Any Linuxheads here? : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread

Give me your opinions - RedHat, Mandrake, SuSe, whatever.

I'm gonna go pick up the Mandrake 8.1 at CompUSA tomorrow.

-- Stephen M. Poole (, November 27, 2001


Thanks in advance, too. :)

-- Stephen M. Poole (, November 27, 2001.

Any Linuxheads here?

I beg your pardon?

-- (, November 27, 2001.

Linux. Linus Torvald's Unix-like operating system for PCs. The OS that powers more net servers than any other. The "in" thing. The "happening" thing. With an X-desktop that looks like this ...

Instead of the Same Old Same Old.

(OK, so I'm a sucker for transparent windows.[g])

-- Stephen M. Poole (, November 27, 2001.

I can't even get Windows to run and you think I should try the new thing? Wait a minute, maybe that's your point.

-- Jack Booted Thug (, November 28, 2001.

Well kind of......I run Macs, and Linux and Macs are simular in some ways and I heard that the backbone of the Linux OS was a blueprint of the Mac OS, given the fact that quite a few Mac engineers got in on Linux.

I'd like to tinker with it though, if nothing else to see just how stable it really is.

-- capnfun (, November 28, 2001.

I AM I AM!!!

My favorite part was when he related the tale about the true meaning of Christmas in that "Charlie Brown's Christmas" special on TeeVee. Of course everybody knows there is no such thing as the Great Pumpkin, but nobody's perfect, so I forgive Linus for believing in him.

Yup, I'm a real Linushead!

-- Uncle Deedah (, November 28, 2001.

Hey, Stephen. You probably already know this, but in case not, the Linuxheads live at slash dot slash dot. If you post your Linux questions over there, you'll get a lot of feedback from some of the industry's best.

-- (just, November 28, 2001.


Thanks. I've been all the Linux sites, Slash.Dot included. The bottom line is, they can't really decide. :)

Serious Linuxheads tend to be programmers, hackers, college students, and anyone who hates Microsoft (heh)... people who don't mind spending three weeks (or months) tweaking a system to get it precisely like they want it. I wanted to see what folks *here* thought, if anyone here had tried it.

I'm a hardware guy, an electronics tech and a system-level programmer, and *MY* eyes glazed over a few years ago when I logged onto a Linux FTP site and prepared to download what I needed. 20 zillion different files. I just shrugged and said, I don't have time.

Imagine if Windows were distributed that way. YOU had to figure out your monitor's refresh rate and vertical retrace interval, for example, or the desktop wouldn't run. That's what it was like a few years ago. While I could certainly do that, I just didn't have the time. (Still don't, not really.)

The new distributions from people like Red Hat and Mandrake are supposed to be much easier to set up (and Mandrake is inexpensive to boot - $29!). They include Windows-like installers that check the hardware for you.

-- Stephen M. Poole (, November 28, 2001.


Way back before the Y2k thing, I posted regularly at MSNBC's Technology Forum. If you thought the doomers and pollies had "wars", you wouldn't believe how ferociously some fought over operating system favorites. Anyway, there were a lot of Lunixheads there. I haven't been in a while, so I don't know the current status. In fact, that's where I got involved in the whole internet Y2k thing. Some of us started talking about remediation and MSNBC started a new forum for us dealing specifically with Year 2000 Issues. [It all went downhill from there.]

-- Anita (, November 28, 2001.

Stephen, didja hear how Microsoft was going to donate a certain amount of their software to schools as part of their court arrangement, and Linux said they would GIVE a whole bunch of software to the schools and Microsoft could donate hardware instead. :)

-- helen (break@the.beast), November 28, 2001.

Not Linux, Red Hat. Still down on electrolytes...

-- helen (, November 28, 2001.

Daggone, Helen. Get better. :)

Thanks, ya'll. As it turns out, the installer for Mandrake is nice ... but unfortunately, it said the only solution for my main Win98 FAT32 partition is to nuke it clean. It can't resize it. I'm going to try Ranish's PRESIZER to resize it myself, then create a Linux partition on C:.

Of course, to be fair to Mandrake (and any other computer company), my home system is anything but typical. I have three hard drives, to start with, each with several partitions. :)

He's long since lived up to his nickname ... "Frankenstein." He's a collection of whatever parts people didn't want or that I could pick up at the local Clone Shop for a few bucks. :)

-- Stephen M. Poole (, November 29, 2001.


Years ago, I was a regular in the Canopus and Dr Dobb's forums on Compuserve, and they had to devote entire sections just to OS Wars. At least that way, there'd be a few sections where you didn't have people screaming, "Windows! OS/2! Linux!" :)

I thought Christians were bad about infighting. Put a die-hard NT fan and a Linuxhead into the same room ... and then RUN.

Fast. :)

-- Stephen M. Poole (, November 29, 2001.

Just thought ya'll should know ... I've got the Mandrake distribution installed and I'm typing this in Netscape for Linux. :)

So far, so good ... I had a bit of trouble with the installation because I had a bad hard drive (and didn't know it!). Windows was simply working around the bad blocks on the drive, but Linux was more demanding. I bought a new drive and it worked fine.

Not bad for a free operating system. It includes several different Web browsers (I chose Netscape because it's the one I'm used to), mail programs, games, and Star Office, which is compatible for Microsoft Office/Word 7. FREE.

You can get it from the Web for nothing, or if you don't mind paying for the distribution on CD with books (strongly recommended), you can get the basic Mandrake or Red Hat distributions for about $30. Well worth it.

Cap'n, *X-windows* does look like the Mac OS's desktop, but Linux itself is "Linus's Unix" -- the operating system itself is based on Unix, with multi-processor capability, built-in networking and all that other jazz.

I like it. :)

-- Stephen M. Poole (, December 01, 2001.


When you say *X-windows* is it a Windows, Linux or Mandrake OS? Or is that a choice of interfaces that comes with the full monty Linux suite?

The last Mac guru I talked with said that Mac OS X had a Linux backbone because of its superior stability and versatility, OS X itself comes in a variety of flavors.

I'm curious if Microsoft has plans on backboning Linux into their OS as well? Info?

Keep us posted on how well it delivers.

-- capnfun (, December 01, 2001.


As a crude analogy, it's like DOS 6 and Windows 3.x: Linux is the "Dos" (the operating system) underneath the Windowing environment (X-Windows).

In other words, you have Linux underneath it all, the X-windows server right above that, and then your choice of windowing environment based on X-windows. I'm using KDE (I didn't like Gnome); Mandrake included several others in the distribution. I may try them.

Imagine if Microsoft, instead of providing the Program Manager (3.xx) or Explorer (95/98/NT) desktops, had simply provided an engine and API for each vendor to make his/her OWN desktop "look and feel." That's what you have here, and I like it. I can make the desktop look like anything I want.

That way, you have a choice: you can start at a command-line prompt if you like that sort of thing, or you can boot on into your choice of X-windows desktop.

The last Mac guru I talked with said that Mac OS X had a Linux backbone

Hmmm. I'm not sure the chronology works out there. The original MacOS was developed before Linux. Maybe the MacOS was based losely on *Unix*, which Linux is also based on. But I honestly can't say; I'm anything but a MacOS guru. :)

I'm curious if Microsoft has plans on backboning Linux

Hah! That'll be the day! :)

Microsoft *HATES* Linux passionately. Their latest press releases call it (and most GNU offerings) "viral" software because of the way the GNU Public License is written. If you derive anything from GPL software, it must be released under the GPL as well. (The Free Software Foundation wrote that thing most carefully; it's quite explicitly-worded.[g])

In fact -- I'm not a lawyer, this is just my opinion -- I think that Microsoft is skirting a very thin line in these press releases. They're basically warning their uses not to even go NEAR Linux or anything else produced under the GNU Public License, for fear that the GPL could somehow be worked back onto THEIR stuff ... and Microsoft has *never* willingly released the internal code for their software.

By contrast, included in my package is 2 CDs with all of the source code for Linux, X-Windows, the device drivers, and most of the applications (including Star Office). If I find a bug, *I* can fix it (Mandrake even include the GNU C++ development system[g]).

I can't even imagine Microsoft doing this, when they want to keep secret the *file formats* that they use for Word and Excel (much less the programs themselves).

I can't get over the fact that all of this is essentially free. (Well, $30, just because I didn't want to spend a day downloading and assembling the files; well worth it. Plus, I felt like I should support them for all that work[g].)

-- Stephen M. Poole (, December 01, 2001.


Allow me to correct myself."The last Mac guru I talked with said that Mac OS X had a Linux backbone" this conversation was held long before Mac OS X was released, the Linux backbone started with X.

Mac OS X sounds an awful lot like Windows x as you describe it, thus my inclination to believe that it is the Linux OS that allows this type of environment.

I am not at all surprised by MS's stance with their OS, I would have been surprised to have learned differently.I suspect that someday this will change, mayhaps not.

-- capnfun (, December 01, 2001.


I''m sure that Poole knows a lot more about this stuff than me. I haven't messed with OS10. My general operating procedure is to never try a new OS until it is out for a year. I don't do beta testing I do have Win 2000 which is the biggest disaster that I have confronted since the 87 quake. I will wait on XP.

I am told that OS10 is Unix based. I run Unix on some machines. It works well but the innerface sucks. I see no reason to go to OS10 until the software is available. Much of my stuff is custom; so I will have to wait. ;o)))

Best Wishes,,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, December 01, 2001.

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