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Introducing Linux 10/25/04 Rodney Peters Outline of Presentation What is Linux ? Advantages of Using Linux User Interface to Linux Migration Strategies Obtaining Linux What does it comprise ? Linux Distribution Channels and Pricing Models Applications Available for Linux

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introducing linux
Introducing Linux


Rodney Peters

outline of presentation
Outline of Presentation
  • What is Linux ?
  • Advantages of Using Linux
  • User Interface to Linux
  • Migration Strategies
  • Obtaining Linux
    • What does it comprise ?
    • Linux Distribution Channels and Pricing Models
  • Applications Available for Linux
    • Covered at Previous Two Monthly Main Meetings
  • Hardware Compatibility
  • Configuring Linux using Control Centre
what is linux
What is Linux ?
  • Consider a PC from Computer Shop or Department Store
    • Typically has Windows XP installed
    • Often has other commercial Windows applications
      • anti-virus, firewall, Office, photo-editing, CD/DVD burner, Video Editor etc
  • Similarly for Macintosh Computers
  • Linux is a complete Software Environment which can be used instead of commercial software by running:
    • Linux Operating System in lieu of Windows (any version) or Mac OSX
    • Linux versions of (primarily) Open Source Applications in lieu of commercial Windows/Macintosh Applications
why choose linux
Why Choose Linux
  • For Home Users, << lower cost is a major motivation
    • RRP of bundled commercial Windows/Mac software > $1000
      • about 3 year replacement cycle
    • Maintaining up-to-date Linux over the same period about $180
  • “Try before buy”
      • full versions available for download or on magazine cover CD
      • not “de-featured” or “time-limited”
why choose linux cont
Why Choose Linux (cont)
  • Concensus that Linux is more secure than Windows is sufficient motivation for some users
    • current viruses rely on Internet Explorer or Outlook to function
    • viruses written for Windows unlikely to affect Linux anyway
  • Windows/Mac Commercial Software have become “one size fits all”
    • specialised computers require full licences
      • Internet only PC, media PC, servers, firewalls
    • higher hardware configuration required for simple services
demonstration of user interface
Demonstration of User Interface
  • This works in Linux only
  • CTRL Tab from Linux to move to empty desktop
drive letters
Drive Letters
  • Windows (& OS/2) use different identification for drives
  • Linux Drive Designations & Folder paths will be foreign to Windows users
    • Less so to Mac users
  • Need not be a major impediment to migration from Windows
    • Elementary use requires little knowledge of the folder paths & hard disk nomenclature
      • “home” folder
    • Even for data backup
  • Linux/Mac designations more explanatory


\docs \images


\programs \documents

\programs\acrobat \programs\.mozilla


\images \programs

rest of the world

floppy cdrom dvdrecorder

images programs

Documents .mozilla


backup share

Rest of the World






/mnt /windows

  • Linux is designed to be a secure Operating System
  • A user has permission to their home folder
    • Generally given permission to removable media also
  • Novice User can do all tasks with default permissions
  • Default permissions are fairly lax
    • other users can see your home folder
  • Advanced Users will need to learn Permissions administration
strategies for migration to linux
Strategies for Migration to Linux
  • Appreciate issues & constraints
    • Major Commercial Applications are not Available for Linux
      • eg Microsoft, Corel, Photoshop, Acrobat Pro
      • Probably never will be
    • 6 month upgrade cycle and associated costs
    • Some hardware peripherals & PC components not supported
  • Confirm Intention to Migrate
    • Use Knoppix to explore User Interface, Applications, hardware compatibility
live cd eg knoppix
Live CD eg Knoppix
  • Does NOT
    • alter partition table, in any way
    • install any software to Hard Disk
    • alter MBR, in any way
  • Does (PC only, not available for Macs)
    • boot from CD/DVDROM – recommend 12 speed minimum
    • runs entirely in RAM – minimum 96MB required
  • Optionally
    • uses free space on FAT/FAT32 as swap-file
    • configure to write data to FAT/FAT32 partition
cross platform applications
Cross Platform Applications
  • Changing Applications may be the Largest impediment to Migration
  • Learn Alternate Applications from Windows/Mac prior to Migrating to Linux
    • One at a time to stagger the learning process
      • operating on real data
    • The OpenCD 350 MB
      • Advantage of cross-platform & Open Source Applications available for Windows (on CD) & Mac (via web-links)
      • Also reduces exposure to Internet Malware, which targets primarily Microsoft applications
data migration
Data Migration
  • File Migration is straight-forward
    • Repository (partition) shared between Windows & Linux
    • Simple Option - Store all data files in FAT32 partition
      • NTFS not recommended (unreliable from Linux)
    • Advanced Users - Create Linux Ext3 partition
      • Install Windows IFS drivers for Ext3
  • Data Conversion
    • unnecessary for HTML, PDF, most graphics formats
    • Linux applications will open .doc, .xls. .ppt etc
    • migration tools available for e-mail, particularly Outlook
    • may be complex for specialised applications eg geneology
installing configuring linux
Installing & Configuring Linux
  • Some Hardware Vendors do not provide Linux drivers
    • Select laptops, modems, printers, scanners and TV cards, in particular, for Linux compatibility
    • Some motherboard chip-sets have poor Linux support
  • Check compatibility of existing hardware
    • Use Knoppix on any PC
    • download hardware compatibility test-suites (Linux PC only)
  • Research prior to purchasing new hardware
    • refer to hardware compatibility databases
configuration control centre
Configuration (Control Centre)
  • During Installation a graphical interface is used
    • Internet connection, printers, scanners, TV, etc are configured
  • Later Configuration changes done via same graphical interface to:
    • Display settings for each user
    • system components such as network cards, modems etc
      • note that GUI configuration of system components is relatively slow
linux distributions
Linux Distributions
  • A Distribution is a Collation of Linux software by a Single Vendor, comprising:
    • the Linux Operating System, drivers & System utilities
    • Graphical Configuration tools
    • X Windows (in the case of Desktop systems)
  • And optionally:
    • KDE (or other) extensions to X Windows
    • Up to a thousand Applications both large & small
  • Excepting graphical configuration tools and a few small Applications, all are Open Source & freely down-loadable from the Web.
price trends commercial software
Price Trends - Commercial Software
  • 1984 “Office”
    • eg Word-star + Lotus 123 + DBII = $1500
      • (say) $3000 in 2004 dollars
    • Same for corporate & retail buyers
  • 2004 Retail “Office”
    • > Scope of tools & >> Depth of function for << $
    • Long term trend is downwards (may be levelling out)
  • Both Purely “product” models
      • Licence & materials (floppies/CD, templates and manuals)
      • no installation or support services included
2004 retail price models
2004 Retail Price Models
  • Linux
    • Consumer's choice of:
      • ~$110 for ”boxed set” of media, manuals & installation support for release having 6 month release cycle
      • ~$30 for CD-R/DVD-R media only
      • “Free” download
    • Primarily a “service” model
  • Windows or Mac Software from Major Vendors
    • > $1000 for licence & media only for product having 36 month release cycle
    • 1984 “product” model
      • at reduced real cost
linux price too good to be true
Linux Price Too Good to be True ?
  • Excluded Costs
    • Lawyers
    • Shop-front
      • Shop-fitting
      • Prime location rental
      • Sales staff
    • Marketing & Advertising
  • Opt out of:
    • Printing
    • CD/DVD Media production
    • Logistics
    • Direct Sales
initial linux resources
Initial Linux Resources
  • Software-free New Computers in Canberra
    • Cougar Computers (on-line)
    • AC/DC Computers (located in Macquarie)
    • Computer Fairs
  • Software Download
  • Hardware Compatibility Databases
  • Your Local Linux User Group