Another Million Learn About GNU/Linux

“Linux is a free open-source operating system, which means the code is available for anyone to explore. Technically speaking, the term “Linux” refers to just the kernel, or the core, of the code. However, people often use the name to talk about the whole operating system, including the interface and bundled apps.

For a start, Linux is free and open source, which means you can add it to a computer or laptop you already own—or a machine you’ve built yourself—without paying anything. The system also comes with similarly-available software, including a web browser, media player, image editor and office suite, so you won’t need to fork out extra cash just to work on photos or documents. And of course, you get all future updates for free too.

To get started, head to the website of the distro you prefer, and follow the installation instructions. You’ll usually have to burn a DVD or set up a USB drive with the necessary code, then reboot your machine to run that code. In fact, one of the operating system’s advantages is that you can store it on a portable USB stick—read more in our full guide to putting a computer on a USB drive.”
 
See Why and how you should switch to Linux
Ordinarily, I would not notice or even recommend a brief article in a magazine but this is Popular Science, the Bible of DIY types especially the young and restless who might actually take the plunge into FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software). It’s a general magazine with a million subscribers.
 
TFA is decent but completely misses the issue of Free Software and seems to imply $free is the important thing in the name. The authour mentions that anyone can tinker with it and glosses over that the whole world tinkers with it and submits changes to Linus who herds the cats to make a state of the art kernel upon which billions of computers and users depend. I guess one has to entice kids into the pool before teaching them to swim.
 
There’s not even mention of Red Hat or Debian GNU/Linux, and not even a hint of how large the ecosystem is. Perhaps the world already knows. The advice to use the distro of one’s choice glosses over the glorious weeks one can spend reading about GNU/Linux and visiting a dozen distros before choosing a match, but it’s not bad advice to pick one, any one and give it a go. That will get inquiring young minds over the barrier to entry. It’s all good.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.

This entry was posted in Linux in Education, Teaching, technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Another Million Learn About GNU/Linux

  1. oiaohm says:

    Question: With all these governments/corporations considering OpenSource software, is there any talk of them donating money to some of the more important projects and other Desktop and Office oriented software that will be critical for corporate adoption?
    The answer is yes. They have moved past considering they have been using and have got to the point of defining what they want and that is way different to what Microsoft has been delivering. In fact more than Microsoft has ever delivered.
    https://www.cip-project.org/
    You have governments and corporations now asking and funding for that current Linux kernel runs on 20 year old hardware and then be supported for 10-20 years from release.

    So now looking at a possible 40+ year time window before a bit of hardware comes unsupported.

    Remember the most Microsoft has promised is 10 years into the future and about 5 years backwards.

    Of course this massive life time also see then putting support into flatpak and docker to allow running old on new and new on old.

    Malaysia is a country with stringent censorship.

    Yet even with that they publish open source conference videos.

    https://sinarproject.org/en
    Yes Malaysia is a odd ball place when it comes to censorship. Massive censorship on one hand yet the government supporting open data projects on the other.

    So it does come down to how you define censorship. There are a lot of countries that rate better on “Worldwide Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Border” rating that you cannot get as much data out of the government on how they are spending taxes and so on to base an informed arguement on how well the the government works.

    The reality is that Malaysia has heavy censorship in some areas then strange none in areas that could see government members not reelected.

    By the way Malaysia is not the only government using Linux as desktop and laptop in a dominate way.

    So we are past the point of theoretical adoption to the point of those major adopters starting to write the future direction of Linux.

    By the way Petey
    See almost every time Grece does this almost every one his statements is bogus. Maybe you should stop focusing on name calling and start checking facts.

  2. oiaohm says:

    Deaf Spy
    Ran out of lube under the lamppost, Fifi? Tough when you go out unprepared.
    So another lie what can you never tell the truth any more???

  3. Grece wrote of GNU/Linux desktops in Malaysia, “If that were so, Robert would be all over it.”

    Been there, done that.

  4. Grece says:

    Grece funny clueless much. Malaysian government officials use Linux desktops and Laptops almost exclusivity.

    If that were so, Robert would be all over it. Instead of fantasizing, why not post some evidence of such?

    Question: With all these governments/corporations considering OpenSource software, is there any talk of them donating money to some of the more important projects and other Desktop and Office oriented software that will be critical for corporate adoption? No??….well, how is FLOSS suppose to work then.

    By the way Petey, Malaysia is a country with stringent censorship.

  5. Deaf Spy says:

    Ran out of lube under the lamppost, Fifi? Tough when you go out unprepared. Like when you discussed writeln() 🙂

  6. oiaohm says:

    No one uses Linux on laptops, let alone desktops. How many times have we been over this?
    Grece funny clueless much. Malaysian government officials use Linux desktops and Laptops almost exclusivity. They know exactly what ones to buy.

    Malaysia Open Source Conference every year there is staff from that government using Linux laptops. Basically this is another case you believing another total work of fiction.

  7. oiaohm says:

    It speaks of low hardware requirements in the days when Windows runs on any dual-core CPU with 2GB RAM
    Deaf Spy few problems with this statement.

    https://www.intel.com.au/content/www/au/en/support/articles/000006105/processors.html
    Windows 10 only works on Intel processes back to 2012 properly.

    Runs on any dual core cpu with 2GB of ram. Lets limit that claim. First dual core x86 cpu that would be May 2005 from AMD and Intel.

    Intel® Pentium® D Processor 840 to be exact for the first Intel to meet that. So about 7 years of Intel dual core processors are not supported by Windows 10.

    I am been fair and leaving the power4 of 2001 out by IBM. Yes that was a dual core and no version of windows run on it and max ram is 2GB yes current edition debian does run on it.

    https://www.x.org/wiki/Events/XDC2017/peres_ci.pdf
    Intel is testing current Linux kernel back to 2004. So all Intel dual core cpus without strange GPU are support by Linux current kernels.

    It is possible with a 20 year deployment of mixed years of hardware to have all that hardware running the same version of Linux. This is not really possible with Windows.

    Any dual core with 2GB is not true there are arm board like the CubieTruck – CubieBoard 3 that match that as well and Windows does not run on it.

    Debian is way closer to the statement any dual core with 2GB of ram but even that is not close enough that it would be sane to attempt claiming it.

  8. Grece says:

    No one uses Linux on laptops, let alone desktops. How many times have we been over this?

  9. oiaohm says:

    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=windows_ubuntu_pow&num=9

    Kurkosdr About time you start digging into facts. You see different benchmarks battery life Windows vs Linux. Major are bull crap. Why more often than not Windows is the winner the reason for the win is not given. Why did I say more often than not. You will find reverse examples where the Linux desktops kicks the crap out of Windows. What going on here it been this way since 2011. How well the hardware is support by the OS has a bigger factor on battery life.

    Meanwhile, battery is still scarce across the board, and Desktop Linux wastes it with abandon. And as a related symptom, Desktop Linux tends to burn balls on laptops even on light tasks.
    So this is total garbage. Buy a Laptop that is truly Linux compatible if you want battery life using Linux.

  10. Kurkosdr says:

    It speaks of low hardware requirements in the days when Windows runs on any dual-core CPU with 2GB RAM.

    Never mind that even “lightweight” Linux distros such as Xubuntu waste a resource which is actually scarce in the modern laptop.

    I will give you a hint about that resource: It’s measured in milliamperes.

    What was the last time you heard someone complain about main memory usage and trashing? 2007? And even my Atom Diamondville-powered netbook has no problem running Windows smoothly (especially now that MS has stopped delivering patch Tuesdays in a dozen pieces and delivers cumulative updates), and the Netbook actually chokes on YouTube videos (the HTML5 player is more resource hungry than Flash, who knew).

    Meanwhile, battery is still scarce across the board, and Desktop Linux wastes it with abandon. And as a related symptom, Desktop Linux tends to burn balls on laptops even on light tasks.

    There is no engineered efficiency of open source software. If there is light resource usage, it’s either due to missing features or happened by chance.

  11. Deaf Spy says:

    Another Million Learn About GNU/Linux

    If a whole million readers of this magazine still haven’t heard of Linux, the situation of Linux nowadays is totally disastrous. 🙂

    The article itself is pathetically weak. They fail to outline the benefits of using Linux, and point out insultingly irrelevant information. It can’t tell server and desktop usage. It speaks of low hardware requirements in the days when Windows runs on any dual-core CPU with 2GB RAM. The author is so stupid it even points out that users will be limited to use only software from the repository.

    Dear, even I could have come up with more valid reasons to use Linux on desktop. 🙂

  12. Grece wrote, “I think you should discuss this Linux desktop thing Robert, as Linus Torvalds disagrees with you entirely.”

    ISTR Linus uses a GNU/Linux desktop. Perhaps he’s trying to keep it all for himself.

  13. Grece says:

    Well lets see, Mark Shuttleworth quoted 200 million users in four years. Then there was the story about Canonical claiming Ubuntu would soon ship on 5% of worldwide PC shipments. Followed with the open-source community claiming that GNOME would own 10% of the global desktop market by 2010.

    See where this is going Robert?

    Now of late, a few years ago mind you, Canonical estimated that there were 25 million Ubuntu users.

    Continuing further, free software icon Richard Stallman (AKA toe-cheese eater) went so far as to brand Ubuntu 12.04 spyware. The Electronic Frontier Foundation asked Canonical to turn off the Amazon Lens by default, they even went so far as to devote a series of how-tos to securing Ubuntu. Which coincidentally led to Canonical sending a DMCA takedown notice to an Electronic Frontier Foundation person who created the site fixubuntu.com

    As George Takei would say, “Ooh my!”

    Further still, Ubuntu had the problem, well, what if it builds a Linux phone and no one comes? The proposed Ubuntu Edge phone wins the distinction of being the largest and most spectacularly failed campaign in crowdfunding history.

    To end, I think you should discuss this Linux desktop thing Robert, as Linus Torvalds disagrees with you entirely.

  14. Grece wrote, “Ubuntu has been around since 2004, and” tens of millions are using it consciously. I have two in my family. Two others use Debian GNU/Linux consciously. GNU/Linux works for people.

  15. Grece says:

    What percentage of people will be freed Robert?

    Ubuntu has been around since 2004, and yet there are hundreds of millions of people using Microsoft Window consciously.

  16. Grece wrote, “Neither journal is a peer-reviewed scientific journal, both are popular science journals.”

    Not relevant. A million people are relevant. Some percentage will be freed from TOOS. I celebrate their rescue.

  17. Grece says:

    *sigh*

    Neither journal is a peer-reviewed scientific journal, both are popular science journals. These are not academic journals, but magazines which report on stories of interest to the public. They source their stories from peer-reviewed academic papers from various journals.

    With that said Robert, anyone reading that article is going to be a newb and are not going to be installing RedHat or Debian.

    Here is another DIY article for you Robert.

    https://www.popsci.com/windows-keyboard-shortcuts

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