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Today's Desktop Linux: Things You May Not Know..

Discussion in 'Technology' started by Az4x4, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. Az4x4

    Az4x4 [OP] Az4x4Taco

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    Yeah, yeah, ..I know! A new thread about today's desktop Linux distros; what they offer, how well they work, their very real advantages, what they can do right out of the box they maybe struggled with a few years ago, sounds like an open invitation for everyone including those who don't have a clue but still enjoy making waves!

    So jump in, whatever *side* of the desktop Linux coin you may be on, whether a dyed in the wool desktop Linux user, a newbie just getting started, or a Linux know nothing with a lot to say about it nevertheless, ..let's see where this takes us!

    Gotta run for the moment, but I'll be back a bit later...
     
  2. khx73

    khx73 Well-Known Member

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    First installed linux in '96 .. Slackware 3.1 I think.. You don't really get an appreciation until you've installed that on a 486, customized and compiled the kernel, hacked your own X configs to your liking, got it working on dial-up with firewall and ip masq NAT... all in text mode using vi editor.
    GUIs are pretty..but sometimes you just gotta get under the hood to get things done :D
     
  3. Az4x4

    Az4x4 [OP] Az4x4Taco

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    Windows 8 has abandoned its traditional Windows, Icons, Menus, and Pointer (WIMP) desktop environment, which was last seen in Windows 7. Ubuntu tries to maintain some of that traditional interface in place while expanding its Unity user interface to accommodate tablets and smartphones. But Ubuntu hasn't been any more successful at this major paradigm shift with Unity than Microsoft has been with Metro so far.

    Linux Mint, with its Cinnamon and MATE desktop environments, remains true to the traditional Windows, Icons, Menus, and Pointer desktop user interface. As a consequence it's the number one ranked distro on www.distrowatch.com, and by far the most favored of today's desktop Linux offerings. Linux Mint 15 is no longer simply the best Linux desktop OS available, it's ranked as today's best desktop operating system bar none by far more knowledgable people than myself. If you want a traditional WIMP user interface in a cutting edge operating system today, then you really want Linux Mint 15.

    Don't get me wrong. If you're a Windows 7 or Mac OS X user, don't download Mint right now! What I'm saying is that for long time traditional desktop users Mint is a much better choice than Windows 8, better even than other new Linux operating systems running the latest versions of GNOME 3 or Unity. Mint isn't intended to take the place of older WIMP desktops like Windows 7 or Mac OS-X. It's simply a better choice for experienced desktop users than newer less user friendly environments such as Windows 8 Metro or Ubuntu Unity.

    Both the Cinnamon and MATE desktop environments offered in Linux Mint are designed for experienced WIMP desktop users. If Windows XP or 7 is your preferred desktop, and maybe you've played with Linux in the past or possibly never touched it in your life, if you were to try Linux Mint Cinnamon or MATE you'd find it far more user friendly than Windows 8 Metro.

    More to talk about later, but enough for right now!
     
  4. Justus

    Justus resident Apple Pie Monster

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    yep, even dual monitor support outta the box (pun intended since its open source)
     
  5. Az4x4

    Az4x4 [OP] Az4x4Taco

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    Gotta love it! Started with Linux in the late 90's. Don't recall what it was I first installed, but I remember it took weeks of messing with it just to get it running half way well on a spare 486 I had. There were things I never did get to work correctly, so in the end I pulled the plug on that adventure and didn't get back into Linux full time until Ubuntu came on the scene in 2005. From there on I was hooked. Moved to Linux Mint in 2006 and been with it ever since!
     
  6. Az4x4

    Az4x4 [OP] Az4x4Taco

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    Nothing much you can't do with a desktop OS like Linux Mint 15 Justus! No Microsoft EULA with its restrictive "conditions" and "limitations" to sign off on, dual monitor support "outa the box", high performance graphics drivers, wi-fi working out of the box, printer drivers, web cam, audio, video codices, flash, customize your desktop completely to your liking, run Windows specific apps or utilities in two different ways, no worries about the tens of thousands of Windows viruses out there in the wild, never have to defragment your hard drive, no registry to clean, industrial strength UNIX based modular design. Bottom line for most users is it "Just Works!", it's fun to use, and it's as trouble free as a modern operating system can possibly be!
     
  7. Justus

    Justus resident Apple Pie Monster

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    Ive been running dual boot for years with linux and love it
     
  8. replica9000

    replica9000 Well-Known Member

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    Had my first Linux experience with Redhat 6.0, played with other Linux distros on and off until Debian 3.1. Debian has been my primary OS ever since. I installed LMDE on my laptop a while back, XFCE4 was the default desktop. Mostly used KDE throughout the years.

    Great thing about Linux is it can be anything you want it to be. Runs on many things Windows can't.

    Currently running Debian "Sid" with Fluxbox & Compton on my desktop.
     
  9. Az4x4

    Az4x4 [OP] Az4x4Taco

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    Debian; the distro we look to for ground breaking open source precision and unparalleled consistency! From 1993 to the present the Debian project has set the gold standard for Linux distros, providing the broad shoulders on which many custom distros have built. Debian 7, the project's latest release, continues the proud 20 year tradition of quality and consistency Debian is famous for, providing the rock solid base on which top distros like Ubuntu and Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) are built.

    What's really fascinating about Linux is a): how it's virtually everywhere, running nearly everything, and doing it without fuss or bother, and b): how for the most part people are completely unaware that they use Linux every day, many times a day without even knowing it!

    Linux owns the world wide server market, runs 99% of the worlds super computers, powers NASA as well as all international space programs, provides Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Amazon, the stock market, even companies like Apple and Microsoft (although they're reluctant to come right out and admit it!) the online presence they need to do business.

    Linux powers Android, the world's number one smart phone OS. It runs our TV's, smart appliances and entertainment systems, and does all this without so much as a hiccup! All that's just for starters!

    As you noted Replica, Linux can be anything anyone wants it to be, ..including the best of the best when it comes to cutting edge desktop operating systems like Ubuntu and Linux Mint.

    Here's a quick look at how Linux is built and what makes it different. Well worth the couple of minutes it takes to watch it!..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=yVpbFMhOAwE
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  10. replica9000

    replica9000 Well-Known Member

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    Good video.

    It's true most people probably own devices that run Linux and don't realize it, probably because they don't think of that device as running an OS to begin with. It works and just does it's thing without complaint.

    I think the biggest reason Linux isn't more accepted in the desktop market, is because people fear change. Just look at Windows 8, whether the interface is good or not, people are lost without their start button. Few people want to take the time to learn a different way of doing things.

    One thing I never understood though, is the way people complain when things don't work. If some app doesn't work on Windows, that app sucks. If an app doesn't work on Linux, Linux sucks. But at least on Linux, if something isn't working, there's a log for that.
     
  11. Az4x4

    Az4x4 [OP] Az4x4Taco

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    Some truth in that, but maybe not as much as there once was.

    If as you say people "fear change", and they're "lost without their start button", then Microsoft's move away from the traditional Windows, Icons, Menu and Pointer (WIMP) desktop environment when they introduced Windows 8 was the dumbest move ever, on a par with when they produced Microsoft "Bob"!

    ...Hey, wait a minute! On second thought you're right! People do HATE and FEAR the craziness of Windows 8 on their desktops, with it's tablet interface and lack of WIMP capabilities! ...No wonder Microsoft is scrambling to turn out Windows Blue, their replacement for the complete flop that Windows 8 has been!

    Good luck with that..
     
  12. replica9000

    replica9000 Well-Known Member

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    http://youtu.be/WTYet-qf1jo
     
  13. Az4x4

    Az4x4 [OP] Az4x4Taco

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    Great video Replica! The guy really nails it when describing what the problems with Windows 8 actually are! ..Going to share that with others 'cause it's too good not to!!
     
  14. Az4x4

    Az4x4 [OP] Az4x4Taco

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  15. replica9000

    replica9000 Well-Known Member

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    I've been sharing a couple of the net install disc images with bittorrent, along with the latest Arch Linux release. I prefer to install using debootstrap or archbootstrap though.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
  16. Az4x4

    Az4x4 [OP] Az4x4Taco

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    Last year I installed linux Mint 14 “Maya”, the MATE version, on my ASUS N73SV laptop. After a lot of customization and add-ons Mint 14 is my favorite OS by far. So. when Linux Mint 15 "Olivia" was recently released I kept “Maya” in place and installed “Olivia” in a blank partition on a second hard drive so I could select the system I wanted to run at boot up.

    Once installed, a quick and easy process that even new users will enjoy, Linux Mint 15 looks identical on boot up to Mint 14, except of course for the number "15". The desktop layout is simple and clean. The traditional Gnome panel is at the bottom of the screen with what amounts to a 'Start' button on the left hand side used to launch the menu system. Notification applets reside on the right hand side of the bottom panel.

    The MATE menu retains updated versions of most of the default applications found in earlier releases. MATE's file manager now includes shortcuts in the left side bar. Mint 15 provides all the applications you'll need for most tasks. The latest Firefox web browser, using DuckDuckGo and Yahoo as it's default search engines. Media codecs and Flash are preinstalled so you can listen to music and watch videos right out of the box. If you open the file manager and hover your mouse pointer over an audio file, the file plays in the background, kind of a neat way to preview music files.

    Additional preinstalled apps include the latest versions of Pidgin (messaging), Xchat (chat), Transmission (torrents), Thunderbird (email). VLC (video), Banshee (media player), Mplayer (movies), the Gnome Image Manipulation Program 'GIMP' (graphics), and the LibreOffice Suite (office projects).

    Linux Mint 15 MATE, at idle, takes about 300MB of RAM. It boots quickly and everything works as it should right from the start. Drivers for my laptop's video and wireless cards installed without a problem. Laptop keys function as they're designed to.

    I've used Linux Mint 15 “Olivia” for three weeks now and I'm extremely satisfied with it. I haven't tried the Cinnamon version yet but those who prefer it say it's equally as excellent as MATE. I didn't tweak or change anything from default, mainly because I continue to boot to and use Linux Mint 14 as my main OS, having spent much time customizing it completely to my liking, which means that essentially anything I want or need to do I can do in Mint 14.

    Linux Mint 15 MATE is a near flawless distro, one I'd highly recommend for veterans and newcomers alike. If Window 8's craziness is too much to bear, and you're longing for a traditional desktop experience in a modern cutting edge operating system that works as it should right out of the box, you won't go wrong with Linux Mint 15, today's most popular desktop distro by many accounts!
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013
  17. Manwithoutaplan

    Manwithoutaplan the full Monty

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  18. replica9000

    replica9000 Well-Known Member

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    Both Mate And Cinnamon are basically forks of Gnome2, since a lot of people weren't happy with the direction of Gnome3. Cinnamon is designed for Linux Mint.
     
  19. Az4x4

    Az4x4 [OP] Az4x4Taco

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    Here's my MATE desktop in Linux Mint 14..

    [​IMG]

    Unlike the unholy mess that's found in Windows 8, MATE is fast, slick, endlessly configurable, traditional, and works like a charm! Kinda like my double cab 4x4 Tacoma!!
     
  20. Az4x4

    Az4x4 [OP] Az4x4Taco

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    There are Windows fan boys, there are Mac fan boys, and there are Linux fan boys. Each will argue that their OS is better, and give a list of reasons they have for believing so. As one who has lived at various times in all of these camps, I'll express my opinion on the matter and invite anyone with a different point of view to do the same..

    Windows 8, for the way I and millions of others use a desktop operating system, is the worst OS ever. As a daily driver desktop OS Windows 8 has nothing to offer, period, ..end of story.

    It has a lot of apps, I'll give it that. But these are the result of Microsoft's abusive business practices over the years, rather than any superiority as far as the operating system itself is concerned. When users were finally offered open-source, open market options, they moved in mass to non-Microsoft products – Chrome and Firefox just two of many examples.

    Windows 8 users will say that once you install a Windows 7 style start menu then everything is fine again. But when you do that it's not Windows 8 anymore -- it's simply an updated Windows 7 without the hokey tablet inspired "Metro" user interface.

    You have to ask yourself, what new value does Windows 8 really add to Windows 7 on the desktop? A bit of speed, maybe, ..but that's about it. No truly evolutionary or revolutionary features like we find release after release in Mac OS-X and Linux. Simply put Windows 8 is a tired, boring, troublesome, hard to use OS that's intended mainly to keep Microsoft's hand stuffed deep inside user's pockets for as long as humanly possible.

    On the other hand modern Linux desktop operating systems such as Linux Mint, along with Mac OS-X for Apple, are evolving at a far faster rate – adding new and exciting features with every release. In Linux these come with either MATE, Cinnamon, KDE or one of a number of other modern desktop environments.

    It's about time for powerhouse company's like Samsung, ACER and ASUS to create their own Linux based operating system to run on desktop devices they manufacture and market. Google does this with Android, its Linux based smart phone OS that dominates the market. And they've done it with Chrome OS, their Linux based OS running on Chromebooks. So there's no reason that giants like Samsung shouldn't do the same, and in the process unhook themselves from the stupidity that's Microsoft Windows under wild man Steve Ballmer these days.

    Microsoft is never going to 'get it,' so you just have to wonder how many times they have to prove this before users finally wake up and say 'no más'!
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
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