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Running Linux

  1. Nov 8, 2007 #1
    Recently I've been reading up some, and in certain communities Linux and particularly Unix are very well accepted. I want to switch over to Linux or Unix or possibly have both on my system. Any suggestions on which versions to run?
    So far, I think I may settle on Red Hat because some of my friends have a copy of it, but have no idea on how to use it. Also, Im quite certain that I will have to read up a lot of material to use Linux effectively. Any ideas on which books I should buy?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2007 #2


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    Ubuntu is favorite with home users for desktop installs but it really doesn't matter, you get pretty much the same apps with all and the apps can run on any distribution.

    Ubuntu does have the advantage of a live cd where it runs completely in memory (booting from the cd) so you can test it out without touching the harddrive. Most distros will also repartition your drive without losing windows.

    As for using it - if you are just using gui apps it's no different from windows/mac - there are probably more differences in the different vista themes than between linux/windows.
    If you want to use the command line ( the real power of unix ) O'reilly used to be the best for unix books.
  4. Nov 8, 2007 #3
    Good choice. :wink:

    Just a few threads below yours : i think i want to try linux out. But that thread is a "bit" biased towards Ubuntu, so here's a site that lists almost every distribution available. http://distrowatch.com

    If you know people around you who can help you out, then I would suggest that you install one of the distros they use. (In your case, Red Hat.)

    I haven't yet bought a proper book on Linux. In fact, there's one usually recommended for beginners from O'Reilly that goes by the name Running Linux. I downloaded the guides from TLDP.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2007
  5. Nov 8, 2007 #4


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    .......If you've interested in Red Hat related Linux distros Fedora 8 is being release today (the "community" project of Red Hat). And if you want a clone of Red Hat EL 5, the current "enterprise" level release, which is free you may want to check out centos (if you've interests towards server side of things or want a more "sturdy" distribution which takes new things in bit more slowly). For desktop don't think you really can choose "wrong", going with any major one like ubuntu and you'll do fine.
  6. Nov 8, 2007 #5
    I think you got the unix/linux thing pretty mixed up..
    Unix is a system which follows the SUS (Single UNIX Specification), mac OSX is such a system for example, so is darwin (mac OSX's open source derivative - mac OSX in turn was derived from freeBSD - which is not fully Unix certified)
    many Linux distributions are Unix-like (but not Unix), because they follow many POSIX and SUS standards.

    Unix is not an Operating system (just a set of standards), and is not Linux.
    and Linux is not an Operating system (just a kernel) and its distributions are Unix-like.

    now for the more helpful part of my post:
    have a look here
    it will recommend a Linux distribution for you.

    I recommend Ubuntu, but I'm biased =P
    anyway, the difference between the distributions is not all that big, have a look at my posts on that other thread...
    (my last post on that thread also demonstrates linux's strength with shell scripting)
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2007
  7. Nov 8, 2007 #6


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    It's a bit splitting hairs. Unix is whatever who owns the trademark this week says it is.
    Through most of the 90s there were usually at least 'n' court cases in progress at any time. Currently the SUS group own 'Unix' but that might change.

    There are a lot more OSs that are Unix-like, including Linux.
    It's a bit like claiming you speak English - is that only true if you have a TOEFL certificate, do you speak English if you are American/Canadian/Australian/Scottish ?
  8. Nov 8, 2007 #7
    Scottish people don't really speak English :rofl:
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2007
  9. Nov 8, 2007 #8
    I want to know how to do things the command line way... there are several books available for download on the net on unix/linux which I think ill use initially... thank you all for checking this post out
  10. Nov 8, 2007 #9
    All of them? Choice isn't a bad thing.


    Based on rank alone, I recommend any of the top 5. Based on experience, I strongly recommend ubuntu(or kubuntu) & sabayon as I'm using them right now on my two computers. I don't think any are really bad - at least i've never had a bad experience. Eg I recently tried out vector & elive (for what should be obvious reasons). While they were not quite up to the previous two's standards, they were still good enough to use, low rank notwithstanding.

    If you see something even slightly interesting, burn a livecd & try it out.

    Don't forget to image your windows partition & keep something that does fixmbr close.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2007
  11. Nov 8, 2007 #10

    jim mcnamara

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    FWIW - The open group & IEEE "own" SUSv2, SUSv3 and the current incarnation of POSIX.
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