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arithma

New to this Linux Thingy

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I am all fresh on all this linux things, I had an unfortunate partitioning of the system and had to install windows again. Anyhow, I recently got a copy of Linux Enterprise Edition and I guess it should work, however there is still alot to ask. - For one, where do I find the source.. - Second, I was amazed when my friend told me that programs were written in C and had not to be compiled - I am almost definite that this is false, but I have to check any way - Does it really give you an edge over windows if you are a programmer, or are these just rumors... Please answer unbiasly

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1) The source for the kernel is typically symlinked by /usr/src/linux. Not all distributions install the source by default.

2) The kernel is written in C, and it does have to be compiled, just like any other c program.

3) In my opinion, learning Linux definitely helps Windows developers understand more about programming. It gives an additional perspective on how things can be done. Unix has a much more pragmatic, programmer orientation...for example, commands are typically chained together to form larger commands, and packages are often distributed as source code.

Try Gentoo, at www.gentoo.org. It is my personal favorite distribution and is very programmer oriented. It's package management system is based on distributing source code, and the only thing installed on your machine are the packages you choose to compile.

;-)

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I would like to have that kind of liberty (to choose any dist I want), but I dont. My connection download rate is 50 KB/sec MAX!!! Yes, Lebanon is shit
Anyhow, do you know if RH Enterprise has the source code in it?

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I really should have seen this reply before I DOWNLOADED the Gentoo dist..
anyway am only a newbie in LINUX, not a full-wise-programming newbie... In the end I program DirectX,. which is by no means easy I guess

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You should try out debian. You can download the net install about 110 mb for the newest release then during the install you choose what you want installed and it just grabs it from a mirror. It is nice because Linux does download faster then windows xp sp2 by far. On windows I get around 300 kbps and on linux I get about 700 - 1000+ kbps. The net install gets the data by using linux as the net install cd first installes the linux base. :P

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Quote:
Original post by arithma
- For one, where do I find the source..


Find the website for your distro - it should have a link to the source of every GPL'd program. You can also find source code for many apps at freshmeat.net.

Quote:
- Second, I was amazed when my friend told me that programs were written in C and had not to be compiled - I am almost definite that this is false, but I have to check any way


Most distros ship with some form of package management system, where you download precompiled programs in packages. You don't have to compile the C programs because someone has already done it for you.

Quote:
- Does it really give you an edge over windows if you are a programmer, or are these just rumors...


Short answer : no
Longer answer: depending on what you're doing you may be more productive in linux (same is true of Windows) - choose the right tool for the job you're working on

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Quote:
Original post by arithma
- Does it really give you an edge over windows if you are a programmer, or are these just rumors...


It gives you access to a much greater array of choices and opportunities to investigate, learn from, and/or tweak the intimate workings of the system. Whether you'll end up using those opportunities is another question entirely - many don't.

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"Giving Gentoo to a linux newbie
is like trying to learn my mom fly by giving her a F-15..."


Lol - I have to agree that Gentoo is perhaps a more difficult road to start on - it is definitely a very programmer-oriented distro. But it is probably not the best first choice..



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Quote:
Original post by arithma
I am all fresh on all this linux things, I had an unfortunate partitioning of the system and had to install windows again. Anyhow, I recently got a copy of Linux Enterprise Edition and I guess it should work, however there is still alot to ask.

I assume you mean RedHat Enterprise Edition 9 or maybe some version of Suse; there's no generic linux enterprise edition, a team of people have to put together an operating system based on the Linux kernel (a critical but small part of the total system).

Quote:

- For one, where do I find the source..

It depends on the distro; you can download packages form the RedHat website, you might need a support account ($) I’m not certain. There are regular rpm’s (RedHat Package Management) and there are source rpm’s (you would want the source rpm’s). The Redhat 9 kernel is a heavily modified 2.4/2.6 hybrid that generally works well but can be problematic for esoteric drivers. The 2.6 kernel is better than the 2.4 one (better io-subsystem better scheduler, some networking improvements too), so Fedora (the new version from RedHat) is highly recommended. It has newer packages as well, Enterprise Edition is set in stone to maximize stability for enterprise roll-outs.

Quote:

- Second, I was amazed when my friend told me that programs were written in C and had not to be compiled - I am almost definite that this is false, but I have to check any way


Most programs are written in C. Every program needs to be compiled (unless its interpreted, e.g. Python). One of the primary goals of most distributions is to provide pre-compiled binaries for you to use (Gentoo is the notable exception to this, their primary goal is to make it easy for you to compile and update packages). You should be able to get the source code and compile thing yourself if you want to.

Quote:

- Does it really give you an edge over windows if you are a programmer, or are these just rumors...

Absolutely. Several reasons: exposure to Unix, introduction to kernel-mode, introduction to embedded systems, introduction to sophisticated networking, etc… Linux lets you use a high-powered kernel without paying the enterprise dollars to gain access to it.

There are several programming markets, Windows is only one of them. Leaning how to use Linux introduces you to a Unix environment so much of what you learn carries over to Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, etc… Learning to program for Linux means learning posix, and much of that knowledge carries over to other Unix flavors as well. (Generally I like the NT API better than posix, but posix is what you get for Unix).
If you start assembling your own Linux systems using a distro like Linux From Scratch (LFS), Slackware, or Gentoo, then you start to get a feel for what it takes to build a product such as a TiVo or a wireless-router. The next step is building a uClinux system for, say, a GameBoy Advance or a Cisco 2500. This would give you experience with high-end embedded programming. (The cross-compiler support for Gentoo is pretty good now).

Compared to NT, the Linux kernel has very sophisticated networking support (BSD and CISO are comparable alternatives). Many wireless-routers run Linux to make use of its networking features (and yes you can download the source-code for them). It supports pervasive technology like Ethernet 10/100/1000, NAT, IP packet filtering, VPNs, and also esoteric things (for a home-user) such as Ethernet 10,000, ATM, Frame-relay, Token-ring, VLANs, Ethernet packet filtering, etc… You can setup your own Internet gateway if you want.

There’s a package called Samba that provides NT networking support; so you can have the functionality of an NT 4 server (easy Window file-shares and Domain logins if you set them up) without setting up (i.e. buying) NT Server.

Quote:

Please answer unbiasly

I tried, but I’m bias towards Gentoo.
If you want to really learn about Linux you should start with a distro such as Fedora, which is the latest version of RedHat. It takes about 20minutes to install (if that long) and will get you going. Keep using it until you start running into walls where the underlying framework doesn't work for you. Then switch to a different distro. Installing Gentoo will really give you a better idea of how the system is put together, and its package management system has an extensible architecture. These features are most useful if you want to put together custom systems. If you just want to use Linux then Fedora is probably the best choice.

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