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speedingbullet
January 20th, 2007, 01:59 AM
Hello everyone, before I post in the introductory thread, I would like to ask a question. But before that, I would like to give my story with Linux because it kind of goes with the question (you can skip this part if you want to).

Ever since sometime in September 06, Ive jumped from windows XP pro to Ubuntu. Before Ubuntu, my experience with Linux was awful. You see, I went to this small computer shop about 2 years ago, and I found a copy of red hat 8 for only $20. But the license of it was already being used, and I couldn't figure out a thing at setting up programs. All I ever managed to install was Flash player, real player, and yahoo messenger. But all at once, Red hat just crashed due to one of those fatal errors on me... I couldn't figure out if it was Red hat, or the fact that the computer I was using it on was a piece of garbage (It was a 98 Compaq Presario, so If your familiar with them, you'll understand). I tried installing it again, and the installation did work, but it said the hard drive was messed up, and eventually the hardware itself just crashed beyond the worth of repair. Ever since then, I never wanted to use Linux again. But back in about September last year, my friend was always asking me if he could use my main computer because the one I let him use was a piece of crap. Since I cant trust him with my computer (he'll click any link a friend sends him), I was considering installing Fedora over the computer he used, since I knew that Linux was more efficient then windows 2000. But the next day at school I was doing an article review for homework at CNN.com. When I saw an article that was named something like "Shuttleworth challenges Microsoft" my interest was severely peaked. Before that, I thought open source software meant "Efficient Software in Linux programming that can be ported to other OS's. But when the article explained what open source software was, and what Ubuntu's goal was, I felt bad that I didn't see this a couple of years earlier.


So I tried Xubuntu, and I was greatly surprised on turned my HP e-vectra from "needs to retire in the garbage disposal" to "can actually still be used for more years to come". The results were far beyond what I expected, and then I grew to greatly like this great Linux distribution.
Although Linux was something I wanted to switch to, I couldn't just get rid of windows like that, because I had a lot to learn about Ubuntu first. But then a month later, Windows XP pro on my main computer just crashed on me. It wasn't out of the clear blue though, because I could have reformatted everything a month ago when the error first started appearing. I didn't because I didn't own a copy of XP pro to actually reinstall everything. With Vista coming out soon, and the fact that I'd have to upgrade my computer just slightly more for Vista to run without any problems, AND to top that off with the fact that I'd have to spend a lot of money to purchase vista, I grew fed up with windows and installed Ubuntu Dapper over my main computer.

Ok stories over, and now to the actual question. How exactly is Ubuntu (generalizing
Linux) different from windows? Heres what I have figured out.


Ubuntu like windows, CAN catch viruses and spyware, however they wouldn't affect Ubuntu because its barely possible to log on as the root user unless you do it in terminal.

Ubuntu can just be installed over and over, but for windows, you have to reformat the hard drive from a separate disk, then install the windows software, and if you reinstall the software too many times, you have to buy another windows disk due to the fact that windows software can only be registered on three "computers".... I'm guessing because Microsoft is greedy....

Installing software on Ubuntu can be even more of a pain then on windows if the software isnt on the Ubuntu software channel, and if the only version you can use is in source code.

To fix a huge system error on Ubuntu, a short yet hard to remember code can be issued in terminal, which can fix the error altogether, allowing you to simply go about your business. If theres a major error on windows, theres nothing you ever can do, and you can kiss all those funny pictures and important documents good bye, because your windows kernel is beyond repair. If you actually can fix the error, its not like it really matters because the kernel is still greatly damaged, and you still have to reinstall windows.

From what Ive heard, Linux needs repositories, if there not updated, Linux will crash. Whats up with that?


Sorry for the long story, but what are other reasons Ubuntu is different?

Daveski
January 20th, 2007, 02:24 AM
Ubuntu can just be installed over and over, but for windows, you have to reformat the hard drive from a separate disk, then install the windows software, and if you reinstall the software too many times, you have to buy another windows disk due to the fact that windows software can only be registered on three "computers".... I'm guessing because Microsoft is greedy....


This is a bit harsh on Windows, as you are able to do things such as reinstalling over the existing copy - although some of the more advanced installation methods may be unavailible in OEM versions as the manufacturers usually just give a 'reset to how it came out of the factory' installs.

The difference here is that with a carefully constructed Linux system you do not have to reinstall all your apps as there is no central registry like windows. Even a repair on Windows may force you to reinstall apps.

Also, if you have a valid copy of Windows, you are able to reinstall as many times as you like - sure you cannot install the same copy on many machines as this is illegal.


Installing software on Ubuntu can be even more of a pain then on windows if the software isnt on the Ubuntu software channel, and if the only version you can use is in source code.

Much Linux software is distributed compiled for certain platforms, but with open source software you can compile a version optimised for your platform. The source being availible means that the developer of the software cannot hide trojan functions. Theoretically you are free to see exactly what the application does AND how it does it.


To fix a huge system error on Ubuntu, a short yet hard to remember code can be issued in terminal, which can fix the error altogether, allowing you to simply go about your business.

Indeed, and although the 'code' might be hard to remember, you should actually learn quite a bit about what the fix is doing. When you are a guru you don't have to remember as you can work out what to do logically.


If theres a major error on windows, theres nothing you ever can do, and you can kiss all those funny pictures and important documents good bye, because your windows kernel is beyond repair. If you actually can fix the error, its not like it really matters because the kernel is still greatly damaged, and you still have to reinstall windows.

Hmm, major Windows errors often CAN be fixed - usually requires guru status again, or extremely good luck in finding a Microsoft Knowledgebase article...
As for your data being destroyed, well you should always have this backed up - this is true for a Linux system just as much as a Windows one.


From what Ive heard, Linux needs repositories, if there not updated, Linux will crash. Whats up with that?

Don't understand this at all. A repository is a really great place to hunt down software and updates specifically tested to work with your flavour of Linux. You can install Ubuntu from the CD and never touch a repository. The system will run just fine until you break it or the hardware dies.

Microsoft has online repositories for Windows and most of their major apps - the difference here is that an original XP system which has never run the service packs and update from Microsoft's repositories is much more likely to have fallen victim to malicious code than a vanilla Linux system.

Choad
January 20th, 2007, 02:37 AM
ubuntu can catch viruses in the same way that osX can catch viruses. ie, only in theory. not in practice yet.

linux, from a purely technical standpoit, is pretty much guaranteed to piddle all over windows from every angle.

however from a practical point of view, there are numerous things that are inferior to windows. not much of it is linux's or ubuntu's fault however. drivers, codecs, etc.

lack of 3rd party software (ie games, photoshop etc) is another advantage to windows, but again its not an inherent advantage of windows, nor an inherent disadvantage of linux. its just the way it is. its not like linux couldnt handle photoshop, its just that adobe dont see the point in releasing it for linux.

ACPI is a total ****. it has put a serious damper on my experience with ubuntu on my new laptop. i really hope this improves soon.

Daveski
January 20th, 2007, 02:47 AM
ACPI is a total ****. it has put a serious damper on my experience with ubuntu on my new laptop. i really hope this improves soon.

ACPI was developed by Microsoft (and HP, Intel, Phoenix and Toshiba) :-)

speedingbullet
January 20th, 2007, 02:54 AM
Ok, theres this windows guru who I know whos superior tome at computers, he said that his friend told him that the reason linux had crashed on him was because he didnt update his drivers.... I figured repositories was what he was talking about later....


I didnt put to much thought into this one, sorry.

Choad
January 20th, 2007, 02:56 AM
ACPI was developed by Microsoft (and HP, Intel, Phoenix and Toshiba) :-)
then its a typical linux problem. ie, not linux's fault technically, but undeniably a complete bitch

Daveski
January 20th, 2007, 03:06 AM
Choad, is your laptop a Toshiba one? These are notorious for only having hardware which is Windows friendly. Some of them leave some major BIOS stuff out if Windows is able to cope without it. This makes getting a working Linux system on a laptop like this a real chore.

Choad
January 20th, 2007, 03:15 AM
Choad, is your laptop a Toshiba one? These are notorious for only having hardware which is Windows friendly. Some of them leave some major BIOS stuff out if Windows is able to cope without it. This makes getting a working Linux system on a laptop like this a real chore.
nope, zepto

a relatively unheard of make, but very nice. looks great, good specs, came OS free. all the other hardware works a charm with linux, but ACPI is just a giant turd in the middle of the otherwise delicious ubuntu gateaux

jdhore
January 20th, 2007, 03:20 AM
Choad, is your laptop a Toshiba one? These are notorious for only having hardware which is Windows friendly. Some of them leave some major BIOS stuff out if Windows is able to cope without it. This makes getting a working Linux system on a laptop like this a real chore.

i'll comment on more of this stuff when i have time...but I have a Toshiba laptop and EVERYTHING on it (with the exception of the built-in card reader) is natively supported in Debian Etch and Ubuntu 6.06, 6.10 and OSx86