Tips & How-To's

Making That Shift

Every one is trying out linux, if you don’t want to be left out read on.
This topic covers what you need to know to shift to the boon called Linux.

Firstly why do you need Linux? Linux is for geeks and their geek factor right?
Well the answer is no. Linux is for those who need a peace of mind.

Let’s take an example here.
You come home tired after a long day’s work and all you want to do is sit in front of your computer and relax but as soon as you turn it on you get a message could not find system32 and windows wont start whatever you do.
So you call your system mechanic and he will comes the next day reinstalls windows an charges you a good 500 bucks. Now your system runs fine and also faster than before and all is well again right?
Again the answer is no.
Within a month or two you will experience the same or a new problem and again its 500 bucks gone.
Now you might ask if I mean to say that Linux is problem-free. I would say no to that. At present all Operating Systems do have their own problems but in the case of Linux it is lesser and you will find more stability and configurability. If this is not compelling enough then read on and I am sure you will reconsider.

So what should your qualification be to know Linux?
To know Linux one must basically need the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics is required, and a graduate degree is desired, although not essential.
  • At least 1,000 hours flying time in jet aircraft, and experience as a test pilot is desirable.
  • Height must be 64 inches (5.33 ft) to 76 inches (6.33 ft).

…..wait a second, I am sorry that’s the qualification for an astronaut. To learn Linux all you need is a system and a willingness to learn.

Ok, I have decided to make the shift. Now what?
First you need to find a distro that is suited to you.

Now what is a distro?
Distros(short for distributions) are versions of Linux crafted by different people or organizations. Each distro suits a different need. For beginners I would suggest the following: PCLinuxOS, Ubuntu, Xubuntu, and Kubuntu. Each of the mentioned above ones are very user friendly.

Do I need to install Linux to try it?
I just love saying no and answer to the above question is no.
Most Linux distros employ the use of live cd.

Now what is a live cd?
Live cds basically give you a full fledged operating system without the need to install it. Simply put, think that when you boot from a live cd it installs itself into your system RAM and gets uninstalled (in Windows parlance) when you shut down your system. The only drawback is that you will experience slower speed(as everything needs to be read from the CD drive and loaded into the RAM) and all your settings will be changed back to default once you restart. Nowadays most distros come as live cd, enabling you try and test them out before you install them.

Installation
Now the next lines will teach you how to install Linux right?
Well no. A very good installation guide has been written by our forum member, The Trojan. Just visit our forum to get through the installation (Don’t worry you won’t need rocket science to get through it, you just a printer, and an inclination to know more).

Ok I have installed Linux now what?
First check if all your hardware has been configured.
Next you will find all the basic software’s used in every day life already installed.
Next you might want to install WINE to run some of those windows softwares you can’t do without.

Maintenance
The amount of maintenance will drive you mad. You have to hmmm, let’s see ummm
Yes (that’s right I do say yes), no maintenance required. No anti virus, no defragmentation etc.

Points to Remember

  • Most Linux distributions are free and so are the softwares
  • Linux is not for geeks only
  • Using linux is very easy at the most it might take you a week to learn if you have the IQ of a baby.
  • Linux is not limited to a CUI(like DOS) it also has a GUI(like Windows)
  • Installing Linux is simple! Just follow our guide.
  • There are huge number of softwares for Linux.
  • Installing softwares is very easy. Each distro has a package manager similar to add/remove programs. This shows the list of available softwares and you can choose to install it. The package manager then downloads the required software and installs it automatically
  • Linux can play mp3,videos, and other multimedia content, like Windows, Linux also needs the codecs to play them!(my brother thought it did not. And yes, my brother doesn’t know much about computers).
  • At present Linux lacks in availability of games and some softwares which are useful for developers.

Summing it up

Linux has come a long way and is spearheading a revolution. The scenario is changing and pretty soon expect to see more of Linux. One can also expect more games for Linux. At present one can find games like Doom series, Quake series, Counter Strike and Unreal Tournament 2004(there is also a rumour of an Half-Life 2 port, no substantial details on that though). One can also pray that other gaming studios starts developing games for Linux.
Don’t forget to post your comments. Also don’t hesitate to ask for help in our forums.

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