everything but gaming" OS.
From: Nova Scotia | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
scooter
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posted 18 January 2006 06:38 PM      Profile for scooter     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cougyr:
I'm sure the CIA could break in, but the kid next door can't.

I'm always more worried about the kid next door than the CIA.

From: High River | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
asterix
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posted 18 January 2006 06:48 PM      Profile for asterix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, I took the plunge and now have a dual boot Windows-Linux machine. The installation went off without a hitch (that was the main thing holding me back, the fear that I'd do something wrong that would screw my whole system up).

But now I can't seem to get my internet connection working on the Linux side. I followed the directions provided by Sympatico for their available-but-unsupported Linux connection manager as closely as I could (they're not particularly well-written), but I just can't seem to get it to configure properly.

I suspect I'm going to love Linux once I get this sorted out...but at the moment I'm a bit frustrated by the fact that there's almost nothing I can do with it until I get the connection working. (It's not a problem with the ethernet card or the modem -- they both work fine in Windows.) I don't suppose anyone would know how to help me figure out what I'm doing wrong?

[ 18 January 2006: Message edited by: asterix ]


From: deep inside the caverns of my mind | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 18 January 2006 08:07 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There's a young man here who does rouble shooting with computers as a hobby, and I've loaned him my copy of Ubuntu to get familiar with it beofre installing it here on my very problematic WinXP computer. I suspect connecting with the ISP is a simple thing, but he'll play with it on an older computer to be sure.

In the meantime, I'm starting to see the exact same problem on this WinXP that caused this computer to crash last December: Outlook Express acts up with messages like "not enough memory" and the "From" and "Subject" fields disappear from every message. Anyone have any idea what the hell is going on?

In the meantime I'm using www.mail2web.com for email on my WinXP until we figure out the problem with Outlook Express, or install Ubuntu.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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posted 18 January 2006 09:17 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by asterix:
But now I can't seem to get my internet connection working on the Linux side.

The Internet runs upon protocols which are exactly the same whether using Windows or Linux, or any other OS. So, go into your Windows side and get the information. Then put it into your Linux side. Tell us which distro and somebody here can probably tell you where it goes.

BTW, most ISP's have a standard answer, "We do not support Linux." This is absolute BS because, as I said, the information is the same. They just don't want to have their techs deal with it. However, most of the techs I've talked to do use Linux at home. It may take a bit of nudging, but they often come through.


From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
asterix
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posted 18 January 2006 10:04 PM      Profile for asterix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Got it working, finally. Seems the part Sympatico didn't tell me about, but the Ubuntu help pages did (once I knew what terms to search for), was the existence of a config utility called pppoeconf which did everything for me. Works like a charm now.

There's still going to be a bit of a learning curve before I'll be ready to seriously consider ditching Windows altogether...but I've been idly wishing I could ditch Windows for years, so even just finally getting off my butt to explore another option is progress


From: deep inside the caverns of my mind | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
rbil
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posted 18 January 2006 10:21 PM      Profile for rbil     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by scooter:

PHP security problems, using default passwords, leaving ports open, using default ports, linux services, problems with PNG and GIF image libraries, not implementing proper security policies, running pre 2.6 kernel, misconfiguration, not using authentication certificates, X11 security issues, not setting up a firewall, not keeping current with security upgrades, not monitoring for hacking attempts.

Then there is the RPM hell when you upgrade something and other software is installed without your knowledge (i.e. don't use rpm -U).

To clarify the security issues, the majority are related to the software running on linux, not the kernel itself.


Seems to me that all the "security" problems you originally suggested Linux has with the statement: "opens you up to all sorts of other security issues" certainly isn't reflected in this list you present here. You do "clarify" the security issues as saying they are software related running on Linux. But this isn't entirely a correct assumption either. For example, PHP runs on Linux as well as Windows. Using "default ports" (whatever that means) is not in itself a security problem. "not implementing proper security policies", "misconfiguration", etc. seem to me to be a user problem rather than some sort of inherent insecurity issue with Linux. Most Linux distros I've got direct experience with quite adequately provide proper security policies right out of the box without the need for any further tweaking unlike Windows which provides new users it creates with administrator rights during installation.

Probably no operating system is going to be 100% secure, but I don't think that anyone will be successful in arguing that Linux is anywhere near as insecure as is Windows due to its much better separation between the o/s space and the user space through a much more robust permissions system.


From: IRC: irc.bcwireless.net JOIN: #linuxtalk | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
rbil
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posted 18 January 2006 10:27 PM      Profile for rbil     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by asterix:
Got it working, finally. Seems the part Sympatico didn't tell me about, but the Ubuntu help pages did (once I knew what terms to search for), was the existence of a config utility called pppoeconf which did everything for me. Works like a charm now.

There's still going to be a bit of a learning curve before I'll be ready to seriously consider ditching Windows altogether...but I've been idly wishing I could ditch Windows for years, so even just finally getting off my butt to explore another option is progress



Glad to hear that you got it working asterix. It'll be interesting to see how your Linux experience goes. If you are like many of us who took the leap, the migration from Windows to Linux spanned a period of time until one day we realize that most of our productive time is spent within Linux and Windows is very seldomly booted up. And when it is, its kludgyness (such a word?) becomes more and more apparent. :-)


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rasmus
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posted 18 January 2006 10:52 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Asterix, I find with the default install of Ubuntu there are a lot of applications I miss. The first thing I do is go under the "System>administration" menu and start "Add Applications". Browse what's there and see if you're interested in anything. You can also check out what all is installed.

Then (after closing "add applications") I would start "Synaptic" under the System>administration menu. Under "settings" choose "repositories". Click on the add button. This brings up a dialogue with a drop-down menu. I just used this to add all the repositories (all four checkboxes) for each thing in the drop-down menu. You probably won't need the source repositories yet, but I do and eventually you might. This adds a very complete set of packages you can choose to download. There's only ever been one application I wanted that wasn't in there. I LOVE the apt-get/Synaptic package management system. It's my favourite package installation system of any OS.

When I learned linux, back in the day, I read O'Reilly's "Running Linux" and depending on you, you might be interested in doing the same. Also, the Ubuntu forums or mailing list will be full of people eager to help you. Otherwise, Ubuntu is a much more user friendly distribution than any other in my opinion.

Yeah, the pppoeconf is poorly documented.

One little gotcha I found in Ubuntu is in its DVD players. Because the css codec is not legal on linux in many jurisdictions, or whatever I mean, it is not bundled with Ubuntu. But there is a script somewhere there on the system which will automatically fetch and configure it for you. It took me a while to figure this out. After that, it will play DVDs great.

[ 18 January 2006: Message edited by: rasmus raven ]


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
radiorahim
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posted 19 January 2006 12:11 AM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Glad to hear that you got it working asterix. It'll be interesting to see how your Linux experience goes. If you are like many of us who took the leap, the migration from Windows to Linux spanned a period of time until one day we realize that most of our productive time is spent within Linux and Windows is very seldomly booted up. And when it is, its kludgyness (such a word?) becomes more and more apparent. :-)

Glad you got it working asterix! Welcome to the world of Linux babblers! I was going to post to look for the PPOE stuff...but while I was typing my message and switching to do something else on another machine I noticed you got it up and running.

If you get a router...cheap these days. It does make things a whole lot easier and you can add additional machines on with ease. I recall back in my Win9X days that the Sympatico connection software wouldn't even install on a machine older than a 166 MHz. Pentium. I remember back a few years ago trying to install it on an old Pentium 133 running WinNT4 and it wouldn't work. Come to think of it...still have the old beast and have been trying to get someone to take it home with them


quote:
So I guess I thought I'd pop in and ask what the heck is so great about Linux, because you are all making me feel like I'm missing out and I can't have that!

Forgot to mention, I took the test and it said Mandriva.


Well one of the things that Linux users are "not" missing are the viruses, trojans and spyware! Quite true that nothing is perfect but "out of the box" its more secure and it trains you to keep your "administrative" side away from the "user" side of things.

I've cleaned up too many computers where someone's eight year old kid has admin rights on the family machine.

Mandriva is probably the best of the RPM-based distros...I run it on my notebook. Either that or one of the easy Debian-based distros.

Aside from that, its alot of fun learning a new O/S.


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radiorahim
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posted 19 January 2006 12:17 AM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
One little gotcha I found in Ubuntu is in its DVD players. Because the css codec is not legal on linux in many jurisdictions, or whatever I mean, it is not bundled with Ubuntu. But there is a script somewhere there on the system which will automatically fetch and configure it for you. It took me a while to figure this out. After that, it will play DVDs great.

If I remember correctly its "libdvdcss2" that you'll need to install. You can do it with either Synpatic (graphical) or apt-get (command line).

Not sure if Ubuntu installs the "w32codecs" or not but that might be another thing you'll want to install so that you can play the various Windows formats.


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rasmus
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posted 19 January 2006 04:09 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
No, actually, as far as I know, because of the intellectual property restrictions, for these two files, you'll need to do a little song and dance to install them. (Otherwise installation on Ubuntu is a dream.)

To install the css codec for DVD playback, you need to run a script. You could in reality do all this using only the windows navigation system and point and click. However, as you will learn, it's often faster easier to do it on the command line (same is true in Windows and Mac OS-X). So open up a terminal under Applications>accessories. Type in "sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread3/examples/install-css.sh" "sudo" is a command giving you superuser powers, so you have to enter your password. This script will fetch and configure everything automatically.

Actually, for the windows format files you need to download http://avifile.sourceforge.net/binaries-011002.tgz and decompress/untar it into /usr/lib/win32/. This is going to involve a little more work on the command line. In the terminal, type "ls". This will list the files in your home directory. You should see binaries-011002.tgz. Now, do "sudo mkdir /usr/lib/win32". "mkdir" makes a directory called "win32" in the directory /usr/lib. As a normal user, you don't have write permissions there, which is why you need to do "sudo". We want to move the windows codec file there, so do "sudo mv binaries-011002.tgz /usr/lib/win32/". Now change directories by doing "cd /usr/lib/win32". You want to unzip the file. Again, there is a graphical utility to do this but it's easier just to type "sudo tar -xvzf binaries-011002.tgz". That's it. (There are actually shortcuts I could have taken there.)

Even so, this will only give you Windows Media Video up to version 7. So some sites like CNN won't work. BTW, if you buy the current Linux Journal, there is an article about how VMWare, the operating system emulator, is allowing individual users to use the software free of charge indefinitely for things like Windows Media Player. The detailed steps on how to do it are in the article. This means you'd be able to run some favourite windows applications in Linux without having to keep Windows on your drive.


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 25 January 2006 03:22 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Actually, there are a few more gotchas with a new Ubuntu install, generally having to do with third-party software or intellectual property restrictions. For instance, you'll need to install the mp3 codecs through Synaptic before you can listen to mp3s. I can't remember which one is the best choice. You could install them all just in case. Likewise if you are ripping to mp3s I think you might have to install the encoders through synaptic.

Real won't let realplayer be bundled so you have to get the installer from the Real website. It's an easy windows-style install. The nice thing about Realplayer in linux is that it isn't a bloated 100MB adware monstrosity.

Acrobat Reader is not installed as the default pdf reader. For reading pdfs I find it clearly superior. You can install it through Synaptic.

The firewall is not enabled by default. Go into Synaptic and install firestarter. I think there's a wizard that will start it up for you -- look under Applications>System tools>firestarter. If you start any services like SAMBA (Windows file sharing) or sshd (for secure remote login) then you have to open the port through the handy firestarter interface. Anyway, if at all possible it's good to have a dumb firewall equipped router between your computer and the internet.

As far as I know, that covers most of the things that aren't explicitly explained for new Ubuntu installs.

ETA:

A wiki on restricted formats in Ubuntu

[ 25 January 2006: Message edited by: rasmus raven ]


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Maritimesea
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posted 26 January 2006 12:52 PM      Profile for Maritimesea     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am going to give SuSe 10 a try, and am in the process of downloading the 5 iso's. Question. Can I only burn the first cd and somehow point to the other four during the initial boot process which I would have on a logical partition? I'd like not to have to burn 5 cd's, if I didn't have to. Would I have to "extract" the contents of the iso's and place the files in folders, say labeled cd 2 thru 5 on the logical partition, or can I leave them as is, that is, as iso's. I intend to create another primary partition for suse, and my entire disk is formatted as Fat32. Some of my system specs, in case anyone needs to know to be able to answer my question(s) are P4, 2.4 ghz., 512 mb. system ram, 40 gb. hd. Thanks.
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rasmus
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posted 26 January 2006 03:09 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't know. I do know that SuSE supports online installation, but I've never done it. There should definitely be a how-to. The susewiki is pretty good.
From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Maritimesea
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posted 26 January 2006 05:04 PM      Profile for Maritimesea     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by rasmus raven:
I don't know. I do know that SuSE supports online installation, but I've never done it. There should definitely be a how-to. The susewiki is pretty good.

Yeah I saw the online installation option and actually, considering the question I previously posted, that would be ideal. But I just do not feel confident in my ability to configure my network before I've even installed the OS. I have adsl, by the way.

Also, I reviewed the information
here that explains how to install suse without cd's, but it's just not clear at all to me.


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Michael Watkins
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posted 26 January 2006 05:10 PM      Profile for Michael Watkins   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
FreeBSD also has an on-line install; Make a bootable diskette, as I recall, and have at it.

However its much easier... and far faster.... to download the one or two ISO's required and make a bootable CD and go from there.

http://www.freebsd.org/where.html


From: Vancouver Kingway - Democracy In Peril | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Maritimesea
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posted 26 January 2006 07:28 PM      Profile for Maritimesea     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Michael, I just checked out the link and must say FreeBSD sounds great. I googled Freebsd reviews and it generally seems to impress for speed and stability. Where I'm a bit skittish though, at least right now, is a general "con" seems to be a very steep learning curve for "newbies". I hate that word, newbies, by the way. Sounds like I'm one step removed from having my bottom powdered.
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radiorahim
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posted 26 January 2006 09:53 PM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I did a Suse install online once and while it could have just been me, I found the end result rather "buggy".

I'd recommend a CD or DVD install instead.

If you don't want to get into downloading ISO's, head down to a large Chapter's/Indigo store. I'm sure there's one in the Halifax area. Go to the magazine rack and pick up one of the British Linux magazines. You'll find Suse 10.0 DVD disks attached to some of the recent issues. Look for "Linux Format", "Linux User and Developer" and "Linux Magazine".

That way you won't have to worry about downloading and burning "ISO images" for the time being...not that it's hard.

I think you'd find FreeBSD a bit difficult if you're new to *nix operating systems.

I tried it once (think it was Version 4.1) about a year ago and got lost in it. Mind you it might be a little easier now.

I've been testing out Debian Sarge 3.1 for about the past month. I've got a few minor things that still aren't quite working right...but its mostly working now.


From: a Micro$oft-free computer | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 27 January 2006 04:20 AM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From what I've heard, while the BSDs are perfectly good OSes, very secure and whatnot, and while they will run pretty much all Linux software, the one practical place they fall down a bit relative to Linux is hardware drivers. So if you're thinking of running a BSD, probably best to check that it will run your scanner, unusual mouse, printer, yadda yadda.

I took the quiz--it told me I should be running Mandriva. That's cool with me because I am running Mandriva, and quite happy with it. I do boot into Windows now and then to play Warcraft, though. If they ever perfect Wine, that partition gets wiped.

Incidentally, as to the satisfied Windows user who wanted to know what's so great about Linux. Couple of things. It can in some ways be complicated--but that stuff you were saying about cd-rom drives, it hasn't been like that for years. Day to day, it runs pretty much like Windows really.
What do I like about Linux?
Well, first of all I should come clean and say I run Linux to a fair extent for political reasons. I like the concept of Free Software, I think it's just fundamentally a Good Thing. Anyone who likes freedom and bottom-up organization should run Free Software where possible. And I don't much like monopolies, and I don't like a whole lot of stuff I've heard about Microsoft's business practices.

But in terms of what I like about running it--well, the stability is good. And by stability, I think I also mean things like, Linux is a lot less likely to get unhappy if you've got a whole lot of programs going at once. On Windows I have a longstanding habit of rarely opening more than a couple of programs at the same time, and there are some I'm particularly careful of because they seem to have bad effects on the others and generally slow things down. With Linux, it really doesn't matter. You can have lots of stuff all going at once and it's not a problem.
The multiple desktops are good. I hear you can get add-ons that will do multiple desktops in Windows, but I also hear they're a bit kludgey. And if you don't get those add-ons, Windows still has only the one desktop. In Linux, there's a little section on the toolbar that shows a group of rectangles (usually four, but it's customizable) which represent different screens which can have different applications open on them. Click on one and you're over there. Think of it as four screens' worth side by side, which you can flip between. You can also send applications between them if you want. The extra space can be nice.
Software. This may sound odd--everyone knows all the software is written for Windows. But the thing is, all that stuff costs money and I don't have a bunch. And I don't really like piracy if I can avoid it. And you can't easily pirate the more niche applications anyway. So with Windows, I always used to end up with the operating system, the few little basic programs that came with it, MS Office, an email program, a few games, and a couple of Norton thingies for dealing with my computer dying. Not much else. So if there were other things it might be neat to have my computer do, tough. Not worth the money, and anyway it might simply not occur to me that the computer could do it. With Linux, it comes with lots of open source software. Lots and lots. Lots and lots and lots. So I can just poke around the menus and see what the possibilities are. And if there's something I'd like it to do that isn't on there, I can probably download it. The possibilities are broader, which is a nice feeling even if I don't actually use all that many of them. Some of the software is pretty sweet, actually.
Multiple logins. I know you can do that on modern Windowses. But it's the default for Linux. I have a family, and everyone has their own login, and none of them is root. Everyone has their own home directory which is private. My daughter has had her own login since she was about five, and I have launcher icons on her panel for the stuff she uses. She can log on on her own and just click on what she wants, and basic user permissions don't let her do any real harm if she starts exploring around.
I dunno. I have it set on dual boot, but even the kids rarely boot into Windows. Of course, the Windows side has been acting weird lately, and I can't figure out just what's wrong. Not that I've really tried hard. Don't need to.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 27 January 2006 09:30 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
5 years ago I installed FreeBSD on a free 1G partition. It was easy to install, and I got a very fast operating system, including a graphical desktop (KDE) but I deleted it because it was redundant. Recently, I thought to try it again. Sysinstall (Which looks exactly the same as five years ago) said, if you have at least 200M space, to select auto partitions. Then sysinstall gave vast amounts of my 2G partition to /var and /tmp and almost nothing to /usr. Neither was fiddling with the partitions myself particularly straightforward. There were some strange size constraints on the virtual partitions. After numerous tries, I got something that sysinstall would allow but (because of the partition sizes) had no room for ports or graphical desktop, and X wouldn't start up out of the box, so I was stuck with the command line. Furthermore, 6.0 much slower to boot than I remember earlier versions. End result: deleted from hard drive. If I were running a server I would choose it. For a desktop, I recommend Linux.
From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michael Watkins
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posted 27 January 2006 10:07 AM      Profile for Michael Watkins   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Odd... I've never had an install issue with FreeBSD. Ironically, many years ago I started more fully down the FreeBSD path because of an install problem I was having with a couple of Linux flavour. But you are right - the install relies on a fairly old installer and the disk partition setup remains a weak point IMO too.

Driver support is pretty good; I personally have not had any issues with drivers, but then I do try not to buy the most esoteric stuff either.

I chose FreeBSD over Linux myself long ago for a couple of primary reasons:

- the OS is a complete OS - top to bottom; its unlike Linux distributions where you've got a packaging of kernel + otherstuff = distribution. Sounds like a minor distinction and in most respects that is true, but I rather like the development process FreeBSD follows (I worked for a big Unix vendor for many years and the FreeBSD dev process felt more familiar to me) and that it isn't ultimately dependent on one dictator, however benevolent that dictator may be.

- its not a unix clone (Linux is a clone, however close), it is Unix. Practically this doesn't matter much, but as we've seen with the SCO vs Linux battle over the last few years, licensing can cast a bit of a shadow over things at times. I was choosing an OS for a variety of purposes including for business and this was important to me.

In my case FreeBSD fit a little better than Linux; but I've used both extensively and these days if I were to do it again I might tip either way.

If learning *nix, either are good choices. The knowledge you gain in one will not be wasted; the differences between the two tend to be in areas that, once you are proficient in one, you'll quickly recognize in any other.

And both are better than Windows ...


From: Vancouver Kingway - Democracy In Peril | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Maritimesea
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posted 29 January 2006 12:53 AM      Profile for Maritimesea     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, I gotta tell ya, my head is fairly swirling with acronyms and foreign terminology and I feel like I'm ready to be fitted for a pocket protector and I've started using phrases like "M'hoivan Flaven!" but all in all it isn't too bad. I finally figured out after about three hours how to give myself file permissions so I could just update firefox, and now that I have ULTIMATE root priveledges I'm sure it won't be too long before I'll need to reformat and reinstall.


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rasmus
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posted 29 January 2006 01:32 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Firefox wasn't updated by the online update agent?

Not sure if you know this, but you shouldn't run your desktop as root, just in case.If you're surfing the internet it leaves you too exposed to security vulnerabilities. And it's too easy to mess things up by mistake. Log in with your user account. Almost any administrative task can be done through the YaST graphical utility which appears in Applications>System and also under Desktop. If you need command line root access just type in "su" in a terminal (start from the applications menu) and it will prompt for the root password and give you a root shell.

In general, when installing packages, it's a good idea to do so with YaST as this will keep your system consistent. If the package doesn't appear in the SuSE sources, you can add other sources. Personally, I never have needed to. I generally avoid updating software until it has been packaged for SuSE. Sometimes third parties will make a package for your SuSE distribution. The easy way to use these is download them, then open their containing folder in Konqueror (Applications>Internet). When you highlight the rpm package you want, Konqueror should give you the option to install it with YaST. This will help keep your system consistent and the installation database current.


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
radiorahim
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posted 29 January 2006 03:47 PM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, running your system as "root" is a BIG no-no.

Its one of those bad habits that was re-inforced by M$ in the Windows 9x days when every user had full privileges on the system.

Even when Windows finally put some user tools in Windows 2000/XP the default was to run as "administrator". Because folks had been "trained" the wrong way, most Windows users don't even use the available tools i.e. to create "restricted" users...and therefore constantly run into trouble.

I can't believe how many Windows systems I've fixed where someone's eight year old kid has full administrative permissions on the family PC.

Many Linux distributions give you dire warnings about running as root. Often the GUI has a red background when you're running as root as a warning sign for you to watch what you're doing.

The good thing though is that unlike Windows, most Linux distros make switching between users relatively easy. If you try to do something that requires administrative (root) privileges from a user account a little dialogue box pops up asking your for the administrative password.

Windows hasn't implemented multi-user functionality very well and so its a royal pain in the ass. And since its a pain in the ass, its another reason why Windows users don't do it...and leave their systems vulnerable.

Another reason is that there are still Windows applications around that either won't work at all or don't function properly unless you have administrative privileges.

Linux isn't like that and so its one very basic reason why Linux is more secure than Windows.

BTW Suse is okay. All of the open source applications are very up-to-date. The weakness I've found though is in multimedia support...with all the proprietary formats. "Out of the box", the only way you can play mp3 files for instance is with RealPlayer.

XMMS and Amarok are better, but you'll have to fiddle abit with Suse so that open source applications can play mp3's.


From: a Micro$oft-free computer | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Maritimesea
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posted 29 January 2006 11:29 PM      Profile for Maritimesea     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, I'll likely go back to the user profile I created before after I get most things sorted out as I want. Firefox was updated by yast2, but only to 1.0.7. I had to go to mozilla to get the 1.5, which I need because an extension I use is only available for that version, although the good news there was I figured out how to use the file manager to "install with yast" the firefox rpm. Although one can it seems use a graphical interface to do most things in suse, I can see how the real power of linux would come through using the console, so I think that is what I'll concentrate my energies in learning.

The whole modular aspect of suse, and I assume all linux distros is what impresses me the most. Whereas in windows if you break something like windows media player, you'll generate system errors up the yin yang until you get it fixed. But it doesn't seem to be the case with linux.

Anyway, I have a question that I haven't been able to find an answer to yet. I have set up the desktop and tweaked settings all over the place and would like to know how I could transfer those setting over to the user account I set up so I can log out of root. Of course I could spend a few hours redoing it all but I'm sure there must be a way to export my settings (minus of course root permissions) to the user account.


From: Nova Scotia | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
rbil
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posted 30 January 2006 12:23 AM      Profile for rbil     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't think you'll find any easy way to migrate those settings from the root account to another account as this stuff is stored in many dot files. Going through with an editor and pasting them into equivalent files on the user side would probably be more time consuming and tedious than simply redoing it on the user side.

Besides, why would you bother doing all that GUI tweaking for the root account when you shouldn't even be using the GUI desktop as root? If you need to so something as an ordinary user that requires root privileges then just su to root (or sudo) and do what you need to do and then get the heck outta there when done.

Cheers.


From: IRC: irc.bcwireless.net JOIN: #linuxtalk | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
radiorahim
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posted 30 January 2006 12:49 AM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If you haven't already, you might want to setup the remote repositories in Suse so you can install from Yast.

Here's an article dealing with some of the multimedia stuff in Suse 9.3/10.0

Suse 9.3/10.0 multimedia article

I haven't really bothered on my Suse 9.3 box because its one of my slower machines (K6II-400 MHz.)

...and yes...for your own good...get out of the root account

[ 30 January 2006: Message edited by: radiorahim ]


From: a Micro$oft-free computer | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 30 January 2006 03:10 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
maritimesea, from a root shell try the following

cp -r /root/ /home/yourusername/
chown -R yourusername.users /home/yourusername

Replace "yourusername" with your actual username and leave everything else as is.

This is not ideal but it should work. If you know more specifically what you want to transfer, it would be better to target those directories.


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
asterix
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posted 31 January 2006 02:29 AM      Profile for asterix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
So it's now been two weeks for me.

There are some things I really love about Linux -- it's a lot more stable, I like the design...and I like the fundamental idea of supporting open source rather than Bill Gates.

I do have a few points of complaint, however:
* I have yet to find a fully satisfactory audio player. Rhythmbox is just the pits -- it took almost 15 minutes to scan my fair-sized-but-far-from-huge MP3 collection (by contrast, Winamp takes less than a minute), and random read errors keep messing up the CBC Radio Three stream. So I tried virtually every other audio player I could find in the package installer, and every one of them had a different set of problems. I really dislike how much of a memory hog Winamp can be, but at least it works.
* The bootup sequence takes far too long to "configure network connections".
* I'd like to uninstall some of the games (I am never going to play Robots or Stones), and I'd like to use Thunderbird rather than Evolution for e-mail...but I'm not particularly comfortable doing anything that requires me to uninstall "ubuntu-desktop" at the same time. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding, but I'm pretty sure the desktop isn't supposed to be dependent on the applications -- shouldn't that be the other way around?

So, all in all...I'm intrigued, but not yet sold. I still generally boot into Windows to actually do most things, and only boot into Ubuntu when I'm specifically in the mood to play around with Linux. But, again, it's only been two weeks.

[ 31 January 2006: Message edited by: asterix ]


From: deep inside the caverns of my mind | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
rbil
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posted 31 January 2006 03:02 AM      Profile for rbil     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hello asterix,

Have you tried out amaroK as a music player? I love it and think it's the best I've seen for on any platform. In my setup I have it store my music collection in a mysql database. The thing is instant when it comes to calling up albums or songs to play.

On the question of the bootup taking a long time to configure the network connections ... I don't use Ubuntu, so don't have any direct experience with it. But with those Linux systems I'm familiar with, I don't find that an issue and the boxes although very seldom ever rebooted, when they are, they get to the desktop much faster than XP. Then again, I have assigned static ip's to my boxes, so maybe that is something you could look into doing?

Cheers.

[ 31 January 2006: Message edited by: rbil ]


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asterix
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posted 31 January 2006 03:13 AM      Profile for asterix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yep, tried amaroK. Looked really nice, seemed to work like a charm...until I tried to listen to an audio stream, amaroK ceased to work, and continued to not work even after closing and relaunching amaroK three times, reinstalling the audio codecs and rebooting the whole system.

Not impressed were I.


From: deep inside the caverns of my mind | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
rbil
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posted 31 January 2006 03:53 AM      Profile for rbil     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
More than likely the sound server it was configured to use wasn't running. You have a choice of sound servers to use with amaroK's configuration and maybe choosing another one will do the trick for you.

Cheers.


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Maritimesea
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posted 31 January 2006 10:24 AM      Profile for Maritimesea     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I updated the source repositories in yast and followed an faq provided by novell. After retrieving the packages list I click on aaZZZ at the bottom(or something similar to aaZZZ) and then in the right window right click>all in list>update if newer version is available. No conficts so I accept and download. Reboot and am greeted with multiple program errors, desktop with graphical glitches, all icons are now just a black square, plus my cpu at 100%. So I attempt to reboot, but the system froze before I could get to the log out. So, does that mean, since I have no clue what could have caused the problems, that updating the existing software on my system is a risky proposition in suse? Anyway I think I'll give linux a break for awhile. I like the system but for someone like me who likes to tweak endlessly, linux is simply too unforgiving.
From: Nova Scotia | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michael Watkins
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posted 31 January 2006 12:13 PM      Profile for Michael Watkins   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by asterix:
So it's now been two weeks for me. I do have a few points of complaint, however:

* I have yet to find a fully satisfactory audio player.

Try `slimserver` (google it). Overkill if you have a single machine / single listening station. I store music on my FreeBSD box and listen to it on a number of machines on my home network, but primarily play it through our audio system.

* The bootup sequence takes [i]far too long to "configure network connections".[/i]

Gnome and KDE are big integrated Window Managers and Desktops; when you move to Linux / FreeBSD / Unix you have the potential to get a slimmed down system that does just what you need it to do and nothing more; but the big WM/desktop environments bring you back to the level of complexity approaching MS Windows. Not quite, and better still, but big. And therefore more resource hungry and slower.

I use a slimmed down desktop / window manager environment called XFCE. Provides enough capability without doing too much. Boot time is not an issue for me.

http://www.xfce.org/

Actually what I tend to do is keep a Gnome environment up to date on my box, but I don't use it. Many applications I use have either or both Gnome or GTK2 dependencies. Once in a while I fire up the latest Gnome to see where its at, and a few days later go back to XFCE. Its fast and relatively lightweight, leaving more resources available for the dozens of applications I tend to have running all at once.

* I'd like to uninstall |snip| ...but I'm not particularly comfortable doing anything that requires me to uninstall "ubuntu-desktop" at the same time.

I'm not familiar with ubuntu but doing this sort of thing on FreeBSD is as simple as

pkg_delete evolution-2.4.1

If you install a big "meta" package that installs a lot of sub packages (such as Evolution) you'll get some dependency warnings of course. But generally speaking you can ignore such things, with a little care to what those dependencies might be.

Bottom line: no doubt the *nix way involves more work and learning, but if you like to tweak, unix - once you climb the learning curve hurdle - is a tweakers paradise. You can **tweak a unix box, well, forever.

**Not recommended for students approaching finals, of course.


From: Vancouver Kingway - Democracy In Peril | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 31 January 2006 06:47 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
asterix, I wouldn't delete ubuntu-desktop -- those games are probably part of the base install package for ubuntu, which is why you can't delete them without deleting ubuntu-desktop. They probably don't take up too much room. You should be able to remove them from the applications menu at least.

As for the various audio problems, on my original linux machine I happily used freeamp, but this doesn't seem to have developed much since then. I haven't experimented much with different formats, but my experience suggests that restricted media are where you have to do the most fiddling at first, and also, these tend to be poorly documented by the companies that release linux distributions. The problem is not intrinsic to the linux system, rather, it is related to intellectual property laws, licensing regimes, and controlling customers by locking them in to proprietary formats. Linux distributors can't or won't legally bundle most proprietary formats in their releases, and they don't want to seem to be winking at law-breaking by providing detailed instructions on how to do so, is my guess. So you have to find this on your own. Once you have something set up and working, it should last a while, though, without further ado... until Microsoft, Apple, or whoever comes up with even more restrictive proprietary formats that you want to use. For example, Windows Media Video 10 codecs use digital rights management technology that hasn't been worked around yet.

Other than that, wireless is where you will have the most difficulty, unless you are into serious graphic design or video editing, and can't afford custom software.

For basic tasks, like office documents and so on, email, web browsing, linux is now fine. For watching/ripping DVDs, it also works well. Networking in general has a wider range of readily available tools.

I'm surprised by your long boot time with the network connection. My system boots up extremely fast. In fact slow boot times drive me nuts, especially on Windows XP when people have ten million little startup items. You are using ADSL, no? When I once tried to make a direct connection using an ADSL modem (ie no router), I recall pppoeconf on Ubuntu took a long time. A quick google shows that there appears to be at least one
known problem in PPPOE with this Ubuntu release, which is unfortunate, considering this is a basic part of the system. The problem went away for me when I connected via a router. Whatever your operating system, in this day and age I would suggest putting a router between your modem and your computer. Broadband routers are pretty cheap now, if you don't want wireless. Besides the added security of another firewall layer, they are very good at networking -- do some research first, though -- and too dumb to do much else, like get infected with viruses etc. I have an extra little router lying around if you want it.

You could also try installing the Roaring Penguin rp-pppoe client independently, it might give you different results. Apparently Debian, which Ubuntu is based on, recently integrated pppoe into the kernel and there are some hiccoughs.

[ 31 January 2006: Message edited by: rasmus raven ]


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