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DanG

What is Linux and how to use

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I''m a novice programmer and coputer hobbiest. I have been stuck with MS OS since all my computers i bye come with it. I would like to try Linux. However I know nothing about Linux. Does it feel about like windows? Can a program written for windows run on Linux? Is the Redhat 7 the best Linux? Do you have to know computers pretty well to use Linux? Is Linux that much better than Windows (especially XP as that is the alternative for me)? Any response greatly appreciated.

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Does it feel about like windows?
For the most part no. However, that doesn''t mean it feels worse.

Can a program written for windows run on Linux?
By default no.

Is the Redhat 7 the best Linux?
Short answer: No. It is one of the more supported and user friendly versions though. I used to use RedHat, it wasn''t too bad. What would I say the best distro. is? I don''t know, I''ve seen good things about lots of them (I have dozens of Linux CD''s lying around my house, I''m still have a lot to try ). Mandrake or RedHat is what you should use if you''re expecting the distro. to be newbie friendly.

Do you have to know computers pretty well to use Linux?
Compared to what you need to know to use Windows you might, but you don''t need to know everything. If you have somewhat up-to-date and/or common hardware the installer should take care of everything.

Is Linux that much better than Windows (especially XP as that is the alternative for me)?
Technologically yes. To you it may not be, especially if you''ve never used a unix before. Once you get X running it is pretty easy, however.

[Resist Windows XP''s Invasive Production Activation Technology!]

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You forgot to tell him what X is... :D

By the way.. I am very interested in developing linux games... does anyone wants to keep in touch with the objective to do this?

If brute force does not solve your problem....you''re not using enough!

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Guest Anonymous Poster
If you are considering installing Linux, perhaps you should use Mandrake 8.1. Mandrake is seemingly an easy distribution to work with.


*** !!! ***
Make sure you take the time to learn how to install Linux properly. Read some of the many tutorials about installing Linux. There a great deal of them, all over the web. Installing Linux incorrectly may make it impossible to boot into Windows! I''ve done it! Read and learn about your hard drive''s "master boot record" and about the "1024 cylinder limit". If you install Linux incorrectly, you will very likely have to reformat your hard drive. Take plenty of time in learning how to set things up, and BACK UP your hard drive!

Hope this helps.

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I''ve been using Mandrake Linux for about a year now. I absolutely love it. There''s software for just about anything you could imagine and you get all the source code and the ability to change it. X (basically the GUI) is relatively easy to use - expecially with KDE 2.1 (www.kde.org)

As for programming... I''ve done some KDE programming. It''s quite simple compared to win32 programming. I have not, however, tried using OpenGL - and by all means, Linux is fully capable as a gaming platform. You can basically program in any language you want in Linux as there are dozens and dozens of compilers out there - www.sourceforge.net or www.linux.org, etc. I even make Palm programs on my linux box using a palm (motorola 68k processor) port of GCC.

I think you should give it a try.

~Shaun

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quote:
Original post by OldMan__
You forgot to tell him what X is... :D


Ah, fine . Short answer: X = X11 = XFree86 = Graphics for Linux and other Unixes.

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Make sure you take the time to learn how to install Linux properly.


Yeah, very true. I read a lot about installing it before I even attempted it. Now I simply put it on another hard drive so I don''t have to worry about it (hey, I literally found a spare sitting there in my tower without a use , and figured what the heck?).

[Resist Windows XP''s Invasive Production Activation Technology!]

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quote:
Original post by OldMan__
By the way.. I am very interested in developing linux games... does anyone wants to keep in touch with the objective to do this?




Well as a hobby its worth pursuing, but if you want make money by developing games, better stick to windows. Secondly I don''t find linux very well suited for games.

SDL is nice to use although I don''t seem to like it very much.
(http://www.libsdl.org)

Then Opengl is supported on linux.
(http://www.opengl.org)

Then there is DRI which allows for direct access to graphics hardware so I guess it may be well suited for games (http://dri.sourceforge.net)


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I really don`t think so. If you live in a country with an economy like Brazil has, linux become a very pratical choice. Since our taxes over foreign proprietary software are of 150%... well, linux looks a very good choice.

If brute force does not solve your problem....you''re not using enough!

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quote:

By the way.. I am very interested in developing linux games... does anyone wants to keep in touch with the objective to do this?



You cant make money making linux games, true, but its also true that this is because there are not as many linux users as are Windows users, personaly I think, the strategy is NOT to port Windows games to Linux (Loki), as user will buy the version that comes out first even if they like Linux better, and if I pay $40+ for a game in Windows, I dont thing I would pay again $40+ just so I can play it on Linux.

making Linux only games is not the right strategy eighter, since for most users, installing a new OS to play one game is crazy.

so what I say, is paralell development, you code for both at the same time, release at the same time, maybe for the price of one you get both, so those with a dual boot can play in eighter, compare and stick with one. this is not harder as it may sound, specialy if you code using the same tools (I code with mingw32 and xemacs, and sometimes I even code the Windows version in Linux, using xmingw32 cross compiler).

So, count me in for programming Linux games

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Use Clanlib for platform independent games. (linux, windows, etc.)
http://www.clanlib.org

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Develop your game in Linux first, release that version early, then port it to Windows.

The (main) reason why Linux isn''t really popular is because there arn''t many games/programs/drivers for it. And the (main) reason that there arn''t many games/programs/drivers for Linux is because it is supposedly not as popular as other OSes. People just need to break that negative loop, and things would get a lot better for Lunix.

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I agree... this is a fake belief. The only thing I can accept where win is better than linux is in driver support.

If a few great games were released first for linux then for windows, it would make a huge difference to linux spreading process.

If brute force does not solve your problem....you''re not using enough!

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>The (main) reason why Linux isn''t really popular is because >there arn''t many games/programs/drivers for it.


Talking about games, only minimal support is incorporated for linux drivers. The options available for say my Creative SB Live! Card are much more in windows. In linux I can''t even hear my middle and 2 rear satellite speakers because the drivers for linux doesn''t seem to have support for it. Also all the inbuilt EAX effects aren''t accessible too in linux.

But a part of the blame goes to the companies (like nvidia, creative) too, since they don''t give away drivers CD as they usually do for the MS-OS... Except for the ethernet cards, its very rare that linux drivers are bundled with the hardware.

Cyanide.


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quote:

But a part of the blame goes to the companies (like nvidia, creative) too, since they don''t give away drivers CD as they usually do for the MS-OS... Except for the ethernet cards, its very rare that linux drivers are bundled with the hardware.



Very true, I don''t really care if the CD doesn''t have the linux
drivers if I can download them, like the NVidia drivers for Linux,
which you can download from www.nvidia.com, I dont care if the
companies don''t even make the drivers, what bothers me is the fact
that they won''t do anything to even help, I mean many people are
willing to write drivers, but without the big companies publishing the specs of their products, developing drivers by means of reverse engineering is quite hard, and thats the way (sadly) that most Linux drivers are being developed, specially Audio chips.

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SlackWare 8 !

as for Linux game coding, i use SDL+OpenGL and it runs every bit as well under windows as it does linux...

/me pimps screenshot

http://www.playbeing.co.uk/pics/planet2.jpg

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quote:
Original post by cyanide
But a part of the blame goes to the companies (like nvidia, creative) too, since they don''t give away drivers CD as they usually do for the MS-OS...

This is a simple business fact: Linux is not yet viable, and no commercial entity has been able to demonstrate a clear, continuous growth path supporting or publishing desktop Linux software. The only Linux-related enterprise that is fiscally successful is Linux as an embedded platform, where its price tag ($0) significantly lowers TCO.

MS OSes also have the advantage of mass. Not that Linux systems aren''t as common - or possibly even more common than - MS systems, but the Linux fragmentation and lack of centralized statistics makes it a risky business decision, especially given the state of the economy. Ask yourself, "Hpw many Linux companies were left after the dotcom bust, and how many of those are currently profitable? Even VA got out of the hardware business, because selling Linux systems wasn''t cutting it.

I''m not putting Linux down in any way, though - don''t get me wrong! I think Linux is a system that is still maturing, especially with respect to the public eye and "mass features" (like uniformity). Once it comes into its own, businesses will flock to it.

However, consider that Linux may never be a dominant desktop platform; perhaps it is really meant to blossom in the embedded space - computers that are in your clothes, your fridge, your TV, and the roll-up panel you use to control it all...

quote:
Except for the ethernet cards, its very rare that linux drivers are bundled with the hardware.

Because Linux is a superb network platform, and is most often used as a backbone for network services (along with FreeBSD).

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Don''t forget Allegro (sunsite.dk/allegro). Though I think I''ll use SDL.

I''ve been having problems using OpenGL since I updated my drivers (geforce2 mx). And not just in my own programs but every program using OpenGL.

Quits with this error:

X Error of failed request: BadAlloc (insufficient resources for operation)
Major opcode of failed request: 129 (GLX)
Minor opcode of failed request: 3 (X_GLXCreateContext)
Serial number of failed request: 14
Current serial number in output stream: 15
X Error of failed request: GLXBadContext
Major opcode of failed request: 129 (GLX)
Minor opcode of failed request: 4 (X_GLXDestroyContext)
Serial number of failed request: 18
Current serial number in output stream: 21

Seems like I don''t have enough free memory or something, any suggestions?

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geekster

at the risk of repeating myself, have you tried the linux nVidia drivers? (www.nvidia.com) one of loki''s demo gave me the same results, after installing the driver, now it works without a peep, installing the drivers might be tricky but worth it.

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hmmm, have you made the changes to XF86Config-4 or XF86Config so it uses the correct driver? you have to change driver "nv" to "nvidia", if you haven't, read the nvidia drivers readme for details, like I said, I was getting the same results, and got fixed when I installed and changed the settings in the config file, the way to know if the driver is running is if you get a nVidia screen rigth before your window manager kicks in (instead of the gray screen with the X cursor in the center).
what I have is a TNT 2, so there might be differences between the problem I was having and the one you are having.

hope it helps.

Edited by - kwizatz on October 24, 2001 7:31:07 PM

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by DanG
I''m a novice programmer and coputer hobbiest.

I have been stuck with MS OS since all my computers i bye come with it. I would like to try Linux. However I know nothing about Linux. Does it feel about like windows? Can a program written for windows run on Linux? Is the Redhat 7 the best Linux? Do you have to know computers pretty well to use Linux? Is Linux that much better than Windows (especially XP as that is the alternative for me)?

Any response greatly appreciated.



There is a distrubtion of Linux for Macs (check out www.linux.org to find out. cause I can''t remember)

Linux is based on UNIX (which was developed by AT&T) and was written by Linus Torvalds as personal project which he opened up to the public under the GNU public license. I won''t go throught the whole histroy since it all documented on the web.

There are shells that run on top of Linux to make it more user friendly, much like explorer(the windows GUI) does on windows. I personally like one called KDE.

Programs written for Windows can not be run natively on Linux you need a Windows emulator (the common one is WINE(WINdow Emulator)). Although most distribution of linux will let you see the contents of a Windows partition and access data on that partition.

As for "Is Linux better than Windows?" It depends on who you ask and is normally based on personal experiance. For my money YES!
If you install Linux you don''t have to get ride of Windows. You can use a boot loader like GRUB to multi boot the system. I would recommend Linux-Mandrake (www.linux-mandrake.com) for beginners. It easy to install and it will automaticly install a bootloader or install inside a Windows partion. I can''t really comment on other dirstributions.

One more thing if you do install Linux and want to keep Windows install Windows first.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by DanG
I''m a novice programmer and coputer hobbiest.

I have been stuck with MS OS since all my computers i bye come with it. I would like to try Linux. However I know nothing about Linux. Does it feel about like windows? Can a program written for windows run on Linux? Is the Redhat 7 the best Linux? Do you have to know computers pretty well to use Linux? Is Linux that much better than Windows (especially XP as that is the alternative for me)?

Any response greatly appreciated.


Search www.google.com for The Linux Documentation Project or goto www.linuxnewbie.com for tutorials and information so you can make an informed choice and see what your getting into.

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Actually WINE stands for "WINE Is Not an Emulator"
(one of quite a few recursive algorithms You''ll find along the way :-))
WINE is actually an clone of the Win32 API which allows Windows apps to work natively in various Intel based Unixes(Unicies?) without the overhead of an emulator. Transgaming is releasing a closed port that runs many DirectX games (Mandrake 8.1 GamerEdition is shipping Nov 9th with The Sims :-) )

check out http://www.winehq.org, http://www.transgaming.com and http://www.linux-mandrake.com for more details

There are also full emulators which allow you to run a normal copy of windows without having to dual boot. The three that come immediately to mind are VMware, Win4Lin and Plex86; the first two are commercial products and the later is Open.

VMWare: http://www.vmware.com : Allows you to run nearly any x86 OS in a Virtual machine but is SLOWWWWWW unless you have fast hardware.

Win4Lin: http://www.netraverse.com : Similar but only allows you to run Win9x and requires a proprietary kernel patch, faster though.

Plex86: http://www.plex86.org : Open source alternative, still quite young not really usable yet

All of these also suffer from less than full hardware support in the VM.

HTH

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