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Linux Newbie

Posted on 1997-07-24
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I am currently a happy user of win95, but looking at the possibilities of starting a web server.  For this, I would either choose a Lunix or NT OS.  If I go the Lunix direction, Will I likly feel overwhelmed with little programming expirence but a strong hold on MS DOS 6.22?  Would the boxed version of Red Hat Lunix be recommended?  This is a free operating system, how available is good software? Is it stupid to think I can collect the software and OS for a web server without spending a penny?  Lastly, If I wanted to mulittask, (if possible) and use the server for games or applications, are there any great word processors for the lunix/unix system?  Would I use some compatability mode to use a windows 3.1, 95, or NT software application?
Thank you for your great help!
Thanks for your help!
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Question by:AJMan
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6 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:yxw1
ID: 1626504
If you programming in ANSI C and standard Perl or other languages, there is should no difficulty programming in Linux.
Boexed version Red Hat Linux is my recommendation, also you can download it from the internet as other Linux softwares.  So far there is no free good word processors but some commerical products. And DOS and Win emulator is still under development.


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Expert Comment

by:wasielew
ID: 1626505
Hello,

The NT box will cost more money. You will need to buy more hardware for the same performance as you will get with linux. If you are at all like me, the switch from dos to linux takes tons of time, and is somewhat overwhelming, but well worth the hassle to be independent from the cost of upgrades and adding functionality of microsoft products, as well as the ability in linux to tweak almost anything imaginable in the system.

My provider is running linux on a pentium 100 with 32 M ram, and has been incredably reliable and faster than any other. Red Hat worked well for me, and even though the available software is "free" (cost me 19 bucks for 6 cd's worth of software from infomagic--got the slackware distribution with it as well), it is of extremely high quality because it is written by commitee. The trick is to get *any* installation, and then add functionality to it by downloading source off the net, running "gunzip" and "tar", then following directions in the readme's that come with it.

Multi tasking happens automatically with Linux. Tons tons and tons of free games came with the RedHat distribution!

There are text formatting programs, but I doubt that they are easyer to use than MSWord.

However, you can very easily "mount" a windows 95 partition to read/write files to the disk. In fact there are many file systems (mac, dos, fat16, etc) that linux supports, although fat32 (newer 95 file systems) may not be supported....yet.

In general, one can say that the easyer a tool is to use, the less you can do with it. Linux and Unix systems are like that too. They are incredibly complex, but the sky's the limit on what you can do!

Hope I helped !
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Author Comment

by:AJMan
ID: 1626506
But I don't know either programming languages yxw1.  Thanks for the input anyhow.
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Expert Comment

by:n3mtr
ID: 1626507
If you want to use it for other things as well, I would recommend winNT.  It will run most programs designed for win95(tons and tons).  Linux has tons of utilities, but is lacking in major applications.  It is also hard to use, setup, and maintain.
Don't get me wrong I love linux, and I use it alot; but its not for the average person.  Its heaven for hackers and programmers.
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Accepted Solution

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olivier_delcourt earned 120 total points
ID: 1626508
First, go for the Redhat Linux boxed version.  Redhat distributions includes lots of extras that make Linux/XFree(XFree is the graphical interface to Linux) easier to use.  For example, there's a great control panel that allows you to select your printer, your modem, your kernel preferences,...  -- like Windows' control panel --.  To configure Redhat, you do not need to know anything in programming.  I've also quite new in Linux, and before that, I only use Windows 95 and Windows NT WKST 4.0.  I try all configurations, all distributions, and the easier to use is certainly REDHAT.  Moreover, Redhat is the only ugradable distribution.  You do not need to install all the system if you want to upgrade from version 4.1 to 4.2, or even from 2.1 to 4.2...  And, a last thing about Redhat, installing software is as easy as in Windows thanks to the RPMS.Second point.  Windows NT is perhaps better, but much more expensive(while Redhat is free).  But I think that you've decided to use Linux, and that's the best solution I think.Third point.  Some of the available free software is very good.  I think that you will find a very good application for each domain.  You will have to search, but I think it's possible...  In which domain are you interested?Fourth point.  No, it's not stupid to think that!!!  This is true, you can install linux from a Network File System, or you can also download everything on a hard disk partition and install from there.  Simply go to ftp://ftp.redhat.com/ftp/pub/redhat/redhat-4.2/i386/and read the doc.  and dowload what you need.  Easy, isn't it.  Mail me for more information about this.Fifth point.  There is now(it's new) one of the best office suite available - free of charges for non commercial use - for Linux.  It's called STAR OFFICE from star division - version 3.1.  Have a look at http://www.stardivision.com/ .  I'm downloading this suite from the moment.  I think it's one of the best, and comparable to Office from Microsoft(95).Sixth point.  It's possible to multitask.  Linux is the FIRST true multitasking OPERATING SYSTEM (preemptive multitasking).  So, do not hesitate.  You can open more application than under Windows NT... (that's just to say).Seventh point.  Games, yes, very good game platform.  XKoules is a great game, there's no equivalent under Windows.  But you've also DOOM, QUAKE,...  And I can tell you that the game's speed is better under XFree than under Windows 95.  With my STB Velocity 3D, I get a frame rate of 25 fps in 640x480.  Only 15 in Windows.Doom is included in Redhat distribution.  Just download the sound server to get sound.  Go to www.idsoftware.com for more infos.  Than go to "archives", and than to "doom and the ultimate doom".  You'll find the complete free "shareware"(free??? No!!!) version of DOOM with the soundserver.  And last point.  COMPATIBILITY.  First thing you must know is that Slackware distribution allows you to install Linux/X on a MS-DOS partition, but this is not a good solution, because you lose the advantages of the fast EXT2 file system.  So, with Redhat, you get a possibility during setup to mount your partitions(unfortunately, not the NTFS partition yet..., so no NT partitions, but you're perhaps using FAT partitions under NT?) - but well FAT, V-FAT, HPFS,... partitions. -  You must do that, and you will get the ability to access your partitions as directories.  And to write to them, to copy from them,...  Do that, thus.  Then, if you really want to use Windows applications, I would advice you DOSEMU and WINE.  For the moment, I'm trying to run applications using these emulations.  DOSEMU is very good.  You can even run DOS games, everything is included, sound support, game port support, vesa support,...  Wine only allows you for the moment to run some Windows 3.1 applications like Word 6.0 / Excell 5.0 /...  but I'm sure that this emulation will become better and better.  Both emulations are included in the Redhat package.I hope I've correctly answered your question.  Do not hesitate to ask me more information through Experts-Exchange.Olivier Delcourt.
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Author Comment

by:AJMan
ID: 1626509
I should have responded earlier, but thank you for your responce!  I willl likly use lunix and the office suite you recommended on the next computer I purchace.  I can't use it now, for fear that I will scare my family members off the computer.  I hope I can reach you at a later time.  Thanks again for the help.
AJ
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