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What is Linux?
The Origins Of Linux
Started by Linus Torvalds in 1991 Caught on in hacker community Exploding in popularity today
Linux is Unix
Designed from scratch to be multi-user and multi-tasking Very mature design Thousands of applications
Linux is Open-Source
The source code is public Supported by thousands Widely available
Why Use Linux?
Linux Is Robust And Stable
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Linux Presentation Outline
Linux has fewer bugs (than anyone)
Linux Is Powerful
Linux is high-performance Linux will network with almost anything The X Factor
Linux Is Flexible
Customizable hardware support Totally customizeable software Linux runs on multiple platforms
Linux Is Well-Supported
Best tech support anywhere
Linux Is Stunningly Inexpensive
No license fees! Powerful software bundled with the system
Linux can be picky about PC hardware Limited support for proprietary formats Linux requires a paradigm shift
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Linux Presentation Outline
Last updated Sunday, May 9th, at 10:30pm
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The Origins Of Linux Linus Torvalds Started Linux G Linus started writing Linux as a hobby project in 1991 Followed the design of Unix Released as open-source G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-1/sec1-1-1.html [08\23\2002 4:46:54 PM] .
html [08\23\2002 4:46:55 PM] .The Origins Of Linux Linux Caught On In The Hacker Community G Linux attracted developers quickly Became useful quickly Grew steadily for years G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-1/sec1-1-2.
The Origins Of Linux Linux Popularity Is Exploding Today G Linux has about 10 million users today Used by companies large and small Drawing increasing attention from technology community User base is increasing dramatically .up 212% for 1998 Linux usage is expected to increase by at least 25% compounded annually for the next four years. G G G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-1/sec1-1-3.html [08\23\2002 4:46:55 PM] .
html [08\23\2002 4:46:55 PM] .Linux is Unix Designed from scratch to be multi-user and multi-tasking G You can run multiple apps without hampering stability Multiple simultaneous users are no problem You can run apps on one machine and display on another G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-2/sec1-2-1.
the OS of the Internet Solid security Doesn't crash .runs for years G G G G G G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-2/sec1-2-2.Linux is Unix Very mature design G Sane handling of DLL's Better memory management than Win 98 or NT Advanced filesystem Remote administration Reboot only for some kernel or hardware upgrades Great networking .html [08\23\2002 4:46:55 PM] .
html [08\23\2002 4:46:56 PM] .Linux is Unix Linux Has Thousands Of Unix Applications Available G Most Unix applications are portable between Unix brands Most Unix applications are open-source Commercial applications (including games) are available for Linux. too G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-2/sec1-2-3.
Linux is Open It's Open-Source G The source code must always be available If you modify the source code.org/ for details G G G G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-3/sec1-3-1.html [08\23\2002 4:46:56 PM] . you must make your changes available Just because you develop on Linux does not mean you have to make your programs free Plenty of commercial applications are available (StarOffice.) You can (and many many do) run your business on Linux Check out http://www. etc. WordPerfect. Oracle.opensource. Informix.
html [08\23\2002 4:46:56 PM] .Development Community Linux is a (large) group effort G Thousands of developers all over the world collaborate on Linux development Anyone can contribute Linus Torvalds. supervises G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-3/sec1-3-2.Linux is Open-Source . the original author.
Linux is Open-Source .html [08\23\2002 4:46:57 PM] .Widely Available Linux Is Available For (Nearly) Free! G Many organizations assemble "distributions" of the Linux kernel and other applications You can download distributions for free You can buy Linux distributions on CD You can pay for value-added items like commercial software G G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-3/sec1-3-3.
Advantages of Linux .html [08\23\2002 4:47:19 PM] . G G G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-1/sec2-1-1.Fewer Bugs Linux kernel and applications are solid G People write Linux code because they want or need it People write Linux code for fun and recognition Other people can and do read. critique and fix Bugs are fixed quickly Linux is demonstrably stable and nearly bug-free.
html [08\23\2002 4:47:19 PM] .High Performance Unix philosophy is first stable.Advantages of Linux . then fast G Linux takes advantage of decades of Unix design work Linux makes even low-end hardware useful Benchmarks show Linux to be very fast G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-2/sec2-2-1.
MUD. FTP servers.Networking Linux Is A Promiscuous Networker G Linux talks with Windows Linux talks with Macintosh Linux talks with Novell IP Masquerading Web servers. and much more! G G G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-2/sec2-2-2. mail servers.Advantages of Linux . IRC.html [08\23\2002 4:47:19 PM] .
The X Factor Linux Is A Hacker's Dream G Gain experience with low-level programming Unusual types of networking High-end parallel processing Software RAID Emulation software G G G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-2/sec2-2-3.Advantages of Linux .html [08\23\2002 4:47:20 PM] .
work around hardware bugs or deficiencies Improve hardware performance .use only what you need when you need it Run without normal hardware like a keyboard or mouse.Customizing Hardware Make Your Hardware Do What You Want G Correct hardware performance .use all of its potential Dynamically change hardware support .html [08\23\2002 4:47:20 PM] . or even a disk drive G G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-3/sec2-3-1.Advantages of Linux .
do it yourself! G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-3/sec2-3-2.Advantages of Linux .Customization Very Customizeable Software G Most software is highly configurable Everything is scriptable When all else fails.html [08\23\2002 4:47:20 PM] .
PCI.Multiplatform There are many. and MCA (and Merced) Alpha (Linux is 64-bit now) Motorola 68030+ Power PC ARM SPARC MIPS SGI (in progress) VAX (in progress) PalmPilot (in progress) 8086-80286 (in progress) And more! G G G G G G G G G G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-3/sec2-3-3.Advantages of Linux . VLB.html [08\23\2002 4:47:21 PM] . many Linux ports: G Intel 386+ (of course) with support for ISA. EISA.
IRC.Tech Support Best tech support anywhere G Lots of documentation Enthusiastic volunteers on E-mail. Usenet.html [08\23\2002 4:47:21 PM] . etc.Advantages of Linux . Support directly from the code authors Commercial support available too InfoWorld Best Tech Support of '97 G G G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-4/sec2-4-1.
Inexpensive Most Linux Software Has No License Fees! G Install on as many computers as you like with one CD Support as many users as you need Sharing with others is encouraged G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-5/sec2-5-1.Advantages of Linux .html [08\23\2002 4:47:21 PM] .
games.html [08\23\2002 4:47:22 PM] .Inexpensive Hundreds Of Applications Bundled For Free G Every network application you could want More compilers than you can shake a stick at Spreadsheets.Advantages of Linux . and more! G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-5/sec2-5-2. databases. scientific simulation and visualization.
Less PC Hardware Support Some oddball or proprietary hardware has limited support G Winmodems. and so on Almost always alternatives available G G G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/3-1/sec3-1-1. Winprinters not supported UDMA/33 under development ISA Plug and Play can be complicated (PCI is fine) Some video cards.Disadvantages of Linux . SCSI cards.html [08\23\2002 4:47:22 PM] .
Office '97 support took a while No Internet Explorer.Disadvantages of Linux .Proprietary Formats Proprietary protocols and formats are difficult to support G No AOL client.. or MSN. or Compuserve. or..html [08\23\2002 4:47:22 PM] . most use Netscape G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/3-2/sec3-2-1.
..but you will be more productive G G G file:///D|/Linux Presentation/3-3/sec3-3-1.html [08\23\2002 4:47:23 PM] ..Disadvantages of Linux .Paradigm Shift Linux represents a different philosophy from Windows or even Mac G There is a learning curve .but there are ways to ease the journey You have to look under the hood a bit ..
redhat. an MDLUG member!) Linux Systems Labs.com/. Infomagic. Each bullet point is a link to a page with explanations.mdlug. C-NET has recently set up an introductory site on Linux at http://home.com/~sorceror/mdlug/preso.0-3721-7-279437.html.cheapbytes.debian.csustan.cdrom. Linux users from around the world offer to mail you their Linux CDs if you pay for the postage.edu/LDP/ has huge amounts of information on all things Linux.linuxcentral. The Linux Myth Dispeller at http://www. One page to visit is the Linux INFO-SHEET at http://sunsite.geocities.KenAndTed.com/KensBookmark/linux/index. and http://www. which contains a thorough summary of Linux's features.com/.com/SiliconValley/Hills/9267/fud2. at http://www.com/category/topic/0.tir.00.html address common myths and misconceptions about Linux.org/.Resources More Linux Resources This Presentation The full text of this presentation (along with all of these links) is available online at http://www. at http://www.edu/. CheapBytes.html (1 of 2) [08\23\2002 4:47:39 PM] . (Operated by Brad Glonka. Walnut Creek CDROM. http://www.com. Other sites to visit include http://www.com/.10000. Linux for Free The Linux Giveaway List is at http://visar. The Metro Detroit Linux Users Group's home page is at http://www. http://www.lsl. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/resources. at http://www. at http://www. at http://www. A partial list of businesses that sell Linux materials: G G G G G Linux Central.linux.org/.html. more detail.unc.org/. but it's nearly free.com/ Linux Documentation & Information The Linux Documentation Project at http://sunsite.linuxresources. and links to further information.cnet.com/.com/.html and the Linux Anti-FUD FAQ at http://www. You don't usually get the most recent stuff that way.unc.edu/LDP/HOWTO/INFO-SHEET.infomagic.html.
org/ is an oft-cited paper by a Microsoft Certified Engineer comparing Linux and Windows NT.cs.com/Editorial/1998/CoverStory9807. http://www.ucdavis.html file:///D|/Linux Presentation/resources.chem.html (2 of 2) [08\23\2002 4:47:39 PM] . http://www.Resources Some helpful tips on installation can be found at http://heather.html is an article from LinuxFocus magazine comparing Windows to Linux.edu/~angel/LinuxFocus/English/May1998/article16.isdmag.html is a website made from a presentation on why a university switched from NT to Linux.edu/~matloff/linux.unl.unix-vs-nt.pitt.html. Unix / Windows NT Comparisons G G G G http://citv. http://mercury.edu/linux/LinuxPresentation.
He played with a special educational operating system called Minix that was a small version of Unix. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-1/linus. too. look here. including a restrictive license that he felt stifled improvement. But it.The Origins Of Linux Begun By Linus Torvalds In 1991 In 1991.html [08\23\2002 4:47:54 PM] . he decided to write a new operating system that would take better advantage of his hardware. His stated goal at the time was to "write a better Minix than Minix". For more information on Linus Torvalds. a Finnish computer science student acquired a 386 PC and decided to study operating systems programming with it. After a while. had limitations. He was dissatisfied with the DOS that came with the system and wished for a better alternative.
Since the basic design was widely documented and used. and his own familiarity with the system.html [08\23\2002 4:47:54 PM] .The Origins Of Linux Linus Decided To Follow The Design Of Unix Because of the long history of Unix. This was (and is) a set of programs written for Unix-like operating systems that was freely available with source code. This was. Once the operating system was even marginally functional. both to test the system with and to make use of the system once tested. he had plenty of information to work with. the wide variety of software available for it. Linus decided to write a version of Unix. the elegance of its basic design. a tremendous help in gaining acceptance for Linux early on. he had unitilities and applications available. of course. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-1/design. The existence of the GNU Project helped out a great deal.
could try it out for themselves. This meant that anyone who wanted a new feature for Linux.html [08\23\2002 4:47:55 PM] . which meant that anyone could use and improve linux however they liked. because as Linux became more useful. This led to a snowballing effect. or work by themselves. it became more useful.The Origins Of Linux Linux Was Open From The Start In order to encourage the wide dissmination of Linux. or had an idea for a possible improvement. or organize a project. as long as they made their contributions available to the rest of the world. and as it became more interesting to new programmers. Linus released the code under the GNU Public License. and in the spirit of cooperation and community that characterizes most computer programmers. They could request help. so long as they made their changes or developments available. it also became more interesting to new programmers. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-1/startopen.
New ideas. a remarkably cohesive and organized structure has emerged. and cooperative spirit. Linus got the final say about what was "officially" part of the Linux kernel and what wasn't. and performance. there were over a thousand. and twists on successful old ideas. unusual sophistication. communicating almost entirely through the Internet. there were around 100 developers working on Linux. were added by people who had interests in specific areas. from the work of thousands of developers spread all over the world. Somehow. developers found themselves enjoying working on Linux just for the fun of it. Developers who wanted powerful home networks added networking code. and so forth. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-1/developers. By tradition. It's been generally agreed that his guidance has been outstanding for sheperding the project. lots of experimental development was done on Linux. Those with experience in memory management worked on virtual memory. Because of its open nature. familiarity. code sharing. By the end of the second year.The Origins Of Linux Linux Attracted Developers Quickly By the end of the first year of development. Because of Linux's flexibility.html [08\23\2002 4:48:11 PM] .
html [08\23\2002 4:48:12 PM] . Linux quickly became a very useful tool for general computing. and someone (often the person who'd asked the question) went ahead and implemented the needed feature.. Unix applications were easily ported to the new variant.. developers became more ambitious. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-1/useful. "Wouldn't it be nice if Linux did. and people began using Linux for more than toy experiments.The Origins Of Linux Linux Became Useful Quickly Aside from an enjoyable way to experiment with operating system programming." was a common question. As it became more useful.
file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-1/steady. making sure that driver information was avialable for hardware and specifications were available for software. ensuring that newcomers would be able to find the information they needed to get the most out of the platform. Engineers who wanted to quickly test a piece of hardware or students who couldn't afford commercial software were able to adopt Linux for their needs. and maintain. People began putting together "distributions" of the Linux kernel bundled with useful applications and utilities. Attention was paid to making Linux easier to install.The Origins Of Linux Linux Kept Growing Linux use grew steadily.html [08\23\2002 4:48:12 PM] . Linux has at least doubled its user base every year of its existence. The Linux Documentation Project was begun. And commercial companies began paying more attention to Linux. Since 1994 the growth has been particularly impressive. use.
and voluntary registration are necessarily incomplete. When a single CD can be used to install hundreds of copies of Linux. Also check out this article in InfoWorld. For more information. it's hard to tell just how many Linux users there are. visit the Linux Counter Home Page. and that number appears to be doubling every twelve months. but they support a figure of between 7 and 15 million Linux users worldwide. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-1/millions. Linux is the only non-Microsoft OS that is gaining market share. when people can download a distribution over the Internet and install it. it's just about impossible to keep an accurate count. CD sales. Estimates based on website reports.html [08\23\2002 4:48:22 PM] .The Origins Of Linux Linux Has Millions Of Users Because Linux is open-source.
As a reporter for Inter@ctive Week noted. Adaptec. (May 11 1998) "I talked to the chief financial officer at a bank in New York. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-1/companies. Salon magazine proudly announces that its new site is powered by Linux. Diamond Multimedia. and many other hardware vendors officially support Linux and many provide the drivers for their hardware." In this announcement. You may use Linux at work for print or file services. and other organizations large and small..html [08\23\2002 4:48:22 PM] . Boeing. or for your Intranet or Internet website. Then I talked to the IS staff. and not even know it. and he said they weren't using Linux. and they said they had 100 servers running Linux.The Origins Of Linux Linux Is Used By Many Businesses Linux is known to be used at Corel.. NASA.
along with commentary by readers. Even Microsoft is taking official notice. Nick Petreley. as this white paper shows. Linux is even having a noticeable impact on Microsoft. which offers a roundup of Linux articles in the press from around the world. a columnist for InfoWorld. Info World. To see the kind of buzz that Linux is generating. LAN Times. The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times (as well as our own Detroit News and Free Press) have run articles discussing Linux. at least according to this story in the Sunday Times (London). has an article discussing this attention. PC Week. A quick search at any internet search engine for "Linux" and related topics will give you an idea of the enormous and growing popularity of this system. take a look at the Linux Weekly News.The Origins Of Linux Linux Is Drawing The Attention Of The Tech Community Trade magazines such as EE Times.html [08\23\2002 4:48:23 PM] . and many more seldom have an issue without a mention of Linux these days. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-1/attention.
please see the 1998 Linux timeline at the Linux Weekly News. Please see the report for yourself.. It's worth noting that. period. making it the fastest-growing operating system. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-1/growing. Linux and Windows are far closer. overall Windows usage dwarfs Linux usage by a large margin (perhaps 100 to one or more). For some information on the recent history of Linux.The Origins Of Linux Linux Usage Is Exploding Today International Data Corporation. has noted that Linux usage increased by 212% in 1998. currently.html [08\23\2002 4:48:23 PM] . Another report has Linux use increasing by 25% each year for the next four years. However. where Microsoft's Windows NT / "Windows 2000" competes. It's also worth noting the reasons cited for NT's growth. which does annual surveys of operating system usage among their many other statistical services. in the high-end market..
The Windows family of operating systems implement this type of protection imperfectly. If an application does try to access memory it doesn't own. all programs under Linux are preemptively multitasked. This leads to smoother performance and better load balancing. This means that the OS handles all scheduling of processes (and kernel threads).What Is Linux? . This often leads to undesired interations. it is immediately halted by the operating system. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-2/multiapp. which can impair the stability of the system.Linux is Unix True.html [08\23\2002 4:48:29 PM] . Even Windows NT. and deliberately allows some ability to tamper with the kernel. does not by default enforce as strict a separation between processes. stable multitasking All applications in Linux run in their own private memory space. the most protected Microsoft operating system. without disturbing any other process on the system. No application can hog the resources of the system unless the system administrator specifically defines it as high-priority. This means that a poorly-written application cannot tamper with the memory of another application (or the kernel). In addition.
Unix applications are written from scratch with the idea that multiple people will be using them. In Linux. Each user has their own individual preference files that allow them to cusomize their use of the system without affecting others.What Is Linux? . Because of the nature of the Linux GUIs (see the next detail) these users don't all have to be in front of the machine to fully use it. while another might want to read and send text-only.Linux is Unix Multiple simultaneous users Unix was designed with the notion that multiple people would be sharing use of the system at the same time. and each may have entirely different preferences.html [08\23\2002 4:48:29 PM] . One user of a mail-reader might prefer to read and send in full HTML. Several people can log into a Linux machine and each of them can run whatever programs they like. even if each of them is running the mail-reader at the same time! file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-2/multiuser. they both can have their way.
Hyperterminal. okay. Programs don't have to be designed to run remotely. and requires careful setup. but just about everything else. command-line tools just as if you were at the command line of the remote machine.) In the Windows world. because the applications were never intended to run in such a manner. but even a serial connection will work. (Well. see files. and so on just as if they were directly in front of machine 2.Linux is Unix Remote operation Because of the fundamental design of Unix. This is extremely useful for remote administration.html [08\23\2002 4:48:30 PM] .What Is Linux? . you can't swap hardware. and run programs. or one of the many terminal programs for Linux) you can log in remotely and run non-graphical. you probably want to use a high-speed network like Ethernet. Each of these has limitations and applications that don't work with this model. Also. Most Linux users use the X Window system. If you're a webmaster and your webserver is having problems. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-2/remote. At least one X program is free. For graphical applications. Procomm Plus. so even Windows boxes on the same network can run Linux programs.g. A user on machine1 can fire up X-Windows and connect to machine2. even if machine1 is in California and machine2 is in Switzerland. you don't have to go in to work. which is designed to transparently export graphics over a network. they just do. these capabilities are imperfectly emulated with things like PC Anywhere or WinFrame. Windows often needs a reboot for even some trivial changes to take effect. Note that there are X systems available that run under Windows. It takes extra effort to write a program that can only be used on one machine. every application can be run on one machine and display its interface on another machine. which is in sharp contrast to Linux (see rebooting). you can dial in to the server from home and do everything that you could do if you were in front of the machine. Even if all you have is a terminal emulator (e.
There are third-party applications that help to deal with this problem. too (in Unix terms they are called "shared objects").html [08\23\2002 4:48:35 PM] .dll". other applications can reuse the same code. The idea is that. Linux uses DLLs. Linux automatically links version 2 of "frog. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-2/dll.dll". and automatically links it in. it opens "frog. The application does not need to contain the code itself. This happens even if app1 and app2 are running at the same time. Linux (among other operating systems) does not have this problem. but they don't allow you to run applications that require conflicting DLLs at the same time. It might work fine (if you're lucky). Many Windows users have installed an application (even one written by Microsoft) and had it break other programs that were working fine. when an application is starting up. When you install application1. It might immediately crash. it installs version 1 of "frog. and different people (even different companies) can provide components that other people can link to and use. leading to unpredictable results. Linux notes that it needs version 1 of "frog. The problem with this in Windows is that there is no version control on DLLs. The new version overwrites the old version.What Is Linux? . and can be subject to the same problems. It might look like it's working but really be slowly corrupting your data.dll" and finds something other than version 1. The next time you start app1. or even render the machine unbootable.Linux is Unix Sane Handling Of DLL's Windows allows the use of DLLs (Dynamic Link Libraries) to modularize applications and reuse code. requiring a full reinstall of Windows.so". which uses version 2 of "frog. the operating system uses the same DLLs.so". This has several theoretical advantages. Then you install app2. it locates the DLL and calls functions inside it. but the OS keeps track of the versions. Even worse. When you run app1. When you run app2.
html [08\23\2002 4:48:36 PM] . not entire processes. and all the programs read the same block. as well. This speeds access to the disk so long as there is unused memory. Demand-loading is very useful. At the same time. then a copy is made for just that program.What Is Linux? . On my 64MB box at home. only portions of programs are swapped out to disk. NT typically takes up about 18MB. this is a major memory saver. When loading things like shared objects. the Linux kernel takes up less than 2MB. which reduces overall RAM requirements significantly. If one program writes to that block. Finally. only one copy is actually in RAM. For example: The Linux kernel itself is much smaller and more efficient than the NT kernel. All other programs still share the same memory. Linux only loads into RAM the portions of a program that are actually being used. This helps to greatly enhance multiprocessing performance. Linux will use every scrap of memory in a system to its full potential. any RAM not being used by the kernel or applications is automatically used as a disk cache. when swapping is necessary. That means 16MB of extra memory can be used by applications instead of just holding the OS. Linux uses a copy-on-write scheme. If two or more programs are using the same block of memory.Linux is Unix Memory Management Linux is oustanding in the area of memory management. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-2/memory. On my 64MB box at work.
OS/2's HPFS. or eventually the disk becomes unusable. The operating system notices when programs make errors writing to the disk and automatically prevents them. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-2/ext2. which could be 64K or more) and quickly leads to disk fragmentation.High Performance Linux Supports An Advanced Filesystem The DOS/Windows FAT file system was designed in the days of 320K floppy disks. Even if the power fails or you accidentally switch off the system before shutting down. though one is available. Although I have heard of people losing data this way. I went and added a UPS and now I don't have to worry about it. is that you shouldn't just shut the power off on the computer.. optimizes for speed on reading and writing. if you can call it that. which uses disk space much more efficiently. Even worse. Linux normally uses its own high-performance filesystem. About the only disadvantage. This wastes space (even a file that is one byte in size takes up one full chunk. programs don't have to wait for the disk to finish writing data before they can can continue operations. It works by dividing the disk up into chunks of a fixed size. The Linux filesystem literally does not need a defragmenter.) Of course. so there is usually no need to run a disk checker unless you notice a problem. and many others you've never heard of. Because of the automatic disk cacheing that Linux uses. (Of course. or FAT) of which chunks belong to which files. Linux usually can automatically recover the filesystem without problems. and keeping a table (the File Allocation Table. so that any unsaved data can be written out to disk.html [08\23\2002 4:48:36 PM] . Linux can also read and write all FAT variants (from FAT12 to FAT32 and VFAT). my system personally has survived a couple power losses without and data loss. so programs visibly run faster. and has not worn well now that drives commonly hold well over ten thousand times as much data. leading to disk corruption. You're strongly advised to shut down the system first. and filesystem errors can accumulate. and automatically prevents fragmentation. there is no error-checking when the FAT is modified. Most Windows users have learned through experience to run SCANDISK and then DEFRAG once a month to keep these problems under control.Advantages of Linux .. Windows NT's NTFS. perhaps losing important data. Often it can use them faster than their native operating system can.
) file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-2/remoteadm. for extended periods of time. Using kernel modules. even kernel upgrades can be done remotely if you're confident that nothing will go wrong.. (Actually. When you consider that almost every feature of Linux and its applications can be configured without rebooting. Remote maintenance is often not very important to the home user. About the only things that can't be done remotely are hardware updgrades and full kernel upgrades. If the pager goes off in the middle of the night because the file server is full.Linux is Unix Remote Administration Since Unix was designed to run continuously. it's nice to be able to just dial in and take care of it from home instead of having to drive in to work to sit down in front of the machine. As noted before. administration was given a lot of attention. even relatively major upgrades can be done remotely. in mission-critical capacities. essentially all applications can be run remotely from another machine on a network or even over a dialup line.What Is Linux? ..html [08\23\2002 4:48:36 PM] . it's clear why Unix systems are favored by many administrators. Almost any maintenance task can be done remotely on a Unix system. but to a business user of Linux it can be critical. with a minimum of downtime.
a specific application may need to be stopped and restarted. Most services like mail. if you remove hardware you can also remove modules and reclaim the memory those modules were using. there are reports of people swapping internal cards and drives without rebooting.What Is Linux? . In Windows.html [08\23\2002 4:48:37 PM] .Linux is Unix Reboots Are For Upgrades Linux enforces a strict separation between the kernel and other applications. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-2/reboot. but it's possible under Linux. Of course. installing a device driver always requires a reboot. This means that Linux only needs to be rebooted for kernel updates and hardware changes. the Linux kernel is designed to use loadable modules whenever possible. While it is not recommended. (Once installed. At worst. some device drivers can be stopped and restarted. This is in sharp contrast to Windows. (This is a great boon for remote administration. Again. but not the whole system. this is extremely risky. and often not then. If you hook up a CD-ROM drive to your SCSI bus. you can insert a CD-ROM device driver module into the kernel while the kernel is running and immediately begin using the CD drive. web serving and so on are applications. where the swapfile can only increase in size.) For example.) Linux provides the ability to dynamically increase swap space and then reduce it later without a reboot. file and print serving. and never decreases until the next reboot. and can usually be changed dynamically.
Linux provides a wide variety of unique networking methods. Windows is second to Linux in both web and FTP servers. News servers. and most of the high-power networking in the world is done on Unix systems. In fact. Solaris. This includes Apache. perhaps most. In fact.Linux is Unix The OS Of The Internet TCP/IP networking and the Internet was originally developed on Unix systems.7% of the FTP servers in the world. Much of the development of the new IPv6 specification is being done on Linux systems.7% of the news servers. (If you combine Windows 95/98 with Windows NT. ftp servers. IRC servers. the most widely-used webserver on the planet (with over 50% market share). because of both the low cost and the ease of development of the system code. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-2/network. Web servers. a large fraction of all experimental networking. in no small part due the the open source code. Linux has the largest market share for the entire Internet. but dozens of major and minor network services are usually provided when you get Linux. is done on Linux. compute servers.9% of the web servers. file and print servers. 26.What Is Linux? . NIS servers. See The Linux IPv6 Page for further information.html [08\23\2002 4:48:37 PM] . and more are available for free or very little cost. and 33. a Unix variant.) Linux provides not only extremely fast and reliable networking. running 25. time servers. is the number two news server. The OSI++ Counter indicates that about 75% of the web servers on the net are Unix boxes.
So far as anyone has been able to tell. This kind of virus does not use an operating system at all. Linux is a great virus-detector! Preventing remote takeovers and denial-of-service Since viruses are difficult and not terribly impressive in the Linux world. In practical terms. There are two ways to approach this . much more so than Windows 9x. like a SYN flood or a WinNuke."getting root" and "denial-of-service".Linux is Unix Solid Security Viruses are unknown in Linux Linux is a very secure operating system. and copies its own code into the other applications. It's worth it to examine why this is the case. there are three main kind of permission for a file . Linux isn't even running yet. There is one type of virus that can infect a Linux system . Since each application runs in its own protected memory space.a boot-sector virus. And as viruses go. they will try to infect other applications. users in the same group as the owner. And Linux implements a file permission structure that greatly limits the damage that a virus can do. crackers tend to try other means of compromising systems. we have to take a quick look at how viruses work. the cracker tries to get "root" or "superuser" access . In the typical Linux system. this is very few applicaitons. However. it is not possible for a virus to infect another application running in memory. In this sense. write. it's pretty anemic. and "others". To do so. When the newly-infected applications are run. so it can't intercept it. There are three kinds of users this can apply to . At this point. When the boot-sector virus runs. and at least the equal of Windows NT.html (1 of 2) [08\23\2002 4:48:38 PM] . and so as soon the machine is infected with such a virus. In the second. it probably won't boot.What Is Linux? . In Unix systems. The virus then looks for other running applications. no known boot-sector virus is written to work with Linux. thereby infecting them.more or less the same as "Administrator" under Windows NT. exactly one virus has ever been written for Unix platforms. but instead runs using the BIOS. the cracker tries to impair the operation of the computer in some like. A virus spreads when an infected application is run. and so on.read. and none of them are critical to the operation of the system. the virus can only infect the applications that the user has permission to write to. all you need to do is boot from a Linux floppy and erase the virus. Both of these avenues of infection are severely limited or impossible under Linux.the file's owner. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-2/security. when a user runs a program infected with a virus. and execute. In the first case. or for applications on disk.
check out the Linux Security HOWTO. Very few services run with a lot of permissions. to prevent users running too many processes. (Remember.at least. check out this story about an ISP that upgraded to Linux to improve security. This is partly because of its design and partly because of the open-source nature of Linux development. For example. Having the source open is a lot like having thousands of programmers audit the security of the system continuously. or whatever. In the way of a testimonial. Unix has been around for almost 30 years . security bugs are fixed quickly.) And because Linux is open-source. and most of the bugs in those services have been found and removed. it does not affect other processes.performance and security problems have been continuously addressed that entire time.Linux is Unix Linux is less prone to these sorts of attacks than most operating systems. The permissions structure described above means that even if a bug in one process is found.exe" program (which gives any user Administrator access under Windows NT) is not possible . file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-2/security. which limit the amount of space a malicious or mistaken user can take up. Linux also supports limits on other resources.What Is Linux? . which can cause NT to become unstable. Linux supports disk quotas. often within hours. Linux is designed so that the "sechole. For more information. by that method. or opening too many network connections. If you give users write permission to a share under Windows NT. Denial-of-service (DOS) attacks are also more limited under Linux.html (2 of 2) [08\23\2002 4:48:38 PM] . those users can fill up the entire disk if they like.
many Linux users run their systems 24/7 for months on end.Linux is Unix Crashes are extremely rare Since Linux is designed not to require rebooting . but because few users can resist upgrading their hardware for more than a year. not because of crashes.7 days. Uptimes longer than that are rare.html [08\23\2002 4:48:38 PM] . heavily-loaded systems. the Linux kernel was recently modified to allow logging of uptimes beyond 497 days without wraparound. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-2/nocrash. Compare this to the known problem that Windows 95 and Windows 98 cannot run more than 49. it is found and fixed. ever. and is designed to run in demanding environments for long periods of time. When a kernel bug is discovered. Because Linux has fewer bugs than other platforms. Even so. Microsoft admits that Windows NT is only about twice as reliable as Windows 95.What Is Linux? . on active. One common hobby of some Linux users is running the "crashme" program for long periods of time. A Unix server would be ashamed to post numbers like these. Usually they run until they give up. it is very important that the system be stable enough to handle running for extended periods of time without crashing. Linux users have reported uptimes of well over a year. This is particularly common among businesses who use Linux on their servers.
file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-2/portable. This means that programs written for some other brand of Unix can almost always be ported to Linux rather easily. Even commercial software is available for Linux. BIND (which handles almost all DNS services) and the other critical Internet applications were written. and other commercial software vendors have already ported or are in the process of porting their products to Linux. Windows 98 and Windows NT.html [08\23\2002 4:48:45 PM] . The large amount of common ground among the various strains of Unix simplifies this task enourmously. Oracle.What Is Linux? . say. Linux didn't even exist when Sendmail (which carries over 80% of Internet e-mail). Sybase. All Unix programs are a lot more portable between Unix brands than programs are between. but they were easily ported to Linux. programs written for one brand or variation of Unix are usually easily portable to other types of Unix.Linux is Unix Unix Applications Are Portable Because all the variants of Unix share almost all their major design features.
What Is Linux? . or at least in parallel. so they can use the same tools. Even commercial developers tend to run Linux on their PC's at home. the most popular webserver on the planet. In fact. and environment they have with their commercial Unix workstations at work. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-2/opensource.html [08\23\2002 4:48:45 PM] . Almost all new development explicitly includes a Linux port. so more are available all the time.Linux is Unix Most Common Unix Applications Are Open-Source Since most of the common or important Unix applications or utilites are also open-source. this means that Linux automatically has thousands of applications to choose from. compilers. most new Unix programs are developed on Linux first. These include everything from common utilities to large-scale applications like Apache.
What Is Linux? - Linux is Unix
Plenty Of Commercial Applications Available
Particularly in recent months, commercial developers have flocked to the Linux platform. Oracle, Sybase, and many other commercial database providers either have released or announced software for Linux. The StarOffice and Applixware office suites offer Microsoft Office compatibility and a full set of office application functions. Many Linux games exist. Notably, over half the Quake servers in the world run under Linux. The Linux Games site has plenty of information on games for Linux.
file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-2/commapps.html [08\23\2002 4:48:45 PM]
What Is Linux? - Linux is Open
The GNU Public License
Linux is developed under the GNU Public License. This is sometimes referred to as a "copyleft", to distinguish it from a copyright. The gist of the GPL is that the source code is available to anyone who wants it, and can be freely modified, developed, and so forth. There are only a few restrictions on the use of the code. If you make changes to the kernel, you have to make those changes available to everyone. This basically means you can't take the Linux source code, make a few changes, and then sell your modified version without making the source code available, for no more than your cost of providing it. Of course, you can't just copy source code from the Linux kernel and just use it your own programs. Copying ideas is fine, but cutting and pasting chunks of source is forbidden. (Well, actually, you can, but your program will then be covered by the GPL too. Often this is not a problem.) This practical effect of this is that you can't charge much for the Linux source code. When you buy a CD containing the Linux binaries and source code, you're buying the convenience of installing from CD instead of downloading it off the net, and the convenience of having the code pre-compiled for you. You're not really paying for the software itself. Software released under public licenses (like the GPL and others) has often been called "free software". This has led to some confusion. When Linux is referred to as "free", it means "liberated", not necessarily "zero-cost". Becuase of this confusion, the term "open-source" has been coined. For details, please take a look at the open-source home page. Note that there is no restriction on how the kernel is used. You can use it at home, at work, in government computers and church computers and anything else. (See the next detail for more information.) The GPL has a lot of ramifications and is too broad a subject to cover in this overview. You can read a copy of the GPL here.
file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-3/gpl.html [08\23\2002 4:48:52 PM]
What Is Linux? - Linux is Open
If you develop a program that runs under Linux, even if you use the free, high-performance GNU compilers (also under the GPL), you don't have to make it open-source, too. Just because you use the services of the kernel doesn't mean you have to be under the same license as the kernel. There are a wide variety of programs and applications available for Linux, under a wide variety of licenses. These range from public domain to postcard-ware to shareware to commercial, with all sorts of combinations, too.
file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-3/commdev.html [08\23\2002 4:48:53 PM]
file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-3/commavail." In other words.Linux is Open Commercial Applications Many commercial vendors either have released or are developing applications for Linux. A reference platform will be distibributed as freeware for Linux. over half the Quake servers in the world run under Linux.What Is Linux? .html [08\23\2002 4:48:53 PM] . Intel is basing a key business plan on Linux and the Linux development community. The Linux Games site has plenty of up-to-date information on games for Linux. To quote direct from the horse's mouth: "Linux will be. key to the adoption of the UDI initiative. and the Project UDI members will be counting on the Linux community to work on device drivers. including: G Corel G G G G G Informix Oracle Netscape Even Microsoft is porting the Windows Media Player to Liunx And more! Recently Intel announced that it was working on a Uniform Driver Interface so that all Unix variants on Intel platforms would use the same driver model. Notably. Plenty of Linux games exist. said Quick.
in Troy. it can make a powerful IT resource for any company. scalability.html [08\23\2002 4:48:53 PM] . You can read about their conversion to Linux here.org/business/index. When you consider Linux's low cost (zero per-user license fees are just one exmple) Linux systems are even more attractive. and is a good place to look for more information. Michigan. (It seems that an amazing 25% of ISP's use Linux!) Because of Linux's 24/7 reliability.What Is Linux? . file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-3/business.html. A recent example in the press is Total Travel Management.Linux is Open Linux In Business A large number of business are using Linux (see this link for an incomplete list) in a wide variety of fields. A partial list of Linux business resources is maintained at http://www. and configurability.linux. ranging from ISP to manufacturing to government to retailers and more. performance.
many many programmers have examined the source.What Is Linux? . and more. new features. closed-source development model with the open-source means of development.html [08\23\2002 4:49:05 PM] . This compares and contrasts the traditional. and thousands have been interested enough to contribute bugfixes. A very popular description of the open-source development model can be found in Eric Raymond's paper. The Cathedral And The Bazaar.Linux is Open The Linux Development Community Because the source code is available to anyone who wants it. improvements. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-3/bazaar.
Of course. how does their work get distributed to the user community? The answer is simple. Some users require paranoid security. Linus Torvalds gets to decide what goes into the Linux kernel and what doesn't. several developers have more-or-less supreme control over their particular subsections. they submit it to Linus. Even Linus can't prevent others from developing Linux. In actuality.What Is Linux? . he himself could not keep others from taking over the job. These allow even greater customization without risking support for the vast majority. So far. Sometimes things don't make it into the kernel but are still useful to some group of users. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-3/supervise.html [08\23\2002 4:49:05 PM] . people can (and do) provide their own patches to the kernel. available separately. thanks to the GPL that Linux is controlled by. By popular acclamation. or take the Linux kernel in a direction that no one else wanted to go. who decides whether or not to accept it. or request modifications before accepting it. If a developers have some new code. Some developments are too experimental to inflict on everyone. or quit. In this case. For example. There is a networking chief.Linux is Open Linux Torvalds Supervises Development If thousands of people develop Linux from all over the world. Linus has done an excellent job managing the development of Linux. a driver chief. While Linus has ultimate authority. and so forth. reject it. sometimes optimizing for one kind of hardware would break support for other hardware. this is a bit of an oversimplification. However. he seldom rejects a decision made by one of these sub-administrators. even if he were to die.
. applications to run with it. for all their differences. price. software management system. what commercial software comes bundled. is not useful. Fortunately. and companies have combined Linux with other applications in the form of "distributions". It's worth noting that. the Linux distributions are all pretty much interoperable.a non-commercial distribution. organizations.one of the oldest distributions. Distributions vary in the options they offer. or offer tools to automatically translate and install RPM files.Linux is Open-Source . comprehensive application set and thorough documentation.U. G S. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-3/distribution. and bundled commercial software. There is a standard for how directories are set up. but without applications there are only a few things it can do. It provides services for applications to take advantage of. Almost all distributions either use this format natively. a wide variety of groups.Low Cost Linux Comes Packaged In "Distributions" The Linux kernel by itself. A "distribution" is a combination of the Linux kernel. graphical utilities. The most popular package format is "RPM". Debian concentrates on using open-source software whenever possible. and so forth. this distribution is very well liked by some for its administration tools. utilities to install it on a computer. G Slackware . the utilities they provide.produced in Germany. Individual applications usually come in "packages".popular for its ease-of-use.E.html [08\23\2002 4:49:14 PM] . A few of the more popular distributions are: G Red Hat . much like ZIP files. This means that almost all Linux programs can run on any distribution.S. it is popular for its easy maintenance. Popular also for its advanced software management system. developed by Red Hat. and utilities to manage the system once it's installed. and standards for things like shared libraries (DLLs) and so forth. G Debian . Choosing a distribution is really a matter of taste.
However. This can dramatically reduce the cost of maintaining a system. This also allows you to upgrade parts of your system (including the kernel) without having to buy another CD. You can download a usable. since most distributions fill up at least one CD (650MB) and some take up as many as five.Low Cost You Can Download Linux (And Applications) For Free Because of the open-source nature of Linux. You need a pretty fast net connection to make this practical. is designed to be upgraded automatically in just this manner. There are limits to this.Linux is Open-Source . if minimal. almost all distributions are available for free over the Internet. for example.html [08\23\2002 4:49:14 PM] . file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-3/download. you can also download parts of distributions as well. The Debian distribution. system without tying up your modem for weeks.
You just mail them a postage-paid envelope and they'll send you their CDs for free. Borrow. plus at least some tech support from the distributor. One popular way to start with Linux is to buy a book that includes a distribution on CD. and lots of documentation. hundreds of applications (ranging from image processing to word processing to servers to clients to productivity applications to office suites to scientific applications to database applications to games to editors and much more).) There's even a website where people offer old Linux CD's they don't want anymore.Low Cost You Can Buy (Or Beg.99. You don't get the most recent stuff like that. (Or just upgrade for free over the net. If you buy from the original vendor. the free. You can order by mail by phone or through the Web. for a wide variety of prices. for one to five (or more) CDs. There are companies that resell distributions like this for as little as $1. You can buy Linux CDs from a wide variety of vendors. but the price is right. (For many people. system management utilities. The only thing you don't get from them is commercial tech support from the distributor. What do you get for that $20-$100 price tag? Quite a lot. You can borrow a CD from a friend and see if you like it before you buy your own. you can expect to pay from $20. installation utilities.00 to $100. If someone charges too much. or Steal) Linux On CD Linux is almost always installed from CD. dozens of compilers and debuggers. Why is everything so cheap? Because it's almost all open-source. or purchase packages at most computer stores. And almost all of this software comes with no license fees. You get the kernel.Linux is Open-Source . The competition is fierce. like most modern software. someone else can take the source code and make it available for less. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-3/cd.html [08\23\2002 4:49:14 PM] . public tech support is plenty. You aren't buying the software so much as you're buying the convenience of not having to download it and compile it yourself.00.
such as Red Hat and Caldera offer several value-added features like bundled commercial applications (such as office suites or full Netware suites. Shop around a bit and ask questions before you make up your mind what distribution to get. You can't always get these types of extras if you just download the distribution. or buy it from a reseller. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/1-3/valueadded.Linux is Open-Source .Low Cost You Can Pay For Value-Added Features Several major distributions. for example) and commercial tech support.html [08\23\2002 4:49:15 PM] .
Most device drivers are written this way." This attitude has served Linux. The programming community has always had a very cooperative attitude . one has plenty of motivation to make sure that the code is correct and performs well. and all programmers. to the people who use them. Which brings us to our next point. Some of these developments distributed with Linux are useful only to a few people .html [08\23\2002 4:49:22 PM] . for one's own personal enjoyment.Advantages of Linux .but they are very useful indeed. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-1/need. One's reputation as a programmer may be at stake. and had to write their own support. If one is writing code for fun. founder of the Free Software Foundation said. because a developer had the hardware and wanted to use it under Linux. and is planning on sending that code into the world.as Richard Stallman. sometimes.Fewer Bugs People Write Linux Code To Fill A Need Many Linux developments are begun because the programmer had a personal need for it. "Sharing code is the fundamental act of friendship between programmers. very well.
enhances one's reputation in the eyes of other programmers. that the reward for doing it well is the chance to do it again. Programmers like to show off. and then perhaps Homesteading the Noosphere. Because one of the goals of Linux development is often to enhance one's reputation. and they love to expand their horizons working on new and exciting developments. for more information. and doing it well. Eric Raymond has clarified this distinction very well. and a desire for the earned and considered respect of one's peers.Fewer Bugs People Write Linux Code For Fun Although it may not seem like it to some. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-1/fun. the developers are highly motivated to avoid bugs in their code. Programming is their passion. It has been said of programming. Again. read The Cathedral And The Bazaar. It's important to note the difference between a desire for fame and adulation. simply for the mental excercise and sense of enjoyment it brings. This is often far more rewarding than commercial enticements. Eric Raymond has written several accessible and thought-provoking articles about the Linux development community. many programmers greatly enjoy working on difficult problems in computer programming theory.html [08\23\2002 4:49:22 PM] . supporting new modes of old hardware. Coming up with more efficient ways to do things. and Linux development has become perhaps the premier means to do so. Nothing is more embarrassing than to have someone email you with a report of bugs in your software. exploring entirely new ways to use computers. like playing arcade games.Advantages of Linux .
it is an affront to the pride of the Linux kernel developers. Security problems are found from time to time. As an example. programmers are really motivated by such things.Advantages of Linux . Once it's noticed. the "crashme" program was written. often within hours. and some by the notoriety of finding bugs in code where bugs are rare.) file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-1/review. a simple glance at the Linux newsgroups and mailing lists shows the process in action. (Yes. he can do so for only as long as no one notices the break-ins. Such bugs are fixed very quickly. an alert is posted and the fix is soon available. No application is supposed to be able to crash the kernel.html [08\23\2002 4:49:23 PM] .it is subject to careful scrutiny by a wide variety of people for security problems. (If the discoverer doesn't tell others about the problem but instead tries to exploit it. Some testers are motivated by a desire to help authors produce the best possible code. but they are closed as soon as they are found. There is another side-effect to having the source code open . and if crashme finds a way to do so.) Whatever the motivations. It's the clearest validation of the Linux development model. It torture-tests systems by generating random OS calls (either with valid or invalid data) or even generating random garbage and trying to execute it as code. to test the Linux kernel. Even development code not intended for mission-critical systems is widely used and tested.Fewer Bugs Code Is Subject To Peer-Review Source code in Linux terms is aggressively tested by many users.
Advantages of Linux - Fewer Bugs
Bugs Are Fixed Quickly
Because the development process is so open, and so many programmers are at work, even major bugs tend to be fixed quickly. For example, it turned out that the Pentium had a problem where the CPU could be locked up by executing a particular kind of instruction. The actual instruction began with the bytes "F00F" and thus the bug was christened the foof-bug. Since any application, even a non-privileged one, could thus crash the system, this was considered a major problem by the Linux developers. Working directly with Intel, Linus Torvalds and other developers were able to modify Linux to be immune to the foof-bug, with exactly zero loss in performance. As another example, it was discovered that a particular invalid set of IP packets could be used to crash a wide variety of operating systems, including Windows and Linux. The patch to protect against this attack was available for Linux within hours. It took several days for Microsoft to produce patches for Windows. The fix for Linux actually protected against several variations on the so-called 'teardrop' attack. Unfortunately, the original Windows patch did not, and a modified WinNuke program was quickly made available. Microsoft had to come out with a second patch to handle the new varieties of 'teardrop'.
file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-1/bugfix.html [08\23\2002 4:49:23 PM]
Advantages of Linux
Linux has been demonstrated more stable than other systems
Besides the anecdotal stories and the devotion of Linux fans, there are other types of evidence that Linux systems have fewer bugs. One report found that Linux was more stable than all other commercial Unix variants. The researchers used the simple method of giving programs random streams of input (the so-called "fuzz test"). They found that while the commercial Unix systems had failure rates of over 18%, Linux had a failure rate of 7-9%. As the authors say: "It is reasonable to ask why a globally scattered group of programmers, with no formal testing support or software engineering standards can produce code that is more reliable (at least, by our measure) than commercially produced code..." The paper is avaliable at http://www.cs.wisc.edu:80/Dienst/UI/2.0/Describe/ncstrl.uwmadison/CS-TR-95-1268 . In a 1995 interview with Bill Gates, the German magazine FOCUS appears to have uncovered an interesting attitude towards bugs on the part of Microsoft's chairman. Whether his attitude has changed since then is an open question.
file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-1/proof.html [08\23\2002 4:49:24 PM]
Advantages of Linux - High Performance
Linux Has An Advanced, Mature Design
Since Linux is an open-source version of Unix, it takes advantage of the three decades of operating system design and testing that has gone into Unix. Most new operating system concepts have been tried out in Unix first, or co-opted when invented somewhere else. See the previous section on Unix for some technical reasons why Unix is so respected. Unix has been used for advanced computer science work since its inception. Cray computers run a version of Unix. Almost all workstations, computer design tools, engineering systems, and so forth have run Unix variants for decades. (There is currently a trend toward Windows NT for workstations, but this trend is being resisted by the technical people who have to actually use these systems.) The recent resurgence of open-source software (which is how most software was written for a long time) has breathed new life into the Unix world, and also made Unix available to people who have not had access to this powerful operating system until now.
file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-2/advanced.html [08\23\2002 4:49:31 PM]
dns.net/ I believe. The following quote is too good to resist putting in here: From: "Michael Appelt" Newsgroups: comp. sendfax. 1 uVAX II with VMS/UXC and 2 more Vaxstation2000 using basically DNS No. using only one IP address from the ISP. All the tough computing is done on the server machine. 1 uVAX2000 with NetBSD booting from the net. a 386 makes a fine print server.html (1 of 2) [08\23\2002 4:49:31 PM] . Take a look at http://bopper.os. Because applications can be run remotely under Linux.linux. which is run on a 386 w/16MB of RAM. the terminal doesn't even need to contain a hard disk. Xfree86 is not included. and even an acceptable filserver for a small department or home office. and a telnet is sometimes a bit slower when heavy printing load has been queued. it will do. and the 386 just handles displaying the results and forwarding user input to the server. 2 PCs (MS-Office & Scanner/Fax/Copier).org/. we get whatever our provider can serve close to the isdn-limits of about 7. Since Linux can run without a monitor or keyboard. pppd. But that causes no impact on internet access. dhcp.High Performance Even Obsolete Hardware Can Be Made Useful Again With Linux Because of Linux's ruthless efficiency in use of memory and disk space. bootp.ntplx.Advantages of Linux . smb. We are using a 386/40 with ethernet & isdn & modem interface as firewall. you don't even need a full system for this kind of activity. By booting off the network. and all of the systems on a network can surf the Internet through the 386 at the same time. to serve a total of 8 internal and 1 dial-in clients: 2 PCs (games & internet). A 386 is perfectly adequate as a router for a network. For real work. Even a 386 can be made useful again with Linux. Attach a modem to it and use IP Masquerading.2 kByte/sec. laser printer.http://www.wcbe. it can run effectively on hardware considered obsolete by some other modern operating systems.hardware Subject: Re: 486DX33 as a firewall? Date: Wed. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-2/lowend. smtp. 12 Aug 1998 13:19:01 +0200 Organization: NETPLEX Internet Services . a 386 can be used as a graphical terminal for applications running on a more advanced system elsewere.
I can do things on the 486 that are impossible under Windows. Under Windows. you can't play full .High Performance The system has been stable over more than 1 year.. edit files..mp3 files on my 486 and read mail at the same time.. So what. all at the same time. serve files. On my 486-100. and more. transfer files. compile code...Advantages of Linux . Imagine what you can do with a more modern PC. my wife can surf the web on her Windows 3. read mail. I can play full-stereo. get Linux to get the functions Regards.hope same with the problems) durcing that long time.1KHz . Because the operating system is so efficient. take NT to get fun...html (2 of 2) [08\23\2002 4:49:31 PM] .caused by config changes the wrong direction) I needed the keyboard and monitor just about 3 or 4 times to recover from serious disk problems (disk is gone. At the same time. Michael A 486 system is even more powerful..11 PC through my Internet connection. I can websurf. (always several weeks between reboots . 44.mp3's on a 486 at all. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-2/lowend.
A collection of scores on the Byte Unix Benchmarks show that Linux turns in numbers comparing very well to commercial Unix boxes costing tens of thousands of dollars.Advantages of Linux ." See the full article here. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-2/benchmarks. even when I optimize them for the respective platforms.11. To quote: "According to ZDLabs' results. Recently. on my own (admittedly somewhat obsolete) hardware. for my own programs.High Performance Benchmarks Show Linux Very Favorably Linux compares well when benchmarked against other operating systems. MSNBC did some tests of Linux performance versus Windows NT. each of the commercial Linux releases ate NT's lunch. the InfoWorld Java Benchmarks show that a 166MHz Pentium running Linux turns in numbers exceedingly close to a 180MHz Pentium Pro running Windows NT. For example. My own experience has shown that. often surprisingly well.html [08\23\2002 4:49:32 PM] . Linux is at least 15% faster than Windows 3.
Networking Samba Allows Linux To Talk To Windows 3. it beats Windows NT as a Windows file server in some benchmarks! Of course.Advantages of Linux . You may be using Linux where you work as a file server and not even know it! file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-2/samba. 9x.html [08\23\2002 4:49:41 PM] . printers. On the same hardware. It can act as a Primary Domain Controller for a Windows NT network. Linux can read files from Windows shares and print files to shared Windows printers. and other kinds of data with Windows boxes on the same network. Many businesses use Linux as a file and print server system (like Cisco). and NT The Samba software package allows Linux to share files.1x.
Macintosh. it looks just like a Macintosh file and/or print server.Networking Linux Speaks To Macs. and other boxes all at the same time.Advantages of Linux . Linux can connect to Macintosh computers as well. So far as the Macs are concerned.html [08\23\2002 4:49:41 PM] . Linux can talk to Windows. Too! Using the Netatalk package. and share files and printers with Macs. Of course. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-2/appletalk.
html [08\23\2002 4:49:41 PM] . Linux can talk to Windows.Networking Novell? No Problem! Linux speaks IPX just fine. and Novell clients all at the same time. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-2/novell. Mac. as well as an NCP client. Again. so you can get files from a Novell server and print to Novell print queues. and serve files to Novell workstations. and can act as an IPX router.Advantages of Linux . and/or an NCP server.
file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-2/ipmasq. This is usually a lot cheaper than getting multiple IP addresses from your ISP. which allows any number of machines to surf the Internet through one machine. which can also cache files and optimize the use of bandwidth. Read more about it in the IP Masquerade mini-HOWTO. it rewrites them to look like they came directly to the client. even if the software doesn't support proxies IP Masqeurading is not a proxy service. whatever) and is assigned an IP address. With IP Masquerading and a network. Of course. they send the packets to the Linux box (which is set up as the default gateway). and when the replies come back. and even software that doesn't support proxies works fine with IP Masquerading.Advantages of Linux .Let Everyone On Your Network Access The Internet Linux supports IP Masquerading. even if you only have one IP address assigned by your ISP. The Linux box rewrites the outgoing IP packets to look like they came from itself. using only one IP address. The way it works is simple.Networking IP Masquerading . This way. The Linux box connects to your ISP (by modem. lots of clients can share the connection at the same time. every computer at your home or business can share the Internet connection. When other clients on the network want to talk to the Internet.html [08\23\2002 4:49:42 PM] . T1. Linux also supports proxies like Squid. and the Linux box keeps track of which traffic goes where. ISDN.
Sendmail (which carries about 80% of the mail on the Internet). and much. because of how inexpensive Linux is. you can do all of the above without spending tens of thousands of dollars.html [08\23\2002 4:49:42 PM] . MUD. You can do it for less than $100! file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-2/allnet. Of course. FTP servers. Linux is the way to go.Advantages of Linux . including web servers (like Apache. Linux Has Linux has just about every kind of network server there is. much more.Networking Everything Net. IRC. or install for your business. If there's anything you've ever wanted to play with. the most popluar webserver ever).
Students who have assignments on Unix computers at school can do the work at home on their PCs. and a worldwide network of advisors and collaborators. and then confidently bring it it to the public labs (or just dial in from home) and be confident that very little.html [08\23\2002 4:49:49 PM] .Advantages of Linux . professional-level work. professional-level source code. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-2/lowlevel. if any. modifications will need to be made. you can explore almost any subject you care to. and examine serious. Since you have the source code available. Various aspects of Linux have been studied or developed as part of academic work such as graduate theses.The X Factor Operating Systems Programming Made Cheap And Easy Linux offers a unique opportunity to learn systems programming with hands-on experience. A CS student can do serious.
as noted before. especially boxes considered obsolete by other operating systems. G G G SCSI .if you want high speed networking.) For more information. there's just about nothing faster.use TCP/IP over your parallel port . Often used for automatic GPS position reporting. Great for Beowulf supercomputers. and route between them. A single Linux box can use all of these network devices. check out the Linux Networking Overview HOWTO.Research on wearable computers and information transfer by skin contact uses Linux. Linux even offers some atypical kinds of network devices: G PLIP .html [08\23\2002 4:49:50 PM] .Advantages of Linux .The X Factor Linux Provides Some Unusual Network Devices One of the main use of Linux is in networking.TCP/IP over ham radio. as well as more traditional ones.great for networking a laptop. Skin . AX25 . and Linux shines in this category. (Linux boxes make great routers. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-2/funkynet.
html [08\23\2002 4:49:50 PM] . including one used to generate much of the special effects used in the movie Titanic. to form a real supercomputer capable of delivering impressive performance for a rock-bottom price. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-2/beowulf. CHAOS stands for "CHeap Array of Obsolete Systems". due to the spectacular price-performance ratio. This concept has been used by many universities and corporations. and has been turned into a product called Extreme Linux. and involves a man who built a parallel-processing array of 386 boxes. The software is named Beowulf.Advantages of Linux . While not terribly practical. networked together. NASA developed software that allows ordinary PCs. it certainly illustrates the flexibility and scalability of Linux. This idea has been taken to something of an extreme in the CHAOS project. Other type of compute farms have been established using Linux. distributed by Red Hat Software.The X Factor You Can Make A Supercomputer From The Things You Find At Home! Using Linux.
file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-2/softraid.Advantages of Linux .Stripe Your Drives Without Extra Hardware RAID (or Redundant Array of Independent Disks) is a set of technologies for spreading information across multiple disks. Usually this is implemented with special hardware. Also. It currently supports all major levels of RAID. For more information.html [08\23\2002 4:49:50 PM] .The X Factor Software RAID . increased performance.1. Because it is implemented in software and not hardware. but can be dramatically faster than not having any RAID at all. Linux provides the ability to let the kernel create a "virtual" RAID system. This can be configured to provide increased fault-tolerance. it is generally slower than a hardware-based system. check out the Software RAID HOWTO. spreading information across multiple disks. or both. from Level 0 to Level 5 and Level 0. almost always on SCSI drives. Software RAID can be implemented on IDE disks as well as SCSI.
While still a work in progress. it is usable for many applications. You can even run Windows 95 under DOSEMU! WINE is a project that is attempting to emulate the Win32s API under Linux. an extremely good simulation of DOS that allows you to run almost any DOS program including games like Duke3d. sound is not supported in DOSEMU. On the more practical side. but it's being worked on and may be available soon.) Many people use this to run programs like Wordperfect or other productivity apps without having to dual-boot to DOS. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-2/emulators. there is DOSEMU. so you can run the time-honored games and software you fondly remember.Advantages of Linux . (As of this writing. Emulators exist for classic machines like the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64.The X Factor Emulation Software .html [08\23\2002 4:49:50 PM] .Turn Your PC Into Almost Anything Linux supports a wide variety of software emulators for all kinds of systems. These allow your PC to run programs meant for other systems just as if it were running on its intended platform. WABI from Caldera is a commercial program that does much the same thing.
My system detects this. I wrote the author of my SCSI card driver and received detailed instruction on how to patch my kernel so that I could put my scanner and my external SCSI drive (SyQuest EzFlyer) on the same bus. and actually get answers. and this UPS didn't have a serial port to signal to the computer that the line power had failed.Correct Performance Linux Offers The Flexibility To Work Around Hardware Problems Because Linux is by nature very flexible. you can adapt the software to your particular hardware. This would provide a battery backup. Of course. For example. and give me time to safely shut down my system if the power failed.Advantages of Linux . dedicated SCSI card for the scanner. I can still use it to dial out or dial in. These sorts of things are possible because nearly everything on a Linux system comes with source code. even from the code authors. I did have an external modem. the modem fails. However. During a scan. saving all my precious data. If I wasn't around and the power went out. I plugged it into the wall (through a surge protector. (See the section on tech support).html [08\23\2002 4:49:58 PM] . If the wall power fails. The problem was. making sure it's alive. even while it's monitoring the modem. you can ask for help. and smoothly shuts down. even to the point of fixing bugs or deficiencies. my wife bought me an Uninterruptable Power Supply for my birthday. of course). It works like a charm. I run my system 24/7. this often causes disk timeouts and other major problems. my system would drain the battery and then fail anyway. and even scan directly to a file on the SyQuest drive. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-3/correct. Under Windows. my scanner (Mustek TwainScan II SP) is SCSI based. it locks down the SCSI bus so that no other activity can happen. As another example. but is really designed to be the only device on the SCSI bus. Even if you don't know how to program something yourself. Then I set up my Linux system to monitor the modem. and the source code is available for nearly everything. The only remedy is to get a second.
For users that are concerned about performance.572.html [08\23\2002 4:49:58 PM] .535 colors. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-3/better. which is noticeably better than the standard 1280x1024 which is the max I can get in Windows. and now I can get 1152x864 in Windows. you see that 1024x768x2=1. Under Windows. the highest resolution I can get is 1024x768. if I want 16-bit color (65. IDE or SCSI system. As an example. However.152 bytes) of VRAM. But if you do the math. in 8-bit color. or two bytes per pixel).Advantages of Linux . I get over 25% more screen to work with. and so on. Linux offers a real opportunity to push the envelope. even with new drivers. This means that 1/4 of the video card's memory is wasted! Under Linux. I have a mode set at 1416x1062. None of my applications have the slightest problem with the nonstandard screen size. literally without spending a dime more.) Linux allows you to make optimum use of almost every component of your system. I can run in a resolution of 1152x864. (Recently I upgraded my Windows video drivers. Linux can be set up to wring the last drop of performance out of most hardware. floppy drive. and only wastes 5% of the VRAM.864. You can optimize your CPU.097. This is the best I can do given the mechanics of my video card and monitor.Optimum Performance Linux Uses Hardware To Its Fullest Advantage Because Linux users tend to be very demanding people who want to get the most out of their equipment. my video card has 2MB (2.
and much more. Of course. you can just insert the ZIP module while you work with the drive and then remove it once you finish. the kernel notices that it doesn't have the ZIP module installed and automatically loads it. you can alter the operation of the kernel in almost unlimited fashion. By loading and unloading modules. network protocols.Advantages of Linux . By switching between which modules are loaded. and you hardly ever use it. you can even change the way hardware is supported. then discards it when you finish it. You can load and unload support for filesystems. If the ZIP module needs to be loaded. which can be inserted and deleted dynamically and automatically at runtime. but you can configure modules to be permanently resident if you like. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-3/dynamic. if you have a low-memory machine with an external ZIP drive. For example. dynamically. The RAM taken up by the module is immediately reclaimed. without rebooting. devices. you can set this up to happen automatically. This means that the kernel can automatically adjust itself and support only what is needed for what you're currently doing. but it depends on the Parallel Port module and that isn't loaded either.Dynamic Performance Change The Kernel Automatically And On-The-Fly The Linux kernel can be broken into modules.html [08\23\2002 4:49:58 PM] . When you try to access the ZIP drive. There can be a slight speed penalty while the kernel is loading a needed module. The kernel even does dependency checking. the kernel will autoload the correct modules and then discard them when they are no longer needed.
file server. print server. but you bascially can't administer them after that without plugging them back in. application server. If you have a spare machine and a network. reading and using files from another machine. you can set up a Linux box. turn it into a web server. running any application available on the network. Such a diskless workstation can be used as a full graphical terminal. even if the headless box doesn't even have a video card! This setup is often ideal for setting up servers. Linux can even be set up to boot off the network. Because Linux supports remote operation. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-3/stuffless.html [08\23\2002 4:49:59 PM] . and a compute server. Diskless Windows machines can be set up and run without a keyboard or mouse. routers. This is a nearly ideal NC. or Network Computer. Mouseless. and then log into it remotely and operate it over the network just as if you had a keyboard and mouse plugged into the machine. you can even run graphical applications remotely.Advantages of Linux . without tying up scarce monitors and keyboards. and other systems that rarely or never need input or output execept through the network. Using X-windows.Headless and Diskless Run Headless.
Linux does not present one GUI style. It can be very surprising to someone coming from the Windows world to see just how much variety Linux has in this area. to fvwm95 (a Windows lookalike). For example. which look like nothing else in the world. feel.Advantages of Linux . The following links (warning: lots of graphics) illustrate what Gnome can look like: G http://www.org/screenshots/gnome-apr28-2.Customization Linux Applications Are Amazingly Flexible Linux shines in the area of software flexibility. the authors of most programs give you a great deal of choice over how things look.shtml Here is a website devoted to making and distributing theme files for X Windows.jpg http://www. and KDE.html [08\23\2002 4:50:07 PM] . to Enlightenment. You are not locked into one way of doing things. as these GUI styles are called. you still have plenty of room to maneuver. Ranging from the minimal fvwm.gnome. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-3/themes. Even if you pick a particular "window manager". Building on the X Window system's flexibility. there are dozens of different GUI styles. And here's a page that shows how flexible KDE is. and function. Gnome.gif G G http://www.labs. to Afterstep (a NextStep lookalike).org/screenshots/gnome-desktop.com/themes.redhat.gnome.
html [08\23\2002 4:50:07 PM] .COM) has a full programming language built in with decisions. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-3/script. get my IP address and update my web page with it so others can contact my system. The 'find' function in Unix is astoundingly flexible. the shell offers ways to make 'aliases'. the "shell" (the Unix equivalent of COMMAND. download any email on the server. much more. "ip-up". In addition to being a full programming environment. and more. when the connection is up. every time I execute the "ls" command (list files. In addition to supporting powerful scripting languages like Perl and Python. PPPD. I personally use this script to synchronize my time with the Navy's atomic clock. automatically calls a script. If I type "alias ls='ls --color=auto'".Customization Everything Is Scriptable With Linux. Of course I can customize the colors used. For example. the program most people use to contact an ISP and hook up to the Internet. loops. it will automatically colorize the files based on type.Advantages of Linux . and among other things you can find all files of a particular type that were modified today and have a size greater than 53K and execute a script to process them in some way. like DIR in DOS). Most applications provide ways to script themselves automatically. and much. you're not limited to simple BAT files to get things done.
apply it to the source code with the 'patch' utility. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-3/source. But more important. I increased the size of my SCSI data buffer using a patch. it allows you to apply patches to the code. You take a patch file.Customization The Ultimate Customization Because the vast majority of Linux applications come with full source code.Advantages of Linux . Many special customizations for Linux are distributed as patches to the source code. and recompile.modifying the program! Even if you don't feel confident enough to modify the program. You then have an application customized in a way that's nearly unheard of outside the world of Linux. and this can be very helpful in using it. For example. if you can write code you have the ultimate power for customization . you can often get an idea of how it works on the inside. so that my scanner could transfer data faster and my scans would finish quickly.html [08\23\2002 4:50:07 PM] .
or setting up a home Ethernet.Tech Support Everything is documented In addition to the open source code. such as getting Linux and Windows to dual-boot. and more.html [08\23\2002 4:50:15 PM] . from installation to administration to development.Advantages of Linux . the developers are open. which contain detailed information on common and uncommon tasks. and the source is open. development guides. One of the best examples are the dozens of HOWTOs. and also contains links to other documentation such as references books. because the documentation is open. There is no need in the Linux community for a book like "Undocumented Windows". there are active efforts to provide documentation suitable for novices and advanced users. The Linux Documentation Project develops documentation for all aspects of Linux. or setting up a software RAID system. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-4/docs.
try news:comp.linux.hardware or news:comp. and all you need is an email account.Tech Support The Whole Internet Support System Problems do arise with Linux. and all you need is an Internet connection to contact them. If you really need immediate feedback.os. Even on Usenet or on mailing lists. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-4/volunteer. Fortunately.setup for help on hardware issues or install issues. There are also plenty of mailing lists covering a wide range of issues. there are also several IRC channels devoted to Linux. There are over a dozen Linux-related newsgroups on Usenet.Advantages of Linux . For example. you usually won't have to wait longer than a day for a response.html [08\23\2002 4:50:16 PM] . and sometimes a question comes up that isn't answered in the documentation.linux.os. there are literally hundreds of thousands of volunteers eager to answer questions.
Tech Support The Authors Support Their Code The Linux kernel developers and the developers of the various applications are uncommonly easy to get hold of. or at least tell you why the problem exists and suggest ways to work around it. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-4/author.html [08\23\2002 4:50:16 PM] .Advantages of Linux . and the developers tend to hang out on the same newsgroups and mailing lists that the users do. I've personally done so. you can directly contact the developer and pose your question to them. I know. The email addresses of the code maintainers are clearly listed in the source and the accompanying documentation. If you have a problem with a device driver. They'll usually be able to help.
Advantages of Linux .g. Too For businesses or very special users. Some companies support specific products. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-4/commercial.html [08\23\2002 4:50:16 PM] . operation. Red Hat and Caldera).Tech Support Commercial Support is Available. and so forth. There are also a wide variety of independent contractors who can customize support arrangements for particular installations and so forth. which supports the GCC high-performance compiler suite. like Cygnus. there are several companies who offer professional support (e. These offer support for installation.
The only restriction for most software is the same as the GPL. some Linux software does have limitations of one form or another. Of course. You can install and run as many copies as you like. There are no arbitrary limits on the number of simultaneous users. on as many computers as you want. most office suites) is commercial and is licensed like most Windows software. where you buy one license for each user of the software. This is in sharp contrast to most commercial operating systems. Some software is free for personal or educational use. And some software (for example. if you make changes you have to make those changes available. The price for a 25-user version of Windows NT is more than five times the price of a 5-user version. You can give copies to your friends and let them do full installs.Linux is Open-Source . however. but you have to pay to use it in a business.Low Cost No License Fees! It's important to emphasize that most Linux software does not impose license fees. (The StarOffice office suite. is free for personal use!) file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-5/share. There are no registration codes. There are no expiration times.html [08\23\2002 4:50:24 PM] .
Apache. and database development software. Visual C++ 6. file and print servers. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/2-5/bundle. The practical upshot of this is that Linux installations almost always have a substantially lower cost than a comparable commercial installation such as Solaris or Windows. and so on. and more. and Visual FoxPro 6.99.Low Cost Full-Power Software Bundled For Free Linux distributions include huge amounts of open-source software for almost any purpose you could want. terminal emulators. spreadsheets. And all of these have no license fees. and you'll probably need a recent Pentium-II machine with 512MB of RAM to run it all.0. Under Linux. job schedulers. Or. database servers.html [08\23\2002 4:50:32 PM] .0. Visual InterDev 6. FTP servers. and you have spent thousands of dollars.0 (including Visual Basic 6. is included in all major distributions. The world's most popular webserver. IRC hosts. all bundled with the operating system for as little as $1.Linux is Open-Source . expiration dates. and much. and a literally dozens of other languages. limitations on the number of users. or free if you want to download them. Add in the cost of Windows NT Workstation or Server ($276 to $4700).0) costs $995. you get GCC and G++ (C and C++ compilers). much.0.65). Java. Office 97 ($549. much more are included at no additional cost. web browsers.0. professional typesetting.00. you can use a midrange Pentium and get it all free with Linux. Microsoft's Visual Studio 6. Compilers and interpreters for just about every computer language ever invented come free with most distributions. Visual J++ 6. BASIC.
html [08\23\2002 4:50:38 PM] . file:///D|/Linux Presentation/3-1/winstuff. or has minimum system requirements ("Requires a Pentium"). Winprinters. Note that it is possible for Linux to use a Winmodem or print to a Winprinter if it is networked to a Windows box that has one.PC Hardware Support Winmodems. can interfere with communications). Difficult To Support Recently some hardware manufacturers have taken to producing so-called "Windows-only" hardware. There are a few ways to tell if you have a Winmodem. A "Winmodem" is a modem with the DSP removed and all the data compression and such done on the CPU. etc. If your modem does not work in DOS. including shared printers. "Winmodems" cost a lot less to make. and so far no one's been interested enough to spend the time for a modem that isn't worth much to begin with. Winprinters are similar . it's probably a Winmodem. Even worse. The Windows-modem-sharing mini-HOWTO describes how a Windows box can make its modem available for a Linux box to dial through. This means that Linux drivers would have to be reverse-engineered.Disadvantages of Linux . The Samba program allows Linux to serve and use Windows services.they scrimp on printer power and memory and force the CPU to take up the slack. but are usually priced only a bit less than their fully-functional cousins. This type of hardware is almost never directly supported under Linux. it's probably a good idea to replace such a braindead modem anyway. Even if you don't run Linux. The modem makers love the increase in their profit margin. The other disadvantage is that the makers of Winmodems tend not to be willing to reveal the programming interfaces for their products. The chief disadvantage is that it slows down the CPU (and if your CPU is really loaded. The "modem" itself is basically a glorified sound card.
38.htm http://www.com/cgi-bin/displayArchive.infoworld. The Ultra-DMA Mini-HOWTO has the latest information on how and when to use UDMA.pl?/98/45/o02-45.pl?/98/46/o02-46.com/cgi-bin/displayArchive.html [08\23\2002 4:50:38 PM] . A pair of articles in InfoWorld Magazine by Brian Livingston detail UDMA problems and solutions: http://www. and some are only partially supported.PC Hardware Support UDMA Still Under Development Support for IDE UDMA drives is still under development.htm file:///D|/Linux Presentation/3-1/udma. It's worth noting that Windows has similar problems.46. Some chipsets are very well supported.infoworld.Disadvantages of Linux .
these tools allow you to control every aspect of how the cards are set up if you choose.Disadvantages of Linux . Note that Linux has no problem with PCI Plug and Play cards. Linux provides a suite of tools. Indeed. It's not impossible. that configure and initialize ISA PNP cards.html [08\23\2002 4:50:38 PM] . You don't have to worry about your programs no longer working if you add a new card to your computer. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/3-1/isapnp. such as an ISA PNP IDE controller that controls the boot drive. These are useful for setting up things like modems and sound card that are Plug and Play. but it does take some extra work.PC Hardware Support ISA Plug 'n' Play Can Be Complicated Linux can have difficulty using ISA Plug and Play cards that are needed at boot time. isapnptools.
For a list of hardware compatibility issues. Diamond Multimedia and Adaptec are two notable examples of companies who now support Linux fully.html [08\23\2002 4:50:38 PM] . Even if one brand of peripheral is unsupported or imperfectly supported. Hop on Usenet or an appropriate mailing list and ask! (And. there are almost always alternatives available. Sometimes. and a list of known supported hardware. For many common types of hardware. of course. don't despair! There are always new developments in the Linux world. Someone may be working on a driver right now. or not considered worth the effort (see the entry on Winmodems).Disadvantages of Linux . This means that Linux drivers for these products have to be reverse-engineered. if you're a programmer. Some companies like DPT and Cyclades actually write the Linux drivers themselves. this isn't possible. this has been done. you have the source code. however. Many companies that used to refuse to help Linux developers have recognized the Linux market and opened up their specs. check out the Hardware HOWTO. You can write the driver or application yourself!) file:///D|/Linux Presentation/3-1/support. If you have some hardware that isn't currently supported. wishing to ensure that Linux users have the best possible experience with their hardware.PC Hardware Support Some Brands Of Peripherals Have Limited Support Some manufacturers refuse to reveal details about how to program their hardware.
or even cable modems. The client software to connect to these networks is not available for Linux. ISDN.html [08\23\2002 4:50:49 PM] . and so on. few services are available on these networks that are not available on the (open) World Wide Web. You can still browse the web. And Linux has absolutely no problems with the Web or the Internet in general. send and receive email. These are primarily the "value-added" networks like America Online. However. connecting via modem. Compuserve. MDLUG members use a wide variety of local ISPs. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/3-2/closednet. using Linux. And Other Closed Networks Do Not Support Linux Some proprietary networks do not offer Linux support. the Microsoft Network.Proprietary Formats AOL. MSN.Disadvantages of Linux . and more.
which is incomplete but improving.Disadvantages of Linux . the file formats have to be reverse-engineered by others who wish to read those formats. Applixware has released their latest version of their office suite. with some support for Word '97.Proprietary Formats Office '97 Support Lagged Microsoft has a history of changing file formats in incompatible ways with almost every release. There is a program that converts Word '97 files to HTML. Because the file formats for the Microsoft Office products change often. with full Office '97 support.1/'95 format. Microsoft Word '95 (and Word 6. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/3-2/office97.4.1.html [08\23\2002 4:50:49 PM] . version 4. as long as Microsoft fails to learn how to make backward-compatible changes to file formats (see HTML for an example of how to do it right).1) cannot read the files produced by Word '97 unless they are explicitly saved by Word '97 in the older format. StarOffice and other Linux office programs have done so for at least Word6. and Microsoft does not publish the file specifications. competitors will always have to play catch-up in this area. both importing and exporting. Unfortunately.
Netscape.04. Mnemonic. Microsoft Internet Explorer and Opera. do not currently support Linux. There are several alternative browsers available. Other available browsers include Amaya. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/3-2/browser.Disadvantages of Linux . and the latest version of Netscape. The programming community has accepted this with open arms. however. The most commonly-used one is certainly Netscape. V4.html [08\23\2002 4:50:49 PM] . inspired by Linux. is being called higher-quality than any previous release. actually released their source code in open-source form.Proprietary Formats Internet Explorer and Opera Do Not Support Linux Two common Windows web browsers. and even Lynx.
Every feature can be manipulated in certain common ways. which provides VT100. Unix tends to encourage the use of lots of little tools that add up to big tools. Since programs can write to multiple files. Then connect the output of that program to the input of a third. But the "everything is a file" idea leads to an entirely different approach to computing. anything). flexible. The Unix way of combining simple tools in popwerful ways through a common means of communication gives a system that is amazingly powerful. and you have a list of the interrupts in use. but the idea that "everything is a file" leads to some powerful consequences. you have automatic scripting. and how active they are. The most common terminal emulator in Unix is the 'xterm'. For example. There are only a few fundamental entities.html (1 of 2) [08\23\2002 4:50:57 PM] .Disadvantages of Linux . then if you make the program read from an actual disk file. When it reads from the device file. It does take some file:///D|/Linux Presentation/3-3/learncurve. Since programs can read from multiple files. almost everything is a file (or at least can be manipulated through one). network connections. "pipe" its output to a program that searches for certain names. the program opens a "device file" that represents the keyboard.add them to the mix and our communication program can support all types of uploads and downloads. pipe its output to a program that reformats it to three-column mode. You can connect the output of one program to the input of another. tape drives. and other dialup protocols . and configurable. the most important of which is the file. in its essence Unix is actually very simple. YMODEM. they can have multiple users. In Unix. mice. then pipe that output to a printer program that turns it into nicely-rendered PostScript and sends that to a printer. a keyboard. say. There are standalone programs that support ZMODEM. it's totally scriptable. If a program sees user input as a file. and other terminal support. and more are all accessed through files. and so on.Paradigm Shift Linux Uses A Different Approach Although Unix has a reputation in some circles for complexity. what they are being used for. and you instantly have a versatile and powerful communication program. To access a device such as. you can run a program that lists all the current users of the system. Disks. the "contents" of the file are the keystrokes of the user. Because you can pipe whatever files you like to the input. the Linux communication program "Seyon" is constructed in just this manner. Type out the file "/proc/interrupts". they can have multiple output devices (screens. network connections. This may seem strange at first. including the operating system itself. Other things are represented by files. And this output can be piped into other programs that can automatically configure the system based on this information. Arguably Linux is more object-oriented than Windows. scanners. Add a modem-dialing program that pipes its output to the input of xterm. In fact. printers. A program reads a file for input. and writes to a file for output. ANSI.
html (2 of 2) [08\23\2002 4:50:57 PM] . though not as much as you might think.Disadvantages of Linux . And when you have learned it. you can apply it to anything in the Unix world.Paradigm Shift work to learn this new approach. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/3-3/learncurve.
FAT32. there are several ways to practice with Unix-style tool and applications without jumping headlong into Linux. it may be worth it to add these to your current system. a very large number are (including many games) and more are supported all the time. since Linux supports FAT.html (1 of 2) [08\23\2002 4:50:57 PM] . many more. The DOS / Windows to Linux HOWTO is full of tips. There's also Virtunix. which does a very good job of emulating DOS. If you want to get an idea of how a Unix GUI looks and behaves. and feels like DOS. so to speak. The WINdows Emulator. check out Litestep. NTFS. Linux can read (and even write.Disadvantages of Linux . performance and stability may suffer. and a large number of DOS games. and NT. and ways to bring your DOS and Windows knowledge over to Linux. acts. Most DOS-based applications. if you like) all your Windows files. let Linux use them too. 98. There is even lsh. a command line that looks. Finally. Both of them can be used together to give you a very Unix-like system without a full installation. Of course. OS/2's HPFS. Cygnus Solutions offers a large collection of GNU Unix utilities ported to the Windows environment. While not all programs are supported. Of course. Even Windows 3. wasting too much time learning new ways of doing things instead of being productive. Lots of Unix-style programs have been ported to the Windows world. Fortunately. You can also use Bochs.Paradigm Shift There Are Ways To Make The Transition Easier Many potential users of Linux are discouraged from exploring Linux because they don't want to start from scratch with an entirely new environment. There is also WINE. and many. Unix-like graphical shell for Windows 95.1 and Windows 95 programs under Linux. but it's one way to "try before you buy". You can install Linux on this virtual PC and try it out without having to repartition your drives or otherwise change your system. Check out the GNU-Win32 project. without having to copy them to a Linux filesystem. Even if you never end up using Linux. If you have specialized TrueType fonts installed under Windows. definitions. a PC emulator that runs under Windows 9x or NT. which also ports a large number of Unix programs to Windows.1 will somewhat run in DOSEMU. suggestions. which allows you to run many Windows 3. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/3-3/ease. there's DOSEMU. an alternative. available for free. run very well in this emulator.
Paradigm Shift file:///D|/Linux Presentation/3-3/ease.html (2 of 2) [08\23\2002 4:50:57 PM] .Disadvantages of Linux .
Acceptable if slow performance is possible using generic VGA or SVGA modes. models.html [08\23\2002 4:50:57 PM] . For example. In the process of configuring the applications you will learn exactly how they work. and you'll need to do some reading of the documentation to get the best possible performance out of them. for an initial installation. As you learn more.and many people consider this a very good thing). Linux applications are often very flexible and configurable. Linux does autodetect a lot of hardware. (There is nothing like the "Windows registry" in Linux . you need to make sure that your hardware is supported by Linux. though. and so on. Much of Linux can be set up automatically by the distribution's installation utilities. Although this isn't a problem by itself. You have to know brands. it can slow down the bootup process. interrupts. though. Take a look at this article which actually finds a Linux install easier than Windows NT. too. and definitely wastes some memory. But as noted before. By compiling a custom kernel (which can be done with GUI tools) you install exactly and only what you need. Certainly you have to know about your hardware before you install Windows from scratch. Even given all this. is configuring the X Window system. and good knowledge of your hardware is essential. I/O ports. the results can be well worth it.INI" files of Windows. Many of them are configured by editing text configuration files. At the very least.Paradigm Shift You Have To Look Under The Hood Installing Linux requires you to find out about your hardware. You will need to make some decisions about how you want your system to behave. distributions use a large kernel with every possible driver installed or present as a module. but Linux has a lot more options about how that hardware can be used. but to get the best performance out of your monitor and video card you may have to look up some information in the manuals. One area where performance matters. like the ".Disadvantages of Linux . file:///D|/Linux Presentation/3-3/underhood. installation isn't that tough. you'll want to customize your installation.
Disadvantages of Linux . "illegal operations" and reboots. and everyone fights over who gets to use them? Would you like to run your own webserver? Would you like to run your own mailserver? Would you like to experiment with Internetworking but can't find or afford all the right software? Are you a programmer? How many languages would you like to learn. and even if you could the applications you want to use aren't scriptable? Given the time and effort to learn it. Linux will reward you with absolute raw power over your system and freedom from hangs. file:///D|/Linux Presentation/3-3/productive.html [08\23\2002 4:50:58 PM] . but you can't afford the compilers? Would you like to learn from high-end. or at certain times. crashes. well-debugged and thoroughly tested software? Do you want to learn low-level programming without buying a separate "Driver Development Kit"? Do you want to be able to set things up to run automatically when you do certain things.Paradigm Shift You Will Be More Productive How much work have you lost to system crashes? Do you waste time waiting for your disk to stop churning when you switch applications? Is there a battle for the only computer in the house with Internet access? Do you have a fast machine and a slow one. but you can't afford the add-on Schedulers.