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View Full Version : why use gnu/linux?



jdodson
January 4th, 2005, 10:31 PM
first things first, check this article with richard stallman: http://kerneltrap.org/node/4484 it was posted to slashdot, and is a good read.

my question is, why use gnu/linux?

it seems from the article with RMS, the main reason to use gnu/linux is to be free. he does not cite viruses, trojans, stability issues or the like. from the articles i have read interviewing RMS he states the reason to use gnu/linux is freedom.

personally my system has the w32codecs, mp3 plugins and decss packages. according to RMS that makes my system non-free. i guess in a way i am telling website admins to keep publishing things in qucktime and realvideo and mp3 because i will bend over backwards to get it to work. even if that means sacrificing my freedom.

eventually i will run a free as in beer and freedom system. right now its hard to weigh the cool(being able to watch trailers via apples website) with the free(being able to watch only ogg theora encoded video), you can insert any proprietary solution that works on gnu/linux and the same applies, pdf files, doc files, mp3 files, ra files, etc.

i guess i am wondering out loud what the point is of leaving windows if we are just building windows workalikes in gnu/linux with all the proprietary hooks and snags.

comments?

Uuranor
January 5th, 2005, 12:15 AM
It can seems curious, but I use gnu/linux because I find it simpliest than windows.
I think the principal difference between the two system is that gnu/linux is logic and win is intuitive.

By the way, the stability and the high configurability of my ubuntu (or Fedora, or Slak when I used them) are other reason of my choice.





ehr... I think I must study some english... 8-[

HungSquirrel
January 5th, 2005, 12:32 AM
I use GNU/Linux for a different kind of freedom altogether: the freedom to be able to go in and see how things work, and change them to better suit my needs if I so wish. Modern distros, particulalry Ubuntu, come with intelligent defaults that most users can live with. However, Linux offers much more flexibility than Windows does, and I can change nearly every aspect of the system.

Linux is like a car. You can get under the hood and see how things work, swap out parts, or make repairs, as long as you can find the hood release. Windows is like a car, too...with the hood welded shut and a 10,000 volt electric current running through it to keep you from trying to get in.

BWF89
January 5th, 2005, 12:47 AM
Linux is like a car. You can get under the hood and see how things work, swap out parts, or make repairs, as long as you can find the hood release. Windows is like a car, too...with the hood welded shut and a 10,000 volt electric current running through it to keep you from trying to get in.
ROFL! I'm going to use that quote later!

I use Linux because it is free (as in freedom). I don't have anything aganst having quicktime so I can watch MPG movies or an MP3 player so I can listem to MP3's. Yes it's not free but no one uses the free format so you have to go with what websites are compatible with...

mark
January 5th, 2005, 01:04 AM
I use Gnu/Linux because:


I generally prefer it the alternative PC operating systems
I find it a more interesting environment
I get a lot of entertainment value

By c. I mean that I entertain myself by "tinkering" - trying new & different configurations, trying new distros - and, yes, sometimes trying to chin myself out of a hole I've dug for myself! These are things that are either impossible or just don't work as well in, say, Windows.

And, with all due respect to Mr. Stallman, I disagree with his fanatical stance on free versus non-free software. Quoting from the article:
The program is available lawfully only to those who will surrender their freedom. By this reasoning, I "surrender my freedom" when I pay $9.00 to see a movie...or pay $12.99 for a new recording of Elgar's Enigma Variations.

If someone produces software that I want use and charges money for it, well and good - I will either pay, look for an alternative or do without. I do not see this as a curtailment of my freedom. The fact that many, many people choose to make high-quality software available for no charge - be it "free", "Open Source" or through some other mechanism - is a distinct bonus of our community.

wallijonn
January 5th, 2005, 01:18 AM
I guess I am wondering out loud what the point is of leaving Windows if we are just building windows workalikes in gnu/linux with all the proprietary hooks and snags.

imo, it is because "we" don't want to see another WordPerfect-like product being destroyed by the competition. Here was a superior product, which, like Photoshop, seemed to thrive in the Macintosh community. Along comes MS, and while it seemed that it could not destroy Apple, it made inroads into the Mac by supplanting WordPerfect. In the hardware field Creative destroyed a superior product by A3D (Aureal).

In the case of MSOffice one is basically left with a defacto "standard". This "standard" represents the fight between the individual and the corporation, the fight between small business and big business. In the case of open software versus non-open software it usually comes down to licensing and licensing fees. I would like to think that those of us who accept software licenses or EULAs are not engaging in practices which break those licenses. By its very nature licenses are granted to protect intellectual property, but without the inclusion of the source code, the user is at the mercy of the community and the licensing governing bodies for support.

If I were a programmer I would not write any code which would include licenses fonts, for example. But I would include the capability for my application to use whatever system fonts the user chose.

On my Windows systems I refuse to install Flash Media Player because it had an Active-X exploit. If I went to a site that was solely coded for it I would not bother entering the site if it made it mandatory for me to install their software which posed a security risk. In the case of Real Player I am at an open port risk because it has to open a port which they use to deliver their advertisments and emails. I liken it to the newer CDs which are now coming out with trailers which cannot be bypassed. This is an invasion of your liberty and freedom. I paid to see the movie, not the ads. If I wanted to see ads I would turn on the Tv or see it at a theatre. When I go to a theatre I time it so that I enter the movie exactly 12 minutes after the posted time. ;-)

leviathon
January 5th, 2005, 03:21 AM
I don't like being a corporation's beeyatch, although like the other posters, I still use proprietary multimedia standards. My main reason for running gnu/linux is that windows, no matter how spyware, adware, or virus free I kept it (actually I've never had a virus on any platform--knock on wood) it completely bogged down my brand new laptop. Gnome smokes xp in performance, customization, and overall user experience. I am currently installing Ubuntu on my son's computer and would have no problem whatsoever installing it on my moms computer. If not for some irreplaceable apps at work, I would never use a windows program again. Besides, Ubuntu just makes me feel warm and fuzzy. :D

jdodson
January 5th, 2005, 03:34 AM
And, with all due respect to Mr. Stallman, I disagree with his fanatical stance on free versus non-free software. Quoting from the article: By this reasoning, I "surrender my freedom" when I pay $9.00 to see a movie...or pay $12.99 for a new recording of Elgar's Enigma Variations.


i don't think that is what he meant. there is nothing against freedom or the gpl for purchasing anything. when you go to the movie theater to watch a movie you are purchasing a viewing experience not a take home product. there is also nothing against freedom with purchasing a music cd, however you do give up your freedom when you purchase it VIA itunes and have to deal with the DRM that apple provides all its users. if you purchased a movie online that came using DRM that you download and was only in .wmv, then my friend you have given up your freedom.

the freedom richard stallman is talking about is in regard to software, however there are many free licenses for music such as the creative commons, which can apply to movies as well(it seems).

jdodson
January 5th, 2005, 03:40 AM
I liken it to the newer CDs which are now coming out with trailers which cannot be bypassed. This is an invasion of your liberty and freedom. I paid to see the movie, not the ads. If I wanted to see ads I would turn on the Tv or see it at a theatre. When I go to a theatre I time it so that I enter the movie exactly 12 minutes after the posted time. ;-)

yeah, ads are annoying. i do not normally watch broadcast or cable or satellite television. however when i do i, get annoyed by the ads. most of them go for a knee-jerk-sub-high-school-drool-happy-comedy so you can round the water cooler the next day and say "did you see that saturn commercial, it had a monkey that was dressed up like a guy, thats pretty funny huh?" it makes less sense for commercials when you pay for television like cable or satellite, if you have to pay why do you get commercials? ok well dumb question i guess, its so mtv, disney and discovery can make more money and the movie theaters........ anyways, i am done talking now:)

crane
January 5th, 2005, 04:04 AM
I use linux because I enjoy it. A couple of years ago I set up a Quake3 server running Redhat. While doing this I started learning how linux worked and I'm still learning. I don't have any friends (around my house) that run it. Just me. I joined the LUG for my area but since then I have been out of town at almost every meeting and been unable to make it. :-(


I enjoy tinkering and linux is the perfect platform for that. With windows tinkering is limited to cleaning spyware/ viruses off or installing shareware then uninstalling. That gets old after about a week of playing :mrgreen:

So, Why do I use linux?

Because I enjoy it.

darkoptix
January 5th, 2005, 04:13 AM
Personally i found when i was using linux, everything seems to be a lot easyier to install and use. Even more so with the use of emerge and apt-get in gentoo and debian have. For me to install/use something in Windows is a real pain. First you have to download a cracked version or a demo version that lets you unlock. Then find a crack if not supplied to open the software, get rid of ads or whatever that restricts the software use. Linux is just a simple command or two, and it works. Those are the two types of freedom for software. Another thing is playing certain types of media, such as a dvd. In windows, you HAVE to install a WinDVD or PowerDVD, or some other kind of dvd playback software. Linux just has that support.
One of the reasons i don't use linux full time is because I have dialup, and a stupid radeon card. If i had broadband and maybe some drivers that work, I wouldn't even touch windows, just because of the hassle it is todo anything.

nocturn
January 5th, 2005, 09:05 AM
You make a valid point. And to a degree RMS is right... but theory and practice differ a lot.

For the majority of companies/websites to take notice, a system must gain critical mass. To reach critical mass, there will always be a period of transition in which the system in question needs to expand it's user base.
Now, some very pure users may be compelled to run a 100% free system (no MP3, no DVD, no movie codecs, most sites not working, ...) , but the majority will turn away from that system in favor of something that works.

Now, I'm very much behind the idea of doing everything the Free way. Like my main IM system is jabber and I push this to others as much as possible (it is now used as the default for my project's development group). Yet I have many friends that are on ICQ and MSN to who I also need to communicate. In time, I may be able to get them to look at jabber, but for now I require access to non-free networks.

You can see an example of this happening with FireFox. Until a good year ago, most websites I used (outside Free Software sites) required IE and would be broken to some degree on Mozilla/Konqueror/*.
Today, most of these sites are working on FireFox with the site maintainer reacting when I report something broken on this browser.
FireFox is in the process of reaching critical mass, Linux is also doing this, but at a slower rate (on the desktop).

Once Linux reaches an install-base of 10% or more, it can gradualy start pushing the use of standards that are free.
Until then, companies will regard it as a rounding error and we will be left with the choice to accept some non-free components for the time being or have systems that are more limited in capabilities that are much less likely to get someone to switch from Windows.

Just my 0.02 ;-)