Tag: gnome

GNOME logoBy Marcos Aguilar

With the arrival of Gnome3 and Ubuntu 11.04 with Unity, it is necessary to clarify two concepts that are different and that tend to generate confusion: Desktop Environment and Window Manager.

DESKTOP ENVIRONMENT

(GNOME, KDE, XFCE, LXDE)

What a desktop environment does is bring together different X clients and use them to create a common graphical user environment and a development platform. These advanced desktop environments allow X clients and the applications to run and communicate with each other, allowing those applications to perform advanced tasks, such as drag and drop, eg.

WINDOW MANAGERS

(Metacity, Compiz, Mutter, Kwin)

They are X client programs that can also be independent (eg. Mwm). Its main purpose is to control the way graphical windows are displayed (position, resize, move, appearance.) and features (links to the mouse buttons, title bars, shortcuts, focus behavior).

Kwin-> Window manager for KDE. Supports interchangeable styles, which control not only its appearance but also some aspects of their behavior.

Distribution: Kubuntu

Metacity-> This is for GNOME2. It has few configuration options. But in return Gnome2 is highly configurable and allows other operators to install more advanced customizable applications like Compiz.

Distribution: Ubuntu 10.10 and above

Mutter-> This is for GNOME3 (new) not allowed to use any window manager without rewriting code, so that no window manager different than Mutter can be installed in Gnome3.

Distribution: Fedora 15

Compiz-> This is for GNOME-Unity in Ubuntu 11.04. It is the most advanced and configurable manager and can usually be installed anywhere, provided you have 3D acceleration (OpenGL).

Distribution: Ubuntu 11.04

Xfwm-> This is for Xfce. Provides its own compositing manager, the first of its kind when it was released. Supports keyboard shortcuts and its graphics are completely modifiable.

Distribution: Xubuntu

Openbox-> This is for LXDE. Was derived from Blackbox 0.65 in the beginning, but has been completely rewritten and is no longer based on Blackbox. It is designed to be fast and consume a minimum amount of resources while sacrificing some features.

Distribution: Lubuntu

Fluxbox-> It is a minimalist, light and customizable. Its visual appearance is changed from text files. It is based on Blackbox code.

IceWM-> is a lightweight and minimalist. Its main goal is to be good looking and still light. It is configured from text files. The themes IceWM can also be used with KWin (KDE), provided the kdeartwork package installed.

Motif(mwm) -> is a very basic and independent manager. Not to be used with GNOME or KDE.

Read more about KDE and GNOME.

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In this piece I will show how the system usage differs among Live CD distributions running different Linux Windows Managers mainly on distros considered to be lightweight. The first distro we will look at is a bit dated, but it is the most recent Fluxbox edition of Linux Mint, Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox edition, and is a damn fine distro that I must say looks great and it’s fun to use. The next lowest contender in regards to initial system usage is PCLinuxOS 2011.08 Openbox edition. Thirdly, we are looking at Crunchbang 10 (Statler) running Openbox. Finally, for comparison’s sake we also looked at the modern, full-featured Gnome distro, Linux Mint 12. We booted each distro using default boot options, then opened a terminal window and ran the ‘ top ‘ command.

mint-9-fluxbox-screenshotLinux Mint 9 Fluxbox edition

As you can see, this distro comes in at a svelte 536 MB of RAM usage upon intial boot

 

 

 

pclinuxos-openbox-screenshotPCLinuxOS 2011.08 Openbox edition

Next, we see a still slim offering from the PCLinuxOS team which comes in at 580 MB (this distro also curiously only saw 388MB of my 1GB swap space on my HD??)

 

 

Crunchbang-10-statlerCrunchbang 10 (Statler)

The last offering we are looking at today is the latest Crunchbang distro, based on Debian that comes in at a very surprising 815 MB of RAM – I’m really puzzled by that number and I’d love to know why it comes in so high on this test. (this distro also did not even see my 1GB swap space on my HD??)

mint-12-ScreenshotLinux Mint 12 Gnome

To show you what a current, standard distro uses we have included the latest Mint distro. As you can see it is running just past Crunchbang at 869 MB of RAM.

 

 

As you can see, the alternate Window Manager distros really do start with a lower system memory footprint, however that isn’t always the case we discovered by looking at Crunchbang.

©2012 Linux.Bihlman.com

This post proudly written using Firefox on Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox edition!

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default linux mint 12 Menu

default linux mint 12 Menu

So, you downloaded Linux Mint 12 and are excited to try out all the fancy stuff that people have been saying about it. You have your Live CD burned, you boot into the desktop, you click on Menu in the bottom-left corner, see the popular folders listed there, but one seems to be missing– the games folder!

In just a few simple steps, we will show you how to get the Games folder to appear, complete with a nice selection of popular games for the Gnome desktop environment.

Step 1

Click on the terminal located under the Menu:

click on the terminal

click on the terminal

 Step 2

Type sudo apt-get install gnome-games at the prompt:

terminal window

terminal window

Press Enter when it asks if you want to continue, then it will download the games, and all the dependencies, all within your Live environment!

Step 3

Finished! Enjoy your new games, as you can now see, there are quite a few games to try out, for all ages. Here is a screenshot of the final product, that just took a couple of minutes of your time:

Finally, we have games!

Finally, we have games!

Here is a list of the games we just installed:

AisleRiot Solitaire, Chess, Five or More, Four-in-a-row, FreeCell Solitaire, lagno, Klotski, Mahjongg, Mines, Nibbles, Quadrapassel, Robots, Sudoku, Tali, Tetravex

©2012 Linux.Bihlman.com

post written using Firefox on the Linux Mint 12 Live CD!

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Windows XP doesn’t come with a utility that allows you to see what files/folders are taking up the most room on your hard drive.  Don’t fret: sure there are programs out there you can download and install to do the job, but did you know you don’t have to actually install any software on Windows to actually find out what’s hogging all of your disk space? Well, it’s really easy as long as you have a Linux Live CD lying around. In this tutorial, we will be using Linux Mint 12 since it’s very popular right now in the tech world it’s currently leading the pack according to Distrowatch. Baobab, more commonly known as Disk Usage Analyzer, is part of gnome-utils and it is just an awesome graphical disk usage analyzer. You’ll find it on just about all Linux distros running the GNOME desktop environment.

Linux Mint screenshotStep 1:

Fire up your Linux Live CD running a GNOME desktop environment, in this example you will see we are using Linux Mint 12. Then, navigate to: Applications | Accessories | Disk Usage Analyzer

 

Disk Usage Analyzer

 

 

Step 2:

Here you will see Disk Usage Analyzer, and since we are in a Live environment, it defaults to the Live CD environment as shown on the right. Click on the green “Scan a folder” icon.

 

Choose filesystemStep 3:

Choose your hard drive listed on the left side. It will be the item that mostly likely has a size listed in GigaBytes – In this case it’s my 39 GB Filesystem. Then click Open in the bottom-right corner. If you have multiple hard drives they will be listed here as well.

 

Windows filesystem displayedStep 4:

After the filesystem is scanned, it displays the top folders on the left in list form, also graphically on the right side, showing color-coded comparisons of each folder. You can also view it as a treemap chart if you choose.

 

 

Hopefully this tutorial will give you some ideas on how even if you don’t use Linux as your daily operating system, you can take take advantage of some of the unique capabilities you gain by at least having a little Linux at your disposal!

© 2011 Linux.Bihlman.com

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By Richard Hove

One huge advantage of Linux is it’s flexibility. Different pieces of open source software can be put together in order to make it work on certain types of hardware. One graphical user interface that is good for older hardware is Fluxbox. It Linux Mint Fluxboxuses so little resources that even a machine that is nearly 10 years old can run it well. The problem is that very few distributions actually have a Fluxbox edition. Linux Mint 8 has now come out with their Fluxbox edition meaning it’s one of the most modern and up to date versions of Linux that is using Fluxbox.

Linux Mint is a distribution that is based on Ubuntu. There are a few differences. First, it looks better than Ubuntu. Instead of the brown and orange colors, it uses greens and blacks to create a pretty slick looking desktop. It also comes with proprietary plugins already installed like Flash and Java as well as the codex that you will need to play certain music formats on your computer. While you can install these manually with Ubuntu, Mint has it done when you install the distribution.

Fluxbox can be added onto any Linux distribution. The problem is that you will have to configure it to work well. While this can be done by expert users, newer users have a hard time knowing all the pieces that you will need to make it work properly. Linux Mint 8 Fluxbox has all this already done for you setting it up so that everything works that way you need it to.

While it is made for older hardware, you might not be a huge fan of interfaces like Gnome and KDE. Fluxbox and XFCE are some popular alternatives to these. The advantage of Fluxbox is that it’s so simple that it doesn’t get in the way like other interfaces tend to do. You can use this edition even on a high power machine if that is something you want.

The author has developed a website dedicated to the Excalibur food dehydrator of which he is a big fan. He uses the Excalibur 2900 dehydrator. Take a look at his site for some great deals and a guide to buying one.

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By David Childers

The use of the text based command line for running applications or configuring computer systems can be a daunting task. Special commands must be used which may require additional modifiers to invoke the desired computer function. Both Desktop Environments and Windows Mangers provide a graphical method for users to control and configure a Unix operating system, without the need for using text based command line control. Graphical user interfaces eliminate the tedious memorization of text based commands.

Desktop environments are graphic interfaces that provide user control and configuration of a computer operating system in addition to installed applications. The graphic interface generally consist of menus, icons and background desktop images. It also allows users to manipulate items with the drag and drop function or use the point and click function to execute applications on the desktop itself.

The following are Open Source / Free Desktop Environment packages for the Unix operating systems. (Linux, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and Solaris)

These desktop environments provide users with the ability to utilize software developed with various computer languages, and the ability to utilize the software on different computer hardware configurations.

kde logoKDE is based on the Qt 4 programming language and allows applications to be integrated within the desktop. KDE uses the KWin window manager.

 

gnome logoGNOME is based on the GTK+ programming language and allows applications to be integrated within the desktop. Gnome uses the Metacity window manager.

 

xfce logoXFCE is based on the the GTK+ programming language. Xfce uses the Xfwm window manager.

 
lxde logoLXDE does not have applications integrated into the desktop. LXDE uses the Openbox window manager.

 

The X window manager is an application that controls the function of the X Window System. It can be configured to manage the visual appearance of display windows and control panels. The X window manager also controls how users interact with these graphical interfaces.

The X Window System provides the system resources and software components necessary for the creation of graphical user interfaces (Windows Managers and Desktop Environments).

The following are the most common Open Source / Free Window Manager packages for the Unix operating systems : Linux, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and Solaris.

These window managers provide users with the ability to utilize the software on different computer hardware configurations and provide various visual appearance.

- Blackbox is written in C++. It offers support for multiple workspaces.

- Fluxbox is based on Blackbox 0.61.1. It offers minimal support for graphical icons.

- Openbox was originally based on Blackbox 0.65.0. It allows users to utilize applications without a full desktop environment installed.

- Enlightenment can be used as a substitute for a complete desktop environment.

- IceWM was written in C++. It can be configured to recreate the visual appearance of various desktop environments.

- Window Maker provides drag and drop user control in addition to supporting multiple workspaces.

- Sawfish is written with a scripting language that is similar to Lisp. It provides very basic features.

- Metacity is written in GTK+. It was created for use with the Gnome Desktop Environment.

- MWM is based on the Motif toolkit. It does not support desktop icons or multiple workspaces.

- FVWM is based on TWM. It provides the ability to display a 3D visualization ( similar to MWM ) and supports basic multiple workspace.

- AfterStep was originally based on FVWM and was designed to provide a NextStep themed appearance.

- CTWM is based on TWM. It provides rudimentary GNOME desktop support and multiple workspaces.

Text based command line configuration and control can provide a comprehensive method for daily computer management and operation. Unfortunately, users are required to know the necessary unique commands and their unique structure that must be used. Graphical user interfaces alleviate that requirement and make the use of a computer both simple and effective.

You can find more information about these software applications here: http://www.scenicradio.com/unix.htm

Dave Childers is a freelance Internet broadcast consultant, writer and webmaster of http://www.scvi.net – The Winamp TV, NullSoft Video information website.

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Using Gnome Do – Quickly and Easy Launch Applications

By D. P. Robinson

Gnome Do is an add on that you can use with the Gnome graphical user interface. In design it’s very similar to Mac OSX’s quicksilver. It will allow you to quickly launch applications, run terminal commands and do searches both within your desktop as well as on the internet.

One of the fascinating things about technology, and especially technology that relates to computers and software, is that you are continuously expanding the number of tools you have, as well as increasing the amount of information your are producing. This is the age of information, but that is just a short step away from information overload and this is why tools that help you find, administer and easily use both the information you need and the applications to run it, are essential. The down side of all this technology advance is that keeping tabs on all you do, all you produce and all that you need, becomes more and more difficult. This where tools like Gnome Do come to the rescue as they have been developed with the idea of making life easier – and we can all do with a bit of that.

Gnome Do comes with an extensive set of plugins to help you perform many tasks and manage applications including use as search tool, music player, file browser, dictionary, file organizers and many more.

To get Gnome Do check with your distributions repositories. If using Gnome on your distribution, it’s highly likely that the Gnome Do package will be there. It is in the Ubuntu and Debian repositories if you can’t find them elsewhere.

Once installed, you are ready to go. The default to bring up the Gnome Do interface once it’s open is to use the “Windows Key” + Space. There is an option to make this whatever you want since some older computers do not have the “Windows” or Super key.

Once you hit the keyboard shortcut, just start typing. If you hit G, applications that have a G in their title will start showing up. You can also type in the type of application you want. If you type in Browser, your web browser regardless of it’s name will show up. Eventually you will get so fast with keyboard shortcuts, you will be launching applications this way as opposed to point and click.

It also has a few other features. You have the option of typing in a phrase and searching from different popular websites. You can type up some thoughts then copy it to be pasted elsewhere. You can even put in mathematical expressions and use Gnome Do as a quick and easy calculator.

D.P. Robinson enjoys writing about the outdoors, camping and outdoor cooking stove, amongst other things. His latest site provides information and resources on Outdoor Stoves.

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What Is Ubuntu?

What Is Ubuntu?

By Roharme D

Ubuntu is an easy version of Linux. It is not windows,but it is almost user friendly like windows. No all applications have graphical interface. Many applications force users to use commands to run them.Commands are mandatory to work with Linux and Ubuntu is not an exception.

Useful Commands:

* apt-get – Call Advanced Packaging Tool.

* clear – Clears terminal screen

* cat [filename] – Opens the file in terminal

* cat > [filename] – Createsa file with name mentioned

* chmod – Change the mode of a file to read, write, execute, extract etc.

* gedit – Opens gnome editor

* gksudo [program name] – Open graphic interface of an application with administrator

* install – Install a package or a component

* pon – Trigger a dsl-connection

* poff – Turn of a dsl-connection

* plog -PPPOE Log file.

* sudo -To become an administration for that particular transaction / terminal session alone.

* privileges.

* synaptic – Open package installer

* vi – Opens VI editor

Installing a software:

Ubuntu does not support direct executable files. You will either be provided with a compiled object that can be installed as such or the complete source code itself. In case of source code, it must be compiled first to proceed with the installation. There is no fixed way to compile the code. It depends upon the language in which the software has been written.

Fully compiled software will have standard extensions which Ubuntu understands by their extension.Some standard file type are

*.run – These files types must be executed with shell command as

* sh.run

*.deb – Deb is the abbreviated form of Debian packages. These packages can be installed right away by double clicking.It opens itself in package installer.

*.bin – These are standard binary files. They might be locked sometimes. They must be provided privileges before executing. The privileges can be changed by the command chmod with the switch +x.To install the software, use the command./[FILENAME].bin (note the dot in the beginning)

There are many other ways of installing a software.

Synaptic Manager:

This is a built-in Ubuntu installer. Ubuntu, keeps track of many useful and popular packages. They are indexed in the synaptic manager. You can install the software using the synaptic manager, if the software is listed in it.

To start synaptic manager, use the command sudo synaptic

Application Package Tool:

APT is one of the typical features of Ubuntu. There are plenty of software and utilities that can directly be installed in your system without having a downloaded soft copy. Just naming the package would suffice. Some famous package that can be installed with APT are

sudo apt-get install sun-java6-sdk sudo apt-get install xmms sudo apt-get install vlc sudo apt-get install mvn sudo apt-get install ant sudo apt-get install svn

Almost all applications can be opened using a command line. Command line version of software are faster than graphic interface as they occupy less memory.This could be a handy guide for beginners. But this is just a piece of Ubuntu. There are many things are there to be learnt to play with Ubuntu.

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Differences Between Linux And Windows
By Matt Gebhardt

This article will discuss the differences between the Linux and Windows operating software; we discuss some of the pro’s and con’s of each system.

tux-100x100Let us first start out with a general overview of the Linux operating system. Linux at its most basic form is a computer kernel. The Kernel is the underlying computer code, used to communicate with hardware, and other system software, it also runs all of the basic functions of the computer.

The Linux Kernel is an operating system, which runs on a wide variety of hardware and for a variety of purposes. Linux is capable of running on devices as simple as a wrist watch, or a cell phone, but it can also run on a home computer using, for example Intel, or AMD processors, and its even capable of running on high end servers using Sun Sparc CPU’s or IBM power PC processors. Some Linux distro’s can only run one processor, while others can run many at once.

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Common uses for Linux include that of a home desktop computing system, or more commonly for a server application, such as use as a web server, or mail server. You can even use Linux as a dedicated firewall to help protect other machines that are on the same network.

imagesA programmer student named Linus Torvalds first made Linux as a variant of the Unix operating system in 1991. Linus Torvalds made Linux open source with the GNU (GPL) (General Public License), so other programmers could download the source code free of charge and alter it any way they see fit. Thousands of coders throughout the world began downloading and altering the source code of Linux, applying patches, and bug fixes, and other improvements, to make the OS better and better. Over the years Linux has gone from a simple text based clone of Unix, to a powerful operating software, with full-featured desktop environments, and unprecedented portability, and a variety of uses. Most of the original Unix code has also been gradually written out of Linux over the years.

As a result of Linux being open source software, there is no one version of Linux; instead there are many different versions or distributions of Linux, that are suited for a variety of different users and task. Some Distributions of Linux include Gentoo, and Slackware, which due to the lack of a complete graphical environment is best, suited for Linux experts, programmers, and other users that know their way around a command prompt. Distributions that lack a graphical environment are best suited for older computers lacking the processing power necessary to process graphics, or for computers performing processor intensive task, where it is desirable to have all of the system resources focused on the task at hand, rather than wasting resources by processing graphics. Other Linux distributions aim at making the computing experience as easy as possible. Distributions such as Ubuntu, or Linspire make Linux far easier to use, by offering full-featured graphical environments that help eliminate the need for a command prompt. Of course the downside of ease of use is less configurability, and wasted system resources on graphics processing. Other distributions such as Suse try to find a common ground between ease of use and configurability.

“Linux has two parts, they include the Kernel mentioned previously, and in most circumstances it will also include a graphical user interface, which runs atop the Kernel” reference #3. In most cases the user will communicate with the computer via the graphical user interface. (ref #6) Some of the more common graphical environments that can run on Linux include the following. The KDE GUI (Graphical user interface). Matthias Ettrich developed KDE in 1996. He wanted a GUI for the Unix desktop that would make all of the applications look and feel alike. He also wanted a desktop environment for Unix that would be easier to use than the ones available at the time. KDE is a free open source project, with millions of coders working on it throughout the world, but it also has some commercial support from companies such as Novell, Troltech, and Mandriva. KDE aims to make an easy to use desktop environment without sacrificing configurability. Windows users might note that KDE has a similar look to Windows. Another popular GUI is (ref #7) GNOME. GNOME puts a heavy emphasis on simplicity, and user ability. Much like KDE GNOME is open source and is free to download. One notable feature of GNOME is the fact that it supports many different languages; GNOME supports over 100 different languages. Gnome is license under the LGPL license (lesser general public license). The license allows applications written for GNOME to use a much wider set of licenses, including some commercial applications. The name GNOME stands for GNU Network object model environment. GNOME’s look and feel is similar to that of other desktop environments. Fluxbox is another example of a Linux GUI. With less of an emphasis on ease of use and eye candy, Fluxbox aims to be a very lightweight, and a more efficient user of system resources. The interface has only a taskbar and a menu bar, which is accessed by right clicking over the desktop. Fluxbox is most popular for use with older computers that have a limited abundance of system resources.

Although most Linux distributions offer a graphical environment, to simplify the user experience, they all also offer a way for more technically involved users to directly communicate with the Kernel via a shell or command line. The command line allows you to run the computer without a GUI, by executing commands from a text-based interface. An advantage of using the command prompt is it uses less system resources and enables your computer to focus more of its energy on the task at hand. Examples of commands include the cd command for changing your directory, or the halt command for shutting down your system, or the reboot command for restarting the computer ect.

Now that we are more familiar with the Linux operating system, we can note the many ways in which Linux differs from the worlds most popular OS, Microsoft Windows. From this point forward we will discuss some of the more prominent ways in which Linux deferrers from Windows.

Windows_7For starters there is only one company that releases a Windows operating system, and that company is Microsoft. All versions of Windows, weather Windows XP Home, Business, or Vista, all updates, security patches, and service patches for Windows comes from Microsoft. With Linux on the other hand there is not one company that releases it. Linux has millions of coders and companies throughout the world, volunteering their time to work on patches, updates, newer versions, and software applications. Although some companies, charge for TECH support, and others charge for their distribution of Linux, by packaging it with non-free software, you will always be able to get the Linux Kernel for free, and you can get full-featured Linux desktops with all the necessary applications for general use, for free as well. The vendors that charge money for their distribution of Linux are also required to release a free version in order to comply with the GPL License agreement. With Microsoft Windows on the other hand you have to pay Microsoft for the software, and you will also have to pay for most of the applications that you will use.

Windows and Linux also differ on TECH support issues. Windows is backed by the Microsoft Corporation, which means that if you have an issue with any of their products the company should resolve it. For example if Microsoft Windows is not working right, then you should be able to call Microsoft and make use of their TECH support to fix the issue. TECH support is usually included with the purchase of the product for a certain amount of time, maybe a two year period, and from there on you may be charged for the service. Although IBM backs their Linux products, for the most part if you use Linux you are on your own. If you have a problem with Ubuntu Linux you cannot call Ubuntu and expect any help. Despite the lack of professional help, you can however receive good TECH advice, from the thousands or millions of Linux forums that are on the web. You ca also get great help from social networking sites such as Myspace, by posting questions in the many Linux groups. You can usually receive responses for your questions in a matter of hours form many qualified people.

Configurability is another key difference between the two operating software’s. Although Windows offers its control panel to help users configure the computer to their liking, it does not match the configuring options that Linux provides especially if you are a real TECH savvy user. In Linux the Kernel is open source, so if you have the know how, you can modify it in virtually any way that you see fit. Also Linux offers a variety of Graphical environments to further suit your needs. As mentioned earlier Linux is capable of running full-featured graphical environments like KDE, or more lightweight and resource friendly GUI’s like Fluxbox, or Blackbox, to suit users with older computers. There are also versions of Linux that are designed to emulate the Windows look and feel as closely as possible. Distributions such as Linspire are best suited for users that are migrating over from the Windows world. There are also distributions that include no graphical environment at all to better suit users that need to squeeze out all of the computing power that they can get for various computing activities, and for users that are more advanced than others. All of this configurability can be problematic sometimes, as you will have to make a decision on which desktop is right for you, and to make things easier on yourself you will need to only install applications that are native to your distribution and graphical environment.

(ref #1) The cost effectiveness of Linux is another way it separates itself from Windows. For home use Linux is cheap and in most cases completely free, while Windows varies in cost depending on which version you buy. With Linux most of the applications will also be free, however for Windows in the majority of cases you are suppose to pay for the applications. For most cases, with Linux there is no need to enter a product activation key when performing an installation, you are free to install it on as many computers as you’d like. With Windows you are only allowed to install it on one computer and Microsoft uses product activation software to enforce this rule. When installing Window’s you must enter a product activation key, which will expire after so many uses. If you wish too, you can purchase Linux from a variety of vendors, which will include a boxed set of CDs, Manuals, and TECH support for around 40-130$. Of course If you purchase a high-end version of Linux used for servers it may cost any where from 400$- 2000$. “In 2002 computer world magazine quoted the chief technology architect at Merrill Lynch in New York, as saying “the cost of running Linux is typically a tenth of the cost of running Unix or Windows alternatively.” (ref#1)

(ref #1) Installation of Windows is generally easier, than installing Linux. “With Windows XP there are three main ways to install. There is a clean install, in which you install Windows on a blank hard drive. There is also an upgrade install, in which you start with an older version of Windows and “upgrade” to a newer one. An advantage of upgrading is that all of the files on the older system should remain intact throughout the process. You can also perform a repair install, in which case you are installing the same version of Windows on top of itself in order to fix a damaged version of Windows. There is also a recovery, which Technically is not an install; it is used to restore a copy of Windows back to its factory settings. The disadvantage of recovering Windows is the fact that you will loose all of your data, which resides on the damaged copy of Windows.” (ref#1) Also with Windows you can rest assured that your hardware will most likely be supported by the operating software, although this is not much of a problem with Linux you cant be sure if Linux will support all of your hardware. With Linux installation varies greatly from Distro to Distro. You may be presented with a graphical installer or it may be a text-based installer, these variations make Linux a bit more difficult and unpredictable to install than is Windows, (although the difficulty is disappearing). You may perform a clean install of Linux or dual boot it, to co-exist with another operation software. With Linux rather than having to buy an upgrade Cd, you can install updates by downloading and then installing them while your desktop is running. With Linux it is also not necessary to reboot your computer after most upgrades, It is only necessary to reboot after an upgrade to the kernel. It is also possible to run Linux without ever needing to install it on a hard drive; there are many distributions of Linux that will allow you to run it straight off of a live cd. The advantage of this is that you do not need to alter your system in order to try Linux. You can run Linux off of the CD so you do not have to damage your Windows partition. Other advantages include the ability to rescue a broken Linux system. If your Linux computer will not boot, then you may insert a live cd and boot off it, so you can repair the damaged version of Linux. Also you may use a Linux live cd to recover files from a damaged Windows computer that will no longer boot up. Since Linux is capable of reading NTFS files you may copy files form a Windows computer to a USB flash drive or floppy drive etc.

Another major difference between Linux and Windows is the applications that you will use with either OS. Windows includes a much wider abundance of commercially backed applications than does Linux. It is much easier to find the software that you are looking for with Windows than it is with Linux, because so many software vendors make their products compatible with Windows only. With Linux you will for the most part be forced to let go of the familiar applications that you have grown accustomed to with Windows, in favor of lesser-known open source apps that are made for Linux. Applications such as Microsoft office, Outlook, Internet Explorer, Adobe Creative suite, and chat clients such as MSN messenger, do not work natively with Linux. Although with Linux you can get Microsoft office and Adobe creative suite to work using software from codeWeavers called cross Over Office. Instead of using these applications you will need to use Linux apps such as open office, The Gimp Image Editor, The ThunderBird email client, Instead of the MSN messenger you can use the GAIM messenger, and you can use Firefox as your web browser. Also with Linux it can be difficult to install software even if it is made for Linux. This is due to the fact that Linux has so many different versions. Software that is made to install on one version probably will require some configuration in order to install on another version. An example would be if you were trying to install software that was made for the KDE graphical environment, on the GNOME GUI, This app would not easily install on the GNOME GUI, and would require some configuring on your part to successfully install it.

The type of hard ware that Linux and windows runs on also causes them to differ. Linux will run on many different hardware platforms, from Intel and AMD chips, to computers running IBM power Pc processors. Linux will run on the slowest 386 machines to the biggest mainframes on the planet, newer versions of Windows will not run on the same amount of hardware as Linux. Linux can even be configured to run on apples, Ipod’s, or smart phones. A disadvantage of Linux is when it comes to using hardware devices such as Printers, Scanners, or Digital camera’s. Where as the driver software for these devices will often be easily available for Windows, with Linux you are for the most part left on your own to find drivers for these devices. Most Linux users will find comfort in the fact that drivers for the latest hardware are constantly being written by coders throughout the world and are usually very quickly made available.

(ref #1) One of the most notable differences between the two operating software’s is Windows legendary problems with malicious code, known as Viruses and Spy ware. Viruses, Spy-ware and a general lack of security are the biggest problems facing the Windows community. Under Windows Viruses and Spy-ware have the ability to execute themselves with little or no input from the user. This makes guarding against them a constant concern for any Windows user. Windows users are forced to employ third party anti virus software to help limit the possibility of the computer being rendered useless by malicious code. Anti virus software often has the negative side effect of hogging system resources, thus slowing down your entire computer, also most anti virus software requires that you pay a subscription service, and that you constantly download updates in order to stay ahead of the intruders. With Linux on the other hand problems with viruses are practically non-existent, and in reality you do not even need virus protection for your Linux machine. One reason why Viruses and Spy-ware are not a problem for Linux is simply due to the fact that there are far fewer being made for Linux. A more important reason is that running a virus on a Linux machine is more difficult and requires a lot more input from the user. With Windows you may accidentally run and execute a virus, by opening an email attachment, or by double clicking on a file that contains malicious code. However with Linux a virus would need to run in the terminal, which requires the user to give the file execute permissions, and then open it in the terminal. And in order to cause any real damage to the system the user would have to log in as root, by typing a user name and password before running the virus. Foe example to run a virus that is embedded in an email attachment the user would have to, open the attachment, then save it, then right click the file and chose properties form the menu, in properties they can give it execute permissions, they would then be able to open the file in the terminal to run the virus. And even then the user would only be able to damage his or her home folder, all other users data will be left untouched, and all root system files would also remain untouched, because Linux would require a root password to make changes to these files. The only way the user can damage the whole computer would be if he or she logged in as root user by providing the root user name and password to the terminal before running the virus. Unlike Windows in Linux an executable file cannot run automatically, It needs to be given execute permissions manually this significantly improves security. In Linux the only realistic reason you would need virus protection is if you share files with Windows users, and that is to protect them not you, so you are not to accidentally pass a virus to the Windows computer that you are sharing files with.

The above was a general over view of some differences between the Windows operating system, and Linux. To recap we started with the fact that Windows has only one vendor that releases the software, while Linux comes from millions of different coders throughout the world. We also commented on the fact that the Linux Kernel and much of the applications used with it are completely free of charge, where as with windows you are forced to pay for most of the software. Unlike Widows Linux is often lacking in professional Tech support, and Linux users are often left on their own to solve Technical issues. Linux users can either pay for Tech support or rely on the many Linux Forums and groups available on the Internet. Due to the fact that the kernel is open source, Linux has a huge advantage over Windows in configurability. You can configure Linux to run almost any way you see fit by manipulating the Kernel. Installing the Windows Operating software and applications is easier due to the fact that it has a universal installer. Also finding applications for Windows is easier because of its popularity most apps are available for Windows only, and are made easily available. Linux will run on a greater variety of hard ware than does Windows, from mainframe super computers running multiple IBM Power PC Chips, to a small laptop running an AMD processor. And of course the biggest difference in this writer’s opinion is the fact that Linux does not suffer from an onslaught of Viruses and other malicious code, unlike Windows which is plagued by countless number of malicious code that can easily destroy your system if not properly guarded against.

In conclusion we will conclude that the Linux OS really is the superior software. Other than a few minor nuisances, linux out performs Windows in most categories. The fact that Linux is more secure is the tipping point, that tilts the scales in the favor of Linux. Windows simply suffers from far to many security vulnerabilities for it to be considered the better over all desktop environment.

References

michaelhorowitz.com/Linux.vs.Windows.html Reference #1

theinquirer.net/en/inquirer/news/2004/10/27/linux-more-secure-than-windows-says-study Reference #2

linux.com/whatislinux/ reference number 3

.linux.org/info/

Reference #4

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux%5Fkernel Reference #5

/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KDE Reference #6

/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNOME Reference #7

http://www.alinuxworld.com i wrote this article for part of a final project for my unix class while in college. i also run a linux website at the following url http://www.alinuxworld.com

<p>Increase your profit with an efficient <a href=“http://www.peer1.com/hosting/dedicated_servers.php”>Dedicated Server Hosting</a> from one of the leading agencies.</p>
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Linux Distro and Desktop – The More the Merrier, Right?
By Ashok Ramachandran

Isn’t it great that the open source world gives you a lot of choices? When it comes to Linux distributions, shortly known tux64x64as distros, there are hundreds of them. Once you have selected a distro, you are up against a decision regarding the desktop. You need to know enough about the pros and cons of these choices so that you can pick the one that is right for you.

Let us briefly revisit the requirements for a successful migration.

You have to meet three requirements before installing Linux on your home PC:

  1. You have identified a demonstrable benefit you can gain by migrating to Linux
  2. You have done your prep work
  3. You have realistic expectations

By following these three steps, you will maximize your chances of success.

However, there is a mind boggling variety of Linux distros available.

Let us try and shortlist the Linux distros based on the following five criteria:

  1. Is it backed by a commercial vendor?
  2. Is desktop Linux for home a stated focus area for this vendor?
  3. Is a retail product available in the form of a CD/DVD?
  4. Are branded PC vendors shipping this distro pre-installed?
  5. Is paid support available, if needed?

We find that there are only two Linux distros that meet these five qualifications largely – Ubuntu and SUSE Linux.

100x100ubuntu

Ubuntu

  • Sponsored by Canonical.
  • You can download it free, buy it on DVD from Amazon or get a free CD shipped (takes 6 to 10 weeks).
  • Starter support for Ubuntu Desktop Edition is available for one year at $ 54.99 (as of Sept 2009).
  • Security update is available for 18 months from release.

100x100suse

SUSE

  • Sponsored by Novell.
  • You can download it free, buy it on DVD from Amazon.
  • You can buy a package from Novell consisting of a DVD with printed manual and 90-Day installation support (by phone or e-mail) for $59.95 (as of Sept 2009).
  • Security update is available for 2 years from release.

Can I buy Linux pre-installed from a branded PC vendor? Dell offers PCs for the home and home office market pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux. HP and MSI offer PCs with Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop pre-installed. Asus offers notebooks with Xandros Linux pre-installed. Acer offers notebooks with Linpus Linux.

Can I get Linux pre-installed from another vendor? Zareason, Berkley, CA and System76, Denver, CO sell Ubuntu Linux desktops and laptops.

Which desktop? Though there are other options available, we will restrict our selection to the two leading desktops, namely GNOME and KDE.

48x48gnome

GNOME

  • GNOME is a very mature and stable desktop.
  • The GNOME project has well defined human interface guidelines to make the desktop and applications easy to use. Most GNOME applications follow these guidelines, resulting in common usability between applications.
  • GNOME doesn’t provide a graphical interface for some of the settings. Users will have to use the command line interface for these.

48x48kde

KDE

  • KDE is also a very mature desktop. However, KDE 4 was completely rewritten and so had some issues. The recent 4.3 version seems to be more stable.
  • KDE is also better for new users switching from Windows, and relies less on the command line interface.
  • Unfortunately, KDE does not use Firefox as the default web browser or OpenOffice as the default office suite. You will have to install Firefox and OpenOffice subsequently.



If you are planning to use an older machine and just require stability and an uncluttered approach then you can go with GNOME. However, if you have a newer machine, looking for a desktop closer to Windows and avoid the command line interface, then KDE is your best bet.

Ashok shows home PC users how to successfully migrate to Linux. He writes articles applying Product Management concepts to open source software and related topics.

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