Monday, March 09, 2009

Linux clips

Linux Monday Clip Show

The temporary displacement from my main machine (nothing to do with Linux! it's hardware, my video card fried) has me a bit disoriented.

Friday I said I was going to try working in Puppy Linux for a while, but that didn't go so well. The browser, a low-resource version of Firefox called Sea Monkey, didn't cope well with my ten open tabs style of working. So for the moment I'm on a Pentium III 550MHz running Ubuntu 8.04. That's one of Ubuntu's Long Term Support releases; most versions are supported for 18 months but every third version is Long Term Support and is supported for three years.

With all that machine shuffling, plus a son's birthday thrown in, it's been a little busy for deep writing, so this Monday I'm cleaning out the closet of saved Linux clips.

  • Distribution Choice. This article says it's about skill level and purpose. Assuming that my audience is desktop beginners, that points to Ubuntu or Mandriva. This Information Week piece is a little more in depth but says much the same thing:
    Ubuntu is hardly the only starter distribution, although it's certainly the most well-known and significant. Linux Mint (itself an Ubuntu derivative), PCLinuxOS, SimplyMEPIS and Mandriva also follow the "it should just work" philosophy, each with their own variant approaches to usability, package management and migration from Windows.

    PolishLinux has a useful if somewhat dated interactive tool. And if you're really ambitious, you can build your own distribution here. ("Number of Linux Distributions Surpasses Number of Users") Does the world really need Deeth Linux? (I can't call it Raspberry Beret Linux; too close to Red Hat.)

  • Global Popularity. Based on Google searches, "the interest in Linux seems to be the strongest in India, Cuba and Russia."

    Free Software Really IS Communism: Cuba was in the news recently when the Castro Brothers decided to tell Bill Gates to stick it and launch, you guessed it, their own Linux distribution called Nova. This revived all those Chevy Nova "doesn't go" translation jokes from the early 80s.

    StatCounter, my little spy under the hood of the blog, recently launched a global stats site that includes OS stats. I played with the toys to see where people are into Linux but the overall stats are relatively low so they don't stand out. What does stand out is the zigzag pattern of XP vs. Vista. If you zoom in to a shorter time frame like a month it's clear: Vista spikes on weekends and drops during the week, indicating the work world is sticking with XP while home users are getting it stuck to them with Vista,

  • OK, you've made it this far, time for some command line.
    This tutorial gives you troubleshooting tips. I learned the top command, which tells you what's using the most system resources. (In Puppy it told me more than 100% of the memory was in use, which I'm still trying to figure out.)

    a list of the 50 most useful commands. And if you're really brave, try Linux tips every geek should know.

  • Microsoft bashing.
    Top 10 worst uses for Windows
    and Ten More Stupid Uses for Windows.
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