What you use Linux for?

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Re: What you use Linux for?

Postby emperor_aniseed on Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:28 am

I came through Drupal/WordPress, initially only intending to mono-boot during a period of learning. In the end, I adapted well enough to not need Windows for anything.

So to answer the question: I use Linux for everything !
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Re: What you use Linux for?

Postby Pierre on Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:16 am

I was asked recently why I used Linux on my computers, and I found myself a bit lost for words. Why do I use Linux, and what do I use it for? I wanted to explain how wonderful Linux was, but could not think of anything much to say.


the Price - is a good starting point.
- No M$ Tax :)
- Mint, so far, - has cost me Nil$ 8)

Stability - is another point to watch :roll:
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Re: What you use Linux for?

Postby perduta on Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:07 pm

bimsebasse wrote:I use it for everything and don't dual boot with XP anymore. The only things I miss from Windows are foobar/iTunes and Photoshop, I have made do with Linux equivalents but they're not replacements.


In deed even tough I do use Windows I too won't use pirated software and prefer to contribute or at least show support for the free software alternatives. For instance so far I haven't needed anything that goes beyond what gimp can do.

bimsebasse wrote:...they all have an OS that for some reason seems to deteriorate rapidly and get increasingly more sluggish.

Yes I have found this too and I had problems with malware as well as my Windows 7 giving me a deadly BSOD about once a week. I recommend Windows users partition their drive with about 120Gb for the OS and applications that they can easily restore from source and putting all your data on a separate partition. Windows is very well behaved when it comes to reformatting and reinstalling: It won't trash your existing work files.

bimsebasse wrote:it's like dancing with a blind hippo.


I am having a vision of dancing blind hippos now. :lol:
Linux Mint is indeed a pleasure to work with whereas I find Ubuntu became unusable with the Unity desktop.
The most incredible thing was that and I actually really like windows 8 even though I started out determined to hate it :shock:
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Re: What you use Linux for?

Postby perduta on Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:15 pm

Just to follow up on this one...
KBD47 wrote:Also, doesn't Caffeine disable the screen saver if it's installed? You definitely don't need the screen going blank while watching videos.


I understand now there is a difference between http://kaffeine.kde.org/ the video player and http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/tech-tip-keep-your-monitor-awake-caffeine the tray app and I suspect you meant the former.
I have down loaded Kaffeine but haven't managed to install it yet. I do actually need a good region free DvD player because I had to reinstall my DVD X and found my license key from 2004 doesn't work any more... and I don't want to pay for it again out of principle :evil:
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Re: What you use Linux for?

Postby perduta on Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:07 pm

Actually there is a wealth of info coming in here and I just followed up reading about UEFI thanks to this one:
DrHu wrote:...Uefi is the bigger issue with win8, and maybe the tiled start menu (mobilty based for touch screens is not a good "cup of tea" for some: myself included..


TBH I don't want a boot menu. I want to just switch my personal computer on and do whatever I turned it on for. The way I've dealt with different OSes is to keep each one as a self contained drive that I set in the BIOS boot priority and rarely change. I can even literally just remove the drive and bolt in a different one because my work files are all on a separate physical 'spindle' or on USB sticks.

I had a lot of problems with Grub2 trashing MBR's and I gather it doesn't work well with UEFI either. IMO we just want something simple to load the OS from the main drive (whichever that may be). I've also had no end of problems trying to edit fstab. Various utilities invariably make a mess of it and if you ever have a drive listed there go down... your system is likely to be unbootable... give it a try ... unplug one drive (not your main drive) and see what I mean :shock:

Just a side note: The tiled start menu in windows 8 to me just takes the role of a dock bar. The biggest drawback I see in Windows 8 is that unlike 7 it won't play DvD's unless you buy a special add-on media pack!
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Re: What you use Linux for?

Postby bimsebasse on Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:34 pm

perduta wrote:
bimsebasse wrote:it's like dancing with a blind hippo.


I am having a vision of dancing blind hippos now. :lol:
Linux Mint is indeed a pleasure to work with whereas I find Ubuntu became unusable with the Unity desktop.
The most incredible thing was that and I actually really like windows 8 even though I started out determined to hate it :shock:


Yeah I played around with it in the local hardware store and thought it was decent, but then again I've used a smartphone for ages so it's not alienating. I suspect the out-roar mainly comes from people who have never owned a touch device of any kind.
Thank you for this thread. That’s all I can say. You most definitely have made this forum into something special. You clearly know what you are doing, you’ve covered so many bases. Thanks!
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Re: What you use Linux for?

Postby dee. on Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:03 pm

bimsebasse wrote:Yeah I played around with it in the local hardware store and thought it was decent, but then again I've used a smartphone for ages so it's not alienating. I suspect the out-roar mainly comes from people who have never owned a touch device of any kind.


Not really. I'm familiar with using touch devices and when I tried win8 in the store it made me feel like taking a shower. To wash away the smell of windows 8.

The UI is just so damn inconsistent and horrible. And really, if you look at the sales figures, it looks like most people agree. I think the main issue here is, that desktops, tablets and phones are all very different tools, and require different interfaces. Trying to use a desktop interface on a smartphone with 5" screen, or a smartphone interface on a desktop with a 22" screen, both would be horrible. Trying to create an OS that uses the same interface in these dramatically different devices is just plain lunacy.


Also: I use Linux for everything that I do on my computer. This includes, in no particular order: drawing, graphic design, some hobby programming (which I mostly suck at), watching videos, listening to music, browsing the web, writing documents and spreadsheets, sending and receiving email, playing games, irc.
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Re: What you use Linux for?

Postby perduta on Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:42 pm

dee. wrote:
bimsebasse wrote:Yeah I played around with it in the local hardware store and thought it was decent, but then again I've used a smartphone for ages so it's not alienating. I suspect the out-roar mainly comes from people who have never owned a touch device of any kind.


Not really. I'm familiar with using touch devices and when I tried win8 in the store it made me feel like taking a shower. To wash away the smell of windows 8.

The UI is just so damn inconsistent and horrible. And really, if you look at the sales figures, it looks like most people agree. I think the main issue here is, that desktops, tablets and phones are all very different tools, and require different interfaces. Trying to use a desktop interface on a smartphone with 5" screen, or a smartphone interface on a desktop with a 22" screen, both would be horrible. Trying to create an OS that uses the same interface in these dramatically different devices is just plain lunacy.


lol - it's funny because I have never used a touch device but thought Windows 8 was cool anyway 8) I just press the special Windows key to swap between the start screen and the regular desktop and have put all the tools that I want as 'charms' on the start screen rather than the spam Microsoft provided ;) Admittedly the mouse-over malarkey on the right edge is a bit annoying when playing a full screen game as it pops up every time I try and click on something over that side, but it's not that different to a launcher bar.

Far more sinister is however how Microsoft are tying computers into their OS with things like uefi and tying your license into your specific hardware setup. It becomes a problem to upgrade. I also don't like that I can't use my region free DvD player any more and for those reasons alone Linux still has a place on my desktop machine today :)

dee. wrote:Also: I use Linux for everything that I do on my computer. This includes, in no particular order: drawing, graphic design, some hobby programming (which I mostly suck at), watching videos, listening to music, browsing the web, writing documents and spreadsheets, sending and receiving email, playing games, irc.


Most of those things do work well on Linux Mint. When it comes to programming though I think we will have to target Windows because programming for Linux makes no financial sense.
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Re: What you use Linux for?

Postby dee. on Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:54 am

perduta wrote:Most of those things do work well on Linux Mint.


They all do.

When it comes to programming though I think we will have to target Windows because programming for Linux makes no financial sense.


Tell that to Valve... Red Hat... Samsung... Google... Intel... and the hundreds of new kickstarter projects that target Linux and have raised substantial amounts of money - if that doesn't make "financial sense" I don't know what does. Oh, and the Humble Indie Bundle where Linux users pay almost double the amount per user that mac & windows users do.

Yeah, I think pretty soon it's going to be the other way around - targeting windows doesn't make financial sense, in the long run.
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Re: What you use Linux for?

Postby perduta on Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:13 am

dee. wrote:
perduta wrote:Most of those things do work well on Linux Mint.


They all do.

I haven't been using it long, but I certainly found a few little show stoppers. Now I did have some comparable problems with my recent Windows 8 update and I dialed their free phone number and got to talk to someone within minutes. Half an hour later I got e-mail with clear instructions and then the problem was fixed. Now Linux Mint I think is very good especially as it's free, but my time is precious to me so the sooner we stop treating it as a kind of religion and face the reality... the better: I use my computer primarily to get a job done and don't want a new look and feel every 6 months if that means things stop working.

dee. wrote:
When it comes to programming though I think we will have to target Windows because programming for Linux makes no financial sense.


Tell that to Valve... Red Hat... Samsung... Google... Intel... and the hundreds of new kickstarter projects that target Linux and have raised substantial amounts of money - if that doesn't make "financial sense" I don't know what does. Oh, and the Humble Indie Bundle where Linux users pay almost double the amount per user that mac & windows users do.

Yeah, I think pretty soon it's going to be the other way around - targeting windows doesn't make financial sense, in the long run.


Time will tell, but I gather Red Hat for instance is one company that stated categorically there be very little profit to be made with Linux. Perhaps things will change with Android and touchpad devices, but IMHO Linux conceptually targets multi-user mainframe technology from before many of us were even born and it is bogged down with legacy baggage and conflicting standards that are of little use today.
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Re: What you use Linux for?

Postby dee. on Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:06 am

perduta wrote:I haven't been using it long, but I certainly found a few little show stoppers. Now I did have some comparable problems with my recent Windows 8 update and I dialed their free phone number and got to talk to someone within minutes. Half an hour later I got e-mail with clear instructions and then the problem was fixed. Now Linux Mint I think is very good especially as it's free, but my time is precious to me so the sooner we stop treating it as a kind of religion and face the reality... the better: I use my computer primarily to get a job done and don't want a new look and feel every 6 months if that means things stop working.


If you want paid tech support, get RHEL. Mint doesn't offer paid tech support because... you don't pay for it. There's nothing religious about it. I get everything done in Linux without problems, and I have no use for windows. There's no need to get a "new look and feel" every 6 months, last I checked Mint 13 was still supported up to 2017.

perduta wrote:Time will tell, but I gather Red Hat for instance is one company that stated categorically there be very little profit to be made with Linux. Perhaps things will change with Android and touchpad devices, but IMHO Linux conceptually targets multi-user mainframe technology from before many of us were even born and it is bogged down with legacy baggage and conflicting standards that are of little use today.


So I guess the fact that Red Hat made over 1 billion dollars in revenue last year doesn't count as "profit"? I guess Valve targeting Linux means nothing to you? Android market share is over 40% of ALL computing devices. That's double the market share of windows.

Legacy baggage and conflicting standards? Care to tell what these are? Linux runs on many platforms because it is versatile and useful for many purposes. Just because something isn't useful to you doesn't mean it isn't useful to anyone.
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Re: What you use Linux for?

Postby Forthright on Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:15 am

I'm always interested in this question whenever it pops up as I would love to see more use and recognition of Linux.

Right now Linux has a paltry segment of the wider user base compared to what it deserves imho (according to Wikipedia if you don't include Android it only totals 1.64%).

I use Linux for development mainly. I run Mint in VirtualBox.

I use Windows for all my payware: Microsoft Office (only Word, Excel, Outlook and Powerpoint), my usually outdated version of Adobe Suite and on my home machine for games.

I run Windows as my main OS because it (unsurprisingly) doesn't run as friendly inside VMs.

My dream for mint is to find the free time to take seamless mode and start replacing part of windows functionality but I think that's just a pipe-dream given my current working hours :)
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Re: What you use Linux for?

Postby eanfrid on Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:48 am

@perduta: obviously you are more interested in the free as free-beer side of a Linux distrib than in user's freedom and code-openness aspects (or in the technical side of computers either). Linux is not a gratis alternate version of Windows. Like Unix and BSD, it comes with/from a totally different world vision and culture.
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Re: What you use Linux for?

Postby perduta on Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:26 pm

eanfrid wrote:@perduta: obviously you are more interested in the free-as-beer side of a Linux distrib than in user's freedom and code-openness aspects (or in the technical side of computers either).


No, as I stated earlier the reason I'm interested in the free software movement is because:
perduta wrote:Far more sinister is however how Microsoft are tying computers into their OS with things like uefi and tying your license into your specific hardware setup. It becomes a problem to upgrade. I also don't like that I can't use my region free DvD player any more and for those reasons alone Linux still has a place on my desktop machine today :)
... When it comes to programming though I think we will have to target Windows because programming for Linux makes no financial sense.

In other words I don't like monopolistic companies controlling my personal computing habits but one reason I dislike Linux is that I would like to be able to make a living from the work I do rather than work pro-deo.

eanfrid wrote:Linux is not a gratis alternate version of Windows. Like Unix and BSD, it comes with/from a totally different world vision and culture.

I am aware of that which is why I mentioned it earlier: Linux, like Unix and BSD too AFIK are conceptually designed for yesteryear's a corporate networks in which authorized personnel log into generic computers and a central file server serves up their applications and data that they work on as configured by managed administrative policies.

Personal computers in the home and hand held devices too are often just entertainment stations: media players or communication devices for social networking.
Personal computers in the work place are often self contained processing stations targeted and configured by the owner specifically for doing a professional job and maybe the small business accounts and some administrative stuff on the side: This is a totally different pedigree to impersonal office data processors on a corporate network... hence the name "Personal" computer and hence why I'm asking how people actually do use their Linux boxes.

IMO it seems at times like they were trying to adapt the designs for a lorry to be used as a motorcycle. :shock:

p.s. @dee
I am looking from the point of view of employment prospects and from looking under the hood at things like the legacy folder structure. Isn't it still the venerable old X11 window system that underpins all these different desktop systems?
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Re: What you use Linux for?

Postby dee. on Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:06 pm

perduta wrote:I am aware of that which is why I mentioned it earlier: Linux, like Unix and BSD too AFIK are conceptually designed for yesteryear's a corporate networks in which authorized personnel log into generic computers and a central file server serves up their applications and data that they work on as configured by managed administrative policies.


As opposed to...? The UNIX structure is pure genius. You can't truly appreciate it until you get familiar with it, but there's a reason it has been used for so long, that new people keep finding it, etc. UNIX works. Linux is the modern-day free software implementation of UNIX, and follows the UNIX principles, because they are tried and true.

perduta wrote:Personal computers in the home and hand held devices too are often just entertainment stations: media players or communication devices for social networking.
Personal computers in the work place are often self contained processing stations targeted and configured by the owner specifically for doing a professional job and maybe the small business accounts and some administrative stuff on the side: This is a totally different pedigree to impersonal office data processors on a corporate network... hence the name "Personal" computer and hence why I'm asking how people actually do use their Linux boxes.


And there's nothing stopping you from using Linux as a single-user system on a personal computer. But that's the beauty of it, it's flexibility. The Linux kernel can support many different kinds of operating systems. The kernel is a base on which you build a system, and it has already been shown that very different kinds of systems for very different applications have been built on that kernel, ranging from smartphone OS's to servers and supercomputers.

Besides, local networks are still being used a LOT in business and education. Linux works great for schools that don't often have large budgets. Windows only allows you to network 10-15 machines per license, unless you get the hugely more expensive server license.

perduta wrote:p.s. @dee
I am looking from the point of view of employment prospects and from looking under the hood at things like the legacy folder structure. Isn't it still the venerable old X11 window system that underpins all these different desktop systems?


Legacy folder structure? There's nothing wrong with the folder structure. It works. /bin for binary, /home for home directories, /usr for programs, /etc. Simple and efficient.

X11 is getting dated, yes, and there are already efforts under way to replace it. I suggest you look into Wayland. It will probably not be ready for production use in a year or two still, but there are already working implementations of it that you can try.

As for employment prospects... well, depends on what exactly you do for living, but there are plenty of employment prospects for linux users. Right now it's a growing market, the salaries of linux professionals have grown hugely in last year alone: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2025924/ ... -dice.html
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Re: What you use Linux for?

Postby perduta on Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:33 pm

@ dee

Like I said earlier... while this thread is not intended to be a criticism or discussion of the Linux internals, treating it as a religion is doing nobody any favors at all. :cry:
Unix is not quite the panacea you make it out to be. It is designed for centralized processing, serving dumb display terminals. Today the reality of computing is distributed processing with autonomous work stations. Dependence on an insecure internet as THE network that ties them all together is IMO a liability for privacy and security. Speaking of which, did you google 'Unity amazon lens' yet as I recommended elsewhere?

Apart from that, there is no denying the phenomenal amount of dead wood when you deploy said Unix paradigm on single user personal devices. For instance just take a look at how many system folders named 'bin' that you can find... and why is it assumed that each user will only work on their own personal files? I don't even want a user account on my personal computer that sits in my personal living room in my home... I don't have one on my TV set or dish washer do I?
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Re: What you use Linux for?

Postby perduta on Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:54 pm

dee. wrote:As for employment prospects... well, depends on what exactly you do for living, but there are plenty of employment prospects for linux users. Right now it's a growing market, the salaries of linux professionals have grown hugely in last year alone: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2025924/ ... -dice.html


Yes you are right there.
I see that even where I live now there ARE a few jobs emerging that want Linux experience so people can end up using Linux in the work environment :)
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Re: What you use Linux for?

Postby dee. on Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:17 pm

perduta wrote:@ dee

Like I said earlier... while this thread is not intended to be a criticism or discussion of the Linux internals, treating it as a religion is doing nobody any favors at all. :cry:


There's nothing religious here.

Unix is not quite the panacea you make it out to be. It is designed for centralized processing, serving dumb display terminals. Today the reality of computing is distributed processing with autonomous work stations. Dependence on an insecure internet as THE network that ties them all together is IMO a liability for privacy and security. Speaking of which, did you google 'Unity amazon lens' yet as I recommended elsewhere?


I have no need to google unity's amazon lens, I know all about it, and I don't see how it has any relevance in this discussion. We're not talking about ubuntu here.

Unix is not designed for central processing and dumb terminals. It's maybe where its roots are but it's actually far more versatile. Unix provides a structure and framework to create networks of many different kinds that is reliable, stable and functional. There's nothing in the structure of Unix limiting its usage to central servers serving thin clients. And as for the reality of computing, thin clients are making a comeback. They're actually rising in usage, in fact it's the autonomous workstations which are decreasing in usage.

Who's depending on an insecure internet as THE network? There are plenty of local networks in business and education use. They're not going anywhere. Besides, there are plenty of ways for making communication via the internet secure. SSH connections are very secure when set up properly and you can tunnel anything through them.

Apart from that, there is no denying the phenomenal amount of dead wood when you deploy said Unix paradigm on single user personal devices. For instance just take a look at how many system folders named 'bin' that you can find... and why is it assumed that each user will only work on their own personal files? I don't even want a user account on my personal computer that sits in my personal living room in my home... I don't have one on my TV set or dish washer do I?


What dead wood are you talking about? Linux is a modular system. You don't need to use the parts you don't need. Just leave out the packages and kernel modules that you don't need. As for dead wood and bloat, let's compare a bit - the latest Windows RT operating system takes 16 GB of space. That's just the operating system. Now that's what I'd call dead wood and bloat. Why does a tablet OS need to take half the storage space of the tablet? 16 GB? That's ridiculous. Android, a Linux based tablet/smartphone OS, needs only a tiny fraction of that.

If you don't want user accounts on your computer, that's your problem. No one forces you to use them though. You can just use the root account for everything and disable the password prompt. That's kind of stupid from a security perspective, but you can do that. There's even distros for that, try Puppy linux, it runs in root all the time. It's not really meant for normal desktop use, but you can use it if you want. That's the beautiful thing about Linux, if you want to do something, you can, there's nothing stopping you. No one's forcing or shoehorning you into any particular way of doing things. There's always options.

However in most cases it's assumed that each user will only work on their personal files, because that's how it's supposed to work. It's called privilege separation and it's a security measure - you don't have to do it, like I said, you can just use one account and have everyone in the house use that same account, if you trust everyone to not mess with things. But Linux still gives you the option to separate privileges, because a lot of people find it useful; and also, because it's good from a security perspective. You can also chmod files to be accessible to others, or create shared folders, or even create extra storage partitions that everyone has access to, so I really don't see what the problem is.

Also, a desktop computer is not a TV or a dish washer, no matter what Apple would like you to believe. If you want a computer that you can treat as an appliance, don't get a desktop computer. Get a tablet, it'll do what you need just fine. If you want a powerful, secure, versatile, general purpose computer, then get a desktop with Linux.
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Re: What you use Linux for?

Postby perduta on Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:15 pm

soz... double post :(
Last edited by perduta on Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What you use Linux for?

Postby perduta on Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:18 pm

dee. wrote:There's nothing religious here.


If you want a discussion about the technical merits and deficiencies of Linux I suggest we do it elsewhere, but in my experience such discussions are rarely productive.
This thread is for discussing what purpose people actually (or even knowingly) use Linux for

p.s. even within the Linux communities there are 'disto-wars' going on you know. ;)
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