Linux

Setting the record straight on Linux


Here is a good post from a self-proclaimed professional hacker: "Five Common Misconceptions About Linux."

1. Linux is Behind the Times

One comment heard often is "Linux was five years behind XP, and it's 10 years behind Vista!" Well, here are some facts:

* Windows began separating the basic user from the administrator account by default in Vista, over 15 years behind Linux.

* Windows added a firewall in 2001, over seven years behind Linux's 1994 addition of ipchains.

* Linux was the first operating system with x86_64 support, beating Windows XP Pro x64 by two years.

* Windows added an attractive 3D accelerated graphical interface in Vista, a full year behind Linux's XGL.

* Linux's package management system can install, uninstall, and update software from one interface. Everything installed from Apache to OpenOffice and Quake 4 may be updated with one press. Windows has nothing like this on the road map.

Read the rest of the piece at mi80.com.

About

Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...

11 comments
jdclyde
jdclyde

If the common user is not aware of the option, they will always go with the one they have heard of. Much like voting, people go with a name they recognize. They have no idea how GOOD anything is, and their decisions are not based upon quality. In my opinion, the biggest set back to the linux world is when distros don't follow a standard in directory structure for system files making it harder to have a vanilla install of a software package just drop onto any linux box. I have four windows boxes right now that all need to be reloaded due to various windows crashes. (two just continually reboot) Since I have to do a reload on them, they will NOT all end up as windows boxes. Now that school is done (for now) it is FINALLY time to get some linux distros going at home instead of just work.

jlwallen
jlwallen

there does need to be a decision made on the directory structure. problem is, try to find the various camps to agree. i have to admit i am partial to the redhat/fedora structure only because it's what i've been using for 10 years. that doesn't make it the best (only the best for me). what i do NOT like is where ubuntu installs Apache. and as far as marketing goes - well we all know marketing costs mucho dollars in this world. the best marketing linux has is word of mouth. that, unfortunately doesn't sell to the upper brass.

Jaqui
Jaqui

is that in /opt? The silly thing is that the FSF's LSB group keep changing the hierarchy, or else the distros are completely ignoring it. [ why would I want to store mp3s and video clips in /media instead of using ~/music and ~/videos? ]

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

reason to install to /media is that this can be a separate file system formatted with XFS, while you may want ext3(4) for your home directory. While this is more of a video set up, it still shows a use for the design...as well as allowing the sharing of media across users on the same box without compromising the security of your home directory. You can always create a link from /media/pr0n to ~/pr0n for convenience =)

jlwallen
jlwallen

and here is where the masses chime in saying "you can't play games on Linux." it's practically the only argument against Linux these days. as far as I see it, Windows is behind Linux on so many levels for so many reasons. linux is far more flexible linux is far more secure linux is far more reliable to name a few.

tb7777
tb7777

How can i get linux os on a computer that has windows vista

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

and try it before installing it on your system. I prefer pclinuxos at pclinuxos.com but there are dozens of distros, so you may want to look around a bit here at distrowatch.com

djc
djc

more flexible - yes more reliable - depends on the user and hardware more secure - no. Even windows can be made very secure by an experienced admin, if you don't know what you are doing anything can be compromised. This report may surprise you http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/03/ebay_paypal_online_banking/ So linux is responsible for most botnets, not that secure then is it?

Jaqui
Jaqui

that if they looked deeper, they would find that all those linux bot nets are running one of the *buntu group of distros. They butchered the security in them.

ralph
ralph

The phishing *sites* were predominantly on Linux - not a great testimony to security, but then a lot of people with no *nix admin experience put up an internet connected server and do nothing about hardening the OS or even installing the latest patches. A fresh Linux install is generally no more secure than Windows (depending on the distribution). It does suggest the phishers know a good web server when they see one :) However the article did not disclose the OS used by the botnet machines, but I suspect the botnets themselves were Windows machines. (Stop press: http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2007/10/05/linux-boxes-power-windows confirms this)

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