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Fact or Fiction? Top 8 Linux Myths Debunked
Yahoo ^ | Thu Sep 9, 2:18 pm ET | Katherine Noyes Katherine Noyes

Posted on 09/11/2010 9:24:44 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

If the idea of using Linux in your business is one that makes you nervous, chances are you've fallen prey to one or more of the many myths out there that are frequently disseminated by competing vendors such as Microsoft. After all, each Linux user means one less sale for such companies, so they have a powerful motivation to spread such FUD.

In fact, the ranks of businesses and government organizations using Linux grows every day, and for good reason: it's simply a good business choice. Let's take a look, then, at some of the top anxiety-causing myths and dispel them once and for all.

1. "It's Hard to Install"

Today, installing Linux is actually easier than installing Windows. Of course, most people don't install Windows themselves--rather, it comes preinstalled on their hardware, and that's an option with Linux too, if you're in the market for a new machine anyway.

If not, however, the best thing to do is first try out the distribution you're interested in via a Live CD or Live USB. Then, once you decide you like it, you can either install it in dual-boot fashion, so that both Linux and Windows are available to you all the time, or you can install Linux instead of Windows.

Either way, installation has become extremely simple over the years, particularly on distributions such as Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux Mint and openSUSE. Most include a step-by-step wizard and very easy-to-understand graphical tools; they also typically offer a way to automate the process. A full installation will probably take no more than 30 minutes, including basic apps.

2. "It's Just for Experts"

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: hitech; linux; linuxmyths
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To: altair; Ernest_at_the_Beach; ShadowAce
> Of course, the burning question is ... Emacs or VI?

I use Emacs, vi, nedit, and sometimes good ol' ed. Whatever is most appropriate, and available under the circumstances.

Today's Helpful Hint: When your company server won't boot because of problems in /etc/fstab, you can't get fsck to act sanely, and you're in a single-user shell with your boss staring at you -- even vi is not available -- use ed. Growing up with a line editor in the 70's has saved my butt more than once.

51 posted on 09/12/2010 12:20:27 PM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: altair
> I've been a Unix user since September 1981.

You've got me beat by a couple years as a user.

In 1981 I was working on DEC RSX-11/M on a PDP-11 with a VT-100 and a 9600-baud line. As I recall the hardware was an LSI-11/23 with RL02 10MB disk packs.

Man, those were the days.... (cough). :)

52 posted on 09/12/2010 12:29:11 PM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: dayglored; Ernest_at_the_Beach; ShadowAce
I obtained my first AT&T 3B2/300 32-bit Unix SysV minicomputer in mid-1985 -- that's the same year as altair. I don't recall the month, though, so I'll yield. :)

Ooooooh. I saw those when they were first announced right around the time of the AT&T breakup. Sweet machines for their time. Size matters and that definitely beats the Stride 440 m68k Micro with 25MB hard disk that I had as does mid year. I concede.

That box changed my life. I had started programming in C a few years before, but the Unix environment and I immediately got along like old buddies, and it's still my favorite OS.

Brother dayglored, that's exactly how I felt my first time on Unix. It was really spooky that it felt so *right*. The magic doesn't go away. I enjoy my Unix based Mac so much that the US government would criminalize it if they could.

It was my second computer that transformed my life. It was an AT&T 3B1 aka PC7300, mc68010 expanded to 2 1/2 MB ram and 50 MB hard disk. Spring 1987 when there was the fire sale at EOL.

All of the interesting software going through comp.unix.sources was generally BSD only. This required porting to SysV tty ioctls much of the time, among other things. An unbelievable learning experience. I had access to Unix source code from my job and I managed to get a working tcsh (without job control and some other features, of course), which I didn't use because I hate csh, but it was fun! I also got a vanilla SysV/R2 port of sendmail working. I could do pretty good software before then, but afterwards, I had confidence I could tackle anything ... and pretty much, I could.

Because it was an end-of-lifed system, there would never be any updates. strip(1) had a horrible bug. If you ran strip(1) on a binary that was already stripped, you got an error message and it deleted the binary. It was at that point that I decided that I never wanted a computer system that I couldn't make fixes to when required and I started contributing software back to what eventually became Linux.

53 posted on 09/12/2010 1:03:19 PM PDT by altair (Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent - Salvor Hardin)
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To: dayglored
Someone has written a M-x butterfly, you know ...

When your company server won't boot because of problems in /etc/fstab, you can't get fsck to act sanely, and you're in a single-user shell with your boss staring at you -- even vi is not available -- use ed.

In upper division college, I was finally off of the System 7 PDP and on the CS VAX which had vi available and ... I couldn't use it most of the time because it was too slow, so I still used ed.

But, question ... how do you edit files using only /bin/sh if for some reason ed isn't available? I figured it out under fire when I was trying to get a Microport install working until I established that it didn't have drivers for the hard disk for the machine.

54 posted on 09/12/2010 1:13:31 PM PDT by altair (Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent - Salvor Hardin)
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To: dayglored
In 1981 I was working on DEC RSX-11/M on a PDP-11 with a VT-100 and a 9600-baud line. As I recall the hardware was an LSI-11/23 with RL02 10MB disk packs.

Man, those were the days.... (cough). :)

:-) We will always have the memories ...

55 posted on 09/12/2010 1:19:12 PM PDT by altair (Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent - Salvor Hardin)
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To: decimon
The author says antivirus software is not needed. Infection does happen so what are linux users doing to rid themselves of viruses/malware?

The virus file just sits there and stays confused. It does not interact with the Linux system. If you find it, you just delete it.

HINT: look for a .exe file which would NOT run on a Linux system. It would most likely reside in either the ~/Download directory, or the /temp directory.

56 posted on 09/12/2010 1:55:12 PM PDT by Calvinist_Dark_Lord ((I have come here to kick @$$ and chew bubblegum...and I'm all outta bubblegum! ~Roddy Piper))
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To: altair
> But, question ... how do you edit files using only /bin/sh if for some reason ed isn't available?

Well, it's stretching the definition of "edit", but as long as the file is less than about 15 lines (assuming a 24x80 console), and /bin/cat is available:

cat file_to_be_edited
cat > file_to_be_edited
and type carefully, using the first printout as a guide.

If you're really stuck with only /bin/sh and don't even have cat, there's always:

$ echo "line one
> line two
> ... " >
file_to_be_edited
assuming echo is a built-in and not /bin/echo.

I use cat > or echo > typically at least once a day, for creating short textfiles of a line or two, such as motd or for testing or flagging purposes. I feel sorta silly cranking up an editor for something I can type in the time it takes for the editor come up and shut down.

Another handy cat hint, if you're using X11 and need to copy/paste some text while removing formatting (say you're copying formatted text from a browser into a plaintext file):

cat >/dev/null
paste the formatted text here
^D
The xterm throws away the formatting, and you can then select-copy from the xterm's echoed display, and paste to the plaintext file. I use that so often I made it an alias "catnul". :)
57 posted on 09/12/2010 2:20:59 PM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: altair
I don't think I actually answered your question. :)

> I figured it out under fire...

That implies you could really -edit- a file using only /bin/sh and no other binaries.

All I can think is something like:

exec < file_to_be_edited
while read line; do
  (some shell magic with line)
  echo "$line" >>
new_file
done
or maybe instead of a single variable line, use a series of variables for each word parsed from the input on each line.... argggh. And you'd still have to use mv to rename it back, so that can't be right.

I'd love to know how; willin' to share?

58 posted on 09/12/2010 2:35:21 PM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: altair
> All of the interesting software going through comp.unix.sources was generally BSD only. This required porting to SysV tty ioctls much of the time, among other things. An unbelievable learning experience.

Yep, funny you mention that -- in 1985 I wrote a computer-to-computer comms program that was a terminal with file I/O and special functions, sort of Kermit-on-steroids, and had to learn all about the SysV I/O for terminal and file control. Loved every minute of it. :)

> I had access to Unix source code...

Alas, although I could have (there was a nearby 3B5 that had full sources), I was not permitted to view them, because the company I was working for was developing a "Unix-like" industrial process control system from scratch and we had to have plausible deniability that we'd ever viewed the actual Unix sources.

59 posted on 09/12/2010 2:48:36 PM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: shorty_harris; SwedishConservative
Openoffice usually mangles a word or excel document I try to open, so I have to use my mac version of MS word/excel. But this isn't because MS word/excel is better (at least for a casual user like myself...I find that creating documents with OO and converting them to PDF to send to my colleagues works great), it's because MS probably works at keeping the two incompatible.

I tried Open Office v3 and would say that it's at about 90-95% of the functionality and quality of MS Office. Unfortunately, the 5-10% includes a few obscure features on both Word and Excel that I use frequently, but I think for a lot of normal people, they'd be just fine.

60 posted on 09/12/2010 3:02:18 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: dayglored

sed


61 posted on 09/12/2010 3:03:32 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: dayglored
Well, it's stretching the definition of "edit", but as long as the file is less than about 15 lines (assuming a 24x80 console), and /bin/cat is available:

No, don't assume /bin/cat is available, but that's one way to do it.

cat can be done by:

#!/bin/sh

while read line; do
  echo "$line"
done

which of course doesn't always work in "modern" systems because of how the semantics of echo have been perverted. In that case, you'll want `print -'.

The same technique can be extended to avoid retyping the whole file. For example to replace all lines matching "bar" with "FRee Republic" you would do:

while read line; do
  if [ x"$line" = xbar ]; then
    echo FRee Republic
  else
    echo "$line"
  fi
done < file > file.new
mv file file.bak; mv file.new file

It may seem trivial now, but this was the first time anything close to this had ever been done in an OS before. Stephen Bourne created magic.

Another handy cat hint, if you're using X11 and need to copy/paste some text while removing formatting (say you're copying formatted text from a browser into a plaintext file):

Yes, very clever. I do that too, except with ed, then typing `a'. Usually the time I'm trying to cut & paste into something that doesn't quite want to take it is a web browser with a stupid text field that gets wiped out if something else is wrong on the page and that way I can save the text to a file if I have to.

If I need to wipe out formatting, it's usually easier to paste it into a handy XEmacs *scratch* buffer. That is, of course, a matter of taste. :-)

62 posted on 09/12/2010 3:10:15 PM PDT by altair (Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent - Salvor Hardin)
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To: dayglored
I'd love to know how; willin' to share?

You were right. Yes, you do need mv. I was typing in the answer, see the post above.

63 posted on 09/12/2010 3:14:54 PM PDT by altair (Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent - Salvor Hardin)
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To: dayglored
Alas, although I could have (there was a nearby 3B5 that had full sources), I was not permitted to view them, because the company I was working for was developing a "Unix-like" industrial process control system from scratch and we had to have plausible deniability that we'd ever viewed the actual Unix sources.

I did Unix System V/386 device drivers around 1990, so I don't have any plausible deniability and have been careful to stay away from "standard" Unix utilities since then.

64 posted on 09/12/2010 3:19:33 PM PDT by altair (Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent - Salvor Hardin)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

The installation problems associated with Linux show the how and why that it isn’t a commercial product, nor can it be.


65 posted on 09/12/2010 3:28:45 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Democratic Underground... matters are worse, as their latest fund drive has come up short...)
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To: SunkenCiv

Installation problems? My PCLinuxOS distro is just about the most painless install out there. Easier than Ubuntu, there’s no difficulties at all. 20 minutes and it’s done, and you’re up and running.


66 posted on 09/14/2010 5:59:37 PM PDT by Big Giant Head (Two years no AV, no viruses, computer runs great!)
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To: raybbr

>For those, like me, who started their understanding of OS’s using DOS commands in Windows 3.1 learning the entire new commands for Linux is daunting. I suppose if I immersed myself in it I would catch on but I just don’t have the time.

“The novice Unix user is always surprised by Unix’s choice of command
names. No amount of training on DOS or the Mac prepares one for the
majestic beauty of cryptic two-letter command names such as cp, rm, and
ls.” - Unix-Hater’s Handbook

>I have a box that runs Linux Ubuntu that I use in the basement. It runs great. Adding things to it just takes too much time.
>
>I heartily endorse Linux distros though. They seem to be pretty stable and run without any real hassle.

I dislike *nix for many, many reasons; it’s [IMO] poorly designed [I believe it to be a direct result of being designed in-parallel w/ C].
Personally I’d rather use a well-designed OS using a read high-level language like Ada rather than ones built with the pretend high-level languages C & C++.


67 posted on 09/21/2010 6:14:20 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: SwedishConservative

>2: Microsoft Excel. Simply put, Excel and Word are head and sholders above the competition. There are alternatives, sure (open office, google docs etc) but none that really measure up - especially in the spreadsheet market. As long as MS retains that competitive edge, Windows will be the preferred platform on business computers.

I *HATE* Excel with the hatred of a million burning suns. Management types tend to be idiots who want to use spreadsheets ALL THE TIME... especially when the intended use of the information therein would be *FAR* better handled by a database.

I merely strongly dislike Word; it’s truly a horrible program... especially when you delete some text/paragraph and it alters formatting [usually in awkward ways]. If proper formatting is a requirement for your document, such as legal or scientific works, I’d strongly recommend WordPerfect above Word simply because of the superior manner it handles formatting. (I still use WP11 in preference to MS Word.)


68 posted on 09/21/2010 6:23:34 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: eclecticEel

>#5 is Linux’s biggest shortcoming. The Linux community can pump up OpenOffice as much as they want - but it will never replace MS Office. Microsoft will also never release a Linux version, for obvious reasons.

The biggest problem with Open-Office [IMO] is that it is blindly following/cloning MS Office.


69 posted on 09/21/2010 6:28:17 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: altair

Didn’t you and I have a chat about Unix/OSes/design a while back?


70 posted on 09/21/2010 6:32:18 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: dayglored

>That box changed my life. I had started programming in C a few years before, but the Unix environment and I immediately got along like old buddies, and it’s still my favorite OS.

Hm, as an old-hand at C I’m sure you’ve got a lot to say on the various shortcomings/pitfalls therein.


71 posted on 09/21/2010 6:34:15 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: OneWingedShark
> Hm, as an old-hand at C I’m sure you’ve got a lot to say on the various shortcomings/pitfalls therein.

Shortcomings and pitfalls of C? Those have been listed and recited and documented and argued for 30+ years. I needn't repeat them yet again.

I prefer simple tools that do exactly what I want, to complex tools that make selected tasks trivial and other tasks impossible. I prefer driving a manual transmission car, for example.

C is still the language of choice for much of the non-application programs written today. System stuff, drivers, utilities, embedded devices, controllers, etc. You know, the stuff that actually DOES something beyond painting pretty pictures on a user's screen. :)

The two main reasons (IMO) that anybody uses anything else are:

  1. In the hands of a less-than-skilled programmer, C will happily do what they tell it to do, which is most often erroneous. It's not for the lazy or inept. There are much safer languages, Nanny-May-I style, for those programmers.

  2. String and database processing in C can be very tiring and frustrating, and a lot of business software processes strings and databases. There are special-purpose languages that excel at those tasks.

72 posted on 09/21/2010 7:30:38 PM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: dayglored

> The two main reasons (IMO) that anybody uses anything else are:
> 1. In the hands of a less-than-skilled programmer, C will happily do what they tell it to do, which is most often erroneous. It’s not for the lazy or inept.

That’s odd; IMO the C/Linux mentality encourages laziness — In my personal experience I’ve often come across the response “why don’t you download the/a unix/linux source” when my peers [I’m a CS major; one final class left] hear that I’d like to make an OS.

There’s also the “an example online,” cut-and-paste, and then tailor it to your program’s needs crowd; but I’m hesitant to link that with the C/Unix mindset as it seems to be more language agnostic & it’s also possible that the shift in a lot of the curriculum to Java influenced/germinated that a bit more than C.

> There are much safer languages, Nanny-May-I style, for those programmers.

Ah, like Ada.
I actually REALLY like the amount of things (checks & optimizations) Ada compilers can do at COMPILE-TIME; some of which is quite impressive.

> 2. String and database processing in C can be very tiring and frustrating, and a lot of business software processes strings and databases. There are special-purpose languages that excel at those tasks.

Strings and databases processing can be tiring/frustrating w/o C; I think that those two areas are inherently more... picky/difficult.
For strings, some of it is the native language [English in our case] where the different forms and exceptions all have to be handled: pluralities is a perfectly good example. Goose —> Geese; but Moose -/-> Meese. Mouse —> Mice; but House -/-> Hise. Matrix —> Matrices; does Dominatrix —> Dominatrices?

Databases are similar in that the storage-forms in the database might not be the best forms for the types of manipulations you intend to do.... and the multiple valid formats for the same data-fields might be structurally different (yet presenting the same information); consider street addresses, especially international ones.

>C is still the language of choice for much of the non-application programs written today. System stuff, drivers, utilities, embedded devices, controllers, etc. You know, the stuff that actually DOES something beyond painting pretty pictures on a user’s screen. :)

Honestly I think that Ada would be a better choice for embedded/system stuff; its development *was* first commissioned by the DOD specifically for handling the unique/”non-standard” hardware of the various weapon-systems, like missile-launch control — and especially considering that the spec/implementation separation is much more ‘definite’ than C; I mean how many times have you had to work around header-files exposing some implementation detail in C?


73 posted on 09/21/2010 8:20:35 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: OneWingedShark
Quick reply, it's 2:20 AM here and I have to be up at 7...

> Honestly I think that Ada would be a better choice for embedded/system stuff; its development *was* first commissioned by the DOD specifically for handling the unique/”non-standard” hardware of the various weapon-systems, like missile-launch control...

Funny you mention that. In the early 80's I was designing an embedded controller for geostationary comm-sat attitude control systems, and I was strongly encouraged at that time to look at Ada for the implementation (which I did, of course). But it wasn't a requirement at the time, since I was first doing prototype proof-of-concept design work, so I could choose my own poison (I chose C).

I agree that Ada has some very strong advantages for that sort of work.

74 posted on 09/21/2010 11:28:55 PM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: eclecticEel

Open Office has come a long way... its been ported to Windows and MacOSX. Microsoft does make a version for MacOSX that is generally regarded as superior to its Windows version. But open source is good an OO will do 90% of what Microsoft’s expensive office suite does. There really is much good to say about free in these tight times.


75 posted on 12/05/2010 5:12:36 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Still Thinking

Microsoft has Open Office converters so the issue of formatting is bunk. And Open Office can read MS Office files. We’re getting close to an interoperability standard so it doesn’t matter what office suite you run.


76 posted on 12/05/2010 5:15:30 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop

I think you’re disputing the guy I was responding to.


77 posted on 12/05/2010 5:40:29 PM PST by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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