Linux is Not Windows

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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby Dave68 on Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:10 pm

vincent wrote:But I guess that's not really all that important to you at this point.


How true.

I'm more interested in learning how to work efficiently in Linux (Whether it be Xubuntu for my Kids, or Mint for me). I like the fact that, should I CHOOSE to, I can custom it to my desires and it works great on older PCs. (My wife was pretty upset when I purchased the last one, so I imagine it will be awhile. :oops: )

Thanks for the reply,
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby Zenblade on Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:11 am

This is a seriously good article.I should share it with all people who are skeptical about Linux.Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby spin498 on Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:15 pm

Someone posted and I paraphrase "Linux isn't Windows and thanks for that" or something similar. Couldn't agree more. I've been around PC's since the 286 and Win 3.1. Started playing around with Linux in RedHat 5.2. Took a couple of college night school classes on Linux command line usage. Trained as an Electronic Search and Seizure investigator using DOS. But for all that, a PC was just a fancy typewriter and data retrieval system for me. Until that is, I installed Mint 9 and now I'm using the PC for a lot more. Edit photos, creating Digital Slideshows and videos. Converting old LP's (those are big black plastic disks with scratchy music for you kids) to mp3 and editing them. Thanks to OpenSource I've been able to build newer PC's and dedicate them to specific purposes that I'd never have considered if I was faced with buying Windows for each of them. Oh, and it's fun. Windows was never fun, just a tool.
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby emkamau on Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:28 pm

Its a great article and one I like to point newbies to. Many of the problems/complaints people have with Linux would go away if they approached it with the attitude that it is a different OS from windows and they do need to learn it to use it!

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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby libssd on Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:16 pm

I set up an Acer AA1 for a friend last week, and included a copy of this article on the desktop. Linux (any flavor) may be neither better nor worse than Windows; it is what it is. Unsolicited testimonial from my friend in the first 24 hours of using Linux Mint:

I already LOVE IT!!! Just love it.
Btw did I mention how much it’s faster, easier, more fun & that I Love it?
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby nick1 on Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:31 am

I just installed linux mint 9 a few days ago and so far I love it. So much easier than windows to install, and no need to install drivers. You developers are doing a great job, and thanks for the brilliant OS.
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby libssd on Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:30 pm

spin498 wrote:.... Trained as an Electronic Search and Seizure investigator using DOS....

Strictly out of curiosity, do people in this line of work generally know how to use *nix, or are they trained only in Windows? I sure hope your answer is the former, but I wouldn't be surprised by the latter.
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby mintuser on Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:18 am

I'd just like to interject for a moment. What you're referring to as Linux, is in fact, GNU/Linux, or as I've recently taken to calling it, GNU plus Linux. Linux is not an operating system unto itself, but rather another free component of a fully functioning GNU system made useful by the GNU corelibs, shell utilities and vital system components comprising a full OS as defined by POSIX.
Many computer users run a modified version of the GNU system every day, without realizing it. Through a peculiar turn of events, the version of GNU which is widely used today is often called "Linux", and many of its users are not aware that it is basically the GNU system, developed by the GNU Project.
There really is a Linux, and these people are using it, but it is just a part of the system they use. Linux is the kernel: the program in the system that allocates the machine's resources to the other programs that you run. The kernel is an essential part of an operating system, but useless by itself; it can only function in the context of a complete operating system. Linux is normally used in combination with the GNU operating system: the whole system is basically GNU with Linux added, or GNU/Linux. All the so-called "Linux" distributions are really distributions of GNU/Linux.
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby Oscar799 on Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:37 am

I moved this here from Newbie Questions - seems like a more fitting home for it.
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby vincent on Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:24 am

mintuser wrote:I'd just like to interject for a moment. What you're referring to as Linux, is in fact, GNU/Linux, or as I've recently taken to calling it, GNU plus Linux. Linux is not an operating system unto itself, but rather another free component of a fully functioning GNU system made useful by the GNU corelibs, shell utilities and vital system components comprising a full OS as defined by POSIX.
Many computer users run a modified version of the GNU system every day, without realizing it. Through a peculiar turn of events, the version of GNU which is widely used today is often called "Linux", and many of its users are not aware that it is basically the GNU system, developed by the GNU Project.
There really is a Linux, and these people are using it, but it is just a part of the system they use. Linux is the kernel: the program in the system that allocates the machine's resources to the other programs that you run. The kernel is an essential part of an operating system, but useless by itself; it can only function in the context of a complete operating system. Linux is normally used in combination with the GNU operating system: the whole system is basically GNU with Linux added, or GNU/Linux. All the so-called "Linux" distributions are really distributions of GNU/Linux.


Oh no, not the Linux vs GNU/Linux debate again! :roll:

Look, Linux is a very modular operating system. It's made up of nuts and bolts grabbed and assembled from a variety of sources, and every bit is as important as the rest when it comes to providing a usable and solid operating system. If you want a working car, you need to have the engine, the wheels, the seats, the car's frame, etc.; GNU's toolkit is no more important than, say, the X server, your desktop environment, the packaging system, CUPS, Samba, Apache, etc., in a full-featured operating system. Now, for the sake of simplicity and sanity, I'm going to call Linux "Linux" instead of GNU/Linux/X11/Gnome/APT/Apache/etc. Don't misunderstand me, I appreciate GNU's contribution to the Linux ecosystem just as much as all the other components that make up Linux as a whole, but I'm going to continue to call Linux "Linux".

This is what Linus Torvalds once said:
It doesn't really matter what people call Linux, as long as credit is given where credit is due (on both sides). Personally, I'll very much continue to call it "Linux".
(Source: http://groups.google.com/group/comp.os.linux.misc/msg/7781d4221fceedb2)
Which I wholeheartedly agree with.
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby azathoth on Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:01 pm

Wow, as a newcomer to Linux I found that article very useful. To be successful in anything having the correct attitude is essential. This piece really helped put things into perspective and made this brave new world all the more exciting.
A bit late, but thanks for sharing that carlos!
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby vardomescro on Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:48 pm

+1 Awesome article. tyty!
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby Murdock on Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:17 am

"And so we come to the biggest problem of all when it comes to new users and Linux:
They find out they're not wanted. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :mrgreen:
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby Nick_Djinn on Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:51 am

My Android smartphone is "Linux".

The Linux vs GNU/Linux might have been a worn out debate 5 years ago, but today its relevant again and the OP is now outdated. Android has a different ethos and is marketed differently than GNU/Linux is. Android is directly competing with Windows and Iphone and copying and racing to cover near identical features that everyone expects to work cross platform.


....Today Ubuntu and Linux Mint is a LOT easier to use compared to when this was written, and Ubuntu AND Mint have admitted at various points in time that they are in fact competing with Windows.....Which seems like a mixed message since I was told by devs that they were not competing with Windows but just doing their own thing, but then somewhere on this site it said that they ARE competing....??!


A lot of people like to be PC and say that Windows and GNU/Linux fill different functions and are not competing but doing their own things.....I really do not think this is entirely the case in practice. There is some competition going on. They do copy each other, and there is even more overlap with Apple and Linux. Some distros pride themselves on being suitable for Windows noobs, though not all such distros are necessarily copying Windows look or feel even as they are appealing to Windows refugees.

A large contingent of newer Linux users have a different motivation besides cost OR programming freedom....There is a growing anti-corporate sentiment in the youth who grew up in the mid 90s till present, perhaps a revival of the radicalism of earlier generations.....corporate distrust is a huge theme in popular culture and media these days. There are also privacy advocates who are not developers, COULD afford Windows or probably started off with it already included, DONT expect a free version of Windows copying its look and feel, but DO want it to do all the normal expected routine tasks that they were used to doing easily in Windows even if its done a little differently with a different look and feel, and they want it to be easier for themselves as non-geek and non-developers who are simple end users who prefer Linux because its not the corporate alternative and because of its stability and virus resistance and lower probability of built in data-mining......I might be exaggerating this demographic because it represents my own, but I know literally hundreds of people who use Linux Ubuntu or Mint for similar reasons......We dont want to dual boot. We are using Linux INSTEAD of Windows, or as much as we can get away with. We DO DISLIKE Microsoft or Apple for ideological reasons that have nothing to do with being Linux fanboys. We may realize that software is free in multiple contexts and probably wont be angry the same way that a customer would be angry if he bought something that didnt work, but we will still be 'frustrated' when things dont work of if we lose data, and we may assume that you actually care about making a product that runs smoothly for people who dont know how to program and hack and assume that you value our input when we give suggestions about what we would like in a perfect world.
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby vincent on Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:39 pm

I perceive open-source software to be a way for developers who wish to collaborate and share code in order to "scratch an itch"; these developers, who are often not paid/are strictly volunteers, work to create a product which satisfies their desires and works for them, and are willing to share their work in an open manner with others. If these developers' software satisfies the needs of others, great; if it doesn't, so what? Unlike companies selling proprietary software, which must accomodate the needs of their customers to stay in business, open-source software and their developers are in no way obliged to cater to the demands of their users. While there are many developers out there that do wish to make users comfortable with the software they've developed, I would disagree with the statement that "we may assume that you actually care"...if you do, you should be prepared to be disappointed in open-source software from time to time. Yeah, it would be nice if everybody got along, but no, that's not happening anytime soon, due to the nature of open-source.

Although this isn't exactly relating to the same topic, the open-source Handbrake project has published a short "essay" on their website entitled "HandBrake and Open Source". I think it's definitely worth a read, especially for those users who are new to the concept of open source and are "frustrated" by it: http://trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/IsIsnt (scroll down a bit).
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby Nick_Djinn on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:04 am

1. Open source developers tend to make MORE money than proprietary developers. I dont have the stats in front of me, but I remember reading that.

2. GNU/Linux at its current stage is NOT just a basement project done for entertainment in peoples free time. Massive industry and large corporations work on these projects for profit.

3. GNU/Linux developers are making money off of their work. Apparently the Mint devs are able to earn their living off the Linux Mint user base....A lot of this money might come from Google, or the various search engines....If I am not mistaken, the custom mint search bar is the primary source of revenue....probably mere pennies for hits that go to Amazon or Ebay or Google, but when you have millions of users that adds up in a hurry.....It allows you to quit your day job and focus on making a distro like Mint exclusively with your time, profiting from people like me who just want an alternative to corporate operating systems that I dont trust.

4. Linux is not always free of charge for the end user using it. E-Live charges users a "donation". Suse Linux and Red Hat cost money to use and are expensive.....There are free and open source versions, but while its pretty nifty to get a cutting edge OS for free you still dont want to treat your experimental user base like crap and chase users away by disrespecting them because they are still important. Every complaint helps you refine your product for the stable product you sell to commercial enterprise. Not every complaint is done formally in a way that is easy for the devs, but even basic forum support alerts interested parties to some extent.

5. There is an assumption that people have a degree of pride and self respect. I can agree that anger towards the providers of a free product is unwarranted and demonstrates what a spoiled little brat you are complaining about something you didnt pay for, and people should not be complaining like they are entitled to some kind of "refund"......On the other hand, us users might assume that at least some of the developers care, not because they "owe" it to us, but because they take pride in their work or perhaps have enough altruism to help somebody out.

6. The Linux demographic is not what it used to be. There are some old school purists, but GNU/Linux is moving towards the mainstream audience, especially with Ubuntu and Ubuntu based distros. These purists can be found around Mint and Ubuntu, but you wont necessarily maintain a majority of the user base unless you go back to slackware or Arch or something more esoteric and less appropriate for non-devs.

7. I have been donating money every release. Its a gift, so I dont expect them to do my personal bidding in exchange for it, but dont tell me devs are not in any way compensated for their work. They have been compensated and continue to be compensated. Some people make their living developing Linux software. They also get hits from advertising and the custom search engine.

8. Open source software is not just about "scratching an itch". There is an entire philosophy behind it that expands beyond computer software. "Open Source" technology could apply to blueprints for a car engine, ergonomic engineering, medicine, art......Its pretty narrow minded to think that its only about geeks who play with their computer for fun.

9. Open source software is about society in general, principles of freedom, perspectives on the ideas of ownership and even social justice and control.....Its not a concept that belongs only to computer hackers, and especially not only to the ones who only do it for fun.

10. Open source software can also be about profit. Some companies benefit from the open source model, and instead of selling the part that is open source, they sell software or provide services that are compatible with it.....Like Android, or the software market place Ubuntu is working on, or the music store or Ubuntu one......Open source can be about making something the best it can be without the restrictions of proprietary limitations, and this can equal profit as much as it can equal freedom or egalitarianism. You can make your fortune as an open source develop. When the corporations fun Linux, its not an act of generosity, they want to make GNU/Linux better so that it works better for THEM and so that they can better market their services which they profit from.



As a political philosopher and bio-chemist, I have a different understanding of open-source issues. I advocate open source technology in medicine and engineering, not just in Linux. I advocate open source patents on important inventions that should be as open and free as some areas of academia are.....free for everyone, because of fundamental values on the principles of sharing and cooperation, and freedom of the commons.

"Open Source" isnt just about a sub-culture of elitist computer geeks. Its a revolutionary concept and you shouldnt cheapen it.
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby Nick_Djinn on Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:09 am

I had to share this.

# OpenCola — a cola soft drink, similar to Coca-Cola and Pepsi, whose recipe[2] is open source and developed by volunteers. The taste is said to be comparable to that of the standard beverages. Most corporations producing beverages, hold their formulas as closely guarded secrets.[24]


Pharmaceuticals — There have been several proposals for open-source pharmaceutical development,[31][32] which led to the establishment of the Tropical Disease Initiative. There are also a number of not-for-profit "virtual pharmas" such as the Institute for One World Health and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative.


Both from wikipedia.

I research the chemistry of traditional herbal remedies. For me, open source means a lot more than computer geekery.

I use my computer a lot, so I do appreciate getting help from geeks.
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby vincent on Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:54 am

it's definitely true that open source software can be profitable. However, there are more than just professional software developers who get paid by big-name companies to develop open source software...take a look at the thousands of community-based open-source projects hosted on Sourceforge, Github, etc., projects like Handbrake which do not have corporate funding and are driven solely by the will of their developers. Take a look at Debian if you will; the couple thousand of Debian Developers and maintainers there are all unpaid volunteers. If you become a kernel hacker for Red Hat one day, congrats; however, a lot of open source developers will never see a penny for their work (aside from occasional donations from time to time).

What I'm trying to say is that open source software thrives only when developers are interested in working together to create a piece of software that achieves what they want (assume that we're talking about community-based open source projects, not corporate-funded software development). With proprietary software and corporate-backed services, consumers effectively have the final say because they vote with their wallets; in community-based projects, the developers have the final say, not the users. If the users are unhappy about that, they fork the project and create a new community of developers around that project. That's always been how it works in the open-source community at large.

"Open Source" isnt just about a sub-culture of elitist computer geeks. Its a revolutionary concept and you shouldnt cheapen it.


I honestly don't know how you've managed to reach such a conclusion by reading what I've posted in my previous message. You're accusing me of trying to "cheapen" open source software just because I've tried to explain it from a developer's point of view? :?
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby Nick_Djinn on Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:23 am

I may have over stepped in a few of my assumptions, but you made it sound like Linux in general is just a side project that some computer geeks cook up in their spare time for fun, and if you dont like it then tough unicorns and dont expect the developers to care about you if you have problems because it was free and done as a hobby......those are not your exact words, but its my impression of the general picture you were painting. You didnt necessarily say all of those things specifically, but thats the feeling I got from your general implications.

Go to the Mint blog. Look at the post about how they moved the servers. They are making money off of us....and they should because they deserve it.

Granted, the devs here at Mint earned everything they get and more, and they are not screwing us hand over fist like Microsoft. Free is an affordable price and I honestly appreciate their efforts and contributions in expanding the Linux user base, which is why I donate, but its a mutually beneficial relationship. We benefit from their work, and they profit from our use. It would be false to say that this is just some project hobby that Clem and his friends cooked up, and that we shouldnt expect much or even for the devs to care if we have problems. This is a real job for them, not a side project but probably their day job. This seems to be what they are doing to put food on their table, and they have definitely earned it, but its not completely volunteer charity either. As a user base who puts food on their table, I think that its reasonable to politely post requests and opinions and ask the community for help and hope that bugs get addressed....and I think they HAVE risen to the occasions and met their responsibilities admirably. They deserve some respect for their accomplishments, in making an operating system that is not copying Windows but is palatable and intuitive for the user base that is coming from windows or mac, yet still retains the freedom and functionality of any true linux.

Being the creator of the 4th most popular operating system in the world probably looks pretty good on a resume as well.
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby degarb on Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:00 pm

My feeling is everyone is right on this subject. Truth, there is TRUTH, in it all these post. Except maybe, the opinion that the other guy has no points worth pondering.

In a nutshell, I, like so many posters , find advantages in Linux, and other advantages in XP. The two OS's are different, yet, both are still merely vehicles. Both are used for same reason: to run software that works. Both, should have the same goal to spend as little time as possible mucking around in infantile tasks (defragging to anything not related to running your sw :-)) and more time in production; and to maximize the dollar to number of programs ratio. True, the community doesn't need new blood, but where is the future and benefit in that? I cannot think of a quicker way to kill religion, project, or anything.

Another thing is clear as the nose on my face after 3 month of mucking around in 2010 in Linux, trying to convert over. It coalesced when reading specs of grub2 and other tech linux stuff, to point I barely could hold a normal conversation. Then, going and trying to teach preschool age kids grammar and reading. People accept the old legacy ways over obvious logical ways without question, and don't demand a redesign to allow a quicker learning curve. This legacy costs nations Trillions of their cash training kids in insane language rules that make no sense and should be redesigned. I freak out about English with the letter c and missing w in the word, "one". Naturally, worse would be the worry about word gender, or Chinese symbols. Fortunately, we are only 30 years in our architecture and not hundreds of years into this game, as in written languages.

Also, I think there is too much money to be made in the repository, free os model. The potential for cash hasn't been but barely tapped. Once critical mass of users and ease and compatibility is tipped, better watch out.
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