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yaroslavd

Should I get Linux?

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What are some advantages to developing on Linux? Does it take long to get used to? What are some of the better free distributions? Is dual booting hard? Thanks in advance.

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quote:
Original post by yaroslavd
What are some advantages to developing on Linux?

Massive amounts of free tools (compilers, debuggers, editors, et cetera) for a plethora of languages, very stable environment ...

quote:
Does it take long to get used to?

Define "long". In any case, it depends on your previous experience, what distribution you choose, whom you have around to help you with your problems (Linux is wonderful, but you will get problems, and you won''t be able to solve all of them yourself - there are hundreds of excellent online communities, but personally I like to know that if my computer dies, I know someone who can come fix it ...).

quote:
What are some of the better free distributions?

I use and love Gentoo, but it''s not really that beginner friendly. Fedora is possibly your best bet.

quote:
Is dual booting hard?

Nope, you won''t have to do anything. The only problem is when you install Windows on a computer with Linux already on it, since Windows''s boot loader doesn''t respect other operating systems. Installing Linux, however, should be extremely painless.

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quote:
Original post by Miserable
Nope, you won''t have to do anything. The only problem is when you install Windows on a computer with Linux already on it, since Windows''s boot loader doesn''t respect other operating systems. Installing Linux, however, should be extremely painless.


I haven''t played around with linux lately, but make sure you know what you''re doing if you manually play around with the Master Boot Record. I once did that with Mandrake Linux 7 trying to get lilo working right. Overwrote the boot record for windows. Bad things happened. I would not wish this on most people. Perhaps newer versions have gotten better at automating this.

[side note] I should get back to linux, I have unix development to do anyway for cs. Ah, well, plans.

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quote:
Original post by yaroslavd
What are some advantages to developing on Linux?


You can get pretty much anything for free. Proper free. Not shareware, nagware, or purposely useless freeware.
quote:

Does it take long to get used to?


Well. To get used to what? There''s a lot of stuff there.

If you just use KDE and KDevelop, for example, then it''ll feel very similar. If you use a distribution which comes with wine, then you can even run Visual Studio in Linux. It''s a bit more work setting that up, though.

Getting used to configuring Linux and using the command line takes a while. For the most part, the important configuration can be done graphically in X, using programs that are similar their Windows counterparts. However, a lot of stuff is configured with text files.
quote:

What are some of the better free distributions?


I assume you mean better for a newbie. I''d say Fedora, Mandrake or SuSe.

Debian or Gentoo are, IMO, the best distros, when you''re used to how Linux does things. The ease of installing new packages is significantly higher than in the newbie-friendly ones.

Gentoo''s package database includes a huge range of programs, any of which can be installed, ready to use, with a single command.
quote:

Is dual booting hard?


No. But, unless you really know what you''re doing, you''ll want to install it on another partition. So you''ll either need unpartitioned space on your partition, or some to resize your Windows partition.

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Most good linux tools have windows ports, and then there''s always cygwin. As for your specific questions, dual booting is ridiculously easy. You should probably install windows first as it has a reputation of not playing well with others, but I do not know how much truth is left in that. I''m another fan of Gentoo, I say use it. Stear clear of "newbie distros", you won''t learn anything. Don''t expect too much.



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quote:
Original post by wild_pointer
You should probably install windows first as it has a reputation of not playing well with others, but I do not know how much truth is left in that.


windows xp (and any other version (i almost typed distro) of windows i''ve used recently) just overwrites your mbr with total disregard of any other OS. then you have to boot off a linux cd and resinstall grub (or the bootloader of your choice) in order to get to linux/whatever operating systems you have.

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You can configure the NT loader to chain to grub (if it''s installed on another partition), but it''s more common to use grub to boot everything.

Start with Redhat/Fedora, then move to Gentoo.

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quote:
Original post by yaroslavd
What are some advantages to developing on Linux?
uhhhh I dunno. I'm not at all dissatisfied with the stability of Win2k/XP, Visual Studio is awesome if you're willing to buy it and Cygwin is great for pretty much every reason the Unix environment is great.

Unix people might be more comfortable using Linux, naturally.
quote:
Does it take long to get used to?
Compared to Windows? Yes.
quote:
What are some of the better free distributions?
I hear good things about SuSE and Debian. I myself prefer GoboLinux, but I'm a gimp.

"Without deviation, progress itself is impossible." -- Frank Zappa

[edited by - the speed bump on May 21, 2004 10:39:06 PM]

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The advantage of most Linux distros over Windows is that they do a hell of a lot more out of the box. It also seems like it's easier to multi-task with Linux (multiple virtual consoles, desktop pagers, etc.). I know there's software for Windows that can do that stuff, but read the first sentence again. I recommend you give it a shot; even if you end up not liking it you'll have at least learned something.

As for which distros are good, Fedora (Red Hat) and SuSE are both pretty solid. I'd probably go with Fedora first. I believe the most recent release includes the 2.6 kernel.

[edited by - igni ferroque on May 22, 2004 4:16:10 AM]

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