Learning Linux

Learning Linux

We talk about Linux a lot around the office. Whenever we're annoyed at Microsoft's dominance, ineptitude, or just plain wackiness, we invoke the name of the alternative OS. Linux is our imagined save haven, the OS we know we can turn to should Microsoft's ways become just too much.

But are we all just full of talk? Because, really, when it comes right down to it, Microsoft has long swiped at our spirit and we've taken it rather than tread the scary, unknown waters of the renegade OS.

I had to face this fact full-on when I edited our June issue Linux feature. To know if the story really made sense and the instructions were truly actionable, I had to install and use the OS myself. And to be honest, I found the prospect distasteful. My idealized notions of a free, open, egalitarian environment were replaced by gut-level fears of unwieldy command lines, a barrage of error messages, piss-poor versions of “real” apps, and a very, very long day.

Of course, my reaction was largely irrational. I'd heard and read plenty about how Linux was easier than ever to use. Shoot, that's why we're doing the article! But, I nonetheless dreaded the chore.

How silly I was back then, all those three days ago. Because here I am working within the comfy (non)confines of a successful Ubuntu install, pleased for the most part with the whole experience. I'm typing out my blog post in Writer, OpenOffice.org's Word equivalent, which automatically loaded with Ubuntu, along with many other useful apps; I'll use the bundled FireFox to post my blog to the web. It's all familiar. And also better. XP can't give me the tricked-out, animated 3D desktop I created using Beryl--- a community-developed Open GL desktop utility. (See this demo to know what i'm talking about.)

The Add/Remove panel lets you search the Linux repositories for any kind of app.

Yes, there have been some hiccups along the way. Some incomplete instructions in the story that needed fleshing out (Will!), some mistyped command lines (Me!), and some miscellaneous troubleshooting. Probably the hardest part for me has been adding new apps that aren't automatically installed (such as Beryl)--- some of this is due to the fact that we used a beta version of Ubuntu (Feisty) --- which will be final by the time the article hits --- and partly, I just haven't installed enough apps for the process to come naturally, especially when I hit snags. Luckily, I can turn to Will's article for reference, and call him over to my desk when trouble persists.

A lot of my satisfaction with the experience comes from just having done it. It makes me feel like more of a PC enthusiast, and it makes me feel stronger to know i can survive just fine without Microsoft.

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mercerd_92

For all you Unbuntu users, quit screwing around with that crap and get Fedora. I guarantee that you will be impressed!!

 Even though Linux is difficult to learn, it's all worth it in the end. It's 100% free, no need for anti-virus, Open Office is already installed and constant upgrades. Not to mention that you can install basically any app for free using YUM. What's not to love. How many hundreds of dollars have people spent on anti-virus and Microsoft Office? TOO MUCH! Microsoft can kiss my ass!!!

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jafo21

When I tried watching:

"XP can't give me the tricked-out, animated 3D desktop I created using Beryl--- a community-developed Open GL desktop utility. (See this demo to know what i'm talking about.)"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-tWFFeJMQY&mode=related&search=

This was the response.
This video has been removed due to terms of use violation
Oh well!

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JaxJaguar

I installed Ubuntu with no problems, but because my wireless card is made by Broadcom, Ubuntu refuses to recognize it. So, although I have a pretty new OS to play with, I can't get online. If I look at 10 different message boards, I get 10 different sets of "how to" instructions to fix the probem, all which revolve around installing a Wireless Wrapper. Couldn't some one at Ubuntu be proactive and include a workaround for those of use who have broadcom wireless cards?

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briansnj

I have toyed and played with Linux over the past few years. Mostly in the safe confines of a virtual machine under VMWARE.

Now I am dual booting Kubuntu on my Compaq laptop and loving it. Unfortunately I need to IE 7 due to career specific websites that demand it and do not support other browsers. It is killing me!

Linux is more friendly than ever, more and more books are published on it, the internet is an awesome resource. Now is the time! I know I am deeply annoyed at Apple's proprietary attitude and Microsoft's crush, kill, destroy idealogy. No more drinking the Kool-Aid for me. I hope to be completely free of Windoze within 2 years.

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mbutterman

I think as this Distro matures further, we will have an O/S that as just as good as MS. MS has a lot to be worried about. There is a new kid in town and his name is Linux. While this is far from perfect, it provides me me a lot of experience to solve problems within Linux. This has made me very cognitive of a computer's internal operation. It's sad that people will often pay hundreds of dollars to buy a computer and never really understands what makes it tick. As long as they push the power button and the screen lights up with a Windows logo, they are pacified. I hope the writer of this article will enjoy their journey through Linux land, nobody said it would be easy but they said it would be worth it.
All My Best
MButterman

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defkhan1

I want so badly to really give Linux a go, especially Ubuntu, but alas, until I can install to my mobo-bound SATA RAID 0 array...without borking my Windows install...I'm afraid I'm still tied to XP. I know there are methods, but I don't want to add kernel modules, recompile, and all the other stuff that's necessary for my controller. Maybe one day, but until then my Fesity installs will be running in a VM.

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echeddar

The print article said I could find a copy online. I want to send the link to a buddy. Thanks.

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NathanielM

My windows os betrayed me a few days ago and gave me the blue screen of death so I made a quick switch to Ubuntu to see what all the hype was about. I'm still interested in the OS but version 7.04 (Fiesty) hates me I'm afraid. While my wireless card was immediately recognized my onboard audio refuses to work. I'm already put out by my x-fi card rotting away at the moment but the utter lack of sound is driving me nuts. After two days in the forums learning how to use linux terminal and going through many different troubleshooting threads i'm actually worse off than when i started.
Thinking about reverting to an older supported version (6.06.1 i guess) or switching to kubuntu to try this whole linux thing again =p

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dewayneshorts

Well reading your blog inspired me go for it. I have toyed around with the idea for a while but I just never got around to actually doing it. My wife on the other hand is not thrilled with the idea. So now I am searching all over for way's to run Office just so that there will be some peace on the home front. I look forward to reading more about all the cool new things I can do. Thanks for the inspiration.

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dedgar

Congratulations on a successful change over to Ubuntu. Wasn't anywhere near as difficult as you thought it was it going to be now was it.
I have my HTPC, a laptop and 1 desktop with Windows installed. I also have 5 other desktop computers with Kubuntu 6.10 64 bit installed. Four of them are going to be changed over to Ubuntu Server in the near future.

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