General discussion


pros and cons of using linux

By Jaqui ·
just for fairness since there is the winders discussion.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

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Number one reason Pro of Linux

by jdclyde In reply to pros and cons of using li ...

It isn't Windows.

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Right on!

by komputec In reply to Number one reason Pro of ...

Need anyone say more?? lol

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My #1 Reason - Out of the box Stability

by drubin In reply to Right on!

I develop on windows, but deploy on Linux.


Becasue within my production environment I don't want to worry about rebooting the machine every couple of weeks.

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Linux lousy documentation

by gralfus In reply to pros and cons of using li ...

I know you will say that every command has a man page, but the man pages are very often so terse and nondescriptive as to be useless. And then, trying to find the exact command to accomplish what you want to do can be amazingly difficult.

For example, I posted a question on a Linux forum that went something like this: "If I boot up with the ethernet cable not attached, I don't get an IP vended to me via DHCP. If I reconnect the cable, what command can I use to get an IP vended to me?"

I got a variety of answers, none of which were right. It wasn't until a couple of months later that someone responded with "pump". I tried it and it worked. Why couldn't the documentation for ifconfig at least have a pointer to "pump" as a useful command under dhcp? "Oh, because ifconfig is the manual way to do IP config." And that is my gripe! Getting from point A to point B in Linux assumes that you already know the way, so why document it. Pah!

Even using Google for "linux dhcp" was fruitless. It always discusses the dhcp.conf file, which assumes that I was connected to the network to begin with. It may mention "pump" in passing, but not in a way that describes what it does.

That is why it won't catch on with the general populace, unless a really user friendly GUI is pasted over the top (kinda like the old Win 3.1 days over DOS). The only way to learn the commands is to get a book and go through each one over and over. And then they may not work on the next flavor of Linux since they don't standardize.

Other than that :-) it is very powerful, interesting, and!

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other possible commands

by apotheon In reply to Linux lousy documentation

You could also try the following:

ifup eth0
(where "eth0" can be replaced by whatever interface designator you're using; also, you may have to ifdown first)

dhclient eth0
(ditto above, re: eth0; whether this works depends on what DHCP client you're using, though there are equivalent commands for using other DHCP clients)

/etc/init.d/networking restart
(this assumes that your network services are accessed by a "networking" symlink in init.d; Fedora uses /etc/init.d/network, and there may be variations in a couple of other distros as well, but it's "networking" on Debian-based distributions)

I agree with you, in general, that more hints in the documentation would be wonderful. The difficulty of maintaining such hints as software changes is prohibitive, however, and as such it hasn't yet been satisfactorily addressed (after all, the maintainers of the documentation are volunteers). The documentation for popular Linux software is actually often quite extensive, though at times it's cryptic in form and lacks the hints needed to help someone figure out what he or she is seeking.

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popular linux software documentation

by gralfus In reply to other possible commands

"The documentation for popular Linux software is actually often quite extensive..."

Actually, I have found that with most games that come with Linux, there is little to zero documentation. The game may look fun, but I have to psychically derive how the game works, or just skip it. No help files at all usually, or just an "About" that tells me the name of the game and who wrote it.

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by apotheon In reply to popular linux software do ...

I'm afraid I'm not terribly familiar with Linux games. I've never been one to play computer games much. It's entirely possible that games are a special case.

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Why documentation is poor

by CharlieSpencer In reply to popular linux software do ...

As a reformed programmer, I can assure you it is more fun to write code than documentation.

When you buy commercially developed software, the manufacturer usually has a staff of technical writers. These English majors get paid to write the manuals and .PDF files that are understandable by non-technical end-users. They usually work for the same company as the programmer, so they can consult with him and come close to getting the documentation details correct.

On the other hand, if I develop a program for myself, I rarely bother documenting how to use it. If I make it available to others, I'll provide brief instructions on how to use it, but I'm not going to write a manual for them. I'm certainly not going to pay someone else to write it.

"Real programmers don't document; the code speaks for itself." ;-)

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Not all commercial games have good docs, either

by damunzy In reply to Why documentation is poor

Not all commercial games have good documentation - that has been a big complaint in the gamer community for a long time.

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Restarting Services

by jmgarvin In reply to Linux lousy documentation

If all else fails, just restart the service that relates to what you need.

If you want to use the GUI, don't feel bad about that either.

If you want to use the CLI, there are tons of commands that all will get you in the same ballpark.

Also, if you would have asked your question here, I'm sure one of the linux gurus could have answered your question correctly in a matter of seconds.

Maybe I'm ignorant, but wtf is pump? I've never heard of this command. Is it distro specific?

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