Linux is Not Windows

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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby gregnotcraig on Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:41 am

Just a little back story of my own.
The computer history of my family and myself:
Vic-20
C-64 (with a little experimentation with geos)
IBM 8088 with DOS, then Windows 1& 3.1
A few new computers w/ 95 thru XP.
I myself never made it to XP, but my folks have a Win2000 box and an XP box (as does my brother).

My first experience with Linux was circa '96, starting with RH4 (my linux history is explained a little more in another post of mine).
I learned Linux the hard way. I wiped my Windows partition.
When Gentoo came out, I loved it. I was able to make linux MINE. For my machine, no software I didn't want (no gnome dependencies for example) and totally streamlined.
It satisfied the ubergeek inside. After a while, I got tired of tweaking and just wanted linux to work, galldernit.
Ubuntu (and now Mint) satisfy that desire.
Mint is actually the first Ubuntu variant I've used that I didn't have to install the "ubuntu restricted extras" and that also automagically had the drivers for my wireless card installed and working.
I still download source, compile (especially if it's a newer driver or software version that implements a need) and always have a terminal window open for file copying, renaming, quick and dirty bash deeds, etc.
In the end though, my Linuxtop (a Compaq Evo N600c that I picked up for a song and a dance at a used tech store when my other one died an ugly death and needed a laptop) is a daily driver (to borrow the car analogy used in the linked article) - games, internet, word processing and Windows tech support for family and friends via Wine or Virtualbox if I need to walk someone thru a menu, installation, etc.

Hell, even my college is Linux friendly (no Microsoft-centric apps required for online courses, registration, stuff like that).
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby Vyper68 on Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:06 am

Very interesting read, being a Windoze noob i hope i can tough it out. :D
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby Fred on Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:47 am

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby justinforasec on Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:16 pm

" It's not just about "Why should I want Linux?". It's also about "Why should Linux want me?" "

Don't get me wrong, I like Linux alot, but it's this kind of attitude that I see all the time that will keep Linux from realizing it's full potential.
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby MatchStickMen on Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:16 pm

There is a lot of truth to this post. I just like learning something new. I have been using Linux for a couple of years and have tried out several distros. My first computer was the Original Mac 128K
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby Fred on Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:58 am

justinforasec wrote:
... it's this kind of attitude that I see all the time that will keep Linux from realizing it's full potential.

You see, this is where the culture clash arises. It is the difference between how you would define "Linux's full potential" and how I would define it.

To me, Linux becoming a cheaper, safer, dumbed down, main stream, commercially competitive, mass market, clone of Windows or Mac is an undesirable goal and not something Linux should aspire to. Shear numbers of users should not be a standard or measure of success. Technological progress and technical excellence should be the goal, therefore "full potential" will never be reached. Each iteration of a kernel, lib, program, or distro being better than the last is success in the making, but never fulfilled. :-)

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Linux is worse then windows for stability.

Postby ex-windows on Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:40 pm

When i started using linux i was promised that linux was more stable and was resistant to viruses.
Well thats not true.
On monday 9-3-2009 i got a nice little virus on my linux mint 6 computer. What it does is it opens up thousands of windows in firefox. You cannot close firefox faster then it can reopen it. And it opens up about 1000 copies of firefox with numerous firefox tabs been opened every second.
As it steals the mouse focus, it is impossible to jump to another workstation to fix the problem. When you jump to another workstation, you are immediatley grabbed back by the firefox/virus. I have tools on the bar so that i can shut down applications and processes quickly, yet as the mouse focus is continually stolen, it is impossible to shut down the virus.

Been used to windows, i was able to find a way and remove (most of it anyway) the virus.

Secondly the stability is shocking.
Computer crashes playing TORCES. Computer crashes playing FLIGHTGEAR, computer crashes playing planet penguin racer. All of these were installed by the correct method. All of them i ran in the lowest settings possible to reduce demand on system resources. Ive stopped trying to run programs to reduce the crashes. All i can use the computer for is to check emails.

Other errors:
Sudden log outs when opening up firefox or other programs.
strange errors when my daughter uses the CHILDSPLAY suite.
lengthy delays when swithcing tabs in firefox.
All these problems were on a linux mint 6 main edition. Freshly installed, and i had these problems. The virus was recent but i have had stability problems since January.

I also get crashes on startup where the only way to recover is to hold the power button for 10 seconds. When the computer crashes on startup, it boots to the menu properly. It then loads the linux mint loading screen. It loads to 100% then the screen goes blank. You can wait half and hour, you can wait 5 hours but the screen stays black.

Hardware:
All the hardware im using is brand new. (december 2008)
Its a dual core 2.5 GHZ intel. its has 2 GB of ram. The hardware is not at fault. I seem to have had excellent stability with fedora, but fedora isnt something that i want to use as a main computer. Using linux mint 6, I average 10 crashes per day. At this point sadly I will have to turn off linux mint and use something else. If i dont run any programs and only run firefox, then its seems to be stable.

My other computer has a 3.06 intel CPU. It is the old type of cpu. I am using an MSI motherboard. It has 4 gb of ram. The ram is the new type of ram. The computer the m/b and ram is new november 2008. The video card is a wiz bang ATI card. The computer runs windows xp with no problems. It crashes on startup everytime i use linux mint 6. It works well with fedora, opensuse, mandriva. The linux mint crashes when it first starts running from the CD.

I dont know if i am the only one with unique hardware, but then again maybe alot of others have this problem. And before some smart ass sugests that I check the MD5, I do that immediately after I download files.

Even with all of the problems that linux mint 6 has, i still prefer it to windows, and i can see the potential that Linux Mint has.
Im listing these errors and faults in the hope that maybe LINUX (mint) 7 will address these issues.
I have linux mint 6 running on 4 different computers, so I really want linux mint to work, and i know what i am talking about when i complain about stability and program crashes.
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby Fred on Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:02 pm

And before some smart ass sugests that I check the MD5, I do that immediately after I download files.

You might want to look at my post in the thread below. I am not saying this is your only problem or even a problem. But if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and leaves foot prints like a duck, it isn't a bad idea to at least consider the possibility that a duck is around somewhere. :-)

viewtopic.php?f=90&t=22993&p=135443&hilit=Fred+unrepeatable+huntwell#p135443

Hint: Sometimes, burning to a dvd instead of a cd makes all the difference. It's not the place to go into all the reasons why this could be true.

Just an idea from an "a double s". The smart part is highly questionable at best. :-)

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby badmotor on Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:42 pm

Geez - that is just totally out of the ordinary stuff. I've never seen a post like yours. I'm sure some more people will pipe up with suggestions shortly. Incidentally, I have used all those distros you mentioned, and many more and Linux Mint has been the most stable of them all.

Hope you get to the bottom of it.
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby Fred on Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:54 pm

ex-windows,

As far as your virus problem goes, there could be multiple possibilities. First off, anyone that promised you, no malware, didn't know what they were talking about. It is unlikely, and compared to Windows it is almost non-existent. But it is possible, just not likely. Viruses, even less so.

Do you dual boot with Windows? If so, do you use one of those super wizz bang drivers that allows Windows to access your Linux partitions? If so, you probably don't own your box anymore. Whoever does is just kind enough to let you use it once in a while.

The same as above applies if you insist on running in root to do ordinary, day-to-day tasks.

Do you use Wine? This is another avenue to get to Firefox, though it is not likely to affect other native Linux programs.

Do you use the "no script" extension in Firefox? If not I strongly recommend it.

What about other extensions? Do you know where they come from? Are they from trusted sources? Extensions are a great avenue for malware to get into Firefox. Firefox problems can't do much to damage the system, but they can be very aggravating.

What about .desktop files? Do you make a habit of downloading files to your desktop and opening them from there? This too is an avenue for malware. Not much of this has been seen yet, but there is a venerability there and I expect to see more of it as Linux becomes more popular. You should be especially wary of this if you download stuff from dodge sites.

The bottom line is that compared to Windows, Linux is like Fort Knox. But that doesn't mean that you can't get in trouble. It isn't fool proof. An old saying comes to mind, "Anything one man can do, another can undo."

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby mipcar on Sun Mar 15, 2009 4:06 am

I installed Linux on an old machine with not much ram to get me out of trouble whilst my pc has been away with hardware problem. I had never even looked at Linux before.
It has worked almost faultlessly for me right from install, within 30 mins I was getting my e-mail and using the browser. I was fortunate in that it found my USB wireless link to my modem, things might not have gone so well otherwise.

I like its fast load and shutdown, the way it updates, the way it just opened the right program to view things. It's been very stable,only one wobbly which a reboot fixed, not like my XP.

I don't like the way it handles devices some I just cannot get to work, bash commands given in the forum often help but sometimes don't do anything.. More knowledge and study on my part would fix that. I don't like Linux version of MSN messenger but overall I could live with a Linux machine full time if I needed to.

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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby mipcar on Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:48 pm

Just got my pc working again last night.
Geez, I'd forgotten just how long it took to set the whole thing up and get it re-configured to how I like it. (XP)

Then it took so long to boot I thought it was still broken.

I think I could live with Linux as my sole O/S once I teach myself a bit more stuff.

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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby Plain_jim on Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:09 pm

Fred wrote:...

What about .desktop files? Do you make a habit of downloading files to your desktop and opening them from there? This too is an avenue for malware. Not much of this has been seen yet, but there is a venerability there and I expect to see more of it as Linux becomes more popular. You should be especially wary of this if you download stuff from dodge sites...


OK, I'll bite. I usually download to a ~/Download folder I created in my home directory. What's the deal with downloading to the desktop, and what's a better way to do it?
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby Fred on Sat Mar 28, 2009 4:51 am

Plain_jim,

I think the easiest way to explain it would be to refer you to a couple urls. The short version is the .desktop executable extension. One of the things that Microsoft did that killed their securiety was create the .exe extension. Anything that has that extension will try to execute by default. Linux/Unix always maintained a set of file permissions, including an execution bit. Only root could change the settings. This prevented files from being downloaded and executed by a user. The GUI desktop makers, mainly Gnome and KDE but it spread to others, decided to make the same mistake that had proven so disastrous to Microsoft, for sake of so-called usability. Files downloaded to the desktop will get a .desktop extension which enables them to be executed by the user. Even though by default they can only run as a user and not root they can do a lot of damage to the users files and possibly set up a situation where they could acquire root privileges. This is big hole in Linux securiety that to date hasn't been exploited much. Both Gnome and KDE have "discovered" this venerability and are working to mitigate the issues involved. KDE 4 has taken some steps in this direction.

Your best bet is to download to a directory other than the desktop folder. Once I have my desktop set like I want it I set the ownership of the desktop folder and the autostart folder to root and read only so you are forced to save it somewhere else and nothing can get in the autostart file that I don't want there. This helps but doesn't completely solve the problem.

http://lwn.net/Articles/178409/

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/foobar/6229

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby Zwopper on Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:51 am

Fred wrote:Once I have my desktop set like I want it I set the ownership of the desktop folder and the autostart folder to root and read only so you are forced to save it somewhere else and nothing can get in the autostart file that I don't want there. This helps but doesn't completely solve the problem.

http://lwn.net/Articles/178409/

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/foobar/6229

Fred

Fred,
Very smart(as usual), I have done the changes myself already, but for a novice user, or someone who doesn't want to fiddle around too much this could be made part of a security feature(together with mintNanny and Gufw for instance), that one could engage, like you said above, when the setup feels ready, perhaps integrated in mintAssistant so that the end user becomes aware of it right after first boot...
Interestingly enough XFCE seems to have advantages in this area as well!!! :D
Last edited by Zwopper on Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby nick on Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:04 am

Hi
Secondly the stability is shocking.


I must agree with Fred, I have been running Linux since 1998, (I have never used windows).

During this time I can count the number of crashes on one hand, that's correct, propably less than 10 in 10 years, I do not go out my way to choose my hardware.

Three years ago I installed Suse on my 78 year old sisters computer, she has asked ONE question since (and it has never crashed), nor have any of the other computers I have installed it on
Been used to windows, i was able to find a way and remove (most of it anyway) the virus.

I would like to hear what alleged "virus" it was and how you uninstalled it.

Take notice of Freds posts-ducks

BTW Fred there might be somebody older than you on here :D i started on PDP 11 using RT11 in 1973 when we stopped using the punched card system

Funny thing it had a "windowing sytem" :D waaaay before windows

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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby Plain_jim on Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:06 am

Fred wrote:Plain_jim,

I think the easiest way to explain it would be to refer you to a couple urls...


M'kay. Time to do some homework. Mucho grats.

EDIT: Okay, I read the articles, and I did a quick test; I took an *.odt file, and renamed it to *.odt.desktop; the icon obediently changed to a desktop icon. So I copied it to the desktop... where the ".desktop" file extension was visible (contrary to the second article, which said the extension would not appear).
-Is the fact that I could still see the .desktop extension an improvement in Gnu, or just evidence that I don't know what I'm doing (trust me, I can provide plenty of THAT!);
-I've gotten the message that I don't have to practice "safe computing" with Linux. Are these ".desktop" files the primary source of Linux vulnerability, or are there others? (And I'm perfectly happy to go look at a url; I did a quick search, but most of the stuff I find for Linux vulnerabilities either requires root access, or consists of articles sniggering at Redmond.)
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby djengis on Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:48 pm

hear hear!! thanks for the link++++ i love this mint i have used ubuntu from 6.06 and now i have linux mint 6 easy quick responsive,,,,,,,najs
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Re: Linux is worse then windows for stability.

Postby AK Dave on Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:09 pm

ex-windows wrote:When i started using linux i was promised that linux was more stable and was resistant to viruses.


It is.

On monday 9-3-2009 i got a nice little virus on my linux mint 6 computer. What it does is it opens up thousands of windows in firefox. You cannot close firefox faster then it can reopen it. And it opens up about 1000 copies of firefox with numerous firefox tabs been opened every second.


I've seen it. Its a piece of javascript malware. You got it because you visited some website like 10chan.org and didn't have any basic firefox protections up. This was totally preventable.

And, for that matter, easily fixed.

I hit the same thing myself last weekend after I installed Jaunty but hadn't tweaked my firefox. A quick hit to the command line with 'killall firefox' and then I noted that I had an errant java process eating 30% of my CPU time. Killed it too, restarted firefox without re-launching the old websites, and everything was good.

You didn't encounter a virus. You encountered malicious javascript code.
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Re: Linux is Not Windows

Postby Az4x4gNu on Sat Apr 11, 2009 12:02 pm

Fred wrote:.. To me Linux becoming a cheaper, safer, dumbed down, main stream, commercially competitive, mass market, clone of Windows or Mac is an undesirable goal.. Shear numbers of users should not be a standard or measure of success.


Linux will never become any of the things you find objectionable Fred. Yes, projects such as Ubuntu and its derivative spin-offs including LinuxMINT are in truth ever more appealing and commercially competitive. However even these magnificent Linux OS offerings, when compared with the Window$ juggernaut that has dominated the OS wars for decades, will never become mass market clones of either Windows or to a far lesser extent Mac. So your concern for "shear numbers of users" becoming the "measure of success" that Linux is judged by will never materialize - at least not in our lifetimes!

Fred wrote:Technological progress and technical excellence should be the [Linux] goal, therefore "full potential" will never be reached.


Seems to me that "Technological progress and technical excellence" is the very "goal" that Linux developers strive towards. With all such goals it is not so much in arriving at a destination, for the destination is always shifting and changing as OS development progresses, but it's in the journey itself that critical lessons are learned and the gem stone becomes ever more polished. In pursuing this developmental process Linux has become impossible to ignore, having brought on board millions of converts in the past few years alone. Even the great unwashed masses who blindly pay others to keep them chained to the grinding wheel of proprietary OS corporate greed, incompetence, and outright deception, are taking notice in today's world. And that's another milestone that the Linux community has to be ever more aware of and factor in as it looks to the future.
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