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An observation

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  • User profile image
    chemstudent

    What is the draw to Linux?

    I have tried the newest version of Ubuntu and I guess I just don't get it.  I am by no means someone who is new to computers but I do not understand. 

    Some of have suggested that some flavors of Linux are better than Windows or Mac because it is free and easier to use and the user is given a choice in a variety of ways (source code, customization, etc).  If my parent's can not figure out something as simple as Mac OS X how can I expect them to understand Linux?

    Many sites have promoted the use of Linux to compete with Windows in the desktop area once Vista arrives, but after reading through the Ubuntuguide and trying to get stuff working, personally, I am tired of having to access the terminal to get anything working and installed.  Yes, they have an "Add application" program, which has simplified installations, but there are dependence errors, some of which I can not decipher.

    I guess I just want my computer to work for me, not the opposite.  I am not promoting Windows, Mac, anything, but I believe they have to be a lot easier to use than any current Linux offering.  As a student and someone who does not devote his life to computers, sometimes I just want the easiest and quickest way to accomplish a task.

    I am just curious to see the reply with this group.  I know many of you are Windows users, but I also have read many of you have tried some flavor of Linux. 

  • User profile image
    Steve411

    It's free. It's not likely to be hacked more than Windows.

    - Steve

  • User profile image
    MasterPi

    Steve411 wrote:
    It's free. It's not likely to be hacked more than Windows.

    - Steve


    It's not that hard to secure Windows either.  If you weight the ease of use for each category between the Operating Systems, it would seem that Linux overall is harder to get started. 

    Though, I've never really used Linux so I wouldn't know how challenging it is to do stuff.  I'd assume once you get started, it's not that bad after awhile.

  • User profile image
    dotnetjunkie

    Steve411, get your facts right.

    Linux is hacked a lot more than Linux. Of all the servers out there on the Internet, far more linux servers are compromised than windows servers...

    There are several reasons for that:
    linux is harder to secure and configure, people have a false sense of security (hey, it's linux, so it must be secure), a lot of students or wanna-be hosters use linux, etc...

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    dotnetjunkie wrote:
    Steve411, get your facts right.

    Linux is hacked a lot more than Linux. Of all the servers out there on the Internet, far more linux servers are compromised than windows servers...


    ...how about because Linux servers outnumber Windows servers almost 4-to-1?


    dotnetjunkie wrote:
    There are several reasons for that:
    linux is harder to secure and configure


    Tried Ubuntu lately?

    And don't tell me Windows Server 2003 network with SQL Server, Exchange, and the rest is "easy" to secure.

    Don't forget you're vulnerable between "Thursday Patch" days.

    dotnetjunkie wrote:
    people have a false sense of security (hey, it's linux, so it must be secure), a lot of students or wanna-be hosters use linux, etc...


    Not true.

    People go for Linux because its cheaper, not because its perceived to be "more secure".

    Besides, if you want secure go with NetBSD.

  • User profile image
    dotnetjunkie

    Also, the free thing doesn't cut it in a professional setting.  If you compare the cost of paying a Windows vs Linux consultant by the hour, your license is paid instantly...

    Bottom line is, to respond to the question of the topic starter, that Linux only proves to be worth it in very specific scenarios, for which Windows doesn't offer an equally attractive solution (or no solution at all, think of software BGP routing for example...)

    All these specific cases are server uses BTW, you should never even try to use linux as a desktop OS! 

  • User profile image
    dotnetjunkie

    W3bbo, whatever you say, you can't get around the fact that nearly all student/wanna-be hosters use linux, and they actually know crap about it!
    When going for Windows 2003 hosting, you have far better chance of getting a reliable, secure host, who knows his stuff!

    And why do you think that the vast majority of fortune 1000 companies use windows servers and no linux? (or at least not on the Internet)

  • User profile image
    TimP

    It's tough to explain, but in a lot of cases it just works, or it works better. I use an open source mainframe emulator called Hercules which runs on Windows and Hercules.

    On Linux:
    - Pull source code from CVS (2 commands)
    - Autoconf, configure with 4 virtual CPU support, make, install (can be accomplished with one concatenated command)
    - Networking support is already there (Universal TUN/TAP)
    - Enable IP forwarding in a plain text file
    - Run

    On Windows:
    - No built in CVS tools, have to find one on Sourceforge
    - Can't compile it myself without VC++ toolkit or Visual Studio so I can't enable specific compile time features like support for > 2 virtual CPUs
    - Have to install a 3rd party networking driver to use a second virtual IP address on my machine
    - Need to hack the registry to enable a well hid IP forwarding option
    - Run

    I'm not saying this is true in all cases, but the above example is why I run Hercules exclusively on Linux. I've tried it both ways but would never use the Windows version. The same goes for a lot of open source projects.

    I'm not saying that Linux is better than Windows. Windows is still ahead of Linux in GUI usability, stability, and features. This is why I primarily use Windows for my web surfing, word processing, and instant messaging but I use Linux for more server oriented tasks in my network like intranet web serving, running Windows file shares, DNS, and other software like Hercules. I could perform a lot of the Linux tasks on Windows Server, but Linux costs me nothing and I feel more in control with Linux.

  • User profile image
    TimP

    dotnetjunkie wrote:
    And why do you think that the vast majority of fortune 1000 companies use windows servers and no linux? (or at least not on the Internet)


    That is so horribly inaccurate.

  • User profile image
    dotnetjunkie

    TimP, no it is not, go check recent studies, you can find them easily using Google or MSN Search.

    edit: just tried it myself.... very first link in Google already confirmed it...
    http://www.port80software.com/surveys/top1000webservers/

    It is even more now!

  • User profile image
    TimP

    That's funny, I was talking to Morgan Stanley reps yesterday (hey what do you know, they're #39 on the Fortune 500), and they were discussing how heavily they're using Linux throughout the company.

    So I guess IIS having a 50% marketshare and Apache having nearly 25% means no Linux servers? Yeah, sure.

  • User profile image
    dotnetjunkie

    TimP wrote:

    That's funny, I was talking to Morgan Stanley reps yesterday (hey what do you know, they're #39 on the Fortune 500), and they were discussing how heavily they're using Linux throughout the company.

    So I guess IIS having a 50% marketshare and Apache having nearly 25% means no Linux servers? Yeah, sure.


    The only thing funny (not "ha ha" funny however) is how you look at one company and then conclude that the observation that the majority uses Windows servers instead of linux is wrong...
    Of course Linux servers are being used a lot, I never meant to say otherwise.

    Morgan Stanley uses Apache, as you can see here:
    http://www.port80software.com/tools/headercheckreport.asp?url=www.morganstanley.com&l=1

    But like I said, the trend is very clear, most big corporations already use IIS, and more are switching towards .NET...

  • User profile image
    Detroit Muscle

    I use Linux at home because GNOME is easier to use then the explorer.exe interface. I also find the Linux version of Matlab to be more stable than the Windows version.


    I also use Linux alot at work: Starscan

  • User profile image
    TimP

    Then maybe you should reconsider posting statements like this:

    dotnetjunkie wrote:
    And why do you think that the vast majority of fortune 1000 companies use windows servers and no linux? (or at least not on the Internet)


    Morgan Stanley, in fact, uses a mix of Windows and Linux servers. Their IT guys summed it up like this: use the right tool for problem. In some cases it's Linux, in others it's Windows.

  • User profile image
    PerfectPhase

    W3bbo wrote:

    Don't forget you're vulnerable between "Thursday Patch" days.


    Tuesdays, not Thursday Wink

    Stephen.

  • User profile image
    PerfectPhase

    dotnetjunkie wrote:

    Bottom line is, to respond to the question of the topic starter, that Linux only proves to be worth it in very specific scenarios, for which Windows doesn't offer an equally attractive solution (or no solution at all, think of software BGP routing for example...)
     


    Rubbish!  I really like Windows as an OS but there are times when there is no getting away from the fact that Linux and the like are a better option, take for example web host, and I mean professional, large scale hosting not some kid on the end of a DSL line.  There is no way windows can compete with Linux/Apache in large server farms purely due to cost.

    If you have only a couple of machines then TCO could swing in windows favour, but if you have hundreds to thousands of identical machines then linux/whaterverBSD is the way to go.

    Also Linux is perfectly viable as a desktop OS depending on what you want to do, not for me as I make my living out of Windows but I know many people that are happy with it as their only desktop.

    Just wish it had a decent 16bit colour RDP client.

    Stephen.

  • User profile image
    PerfectPhase

    TimP wrote:
    Morgan Stanley, in fact, uses a mix of Windows and Linux servers. Their IT guys summed it up like this: use the right tool for problem. In some cases it's Linux, in others it's Windows.
    This is exactly the right attitude to have.  It really (I need to watch my language)s me off that people, especially people making business decisions, become emotionally attached to an OS.  It's a tool nothing more, evaluate what you need and what skills and tools you have and pick the best solution based on that.

    Stephen.

  • User profile image
    IRenderable

    Every OS sucks.

    I have actually deleted my Linux partition to force me to really learn DirectX finally.

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