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Hey I am liking free O/S more and more

By zlitocook ·
I am a MS system builder and partner but with each update I get a little more p*ssed off at them. I have set up four companys with server 2003, and two with data center. All have XP Pro on all workstations. I have set the Amin. guy up to be able to install and update each workstation by SUS and it worked great until the last update.
Now he gets svhost.exe is using 99% of CPU, and some times wuauclt.exe is doing the same. Why dose MS keep doing this? I posted some thing about the WGA doing this.
Is this some thing new that MS is trying out or just a new update bug?

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where to start, what to avoid, how to decide

by apotheon In reply to I agree with recommending ...

The first thing you need to do when deciding what distro to use is figure out what you're going to be doing. There really isn't a one-size-fits-all solution, generally speaking, though Debian comes really damned close.

If you just want to pick something to learn that creates a "feature rich" user environment for a desktop system with web browser, GUI email client, word processor, and so on, something like SuSE, Mandriva, or Fedora Core will work just well. On the other hand, you'd be better served with something else if you think you'll eventually want to move beyond the status of ignorant end-user and start learning something about using a free unix system.

For such purposes, you should pick out a distro that is relatively standards-compliant, particularly as the FHS (Filesystem Hierarchy Standard) is concerned (since the LSB is really just a "political" compromise designed to make a bunch of self-important nitwits happy). Such distributions include Debian, Gentoo, and Slackware, among some other less-famous distributions. Because FHS compliance appeals more to the technically minded users than to corporate marketing departments, you'll find that FHS compliance is strongest with distributions that tend to target the needs of those technically minded users, and as such the distributions that are most FHS-compliant are also typically those distributions that have a reputation for being suited for the most-expert users.

This doesn't mean that rank newbies are out of luck, however. For instance:

1. Gentoo uses a very involved, complex installation process, but it is extremely well-documented so that if you're relatively computer-competent and are not largely incapable of picking up new concepts quickly, you shouldn't have much trouble getting started.

2. Debian is actually much easier to install and manage than most people realize. It doesn't have a GUI installer, but the console-based installer is very simple and straightforward. In fact, there should be an article appearing on TR fairly soon that gives a step-by-step guide to installing Debian from scratch, quickly and easily.

3. There are spin-offs from Debian that are geared more toward the GUI-only newbie set that can ease one into use of a distribution that is more standards-compliant, flexible, and customizable than something like Fedora Core, SuSE, or Mandriva. Examples include the famous Knoppix and the very slick MEPIS. Ubuntu was also created by modifying Debian, but it's really for people who want to use something like a cross between Windows and MacOS with a Linux kernel rather than people who want to use Linux. In fact, I'd say that Ubuntu is to MacOS X as Linspire and Xandros are to Windows, pretty much.

Fedora, Mandriva, and SuSE all suffer the same problem when it comes to system administration and management: they are all quite divergent from the Linux norm, and all in different ways from each other. As such, learning system administration on one of these distributions tends to be almost useless in terms of positive transferrence of knowledge when you're using a different distribution. Because of the way they tend to change their administration tools from one release to the next, in fact, there can even be problems with having to relearn system administration from one version of a given distribution to the next. These problems are not as significant as they are for Windows, but compared with distributions such as Debian, Gentoo, and Slackware, they are pretty big issues. Even worse, all three of them tend to be pretty ****-poor at documenting their nonstandard utilities. The DrakX tools for Mandriva, for instance, almost universally lack manpages, which not only makes learning the various tools problematic at times, but also introduces some huge problems in terms of feature discovery, since the only way to find the new tool when they're undocumented is to click around in the GUI and hope you find something useful.

Of the three, Fedora is the best-documented, Mandriva has the slickest GUI system administration tools, and SuSE has the most powerful GUI system administration tools, in my experience. Fedora seems like the win, out of those three, to me: it is the most "standardized" of the three, the best documented, and the best supported by commercial software (which is really the only reason I'd generally consider using any of those three anyway -- for commercial software support, if I needed it, which I don't). In addition to this, the wanton violation of the FHS ensures that finding configuration files and executable binaries when you need to do something "by hand" can be an exercise in frustration. The only real upside is that it is at least orders of magnitude easier to accomplish such with these three distros than with Windows, where you'd have to hunt through the Registry (or worse). The example that always comes to mind for me is the separation of network interface configuration into a series of files that are scattered throughout the subdirectories of a scripts directory on Fedora Core, for some reason whose logic entirely escapes me. I got tired of having to relearn the process of configuring network interfaces by hand every single time I wanted to make some small change, in part because it's such a complex process that it is a pain in the butt to try to remember it all and in part because it tends to change from one OS release to the next, and eventually just started using the console network configuration utility instead. The downside of this, of course, is that you then have to re-enter every single configuration option for the interface every time you want to change just one of them. Meanwhile, Debian, Gentoo, and Slackware use a simple, straightforward configuration file format and location, and learning how to use it not only works well for being able to reuse the knowledge the next time on the same distribution, but transfers positively to the other two distros as well.

I could go on, but I think I've typed enough for now.

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The right version is CentOS or Suse

by marketingtutor. In reply to What version of Linux

Preferrably CentOS. You can download the ISOs at:

http://www.centos.org/

In my experience that is the best Linux distro to use. I also like Suse but CentOS is a good one. Its essentailly Red Hat Enterprise Linux that has been stripped of all Red Hat branding and any Red Hat copyrighted material, which is near nil.

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Linux takes some work, but....

by ghost In reply to The right version is Cent ...

I totally agree with the blog concerning Mandriva, Redhat, Gentoo, and the like. Most of the newbies out there are at the learning curve that we all were at months or years ago. It takes a little planning( planning to win, planning to fail and have a good idea of the back up OS you will try next. I have incorporated the use of apt-get in my linux distro. Sometimes it takes a little work to set up, but I found the mirrors that the Yum and apt-get uses are totally out of date. If you want to use GUI and constantly fix problems or bugs, don't forget the daily updates use Windows. The documentation can be as vague as the manpages in Linux. To make a long story short, keep using Windows OS, until you have the Linux concept down. There are tons of books and articles that make using Linux the better choice for intermediate to Expert users. It is a great environment for the newbie trying to understand the big picture. Lastly, there is another alternative, it is a distro made by Transfusion.org (Mepis). They have server as well as workstation for the end users wanting to experience the Linux distro.( No sells pitch )

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Beta testers

by Jack-M In reply to Hey I am liking free O/S ...

We're all unpaid beta testers for MS and have been since Win 3.0. On my home computers it's not too bad but at the customers premises, after the MS salesperson sold a server it's not so cool.

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Free OS

by ghost In reply to Hey I am liking free O/S ...

I have been running into a ton of problems with the windows updates, Autoplay stops working, Longer shutdown of system, etc.
I have had really good luck with Redhat, but Redhat has gone so deep they almost act like windows os (Big Bill)
I run SUSE 10, and have never returned, the only reason I have Windows is to teach and repair systems. Check out what they have to offer; http://www.novell.com/linux
SUSE caught a bad reputation, but I think they fixed a lot of the problems and compatiblity issues.

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