Linux What is this Linux thing?

Discussion in 'Software' started by Glider, 27 Jul 2006.

  1. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    More and more people are showing intrest in Linux, so I descided that, being one of the Linux Zealots over here, I should invest some time in this matter...

    Sumary:
    1. History and terminology of Linux
      1. History
      2. Terminology
    2. Live CD or Installer?
    3. What distribution to choose?
      1. Desktop or Server
      2. Distributions
        1. Ubuntu
        2. Debian
        3. Fedora / Redhat
        4. Gentoo
      3. Specialised Linux Distributions
        1. FreeNAS
        2. IPCop
        3. ClarkConnect
        4. eBox
    4. Bash
    5. Where to go after installation/compilation?
      1. Xserver and Windows managers
        1. Xorg-X11
        2. Gnome
        3. KDE
        4. Fluxbox
      2. Entertainment
        1. Games
          1. lbreakout2
          2. pysol
          3. xfrisk
        2. Multimedia
          1. Audio
            1. XMMS
            2. amarok
          2. Video / DVD
            1. mplayer
            2. xine
            3. Myth tv
      3. Graphical
        1. The GIMP
      4. Office Applications
        1. OpenOffice
      5. CD burning
        1. Nero Linux
        2. K3B
      6. Networking
        1. Browsers
          1. Links / Lynx
          2. Firefox
          3. Opera
        2. Email Clients
          1. Mutt
          2. Thunderbird
        3. IM clients
          1. irssi
          2. GAIM Pidgin
          3. aMSN
        4. LAN tools
          1. ssh / scp
          2. samba
          3. nmap / netcat
          4. wireshark
        5. P2P
          1. Azureus
          2. Torrent Flux
      7. Emulation
        1. Wine
        2. Cedega
    6. Linklist & Final words
      1. Linklist
        1. Distributions
        2. Window Managers
        3. Other links
      2. Final Words
      3. Version History
     
    Last edited: 9 Nov 2008
  2. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    History and terminology of Linux

    1. History and terminology of Linux
    1.1. History
    By Glider
    This quote from the Linux 0.01 source code [/linux/kernel/panic.c], giving the instruction of a kernel panic, is the feeling that some people get when you mention Linux. And this also has to be the feeling Linus Torvalds got when he took the plunge back in 1991 into developing a new operating system, based upon the Minix operating system. Minix on his part was based upon the mother of all operating systems, UNIX. The Linux name comes from the name of the directory on a FTP server that was given to Torvalds to house his new kernel, which he named Freax. The name Freax didn't stick, but the name of the directory did. Hence the name Linux was born.
    Linux, unlike Minix, is based upon the principles of the GNU-project. This article won't go into depth what this all means, but the essence of this is that Linux is, and always will remain a free software package.

    When Mr Torvalds started his work, he was quite sceptical. He posted a small post on the comp.os.minix newsgroups asking other Minix users what they would like to see in an operating system. With the words: “I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones.” Linux was introduced to the world. A month later, September 1991, Mr Torvalds released 'Linux version 0.01'. Soon this was picked up by other gifted people, who analysed the code, tested and tweaked it, and returned feedback to Mr Torvalds. At the beginning of October version 0.02 hit the street. 2 weeks later 0.03 was issued. The ball was rolling, Linux was born, but still very immature. At that time it only had a functional bash, update and gcc compiler. The very bare essence of a system.

    As time moved on, the Linux crowd grew and the interest of commercial software companies, like Red Hat, Caldera, etc. whom compiled software upon the Linux kernel. Distributions were born. And although these were commercial products, there was a parallel development of a free distribution by volunteers... Debian was born.

    But Linux wasn't just there for the nerds. In April 1996 Linux proved his strength by powering 68 individual PC into 1 cluster. Compared to the 'super computers' of those days it was very cheap solution, yet it preformed very decent, scoring 315th in the world ranking at that time, while at the same time giving a great stability.

    Linux has evolved throughout time, just like the distributions based upon the Linux kernel have, and it keeps on doing so because of the dedicated volunteer work performed by the many Linux coders. They do a great job and I hope they will continue to do this, so that Linux will even grow stronger in the future.

    1.2. Terminology

    The terminology of a Linux system is somewhat different than that of a Windows one. What most people call Windows (operating system), doesn't correspond to what is called Linux (kernel). Don't get me wrong, Windows also posses a kernel. The kernel (Linux) is the bare essence, the base building bloc of the operating system. A kernel handles, among things, the interface between software and hardware, handles the management of system resources (like memory, processing power,...), Input/Output,... The kernel is the core of the system.

    On top of this several other blocks are nested. Although the kernel is quite a constant in a system, the next layer differs more. This is the layer of the distribution. A distribution is a packet of software written to hand commands to the kernel for processing. Popular examples of distributions are Debian, Ubuntu, SuSe, Damn Small Linux, Red Hat, Fedora, Gentoo,... The list goes on for ever. And while distributions form the second layer from the base up (so are still very close to the core), they also differ (sometimes quite a lot) from distribution to distribution. The differences show in syntaxes of the commandos, or just plain different commandos, different ways of handling instructions, different levels of security,...

    The kernel and the distribution combined form what people know as the operating system. If you have compiled a kernel and a distribution on top of it, you have a working system (you need to add various small parts like a boot loader). But don't expect much of it, you have at this moment a system that boots to a 'DOS like' environment, called the Command Line Interface (CLI). While a CLI environment is a fully functioning system, it isn't very suited for everyday desktop use.

    To get all the bells and whistles going, you need a Window Manager (WM). The window manager itself is a piece of software that takes care of all the eye candy like backgrounds, tool bars, mouse pointers,... But a window manager itself can't work. A window manager has to run on top of a X server. A X server handles the position, size, layer,... of all the various windows you open. A windows manager provides a nice looking skin for those windows.

    So the 'order' inside a/any system is:
    kernel <--> distribution <--> X server <--> Window Manager

    So now that you have a basic knowledge of how a (Linux) system works, its time to get your Linux system going. Otherwise you wouldn't be reading this... Prepare to make some decisions, because that's what Linux all is about, the freedom to decide.

     
    Last edited: 9 Sep 2006
  3. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    Live CD or Installer?

    2. Live CD or Install?
    By Glider
    Surprising, how William Shakespeare knew what Linux, and a Linux users, would mean in a Windows world... But now that you've read this far it is time for some action, and also time for decision number one: “Am I ready to become a full grown Linux user or would I first like to see what this Linux beast offers me?” If you port that sentence into the PC world it would be something in the lines of: “Am I ready to install and configure a totally new operating system on my PC, knowing that I'll have to mess with my hard drives and/or partitions, dive into the world of boot loaders, swap memory,... or am I not feeling that adventurous and do I just want to get a free trial version, without affecting my entire system?” Because, that is the option that Linux offers you. You can try a full working Linux system on your home PC without affecting your precious data.

    But how does a Live CD work then? Well, we all know the concept of RAM disks. That is at the base of the functioning of a Live CD. To get a Live CD working you just need to boot of of the cd. This loads the kernel into the RAM memory and sets up a RAM disk. The needed files are then copied over to the RAM disk and the system boots from it. But you might wonder by now if you need a lot of RAM memory to hold al those files since a average Windows installation easily takes up a gigabyte of memory. Well, this is yet an other advantage of a Linux system. With a mere 256 megabytes of RAM memory you can get about any live distribution up and running. Most Live CD that you download boot right into a fully functional desktop, including fancy window manager. Most things are configured right out of the box, certainly with the newer Live CD's. If you are feeling adventurous, you can also create your own Live CD.

    But don't think a Live CD is as good as a 'hard drive installed' system. Because everything is first copied from the CD (which is slow) to the RAM disk and then loaded from there, it creates a great latency. Therefore, Live CD's are good to let you get the feeling, but if you decide that you want to go the Linux way, you still have to go to the process of installing it to your hard drive. But don't be scared about that. Installing a Linux system isn't the daunting task it used to be, unless you choose to do it the old fashioned way. Most distributions come with a installer, some even pack a graphical one. This reduces the need to configure and compile everything to just having to set a couple of parameters. While a installer certainly is a valid and useful way of setting up your Linux system, there are certain choices and assumptions made by the developers, which you might find wrong for your system. But don't worry, for a lot of persons those choices made by the developers are the right ones. So, basically, unless you are like me, a installer is the best way to get your permanent Linux system up and running.

    But enough time wasted... Let's move on to the grandmother of all questions about a Linux system...

     
    Last edited: 27 Jul 2006
  4. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    What distribution to choose?

    3. What distribution to choose?
    By Glider
    Probably the most asked question about a Linux system. But many people don't realise that there isn't a straight answer for this. The only fair answer is: “The one that suits you best”. Linux is all about choices and you have to choose how you like things to be done and what you are wanting to do with your system...

    3.1. Desktop or Server

    This brings us to a core question in the creation of a linux system. What will be the use? While this guide primarily focusses on desktop systems, Linux is of course well known for its server capabilities. But what makes Linux so superiour for servers? Well, it starts at the very core of the system, the kernel. A linux kernel, because it is optimised for a system, is much smaller then the core of a Windows Server system, which is made to be general. Small means lightweight, which means fast. But small also means less room for flaws in the code. But it doesn't stop there. The next advantage is the essence of the Linux system. Linux is a multi user operating sysem. This implies security from the base up. Don't get me wrong, Windows Server distributions are too, but they were based upon single user operating systems, which still shows. But the greatest advantage of a Linux system lies in it's command line interface. Because of this you don't need to compile a visual environment on your system, which saves a lot of system resources. You can't run Windows without the point and click interface. Well, all that eye candy needs system resources to work, resources that could be better used on the core tasks of the system. Also due to the point and click interface Windows feels quite sluggish in a server environment. While you have to click dozens of times to get to a wanted screen for configuration in Windows, in Linux you just have to type “vim <path to config file>” and you have all the tweaking options at your disposal.

    But this was the “what distribution to choose” chapter, so I have to give you a couple of options... Just for servers. If you are looking for desktops, read on... Well, actually all Linux distributions can and will handle server task without a flaw. Only some are better at the task then others. The one distribution that is allways related to servers is Debian. Debian is one of the most mature distributions out there, and that shows. It uses a great package manager, (to install extra 'software'), called apt, centralised configuration files,... and it is rock stable.
    Another viable option is Gentoo. Altough not as easy to get up and running and maintain as Debian, due to it's small and powerfull behaviour. And altough it also has a decent package manager, called portage, it's immatureness shows a bit. But if you want it extremely light, fast and optimised, Gentoo certainly is an option.

    And, it wouldn't be fair if I left it out, if you want security, BSD is your fiend. While BSD isn't Linux based, they have the same grandfather, UNIX. BSD is the vault of distributions. If you have a server that stands in the line of fire, like in a DeMilitarized Zone, you should consider one of the many (including free) variants of BSD.

     
    Last edited: 9 Dec 2006
  5. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    What distribution to choose?

    3.2. Distributions
    By Glider

    So, here we are now, trying to help you find your answer to “The Question”. While we can't tell you how you'll experience a distribution, we can try to get our feelings and toughts across, note some generally agreed properties and specialities of a couple of different distributions. We'll also give a short summary of pros and cons, and a rating. 0/10 being Live CD like, and 10 /10 being you have to get your hands dirty when installing (but not impossible, even for those who are new). A typical XP installation for reference would 5 / 10.

    While this list is far from complete, I hope it offers some aid to those on a quest for a Linux distribution. More distributions can be found at Distrowatch, in case you can't find your preferred one here. If you have found a distribution that you like, but want to know where it came from (or seek for some close "relatives"), this timeline will surely help you with that.

    3.2.1. Ubuntu

    [​IMG]
    Ubuntu, Linux for human beings
    , the rising star in the Linux kingdom. And with a reason. Ubuntu is a great distribution to make the transit from Windows to Linux. Based upon the good old Debian, yet implemented in a subtile different manner, with a lot less to worry about. In contrary to its parent Debian, you just have to pop in the install cd, answer some easy questions and you got yourself a fully functional Ubuntu installation, based upon the Gnome window manager. It will even set up a dual boot if you want it. Things hardly get any easier. But for the seasoned Linux Zealots this often also is a downfall. For the easyness you have to give a bit of power for the user. But don't worry, you still have plenty of choise with Ubuntu. If you don't know where to start, Ubuntu is probably worth trying.

    But like any other distribution, there are also projects running that are related to Ubuntu.
    Kubuntu, is basically the same as the regular variant, exept it packs the KDE window manager instead of the Gnome one.
    Edubuntu, Linux for young human beings, brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the schools. It's aimed at the educational environment, for in classroom use.
    xubuntu, is like kubuntu a ubuntu implementation with a different window manager, namely Xfce. This lightweight window manager makes the system more powerfull and punchy.

    Pros: Easy, prebuilt, installs to a full working system, automatic dual boot setup, great community support
    Cons: Due to the premade descisions needed to install a full working system, some of the power is lost
    Difficulty: 3 / 10 (Yes, easier then Windows, but don't believe me, see it for yourself)

    3.2.2. Debian

    [​IMG]
    Debian
    is one of the oldest distributions, and that shows. While it did get a deserved notice in the server part of this guide, it can't be lacking in the desktop part. Debian sports an installer which eases the installation. But a basic Debian install doesn't include a X server. But don't fear, xorg-x11 is included in the apt tree. Debian comes in 3 flavours, Stable, Unstable and Testing.

    Stable, is like it name suggest rock stable. Every package you get through apt works flawless, and is indeed stable. The disadvantage is tough, that a stable guarantee also means you have to use older versions of packages.
    Testing, unlike this name suggests, is actually quite stable, but not guaranteed stable. New packages are added into the apt tree (which have gone through the testing phase). This means you don't get bleeding edge, but quite stable, packages right in your system. This is the release I recommend for 99% of the users, even for servers, certainly for LAN servers.
    Unstable, the place to be for bleeding edge packages. Every new release gets into the apt tree. This is the release that you want if you like living on the edge. You get no guarantee that you get stable packages (but no one will release a package which is known to be buggy) but you run the newest of the newest.

    Pros: installer, great package manager, automatic boot loader configuration, no unneeded packages, well documented, mature, stable
    Cons: doesn't install a full working desktop system from scratch
    Difficulty: 6,5 / 10

    3.2.3. Red Hat / Fedora

    [​IMG]
    Red Hat
    was also one of the pioneers in the Linux market. On a personal note, it was the first distribution I tried. Even his early versions were known for it's user friendlyness. Altough it still is in development, it's being more and more pointed at the niche market, like embedded systems. But it still is a great distribution. It's one of the few that sticks closely to the predefined standards agreed in the Linux community. Not that the others don't, but just not as close.But from the Redhat project followed..
    [​IMG]
    Fedora
    . Fedora is based upon Redhat. But because Redhat went into the niche market, Fedora was born for the mainstream. Fedora is a form inbetween Ubuntu and the core distributions. Fedora also packs a full working system from the box, but the users have more freedom then in Ubuntu (don't get me wrong, everything about every distribution is customisable).

    Pros: Installer, good package manager, automatic boot loader configuration, mature
    Cons: Hmm, actually hard to find some...
    Difficulty: 5 / 10

    3.2.4. Gentoo

    [​IMG]
    Gentoo
    , the distribution that is all about choice. Probably one of the harder distributions to get into, but also a very rewarding one. Every package you install through portage, the Gentoo package manager, is being compiled locally from the source. This means that you can pass so called USE flags directly to the compiler, to optimise it for your system so that even on old hardware a Gentoo system 'flies'.
    Gentoo is a relatively young distribution, but don't think it lacks stability because of that. It's considered one of the more powerfull distributions because of the on-site compilation and nearly unlimited freedom.
    The installation of a Gentoo system is a daunting task the first time you undertake it. No installer is supplied [one is in the works, but real men live without it], so roll up your sleeves and prepare for some hardcore CLI action. Prepare to bootstrap your installation on top of an other system, and even from step 1 of the installation you have to make decisions and edit configuration files. And when you think you have seen it all, you get the choice if you want to configure and compile the kernel, the bare essence of your system, so that you get what you want, nothing more, nothing less.

    Pros: fast, optimised, good package manager, lightweight, well documented
    Cons: doesn't install a full working desktop system from scratch, no installer, everything need to be configured
    Difficulty: 10 / 10

    3.3. Specialised Linux distributions

    What if you just want an easy and cheap way to solve your fileserver problem? Or want a good gateway which handles all your networking needs? But you don't want to dish out lots for specialised hardware, nor are you willing or skilled enough to build, configure and maintain a (Linux) server from scratch? Don't fear, the Linux crowd holds the answers. They created many specialised packages that come as an easy installer which handles all your needs, mostly through an easy to configure (web) interface... Here's a short grasp out of the immense offering...

    3.3.1. FreeNas

    [​IMG]
    FreeNAS
    , the free network attached storage distribution. If you are looking for an easy to manage, no nonsense deal to run on your fileserver, look no further. You can install FreeNAS upon a 32MB flash drive, so it isn't a resource hog. It offers services going from software RAID, NFS, FTP server daemon,... And all that power is being managed through an easy to use webinterface

    3.3.2. IP Cop

    [​IMG]
    IP Cop
    , "The bad packets stop here!". If you are looking for some gateway software, that handles NAT translation, Firewall, Quality of Service, various proxyserver options, DHCP server functions, dynamic DNS redirection update, a SSH server, ... look no further. IP Cop is a free way to get all that. IP Cop comes with a easy installer, support for various hardware, including USB modems, out of the box, a webinterface for easy management,...

    3.3.3. ClarkConnect

    [​IMG]
    Clark Connect
    , An other entry in the Gateway market. Altough this is a bit more. It also serves as a Firewall, Intrusion detection (snort), Bandwith Manager (Quality of Service), Web- and FTP server, fileserver, printserver... An all in one package. Some people like this, while other are more in favour of separating security and serving duties.
    There are 2 versions of the package, a non-free Enterprise version, and a free Community edition.

    3.3.4. eBox

    [​IMG]
    eBox
    , yet another mutifunctional specialised distribution. Based on Debian, this distro packs all the features a gateway would ever need, like DHCP server, DNS, proxyserver, firewall... But it takes it a step furhter. Like ClarckConnect, it offers a printserver, mailserver, jabber server,... And more to add in yourself using Debian Packages.

     
    Last edited: 9 Nov 2008
  6. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    Bash

    4. Bash
    By Glider
    Well, what does a quote from the Bourne Supremacy and GNU Bash have in common you ask? Well, more then you think... The name BASH is derived from Bourne Again SHell, hence the link to the quote. It's name is a wink to the original Bourne shell, a UNIX one, which was created by Stephen Bourne in 1978. BASH saw first daylight in 1987, and was written by Brian Fox. BASH is part of the GNU project, so 100% free.

    But what does BASH do? Well, BASH is the “thing” you look at when you power up the command line interface. It's a shell, the outer layer of a PC system, the thing you put your input into for execution on the system. The shell translates the commands you input into data for the operating system, which on his part, passes it to the kernel. While BASH isn't the only shell you can use on a Linux system, it is the most common one. An other known shell, from the “other side”, is command.com, a shell for MS DOS.

    The command line interface, the shell, is often given credit for the immense power of a Linux system. Part of nearly all Linux systems, BASH will give you total control of what is going on. But what makes BASH so loved? Well, BASH is a spin-off from a famous shell, that helps, but BASH is more. BASH takes ideas from the Korn shell (ksh) and the C shell (csh), and goes there where the Bourne shell lacked. BASH can handle mathematics (yes, in a way it's a calculator), logic, I/O Redirection, backslash escapes, startup scripts, bash completion... BASH resembles a C programming environment, with the added system I/O. And that is what makes BASH so powerfull.

    While learning BASH is something you can only do by actually using it, I'll try to give you a list with basic system commands which you might find usefull if you want to get your Linux system up and running. BASH uses a syntax similar to the old command.com (DOS). For more syntax information on a specific command, just type “<command> --help” or “man <command>”. The former will give you a short list with options and syntax, the latter will open the manual for the command, giving pretty much all information you could require. I'll just give basic commands in the following list, but be sure to check out the optional switch options, you'll be amazed what a simple “ls” can do.
    • Basic commands
      • ls: The counterpart to DIR, gives a listing of the files in a directory.
      • cp <from> <to>: CoPy, copies a file from one location to an other.
      • mv <from> <to>: MoVe, moves a file from one location to an other
      • rm <file>: ReMove, deletes a file, or directory (with a switch)
      • mkdir <dir>: MaKe DIRectories
      • rmdir <dir>: ReMove DIRectories (only empty ones)
      • ln <source> <destination>: makes links between files
      • nano <file>: Opens nano (a editor program). If you specify a filename, it will open that file
      • df: report filsystem diskspace usage (all mounted hardware)
      • mount <device> <mountpoint>: attaches (mounts) a device to the “tree”, at the specified mountpoint
      • umount <mountpoint>: detaches (unmounts) a device from the “tree”
      • ifconfig: to configure a network interface
      • iwconfig: to configure a wireless network interface
      • tar xzf archive.tar.gz: extract gzipped archive in current directory
      • tar xjf archive.tar.bz2: extract bzip2'd archive in current directory
      • unzip archivezip: unzip archive
      • unrar archive.rar: unrar archive
    • Advanced commands (more dangerous)
      • fdisk <device>: a well known hard drive partitioning tool
      • cfdisk: a more user friendly interface to fdisk
      • mke2fs <partiton>: creates a ext2 filesystem on a partiton
      • mkswap <partition>: creates the swap-filesystem on a partition
      • ...
    [note] Due to the well organised system of (user)right in a Linux system (much better then in Windows) it might be required to be root (=administrator) to execute some commands.
    [note 2] Due to bash completion, you don't have to type every command and path out full. If you press <tab> BASH will suggest (or give if there's only 1 choise) the rest of the path/commandname.


    One thing that many confuses is the disk structure that Linux uses. And actually it is quite easy. All devices are “listed” under /dev/. So that's the place you should go looking for devices. PATA (IDE) devices are named hda, hdb, hdc, hdd... with hda being the primary master drive (not partition), hdb the primary slave,... and so on. If a drive is partitioned, the partitions will be denoted with numbers, like hda1, hda2, hda3... Simple as that. For the people who use SATA (or SCSI) drives, they are noted as sda, sdb, sdc,... Some USB devices are also noted as SCSI drives, therefor they share the sdX notation.

    While this list is far from complete, it should help you get some basic things done on your system through BASH. This might be come in handy if your distribution of choise doesn't automatically install a graphical interface. But like I already said, experiment with BASH, it will add value to your Linux experience and to your efficiency.

    A good command reference is the UNIX Toolbox.

     
    Last edited: 6 Apr 2008
  7. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    Where to go after installation/compilation?

    5. Where to go after installation/compilation?
    By Glider

    So, this guide helped you select a distribution and the link to the distribution's website should have helped you install your base system. Some distributions (like Ubuntu) include a lot of packages by default, so the end user has less work after the installation, but there are also a lot that don't do that, hence this short summary of usefull packages. You can click the logo's for a screenshot.

    5.1. Xserver and Windows managers
    5.1.1. Xorg-X11
    [​IMG]
    The base of 95% of the desktop environments, and a great package. No need to go a different route as base. But don't expect eye candy from the bare server.

    5.1.2. Gnome
    [​IMG]
    One of the 2 behemoths of the window manager market. Gnome is included in many distributions, like Ubuntu, by default. Very user friendly and has a Windows feel.

    5.1.3. KDE
    [​IMG]
    The brother of gnome is undoubtedly kde. A very good graphical interface, good integration of applications,... And it is the thing that puts the K in Kubuntu.

    5.1.4. Fluxbox
    [​IMG]
    You like it fast, minimalistic, core and powerfull. Then Fluxbox is one of your options as a window manager. Fully customisable through some easy to understand config files.

    5.2. Entertainment
    5.2.1. Games
    There is a huge list of free Linux games located here and an article by DaDego and myself on the Bit-tech site
    5.2.1.1. lBreakout2
    [​IMG]
    The Linux version of the classical “Arkanoid” game. A sort of single player pong where you have to break the blocks. Warning, very addictive.

    5.2.1.2. Pysol
    [​IMG]
    Are you one of the Freecell or Spider Solitaire addicts? Don't fear, Pysol, packing more then 200 card games, is here.

    5.2.1.2. xfrisk
    Xfrisk Screenshot
    The digital, and free, implementation of the popular Risk boardgame.

    5.2.2. Multimedia
    5.2.2.1. Audio
    5.2.2.1.1 XMMS
    [​IMG]
    The Linux winamp lookalike. XMMS was designed to look and work like Winamp, and the devolopers did a very good job.

    5.2.2.1.2 amarok
    [​IMG]
    A media player that resembles a good implementation of Windows Media Player. Great features, good interface. Only one small downside, requires some kde packages to work. But they are worth installing.

    5.2.2.2. Video / DVD
    5.2.2.2.1 mplayer
    [​IMG]
    The great allround movie player. It plays about any type of video file. It has to be a pretty exotic filetype if mplayer can't play it.

    5.2.2.2.2 xine
    [​IMG]
    Xine is about the greatest DVD player around. Lots of options, support for all the fancy DVD stuff.

    5.2.2.2.3 Myth tv
    [​IMG]
    The 'myth'... A swiss army knife when it comes to playback of media. Going from DVDs to MP3, from TV shows to movies... Some even say it beats Windows Media Center, and who am I to disagree...

     
    Last edited: 9 Nov 2008
  8. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    Where to go after installation/compilation?

    5.3. Graphical
    By Glider
    5.3.1. The Gimp
    [​IMG]
    The free Photoshop. Some say The Gimp is as good as Photoshop, some say it isn't... All I can say about it it will handle 99% of your image manipulating needs.

    5.4. Office Applications
    5.4.1. OpenOffice.org
    [​IMG]
    OpenOffice, the well known office package. Basically the same as its Windows counterpart, only cheaper. No introduction needed.

    5.5. CD burning
    5.5.1. Nero Linux
    [​IMG]
    Well, you switched to Linux, and don't want to waste your Nero licence? Well, then try Nero Linux. It isn't free, but it rocks!

    5.5.2. k3B
    [​IMG]
    A free CD and DVD burning utility, based upon the KDE window manager, but of course usable on other window managers. If you don't own a Nero license, try this one!

    5.6. Networking
    5.6.1. Browsers
    5.6.1.1. Links / Lynx
    Links screenshot / Lynx screenshot
    Want the ultimate geekness in browsing the web? Text based browsers are your way to go. No serious, they will save your life at times while working in the CLI.

    5.6.1.2. Firefox
    [​IMG]
    Does this need an introduction?

    5.6.1.3. Opera
    [​IMG]
    Well, what can I say... It's Opera... You either hate it, or love it (probably in that order ;))

    5.6.2. Email clients
    5.6.2.1. Mutt
    Mutt screenshot
    As a followup of the ultimate geekness, meet the text based email client. Great for checking your mails from a remote workstation. Just SSH in to the server, and fire up mutt.

    5.6.2.2. Thunderbird
    [​IMG]
    The well know email client is also available on Linux...

    5.6.3. IM Clients
    5.6.3.1. irssi
    [​IMG]
    Again one for the major geeks, a textbased IRC client. But this is the way of having a huge uptime in an IRC channel.

    5.6.3.2. GAIM
    [​IMG]
    The all round IM client. Connects to almost every network, uses almost every protocol. The way to combine all your different IM accounts into 1 program.

    5.6.3.2b. Pidgin
    [​IMG]
    GAIM is dead, long live Pidgin. It does what GAIM did, and more...

    5.6.3.3. aMSN
    [​IMG]
    A MSN Messenger clone for Linux. Altough it only connects to MSN servers, it has more features (like webcam) than Gaim

    5.6.4. LAN Tools
    5.6.4.1. Ssh / Scp
    SSH screenshot / SCP screenshot
    Yet another CLI tool. SSH is a tool to securely connect to a server, and SCP is a tool for copying files between 2 pcs using the SSH protocol.

    5.6.4.2. Samba

    Samba lets you mount (attach) a Windows/Samba share into a directory in your Linux system. This way you can acces them from your system.

    5.6.4.3. nmap / netcat

    Nmap and netcat are the 'swiss army knife' tools of a network. If a remote pc has an open port, you will be able to find it with, and connect to it, through these tools.

    5.6.5. P2P
    5.6.5.1 Azureus
    [​IMG]
    Well, the well known blue frog of P2P... Quite resource taking according to some, but nothing a every day PC can't handle, altough the Linux counterpart is a bit better the the Windows one.

    5.6.5.2. Torrentflux
    [​IMG]
    A free webbased PHP torrent client. Very handy on headless systems that are administrated through a webinterface.

    5.6.4.4. Wireshark
    [​IMG]
    Ever wondered where all your precious bandwith goes to? Well, wireshark, formerly known as ethereal, will sniff any network connection and anaylise the sent/recieved packets.

    5.7. Emulation
    There are plenty console emulaters for Linux, have a look here for more information on those. There are however also Windows API implementations, which I'll discuss more in detail. Also read the article on the Bit-Tech site by DaDego and myself.
    5.7.1. Wine
    [​IMG]
    You got that mega cool Windows only application, but you want to use Linux? Well, give wine a shot, it will emulate a Windows environment and try to run your application. It is a bit of hit and miss tough.Look for the error in the screenshot
    For more info on WINE, go here

    5.7.2. Cedega
    [​IMG]
    A great (altough not free) tool from Transgaming. Cedega is known for its succes in running XP games under Linux. Lots (not all) are supported. Definatly worth a try if you're a gamer. The Transgaming games database has quite a list of supported games.

     
    Last edited: 9 Nov 2008
  9. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    Linklist & Final words

    6. Linklist & Final words
    By Glider
    6.1. Linklist
    6.1.1. Distributions
    Distrowatch

    Debian
    Ubuntu
    Kubuntu
    Edubuntu
    xubuntu
    SuSe
    Damn Small Linux
    Red Hat
    Fedora
    Gentoo
    FreeNAS
    IP Cop
    ClarkConnect
    eBox

    BSD

    6.1.2. Window managers
    Gnome
    KDE
    Fluxbox
    Xfce

    6.1.3. Other links
    Wikipedia
    History of Linux
    kernel.org
    GNU Bash
    Shakespeare quote
    Live CD creation howto
    Frank's Corner
    Games for Linux
    Emulator games for Linux

    6.2. Final words

    Well, I hope you enjoyed reading this “small” guide as much as I did typing it. I'm allways open to contributions and suggestions/requests. I spent about a month on the first version, it became a bit longer then I originally anticipated.

    I also hope this helps you understand Linux a bit better, and maybe pushes you over to the penguin side? Or at least convinces you to try.

    6.3. Version History
    Version 1.00: Initial release (2005-07-27)
    Version 1.01: Added K3B & Myth tv [suggested by JuMpErFLY] (2006-08-03)
    Version 1.02: Added Distrowatch as reference & Corrected History [suggested by Tyinsar & dabbe/simon w] (2006-08-28)
    Version 1.03: Added Linux timeline [suggested by Tyinsar] (2006-08-31)
    Version 1.04: Added ClarkConnect & Torrentflux [suggested by Who_me_33] (2006-10-28)
    Version 1.05: Fixed a lot of gramatical errors [suggested by Austin] (2006-12-09)
    Version 1.06: Added eBox [suggested by koola] (2006-12-17)
    Version 1.07: Added some CLI commands concering archives [suggested by Woodstock] (2007-04-12) [I should update more frequent]
    Version 1.08: Pimped DaDego and my article twice (2007-04-12)
    Version 1.09: Added UNIX Toolbox reference (2008-04-06)
    Version 1.10: Added Pidgin, Opera [suggested by teamtd11], and some other bits and bobs... (2008-11-09)

     
    Last edited: 9 Nov 2008
    xMathiasD and SazBard like this.
  10. DougEdey

    DougEdey I pwn all your storage

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    Glider matey, Excellent guide, bookmarked and vote for sticky
     
  11. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    I write it in a month, and you read it in 5 minutes, not fair... :D

    But thanks DougEdey, I felt it was the job of one of the Linux Zealots over here, and me having way too much time at hand... :)
     
  12. Elv13

    Elv13 New Member

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    French version of my apps database, i will translate it and edit this post, its long but these is almost no text. I am actually testing most of big apps and i am making comment on all. Actually i tested all basic linux software for multimedia (i need to test more sound apps) but i tryed all video, sys tools, net apps, 3d stuff and all dvd (and more)
    http://forum.denis-talbot.com/ftopic1846.php
    take a look! if a software is missing just say it
     
  13. Ramble

    Ramble Ginger Nut

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    Interesting, nice to see you're pushing Gentoo as well.

    Although, nearly all of your guide is not about Linux, perhaps you should change the name to GNU/Linux.
    Although, even then it doesn't describe everything you've said.
     
  14. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    All input is welcome...

    PM the things you would like to have added, also include a short txt (1-2 lines), a logo (60 px high max plz) and a screenshot. But don't overdo it, vBulletin doesn't like posts longer than 10000 chars :D And I'll work them in...

    EDIT: @Ramble: One can't resist to promote it's baby ;)

    I know the guide (exept for the first part) isn't about Linux solely. But I do think the title describes the thing new people think Linux is, but that's my interpretation... It's like people saying they work on Windows while they actually use freecel ;)

    EDIT 2: Updated with some info...
    EDIT 3: Fixed a typo... thanks Who_me_33
     
    Last edited: 8 Aug 2006
  15. dabbe

    dabbe New Member

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    this is a bit of topic (and I mean no harm :p ) but you're facts are a bit false.

    Originally, Torvalds called his kernel "Freax" for "free" and "freak" and with the often-used X in the names of Unix-like systems. The name "Linux" was coined by Ari Lemmke, who administered an FTP server belonging to the Finnish University Network; he invented the name Linux for the directory from which Torvalds' project was first available for download.

    irrelevant I know :D
     
  16. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    If you can provide me with some sources on that, I'll change it... I like the facts staight too ;) But I just found this "history" on multiple locations, therfor assumed it was the right on...
     
  17. simon w

    simon w New Member

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  18. Tyinsar

    Tyinsar 6 screens 1 card since Nov 17 2007

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    :thumb: Very Nice guide :clap:

    As an additional resource I would suggest a link to distrowatch

    -Ok, I know there is almost no end to what others may think you missed but for me you missed the current #4 distribution on the distrowatch list - Mepis (which ranks above all but 3 of the other distros you mentioned) but otherwise - :clap: :clap: :clap: )
     
  19. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    @simon_w: I'll update the guide later on... Thanks for pointing that out. (altough now I reread, I must say that I read about the directory on the FTP elsewhere too... doing too much things at the same time leads to things like this I guess ;))

    @Tyinsar: I'll add it if you want to. But that's something for this evening. I have to study at the moment, have to redo a couple of exams, and I absolutely have to pass them... If you want, you can also write the short text, and PM it to me, I'll add it then (also try supply a logo then please, I'll mirror it on my "site" so it doesn't eat up your bandwith). And I'll add distrowatch to the list too this evening.

    If there are other things (packages, distro's,...) anyone would like to have added, just PM and we'll work something out ;)

    EDIT: Updated, and made a logo for Mepis, but Tyinsar, can you write a short text like the others describing Mephis Linux? Then I'll add it (PM it to me)
     
    Last edited: 28 Aug 2006
  20. Tyinsar

    Tyinsar 6 screens 1 card since Nov 17 2007

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    Last edited: 31 Aug 2006

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