After several years of using proprietary operating system (I mean MS) as a desktop environment, a good day I crossed the idea of trying Linux. On the one hand, I was attracted to the concept of free and something that I could free download from the Internet, could replace the familiar Windows. On the other hand, the safety and stability that both had heard of Linux until that time were worth the effort to learn, or at least know a little of this world .
As a designer and developer of software and I had found in some situations where it had systems interact with the family of Unix (RedHat, Solaris, Debian), but always starting from systems already installed, fully configured, and above all, Used as servers (which means remote access, use of the console, very powerful teams, ectétera). But until now, had never had my own distro installed on my PC, much less had used any distro for more than 20 minutes and general purpose (rather than specific and timely).
After making the decision, I began to discover that the amount of existing distributions were really great, and the truth, I had no idea what I should. But with a little research and some Linux users chat with friends, I came to the conclusion that a distro Live-CD was a good choice, and at that time, Knoppix was one of the wonders of creation. That was how, back in 2001, had downloaded the image, burned a CD and booteé under Linux on my PC (800 MHz processor, 128 MB RAM). The first thing that caught my attention was how many applications there were similar on a single CD, along with drivers from all parts of my PC. I could not believe he had installed everything perfectly, and almost automatically. But the good was short-lived because my Readable CDs was not really very fast, and PC in general did not cooperate too. This made it decide to install it on your hard drive. And that changed history.
The installation was really easy (just needed to write a command and the installation began right away). My biggest fear was to NTFS partition data, but thanks to the magic of the LILO boot manager and partitioning custom that I gave that version Knoppix, the ghosts disappeared quickly. Again, the user interaction was minimal, and installation amazingly fast.
With the operating system already installed, I began to investigate a little, mainly to see if he could keep doing the same thing that made so far with MS Windows, and I discovered that this was not so well. Install a program was not the same, began to appear terms such as compile, package manager and updates, libraries and dependencies, and many others. And in addition to this, he did not know which were the Linux versions of my old Windows programs. I must confess that initially disappointed me a bit; things were not as simple as they thought, the programs were not equal, nor in variety, either in quantity or in functionality, at least I found installed. And the installation of these varied distribution and distribution program to program . But fortunately, the variety is so good. And how good was to come.
In commenting on my concerns to various users of Linux (it is here to clarify the importance of the community of Linux users, their willingness and generosity, and the amount of information available on the Internet forums), began the recommendations of distros more complete and principally, more user-friendly. “So I started to try multiple distributions, like Mandrake 9.2, Red Hat and Suse 9. Of these, Mandrake 9.2 was the most that I liked, both by the amount of GUI configuration tools (so necessary for a user who comes from the Windows world) and the ease of use, speed and stability (I have commented that this was not well with older versions of Mandrake, thing I have ever seen). One of the things that pleased me most of these distributions were his versions of the Windows Control Panel, like Mandrake Control Center in Mandrake Control Center (YaST) in Suse, which rendered the system configuration is really simple, intuitive and foremost, graphic . And to solve most problems for drivers that might arise is a really simple task.
Installing programs instantly.
At this point of the match, and was aware of many Linux programs that served to replace the Windows versions, and was accustomed to using many of them, which could use my Mandrake (here renamed Mandriva Linux) almost without no problem. But the intrigue and the need to know more is always present. I wanted to install other applications, possibly the best style Windows (I mean, with something as simple as double-click). While he knew of the existence of rpms or installers like, I usually appeared error messages informing dependency problems or similar things. But after reading (again) a number of forums, I discovered that the distributions modern computer programs that allow installation of applications, whether they are in the installation CD or even somewhere on the Internet. In the case of Mandriva, this tool is called urpmi, and the truth to this day continues to amaze me. There are other tools in other distros, like the famous apt-get, whose benefits are very similar.
Learning to use a console urpmi (Mandriva also includes a graphical installer package) was really easy, simply by typing urpmi program was installed my program. There are two observations: the first had updated repositories, indicating that Mandriva did not look at the packages on the CDs but does so from web directories (it is the simplest way, with the command urpmi.update nombreRepositorio direccionDelRepositorio). That was how I started to try out different applications to see which packages and what was not, surprisingly, I found everything I needed: java, eclipse, apache, php, mysql, xmms, the gimp, quanta, DIA, firefox, thunderbird, OpenOffice , Webmin, Samba and so on. And all in its latest version.
The advantage of the installation package in a simple and transparent I opened many new roads. For example, before installing the distribution with the default settings for desktop and development, which determined that while it would take everything he needed, would also have a lot of packages and programs that are not needed, and only held my resources system. Now, when you installed locally, simply install the network and tools for console. From there, start with a basic window manager, web browser, tools for development, multimedia tools, database server, web server, interpreters, compilers, and so on. This made my system is much lighter and therefore faster and better utilization of local resources.
Things change quite …
Today, the thing is very different. The Linux distros have improved markedly, especially those oriented to the desktop. Ubuntu has grown so amazing, Fedora (and without the Core) innovates constantly, Mandriva is perfect for anyone without knowledge (although it is buenisima for advanced users), openSUSE is really incredible … and children came out of several of these distributions improved in one aspect or another.
In addition, there are more documentation, online help, forums, blogs (like this ) and much more … How nice it is this!