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 Forum index » Off-Topic Area » Security
What makes Linux safer than Windows?
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DMcCunney

Joined: 02 Feb 2009
Posts: 897

PostPosted: Sat 27 Mar 2010, 16:52    Post_subject:  

nooby wrote:

Dennis, I think you are wrong on this part:

Quote:
If you decide (as you seem to have done) that "Oh, that's too hard. I can't deal with that. I'll use Puppy because it's simpler.", you'll never gain the knowledge you want.


<...>

I had the opposite attitude that you guess. Nothing was impossible to learn I thought about me. I trusted the propaganda that anybody can learn anything if they really try and practice and are at it.

Not so. To be good at programming and structured thinking you have to have a brain that have that capacity.

Maybe 99% of all people does have that capacity and me trusted me to have it and I behaved as if I had and started early in the morning and gave up for that day at midnight and started again next day and trusted that if one really wanted to learn then it would take sooner or later.

Reality is not that way. some of us fail to live up to the myth that everybody can learn anything on that level.

We are not alike in our heads, some are more clever than others. I unfortunately belong to the low achieving when it comes to being structured in thinking. I am all over the place but none will get accomplished ever.

<...>

But then you should not do computers, let those that can do such then.

Nope, we have the right to do computers too.

Nooby, my point was simply that the first step in doing anything is believing you can do it. If you define yourself as someone who can't do a particular thing, it's self-fulfilling prophecy. You won't be able to do it.

If you start out by believing you can do it, it may be difficult, but it's not normally impossible.

And no, I don't think 99% of the people are able to do this and you're one of the 1% of odd men out. We are all wired differently, with different capabilities. My SO, for example, has a facility for languages. She was once fluent in about a dozen. These days, she's essentially bi-lingual in English and Spanish, and fluent in French if it's related to cooking. She's lost the rest because she's had no occasion to use those languages and stay fluent.

But we perceive things quite differently. My primary sense is vision. I understand things in large part by being able to draw pictures in my head illustrating what the parts are and how they fit together. When someone asks me technical question, my first impulse is to grab a pencil and paper and draw a diagram to illustrate the concept. That doesn't work with my SO. Her primary sense is hearing. She makes nothing of my pictures on paper, and I have to find other metaphors to describe the concept.

The whole world won't intuitively grasp computers, and an awful lot of folks out there will never get beyond the "learned to do a particular thing by rote" stage. I've told various people in the past that the real accomplishment comes when you reach the stage where you can say "If I can do that, that means I should be able to do this. Let's see..."

As for inability to remember where things live or how things fit together, I have a simple suggestion. Keep a notebook beside your systems, and write things down.

My SO does a lot of that, because she has a poor memory. She's discovered that if she writes it down, it's more likely to stick, and if it doesn't, it's written down and she can refer to it.
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nooby

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PostPosted: Sat 27 Mar 2010, 17:18    Post_subject:  

Yes structured persons can write things down and then find the text and learn from it.

I write down things all the time but have no way to find it later.

I do bookmarks of pages with the codes for becoming root and passwords for different linuxes and so on I drown in all the bookmarks I make and fail to remember how to find the needed one.

You have the right positive attitude, keep it, but remember that some people fail to live up to it but it would help all of those that can follow the good advice.

We are off rail so lets go back on topic.

Security only works if the person trying to protect him or herself knows how to apply, make use of the firewalls and so on.

Hahah, sometimes I think that the only reason linux is a bit safer than windows are that the criminals know the linux users are so few that there is no money into creating code to attack linux.

that may change if linux ever get popular. hopefully we have less difficult to use firewalls by then.

did anybody answer my question about the deny and accept in puppy?

I tested say 25 different puppies. All of them except one has the word drop at the first section when one write iptables -L

I could show if I knew how to copy the text from terminal to forum but I have no clue on how to.

The exception have accept in all places.

Question number two

Does it help at all if all is accept? How can that protect me? No explanation either how to change the accept to a deny. Where am I supposed to do that?

It is too difficult to use them.

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DMcCunney

Joined: 02 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Sat 27 Mar 2010, 17:48    Post_subject:  

nooby wrote:
Yes structured persons can write things down and then find the text and learn from it.

I write down things all the time but have no way to find it later.

That's why I suggested a notebook kept by your computers. Scraps of paper can get lost. A notebook full of notes is less likely to.

There is still the challenge of organizing the notebook to find specific notes later.

Quote:
I do bookmarks of pages with the codes for becoming root and passwords for different linuxes and so on I drown in all the bookmarks I make and fail to remember how to find the needed one.

Do you organize your bookmarks in folders?

Do you add keywords when you make the bookmark to make it easier to find in a search?

Quote:
did anybody answer my question about the deny and accept in puppy?

No. I suggest you open a separate thread for it in the Users forum, like "How do I use iptables?"

It's relevant to security, but a bit off this particular topic, which compares Linux and Windows..
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Pizzasgood


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PostPosted: Sat 27 Mar 2010, 17:59    Post_subject:  

RetroTechGuy wrote:
Note also that making a "multi-user" machine isn't hard, with Puppy (I emphasize machine, as most don't care if it's an multi-user OS). Just copy your boilerplate pupsave over to a new username, and they then have their own system. Yeah, so you'll have to spend a few seconds performing a reboot to change users. Puppy is small enough that there isn't a real reason to leave it running when not in use, so the most likely scenario is that the user comes to the machine in the "off" state, and boots normally. Otherwise the 1st user will have to shut down, and the second reboot. No big deal.

There is a humongous difference, that has nothing to do with rebooting. Permissions. If your reason for having other users is to keep those other users from breaking your system (perhaps because they simply don't know what they're doing), then multiple save files is not good enough. There is nothing to stop them from deleting the other save files, or repartitioning the harddrive, etc.


Regarding, size, a properly multiuser Puppy is very nearly the same size. In the case of Multiuser Puppy 4.2.1, it was one megabyte larger than stock Puppy 4.2.1. That one megabyte mostly came from sudo.


musher0 wrote:
RetroTechGuy said:
> [...] What does Puppy provide, that Ubuntu doesn't? [...]

I'll answer a bit out of context.

To my knowledge, Puppy is the only distro that respects my ownership of my machine. I spent some good money to buy this computer, and lots and lots of time configuring it, and my Puppy.

That would have been impossible to such an extent on other distros, since they keep asking for permission ("sudo" or whatever).

What are you talking about? With the exception of Ubuntu and it's spawn, you can just log in as root. That is one single time that you have to authenticate yourself. Then you can do whatever the flip you want. Nobody forces you to be a limited user. They just recommend it. And nothing stops you from removing that login prompt either. The "autologinroot" program that Puppy uses is five lines long, and only one of those lines even does anything:
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=5991
Code:
/*BK auto login */

int main() {
 execlp("login","login","-f","root",0);
}





nooby wrote:
Hahah, sometimes I think that the only reason linux is a bit safer than windows are that the criminals know the linux users are so few that there is no money into creating code to attack linux.
You forget. Linux is used more than Windows in the server world. It is only on the desktop that Linux is a minority. And they do put considerable time and energy into attacking Linux and the programs that run on it, at least those programs that are commonly used in servers.


Quote:
I could show if I knew how to copy the text from terminal to forum but I have no clue on how to.
Just click and drag over the text to select it. Now middle-click wherever you want to paste the text. (You don't have to tell it to "copy", it automatically copies whenever you select text.)

If you have a scroll wheel, you can depress that and it will act as the middle mouse button.

If you don't have a scroll wheel or a middle button, just two normal buttons, you can probably click with both of them simultaneously, and Linux will translate that into a middle click. (This is an optional feature, so it might have to be enabled (via Menu->Setup->Mouse/Keyboard Wizard), but it's probably already set.)

If you only have one button on your mouse, throw it away and get a real mouse. Wink

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DMcCunney

Joined: 02 Feb 2009
Posts: 897

PostPosted: Sat 27 Mar 2010, 18:04    Post_subject:  

musher0 wrote:
RetroTechGuy said:
> [...] What does Puppy provide, that Ubuntu doesn't? [...]

I'll answer a bit out of context.

To my knowledge, Puppy is the only distro that respects my ownership of my machine. I spent some good money to buy this computer, and lots and lots of time configuring it, and my Puppy.

That would have been impossible to such an extent on other distros, since they keep asking for permission ("sudo" or whatever).

So does Ubuntu. By default, you're logged in as an ordinary user, and you need to temporarily acquire admin powers to do administrative chores.

It's easy enough to work around: open a terminal and type "sudo passwd root" Provide your normal password to use sudo. The passwd command will ask you to set a password for root. Enter it, and enter it again when asked to confirm it.

Root now has a separate password. You can switch to another virtual console, or log off and log back on again in the one you're in as root, and proceed to make all the changes you want without being asked annoying questions.

Quote:
Ubuntu makes modifications a bit easier, but still. What right do the initial programmers of any distro have to tell me what I can do and cannot do with my machine? NONE.

They aren't telling you that. They are trying to insure you don't shoot yourself in the foot. You can do anything in Ubuntu you can in any other Linux distro. It's not impossible to make changes. How to do it just isn't as obvious as is is elsewhere.

Quote:
Especially pretending to protect me from myself and some potential errors? Come on... Instead, please provide some good and easy ways to back-up your system or any part of it.

I think it's an author's power trip: like a painter or a novelist can be protective of his/her work, they just want to prevent users from changing too much their own concept of what Linux should be -- or at least make it (very) difficult to change.

Or could it be that these programmers are insecure about their own skills? If anybody else changes anything, do they fear that their Linux system will go "bonk"?
.

Ever done tech support for end users in a commercial setting?

You discover quickly that folks who do make backups and can easily undo changes they made are a small minority of the population Most of them want stuff to Just Work, and have someone they can call if it doesn't.

Ubuntu is a product of Canonical, Inc., which is attempting to play in the same space as people like Red Hat - making money by selling support contracts to businesses that adopt the software. This makes them fussier than average about what goes into a distro, as they will be expected to support it and answer questions about it.

They are also doing their best to create a desktop distro that will install and Just Work for the sort of user I mentioned. They err on the side of caution, because there are things you can do on any system that will make it go "bonk", and they try to minimize the likelihood of it happening.

If they hold your hand more than you like, don't use Ubuntu. You aren't really the user they are targeting.
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nooby

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PostPosted: Sat 27 Mar 2010, 18:09    Post_subject:  

ok I try, I start a new thread about it
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musher0


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PostPosted: Sat 27 Mar 2010, 23:05    Post_subject:  

Pizzasgood wrote:


musher0 wrote:
RetroTechGuy said:
> [...] What does Puppy provide, that Ubuntu doesn't? [...]

I'll answer a bit out of context.

To my knowledge, Puppy is the only distro that respects my ownership of my machine. I spent some good money to buy this computer, and lots and lots of time configuring it, and my Puppy.

That would have been impossible to such an extent on other distros, since they keep asking for permission ("sudo" or whatever).

What are you talking about? With the exception of Ubuntu and it's spawn, you can just log in as root. That is one single time that you have to authenticate yourself. Then you can do whatever the flip you want. Nobody forces you to be a limited user. They just recommend it. And nothing stops you from removing that login prompt either. The "autologinroot" program that Puppy uses is five lines long, and only one of those lines even does anything:
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=5991
Code:
/*BK auto login */

int main() {
 execlp("login","login","-f","root",0);
}




Sorry if I got your goat, such was not my intention. I was just trying to point our a common shortcoming and / or attitude that prevents Linux from being more widely used.

First time I heard of your info. Not that I doubt your word, but please provide references outside Puppy that detail this. I suppose you could not explain more here in this thread / context.

> Nobody forces you to be a limited user.

Well, if the info is NOT readily available, even if it exists, the result is the same: I am forced to log in as a "limited" user.

You may have theoretically the most useful program, and the programmer may be a genius in software logic, but if the program does not have docs in simple English (same goes for any other human language), that program will be useless for the average user.

Same thing here. If the docs are not easily available, or if fragments of it are scattered all over the internet, it's the same as if the feature did not exist.

The only exception I know is GoblinX: after the live CD has booted, you are presented with a colored console menu where the first-run codename and password are right in your face. Now that's what I call respect of the user.

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musher0


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PostPosted: Sat 27 Mar 2010, 23:28    Post_subject:  

@DMcCunney

My reply and apologies to Pizzasgood apply here to your intervention too, I suppose.

No, I haven't done support in a commercial setting, but at some point I was a member of a co-op of translators that offered a level of computer support for word-processing / editing programs, and some general "file-saving" support. (I'm not kidding, that's where some of our people -- who were otherwise human language wizards -- were at computer-wise...) So, I agree with you that most users "just want it to work", and expect some magic to occur or be performed even if they do a blatant error.

I'm all for caution too, so people don't shoot themselves in the foot, as you put it.

However, there's an enormous difference between taking steps to ensure caution and making info extra difficult to find to those who want to go beyond -- to create a distro focused on human language editing, for example (or whatever subject). That would be of medium difficulty in Puppy, and very difficult in another distro, as far as I can tell.

As I mentioned above, if the necessary info to change / adapt a distro is extra difficult to find, the result is the same: that particular distro is changeable only by a small in-group of initiates.

In my opinion, Linux won't go far if such an attitude is prevalent among distro developers.

Luckily, there's Puppy!

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RetroTechGuy


Joined: 15 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Sun 28 Mar 2010, 01:17    Post_subject:  

Pizzasgood wrote:
RetroTechGuy wrote:
Note also that making a "multi-user" machine isn't hard, with Puppy (I emphasize machine, as most don't care if it's an multi-user OS). Just copy your boilerplate pupsave over to a new username, and they then have their own system. Yeah, so you'll have to spend a few seconds performing a reboot to change users. Puppy is small enough that there isn't a real reason to leave it running when not in use, so the most likely scenario is that the user comes to the machine in the "off" state, and boots normally. Otherwise the 1st user will have to shut down, and the second reboot. No big deal.

There is a humongous difference, that has nothing to do with rebooting. Permissions. If your reason for having other users is to keep those other users from breaking your system (perhaps because they simply don't know what they're doing), then multiple save files is not good enough. There is nothing to stop them from deleting the other save files, or repartitioning the harddrive, etc.


If this is truly the concern, then you need to deny those users physical access to the machine. Anyone who has access to the hardware can crack it or break it. They could pour a Coke into the system, hit it with a hammer, or use a blow torch on it.

At some point you need to give the user some credit (or perhaps training...or perhaps a good, solid thrashing.).

And in the case of my machine, I am the only user. So those permissions, allowing me to protect me from myself, become moot.

Of course, those disasters you describe, repartitioning, pupsave file deletion, etc., are reasons for making sure that you have good backups. Or simply leave the machine with no HDD, and make each user provide his own USB thumb drive. Then they can only harm themselves.

BTW, the permissions under Linux are not all that stellar. I started on old VAX/VMS systems, some 30 years ago -- as that system matured, you had real permission control (of files, folder, etc). Linux file permissions are quite clunky by comparison.
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DMcCunney

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PostPosted: Sun 28 Mar 2010, 10:55    Post_subject:  

musher0 wrote:

However, there's an enormous difference between taking steps to ensure caution and making info extra difficult to find to those who want to go beyond -- to create a distro focused on human language editing, for example (or whatever subject). That would be of medium difficulty in Puppy, and very difficult in another distro, as far as I can tell.

I haven't looked, but I don't believe it's that difficult. Miost Linux distros seem to have foreign language editions, and one of the things Linux has been trying to do over the years is make support for other languages easier, by separating out the places where text to be displayed to the user is stored and making it easy to change the text to a different language.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internationalization_and_localization for an overview.

Quote:
As I mentioned above, if the necessary info to change / adapt a distro is extra difficult to find, the result is the same: that particular distro is changeable only by a small in-group of initiates.

It's not all that difficult to find for Ubuntu. However, I didn't need to. I did what I mentioned earlier: created a separate password for root, which allowed me to log on as root to do admin stuff. I knew to do this because I've used (and administered) Unix and Linux. If I didn't know to do that, a distro that tried to keep me from shooting myself in the foot would probably be a good idea.

Quote:
In my opinion, Linux won't go far if such an attitude is prevalent among distro developers.

Luckily, there's Puppy!

It's not prevalent. Ubuntu is on the far end of "Err on the side of caution", because they want to be the defacto standard desktop distribution. They want to create a distro the average Windows user can install and run and have things "Just Work", requiring as little knowledge about the system as possible to do it. It does that rather well.

Most distros require the user to answer various questions as part of the setup process, and the user may not understand the question, let alone know the answer.

I believe there are over a thousand Linux distros now, each based on a particular vision of what a Linux distro ought to be, and one of the underlying assumptions will be "Who is the user?"

I think of this the way I think about automobiles. You can own and drive a car without understanding the principles of operation of the four stroke internal combustion engine, or being a mechanic. You just have to know how to drive.

Ubuntu is a bit like the car you buy from the dealer, and drive off the lot. Puppy is like the hot rod you build yourself. The results can be splendid, but you have to understand something about how the system works and be a mechanic (or willing to learn) to install it and get it as you wish.

Most users out there who might be well served by Linux aren't mechanics, and don't want to be. For them, something like Ubuntu is a good choice.

Puppy is wonderful if you have older, lower end hardware and you want a version of Linux that will run acceptably, and you are willing to come up a learning curve about Linux in general and Puppy in particular. If both of those statements don't apply to you, Puppy is probably the wrong distro to run.
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DMcCunney

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PostPosted: Sun 28 Mar 2010, 11:04    Post_subject:  

RetroTechGuy wrote:

BTW, the permissions under Linux are not all that stellar. I started on old VAX/VMS systems, some 30 years ago -- as that system matured, you had real permission control (of files, folder, etc). Linux file permissions are quite clunky by comparison.

I logged time on VMS (and RSTS-E and RSX-11M+, for that matter.)

The permissions model in Linux is inherited fron Unix, and it's worked well enough for may years. Each file has an owner, and the owner of part of a group. Permissions can granted or denied for read, write, and execute access for the owner, the group the owner is part of, and the rest of the world.

If you need finer grained control, it's possible, depending upon which distro you run. Some support POSIX Access Control Lists as well as standard *nix permissions masks.

See http://www.suse.de/~agruen/acl/linux-acls/online/ for an overview.
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Colonel Panic


Joined: 16 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Sun 28 Mar 2010, 15:00    Post_subject:  

DMcCunney wrote:
musher0 wrote:

However, there's an enormous difference between taking steps to ensure caution and making info extra difficult to find to those who want to go beyond -- to create a distro focused on human language editing, for example (or whatever subject). That would be of medium difficulty in Puppy, and very difficult in another distro, as far as I can tell.

I haven't looked, but I don't believe it's that difficult. Miost Linux distros seem to have foreign language editions, and one of the things Linux has been trying to do over the years is make support for other languages easier, by separating out the places where text to be displayed to the user is stored and making it easy to change the text to a different language.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internationalization_and_localization for an overview.

Quote:
As I mentioned above, if the necessary info to change / adapt a distro is extra difficult to find, the result is the same: that particular distro is changeable only by a small in-group of initiates.

It's not all that difficult to find for Ubuntu. However, I didn't need to. I did what I mentioned earlier: created a separate password for root, which allowed me to log on as root to do admin stuff. I knew to do this because I've used (and administered) Unix and Linux. If I didn't know to do that, a distro that tried to keep me from shooting myself in the foot would probably be a good idea.

Quote:
In my opinion, Linux won't go far if such an attitude is prevalent among distro developers.

Luckily, there's Puppy!

It's not prevalent. Ubuntu is on the far end of "Err on the side of caution", because they want to be the defacto standard desktop distribution. They want to create a distro the average Windows user can install and run and have things "Just Work", requiring as little knowledge about the system as possible to do it. It does that rather well.

Most distros require the user to answer various questions as part of the setup process, and the user may not understand the question, let alone know the answer.

I believe there are over a thousand Linux distros now, each based on a particular vision of what a Linux distro ought to be, and one of the underlying assumptions will be "Who is the user?"

I think of this the way I think about automobiles. You can own and drive a car without understanding the principles of operation of the four stroke internal combustion engine, or being a mechanic. You just have to know how to drive.

Ubuntu is a bit like the car you buy from the dealer, and drive off the lot. Puppy is like the hot rod you build yourself. The results can be splendid, but you have to understand something about how the system works and be a mechanic (or willing to learn) to install it and get it as you wish.

Most users out there who might be well served by Linux aren't mechanics, and don't want to be. For them, something like Ubuntu is a good choice.

Puppy is wonderful if you have older, lower end hardware and you want a version of Linux that will run acceptably, and you are willing to come up a learning curve about Linux in general and Puppy in particular. If both of those statements don't apply to you, Puppy is probably the wrong distro to run.
______
Dennis


Just my 2c here. I think Puppy's about halfway between Ubuntu and a real geek distro such as Arch, Slackware or Gentoo in this regard. There are easier distros to set up and configure than Puppy is, but there are also harder ones; in one I tried you had to set up Xorg completely manually and if you got one question wrong - no X Windows. And as for configuring dialup - forget it.

I can load a new Puppy CD and be up and running (and browsing the Web) well inside 10 minutes, which is all the hand holding I need.

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DMcCunney

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PostPosted: Sun 28 Mar 2010, 15:28    Post_subject:  

Colonel Panic wrote:
Just my 2c here. I think Puppy's about halfway between Ubuntu and a real geek distro such as Arch, Slackware or Gentoo in this regard. There are easier distros to set up and configure than Puppy is, but there are also harder ones; in one I tried you had to set up Xorg completely manually and if you got one question wrong - no X Windows. And as for configuring dialup, forget it.

I can load a new Puppy CD and be up and running (and browsing the Web) well inside 10 minutes, which is all the hand holding I need.

Yep. Linux spans a wide spectrum in what the distro expects the user to know. Puppy is far from the hardest, but does require some knowledge to set up, and more to get configured and running the way you like it. Chances are good there's a Puplet that is substantially what you want. but you likely don't discover puplets till after you have Puupy up and running.

You can do it with a new Puppy CD in en minutes because you already have some knowledge. Some folks aren't in that position, and need that hand holding.

Unfortunately, I've seen a fair amount of what I can only call geek snobbery over the years about people who need the hand-holding, for whom a distro like Ubuntu is an appropriate fit. "I look down my nose at you from my lofty superior position and laugh at your pathetic attempts to use a real OS!" It just shows how selective memory can be. They obviously don't remember the days when they were new to Linux and relying on others to answer questions till they attained the knowledge to do things themselves.

The first computer I used was an IBM mainframe at a bank, and I still recall being lost at sea in the early days. (I learned enough to become tech support for my area of the bank.) So I do my best to answer questions when I know the answer, try to provide context and background to make the answer more comprehensible, and don't look down on the user asking the questions.

Nor do I engage in distro slagging. The nice thing about Linux is the wide variety of distros, each with a vision of what it is trying to be and what purpose it serves. The question isn't which is "best", period (there's no such thing) - it's "Which best meets your needs?". The better you can define your needs and what you want to do with the machine, the easier that question will be to answer.
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Colonel Panic


Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 1521

PostPosted: Sun 28 Mar 2010, 20:14    Post_subject:  

I think you're right Dennis, there isn't a perfect distro for everyone.

Of the three I mentioned, Arch at least has a very good name but it's certainly not a beginner's distro. I've tried and failed several times to install it, but partly for technical reasons; the CD never finishes booting up on my machine. Crux is another one I like the look of although it's also not elementary; their "ports" system is a bit like FreeBSD's..

If your computer's connected to a network, Puppy's Internet setup is easier than that of any other distro I've seen; it detects the card, loads the driver and saves the configuration in about three clicks. Dialup's not quite so straightforward to set up in Puppy but at least it still actively supports it; one of the few remaining distros which does.

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Stone Pentium IV (2.4 GHz), 2 GB of RAM, 160 GB hard drive running PuppEX 14.1, New Year's Pup 02, Puppy 4.31 Workhorse, Puppy X-Precise 2.4, Puppy Carolina 1.2, Puppy Legacy OS2 LTS, Puppy Diamond 528_512 (full) and Puppy Upup Raring 3.9.9.2.
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DMcCunney

Joined: 02 Feb 2009
Posts: 897

PostPosted: Sun 28 Mar 2010, 21:58    Post_subject:  

Colonel Panic wrote:

I think you're right Dennis, there isn't a perfect distro for everyone.

No, but there's probably a perfect distro for anyone. The trick is finding it.

Quote:
If your computer's connected to a network, Puppy's Internet setup is easier than that of any other distro I've seen; it detects the card, loads the driver and saves the configuration in about three clicks. Dialup's not quite so straightforward to set up in Puppy but at least it still actively supports it; one of the few remaining distros which does.

Ubuntu is even easier in some cases. Installed here, it detected my ethernet connection, installed a driver, set itself up, and I was on line and ready to download more of it. There was no action required on my part during that process.

This was installing from the MinimalCD, which creates a bare-bones command line Linux installation without X or a window manager. From there I could use apt-get to get Xfce4 (my preferred window manager), which brought X with it automatically as a dependency. I could then get the Synaptic GUI package manager and grab the rest of the stuff I wanted for the Ubuntu installation. The result was a system that was usable on the Puppy box, unlike Xubuntu which had been far too sluggish. Puppy is sprightlier, but Ubuntu isn't actively painful.

Ubuntu did fall down attempting to create a wireless connection, but so does Puppy: I run WPA2 on my router, and neither distro can automatically connect. (I have yet to get Puppy to do so, but since I normally connect via ethernet to the router with a CAT5 cable, it hasn't been a pressing issue.)

Puppy isn't bad, and connects with no trouble to unsecured wireless networks, so it's usable while traveling.
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Dennis
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