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I gave it a whirl once a couple of years back. It was not extremely hard, but it was not extremely easy. I don''t know how easy Red Hat makes it, but I used a different kernel that was somewhat difficult to understand (many how-to(s) to read0.)

I think the hardest part for me was the absense of plug-and-play support. You have to configure all the interrupts and IRQs manually, not too hard if you know what your doing. But some plug-and-play hardware will not work without a plug-and-play operating system. Also, if you have any windows specific hardware (e.g. winmodem), you can forget about using it. And I still don''t know if USB support has been implemented on any of the kernels yet.

Linux is GREAT for networking and business apps. If your looking for gaming and game programming, stick with windows.


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quote:
Original post by aNonamuss
I think the hardest part for me was the absense of plug-and-play support.

Linux supports plug and play.
quote:
Original post by aNonamuss
You have to configure all the interrupts and IRQs manually, not too hard if you know what your doing.

I've never had to do that .
quote:
Original post by aNonamuss
Also, if you have any windows specific hardware (e.g. winmodem), you can forget about using it.

That's a good assumption, but a couple winmodems will work with some effort.
quote:
Original post by aNonamuss
And I still don't know if USB support has been implemented on any of the kernels yet.

Yes, it has.
quote:
Original post by aNonamuss
Linux is GREAT for networking and business apps. If your looking for gaming and game programming, stick with windows.

That's the common notion, but I believe any usable OS can/should/could be used for whatever is can be used for (go figure). Since Linux can be used for gaming, I see no reason why it shouldn't.



[edited by - Null and Void on May 3, 2002 8:29:35 PM]

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quote:
Original post by aNonamuss
If your looking for gaming and game programming, stick with windows.



Obviously you don't know what you are talking about. Linux is an excellent OS for game development. Obviously you won't have the choice of using DirectX, but there is OpenGL, not to mention the various cross-platform graphics packages, such as SDL. Actually, you could argue that it is a better development OS because many of the packages you will be developing with are platform independent because they may have been developed for Linux, but because they are then OpenSource, they can easily be ported to other OSs. Then it is almost always easy to port your software to another OS.

But, to answer the original question, which seemingly had nothing to do directly with programming/game development:

One of the best sources to find information about Linux is the The Linux Documentation Project
However, if you are truly a novice user, you may want to search the web for some better beginner tutorials.

Some sites that come to mind right now on which you might find tutorials are linux.org and linuxhq.com , but I honestly haven't looked up linux tutorials for a long time. Your best friend after The Linux Documentation Project in your quest to learn Linux will be Google, as somebody already said.

In terms of a distribution, since it sounds very much like you are a novice, I would suggest trying Mandrake first, as it is geared towards people who have never used linux before (although it still has all the benefits of linux). It is extremely easy to setup and get running. However, others would argue that you will learn more by using a tougher distribution that requires you to do more work to get it running, because you will better understand how your system works. Not many versions of linux really require a long setup process anymore, but many people will tell you that Slackware will force you to know your computer more intimately. This is the distribution I personally use.

However, don't just take my word for it. There are many articles out there that describe what and for whom the different distributions are best for. Find one of those, read it, and re-read it before making your decision. Many beginners are discouraged because they pick a distro that just doesn't fit them.

Finally, to answer whether it is simple or not. This can really go either way. You can make it easy or hard, fast or slow. Much of this (I believe) depends on the distro you use. For instance, I believe that it is beneficial to many people today to start out with Mandrake because Windows has created the expectation of a simple to use GUI, many programs, etc. Mandrake essentially can provide this. Just about all distributions will be able to setup your hardware for you if there is already support for it in linux (and to answer the question of USB support, I believe it was in testing in the 2.4.18 kernel, but as I don't have a USB port, I haven't tested). However, Mandrake takes care of the things that many people would like to avoid, like partitioning their harddrive, and it will easily allow you to make it boot to Xwindows (just an option in the setup). This will allow you to get up and running, get used to the new programs you are running, etc. Then later on you can go back and really configure and optimize your system. This is the "easy" route.

Then their is the "hard" route. I put this in quotes because the hard route may be the only way you really learn about the system. Some will get their computer up and running the "easy" way and never get to the best part about linux, the real control you have over the system, because they already have what they are used to. The "hard" route in a way forces you to learn about your system before you can really make it usable.

What it really boils down to is a matter of preference. It isn't so much easy or hard as it is a level of comfort for you.

Also, don't think that you learn linux, then you can work with it. You will constantly be learning. You will never run out of things to learn about the system. Even the creators are still constantly learning things about it, which is one of the reasons they keep working on the kernel. This is similar to windows. People think they "know" windows because they know how to use the start menu and use programs like office, etc. That isn't
"knowing" windows, or even really knowing how to use it. It is really just knowing the software tools. Knowing the system is knowing all the nooks and crannies, all the nuances, the programming interfaces, etc. And I don't think anybody could ever know all of it.

And finally, after saying all this, I'm just curious as to exactly WHY you want to learn linux. I certainly don't want to discourage anybody from learning it, but I hate to see people use it just because they think it's cool that they use an OS not known to most people, and just so they can say "I hate windoze", etc. on message boards. Anways, just curious.

ewen

edit: fixed italics tag, Null and Void got to this a bit quicker than me! good responses!

[edited by - echeslack on May 3, 2002 8:46:38 PM]

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quote:
Original post by slevesque
I would like to know how to learn linux. Also please tell me if it is simple to learn or not. thank you


Do like most of us did, just dive into it, if you're all confused in the beginning, don't worry, it's normal. When I started using it, I didn't have a hell of a clue what I was doing. As time went on, I learned from doing research on the net and from books. ( I first started to use it specificly for the net using Lynx and pppd manually ). And now, I'm the founder of a LUG( linux user groug )...





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[edited by - cyberdrek on May 3, 2002 9:06:13 PM]

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quote:

Obviously you don't know what you are talking about. Linux is an
excellent OS for game development.



Yea, it's a great game developement environment if you want your games to be played under Linux (Unix). How many people are playing games under Unix??

If you want your game to run for the majority of the gaming population in this world, those of which use Windows, your going to have to port your code to a WIN32 compiler (e.g. FAT32 file system). (Wait, let me guess, they have software that does that for you?)

When I create my games, I make them so they run optimally under Windows. I don't care about any other operating system, unless that operating system is in the publics' eye as a gaming platform.


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[edited by - aNonamuss on May 3, 2002 11:11:36 PM]

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quote:
Original post by aNonamuss
Yea, it''s a great game developement environment if you want your games to be played under Linux (Unix). How many people are playing games under Unix??

If you want your game to run for the majority of the gaming population in this world, those of which use Windows, your going to have to port your code to a WIN32 compiler. (Wait, let me guess, they have software that does that for you?)

When I create my games, I make them so they run optimally under Windows. I don''t care about any other operating system, unless that operating system is in the publics'' eye as a gaming platform.



Hmmm, I don''t want to start a flame war, but I just can''t leave this unanswered.

Try taking a look at OpenGL. It is the "most widely adopted graphics standard," and has implementations on many systems, including both WINDOWS and LINUX. There are additional libraries implemented for both OSs, as well as others, that make the interface with the operating system completely transparent.

So in fact you can make games on linux, and they will be essentially instantly portable to another system. There are some cases, especially when you need high performance, when you might not want to use those other libraries to deal with the interface to the OS. However, the OS specific code is generally minimal, and there is NO performance loss in any of the OpenGL parts of the code. If it isn''t optimal for the different OSs, it is because the programmer is doing something wront.

Anyway, this stuff has been discussed before. My point is just that just because the OS isn''t the most popular doesn''t mean it should automatically be assumed useless.

ewen

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quote:
My point is just that just because the OS isn't the most popular doesn't mean it should automatically be assumed useless.


I agree with you. I don't believe that Linux is useless, I just believe it has its place at the CURRENT time. That place being for networking and business use.

It is an AWESOME operating system when it comes to networking and business. Heck, it's also an AWESOME operating system when it comes to gaming, as it always seems to achieve better benchmarks.

But, unfortunately those facts don't cause me to deter from my point. Right now it is just NOT a user-friendly operating system for gaming. The average gamer is not going to be able to install Linux and get right to gaming.

I know when I installed Linux (A FEW YEARS AGO) it took me about three days to even get X-Windows up and running, and a few more days to work out all the tweaks and bugs (mostly hardware issues with the monitor resolution and with my modem.)

I would love to see Linux throw Microsoft off of it's arrogant thrown, but I don't see that happening at the present time.

Thus, I program my games for Windows, as currently, Linux does not payoff FOR ME in the long run.


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[edited by - aNonamuss on May 3, 2002 11:52:01 PM]

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quote:
Original post by aNonamuss
I agree with you. I don''t believe that Linux is useless, I just believe it has its place at the CURRENT time. That place being for networking and business use.

Embedded systems. You forgot embedded systems.

quote:

But, unfortunately those facts don''t cause me to deter from my point. Right now it is just NOT a user-friendly operating system for gaming. The average gamer is not going to be able to install Linux and get right to gaming.

Depends on the distro. There are distros that target the average desktop user and probe/preconfigure defaults for virtually everything. When I first took a dive into Linux (though I wasn''t an average Windows user), Mandrake setup everything out of the box. Mdk7.1 even set up hardware acceleration!

Blanket statements are never always true, except this one.

In any case, please focus on the OP''s questions.

slevesque: The forum FAQ contains many resources; take a look at them. Linux isn''t simple, but it isn''t hard. It''s "challenging." There are tons of resources out there to make it easier for you, however.

Welcome, and good luck!

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quote:
Original post by aNonamuss
Hey Null and Void, I''m talking about a few years ago.

I know; I was just updating you and anyone else who may read this thread looking for information.
quote:
Original post by aNonamuss
If you want your game to run for the majority of the gaming population in this world, those of which use Windows, your going to have to port your code to a WIN32 compiler (e.g. FAT32 file system). (Wait, let me guess, they have software that does that for you?)

The filesystem has nothing to do with anything . I don''t know exactly what you meant there...
quote:
Original post by aNonamuss
Thus, I program my games for Windows, as currently, Linux does not payoff FOR ME in the long run.

What most people have said is that you can support both with no added effort. I do, which allows to develop and play something in Linux with the exact some codebase that I would use to produce the Windows version.

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right now, i run linux exclusively at home. the games that i play all run faster than their windows counterparts (ut, q3, rtcw). its also a great environment for programming just about anything, from what i know, quake was even developed on unix

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right now, i run linux exclusively at home. the games that i play all run faster than their windows counterparts (ut, q3, rtcw). its also a great environment for programming just about anything, from what i know, quake was even developed on unix

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Well I''m sorry, I guess I am wrong about Linux. I guess since I last used Linux, things have definately made a change for the better by making the operating system more user-friendly.

I guess it is only a matter of days before Linux is the operating system of choice and will thus overthrow Windows . (sarcasm)


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quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Original post by aNonamuss
If you want your game to run for the majority of the gaming population in this world, those of which use Windows, your going to have to port your code to a WIN32 compiler (e.g. FAT32 file system). (Wait, let me guess, they have software that does that for you?)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



quote:

Original post by Null and Void

The filesystem has nothing to do with anything . I don't know exactly what you meant there...



I meant the filesystem (platform) that you are compiling for. E.g. If you compile for a Linux platform it's only going to run on Linux and Unix (most of the time [add this to avoid blanket statements]) because they use the same filesystem. If you compile for a FAT16 filesystem it's only going to run on a FAT16 FAT32 NTFS(if your lucky) filesystem.

That's what I meant. Sorry for the confusion.


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[edited by - aNonamuss on May 4, 2002 1:02:06 AM]

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quote:
Original post by aNonamuss
I meant the filesystem (platform) that you are compiling for. E.g. If you compile for a Linux platform it's only going to run on Linux and Unix (most of the time [add this to avoid blanket statements]) because they use the same filesystem. If you compile for a FAT16 filesystem it's only going to run on a FAT16 FAT32 NTFS(if your lucky) filesystem.

The filesystem has nothing to do with whether or not the program can be made to run or not . The executable's format does matter. Linux uses ELF formatted executables (for the most part), while Windows uses PE formatted executables. I can run my ELF executable in Linux if I'm using ext2, ext3, xfs, vfat (the 'linux label' of the filesystem that Windows uses), or whatever.



[edited by - Null and Void on May 4, 2002 1:43:13 AM]

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I agree with Cyberdrek, just jump in both feet first and be prepared to be patient. You''ll be lost, but you''ll discover you learn VERY fast this way. My struggles trying to get Gentoo installed (which is an advanced distribution) made me learn more about Linux in 2 weeks than playing with Mandrke and Suse for several months. Lean how to use man and info. Learn to use --help, or --options with commands. And remember, the shell or terminal is you best friend

When a distro holds your hand through things like Yast2, Drakconf, or linuxconf, it hides what''s REALLY going on in your system. Just explore. Look at your etc/fstab file to see what file systems are enabled and what you can mount to (and what''s auto-mounted or not). Check etc/hosts for IP info, and get familiar with modprobe and ifconfig. Even play around with xconfigurator. And I highly recommend learning how to compile your own kernel and modules.

When you do this, you have a better knowledge base in case something happens to your system. I''m still a noob, and when I get the mailing list from gentoo, I''m dumbfounded by what the guys are talking about. Like anything in life, you have to actually do it to learn it. What you can do is take an "easy" distro like Mandrake or Suse and when installing, set it up so that the X server does not automatically start up. Then you can configure it so you can manually set up the different run levels. It does require a lot of patience to learn like this, but I think it''s better off in the long run if you are patient enough.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Null and Void
[quote]Original post by aNonamuss
I meant the filesystem (platform) that you are compiling for. E.g. If you compile for a Linux platform it''s only going to run on Linux and Unix (most of the time [add this to avoid blanket statements]) because they use the same filesystem. If you compile for a FAT16 filesystem it''s only going to run on a FAT16 FAT32 NTFS(if your lucky) filesystem.

The filesystem has nothing to do with whether or not the program can be made to run or not . The executable''s format does matter. Linux uses ELF formatted executables (for the most part), while Windows uses PE formatted executables. I can run my ELF executable in Linux if I''m using ext2, ext3, xfs, vfat (the ''linux label'' of the filesystem that Windows uses), or whatever.

<CENTER><IMG SRC="http://libhfs.sourceforge.net/img/thingy.png"></center>

<SPAN CLASS=editedby>[edited by - Null and Void on May 4, 2002 1:43:13 AM]</SPAN>

Unless you''re developing a disk defragmenter or something, the file system should be transparent and should stay that way. There''s no real reason to go poking around in there.

Lots of fun games are developed on linux and ported to windows later. It''s a superb development environment.

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I''ve never used Linux before, but now I want to get started with it. Not mainly because I need a stable and free OS but because I want my games to run on both Win32 and Linux. I just thought that I needed a testing environment to be sure my code was in fact portable.

So I have a few questions, too.

1) Which distribution should I choose? I''m very advanced in hardware, software, problem-solving and programming issues so I don''t need a "too" user-friendly distribution. Only restriction: I don''t want to pay for it. The slackware distribution looks good to me, do you all agree?

2) Which compiler/IDE would you suggest? A command-line tool might be OK, just tell me what you would use. Again, I won''t pay for it.

3) I run Win98 and WinXP on my machine (on different partitions, of course)... Do you see any problem installing Linux on another partition and using it together with the other OS''s? I''ve got several bootmanagers I might use.

And, of course, feel free to give me additional advice not directly related to these questions. How do *you* develop portable games? Do you have all OS''s on one machine? Do you compile everything on one OS and then just test it on the other OS''s or do you compile in separate turns on the respective target OS''s?

To put it again another way: How should a semi-professional Win32-developer who decides to integrate Linux support in his software setup his working environment?

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quote:
Original post by aNonamuss
Yea, it''s a great game developement environment if you want your games to be played under Linux (Unix). How many people are playing games under Unix??



just an FYI:
Linux != Unix

-eldee
;another space monkey;
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Linux is not very easy if you are used to windows.The best thing to do is have/make a friend who KNOWS linux and buy a book, or linux docs.
The best thing about learning it is that you get to know your computer much better.So if you like computers learn it.After sometime its not soo hard !
All the best.

The sky is the limit !

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I tried the Mandrake distro and found it extremely easy to install, set up and use. Now once the software support kicks in it will be a real alternative to M$. The K-Develope package was also comparable to VC++ and with a little tweaking I was able to set it up visually to what I was used to with VC++. Also there are plenty of tutorials on the web that will explain the OS to you. Not to mention all the distro''s have web sites and message boards. From start (install) to finish (feeling comfortable with the OS) it was about a week and a half. Now if I run in to a situation where I need it to do something else I will look at tweaking the kernal but for now it is a waste of time for what I need. Good luck to you!

Now one thing I will probably get flamed for but I have noticed this attitude throughout the Linix circles I have been around on the web and an anonymous poster hit it on the head. He said he wanted to get a distro but his one restriction was he didn''t want to pay for it. That is the general attitude I have seen with most open source (and I do support open source). Don''t mean to sound materialistic but there just don''t seem to be very much enticement to develope for Linux at this time. (hopefully that will change)


GRELLIN

Good luck!

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