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Unread 05-15-2006, 05:20 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate
The "apt-get install yourprogram" command is, I think, Ubuntu's default install command.

You can also download the tar (an archive file with all the stuff you need to install a program, which will also be zipped into a compressed format) from www.mozilla.com and then compile and build it yourself (the commands will be something like "tar zxf /the/file /the/destination", then "./configure" in the new directory, then "make" in that directory, then "make install" in that directory). You'll need some software helpers to make all those commands work, but those should have installed by default with the OS.

Also, since Ubuntu and Thunderbird are both so popular, you ought to be able to find a pre-packaged installer for the program online somewhere; it'll be a .rpm file, just match up the version/distro to whatever you're running.



This would be that whole compatibility issue that I was talking about earlier.

Linux is crap as far as "out-of-the-box" hardware compatibility is concerned.

Some of the hardware issues are also learning curve issues (in my experience), as the way that you set up hardware in Linux is (it seems to me) considerably different from the way you set it up in other OS's (meaning, you have no pretty little GUI with options to automatically install drivers for you, but you have to actually go out and find the drivers, configure them, and then get your computer to load them up correctly). The process isn't abnormally difficult once you find something that tells you what in the world you're doing and once you find the right driver software.
Are you kidding me? And you expect Linux to one day make Apple and Microsoft scramble? What common computer user would want to have to learn how to use terminal just to do a simple task like installing a program? I for one don't.

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Unread 05-15-2006, 05:54 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApparentlyNothing
Are you kidding me? And you expect Linux to one day make Apple and Microsoft scramble? What common computer user would want to have to learn how to use terminal just to do a simple task like installing a program? I for one don't.
You don't have to. One of those three options I gave you doesn't use the terminal, and one is just one line.

There are also many GUI frontends for the terminal-based installers. Ubuntu should have one installed.

Linux can run self-extracting install programs (like those included in Windows exe's) just fine, also.

It's just that most people creating programs for Linux users right now expect them to use the terminal.
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Unread 05-15-2006, 06:07 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApparentlyNothing
Ok, so I'm trying out Ubuntu, and all I can say so far is that it's the most difficult operating system ever. Ok, so some of that could be from the general learning curve, but I can't even do something as simple as install Mozilla Thunderbird. It was also the hugest ordeal to figure out why my wireless wasn't working, then finding the driver for it, then figuring out how the hell I install it. I'm expecting this to be awesome once I figure out what I'm doing, but so far, I ain't seeing it. I'd pay the extra money to not have to figure all this crap out.
Learning Linux definitely isn't the easiest thing to do, and it does get better and easier. I've also found that Linux isn't all that bad at detecting hardware -- sure, it has weakspots (Lexmark printers, wireless, and some others) but it is catching up with Windows on this (and Windows still doesn't have it down completely). Also, keep in mind that much of this hardware issue is due to hardware manufacturers not providing drivers (binary or open source) for Linux; so, many drivers come about through reverse-engineering to get hardware to work. Note that it generally isn't Linux's fault for haywire hardware.


Installing stuff:
(for Ubuntu only)

-To install from the repositories from a GUI:
System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager
Mark packages to install
Hit apply
(It doesn't get much easier than that.)

-To install from the repositories on the command line:
Code:
sudo apt-get install mozilla-thunderbird
-To install from an Ubuntu .deb file from the terminal:
Code:
sudo dpkg -i packagename.deb
(you can now double click .deb packages to install them as well, at least in 6.06 Dapper Drake.)
You can get Ubuntu packages from:
http://packages.ubuntu.com/

From what I know about Ubuntu, it generally isn't a good idea to try using .rpm files. .deb is basically the replacement for that, and if nothing else, you can usually compile it fairly easily on your own.

(for any Linux distro -- you may need extra compiling software installed)
-To install from source:
download the source code.
open a terminal
navigate to the directory using the "cd" command
Code:
./configure
make
sudo make install
configure usually checks the dependencies, to see if you have the programs installed required to be able to install the software. If not, it will list them. Install those first, and try again. make compiles the program. If there are no errors, you can do the 'make install', which will then actually compile and install the program.

Ubuntu's apt-get/Synaptic takes care of dependencies automatically, alerting you of the need to install them, and then does so. Packages(rpm, deb) are already compiled, often times for specific distros, as they are all different, so there are obvious compatability issues here -- it can be a pain in the butt until you get it figured out.

I can provide a walkthrough if you need one for compiling stuff. This can be intimidating at first.


When needed, source code provides full compatability to pretty much all Linux distros. A lot of open source software is distributed from the authors by: 1) source code, 2) rpm, 3) deb, and when applicable, 4) compiled Windows version. They may or may not have all (and sometimes just source code) from their website, though, some mainstream distros keep repositories of compiled software for their distrobution, ready to install (Debian and Ubuntu do for sure).
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Unread 05-15-2006, 06:25 PM   #34
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Regardless, with this kind of learning curve, I don't see how very many people besides those really in to computers would want to use Linux. I'm not computer illiterate by any means, but I'm still incredibly intimidated by the whole thing.

I'm still going to give it a chance, maybe for a little longer. But if I can't warm up to it, it's gone.
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Unread 05-16-2006, 02:27 PM   #35
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So, I'm giving it a second chance. Last night I figured out some stuff, but I also had some other frustrations, mostly with compatibility. My wireless seems to go in and out sometimes. When trying to download updates or software, sometimes it'll download them fine, and other times it won't and it'll return error messages. I also couldn't create any new bookmarks in Firefox, which was weird.

So anyways, a more FAQ like question, with all the different distributions out there, how do you choose which one is best for you? I choose Ubuntu because it seemed like a good one, but I don't really have much knowledge of any of the others. Perhaps someone could give a run down of them? Or provide a link about them?
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Unread 05-16-2006, 04:24 PM   #36
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I find my linux computer very productive... though some things are a pain is the butt... the worst is creating menus for video DVD's... but for manipulating still photographs it's very usable... I just resized 120 images with one termanal command... I can write a script to add copyright information to all of the images... etc.

For XP users a great thing is no activation necessary... If you install XP three times you have to actually call them... it won't do it online anymore... If you lose your OEM number you'er screwed.

The Bad thing is that Game support isn't as common... perticually with new games... so I still use XP top play Sims2 and GTA3:VC...

I don't understand why people pay for office software anymore...

Using XP as a websever or as a network node violates the EULA

XP only supports up to 2 processors

XP cant read the Mac File System...(HFS+) Linux can read/write NTFS and the FATs... and it can read HFS+ and dozens of others.

Linux comes as a distribution... so there is usually no need to buy and install other software... my DeMuDi workstation comes with almost everything I need already setup and tested.

Linux is basically free... I paid $40 for a Slackware 7.1 disk set... thats the only money I spent on linux software and I have 3 computers running linux (2 servers 1 workstation)

I have a quad ProLiant server which runs the same linux I can put on a Pentium 200mhz... no Linux Home, Linux Pro, Linux Server, Linux Pro SP3, etc.

linux has a useful terminal... I could:
gnomefoot->graphics->gThumImageviewer->click on image->image-resize-> ...ant then realize I can't batch render anything... or

in console type:
resizeallimages -j
200

and 30 minutes later I have a directory full of renamed jpg thumbnails all 200px wide, scaled, compressed at 70%


regarding mac however the backend is very similar... OSX has ffmpeg, convert, and many of the same programs that linux uses. I suppose one thing would be to say... if it's using the same backend as linux why pay for it?

I don't like Aqua... actually I hate Aqua... but a lot of OSX programs are written for Aqua... like FCP, i"Everything", Protools... so if I wanted to switch to a regular X interface like KDE or Gnome (which can be done on OSX I couldn't run those programs. Mac is bad at backward compatability... my pastor has his doctor thesis as an OS9 file of some sort... but it won't open in OSX and he nolonger has OS9...

Mac are expensive to fix... $600 for an iBook G4 motherboard as of last august

Macs take a long time to fix... it took two weeks to repace the motherboard in that iBook G4 ... when my PC burned up a month prior I replaced the entire thing for $300 the next day...

You may have to pay for an upgrade for a bugfix... 10.3 Firewore harddrive problems anyone? ... it's fixed in 10.4



If you spent all the time learning a free OS that it would take you to make the money to pay for the nonfree OS are you ahead? It took me 16 hours to learn DeMuDi... on my wage thats $240... $480 at most... I paid twice that for just SONAR 2XL and XP. Plus I'd still have to pay for upgrades every couple years and I couldn't give a copy of SONAR to a friend I'm collaberating with... I would have to buy seperate XP lisences for network render nodes...
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Unread 05-16-2006, 08:03 PM   #37
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Another question that kinda spins off of my last one about distros...

Anyone try SUSE? I'm downloading it now and am gonna try installing it on a virtual machine, and if I like it, use it on my laptop instead of Ubuntu. So far, I like what I've seen of it, and it's supposed to be really easy to use (though, I know so is Ubuntu, I think compatibility is my biggest issue now).
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Unread 05-16-2006, 08:47 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApparentlyNothing
So, I'm giving it a second chance. Last night I figured out some stuff, but I also had some other frustrations, mostly with compatibility. My wireless seems to go in and out sometimes. When trying to download updates or software, sometimes it'll download them fine, and other times it won't and it'll return error messages. I also couldn't create any new bookmarks in Firefox, which was weird.
You might ask around at Ubuntu Forums. Wireless, for now, is beyond my experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ApparentlyNothing
So anyways, a more FAQ like question, with all the different distributions out there, how do you choose which one is best for you? I choose Ubuntu because it seemed like a good one, but I don't really have much knowledge of any of the others. Perhaps someone could give a run down of them? Or provide a link about them?
As of yet, I've only had experience with Ubuntu, and little experience with DSL. I haven't experimented around, as Ubuntu has proved to be easy to learn and use (once I got onboard). Fedora is on my list to try, as well as SUSE, Slackware, and Gentoo, though, I'm hesitant to install anything else on my system for now, and I'm away from high-speed for the summer too. Perhaps the fall semester, I can try some more stuff.

Here's a good reference site to see an estimate on where current distros stand in popularity:
http://distrowatch.com/

As far as distros for beginners, Ubuntu is a great place to start. It's got a great package manager and large community for support. I've heard many good things about SUSE -- there is a free and non-free version (include some proprietary stuff out-of-the-box from my undestanding). Mepis also looks somewhat promising -- it is Debian based (like Ubuntu), and soon, it will be Ubuntu based (I might have to look into this one myself).

The biggest differences between distros are:
-Window managers -- biggest/most popular ones are Gnome and KDE (Ubuntu defaults to Gnome). The choice between the two comes down to preference.

-Package manages -- Ubuntu uses the Debian-based APT package management with .deb files. The other 'biggie' is RPM-based (.rpm), which came out of Red Hat awhile back. Some distros use other package types, and some don't use any packages (everything installed from source). The easiest are package managers take care of dependencies automatically -- some do, and some don't.

-Other -- from what I've seen, most distros don't vary a whole lot from one to another. Some distros provide some better hardware support, some extra tweaks on the window manager, some have better community support, etc.

Each distro does tend to cater towards a different crowd -- some more towards beginners, some towards power users, some for server use, some for desktop use, some for older machines, some for modern machines; the list goes on.

Something you might try are LiveCDs, if you've got the bandwidth and CD-Rs to spare. Burn them, pop them in, and reboot (making sure your BIOS is set to boot from CD). It'll load the distro into RAM, ignoring the HD unless you tell it to, and you can essentially preview that distro. This is great for checking hardware compatability -- if the LiveCD works, there's a good chance the install will work for that distro. LiveCDs are also great for going in and recovering data from when an OS goes bad. Many also come with gparted, a Partition Magic clone. Granted, the LiveCDs can be slower, and any changes you make while in it won't be saved (except editing the HD, of course), they are very handy little tools... and they are just plain cool.

Here are two lists from Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._distributions
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari..._distributions
Wiki has some good articles on different distros.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ApparentlyNothing
Another question that kinda spins off of my last one about distros...

Anyone try SUSE? I'm downloading it now and am gonna try installing it on a virtual machine, and if I like it, use it on my laptop instead of Ubuntu. So far, I like what I've seen of it, and it's supposed to be really easy to use (though, I know so is Ubuntu, I think compatibility is my biggest issue now).
Yeah, when you have a compatability problem that you can't seem to work out, the best bet is to try another distro. SUSE would be a good place to start, from what I've heard about it.
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Unread 05-18-2006, 01:50 AM   #39
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I'm trying SUSE 10.1 now, and I like it. I had to do a bit to get the wireless working with it too. Apparently Dell or Broadcom never made a Linux driver for the wireless card in my laptop, but with a bit of work, I was able to get the Windows driver to work.

Anyways, one problem I'm having is being able to use one of the partitions I set up for sharing between Windows and Linux. I formatted it for FAT32, but it won't let me mount it. It shows up, but it's not mounted. When I try to mount it, it says that I don't have the permission to mount it. Any idea what I could do to get it working?
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Unread 05-18-2006, 07:18 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApparentlyNothing
Anyways, one problem I'm having is being able to use one of the partitions I set up for sharing between Windows and Linux. I formatted it for FAT32, but it won't let me mount it. It shows up, but it's not mounted. When I try to mount it, it says that I don't have the permission to mount it. Any idea what I could do to get it working?
You're probably not mounting it as root. Anything "important" you do in Linux must be done as root.
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Unread 05-18-2006, 08:08 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApparentlyNothing
I'm trying SUSE 10.1 now, and I like it. I had to do a bit to get the wireless working with it too. Apparently Dell or Broadcom never made a Linux driver for the wireless card in my laptop, but with a bit of work, I was able to get the Windows driver to work.

Anyways, one problem I'm having is being able to use one of the partitions I set up for sharing between Windows and Linux. I formatted it for FAT32, but it won't let me mount it. It shows up, but it's not mounted. When I try to mount it, it says that I don't have the permission to mount it. Any idea what I could do to get it working?
Are you trying to mount it with a GUI tool included with SUSE, or from the command line?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate
You're probably not mounting it as root. Anything "important" you do in Linux must be done as root.
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Unread 05-18-2006, 11:33 AM   #42
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Figured it out. I tried as root and the command line, but I was doing it wrong. I looked it up and figured out how to do it right and now it works.

It seems though that every time I reboot, I have to rerun "modprobe ndiswrapper" to get my wireless to work. I also can't just put sudo in front of it, but I have to log in as root to do it, otherwise it'll tell me that the modprobe command isn't found. I'm trying to figure it out, and I went to another forum asking for help too, but I thought maybe you guys might know something.
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Unread 05-18-2006, 12:23 PM   #43
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It seems though that every time I reboot, I have to rerun "modprobe ndiswrapper" to get my wireless to work. I also can't just put sudo in front of it, but I have to log in as root to do it, otherwise it'll tell me that the modprobe command isn't found. I'm trying to figure it out, and I went to another forum asking for help too, but I thought maybe you guys might know something.
That's the same driver / software (ndiswrapper) I use for my wireless card.

I don't recall exactly how I got it to initialize on every boot, but I know I did.

When I get home, I'll try to look at my config files to figure it out for you.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

As a sort of aside, the reason you can't just sudo the modprobe command is because there are two different kinds of commands in Linux, bin's and sbin's, and modprobe is the latter, and because there are two different modes of being "logged in" as a particular user, permission and environment, and modprobe, as an sbin command, uses the latter. If you're not "logged in" with the permissions and login environment of root, you won't be able to access sbin commands like modprobe.

Bins can be run in any login environment provided you have the correct permissions.

Sbins can only be run in the exact login environment and user permission necessary.

Basically, you can switch/substitute user (su or sudo) from your loggedin user to root to obtain the root permissions needed to execute a bin command, but if you don't also switch environments (to make the terminal think you're actually logged in as root), you won't be able to execute an sbin command, since they require both the permissions and login environment of root. As long as you've logged in as somebody else, su or sudo will only switch permissions, so you need to either re-login as root or tell su or sudo to switch environments as well. Again, if you don't do this, you won't see sbin commands at all.

The way to fix this is extraordinarily simple... just add a dash ("-") after the su or sudo command.

"su - root" will change both the permissions and login environment to root, then you can run sbins.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Again, I'll check later to see if I can remember how to get ndiswrapper modprobed on every boot.
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Last edited by Nate; 05-18-2006 at 12:35 PM.
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Unread 05-18-2006, 12:31 PM   #44
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Again, I'll check later to see if I can remember how to get ndiswrapper modprobed on every boot.
Nevermind, I remember.

Linux will only load those modules on boot that you tell it to. Each distro lists the boot modules in a different place (some in a separate folder that gets called on boot, some in a config file, etc). Chances are, you either need to add the line "ndiswrapper" to your etc/modules file or the line "alias wlan0 ndiswrapper" to your etc/modprobe.conf file. I think that should cover most distros (mine, Fedora, uses the latter method, which basically tells the comptuer to load ndiswrapper on boot when it attempts to load a module for the wlan0 card). You should have a GUI for this somewhere, as well... probably under system tools -> wireless devices or something like that. I know that I have a network hardware configuration wizard that gives me the option of selecting a driver for my wireless card, and then selecting whether I'd like to load that driver on boot. I think I actually configured mine the hard way (i.e. editing the modprobe.conf file) the first time, but when I upgraded my kernel a few weeks ago I remembered to use the easy GUI method.
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Unread 05-18-2006, 05:53 PM   #45
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You should have a GUI for this somewhere, as well... probably under system tools -> wireless devices or something like that. I know that I have a network hardware configuration wizard that gives me the option of selecting a driver for my wireless card, and then selecting whether I'd like to load that driver on boot.
Yes, under Fedora, it's Main Menu -> Desktop -> System Settings -> Network or Main Menu -> System Tools -> Network Device Control. You need to remember that although Linux's strength lies in its terminal, there are tons of helpful GUI's that have been rendered for controlling the terminal (including things like modprobe).
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