By pparks1: I guess it all depends upon what you are looking for. If you are looking for something that is very easy to use and doesn’t require a fair amount of computer know-how, Windows is probably the best place for you.
However, if you want to run an extremely stable server (web, ftp, mail, dns, dhcp, nfs,), with a high level of security and customizability, Linux is fantastic.
As far as simple step by step solutions, I think you can find many of these on www.fedoranews.org. There is so much in terms of software, versions and distributions that it can be hard to find a set of instructions that work for everything. However, if you take the time to learn the OS and how it runs, you will find that many things are very common and once you know how to do it, the power of Linux unfolds right in front of your eyes.
For system admins, the ability to use tools like grep and awk and priceless. And by default, Windows doesn’t really have anything right out of the box for that.
In addition, in the Windows world, most of the software that is any good has to be purchased. In Linux, a great deal of software is open source and free of charge. Here are some examples, IIS for Windows(webserver and ftp server)—not free, requires license for OS. In Linux world, Apache (web) and vsftpd (ftp), both very good, both heavily used on the web, both free. In windows, primary database platform is MSSQL. Certainly not free. In Linux world, postgres or mySQL—both very robust and both free. In windows world, Adobe Photoshop—quite pricey. PaintShopPro—not as pricey, but still with cost. IN Linux world, GIMP —-extremely powerful, robust and free.
So, my point…..Linux is NOT for everybody. However, it is a great, stable and secure system for those who want to take the time and explore the possibilities.
pparks1: I think the biggest problem is a misconception with Linux. So many people hear how great Linux is, but they don’t actually have a use for it themselves. So, they aimlessly download something and load it up hoping to have something that works just like Windows. Then they find out that it isn’t the same and that they do not know what they are doing. Then, they find a forum like this and just badmouth Linux.
I have spent a fair amount of time helping newbies and I honestly wonder sometimes why these guys are even trying to use LInux. They clearly have heard somebody say how cool it is, or how well it works, or “down with Microsoft, they are an evil monopoly”
For the people out there who need something that is a stable and inexpensive alternative to Windows, Linux is a great choice. For the developer, Linux is wonderful because the source is available, the software follows standards and the system can be customized EXACTLY how you like it.
For the average home user who doesn’t get heavily into computers, Linux isn’t for them. I think most of us hardcore LInux users would agree that Linux won’t be the defacto standard on desktops anytime soon.
by the_profiler: i forgot where I had read the idea that there are 2 kinds of linux promotion.. one saying that.. “wow, Linux is cool” (nothing more said).. and the other.. “wow, Linux is cool! I don’t think I can ever live without it!” which obviously is a very different but more effective way of promoting it.
cnarramoore: I haven’t used Linux that long myself. I started playing with Mandrake 8 (I think) when I bought the XP upgrade. Didn’t have much luck with it and then someone told me to try Redhat. RH9 was just out so I ordered the box set with all the manuals. I messed around with it and could do something things on it but nothing that really amounted to much. When I decided to go back to school I knew I would have to learn Linux enough for the 2 classes on had on it. The network teacher had downloaded FC2 and he said if we brought cds he would make us all a copy. Talk about everything seeming easier.
It must have been a combonation of the grand scheme of things and knowledge that leaked in but I could acutally do somethings on it. Still couldn’t install programs worth a flip but it was a start. Fast forward a few months to Books-a-Million browsing session and I bought Fedora Unleashed complete with DVD. Now I can do almost everything I do on windows with Linux. I still stumble and ask stupid questions but I am getting there.
Seems the answers to the stupid questions lead to figuring out the harder stuff on your own easier.
Linux isn’t for everyone. My mom cant use Windows XP for nothing, but my sister can surf the web with Linux if I show her where to click.
Linux has its place and Windows has it place. I don’t look for Linux to beat Windows any time soon just because Linux was written for geeks by geeks and Windows was written for people who just want email, look at porn or shop of eBay.