Skip to comments.Linux is easier to install than XP
Posted on 07/23/2008 5:54:47 AM PDT by twntaipan
When you buy a new PC today, unless you hunt down a Linux system or you buy a Mac, you're pretty much stuck with Vista. Sad, but true.
So, when I had to get a new PC in a hurry, after one of my PCs went to the big bit-ranch in the sky with a fried motherboard, the one I bought, a Dell Inspiron 530S from my local Best Buy came pre-infected with Vista Home Premium. Big deal. It took me less than an hour to install Linux Mint 5 Elyssa R1 on it.
As expected, everything on this 2.4GHz Intel Core2 Duo Processor E4600-powered PC ran perfectly with Mint. But, then it struck me, everyone is talking about having to buy Vista systems and then 'downgrading' them to XP Pro, how hard really is it to do that.? Since I had left half the 500BG SATA hard drive unpartitioned, I decided to install XP SP3 on it to see how much, if any, trouble I'd run into. The answer: a lot.
First, thanks to my Microsoft TechNet membership I could download an XP disk image, which included all the patches up to and including SP3. Many people aren't going to be that lucky. They'll need to install XP and then download perhaps hundreds of megabytes of patches. Boy, doesn't that sound like a lot of fun?
If you don't have a MSDN (Microsoft Developers Network) or TechNet membership, there are two ways to approach this problem. The first is to manually slipstream the patches into an XP installation CD. You can find a good set of instructions on how to do this in Slipstreaming Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Create Bootable CD. While the article is for SP2, the same technique works for XP SP3 as well.
The other way is use nLite. This is a program that allows you to customize Windows XP and 2000. While it's primarily so that you can set up Windows without components you don't want, such as Internet Explorer 6, Outlook Express, MSN Explorer, or Messenger, you can also use it to create fully patched-up boot/installation CDs. I highly recommend it.
This time I didn't need to use either one. I simply put in my newly burned XP SP3 CD and went through the usual XP installation routine. Within an hour, I was booting XP.
If this had been Linux my work would have been done. With XP, I soon discovered my job was just beginning. I soon found that XP couldn't recognize my graphics sub-system, a totally ordinary Integrated Intel GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) 3100; the audio system, the Realtek HD Audio chipset, or, most annoying of all, the Intel 10/100Mbps Ethernet port. How can an operating system in 2008 not recognize an Ethernet port?
Well, XP doesn't.
Fortunately, Dell includes a CD with the full range of Windows drivers on it. With it, I was able to install the drivers for all the equipment without much trouble. Within another hour, I finally had a working XP SP3 system.
That wasn't so bad was it? Well, here's my problem, except for Dell, I don't know of any vendors who ship their PCs with driver disks anymore. The usual vendor answer for when you have a driver problem is for you to go online, search down the right driver, download, and install it. Except, of course, had that been my only course of action, I would have been up the creek without a paddle because XP wasn't capable of letting me talk to my network.
Mint, on the other hand, let me point out, had no trouble with any of my hardware. Thus Ubuntu-based Linux recognized the equipment, it set it up and let me get to work. It was Windows that proved to be a pain in the rump.
Greg Kroah-Hartman, a prominent Linux developer, is right. Linux Journal recently reported that he recently told an audience at the Ottawa Linux Symposium that "Linux supports more different types of devices than any other operating system ever has in the history of computing."
Linux isn't perfect that way, as Kroah-Hartman would be the first to admit. Based on what I experienced, though, Linux is much better than Windows at supporting modern hardware.
We have this illusion, that's just because Windows works on the systems it comes pre-installed on, that Windows has great built-in driver support. No, it doesn't. Once you move to installing Windows on a new system, you'll quickly find that Linux, not Windows, has the better built-in hardware support.
Yes, that's right. Linux, not Windows, is easier to install on a new PC. Just something to think about as you get ready to strip Vista off your new computer.
I’m trying to imagine in what context you would be having to use sudo as an ordinary desktop user, and cannot, so I don’t really know what you mean.
sudo is a command that lets you run another command as root.
Incidentally, in Exchange 2007, you do have to use a command shell for certain things.
It's the secret language of a secret society. If you are a 30-year-old virgin living in your mother's basement and tend to measure your self-worth by your degree of immersion in cultural shibboleths, Linux is exactly what you want.
Now, having fanned the flames of a religious war, and as a IT guy going all the way back to BSD 4.1 on a PDP-11/44, let me make this clear: XP, Vista, OS/2, Mac OS, Unix, Linux, HP-UX, AIX, Solaris, DOS, CPM, VMS, etc, etc, etc, they all suck! (There, I said it!)
Anyone who spends any significant amount of time defending his favorite operating system seriously needs to reexamine his priorities.
Does Information Technology seem like a strange profession for a Luddite?
I think you’re selling yourself (and others) short with this statement.
I’ll bet you a cup of coffee that ANYONE reading this who can boot a computer, use a browser and make a CD from an image can download, and BUILD a computer using Ubuntu in a short period of time.
I rebuilt two computers, a laptop and a desktop machine I use as a VOIP server in less than an hour, configured them and had them both running (and yes to secure things a bit more took a little more time and more knowledge than most have) - BUT, the computers were BOTH working in less than an hour and I had email up and running quickly (using Thunderbird).
The ONLY hold up I had was my ISP whom I have since fired and gotten a new cable connection.
By the way, this version I loaded works better than Windows and IS intuitive - at least it looks like something you’re used to using and you should not have to “relearn” anything.
It’s been awhile, but I had to run Sudo commands because of some hardware and software issues. IIRC, one application (or more) had to be installed through Sudo.
Probably you were doing things like:
sudo apt-get install kmail
But I think you have to do pretty much the same thing in Vista to install software (provide the local Administrator password).
I buy my PCs from a custom builder with no OS on it. I load WinXP then use the driver CD that the builder includes with the pc. Next time I’m going to bed or going to be away for a few hours I download and install the updates or, since I’m networked with another PC I just copy the service pack over and run it. It’s not that big of a deal. I used to build them myself but nowadays it doesn’t cost much more to have someone else do it for me.
First, I don't use Vista. I use XP and/or W2000. So I don't have do this when installing an app. Second, typing a username/password that one commonly recalls, when prompted by a window, is far different than having to type a command fitted for a specific function. "Sudo apt-get install kmail" or whatever, is only one of many, many Sudo commands. For a person familiar with Windows application installations, where all one has to do is run the EXE file and answer questions, the Sudo requirement is significantly backwards, IMO.
It's too late for me, save yourselves!
Well, the difference is that you had to go get that exe file, so it’s a bit different. The apt-get command goes out and downloads the package, installs and configures it. Apples and oranges.
There is also Synaptic, which does all this in a GUI interface. I thought that’s how Ubuntu users generally install stuff.
I prefer the command line myself; it’s easier.
This is a bunch of baloney. For most people Vista or XP is an easy install and update. This guy sound like a Lunix Geek.
I'd always try the application install program, or Synaptic, first. But some applications did not install well. I'd go to the website and it would say to use Sudo commands.
Sorry, but I find XP to be far easier. And going to "get" an application is no big deal to me. I like browsing sites to see what is said about an application before I download/install it.
Linux requires someone with technical skills to administer it.
Here's the real surprising thing: So does Windows.
Microsoft has said for years that you do not need to be technical to run Windows. There are differing views on whether those statements were wishful thinking, cluelessness or deliberate lies. Regardless of the motiviation, however, it's simply wrong.
Windows requires administration.
If you haven't been administering your Windows box, then someone else is doing it for you.
Hopefully, you pay them to do that. Otherwise it's probably the bot net owner that administers your machine.
... or one of those perpetually afflicted with computer
Did you file a bug report?
I'd go to the website and it would say to use Sudo commands.
Synaptic and Adept both already trigger sudo automatically when installing.
I like browsing sites to see what is said about an application before I download/install it.
Synaptic and Adept both provide a lot of information about available packages. And you can still go browse the 'net about them if you wish.
Getting the program from an authorized repository is much safer than grabbing an exectuable from some random website and hoping it isn't a trojan.
Well, considering Microsoft does not develop those drivers, I don't think you can expect to see them in the future.
Microsoft publishes guidelines for device driver development and can help you certify your drivers once created. But drivers are the responsibility of the device manufacturer to provide. Just like that Dell CD with all the drivers that took care of the issues the author complained about.
MS provides the OS; the device manufacturers provide the drivers. I don't really see the problem. Most Linux guys decry "OS Bloat" because of extra things in the OS install. Does that include drivers? Apparently not...
Now THAT’S funny!
The current Linux kernel driver directory, with ALL drivers installed, including the restricted, proprietary drivers is 113M. That's about 470 drivers.
The typical Linux driver is between 20K and 200K.
A typical Windows driver is dozens or hundreds of megabytes. THAT's what is decried as bloat.
How can he expect a seven year old OS to ship with drivers for equipment not made until the last year or two?! And as for not shipping driver disks, never ever buy a computer from ANYBODY that doesn’t include the drivers, and a lot more companies than Dell ship those disks.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.