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post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post

Not only are you missing the point that, at it's most fundamental base, Linux==the kernel, and the stuff on top is what constitutes distributions, but you are completely wrong that I was referring to POSIX.
You are talking about POSIX though. 99.9% of people who uses Debian, Arch, Ubuntu, CentOS or whatever never touch the Linux kernel. Even those who compile their own kernel only scratch the surface of the Linux kernel. What you're talking about when you say the "base of Linux distributions" is stuff like Bach, the file system hierarchy and what not. It's the POSIX components of Linux distributions, not the Linux kernel.

And if that's not what you meant, as in if you genuinely meant that users should learn C and assembly and read the Linux kernel source code, then you're just nuts laugher.gif

Learning POSIX makes a great deal of sense as the whole point of it is a set of standards which are compatible across different OSs and designed for compatibility and familiarity. So POSIX is exactly the sort of solution that you're advocating. Even familiarity with the Linux Standard Base (LSB) - which is less portable, as the name suggests - makes a great deal of sense. But suggesting people should read through the Linux kernel's source code is just unrealistic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post

For one thing Windows is a posix system, still to a large extent and there are projects to try to make it 100%.
Windows is not a POSIX system. Windows is more closely tied to VMS than POSIX (but that's not surprising considering NT was headed by an ex-VMS engineer). Windows has POSIX compatibility layers which you can install ontop of Windows (eg cygwin), but calling Windows 'POSIX' because of UNIX Services for Windows and cygwin is a little like calling Ubuntu 'Windows NT' because someone installed WINE.
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post

What I was referring to is the most basic difference is Open Source, all the way down to kernel level. Not only is most of Linux free as in "no charge" but also free as in "freedom" to make it be and do as you wish.
Indeed, but you don't need to read the kernels source code to learn about the freedoms of open source.
post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post

I agree with Shrak.

It's a bit like "Windows", as a trademark, refers to a number of different MS OS's. It's not until you start becoming a Windows engineer that you really care about the differences. So why should the average "Linux" user care about GNU/Hurd or GNU/kFreeBSD?

I believe you missed the point a little bit. I said nothing about other GNU OS projects. The Windows comparison was talking about different versions of one OS or distrobution, which is also not where I was going. That's like comparing Ubuntu to Ubuntu Server.

What I meant was that Linux is nothing but a kernel without a user land. The GNU utilities provide this. Every user who wants to use Linux beyond playing around with Unity should know what their system is made up of, which is going to be Linux plus the GNU user land and usually some other stuff.
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrari8608 View Post

I believe you missed the point a little bit. I said nothing about other GNU OS projects. The Windows comparison was talking about different versions of one OS or distrobution, which is also not where I was going. That's like comparing Ubuntu to Ubuntu Server.
I was thinking more Windows CE, Windows NT, Windows 98 rather than variants of the same NT-based OS. As in projects that share the Windows name but not the NT code base.
post #14 of 35
Holy Misquotes Batman! Can you please quote where I allegedly said "learn the kernel" let alone a few languages and it's source code, 'cuz I can't find it anywhere tongue.gif. All I was saying was that all distros have the Linux kernel in common. That's what makes them Linux. Talk about give an inch and take a mile!

This is what I meant by your missing the point. At first I was only hoping to clarify what Ferrari8608 said, that Linux is the kernel. Linux is all over these days and being used by people who don't even know it, much less what a distro is, for example on their telephones and this is exactly because the kernel is so flexible and scaleable.

You said that you wrote a system for some car stereo or something, iirc, and this would be all but impossible with Windows exactly because a user cannot modify the Windows kernel, or most of the apps on top either.

Most people interested in trying out Linux are never going to write their own system for their phone or a game console or whatever, but many have installed niche distros to embedded devices, like routers, for increased control, and a one guy on OCN connected something like 24 P4s together in a cluster with Linux. This is the range of what is possible so it barely matters whether you are a casual user or a deep enthusiast or a Pro, there is something in Linux for you. It's worth the effort, IMHO but then I suppose there are car drivers who still don't know how to change a tire.

As for Windows and Posix, you might enjoy this

http://brianreiter.org/2010/08/24/the-sad-history-of-the-microsoft-posix-subsystem/
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post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post

Holy Misquotes Batman! Can you please quote where I allegedly said "learn the kernel" let alone a few languages and it's source code, 'cuz I can't find it anywhere tongue.gif.
Maybe I've misread your posts, but comments like the following:
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post

Greetz
OTOH if you want most of what you learn now to still work 10 years from now, and to never be forced to accept some corporation's idea of what you should have or be allowed to access or how, then really, the Linux kernel is the only game in town.
when in a thread about people learning Linux, kind of gives the impression (to me at least) that you're advocating people learn the kernel.
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post

You said that you wrote a system for some car stereo or something, iirc, and this would be all but impossible with Windows exactly because a user cannot modify the Windows kernel, or most of the apps on top either.
Of course it's possible in Windows. I didn't write me car stereo inside the Linux kernel; it was a user land application. I could have just as easily used an old PDA and written a .NET application to do the same thing (in fact I did contemplate doing that just to make use of a touch screen - but then I decided to go down a headless set up with TTS instead)
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post

As for Windows and Posix, you might enjoy this

http://brianreiter.org/2010/08/24/the-sad-history-of-the-microsoft-posix-subsystem/
That just says exactly what I said; that Windows itself isn't POSIX but there are various optional subsystems available to support POSIX standards. Just like Linux isn't NT but you can optionally run NT compatibility layers alongside the GNU userland if you wanted NT support.
post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post

Maybe I've misread your posts, but comments like the following: when in a thread about people learning Linux, kind of gives the impression (to me at least) that you're advocating people learn the kernel.

While I never stated learn programming languages and delve into the source code of the kernel, I see that I was less than clear at defining those underlying basics that exist in every distro in my efforts to make a distinction between the OpSys and Applications. Most people don't realize that when they double click on an icon or select a menuitem, they are running a command that could be run from command line. Without getting into the depths of privileged application layers and the role of operating systems at orchestrating the symphony that is modern computing, and because so many new people are shocked and dismayed at the sheer number of distros, I just wanted to reinforce the concept, that all distros are essentially the same "under the hood" with only variations on a theme. They are all Linux, and mainly because of the kernel. The biggest difference in any distro is whether they run a 2.4, 2.6, or 3.x kernel and even those differences are fairly slight.

Re: your car stereo -
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post

Of course it's possible in Windows. I didn't write me car stereo inside the Linux kernel; it was a user land application. I could have just as easily used an old PDA and written a .NET application to do the same thing (in fact I did contemplate doing that just to make use of a touch screen - but then I decided to go down a headless set up with TTS instead)

Ah. My turn apparently to misunderstand. I thought you had built an operating system, not an app. The point stands that while Windows apps can be applied to many uses, we are stuck with what they allow and cannot tweak them to suit a specific, non-included purpose. Linux, OTOH, and in this case I am specifically referring to both the kernel and application layers, given device drivers, can be and very often is customized and tweaked to suit a specific purpose or purposes, such as one example of the Tesla electric car in another thread, or routers, game consoles and clusters in this one. However I feel confident you knew what I meant regarding proprietary limitations.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post

That just says exactly what I said; that Windows itself isn't POSIX but there are various optional subsystems available to support POSIX standards. Just like Linux isn't NT but you can optionally run NT compatibility layers alongside the GNU userland if you wanted NT support.

Look more carefully, and with the idea of this thread regarding "what is linux when there are so many distros?". The same can now be said of Windows, even moreso since it has "shifted gears" with their kernel several times, especially to break from DOS-based. IIRC XP was something like 40% all new code (and to give the devil his due, set records for low percentage of bugs/kloc). If we ask "what is windows when there are so many versions?" not only has the underlying base changed drastically but so has the UI. Windows NT 3,4, and 5, and Windows 2K were heavily POSIX compliant. He says Server 2003 was largely compliant until SP2. He further points out that
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianreiter 
To top things off, while SFU 3.5 ran on all versions of NT 5.x, SUA only runs on Windows Server and the Enterpise and Ultimate client editions. SUA is not available on Vista Business or Home and Windows 7 Professional and Home editions

So, much of Windows as a whole, especially during part of the crucial development cycles of NT, was or can be Posix compliant. That matters little. What is important in this thread is that I was not describing POSIX, but rather Open Source and the freedom and power it provides, and how Linux (and to a lesser extent, BSD) is where one must go to have such freedom and power.

I gather that the important issue to the OP is why he should bother to learn Linux and what exactly is Linux, anyway. IMHO consistency over the years, allowing most of what one learns now to be still useful 10 years from now, combined with an ever-increasing speed and abundance Open Source alternatives to proprietary drivers and apps, not to mention being able to "jump ship" from the Microsoft cash cow farm, are solid, valuable, even compelling reasons to learn Linux.

Perhaps a decent summary for "what is Linux?" we can answer "Linux is an operating system based on the Linux kernel, employing free and open source software/code (and just a little proprietary) available for more platforms than any other operating system, ever. "
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post #17 of 35
Thread Starter 
How did I manage to miss this. Also I would like to clarify. The main thing I was looking for was Linux Essential Thread because I was lurking on the Steam OS thread and noticed many and many people having trouble installing the OS system. ( I don't want to sound like I know what was going on I only know the bare back bone basics. I'm just stating the obvious.) One of the moderators said that anybody trying to install the OS system that don't have any backgrounds in Linux should not be trying to install it should without consulting the tutorials provided and learning about it first. (Not that I was planning on installing it, but I wouldn't mind installing it when the full version comes out.). That's pretty much it..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrak View Post

The essentials thread ( linked at the top of the Linux, Unix section ) is a good starting point. But doesn't have much in the ways of what's being asked here. And there's little in the way of a single link to have any meaningful description of all of questions asked. Best is to search around, there are plenty of Wiki's around with tons of great information in them.
  • What is Linux?
    Linux is an open source operating system that was modeled after UNIX and intended to be a free

  • What can Linux do?
    I think a better question is what can't it do, as it can do just about anything you want.
  • How to acquire Linux
    Usually you simply go to the particular distributions website that you're interested in. If you don't know what distribution you may want, you can take a look at www.distrowatch.com and have a look at the different ones available. The easiest ones to start with if you're new is Ubuntu or Mint ( based on Ubuntu ), they have some of the simplest installers and make the command line pretty much non-existent if need be.
  • Uses for Linux
    Aside from gaming, which is still in its infancy on Linux, there isn't much it isn't good at. Servers, Routers, Switches, ATM machines, POS machines and really just about every electronic device you use in your day to day life will usually use some form of *nix most likely. It can be tailored to fit just about any application no matter how large or small.
Thanks I already semi knew what Linux was (Free open source OS System Etc. Etc.) but I have seveal more questions to ask to get a better understanding.
1. What is the differences between all the Distros?
2. Is it possible to create your own Distros?
3. Is Linux Gnu the Kernel and OS?
4. Can you create your own Kernel and install Linux on that Kernel?
5 (optional) What is Posix?
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Staticisbad View Post

1. What is the differences between all the Distros?
2. Is it possible to create your own Distros?
3. Is Linux Gnu the Kernel and OS?
4. Can you create your own Kernel and install Linux on that Kernel?
5 (optional) What is Posix?
  1. That's an impossible question to accurately answer as it depends on which distros you compare. It's a bit like saying what's the difference between different vehicles; some distros are built for servers so stability and up to date server packages are the main focus. Some are build for desktops so will place greater importances on the desktop experience. Some target penetration testers, some target hackers / tinkers, some are just plain weird and target those of a specific religious belief.
  2. Yup.
  3. Roughly speaking; Linux is the Kernel, GNU is the OS.
  4. You can create your own kernel and use GNU. There are other GNU OS's out there that don't use Linux (eg Debian GNU/kFreeBSD uses the FreeBSD kernel)
  5. POSIX (all caps as it's an acronym, but I can't recall what the letters stand for off hand) is a set of standards that are designed to allow compatibility across different OSs
post #19 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post

  1. That's an impossible question to accurately answer as it depends on which distros you compare. It's a bit like saying what's the difference between different vehicles; some distros are built for servers so stability and up to date server packages are the main focus. Some are build for desktops so will place greater importances on the desktop experience. Some target penetration testers, some target hackers / tinkers, some are just plain weird and target those of a specific religious belief.
  2. Yup.
  3. Roughly speaking; Linux is the Kernel, GNU is the OS.
  4. You can create your own kernel and use GNU. There are other GNU OS's out there that don't use Linux (eg Debian GNU/kFreeBSD uses the FreeBSD kernel)
  5. POSIX (all caps as it's an acronym, but I can't recall what the letters stand for off hand) is a set of standards that are designed to allow compatibility across different OSs

1. Ok, so out of the different types of distros mostly meant for desktops which is the best. (In general.)
(Your opinion)
2. How does one create a Distro.
3. Thanks for Clearing that up.
4. Is this where programming Langauge comes up? (COBOL, C++, C+ C. Etc. Etc)
5. Thanks.
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Staticisbad View Post

1. Ok, so out of the different types of distros mostly meant for desktops which is the best. (In general.)
(Your opinion)
2. How does one create a Distro.
3. Thanks for Clearing that up.
4. Is this where programming Langauge comes up? (COBOL, C++, C+ C. Etc. Etc)
5. Thanks.

1. There isn't a "the best", but there is "preferable". Going back to my vehicles analogy, some people prefer sports cars, some prefer hybrid cars, others want big saloon cars. What I personally run is Arch, but that has a rather steep learning curve for new users compared to Mint and Ubuntu, which is aimed to be beginner friendly.

2. That depends on why the distro was created. Sometimes distros are born from an "original" idea, so the creators will either take a fairly minimal base (eg Debian) and build their own concepts around that (this is how Ubuntu came to be) or build something entire from scratch (eg using LFS as a guide). Other times someone just wants to tweak an existing distro, so they'll take a popular desktop and redistribute it with different defaults (this is why you find so many Ubuntu forks out there).

4. Programming languages are generally OS agnostic. It's a little difficult to briefly explain the relationship of a kernel, user land, and so on. So I'd recommend you do some reading up on kernels (even if it's just from Wikipedia) if you're really interested in this side of things. But in laymans terms, the kernel is the lowest level part of the OS, the part that talks directly to your hardware, and everything else is the software that runs on top. Typically, kernels can't easily be separated from the rest of the OS (the "user land"), and to a degree the same is true with GNU/Linux, which is why the other GNU OS's with a different kernel are largely experimental.
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