C.O.L.A. Newcomer FAQ and Primer - Ubuntu

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  1. C.O.L.A. Newcomer FAQ and Primer

    High Plains Thumper a écrit:
    > > ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++
    > > + +
    > > + C.O.L.A. Newcomer FAQ and Primer +
    > > + Edition: 21 - 9/24/06 +
    > > + Group: comp.os.linux.advocacy +
    > > + +
    > > + Copyright (c) 2002-2006 Linux Reality Team
    > >
    > >
    > > http://linuxidiots.blogspot.com/ +
    > >
    > > ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++
    > >
    > > Welcome to comp.os.linux.advocacy, otherwise known as cola. This
    > > FAQ will try to address most of the issues regarding Linux and
    > > this group. Unlike the other FAQs, this one will try to be as
    > > realistic as possible. If you want the straight information from
    > > real people, continue reading. If you would like to be told what
    > > you want to hear, or read a bunch of misinformation that you will
    > > regret later as you find things don't work as they should, feel free
    > > to read one of the other "FAQS" in here.
    > >
    > > OK, on to the info! ADDED NEW SECTION BELOW!
    > >
    > > Here's a list of some frequently asked and answered question here
    > > and elsewhere that you may find useful in your quest to try linux.
    > > Read these carefully before you decide to invest time in Linux, you
    > > may find that you have better things you can do instead.
    > >
    > > --------------------------
    > >
    > > 1.1 Q: I heard linux was easy to install, is it?
    > > A: That depends on what distro you try. Most of them will have
    > > trouble detecting all your hardware. Most new hardware devices
    > > are not supported. If your lucky you might be able to find
    > > something that someone threw together on the net. But that's
    > > after spending a couple hours searching and probably won't take
    > > advantage of your hardware to it's fullest capability.
    > >
    > > 1.2 Q: Once I get it installed, then what?
    > > A: Then you get the joy of making sure everything is configured
    > > right. Plan on a minimum of two hours per device to get it to
    > > work. That's if the device is even supported.
    > >
    > > 1.3 Q: What happens if I'm in the middle of an install and the
    > > installation freezes or just stops?
    > > A: You get to reboot and start all over again. This happens
    > > every so often with Linux. It seems like it's buggy install
    > > routines or something. Ain't Linux grand?
    > >
    > > 1.4 Q: What's the deal?! I installed Linux and it took up almost 2GB
    > > hard drive space!
    > > A: The Linux distros usually install a LOT of never-used programs
    > > on the default install. You can pick and choose what you want,
    > > but good luck figuring out what programs are needed and what is
    > > useless, obscure tools. Linux usually installs stuff like 10
    > > different editors, 12 different mail clients, and so on.
    > >
    > > (more to come...)
    > >
    > > ---------------------------
    > >
    > > 2.1 Q: What's with all these cryptic files?
    > > A: All of Linux is configured with cryptic text files. Some of
    > > the more user-friendly distros have configuration utilities
    > > that claim to do it for you, but success with these works
    > > sometimes and other times don't, so sometimes you have to
    > > edit them by hand. With Linux's spotty reliability in UI
    > > programming, you might as well get used to it.
    > >
    > > 2.2 Q: What is killall, HUP, ls, cat, rm, which, etc and why are
    > > these programs telling me to do them? Arggg!!
    > > A: These are command line programs that do things within the
    > > system. It's what makes Linux a powerful OS for those that
    > > are experienced with it. But it's also what makes it a pain
    > > in the arse to use and inefficient as a desktop system. Who
    > > wants to type all the time when they can just click?!
    > >
    > > (more to come...)
    > >
    > > ----------------------------
    > >
    > > 3.1 Q: Where can I get some programs to run on linux?
    > > A: Good question. Because Linux doesn't have a large user base
    > > on the desktop,(I think it's about 0.24%, less than 1%)
    > > companies that make software won't write their programs for
    > > Linux. There's a lot of community created programs out there,
    > > and some are fairly good, but those are few and far between.
    > > Most of the Linux software that tries to mimic it's windows
    > > counterpart is substandard. It's usually slow and buggy and
    > > early in development.
    > >
    > > 3.2 Q: I tried to install an RPM but I got 'failed dependencies', what
    > > is that?
    > > A: That's Linux's version of DLL hell. Different versions and
    > > distros use different libraries. So unlike windows where
    > > programs will run on many different versions, Linux programs
    > > will fail if they're not made for your specific version.
    > >
    > > 3.3 Q: What is compiling and configure, make and make install? And
    > > what is a makefile?
    > > A: This is a way to build the programs from the source code
    > > under Linux. When the question above fails, you can always
    > > build it yourself. The advantage is that it works most of
    > > the time. The disadvantage is that it takes forever to build
    > > large programs, you need to know some cryptic commands and
    > > you have to do all this on a command line. Unlike Windows
    > > where you just double click and you are done.
    > >
    > > 3.4 Q: Can I go to my local store to buy any Linux applications?
    > > A: Not really. You can buy Linux itself at various stores. But
    > > not too many commercial companies make applications for Linux,
    > > there's no profit in it with 0.24% of the desktop market.
    > >
    > > (more to come...)
    > >
    > > ---------------------------
    > >
    > > 4.1 Q: Why is Linux so slow?
    > > A: Linux is built on the technology of the old UNIX OS's. Even
    > > the graphical user interface of Linux is a separate program
    > > that
    > > is the same type they used back in the older UNIX days. So
    > > working with old technology will give you the old technology
    > > responsiveness. Also, a lot of the GUI's, although nice to look
    > > at, are still not mature. Using them is slow and sluggish
    > > compared to, say, Windows.
    > >
    > > (more to come...)
    > >
    > > --------------------------
    > >
    > > 5.1 Q: Why are the windows different looking?
    > > A: Since Linux isn't built by one company, group or have any
    > > governing body, programs and interfaces can vary dramatically.
    > > You can have everything from the nice look of KDE, to something
    > > as ugly as TK and everything in between. You'll usually see
    > > some
    > > varying UI stile in Linux.
    > >
    > > 5.2 Q: Should I buy Suse Linux?
    > > A: No. They make it difficult to get it for free. All the other
    > > distros provide free ISO's to download. Suse is the only one
    > > that doesn't provide them but instead has a FTP install that's
    > > hard to get to work. Why should they make it easy? The more
    > > people that can't get the download to work have to spend $80
    > > or more for the boxed set. And on top of all that although
    > > it might have a few more user friendly tools, it's still the
    > > same base Linux system that's in development and that all the
    > > other distros are using. In other words, they're all on about
    > > the same level of struggling to catch up to Windows, so you're
    > > not going to find any earth-shattering features in one compared
    > > to another.
    > >
    > > (more to come...)
    > >
    > > -----------------------------
    > >
    > > 6.1 Q: What is RTFM?!
    > > A: This is an acronym for Read The Fuc*ing Manual. This is a
    > > common
    > > answer you'll get when asking for help in the Linux community.
    > > It's meant to make you feel inadequate while boating the Linux
    > > persons ego at the same time. See, Linux enthusiasts consider
    > > themselves to be guru like and above helping out the simple
    > > newbie. You have to earn your respect by spending countless
    > > hours becoming a kernel hacker before you're worthy of getting
    > > any help.
    > >
    > > 6.2 Q: Why does everyone think they are better than you when using
    > > Linux?
    > > A: Same as above. When people use Linux they believe since it
    > > takes
    > > a little more knowledge to use Linux, they are technically
    > > superior,
    > > and see themselves as an elite group that doesn't have time for
    > > the
    > > pathetic little Windows people.
    > >
    > > (more to come...)
    > >
    > > ---------------------------------------------------
    > >
    > > 7.1 Q: Everyone in here says linux is perfect, why would they say that
    > > if it isn't?
    > > A: We really don't know. Maybe they've used Linux so long that
    > > they've gotten used to it. Some of these people haven't used
    > > Windows in years so they are comparing Linux to the last
    > > windows
    > > they used, maybe Windows 3.1 or 95.
    > >
    > > 7.2 Q: Why does everyone call you a troll when you ask something that
    > > questions linux?
    > > A: Most of the people here in C.O.L.A. think of Linux more like a
    > > religion than an OS. They mostly are MS haters and feel that
    > > Linux is the greatest thing to ever hit computing. So when
    > > someone questions Linux it's like questioning their belief
    > > system. Instead of looking at it with some logic and
    > > reasonable
    > > judgment, they will lash out at you can't claim your are a
    > > troll
    > > or a paid MS supporter.
    > >
    > > 7.3 Q: Why does everyone you if you question Linux?
    > > A: Fairly similar to above, Linux advocates can not argue their
    > > point rationally. So to make it look like you are under them
    > > or
    > > you are not worth it, and at the same time find an easy way out
    > > of having to prove themselves, they will you.
    > >
    > > (more to come...)
    > > -----------------------------------------
    > >
    > > 8.1 Q: There are some people that call this FAQ lies and seem to treat
    > > it like it's a conspiracy against them, and post all sorts of links
    > > to anti-microsoft articles. Why are they reacting so strongly?
    > > A: The people that are reacting so strongly are most likely the
    > > Linux extremists that believe everything negitive that is said about
    > > Linux comes from Microsoft. Like many cult-like groups, the people
    > > that belong to them don't have the ability to see things rationally
    > > or outside of their view. If someone replies to the FAQ, or
    > > anything questioning a non-favorable view on Linux, that seems a
    > > little
    > > "over the edge", do a google search on the person
    > > (http://groups.google.com/) and look at his/her posting history
    > > then decide for yourself if the person is credible or not.
    > >
    > > (more to come...)
    > > -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    > >
    > > A Little About Me:
    > >
    > > What Others on digg.com think of me:
    > >
    > > http://tinyurl.com/ysrz8u
    > >
    > > http://tinyurl.com/ysrz8u
    > >

  2. Re: C.O.L.A. Newcomer FAQ and Primer

    Depraved coward "Anonymous Sender" falsely attributing a bogus
    FAQ to "High Plains Thumper"

    From: Anonymous Sender
    Subject: C.O.L.A. Newcomer FAQ and Primer
    Message-ID: <6945f991126cdd89526f438dddd39ddb@remailer.metacolo .com>
    Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 04:15:17 +0000 (UTC)
    Mail-To-News-Contact: abuse@dizum.com
    Organization: mail2news@dizum.com

    > Hi
    >>> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++
    >>> + +
    >>> + C.O.L.A. Newcomer FAQ and Primer +
    >>> + Edition: 21 - 9/24/06 +
    >>> + Group: comp.os.linux.advocacy +
    >>> + +
    >>> + Copyright (c) 2002-2006 Linux Reality Team
    >>> http://linuxidiots


    >>> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++
    >>> Welcome to comp.os.linux.advocacy, otherwise known as cola. This
    >>> FAQ will try to address most of the issues regarding Linux and
    >>> this group. Unlike the other FAQs, this one will try to be as
    >>> realistic as possible. If you want the straight information from
    >>> real people, continue reading. If you would like to be told what
    >>> you want to hear, or read a bunch of misinformation that you will
    >>> regret later as you find things don't work as they should, feel free
    >>> to read one of the other "FAQS" in here.
    >>> OK, on to the info! ADDED NEW SECTION BELOW!

    >>> -----------------------------------------
    >>> 8.1 Q: There are some people that call this FAQ lies

    because it is. Especially revealing is the 245 lines at the end of
    Clogwog's bogus FAQ that contain only ">".

    Following are excerpts from the official FAQ, entire text is found at:


    ************************************************** ******

    [comp.os.linux.advocacy] FAQ and Primer for COLA, Edition III

    Copyright: (c) 2002 The FAQ and Primer for COLA Team -- All Rights

    Frequently Asked Questions and Primer for comp.os.linux.advocacy

    Edition III

    April 19, 2002

    | Beware of those who would call you a friend for |
    | many will eat your bread while working against |
    | you. They will take credit for your good works |
    | and blame you for their own misdeeds. |
    | - The Great Unknown |

    1.1 Availability

    This document is posted on a weekly to the comp.os.linux.advocacy,
    comp.answers, and news.answers newsgroups. In addition it is archived
    at rtfm.mit.edu ftp archive and its mirrors and is also available on
    the Internet FAQ Consortium's website at www.faqs.org.

    1.2 Welcome to comp.os.linux.advocacy

    If you are new to Linux and/or comp.os.linux.advocacy, welcome. It is
    hoped that you will will enjoy your time in comp.os.linux.advocacy and
    find it educational. We also hope that you will find Linux as useful
    for you. and that in the ripeness of time that you will become a
    contributing member of the Linux community.

    COLA is like a meeting hall for Linux advocacy. A place where those
    who advocate the use of Linux can meet and discuss all things Linux.
    In addition it is a place were individuals interested in Linux can
    come to gain an understanding of the Linux and the Linux community and
    to learn about the capabilities of Linux from those who are
    experienced with the use, administration, and development of Linux.

    By using Linux as a user or sysadmin you are a member of the Linux
    community of which this newsgroup is an asset. The Linux community is
    world-wide and interconnected by the internet and other networks gated
    to the internet.

    The description that your news server delivers to you for
    comp.os.linux.advocacy, or COLA for short, is "Benefits of Linux
    compared to other operating systems". That description is derived from
    the charter of COLA. Sometimes advocacy groups are viewed as a place
    where the bickering undesirables of other newsgroups are directed, in
    order to remove a disruption from another group on the same general
    subject. That is incorrect for COLA.

    1.3 Contributing to this FAQ and Primer

    All those who advocate the use of Linux are invited to submit material
    and suggestions to be considered for future versions of this document.
    Submissions should be sent by email to mjcr@mindspring.com. You may
    also post your submissions in COLA; however, in that case you should
    still email your submission as well, so that the submission will not
    be missed as can happen if it were posted in COLA only.

    Submissions offered by those who may deemed to be hostile to Linux,
    including but not limited to anti-Linux propagandists, will not be

    1.4 The Charter of comp.os.linux.advocacy

    The charter of comp.os.linux.advocacy is:

    For discussion of the benefits of Linux compared to other operating

    That single sentence is the one and only charter of the newsgroup
    comp.os.linux.advocacy. The newsgroup's charter is for the newsgroup
    as a place for supporters of Linux to gather to discuss Linux, for the
    betterment of the Linux community and the promotion and development of
    Linux. It supports this as a place for those who would like to learn
    more about Linux to come to learn from those who know Linux. It does
    not call for it to be a place where the anti-Linux propagandists to
    gather in order to discredit Linux.

    You may have heard of another charter sometimes called by some the
    "original charter," that opens the newsgroup to the abuses that are
    inflicted on Linux by those who oppose Linux. That other charter never
    existed, it was a proposed charter for another newsgroup that never
    was created that would also have been called comp.os.linux.advocacy.

    On 14 Feb 1994, Danny Gould dgould@helix.nih.gov posted
    comp.os.linux.advocacy-RFD1@uunet.uu.net a Request for Discussion
    entitled "Request for Discussion (RFD) on comp.os.linux.advocacy" to
    the news.groups newsgroup. That RFD was cross posted to the
    appropriate newsgroups and a number of other inappropriate newsgroups
    as well. It included the following proposed charter:

    The proposed group will provide a forum for the discussion of Linux.
    In addition, it will allow comp.os.linux.misc to deal with Linux-
    specific issues. Discussion will include (but not be limited to) the
    discussion of the pros and cons of Linux and applications for Linux,
    and the comparison of Linux with other operating systems and
    environments such as Microsoft DOS and Windows, SCO UNIX, Coherent,
    NeXTstep, Macintosh System, etc. It will be an unmoderated forum.

    The call for votes on the proposal was not posted, the issue died
    without a vote.

    On 4 Oct 1994, Dave Sill de5@ornl.gov posted 37mn57$dhs@rodan.UU.NET a
    Request for Discussion entitled "REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD)
    comp.os.linux reorganization." Thus far comp.os.linux.advocacy was not
    yet proposed. Note that unlike Danny, Dave posted the Request for
    Discussions to appropriate newsgroups only, that is a hallmark of a
    serious effort.

    On 14 Oct 1994, Dave Sill de5@de5.ornl.gov posted
    37mn57$dhs@rodan.UU.NET a revised version of this Request for
    Discussion, this revised posting called for the creation of
    comp.os.linux.advocacy among other comp.os.linux.* groups. Dave
    proposed this charter for comp.os.linux.advocacy:

    For discussion of the benefits of Linux compared to other operating

    The Call for Votes went out in the required form, and on 13 Dec 1994
    posted the results ikluft@amdahl.com with greater than 8 to 1 in favor
    of the creation of comp.os.linux.advocacy (our COLA) with Dave's
    proposed charter. On that date, that charter became effective and that
    other charter that was proposed for the other comp.os.linux.advocacy
    that never was created, never became anything that affects this

    Those who oppose Linux and have invaded comp.os.linux.advocacy in
    order to try to subvert the purpose of this newsgroup will continue as
    they have to insult the intelligence of the Linux advocates by citing
    that other proposed charter of that other newsgroup that never came
    into existence. They also have continued to quote from the
    introductory paragraph of the Danny's Request for Discussion as though
    that were a part of any actual or even a part of the failed, proposed
    charter. Perhaps they feel that the introductory section provides them
    with a greater impact.

    When someone posts citations from that failed Request for Discussion
    in order to make it appear that the anti-Linux propagandists are
    sanctioned to be posting in COLA, as was done by an anti-Linux
    propagandist on January 13, 2002 in article
    pMr08.457$Wf1.316644@ruti.visi.com, then once again by another anti-
    Linux propagandist on February 13, 2002 in article
    d6761fb5.0202131955.6c3b9f22@posting.google.com they are not only
    using disinformation they are also insulting the intelligence of
    everyone who is a reader COLA.

    2 COLA

    2.1 On Topic Subjects

    On-topic is anything anything regarding Linux that is of interest to a
    person who advocates the use of Linux, or requests for information
    about Linux by a person who would like to learn about it. COLA is also
    a great place to share your Linux success stories.

    COLA is not a place to advocate the use of other operating systems,
    there are other newsgroups for advocating them. COLA is not a place to
    vent real or imagined complaints regarding Linux. There are other
    newsgroups created for that purpose.

    COLA is not a place to post advertisements or other promotions for
    financial gain or for promoting anything other than the use of Linux
    operating system and growth of the Linux community.

    3 Linux

    Linux is an operating system based on the unix class of operating
    systems. It can be argued that Linux is the kernel of the operating
    system; however, in common usage the word Linux is used to refer to
    entire operating system as a whole, an operating system comprised of
    the kernel, systems utility software, user utility software and to a
    lesser extent the applications software. This is the practice that
    will be followed in this document. Specific instances of this from
    given vendors are referred to as Linux Distributions.

    Linux as stated above, is based on unix, but is not legally a clone of
    the unix operating system. On the other hand it looks like unix,
    behaves like unix, feels like unix enough to functionally be
    considered a unix. Linux is more compatible with both major classes of
    unix, BSD and AT&T, than they are with each other. Linux fully
    operates with with the other unixes as an equal peer via networking.

    Linux runs software compatible with those other unixes and in most
    cases the very same software does run on each of those unixes and
    Linux as well. Where the other unixes have deviated from each other
    with various utilities or services, Linux typically supports both of
    their styles of utilities. Often Linux is more compatible with the
    various unixes, than they are with each other.

    Linus Torvalds started developing Linux from scratch as a better unix
    than than the Minix that was then available. Minix is a contraction of
    Minimal Unix, and is the name of a very minimal unix that was licensed
    for educational purposes. The name Linux is in turn a contraction of
    Linus's Minix, although the actual results of Linus's early releases
    had already so far out classed Minix so that Linus's Unix would have
    been a better base to form the contraction Linux.

    One of the major goals of creating Linux was to create a unix that was
    free from the encumbrances of existing unixes and the licensing that
    restricted the use of Minix. So it was necessary to write the Linux
    kernel from scratch.

    The Linux operating system provides all the features that users and
    administrators should expect from any modern, high-performance
    operating system. Many of these features have been a part of Linux and
    stable for years. While the developers of various, so-called popular
    operating systems claim to be innovating, they are only playing catch
    up with Linux. As this document is being written, Linux is increasing
    its lead with the
    development on the 2.5.x series developmental/experimental kernels.

    3.1 The Kernel

    The Kernel is the core of the operating system. That is the part that
    communicates with devices, handles memory management, schedules
    processes, and provides other basic services to the systems utility
    software, user utility software and applications software. Thanks to
    the fact that the kernel handles the hardware and provides a uniform
    view of it to higher level software, regardless of your hardware
    platform, Linux will present the user with a uniform environment. That
    means that once you as a user of Linux learn to run it on a PC, or a
    Mac, or a minicomputer, or a mainframe computer you will be able to
    sit down to use Linux on any other of the supported platforms, and
    feel right at home. The hardware may look and feel different such as a
    different key layout or a different pointing device, but Linux
    knowledge is portable across hardware platforms. Members of the team
    that produced this document can attest to this, through their first
    hand experience on multiple hardware platforms running Linux.

    Many versions of the Linux kernel have been released, in fact since
    the release of the Linux kernel version 1.0.0 in there have been over
    600 official main line kernels released, including the AC series of
    Linux kernels there have been almost 900 releases in that time. The
    reason for so many releases has to do with the development of the
    kernel being an open process, this way you don't have to wait for
    months or years for a needed patch to be provided or for a feature
    that you really need to be made available.

    3.9 Linux's Compatibility With Other Operating System

    Linux is compatible at different levels with many other operating
    systems, ranging from the networking level all the way to running the
    same software.

    3.9.1 Compatible With Windows

    Linux can run Windows software by running that software under the
    actual Windows operating system (requiring a properly licensed copy of
    Windows) that is in turn running as a guest operating system in a PC
    emulator such as VMware. Linux can also run Windows software on Linux
    itself with an implementation of the Windows Application Programming
    Interface (API) via Wine. It is also possible to compile the source
    code for Windows based
    software on Linux and link it against the Wine libraries to produce a
    Linux executable of that Windows software. One note about Wine, Wine
    can only run on PC style hardware, since it is not a PC emulator
    hardware, and runs the Windows software directly on the underlying

    Linux can provide network printers and act as a fileserver for Windows
    computers by running Samba using TCP/IP networking. You can also use
    MarsNWE to provide printers and network volumes using IPX/SPX
    networking. Linux can also access shares and printers provided by
    computers running Windows by the use of Samba and the Samba
    filesystem. Linux can also be a file, and print server to Windows
    clients by using Samba. Linux machines
    can access Windows machines that are emulating NetWare file servers by
    using the NetWare core protocol filesystem.

    Linux can read and write to Windows hard drive partitions that use the
    filesystems of MS-DOS and Windows 9x. The NTFS filesystem are a bit
    problematic because of their nature and they way their specifications
    change from version to version. Linux can read Windows NT, Windows
    2000, and Windows XP NTFS partitions well; however, writing directly
    to such partitions is possible but not recommended.

    There is an indirect method for Linux to read and write to NTFS
    partitions. Running Windows under a PC emulator such as VMware, give
    that copy of Windows access to the NTFS partition or partitions and
    have that copy of Windows running as a fileserver. Then let Linux
    access the fileserver through a virtual or actual network connection.

    Linux understands the Windows extensions to the CD-ROM standards.
    Linux can both read them and generate them. Linux can also access
    Windows diskettes and other disk media, either by mounting them as any
    other Linux partition can be mounted, or by the use of the mtools.

    3.9.3 Compatible With MacOS

    Linux can provide network printers and act as a fileserver for
    Macintosh computers. Linux can access Macintosh based print servers
    and fileserver.

    Linux can read and write Macintosh floppies, hard drives, and other
    disk media.

    3.10 Linux Leaves Users Wanting Less

    From them 1950's through the 1970's users would expect their computers
    to operate as specified in the manuals and the specification sheets.
    The POP manuals (Principal of Operations manuals) and the rest of the
    documentation of those computers were considered to be faithful
    representations of the operations of those computers.

    There was one computer that was installed in 1964, the organization
    that owned it decommisioned it in 1984, and wanted to donate it to a
    college computer science department but they had lost the installation
    media of the machine's operating system. The computer was running
    twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week for those twenty years
    without a single reboot or any down time. There were components that
    had failed: individual tape drives and card readers/punches had worn
    out and were replaced, CRT terminals were added and the most of the
    card readers, the old model 26 keypunch stations and most of the model
    29 keypunch stations were retired. Disk drives were added to that
    computer years after the initial installation, None of that needed any
    downtime or reboots.

    In the 1970's there was the development of microprocessors and
    microcomputers, most of them matched their operating systems in what
    ever form they came in and were as reliable as the computers of the
    prior decade. Some of the hardware was problematic but the operating
    systems would generally operate as specified.

    In the early 1980's something started to change. Today many users have
    come to accept and even expect their computers and operating system to
    fail frequently, many shops now use regular reboot cycles as an
    attempt to use pre-emptive reboots to avoid crashes at unexpected
    times. They have come to expect their operating systems and systems
    software and applications software to not work as documented. What is
    even worse, they often see nothing wrong with that madness. In prior
    decades, if such undependability and unreliability were experienced, it
    would not have not been acceptable and the vendor would have to replace
    those useless systems and often had to pay for the customer's losses as

    Now flash forward to present day, users have come to expect very
    little from their computers. Such poor performance has led them to
    expect less and less while wanting more and more with little prospect
    of getting it. But in addition to such unreliable operating systems,
    there is Linux, leaving its users wanting less and less because it
    provides more and more all the time.

    * A stable operating system. Linux users no longer want for a
    stable operating system because Linux is as stable operating system.
    Twenty four hours, seven days a week non-stop operation for years at
    a time with off the shelf PC hardware is not anything unusual for
    Linux. As members of the FAQ and Primer team can attest to from
    personal experience.

    * An operating system that doesn't require me to spend a fortune on
    new hardware. Linux can run on hardware with just the computing power
    needed or that is available. Linux sysadmins upgrade to more powerful
    hardware to have more power available for their users, not to regain
    yesterday's performance from today's operating system.

    * An operating system with a decent graphical user interface.
    Or rather one that can be configured to work the way you want it too.
    With the look and feel you seek. Linux does not actually have any
    graphical user interfaces, but the X Windowing System is commonly run
    on Linux and other unixes. There are also other graphical user
    interface besides the X Window System that can run on Linux, including
    some next generation test bed systems. If a Linux user wishes he can
    run today a user interface that won't be available elsewhere for years
    or even decades, that is if he likes to live on the bleeding edge.

    * An operating system with lots of useful stuff built in. Much of
    what a person needs to purchase to get some other operating systems to
    be useful comes with the common Linux distributions. Sometimes in
    surprising ways, such as the little program named "cat" that
    concatenates files and is the more powerful original that the DOS
    command "type" was copied from. The program "cat" also provides by
    itself much of the functionality of Norton Ghost.

    * An operating system that doesn't try to prevent me from using my
    computer. Linux does not second guess or interfere with the human
    decision making process. It respects the wisdom of the human sysadmin
    and the user. There are utilities available to automate that, but in
    the end humans are the bosses. There has been a call for more "Windows
    like" automation to take over from human authority, one distribution
    that used that philosophy was Corel Linux. It is now a hated
    distribution by its own users as a result.

    * An OS not prone to viral infections.
    While in theory no operating system can be 100% all worms and viruses,
    Linux by is nature is immune enough that the possibilities that such
    little beasties exist have become like urban legends in the Linux
    community. Even if such infections could target Linux, the
    multifaceted code base would in itself limit the spread, if a sysadmin
    selects the software to run without regard to distributions and does
    not use precompiled binaries, he has just increased the level of
    immunity of his systems. The worst an attacking worm could do is crash
    a server program, but the worm creator could not actually control
    anything with the worm because he could not predict the memory layout
    of the program he is attacking on systems so independent from
    distributions. That same would generally be true with binaries
    supplied from a different distribution or different version than the
    one he is targeting.

    * An operating system which I can program and hack easily
    Anyone can have access to the source code of the Linux kernel and
    most if not all the programs they run on Linux. If one is a
    programmer, Linux provides all the tools and the source code to add or
    alter any feature he pleases. If he wants to write a new program and
    has questions, about the operation of the library functions, or the
    kernel, he can refer to the documentation, ask for help on-line, or
    just read the applicable source code. If he has a device for which he
    want to create a driver for, he can write it. If he wants to see how
    similar drivers work, there is the Linux kernel source code and the
    code of the other drivers available.

    * An operating system which doesn't decay over time.
    Since the late days of DOS programs and the coming of Window NT and
    Windows 95, there has been a pheonoma known as software rot, also
    known as bit rot. With late DOS programs it could take an individual
    program on a production system out of commission needing to be
    reinstalled. Windows 95 and Windows NT elevated the software rot
    phenomenon from causing the decay of individual programs to the decay
    of the entire operating system. This is not a factor with Linux.

    All these items are things that Linux users are not wanting for any
    longer, because Linux has given to them what they have been wanting
    for up to a decade. So yes, Linux leaves its users wanting less,
    because it provides so much more of what they have been hoping for
    from their prior operating system.

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