Thinking Of Linux....

Teufel_EldritchTeufel_Eldritch Join Date: 2002-01-28 Member: 124Members
I am thinking of switching over to Linux but I have a few questions.

1) Is it free and downloadable?

2) Which kernel should I use?

3) Can I run games with it just like Windows? I dont want to give up my FA, NS or DoD.

4) Can Windows programs run on Linux?

5) How easy is it to setup and use?

6) Can I install Linux on a Windows machine then uninstall Windows?

7) How secure is it?

8 ) How stable is it?

Here are the kernels that I know of:
Yellow Dog
Red Hat


  • CommunistWithAGunCommunistWithAGun Local Propaganda Guy Join Date: 2003-04-30 Member: 15953Members
    2.)Mandrake 9.1 (If your new to Linux)
    3.)Check out WINEX, it emulates windows.
    4.)Some, see #3
    5.)Setup is VERY easy.
    6.)Yes, if you prefer, you can dual boot using Lilo.
    7.)Why do many enterprise class networks use Linux in the server core;)
    8.) VERY stable. I've seen a linux server thats been up for a decade.
  • SkulkBaitSkulkBait Join Date: 2003-02-11 Member: 13423Members
    edited October 2003
    Ok first of all, lets get your terminology right.

    Kernel - Core of the Operating System (linux)
    Distribitution - A specially packaged collection of applications and operating system (Debian, Red Hat, ect.)

    Second: BSD is not linux. BSD is another UNIX clone that came about before linux. Yellow Dog linux is for PPC systems (that means Macs, basically).

    1) Yes, depending on the distribution you choose. Debian, Knoppix, Mandrake, and Red Hat are.,

    2) Most distributions use kernel versions between 2.2 and 2.5. However you can always compile any kernel version you want. Since you seem to have Distribution and Kernel mixed up, I'll assume you meant Distribution. Suse is considered to be one of the easiest, Red Hat and Mandrake are as well. Debian is generally not considered to be newbie friendly. Knoppix is based on Debian, but is more user friendly, and has another feature we'll discuss in a minute. LindowsOS is also supposed to be easy, but has huge security flaws.

    3) Before Steam, you could run HL and most of its mods under a special API wrapper called WINE. Steam, as of yet, doesn't run under WINE so the answer is, unfortunatly, no. This may change with future versions of WINE. BE AWARE THAT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WINE AND WINEX, WINE is free and open source, wheras WINEX must be paid for. WINEX is specially designed to work with games but you must have a windows install on your harddrive for it to work (I think, you may want to double check that).

    4) Generally speaking, no. Windows applications use the Win32 API (Application interface), naturally Linux has its own APIs, but the WINE project is attempting to write an API wrapper for Win32API, so you can run some programs. Check the <a href='' target='_blank'>WINE application database</a> for more info.

    5) Depends on the distribution, see above. Most distributions are fairly easy to use if your not expecting it to work exactly like windows.

    6) Not really. Knoppix, however, can run off the CD (albiet slowly) to let you try it out first. Note that I personally have had some trouble with it but they may be my fault (didn't burn the CD right properly mb?). You can setup your system to dual boot (you choose one operating system to boot when you start up), but you'll have to repartition your harddrive.

    7) UNIX based oerating systems are designed to be more secure then Windows. They separate users and base permissions around what user you are. However, like anything, it can be configured poorly and become insucure rather easily if your playing around with stuff you really don't understand (you shouldn't be able to do anything bad as long as you play around under your user account and not your root account). Open Source developers, like those that work on linux, take great pride in making their applications secure.

    8) Very. Unless your using experimental drivers for something you should not be able to crash it. Note, you might be able to crash X (the graphical backbone of most UNIX OSs), but that won't take down the operating system.

    Hope that helps. Good luck young nublet.
  • TalesinTalesin Our own little well of hate Join Date: 2002-11-08 Member: 7710NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators
    I'd recommend against Mandrake. They have several (hundred?) kernel patches, the aggregation of which have resulted in a somewhat more unstable kernel than the 'clean' source.

    RedHat is what I tend to recommend to Linux newbies, as you get a GUI right off the bat, and can pretty much just keep hitting enter (but DON'T, as you might want to change some options) and set up a dual-boot machine on a system that already has Windows installed.

    Linux and windows do NOT use the same filesystem.. you can't just install Linux in that free hard drive space on your Windows partition, in other words. You need to have un-formatted disk space for Linux to install itself into... it's an OS, not a Windows application (a question I used to constantly get as a #linuxhelp op was why the distro wouldn't install... this was the most common problem).

    Wine and the enhanced derivative WineX will allow you to play many games on Linux just like you would on Windows. They've taken pride in being able to run Half-Life on a Linux machine for a very long time, and it should not be long before the interpreter is fixed so that Steam will work just as well.
    You SHOULD be warned, installation of 3D accelleration card drivers under Linux can... no, ARE much more difficult than under Windows, regardless of if you use an ATI or nVidia card. There are drivers available for both brands, from their websites... but be prepared to READ THE INSTRUCTIONS VERY CLOSELY. You don't just double-click and boom, it's done.
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