Re: Newbie looking for a UNIX
From: Daniel Rudy (dcrudy_at_invalid.pacbell.nospam.net.0123456789)
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2003 08:05:46 GMT
Somewhere around the time of 11/15/2003 07:30, the world stopped and
listened as boffy_b contributed this to humanity:
> I am a disgruntled Windows user(aren't all windows users?), looking to
> migrate myself over to one of the free many Unicies which are around. I
> have had GNU/Linux up and running in th form of a Knoppix hdinstall,
> although I had constant problems with my modem driver, I was impressed
> with th system as a whole, but I figure that most of what I saw as "th
> system" was not th OS itself, but th software of top of it (X, KDE, OOo,
> etc.), and I therefore figure that most software now compiles on most
Clarification of a point: Contrary to popular belief, Linux is a
Kernel, not a OS. The OS is the kernel plus all the standard tools,
libraries, and documentation that make a complete system. AFAIK, the
only WinModem driver out there for Linux will only work on modems with
the Lucent chipset. So, if you have a Rockwell/Conextant based
WinModem, then you're out of luck. That's the *ONLY* reason why I run
WinXP on my laptop.
> One of th main problems I have had was the fear. In windows, I could use
> it for simple things without thinking, so I got used to it, I found out
> more and more, and eventually knew its ins and outs very well, and can
> do pretty much whatever I need to/with it. When I started using
> Knoppix(effectively Debian), I found that, whilst a lot of things can be
> done through various semi-consistent tacked-on GUIs, and most anything
> can be done from th shell, I wanted to just use it as my day-to-day
> system first, without having to go into config files and re-start my GUI
> just to change th screen resolution.
Unix is like anything else. There is a learning curve. When I went
from Windows 3.11 to Win98 in Dec 1998, I had to completely relearn
Windows. When I migrated from Win98 to WinXP-Pro, it wasn't much of a
shock, but there are still differences like various UI tweaks, settings
being in different places, etc.
Just install it and play with it. It would help to get a good book on
Unix as well to help out in your introduction to the system. The man
pages are your friend.
> I need to be able to have it working and just *there*, so that I can
> familiarise myself with it through use, and get to know it th same way I
> got to know and love th quirky, bloated mess that is Win98se. Yes, I did
> grow fond of all th little oddities, I grew to know which options had th
> desired effect, which lied, and which did nothing at all, I came to have
> a feel for how fresh th install has to be for a BSOD to actually be
> recoverable short of going for th power. Windows became a good friend
> and my worst nightmare, depending on its mood that day.
Unfortunately, no Unix is going to be "just there" out of the box. The
hardest part about Unix based systems is the initial install and
configuration. Most require tweaking with various config files in order
to get things to work properly. That is a fact of life with Unix based
systems. The big difference between Unix and Windows is that in Unix,
the config information is in a human readable text format with the
config files in /etc and with separate config files for each service.
So, it's a set and forget mechanism. Windows, on the other hand, uses
the Registry which is in a non-readable binary format that is prone to
> Now though, I am weary of having to use elaborate and fragile
> workarounds to achieve the express purpose of certain features, and I
> feel windows has grown weary of me demanding excessive reliability and
> stamina from a 32-bit upgrade to a 16-bit frond-end to an 8-bit OS
> written for a 4-bit processor by some 2-bit company which can't stand
> one bit of competition. I need out.
You have come to the right place.
> I need somewhere to go to, I see UNIX, its power and its glory, its true
> freedom, that is where I want to be. I started out this with th
> intention of asking people to recommend a free(has to be all free
> software, none of your RedHat here) UNIX which can run most free UNIX
> software(read: all free software which runs on gnu/linux, I believe
> NetBSD is quite good at that?). Pardon th unnecessary lengthiness, I do
> talk a lot of billiards sometimes.
> Thank you for any suggestions
Most Unix distributions cost some money, especially Linux. But, when
you buy a distribution from the local computer store, you are not just
paying for the contents of the box, you are also paying for support and
to help further the development of the software. From what I am told,
there are over 200 different distributions of Linux out there, which the
base system is GNU/Linux. There's more than just Linux though, there
are also the BSDs. Although Linux is technologically superior to BSD is
some aspects, BSD has the stability that is required in a server
environment. So, part of choosing a Unix is what do you want to do with it?
If you are just going to run it on a desktop, then use Linux. BSD can,
will, and does run on the desktop with no problems, but the hardware
support is lacking in some areas.
If you plan on running a server, then one of the BSDs should suffice.
Also, there are even more Unices out there. Solaris, AIX, IRIX, HP-UX
to just name a few. Take your time, evaluate your needs, and make a
decision based on that.
-- Daniel Rudy Remove nospam, invalid, and 0123456789 to reply.