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zigzag32

Why Linux?

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I have never used linux before, just heard of it as a popular community OS, and being used by some Visual FX/animated movies studios. My question is what's the advantgae of using an naked OS, no applications no drivers and no standard GUI? The price? Our computers come with Windows installed, and we get the CD for free. Is not a toy for joy? To feel like a hacker or a geek, becuase u can change the themes and there r plenty of them?

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Well, it depends on your distro as to what software and drivers you get. Windows is not free with the PC, it is included in the price. I use Tux as my main development system because it's clean and doesn't crash as much as my Windows machines, it could be due to the way I set Windows up, though, but I doubt it is. Also, most Linux distros are not "naked" as you say, maybe stripped down, but I haven't seen a whole lot of completely "naked" ones.

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Quite many GNU/Linux distributions actually have far more software included out of the box than windows, There is also far better support for SMP, networking, clustering, virtualization, and much much more than in the cheaper windows versions (XP Home/Pro and Vista are cheap).

When it comes to Visual FX, movies etc you really can't get much power with a cheap windows version, XP Home only supports 1 CPU (Though with multiple cores) and 4GB ram (iirc), GNU/Linux currently supports up to 512 CPU:s if you use a custom kernel. (64 is the limit in most standard kernels IIRC) and insane amounts of RAM, even 2003 Server is unable to get anywhere close to GNU/Linux if you want to do some really heavy work.

For heavy calculations Windows simply doesn't do the job. (Prior to Linux many studios used Unix(SGI Irix for example) workstations instead)

Also , most professional linux users are running comercial linux distributions (Such as RHEL). Those are generally far more expensive than Vista Ultimate or other toy systems.

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Linux isn't naked on all distributions. I've tryed ubuntu and it came with openoffice, the gimp, firefox, games and other stuff. Does Windows come with Microsoft Office and Photoshop? And yes, the price makes a big difference if you're installing it on, let's say, 1000 computers.

If both the French Parliament and the Italian Chamber of Deputies have decided to switch to linux, it can't be that naked.

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/me looks at post
/me looks at rating
/me looks at thread icon
/me looks at posting history

I call troll.

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Quote:
Original post by zigzag32
My question is what's the advantgae of using an naked OS, no applications no drivers and no standard GUI?

Those are misconceptions.

Modern Linux distributions come with thousands of applications - far more than come with Windows - of sometimes incredible sophistication. They come with drivers for most hardware, with just a few pieces of hardware proving difficult (increasingly less so, as vendors realize that open source programmers will provide them with free implementations and consequent good will if they release schematics or necessary interface details).

The GUI question is a little more involved. While there are dozens of GUI options for Linux, two in particular are the most prevalent, KDE and GNOME (so much so that even long-standing Unix variants are adopting them, such as GNOME on Solaris). This situation is a philosophical difference, the idea being that a user has the right to pick what precise GUI configuration they want. Note, however, that the differences between most GUI environments are cosmetic, as they all employ the same fundamental metaphors. Double-clicking does the same thing on Windows, Mac OS, GNOME and KDE.

(Also note that enterprising Windows power users do reconfigure their UIs, so the "standard" is just a base to begin from, not the sole specification. If you think of individual Linux distributions as analogous to Windows, then you see that the default:customized relationship is the same.)

Since your questions are based off of misconceptions, they really can't be answered. Instead, let me answer the more basic question: "why use Linux?"

To a desktop user accustomed solely to GUI tools on Windows, the fact that Linux is a highly compatible implementation of Unix operating system principles holds little to no value. To a software developer, however, that can be potentially quite significant. If I wanted to locate all the files under an arbitrary directory that had filenames formatted in a specific way and contained a particular string of text, under Windows I'd hope that the search applet allowed me to do so (it does, to an extent; your filenames can't be that flexible, as regular expressions are not supported). Under Linux (or any other Unix-like system), I could drop down to the GUI and issue:
find <search_root> -name <file_pattern> | xargs grep <search_pattern>

where search_root is the directory I want to start searching recursively, file_pattern is a regular expression describing the filename and search_pattern is another regular expression describing the text I'm looking for. It's an arcane incantation to a non-power user, but it's extremely intuitive, powerful and flexible to Unix users.

(The Windows command line lets you do similar things, but its inadequacies are being addressed by PowerShell... which looks to surpass the Unix command line in some areas.)

In other words, people use Linux because it's power for cheap. More power to actually get things done than Windows affords them, for specific problem domains. Now Windows is, bluntly, superior in many other areas - Mac OS, too - so you'll find that many people run both environments, either on multiple machines, in multi-boot configurations, or through virtualization. Or they just run Mac OS X, which is a pretty, functional GUI environment built on top of Unix internals.

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KDE looks better than Vista IMO and it is certainly more customizable. It also has virtual desktops which I have grown addicted too because it's almost like having multiple monitors without having to pay for and set up multiple monitors. I only use Vista to play games and use MS Word for documents that I have to e-mail in Word format (ie: resumes).

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Quote:
Original post by T1Oracle
It also has virtual desktops which I have grown addicted too because it's almost like having multiple monitors without having to pay for and set up multiple monitors.

Windows has had virtual desktops for years, just no UI for it. It's pretty trivial to write your own Panel app.

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Quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
Quote:
Original post by T1Oracle
It also has virtual desktops which I have grown addicted too because it's almost like having multiple monitors without having to pay for and set up multiple monitors.

Windows has had virtual desktops for years, just no UI for it. It's pretty trivial to write your own Panel app.


Microsoft has a powertoy for Windows XP (32bit) at least.
"Virtual Desktop Manager" http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx

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Quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
Quote:
Original post by T1Oracle
It also has virtual desktops which I have grown addicted too because it's almost like having multiple monitors without having to pay for and set up multiple monitors.

Windows has had virtual desktops for years, just no UI for it. It's pretty trivial to write your own Panel app.

I've been searching hard for a good virtual desktop for Windows Vista that compares to the ease of use of KDE. Switching desktops with a roll of the mouse wheel, and being able to move windows to other desktops with the roll of a mouse wheel, or the click on a context menu (To Dekstop -> 1/2/3/etc), or by dragging, is far easier on Linux. Of every such product I have tested on Windows alt+tab was easier. Although, alt-tab is obviously not as convenient as having different desktops.

It doesn't seem to be nearly as well integrated in Windows as on Linux. Regardless, that was the biggest motivation for me to move my development to Linux instead of Vista. Although the other part of my motivation was to learn Linux.

Regardless, I like having quick and easy to use virtual desktops and Vista has yet to do that for me. Therefore, I consider virtual desktops as one plus for Linux over Windows Vista.

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