Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu Linux, everyone is talking about it. So why shouldn't I? Having struggled with hardware conflicts, I am not the best person to brag about it. And I of all people realize that operating systems must be compared without regard to the graphical interface. In addition to that, Linux distributions must be compared regardless of the underlying kernel, because that is consistent throughout them all (in varying degrees of conformance to the bleeding edge versions).

Take Slackware Linux. (my distro of choice) Slackware requires much command-line editing of configuration files for system administration. Everything is located in /etc unless otherwise specified by the readily-available man pages. All of the startup scripts are in /etc/rc.d not sorted into crazy categories under /etc/init.d as they are in Debian-based distros

Take Ubuntu now. The installer is a live-cd; their desktop manager of choice is Gnome, which is cute and decently functional. Regardless of that, I had some success doing some rescue work creating a new user from the command-line, using system text files in /etc, but other script-based config that I customarily do on my Slackware systems was necessary yet impossible on the Ubuntu box. The hardware support is wonderful, despite what I said previously. It picked up my volume controls on my laptop, and while it doesn't support the switch to disable the wireless card, there is a system tray app that allows just that. Overall, I think it is a feasible economy solution for a very functional desktop user (laptops, too) but not an ideal for any developers, unless they themselves are looking to learn from concepts deployed in Ubuntu Linux. I myself prefer Slackware over all others.

Registered Linux User #370740 (http://counter.li.org)

rdesktop - a champion

I stumbled across instructions to connect to the Microsoft Terminal Server at school from a linux terminal and decided to give it a try. Wow! It was amazing, using the standard software tools on the Windows machine from my Linux box - the epitome of geekdom and Linux advocates.

The commandline went something like this:
rdesktop -d cecs

The -d option declares the domain for logon; the IP address listed above is bogus so as not to disclose private information, but it would be information regarding the terminal server.

KDE's remote desktop connection (krdc) client will work as well; simply indicate the rdp:// protocol before the IP address. Note that KDE tries to authenticate using your local username and may prompt you for a password.

Networking is awesome! Samba in the near future...

Registered Linux User #370740 (http://counter.li.org)

OS review

So, what's the scoop on Windows Vista? Fairly stable, strange admin, hardware compatibility issues, and minimum system requirements that seem like maxima. Sure it's pretty. The file manager is revolutionary for M$ but still stands in the shadows behind KDE's Konqueror. The Windows Sidebar is a nice addition that had been implemented by other companies like Yahoo and Google beforehand. (Apple kind of beat everybody to it by like 10 years). Networking support is pretty awesome and the search feature in the Start Menu is a life saver.

My box is also running Slackware 11.0 on the kernel; KDE is my desktop environment of choice; fluxbox reminds me that I'm logged in as root, but that's not very often. Locally running a web, ftp, and ssh server, along with system mail between users, the box is very nicely outfitted. With OpenOffice 2.2, the GIMP, Firefox, and a few other essentials, I have no need for Windows, except for entertainment. As you may know, gaming isn't exactly a Linux concept, although that, too, is changing.

I don't know about my readers, but I certainly despise development using a Windows-based workstation. Sure, PuTTY on Windows works to use a LINUX shell server, but that's pretty pathetic. The Crimson Editor does the job pretty nicely for web stuff; you can make the Windows Explorer roll over, but other than that, functionality is very limited. With Linux, Quanta and Kate become your best friends, and with four Konsole windows open and a couple instances of Konqy, you're all set! Not to mention that even with all of this, both functionality and performance increase! (Now does that make sense???)

OpenSUSE is a nice OS, too. Had some trouble with Ubuntu lately, but between the two of them, there is a definite rival for Windows, gaming excluded again. The GUI interface is wonderful, but in a recent survey by OpenSUSE, 60% of 27,000 users claimed to still use the command-line admin tools. Three cheers for BASH!

Registered Linux User 370740 (http://counter.li.org)


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