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Clear this up...

mod2max

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#1
I know this isn't an important question but one I'd like clearing up, as I cannot seem to find the answer for my self. As google will tell you... you ask a dumb question, you get a dumb answer.

I've just started using Linux... today! I've got openSUSE 11.4 with the KDE4 GUI.

But what I'd really like to know is how to sift through the whats seems like millions of versions of linux there are out there.

So from the ground up how is a Linux distribution put together? My first n00bish guess what be (Kernel = Linux Version. X [] Package = Debian, Slackware, etc etc [] GUI = GNOME, KDE, etc etc) *The kernal is Linux, right?* but then as far as I can see you get other packages built on top of existing packages so for example Ubuntu is built on Debien... is that right? Which would make it Debien 'Ubuntu' much like Windows '95' or Windows '7' etc.

Thats how I look at it, as I see you can change the kernal version and GUI in openSUSE, also whats the deal with the different boot loaders when you're installing openSUSE for example? I know they have different options between them (I'm using GRUB) but what the deal with there being so many? Is there any difference in apperence before the splash screen, or do you select the boot loader depending on what you what want to do? Like multi boot with Windows etc.

These question will get less stupid (and less vague) as I start to understand more about what I'm talking about.

Cheers to anyone who can help :)
 
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Frick

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#2
I think I can answer some of it, I'm a bit of noob meself.

But yes, Linux is the kernel. Some say the proper term would be GNU/Linux, as Linux is the kernel and GNU is the rest (simplified explanation). And the different distros is mostly different support/software packages and many of them build on each other. The biggest systems are Debian-based system (DSL, Ubuntu, Knoppix, Linspire etc etc), Red Hat/Fedora, Gentoo and the third party ones. The biggest difference is package managers, desktop environments and .. some other underlying stuff I don't know much about.

I think the huge range of choices is both good and bad. It's good because you can generally find anything and everything. The bad thing is that it's easy to be overwhelmed at first. Despite all the efforts of the devs Linux still have a pretty steep learning curve as soon as you move away from simple browsing and light desktop use.
 
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#3
I don't know if it's just the fact that it's 7am and I haven't slept but I have no idea what you said. /bump for help
 
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#4
There is no strict scheme so don`t bother. The thing is that you can pick Ubuntu and do your version. And for that version would be said that is based on Ubuntu. So there is no tree scheme. It is open software. By the GNU rules you are obligated to leave your version open source so other people can modify it and build their version and so on.
 
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#5
Subscribed
 

mod2max

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#6
Kevinheraiz, it's cause it was 7am...

So after a day of using openSUSE 11.4 with KDE 4.6 as a virtual machine for doing most of the things I'd normally do on a computer (apart from a quick blast on Crysis 2 etc), what do I make of it? Well in a few words... I probably don't know how to use Linux properly. Next on my list is Ubuntu, there are so many distros of Linux that I will (I hope) find what I'd refer to as "User friendly". So the simpler, or more like Windows, the better basically.

Is there any distro that offers the layout of Windows...? It doesn't have too look like Windows, at all actually, but for example I've noticed in the taskbar between SUSE and 7 there are not as many settings and tweeks you can do to even as something as simple as the time and date for example, couldn't change it to 12 hour etc etc.

Any suggestions?
 

Easy Rhino

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#7
you are correct in stating the kernel is the main component that ALL linux distributions are based on. then you have the distribution itself: debian,redhat,opensuse and then some forks of those like ubuntu and fedora. finally you can chose which GUI you want to use: KDE,GNOME,Openbox,XFCE,Enlightenment.

if you want to go through a bunch of distros then check out www.distrowatch.com
 
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#8
I have to agree about the learning curve with Linux based OS.

I am using Backtrack 4 which is debian based and it most definitely has a learning curse especially when I expect it to be quite close to windows which inn someways it is but in other ways totally different.
 

Easy Rhino

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#9
there is a learning curve, but if you use it every day and make an effort to use the CLI and try and write some basic scripts and dig into the kernel a bit you can really learn a lot.
 

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#10
i knocked this up real quick this should help.

 
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#11
The easiest one I could find was Linux Mint. Download the DVD iso and it has everything you need including flash. It was an easier install then Windows 7
 
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#12
The desktop environment gnome, unity .. you name it ... is irrelevant. The main thing in unixoid systems is knowing their commands and that's that. If you want just simple casual computing then Mint is for desktops and Ubuntu is for netbooks.
 

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#13
for a noob the GUI is highly relevant as it provides the easiest way to get around the system when you dont know anything yet.
 

Easy Rhino

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#15
yes, but choosing the right GUI could mean the difference for a new user in accepting the feel of the operating system or tossing it in the garbage and going back to windows.
 
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#16
Linux is no substitution for Windows anyway. And people have to accept this. The more Linux interface will look like Windows the more cluttered and bloated it'll become.
 

Easy Rhino

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#17
Linux is no substitution for Windows anyway. And people have to accept this. The more Linux interface will look like Windows the more cluttered and bloated it'll become.
true, but you dont want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. if you want open source to thrive then you need to attract people to it.
 
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#18
I don't disagree with this. However unixoid systems are mostly used in technical fields, servers etc. And they are meant to be like that. While Windows are for regular users. And that's why people who use windows whole their lives don't feel comfortable with Linux and give up. The problem is Linux needs financial support and with free open source it's only donations. Once there will be more drivers/software/games for Linux it'll become more popular. And I'm back to question about interface ... well it's all relative. I think it's all because people used to Windows interface and for average Joe it's virtually impossible to throw away Windows and grab Linux.
 

Easy Rhino

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#19
I don't disagree with this. However unixoid systems are mostly used in technical fields, servers etc. And they are meant to be like that. While Windows are for regular users. And that's why people who use windows whole their lives don't feel comfortable with Linux and give up. The problem is Linux needs financial support and with free open source it's only donations. Once there will be more drivers/software/games for Linux it'll become more popular. And I'm back to question about interface ... well it's all relative. I think it's all because people used to Windows interface and for average Joe it's virtually impossible to throw away Windows and grab Linux.
meh, i disagree. i think with flavors like mint and ubuntu the average joe can pretty easily jump into linux. think about it, the average joe who uses windows just checks email and surfs the web and watches videos, streams music. all media related activities. both mint and ubuntu are more intuitive than windows it is just that they are both different than windows so they scare some people. making the experience from a visual perspective more windows like scares less people away.
 
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#20
Meh. Ubuntu and Mint don't have all the drivers and what about wireless drivers? And what if average Joe will encounter a problem or error? GUI won't save them from this.
 

Easy Rhino

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#21
Meh. Ubuntu and Mint don't have all the drivers and what about wireless drivers? And what if average Joe will encounter a problem or error? GUI won't save them from this.
drivers are being added everyday and wireless is no longer an issue with linux. that was solved 5 years ago. you are saying that the average joe shouldnt use linux as they wont be able to figure it out. im saying they will if they have patience. we all start out lacking knowledge and it is persistence and the willingness to learn and carry on that makes us experts. just about anyone can switch from windows to linux if they give it a chance. will they switch, likely not which is why distros like ubuntu and mint are working to make it easier for them!
 

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#22
^ There is a lot of guides for beginners if you haven't noticed yet
Yeah, and they all suck at actually teaching you anything useful.
Meh. Ubuntu and Mint don't have all the drivers and what about wireless drivers? And what if average Joe will encounter a problem or error? GUI won't save them from this.
No, but IT SHOULD. This is a concept that desktop linux devs just don't seem to understand. People want easy GUIs. Command line syntax is not easy for most people to remember. Command line certainly has it's place, but the desktop is generally not one of them.

I won't even get into the package manager wars, or the lack of a good driver api.

Linux will not take off until these things are addressed, they become more unified, and the majority of linux users on help forums stop acting like elitist assholes.
 
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#23
No, but IT SHOULD. This is a concept that desktop linux devs just don't seem to understand. People want easy GUIs. Command line syntax is not easy for most people to remember. Command line certainly has it's place, but the desktop is generally not one of them.

I won't even get into the package manager wars, or the lack of a good driver api.
Nice points Wile E. Linux should have a good Help system but it doesn't. And not even Linux. Windows should have it too. Today when people get "the system encountered blah error and will be shut down" they are just being left with scratching heads. Or memory access errors with random gibberish numbers ... as if I could do anything with memory .. lol. And this is really ridiculous. In 21st century we still don't have a perfect and intuitive operating system. Why? I can say the same about programming languages. Machines should do the work for us but sometimes unfortunately we get a quite opposite picture. I can't wait when systems become self-repairing and self-fixing and will save us from this useless routine. /rant
 

Frick

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#24
Nice points Wile E. Linux should have a good Help system but it doesn't. And not even Linux. Windows should have it too. Today when people get "the system encountered blah error and will be shut down" they are just being left with scratching heads. Or memory access errors with random gibberish numbers ... as if I could do anything with memory .. lol. And this is really ridiculous. In 21st century we still don't have a perfect and intuitive operating system. Why? I can say the same about programming languages. Machines should do the work for us but sometimes unfortunately we get a quite opposite picture. I can't wait when systems become self-repairing and self-fixing and will save us from this useless routine. /rant
Windows 7 is actually not to shabby here iirc.
 
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#25
Meh. Ubuntu and Mint don't have all the drivers and what about wireless drivers? And what if average Joe will encounter a problem or error? GUI won't save them from this.
Have you tried Mint lately? The last two installs found all the drivers including wireless adapters. Something windows has never been able to do