Linux

Why did you make the switch to Linux?

Do you remember what made you take the first leap into Linux? Take the poll and let us know what nudged (or shoved) you toward your first experience with open source living.

Lifehacker.com recently asked its readers why they chose Linux, and published some of the reasons and comments made by users. Of course, I thought this was a pretty good idea, and decided to steal it (with due credit!). I've included the poll below, but feel free to expand upon your answers in the comments.

I'll start by saying that I've been exploring Linux (can't say I've really "switched" since I use both my Windows OS and Mac on a daily basis) mostly just to have one more alternative. I'm not the geekiest person in the word, but I do like to feel like I've got a handle on what's out there and learn a little more about the tools I use. And since my husband keeps up with all the newest tech stuff, I don't want to meet his conversation with blank stares.

Take a moment to reflect on why you chose/tried Linux in the first place. Can you remember back that far? I know some of you have been bashing and forking since the cradle! It might also be fun to recount your "last straw" moment before you downloaded that first distribution.

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...

78 comments
LeonBA
LeonBA

As an IT guy, I'd always felt like I was unnecessarily limited (and potentially vulnerable) being Windows-only. I wanted to get into Linux for years but could never quite get high enough on the learning curve to do it. Finally with Ubuntu 8 I found a distro that was user-friendly enough for me (like you I'm not a super-technical type). And with Microsoft moving everyone to Vista, I now had an incentive. I decided I was never going to migrate to Vista, and that meant finding alternatives. XP was a great option, but also a dead end. I had a chance to spend time experimenting with Ubuntu and, when found that whenI put in an old favorite Windows game and double-clicked on Setup.exe, it opened Setup in Wine--and after that the game opened automatically in Wine when I double-clicked on it. At that moment I realized I could do this. I switched over to Xubuntu a little over a year ago on my main computer and have been happy with it ever since.

RobCorro
RobCorro

And nothing else, originally. It has infected every technological decision I've made since, be it mobile phones or mp3 players (flac preferably). For me it isn't about breaking free from Microsoft; it's about the freedom to do whatever the hell I want with my own stuff. After the initial gripes that come with learning how to use a new operating system, I came to prefer the GNU/Linux distros over any of the Windows offerings. I have an ancient Laptop with 256mb of RAM that boots Slitaz in 20 seconds. I have a fully customised Sidux distro with all the bells and whistles running as my desktop PC. I have a Debian server running in the stair-cupboard, attached to a super massive hard-drive that all the computers in the house can freely use over the wifi, which I'm also trying to make into a sort of Tivo device. The fact that all of the software I need to do all this is free (as in gratis) helps enormously. I think a lot of Windows users don't even consider the cost of their software because many are used to pilfering warez. I know I did. ;) I know all of my friends do, too. I'm not so poor as I once was, so now cost isn't really an obstacle for me. The simple fact is that I actually prefer the applications available for GNU/Linux. I just don't buy any of those "is it ready for primetime?" arguments. My mum uses Ubuntu for chrissakes, and she was never issued a geek card.

danfrancie
danfrancie

Not yet, but i enjoy myself every time i use Linux. It taked me 3 to 4 month to understand this system (filesystem, basic cli command, shell and awk scripting) by using faq and command help. I love the facility with which things can be done and all the possibility to get things done. If you want to learn which or which scpriting language, all come preinstalled with tutorial. So, why not loving this system if you are student where you discover it?

sonicsteve
sonicsteve

Linux to me had been a mental hurdle. I tried it back in 1999-2000 and it seemed other worldly back then. I didn't touch it again till 2005. There were 2 reasons I decided to try it again. 1. I wanted to jump the mental hurdle that I created. In the end I knew it would create more versatility. This leads me to point 2 which really pushed me towards Linux more than even the desire to become more versatile. 2. I had worked with Microsoft products for years, since the days of MS-Dos 2.1. I knew Microsoft well and even quite liked them. This affinity peaked in 2001 when I worked with Microsoft during the release of XP. THEN..... along came Vista. I heard about DRM it's new ultra-restrictive EULA, the massive jump in hardware that was required. These 3 things really soured me against Vista. Then I tried the beta, that is what really soured me the rest of the way.I still strongly dislike the changes to the user interface (UI). They seem like change for change sake. Or at best Microsoft tried to simplify the UI and in process alienated the older users and dumbed it too far down. In conclusion, The experiment with Linux has led to full out Love for Linux. It's more powerful, more stable, more versatile, more configurable, simply better. Very rarely do I find myself needing a microsoft PC, and many people might never find the need.

mjohnson
mjohnson

Digital Rights Management; Windows Activation. Linux winE works.

jdclyde
jdclyde

All of my servers are linux. If they were Windows servers, I would have over 10k sitting there in licenses. I don't do the desktop thing yet, but that is because of time restrictions, not desire. The closest I come is booting to a liveCD of puppy linux.

saraboat
saraboat

MS doesn't try to improve or correct the O.S. faults and problems. They would rather I buy the next "improved, latest & greatest". I've had too many lockups, bloated programs, viruses, restarts, trojan horses,etc., etc. I'm tired of having to use anti-virus software daily and disk defragmenting & cleanups. I switched to Ubuntu a year ago & I haven't missed MS. I do everything now that I was doing before. My wife switched a few months back and she also doesn't care for MS now either. Cliff

Mad-H
Mad-H

I can always been aware of Linux and had been keen to try it (I had used a UNIX server before and knew how much more reliable it was than windows) but had never really had the time. Then, at work, I was asked to set up a web server running PHP as a doc mirror to the US, but wasn't given any budget. So, as an experiment to try and solve the problem (and as an excuse to poke around with Linux), I got a workstation that was too old to run W2K to a decent level and put redhat on it, then compiled apache and PHP. It did the job and actually served up web pages quicker than our normal IIS web server running on a proper windows server. Yes, I know, under heavier load the proper server would have eventually outperformed the Linux one due to hardware constraints, but for our load it was fine. I then set up another web server that I developed on more heavily (also setting up apache/PHP on a windows server at our other uk site because they had no *nix experience, but at least there was some OSS there) and looked at the desktop at home. When I got myself a new laptop I dual booted it Vista/Ubuntu and very quickly found the only reason I used Windows was to play World of Warcraft. I got that working under WINE and so didn't use windows until I tried Age of Conan, and having quit that I now stick to Ubuntu - WoW actually runs faster under Ubuntu/Wine than it does on Windows, which always makes me laugh!

cookspc
cookspc

I switched to Linux desktop in November of 2003. I ran dual boot with Windows 2000 for about a year, but I only booted into Windows 10 or 12 times during that year, usually to access a IE only web site or access some old Lotus Wordpro documents. I switched because of aggravation with Windows 2000/XP. The aggravations were performance, security, reliability, activation/DRM. The surprises that I got were added ease of maintenance and how much better Linux handles multitasking and how great multiple desktops are. A cd/dvd burning application that actually works instead of manufacturing coasters. A system that doesn't have a single point of failure (the registry). I can never again be satisfied with a Windows desktop. I use openSuse 11.0. When I started I use Suse Pro 9.0. I have also used various debian, ubuntu, and red hat distributions on various systems, but what I have used on my primary machine day in and day out since 2003 is Suse.

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

I haven't completely switched yet - making a pretty slow migration of it, but I am getting there. I just got fed up with having to call or connect to the internet to get permission to run programs I paid good money for. I got sick of having to make support calls to fix problems that were nearly always something gone bonkers with the piracy prevention system - something that is giving me no value, but yet I am paying for and fighting with. Just finally had enough.

TransitMan
TransitMan

First, to get away from the behemoth called Microsoft and it's high priced operating systems. Second, having used several different LiveCD distros to gauge which one would suit me, decided on Ubuntu. Third, while security of the OS is important, I don't feel the need to install 5 or more different types of software to protect my OS in Linux as opposed to Windows. That said, my TCO is lower, thereby freeing the cash to do needed, required and wanted equipment upgrades on my computers without breaking the bank on an Operating System that would cry foul because I changed a piece of hardware.

kevinkuhns
kevinkuhns

Lower cost for OS and apps, particularly office suites. Besides, less vulnerable to MS product gremlins, being entirely OSS.

pmuhly
pmuhly

I switched for a combination of your reasons. Initially, my reasons had to do with security, but also I found it frustrating that each new version of Windows required an upgrading of my hardware. But after reflecting on the differences between Microsoft and open source software, I came to the realization that the practices of Microsoft are anathemas to the advancement of knowledge - in this case, knowledge of computer science. I am an academic (mathematician) and have come to the belief that no academic institution should support Microsoft. Indeed, Microsoft's practices are inconsistent with academic institutions' charges to develop and disseminate knowledge. Academic institutions should use only open source technology.

SysAdminII
SysAdminII

Interested in working with security tools and all the utilies were free, plus it gave me more control over my machine and network.

Jaqui
Jaqui

I bought myself a pentium 133 system that came with win 98. walked into a local retailer and bought a boxed set linux. [ single cd install of Mandrake 6.1, 3 cds in the box, one install of os, one of source code archives and one with tools to manage partitions in windows to add linux ] took me 3 days to figure out how to get up and running in linux. Network devices? naw, the system never went online so it wasn't needed. Fancy graphics? nope, took me long enough to GET the gui to work I'm not gonna break it by adding features that aren't required. sound system? no way Jose! not going there, getting graphics system working was hard enough. never went back. now, I get any hardware I have working with no effort. [ including the ubiquitous Logitech quickcam messenger ] but I often don't install sound system, nor the gui system. I'm happy working with the command line, using lynx and mail for email and web, using cat >> [filename]

TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827
TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827

That was the year I switched from Solaris to Linux. At the time, Windows as an OS was simply useless for what I needed. It was really just a bunch of GUIs on top of DOS. It was severely limited. Linux offered the power (and a LOT of heartache in a Windows world back then) that I needed. Now we are seeing the same powerful platform, but phenonimaly easier to use, creeping up with Apple and MS in terms of ease of use, but still on the powerful *nix platform. So, I selected other, it was (and for me, absolutely fluent now) a vastly superior work platform (again, with a lot of geek tweaking required, you do what you have to do). I can't use Windows now, it's interface is alien and totally unintuitive, and at times way way way to dumbed down (for me only) TripleII

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

I still have Windows on 2 machines, but I run ubuntu on a third and KnoppMyth on a 4th, and PfSense on a 5th, Debian on a 6th at the office, and Debian on a 7th at the office (testing stuff). I started using Linux because I was curious as to what this "other" os was. I keep using Linux because it fills some required positions. deepofix makes a good solid mailserver for small buisnesses. Pfsense (bsd really, not linux) is a rock solid, feature rich firewall/routing/nat box that is more then suitable for SOHO, SMB markets. Need a web content filter? Linux. Need a fileserver? Linux. Need a print serevr? Linux. Need a firewall? Linux. So much fun, so much versitility.

rmlounsbury
rmlounsbury

At work I've completely moved over to Fedora 9 for my desktop. I can do 95% of everything my job requires on Linux. For the rest I use our terminal server for a Windows desktop or VNC to the sandbox Windows server. But I don't do that much during the course of the day. At home I have a dual boot Fedora 9/XP system. If it wasn't for games and iTunes I would go completely Fedora 9 at home. I haven't gotten around to toying with Wine yet which may allow me to abandon XP all together. We shall see.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Back in the day when I was a young and stupid highschool kid: - linux could use "interesting" programs that I could not run on Windows. (irc fun) - linux ran BitchX. (irc fun) - better networking support like fixing the Nuke'able tcp/ip stack years before Windows was finally fixed. (surviving other's irc fun) - curiousity; more interesting than Windows which I'd been using all my life These days long past my young and stupid youth: - end user empowering license (I can install as many VM as I like without counting "seats") - repository hosted software libraries for large selections, easy installation and easy uninstallation - higher potential security - true mutli-user - compatibility across multiple machines and form factors - freedom from platform dependent "sync" applications and data file lock-in - versatitility with - in general, allows me to continue my computing while still remaining within (regardless of respecting) licensing It just works for me and supports my needs far better than other options. Knowing more than one platform also makes me far better at my job and more knowledgable about how the machine works.

laolitan
laolitan

I wanted to see if there was any truth behind all the hype. I can honestly say, that although Linux does have a few things in its favour, I'm much happier with windows (Vista).

mwagner
mwagner

I haven't really switched completely because I like running both linux and windows. I like linux because of all that can be done from the command line. Plus the commands are easier to remember and use than on the windows command line. And oh ya its free.

Selena Frye
Selena Frye

One reason I became more interested in open source, in general, is because I became such a big fan of the Firefox browser. God, I hate IE. I still have to use it because it's so ubiquitous, but I could happily never install it again.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

You mention wireless so I mention ddWRT though your likely familiar with it. If not, it may be a fantastic firmware replacement in your wireless router.

zefficace
zefficace

I switched because I really got the impression that my property was getting hijacked by MS. Yes Windows is MS's property, but the damn thing runs on MY PC. Letting MS decide what I could do, and use an os I didn't like much, didn't really appeal to me. Vista was the last straw with it's outrageous sys. requirements, irritating UAC (that you eventually turn off and defeat the purpose), along with what I perceived as more MS spying. I dont hate MS, I just don't like 'em. With Linux, you choose a distro you like, modify it to your liking (it's not hard), and your a happy camper.

jck
jck

I have the laptop...with an external 120GB drive...and i boot from that. I have: Windows XP Home 60GB partition Kubuntu Linux 10GB partition OpenSUSE Linux 20GB partition on that drive. GRUB handles it all beautifully. you just have to go back in, mount your HD, go to the drive defs and change 0 to 1, and 1 to 0 (can't remember the file name...lol) for your (hd 0,0) maps and such. I'm tellin ya...the day I find a Linux that I like as much as Kubuntu that supports my Windows games running natively under the OS via some interpreter...I'll install it on all my PCs dual boot til I get converted...and then send them a payment for $300...maybe more. 8 PCs...for $300...very very reasonable. One PC to load with Vista Ultimate...$300...not reasonable at all. Oh well...damn...lunch never comes fast enough. lol

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I'm up to 8 or so machines with two or three variable builds and another 4 systems on the way. Platform licenses, plus applications to provide the functions needed on top of the platform, plus security softwaer, plus maintenance software.. I'd be limited to one, maybe two machines with the current license fee rates.

kevinkuhns
kevinkuhns

Lower cost for OS and apps, particularly office suites. Besides, less vulnerable to MS product gremlins, being entirely OSS.

john3347
john3347

The reason that linux is still a "third party" os is eluded to with this title statement. I, and the other millions and millions of typical computer users (usually non-professionals), do not want to have to "be more knowledgeable about how the machine works" to utilize it. Just as it is not necessary for IT professionals to know the inner workings of the engine and transmission and all systems in their automobile to fully utilize it, it shouldn't be necessary for a typical home computer user to have to know the inner workings of the operating system and all the systems in in play on their computer to fully utilize it. The phrase "I configured" always accompanies a discussion of how wonderful linux is. I have tried a couple of versions of Ubuntu and a couple of versions of Fedora and I am still a Windows user in spite of all its shortcomings.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

That's the very option that leads to sprawling arguments back and forth.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Use the poll as a springboard for further discussion. What were you using before and why do you think Linux is better? I first tried it five or so years ago. Our department manager encourage all of us to load it on a spare system and putz with it. I really haven't got much past that stage; my four installations have lasted maybe a total of six months. I'm working on building a Ubuntu system that will have to go into production this fall, the first in my facility. I doubt I'll ever switch at home; no reason to abandon XP.

Selena Frye
Selena Frye

I kind of figured that would be a popular Other. :)

pmoverfield
pmoverfield

Simple. I got utterly p****d off with rebuilding XP Pro. It would last maybe a couple of months before gradually slowing, then finally refusing to boot. And this on an Abit KT7A, a MoBo that got good reviews and loads of support (on Tom's Hardware IIRC). My Ubuntu 8.04 LTS has been up reliably for some 6 months now, with no sign of reluctance, and on a cheapo MoBo (PCchips K8). No contest!

alzie
alzie

I had been grumbling about WPA (i dont bootleg but I d like to do a couple of copiez for home puters), and security w/ symantec and mcafee, (dirt effin slooooooooooooow!) I didnt know much about linux and saw an add for xandros. I took the plunge and multi booted w/ xp til i got all the bugz worked out. Liked it pretty much. Then came a new puter and ubuntu - Love! I do keep xp on virtualbox just in case. Now, another new eee pc w/ xandros - way cute! I ll never go back. I highly recommend linux, but admittedly, its not for the faint of heart, and you hafta have enough tinker time and ambition. Thankfully, they keep gettin much better with time. Itll be ready for when M$ bites it.

jck
jck

I haven't totally switched. I can't. The OS doesn't run MS-based games natively...yet :D I agree. I like Firefox far more than IE. I only use IE if a site requires me to do so. Otherwise, my defaults are setup to browse with Firefox. But, I like Linux. I just need my games on/ported to there, and then I'm good to go. Til then, I have to keep gaming on Windows...although I'm considering pulling out Windows 98 again. It's either pulling out Windows 98 or XP to use, or pulling out what's left of my hair lol

alan.schmeelk
alan.schmeelk

Primarily, cost. And my Windows machine(win2k) of the last 10 years went t.u. and my win2k cd was fubar. Choice - spend upteen gazillion bucks for licensed s.w. and hardware upgrades to run the 'new and improved' Windows, or give Linux a shot. So I spent a few quality hours in Linux University getting things like wireless networking up and video drivers installed, (did finally have to upgrade video card, but needed a good excuse for that anyway...). Now I am a contented Linux user, cruising with Ubuntu 8.04. Still in Linux University on many issues, but I am making headway along that ol' learning curve.

RipVan
RipVan

But it took a while to get one going. In 95 or 96 I loaded it, and like many, couldn't do anything with it. I kept installing over the years, and when I finally had it with the kids bringing in virus after virus, I made them switch. But mainly, I hated the intrusiveness as much as the bloat and constant maintenance. I don't want those nosy people constantly checking to see if I am COMPLIANT with them. Screw em, it's my computer...

Gate keeper
Gate keeper

out of necessity. I was aware of linux and its advantages over windows but i just never got around to using it. during my MS computer science I was taking a course in socket programming and the language of choice was c. the prof. distributed a vmware image of ubuntu on which he was going to compile our source code for grading purposes ... that got me started and I have been doing little side projects ever since.

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

in the late 90s, and it got uninstalled quickly. That was out of Curiosity. When Vista Beta came out, and I played with it a bit, I decided to try Linux again (after reading posts from JMGarvin and Apotheon. Then, in my first few weeks, they helped out and gave some suggestions as well. Since then, I am still mostly Win, but I try different things in Linux. I Use Linux often, and prefer it over Win for many tasks. However, at work, I cannot do everything that I need to so I gotta keep Win as my primary..

j-mart
j-mart

I started with Linux out of curiosity, puchased a boxed version of Mandrake 6.5 from a second hand shop, followed install instructions and loaded onto an old PC, was just as easy to install as windows and old machine ran better. Next purchased Red Hat 7.2 boxed set from an auction site, went even better. These early positive experiences encouraged to try a few more, next it was download version of Mandrake 10.2. I purchaesd a boxed Mandrake 9.2 power pack from an auction site and installed dual boot on my main machine and found got significantly better performance with Linux, hardly bothering to use Windows, so I removed it. As Linux gives me a better computing experience for my home needs I have been only Linux for about 2 years, I do have a machine, an old laptop with DOS 6.2 on it I use for playing arround with a couple of vintage pen plotters I have in my collection. I also have 2 vintage Acorn machines that run RISCOS but no windows.

normhaga
normhaga

Vista. Prior to Vista I used Linux on a daily basis but was a Windows guy. Now I use Windows on a daily basis but am a Linux guy. Vista gave me a whole new view.

linux for me
linux for me

I became a system admin of a HP-UX system using version 2 or 3. Windows wasn't around then, just DOS. I have always used a Unix os since then, and jumped on the linux bandwagon early. I use both windows and linux and prefer linux by far.

wanttocancel
wanttocancel

I'm dual booting Vista Business and Ubuntu 8.04. The reason I'm trying Linux because I want to learn more about it. I haven't had many problems with it except finding/downloading programs I use on Windows but that's minor. So far I like it but I've been using it a little over a week now.

RobCorro
RobCorro

Thanks for that. Honestly I haven't tried hacking about with firmware in that way before. I'll look into it.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

Server: MS SQL CAL IIS Server Lic MS Windows CAL (five come out of the box) Exchange Lic Firewall Lic Client: MS Windows Lic AV software Lic MS Office Lic Malware Software Lic The list goes on and on and on and on...The hidden costs of Windows systems are in the licensing and maintenance.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I think you oversimplify for convenience by claiming that all OS based on the Linux kernel force ?I, and the other millions and millions of typical computer users? to understand how there computers work. For you personally, it?s a fair choice to not take interest in anything that requires a minimum of learning. For the millions and millions of users you claim to represent, there are far more variables than just fear of learning. Gentoo, Slack, Linux From Scratch.. yeah, those ones take a bit higher level of knowledge or open minded interest in learning. Back in the day, that was part of the reasoning so that's part of how I choose what distributions I use. Ubuntu, Mandriva, PCLinuxOS.. nope.. you can grab one of those and give it a go pretty easy without installing to your local hard drive even. Regardless of platform, if you have specialty needs, those may dictate what platforms you can choose from. I don?t use a VW Beetle to tow a half ton load any more than I use a pickup truck for drag racing the ricers. Now, if you don?t ?I configured? anything on your Windows machines then I?d like to recommend you research AV and other maintenance and protective software. Consider looking through the options available within each of your normal day to day programs and ?I configured? some of them a little to tune the program to your needs. Do you ?I configured? the desktop and colour themes at all or do you prefer the blue background and grey window frames that ship with the default winXP; or black window frames in Vista by default. The point here is that discounting anything that includes ?I configured? in the discussion blows pretty much every product out there off your list except, maybe, toothbrushes. (If this seems overly harsh, it?s just that ?it didn?t work for me on the first try so it?s crap for anyone but computer science professors to use? so such a tired and uneducated basis for decision making. You also choose to take the reasons I personally choose the platform as factual representation of why anyone should which is also a poor basis for decision.)

rhomp2002
rhomp2002

Iwas getting pretty sick and tired of having to run allthe defrag/anti-malware/anti-spyware/registry clean up to keep good performance on my XP/SP1. I then found a PC mag with a Ubuntu free disk enclosed. I decided to try it to see what it was all about. Didn't even read the instructions. Put in the disk and ran the liveCD. The liveCD ran almost as well as the XP did after I had cleaned it up so I thought I would install it. Read about changing the partitioning, did that and did the install. Worked great and did almost everything I wanted right off the bat. I was already using Firefox and Thunderbird on the Windows O/S so I just did the same things. Not a gamer anyway so that was not a problem. Next decided to try something else so I tried to do a LiveCD with Gentoo. That trashed the computer. I found that the backup/restore disk that came with the computer only worked if you already had a version of Windows installed and that was now gone so I just re-installed the Ubuntu and found that I didn't need Windows at all. Have not looked back since. Now I have a bunch of Linux distros installed that I am playing with and replacing until I get to my final choice. Right now I have 10 out there but see 2 going very soon. Wonder where I will finally end up. I am sure it will be Linux though. Nothing I do warrants my re-installing Windows at all.

Cphase
Cphase

Linux is: scaleable, networkable, secure, and so many other things. I have been running either Slackware or Arch linux for the past eight years and love it. I like the command line best of all. It helps that it is free since I have about six pc/servers running at home. I only use MS at work but only when I can't do it on Unix!

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

A single OS world seems very boring to me. I've also some security software that is win32 only though I haven't tried it against a compatability layer yet. For games, I'm in the same boat. Until hardware manufacturers and game developers break the addiction to favoring a single platform anyhow. Since even the flakey drivers only come out for Windows in gaming hardware, I'm stuck with my dual boot. At least I can tune WindowsXP specifically for gaming rather than have a general purpose install bloating up the drive.

jdclyde
jdclyde

you need to have it set to reload from a disk image everytime, as you can't get antivirus for it anymore. If it loads from an image, then you don't have to worry about infections, and so don't need to run AV software. B-) I run win2k and xp at home, so far.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Those where my first two attempts. I fiddled with the Slack install CD for about an hour without figuring out how to run anything off it or start the install process. I was curious but not enough to keep at that one any longer and the two inch thick book didn't interest me much to read through. Ah, to be a young and stupid high school kid; I had an installed winNT box at the time and it was still shiny and new to me so I kept on exploring that. The second time was Red Hat on a spare hard drive and it lasted about a week of my booting over too it and poking around the command line out of curiosity. Years of Dos taught me that the cli was a friendly happy place. Not knowing the commands or having a clue about X being right there waiting for me to start it up made the install a novelty item; a week later, I needed the hard drive for a different OS (cold swap drive boxes where great). Again, not reading was my downfall more than anything else. A bit later, I gave Mandrake a go (can't remember which but 4.? sounds familiar). This time I got the X gui going with Afterstep and figured out enough to finally hit the catalyst for really starting to learn it; BitchX for irc, Afterstep for window management, Afterstep's simply config file for adjusting the menu.. custom images behind the title bars.. interesting IRC cowboy programs and the venerable Nuke.. it just came on like an avalanche after that.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

That would pretty much be my reason. MS just keeps getting more and more expensive, and intrusive. I can put Win2K on any/as many machines I want. With XP, and now Vista, that's no longer possible. Just exactly what is 'the little guy' supposed to do when running multiple PC's? Looks like Linux (Ubuntu so far) for this 'little guy'.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

If you think in terms of the function you want the program to do rather than the name it's known under on Windows, you should find most of what you need outside of a few specialty items. I don't look for Excel, I look for spreadsheet programs. On windows, that happens to be Excel or OpenOffice. On *nix, that happens to be OpenOffice or GNUmetric.. I thin Kalc also. Any programs you can't find replacements for, post a question here and someone will probably have suggestions. WINE and Cedega or Crossover are last resorts where a specific branded program is the only one to do what is needed.

RobCorro
RobCorro

Sorry. Posted in the wrong thread.

jdclyde
jdclyde

it keeps them a revenue stream. I find it hard to believe that MS isn't getting a kickback from hardware vendors over the system bloat in Vista REQUIRING a complete re-investment in hardware. Remember when they demoed it years ago, they didn't HAVE dual cores and average PC's running a Gig of Ram. I do pay for SuSE SLES.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

.. it blew my mind to upgrade to a 40 meg a short while later. Ah.. the old days when removable drive boxes freed me from the families shared bootable drive. I wanted to raid5 my three 250s also. I mean, what exactly does one backup a 250 meg drive on to? We're way past DVD and CD hosted images now. My solution is going to be a raid5'd NAS home built with Backula I think. At least a NAS apliance with hot-swap drives that I can dump backup images too through a share if I can't put my own monster together in shorter time. After two budget NAS boxes, I can't stand having my mass storage on the local machine. I'm also just inviting a drive failure in my unraided box right now and I've already had to restore and reconstruct the family photo album once. (budget NAS fell off the shelf, second drive burnt out from budget NAS not sleeping it properly.. no more budget NAS thanks to Hammer 2.0 ;) )

jck
jck

yeah, i know what u mean i got 3-250s in my big PC. i have 3-500GBs on the way to upgrade it, as well as a 500GB external. i have norton save and restore 2.0, so i am supposed to be able to make an image to an external with it and restore it from there. plus i am gonna RAID-5 the thing, I think. man...computer with 8GB RAM and 1.5TB drive space. 10 years ago, I was using a machine with 64MB RAM and 20GB of disk space. lol :^0

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I just moved away from thumbdrives actually. My new solution is a very nice little SD card reader so, like it's larger siblings, the "harddrive" is removable and replacable. When this 8 gig SD finally hits it's write limit, I'll slip in whatever the affordable size of standard SD is and restore the backup. It has all my win32 portable apps making it a complete Windows machine less the OS platform; handy when out of the house or making a tech support stop. The ironkey drives would be second on my list of flashdrives since Sandisk's titanium drives have long since lost my confidence. (good casing, bad, bad flash chips) Previous to my reader/SD setup, I was going between the Kingmax trident gum sized flashdrives no bigger than the USB inner plug and Cruzer mini that's barely a little bigger than the USB inner plug. My PDA just got an 8 gig miniSD upgrade which Fanush's boot menu turns into my primary storage rather than the non-replaceable internal flash. I just got a motherboard new enough to have a boot from USB option but I can't break the habit of including a /dev/fd0 yet for booting and liveCD are only for systems I'm not able to touch the drive partitions on. Now, if only the SSD drives would drop in price and increase the size and write limites to remotely the life span of a platter drive. I have three SATA that really need to be replaced with the much smaller solid states rather than putting stress on the connecting cables in there current chassis location.

jck
jck

I might try it with small flash drive, since most PCs now boot from USB too. I hate floppies now...and CD and DVD to boot. Too slow. I'm waiting for solidstate HDDs and movies to come out on 8GB memory sticks. :D

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

So my systems live on in a virtual after life. :D Not sure if it's of interest but I always install my boot loader to a floppy diskette be it grub or lilo. A windows reinstall doesn't eat my multi-boot requiring supergrub to fix it. If I want to have a simple Windows default boot, I pop out the disk and let it go. 1.4 meg isn't much good for anything else these days so it seems a perfect fit.

jck
jck

yeah, that's my solution on 2 machines...2 are totally Linux...3 are MS...one is MS with an external Linux boot drive. Damn, I have a lot of computers now lol :^0

jck
jck

internet protection and virus protection software for it. some companies make their software to run from a file that all their versions can interpret...not just one version to the other. :) I have a 1MB memory stick too!!! :^0

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

I have to say that back in the pre 2.0 kernel days, Linux was pretty tough. It's gotten much better. I think the Mac Pizza box commercial says it all about the direction of Windows.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Heck, I couldn't write my own NIC drivers now. With Red Hat, I used the ftp install diskette image so I always had the NIC by default. It also taught me to do a bare minimum install lest I loose connectivity to the ftp server and have to start the build over again. The rest of the install grew organically off that base build depending on what I was using. I still use startx to manually load the GUI after login unless I'm simply working from the cli and sessions. I probably would have been turned off by the elite snob attitude in the beginning too. Before University, I hadn't considered online forums and had no *nix familiar user's around to ask so it was hackishly exploring the black box in front of me. At University I ran into a few people far more experienced with the platform than I was. By that time, I could work around the elitist attitudes to get a few basic questions answered. Those became the catalyst for much more self learning. The others on TR have provided both a ballast and propellant in that regard. Now, it's just my habit and recreation to keep on learning. There are a few other platforms on my list to try still though the more foreign to win32/*nix architecture, the more interesting the OS becomes.

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

and I got it installed ~whew~. I got X Windows running (startx)(if I remember right). However I could not get my network adapter working. I walked up to the couple of Linux guys there, which kept telling me how good Linux was. I asked about the nic drivers and how to find and install them. I was told that they probably didnt exist and I should make my own. That was about it for Linux for me... Later I was working (volunteering) at a comp recycling center, and the MAC guts (4 of them) did the same thing. Finally, I went and asked them some basic Mac questions -- and was told I should go buy a Mac and figure it out -- same cr@ppy attitude -- especially from those that were trying to convince me to switch. I have a hard time trying to think about moving when I dont know if I can get any help at all! Luckily the next time round -- after Vista beta I ran into Apotheon, and soon later JMGarvin, and soon later a few others. Between that and the more ease of use of Linux AND the attitude change from many Linux users, I have kept with it. Now I am not as dependant on MS :)

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I can understand that pain. Nothing like end user hostile licenses to cause synthetic limitations for what should be legal use. If I'm forced to use Vista in a mixed environment I'll have to go with a dualboot to remain legal unless they splurge and give me a Pro license.

shardeth-15902278
shardeth-15902278

You have Microsoft's blessing to move your VM's around as much as you want... So long as you buy a dozen licenses for your one running instance... Is that really so much to ask? ;)

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

Vista is frustrating because of the backwards EULA. SQL2k8 also has something similar...Hooray!

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

There are a few other platforms it could be but that'd be my first guess for a VM image that shouldn't be duplicated. I can't see why moving it from host to host without duplication would be an issue though unless it's Vista < Pro with it's No virutalization clause.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

It makes life pretty darn easy to port around my production environment ANYWHERE and test it. Is it legal? Nope...Is it what happens, sure thing! How the hell else do I test my prod VMs?

normhaga
normhaga

>"I've been watching, with interest, for two semesters the Vista roll-out within my College District. Ha! It doesn't go too smoothly." I was attending the U of U seeking my third degree when Vista went RTM. About two weeks later I needed a new computer with more ump. I bought an HP with Vista x64 preconfigured. For a few months I was the Vista guinea pig, not only because I notified IT of the problems, but also because after they would verify that the U's system was good to go, I would let them watch me tweak, poke and prod until I found out how to make it work. You don't have to tell me that Vista roll outs don't go smooth.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

figures into everything I do. Fortunately, or unfortunately. Time is also a cost. I've been watching, with interest, for two semesters the Vista roll-out within my College District. Ha! It doesn't go too smoothly.

normhaga
normhaga

It was not the cost Boxy; if I need something, then I get it. The reason was the failure by MS to address the underlying problems of XP, the memory leaks, the slowness of Vista in benchmarks when compared to XP on the same machine, the continually changing environment with updates, and the call home ware to addresses that I could not determine who what was being sent to. I can't say it was the applications because I updated my applications with Vista compatible applications, or replaced them. In the future, I do not see MS changing the current approach until market share compels them to. I have my gripes against any OS you can name, including Linux of any flavor, and I want an OS that just works. MS did not cut it; I could not allow auto updates until tested because they would break something. I spent more time testing updates than I did doing paying work. At least with Linux things are not constantly broken when I do an update. The only thing that Linux has actually broken so far is Mathematica. I simply reconfigure the program. However, lately, even new kernel revisions have not broken Mathematica.

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