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Old 01-28-12, 01:38 PM   #1
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Linux

Hi all,

We're getting rid of some old laptops at work so I snagged a couple to play around with Linux on them. I work in IT, but I'm not much of a Linux guy and frankly, I don't like playing around with computer stuff past 8-5pm anymore. Only reason I'm playing with Linux is that its free and I've heard it's very streamlined and uses less resources than Windows, which makes it perfect for these old laptops.

I downloaded Suse first. It's pretty nice but I ran into a few glitches trying to do day to day stuff. I then downloaded the latest Ubuntu and honestly, I'm pretty stunned so far at how polished it is. It seems to be a very sleek, and surprisingly intuitive OS. Only had it for a day so far but am really liking it.

Anyone else run Linux and have any comments? Any other distro's you'd recommend?
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Old 01-28-12, 02:06 PM   #2
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Not an IT guy, but I used wubi to install Ubuntu on my Vista OS laptop. Some elements of the UI were interesting, while others I wanted to modify but couldn't figure out how. Also, seem to remember that the latest versions of firefox and chrome were not supported. Been a while since I last used it, so maybe that's a non-issue now.
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Old 01-28-12, 02:27 PM   #3
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Well, I just downloaded Ubuntu because I needed to test Blender on a Linux machine. So now I have a dual boot XP/Ubuntu machine. I was glad that the download was painless because I really didn't have much time to devote to getting things set up. I was glad that Firefox was included because the first thing I needed to do was get online and download Blender for Linux. I haven't figured out how to have it stay awake longer so that I don't have to log back in when I've haven't used it in the past half hour or so.
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Old 01-28-12, 02:47 PM   #4
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I've also been playing with Google Apps (visit the Google app store and you will be blown away) so I installed both Chrome and Chromium (not sure what the difference is other than the different colored icons). It's been working flawlessly. Normally with Google apps it synchronizes your 'desktop' when you login to the browser. This last time it didn't though. Not sure why. I had to re-install all my google apps which is quick, but still...
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Old 01-28-12, 03:09 PM   #5
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Okay, I switched over to the Ubuntu on my laptop. Been a while, so there are quite a few updates that are going to be hogging system resources for a bit.

Now remember why I've not been using it- This FF 7 has a different feel that what I'm used to with FF12. Combine that with adblock wiped out the navigational tools here on bf...

And not sure, but Chrome is based upon Chromium, though Google has a lot more funds to give to it's code writers.
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Old 01-28-12, 03:47 PM   #6
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I do work on Linux for part of my living, and have been a UNIX guy for a longer than I've been a cyclist.

We have 8 (soon to be 9) servers at work that run RHEL5 (hey, it's what Oracle and the University support). I have one Debian desktop and one OpenSUSE laptop in my office, and two Debian machines at home (one of them is an old PPC Mac). We used to have a student-run Debian server in my server room... so I blame the kids for liking Debian.

I might reinstall the Debian x86 machine at home with OpenSUSE... it is pretty slick, not too terribly weird, and easy to strip down, and works for just about everything.

I have used/tried a whole ton of distributions other than those... Mandrake (before it was Mandriva), Fedora, Crunchbang, Vector, Mint, Aptosid, Slackware, Ubuntu... I've been doing a lot of distro-hopping on my work laptops over the last several months, as I need some hardware support (Broadcom wireless) and software functionality (kerberos, openafs, VPN, and mount.cifs) to work for it to be useful in the office. The Broadcom drivers in Deb 6 didn't work well enough, so the journey began.

As to the FF issues, you can go and get the newest FF for Linux just like Windows at getfirefox.com if it is an issue, but some Linux distributions follow the latest and greatest closer than others. For instance, the OpenSUSE 12.1 machine at work came with FF9, but the latest Debian comes with 3.6.something. But even with Debian, you can get the latest FF through the right repositories (see mozilla.debian.net), or just get it from getfirefox.com.

If you like Ubuntu, you could also try Mint.

Chromium is the open-sourced codebase of Chrome, or to put it differently, Chrome is the Google-proprietary version of Chromium.
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Old 01-28-12, 03:58 PM   #7
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Well, I just downloaded Ubuntu because I needed to test Blender on a Linux machine. So now I have a dual boot XP/Ubuntu machine. I was glad that the download was painless because I really didn't have much time to devote to getting things set up. I was glad that Firefox was included because the first thing I needed to do was get online and download Blender for Linux. I haven't figured out how to have it stay awake longer so that I don't have to log back in when I've haven't used it in the past half hour or so.
Re: the last sentence (can't bold, as adblock went awry)- Select 'System Settings' from the drop down power button at the top right. Find the 'Screen Saver' file. You can modify the screen saver image, how long before it comes on, and disable the password to get back to the desktop. Or better yet, just find the screen saver and click on the help button in case I misread anything.
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Old 01-28-12, 04:00 PM   #8
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RE: updating FF in Ubuntu- I'm able to download FF9, but I can't figure out how to get it to install...
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Old 01-28-12, 04:41 PM   #9
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RE: updating FF in Ubuntu- I'm able to download FF9, but I can't figure out how to get it to install...
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/FirefoxNewVersion


That should help you out.
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Old 01-28-12, 04:42 PM   #10
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When you download from getfirefox.com, it's a straight tarball of the software. So what I usually do is:
  1. Download it... filename should be firefox-whateverversion.tar.bz2
  2. Move it somewhere... with your file manager, you can just drop it in your home directory, or use mv (perhaps
    Code:
    cd Downloads ; mv firefox-whateverversion.tar.bz2 ~
    ) at the command line.
  3. Extract it... pretty sure Ubuntu uses file-roller or has something to extract it with graphically. From the command line, it's:
    Code:
    tar -xvfj firefox-whateverversion.tar.bz2
  4. After this, you're practically done. You need to add a launcher to your desktop for /home/yourusername/firefox/firefox so you can start the Firefox you downloaded and installed. It's been a while since I have used Ubuntu, so I cannot fill you in on this part.

Or do what Tom said.
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Last edited by bigbenaugust; 01-28-12 at 04:43 PM. Reason: oh snap, tom!
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Old 01-28-12, 05:41 PM   #11
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Well, I just downloaded Ubuntu because I needed to test Blender on a Linux machine. So now I have a dual boot XP/Ubuntu machine. I was glad that the download was painless because I really didn't have much time to devote to getting things set up. I was glad that Firefox was included because the first thing I needed to do was get online and download Blender for Linux. I haven't figured out how to have it stay awake longer so that I don't have to log back in when I've haven't used it in the past half hour or so.
Put a stapler on the space key
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Old 01-28-12, 06:17 PM   #12
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Managed to get FF9 installed after upgrading to Ubuntu 11.10 'Oneiric Ocelot'. Then switched over to Vista and it was so slllloooowww loading and programs were slow to open and/or would be unresponsive, recover, stumble, then straighten back out.

About the only reason why I'm still using this MS stuff is that I like my big black mouse pointer. Way easier for me to follow than that little thing that is my default on Ubuntu.
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Old 01-28-12, 06:26 PM   #13
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I did the Linux thing a couple of years back and I keep an old PC loaded with Ubuntu for my backup machine. What astonished me is the level of "control" that comes with a Linus OS. You can't just grab some software off a mate and load it. The only apps you can use are ones that the Linux boffins have prepared for you. I don't like it. I don't like it when someone else tells me what I can/can't have..........Otherwise its a great idea.
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Old 01-28-12, 06:30 PM   #14
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I run Ubuntu in a VM on my iMac, as well as on a Dell Latitude 6500 I inherited. Ubuntu is arguably the easiest Linux distro to use. I think you'll be pleased. On both of mine, I'm running version 11.04, which is not the newest version. The newest version has the "Unity interface". I don't like this interface. It works for some people though. The version 10.04 LTS is the "Long term support" version. The quickest place to download Ubuntu that I know of is the MIT Media Lab servers. Yes, these are open to the public.

Any questions you may have, just google them. i.e. "how to install Samba Service on Ubuntu". You'll be amazed at the wealth of information.

Where I feel Linux comes up short: Applications. Yes, everything in Linux Land is free, but some of the free apps just do not come close to commercially produced Apps. Example: Omnigraffle (Mac) or Visio (Windows) I need them both, and I have not found anything in Linux Land that is as easy (or fun) to use.

But, give it a whirl, and I think you'll see what all the talk is about.
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Old 01-28-12, 06:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
I did the Linux thing a couple of years back and I keep an old PC loaded with Ubuntu for my backup machine. What astonished me is the level of "control" that comes with a Linus OS. You can't just grab some software off a mate and load it. The only apps you can use are ones that the Linux boffins have prepared for you. I don't like it. I don't like it when someone else tells me what I can/can't have..........Otherwise its a great idea.
I take it your not a big fan of Apple then...
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Old 01-28-12, 06:34 PM   #16
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I did the Linux thing a couple of years back and I keep an old PC loaded with Ubuntu for my backup machine. What astonished me is the level of "control" that comes with a Linus OS. You can't just grab some software off a mate and load it. The only apps you can use are ones that the Linux boffins have prepared for you. I don't like it. I don't like it when someone else tells me what I can/can't have..........Otherwise its a great idea.
That's an Ubuntu thing... but even that can be worked around. You can also go download and compile anything for which source is available yourself. In the old days, that was normal.
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Old 01-28-12, 06:42 PM   #17
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Okay, I switched over to the Ubuntu on my laptop. Been a while, so there are quite a few updates that are going to be hogging system resources for a bit.

Now remember why I've not been using it- This FF 7 has a different feel that what I'm used to with FF12. Combine that with adblock wiped out the navigational tools here on bf...

And not sure, but Chrome is based upon Chromium, though Google has a lot more funds to give to it's code writers.
Where are you seeing FF 12? I don't see anything higher than 9 on their site.
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Old 01-28-12, 07:24 PM   #18
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Where are you seeing FF 12? I don't see anything higher than 9 on their site.
I'm not sure there is a double-secret FF12 yet.
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Old 01-28-12, 07:28 PM   #19
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I tried ubuntu and debian a few times but always go back to windows... I like to spend my computer time using the computer rather than trying to make an OS run right.
:/
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Old 01-28-12, 07:36 PM   #20
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Okay, I switched over to the Ubuntu on my laptop. Been a while, so there are quite a few updates that are going to be hogging system resources for a bit.

Now remember why I've not been using it- This FF 7 has a different feel that what I'm used to with FF12. Combine that with adblock wiped out the navigational tools here on bf...

And not sure, but Chrome is based upon Chromium, though Google has a lot more funds to give to it's code writers.
Oops. I meant to quote the above message when I asked about FF 12.
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Old 01-28-12, 08:30 PM   #21
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Ran SuSE linux from 2003 till about 2008, switched to Ubuntu and never looked back. Currently running Ubuntu Studio 10.4 LTS 64-bit on this laptop.

I fix Windows computers for a living. It's nice to be able to come home and get a break from that.
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Old 01-28-12, 09:37 PM   #22
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Where are you seeing FF 12? I don't see anything higher than 9 on their site.
Oops, kinda got ahead of the curve there. It's Chrome and Opera that are in the double digit builds...
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Old 01-29-12, 12:21 AM   #23
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Old 01-29-12, 07:26 AM   #24
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I did the Linux thing a couple of years back and I keep an old PC loaded with Ubuntu for my backup machine. What astonished me is the level of "control" that comes with a Linus OS. You can't just grab some software off a mate and load it. The only apps you can use are ones that the Linux boffins have prepared for you. I don't like it. I don't like it when someone else tells me what I can/can't have..........Otherwise its a great idea.
Wut? That's completely backwards of my experience. You can customize it out the whazzoo if you have the know how. You have complete control of it without some big corporation pushing their idea of how you should use their product that you forked over your money for. The 'Linux boffins' have produce a ton of apps - most of them for free. Some work better than others of course, but their are a lot of applications out there. You couple that with all the applications that come with Google apps that you can also run in Chromium and there's a lot you can do with it.
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Old 01-29-12, 07:30 AM   #25
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I tried ubuntu and debian a few times but always go back to windows... I like to spend my computer time using the computer rather than trying to make an OS run right.
:/
I've had that problem in the past. The latest version of Ubuntu is pretty amazing though. I haven't run into many issues yet attributable to the OS. Only issue I've encountered in my short tenure with this version so far is I downloaded a FPS game called Nexuiz (supposed to be a great game) but it runs very jerky on my machine. That might be hardware though, or I might need to update a video driver.
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