How familiar are you with Linux?

Never heard of it before today
1% (16 votes)
I know of people that use it, but I never have
4% (47 votes)
I tried to load it but never got much further
6% (72 votes)
I am currently using Linux, but not as my primary desktop
30% (335 votes)
I'm currently using Linux as my primary desktop
58% (646 votes)
Total votes: 1116
Carlie Fairchild - Mon, 2004-11-15 16:46.

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10 years with Linux--straight

10 years with Linux--straight-in from DR-DOS--and can't figure out why so many people throw their money away on ms-garbage. Must be the downward spiral, of the United States education system, back in the '70s.

E1 (not verified) - Thu, 2005-03-31 18:27.

Migrating to Linux

I have been looking into Linux for years and not until I got Suse 9.2 I was able to run it more or less constant. I enjoy it (fun having a new toy) I look forward to reduce the computer costs by 50% as I use the same amount of money on software as hardware in the Windows environement. In the end, I look forward to the stability you all talks about.
I have been running Suse 9.2 for around three months and I am sure reading and asking will improve. My relatively new Canon 8000F scanner is not working and will most likely not do, as there are no drivers for it. I have tried several other scanner drivers but none of them works. My 18 months old Pinnacle Pro USB video grabber does not work, nor does the five years old Iomega BUZ.
I knew the hardcore Linux priests on this site will argue against me and claim I have not set up my computer correctly, but the questions over is about ease of installation and how much tweaking is needed. The Dell Latitude D400 tends to freeze when using memory sticks; one of the units tested is an original Dell 250 meg unit. As installed from the orginal Suse 9.2 CDs the computer also hang when using a USB hard drive. Finally, something happened after first time the USB hard drive locked up the PC and from then of Linux will not power down the computer. I have to do that by pressing the button. After downloading a huge amount of drivers and updates the hard drive is now working but none of the memory sticks. The wireless is not working but the Ethernet connection is a dream, no problems there.
In the XPired version of Windows everything works. That does not mean I give up Linux but it is not as black or white as some of the hardcore Linux priests say. We need more tolerance and help, not told that there must be something terrible wrong with us, after all Linux is perfect.

Robotman (not verified) - Sat, 2005-02-12 22:10.

Linux all the way...?

I currently run only Linux (Ubuntu, at the moment) on my desktop and laptop computers. However, I am a self-confessed "tinker" - I love to fiddle with computer stuff (breaking it more often than not!).

Sadly, I don't think desktop Linux has reached the point where I can hand a CD to my niece, say, and walk away in anticipation of a glitchless install. Of course, I doubt I could do that with a Windows CD, either.

Most "normal" folks just don't do OS installation & configuration - at most, in dire straits, they'll boot the "Recovery" CD & follow the prompts. When someone can buy a new PC with Linux preinstalled (& with a "Recovery" CD for disasters), then I'll consider the desktop wars well & truly joined.

Mark Tomlins - (not verified) - Sat, 2004-12-11 19:09.

RE:Linux all the way...?

Sadly, I don't think desktop Linux has reached the point where I can hand a CD to my niece, say, and walk away in anticipation of a glitchless install. Of course, I doubt I could do that with a Windows CD, either.

I have installed pratically every OS except those for Mainframes, you can mention. HP-UX is the *only* still existing Unix I have not installed. I have installed every Microsoft OS from DOS 3.3 on except BOB (Whata joke) and Windows ME (A joke without a punch line).

I can tell you for a fact, in my experience, more hardware now works out of the box under Linux than any of the M$ OS's. Furthermor for those things that don't work out of the box, Linux is just as apt to support it after install with downloadable drivers as Windows. For instance, I have a Lexmark P122 Photo Printer. This printer will only work with Windows 95/98. No amount of coaxing will get it to work under Win2k. Ans that alslo happens to be the only peripherial that I can't get to work under Linux.

I also have an HP Officejet V40 Multifunction printer. Every Linux OS I install detcts it and automatically configures printing and even network scanning capabilities for it. Out of the Box.

Every Windows Install I have done, requries me to load the drivers for this device from the HP Supplied Driver CD. Even then, I can not use the scanner of the network.

These are just two of many examples I could relate. But the are typical of others. If it doesn't work under Linux, It will likewise only work on one or two Microsoft OS's.

More than likely, it will work under linux out of the box. But it will need additional work to work under Microsoft OS's.

I would hazzard a bet, that your niece would be more likely to successfully install Linux than any Microsoft OS.

Also, There is no equivalent to Knoppix and other Linux Live CD distro's in the MIcrosoft world. (No, copy /sys A: does not count) These you just pop in, reboot and run if your BIOS is setup to boot from CD. You're niece would surely be able to handle on of these.

KH

Kevin Huds - (not verified) - Tue, 2005-01-25 12:52.

Advocasy

Mention is needed, here, about advocasy. The major investment in switching newbies over to the stable, virus-free POSIX platforms, is our time. 640+ helpful Linux Users Groups are listed at http://lugww.counter.li.org and most offer FREE INSTALLS and training! Get YOUR FREE liveCDrom! http://knopper.net/knoppix

If you spend one hour per week, 'fixing' MS (Convicted Felons!) Windows, and, you earn $25.00 per hour, then YOUR TCO for any Microsoft product STARTS at $1300.00 per year!!!

Though you can run many Open Source programs and applications on a MS Windows platform, the inherent instability will cause you to lose your data. It is NOT a matter of 'IF', but, it is a fact of 'WHEN' you will encounter an un-bootable, broken MS (Convicted Felons) system! Even Microsoft.com runs behind 15,000 Linux Servers!!!

Don't forget that everything in MS can be reported back to the mothership! Those open ports, able to be hijacked by crackers, are targeted as the reason for much of the vulnerabilities, but, there are lots more weaknesses that prohibit MS from being anything but a toy OS, best sequestered from any networking!

PLUS, being a tech. I find that it is acceptable to users of the MS (Convicted Felons) junk OS to pay $70.00 per instance, for the cleaning of their Microsoft systems, of recurring virus infections, exploits, pop-ups, etc.! There is no permanent fix for the huge recurring problems in MS!

So, I advocate that everyone switch to GNU/Linux, starting with the LiveCD, and enjoy security, money-saving, like they will NEVER have with Microsoft (Convicted Felons, in high courts, on three continents!) products. NEVER deal with Microsoft, convicted Four time FELON! You'll repeatedly regret it!

Get YOUR FREE liveCDrom! http://knopper.net/knoppix
Visit a Linux User Group, on the internet, or in person, near you!
http://lugww.counter.li.org

Patrick (not verified) - Fri, 2004-12-10 08:17.

User-friendliness

My move to Linux was accelerated after I had built a new machine that crashed/froze 10 to 20 times per day under Windows 98SE. However, eighteen months on and I still do not have my Hauppauge PVR 350 working. It uses the iTVC15 chipset for which there are no drivers on the kernel tree (despite it being mentioned) nor my Winmodem - needed for faxing.

Adding Win4Lin solved a number of other compatibility problems but has left me with one serious problem. The compression utility built into my Accounts Preparation program Caseware, doesn't work. Attempts to make it, causes it to delete an important file!

So, what can this new magazine do for me?

Best of luck.

Alan Secker (not verified) - Sun, 2004-12-05 08:20.

Winmodems under Linux

A stand-alone modem connects to a computer via a serial port and internally has all the funcionality necessary to communicate with another modem including protocol selection and detection, data compression, decompression, handshaking and error correction - all handled by the hardware.
Winmodems are designed with part of their functionality being provided by a Windows software driver which places more work on the CPU as well as making the Winmodem essentially incompatible with OSes other than Windows. However, there are some exceptions or workarounds.
Checkout:
http://freewebhosting.hostdepartment.com/g/gromitkc/winmodem.html

Brian J - es (not verified) - Sun, 2005-01-30 17:44.

Incompatibility of some products

I recently purchased, for a friend, a brand new, full function, external 56K modem, for $16.00 (DELIVERED!). Check out http://pricewatch.com

Search in http://google.com/linux for your hauppage PVR-350!
(yes, Google runs on Linux!) I found this: http://www.tv-cards.com/index.php?page=linux

Seems that there are NEW programs out, for your TV card!!!

Ask a Linux User Group to help! http://lugww.counter.li.org

Those cheap and dysfunctional winmodems, winscanners, and, winprinters, are a scam of the consumer! They waste your computer processing and memory resources, slowing your system dramatically!
Avoid them, as they indicate a very cheap level of quality in consumer products!

Yes, it certainly is unfortunate that the quad-convicted FELON (on three continents!), Microsoft, would collude to defraud you with super cheap hardware, on their broken platform. Funny that Microsoft.com runs behind 15,000 Linux servers! Hotmail.com (purchased by MS in ~1997) runs on ~14,000 BSD and Linux servers!

There are lots of video capture cards that run in POSIX compliant OSes, (now numbering over 250!). It is a pity that some hardware manufacturers keep the command and control info for their product a secret, as if it were a 'secret formula'! Proprietary knowledge really is a poor concept, as is 'security through obscurity'.

As soon as they release the info about their product, Open Source programmers write the control program! So, don't purchase any hardware that is 'Microsoft windows' ONLY! Check it out on the http://google.com/linux search!

Patrick (not verified) - Fri, 2004-12-10 09:46.

Linux desktop

How's this: I use Slackware on my servers, and my portables. I don't leave home without my wallet and Knoppix. Of course, Slackware is even installed on my primary desktop... but it's beside Windows. Linux is great; IF you know a lot about machines in general, AND everything about your own machines. Otherwise, go with an OS that is funded and designed to work with ALL "compatible" hardware.

It only takes a few hours to install and "secure" Windows. The day I can do this with Linux, I'm converted. Until then, I'll only use Linux for the heavy and sensitive tasks.

That's what Linux is great for; heavy, sensitive or critical things that JUST CANNOT FAIL! But it's a little overkill for layman tasks.
You wouldn't normally go to your office job in a tank.

--Alex

Alex (not verified) - Thu, 2004-11-18 04:40.

Linux desktop

"That's what Linux is great for; heavy, sensitive or critical things that JUST CANNOT FAIL! But it's a little overkill for layman tasks.
You wouldn't normally go to your office job in a tank."

No, but there are plenty of Hummers in the garage here! And I in my Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab Lonestar Edition HEMI! Yeah!

I only use Microsoft, under protest, here at work. Everywhere else it linux. Even at my Moms and In-laws visting, I pop in my Knoppix, dial my ISP, away I go.

Kevin Hudson

Kevin Huds - (not verified) - Tue, 2005-01-25 13:13.

"It only takes a few hours to

"It only takes a few hours to install and "secure" Windows. The day I can do this with Linux, I'm converted. Until then, I'll only use Linux for the heavy and sensitive tasks."

I have to disagree with this posting. I am an advid linux user, and I will never, ever, ever go back to a winblows system. It only took me a few hours to get my gentoo distro up and make it more secure then a windows xp box could ever dream of being. JMHO but I dont see how one could say a pc running winXP os will ever be more secure then a linux box running whatever distro. If I miss read your posting, then please excuse my ranting.

Cheers

gentoo-gorilla

g2gorilla (not verified) - Fri, 2004-11-19 07:40.

"It only takes a few hours to

I agree with you, gentoo-gorilla, Linux is something Windoze will never. I have a both Fedora C2 + Win2k on separate harddisks, the only thing I use 'doze for is games. Everything else is very well handled by FC2: securely, compactly and cleanly.

Linux took me a mere hour to get completely installed and used; the Windows install? My watch battery went flat before it could finish.

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/blog.asp?blogID=1654&trk=blog
may be of some humourous interest...

Banana

Banana (not verified) - Sat, 2004-11-20 13:45.

I didn't fit any of the choices

First off, I've been using Linux since 1994. That said, some of us are ok with Windoze as a desktop OS, but are diehard Linux fans in the server room. That's where I am. At home, we have several Windoze XP boxen used for desktops, because the darned things are just so ubiquitous. But the "real work" (email/web/file/etc. services) is done by 3 Fedora Core and Redhat boxen operating behind the scenes. At work, I've got both an XP and FC2 workstation in my cubie. In the server room, I won't touch anything that isn't running Linux or Solaris. (Ok maybe the SCO boxes, but I want combat pay!)

I appreciate and respect those that are trying to tame Linux for the desktop and promote it. In the past, I've done that too. Even created a web page on how to put Redhat on a Compaq laptop and get wlan running. (No easy matter, I can tell you.) But sadly, I just don't have time for experimentation anymore. When I can drop a Linux distro on my wlan laptop, type a few things, click a few things and it all "just works", then I'll begin to revisit the idea of Linux on the primary workstation.

-cw-

cwilkins (not verified) - Wed, 2004-11-17 22:32.

Misfits? ;-)

Like you, I didn't exactly fit. I had to pick the "primary desktop" option, but I actually feel that it was not quite appropriate, because I don't use any other desktop.

I made the switch from Win98 in 2000 after I found out that i could get procmail to reliably sort my incoming mail the way I wanted - something that I had been unable to accomplish with any of the Windows software I had tried.

To be honest, I actually do have a Windows installation on my workstation. I use it, when I have netgame-weekends with my brother - last time was about 6 months ago or so.

Ole Hansen (not verified) - Thu, 2004-12-09 16:51.

I can add Xandros 2.0 to the

I can add Xandros 2.0 to the list of 'drop in' solutions as well. amazing how well newer distros work with all kinds of hardware.

Things are looking up for Linux on the Desktop. I look forward to seeing how Tux Magazine will help us even further.

Frank.

Frank_B (not verified) - M - , 2004-11-22 21:30.

Fedora Core 3 is your drop in solution

I am also an avid Linux user. I've been using Linux as my primary desktop for 3 years now. In the prior 3 years I would definitely agree that there was no "plug and play" solution. However, with the release of Fedora Core 3 I believe that solution to now be available. I have an Compaq nx7010 laptop with built in Intel IPW2200BG. Until very recently I've been using the Linuxant solution for wireless on my laptop, because it was the most reliable solution. With Fedora Core 3 I simply downloaded 3 rpms and wireless was working.

With the major hardware manufacturers porting their drivers to Linux, and big name corporations such as Novell and IBM the adoption of Linux on the desktop is only going to increase.

Daniel McCarthy (not verified) - Sun, 2004-11-21 10:32.

Dell Inspiron 5150 Just works

I am an avid Linux fan as well, I even converted my wife. We both have Dell inspiron's mine is a 5150, she has a 5100, I have installed SuSE 9.2 on both of them, everything just works. As for wireless lan, I simply checked the supported hard ware sites and bought two Netgear cards, downloaded drivers using Yast 2 and my built in Lan card. Plugged in the wireless card, disabled the Lan card in BIOS, and the wireles just worked.
I feel linux is getting really close to just working out of the box. I still have a lot to learn about setting up things. But right now I have two desktops, and three laptops with Suse on them, all running fine.

Keith

Keith (not verified) - Sat, 2004-11-20 13:42.

Linux on the Compaq Armada E500

I recently bought a new notebook with one of those Designed for Microsoft Windows XP stickers pasted on it. The ironic thing is that it refuses to boot the Windows XP installer, but works flawlessly with Linux! When I went looking for a new notebook I went to various computer shops armed with a Knoppix 3.6 CD. I bought a 1GHz Compaq Armada E500 (there are other processor versions of the E500) based on how well it seemed to run Knoppix. Out of morbid curiousity I decided to wipe my SuSE 9.1 partition (which I eventually installed and use on a regular basis) to do a dual boot solution with Windows XP. Amazingly enough this "Designed for Windows XP" box just hung after trying to boot the Windows XP cd. I've never been a fan of Microsoft, so it's just one more reason I stick with Linux.

Charles McColm (not verified) - Wed, 2004-11-17 14:31.