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What's a Linux?
CodeLongAndPros

What is Linux?

Today, I attempt to answer what Linux is, for Windows users.

First of all, let's talk what (technologically) Linux is.

Linux is the Kernel. It controls stuff like your CPU/GPU, RAM, SSD/HDD, Keyboard, Mouse...
Everything like that. But that's not useful, you say. That's wrong, you say.

But it's true, but I'll get to that later. Now, let's look at Linux's genesis.

Who made Linux?

Linux was made in 1991 by our Lord and Savior, Linus Torvalds:

It was created because Linus was too poor to afford Minix, a UNIX clone.

He GPL'd it, meaning that anyone can use it, change it, and they can't be stopped.

What is a Linux?

Above, if you remember, I said Linux is the kernel. And it is.
People take the kernel, and other tools and make a 'distro', or 'distributions'.
Most people here have a breakdown. They don't understand that they have a choice about what they use.

Some of the more popular distros are:

  • Linux Mint
  • Debian
  • Arch Linux
  • Manjaro (Based on Arch)

How can you use Linux?

There are three main ways to try Linux.

You can use QEMU. If you don't know how to use it, see my tutorial here

This is the safest option, i.e. you can't nuke your files

You can dual boot. This is the worst option, because Windows does not play well with other in the sandbox. I can't help you install it because each computer is different.
I recommend taking backups of both Win and Linux bi-daily

There's one more option:

Install Linux.
If you rely on PhotoShop, Fortnite (oof), and other Windows specific apps. dual boot is the best option, although there are risks.

This one has the potential for data loss, but only in transfer.
Linux can, and does, keep a database of every file (all 1,000,000) of them.

Some of the benefits of Linux

Linux has benefits, many more than Windows, in fact.

Let's start with the obvious:

  • Linux can run on anything, even a potato
  • Going off of that, Linux can run on pretty any computer made since 1990 (32 bit)
  • It's open source, so it's super customizable. If someone does not like it, they patch it.
  • It's rock hard.
  • It's insanely fast. My computer turned on in 12 seconds, 7 spent in the bios. That's a five second startup including GRUB. Whereas most windows machines take about 20 seconds.
  • Updates can be installed as fast as they are released (Bleeding edge), or they can be never installed (LTS). Repl is using a Linux distro released two years ago. Do that with Windows.

If you hit a snag switching to Linux, if you do, you can comment down here and I'll be happy to give remote support to an extent.

Happy hacking!

I oppose the Linux subsystem for Windows (Promoted by M$FT as WSL) and do not think it's a real solution.

Voters
ksath214
KraazyBillyy
SixBeeps
FishingFights
ironblockhd
CodingGoose
Jakman
SebastianGarc17
sala0599
ARJPEG
Comments
hotnewtop
Wumi4

I feel enjoyable with Linux, my computer is more cooler after install Linux compared to when my computer run Windows. I will install another Linux distro (Zorin OS) to my computer!

Quite off the topic, but there are some good free, open software that you may feel better or more comfortable when use it compare to the Windows specific software or exclusive software. Here it's some of them:
+Snapseed for editing pics
+LibreOffice, OnlyOffice,... for office use
+Krita, Blender for graphics

And so on.

In the case that you want to run Windows apps or play Windows specific games on Steam, you can use Wine, a program that help you run Windows apps on Linux, and Proton, a compatible layer design by Valve, use for running Steam games on your Linux.

CodeLongAndPros

@DangHoang2 I know about all of that. You forgot GIMP, PlayOnLinux and kmines.

DynamicSquid

damn, too poor to afford something so you create your own lol

CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid Hey, that's how it all started.

DynamicSquid

@CodeLongAndPros so the kernal is the thing that controls your computer, and linux is a kernal, and there are distros of linux like Manjaro or Ubuntu and those are OS?

CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid kernel, but yes. The kernel does the filesystem, display, and then systemd starts the services, and then X starts and finally, GNOME (ubuntu uses this dekstop) or Kde (Manjaro uses this desktop) takes control, giving you your desktop.

k9chelsea2

if you rely on fortnite the best advice is to get help.

CodeLongAndPros

@k9chelsea2 I used to play it, but I stopped.

k9chelsea2

good boi

CodeLongAndPros

@k9chelsea2 Just got boring.

k9chelsea2

yeh lol all the dances forced me to take cover apple have earned even more of my respect for kiccing it out of their app store

firefish

@k9chelsea2 Wiser words have never been said.

[deleted]

@k9chelsea2 from -100 to -99 respect for me

DynamicSquid

Ooh, I finally got Ubuntu setup on VirtualBox cause screw M$FT. It seems slower than Windows since it's in a VM, so I probably won't use it for anything major. Are there any small things I could do with it?

CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid hmm. It's going to be slower, because vm. You could try:

  • Porting some of your code to Linux
  • Configuring Vim
  • Playing a game like ETR, SuperTuxKart or powder-toy
  • Learn to use APT.
DynamicSquid

@CodeLongAndPros Oh cool, I'll try those out, thanks!

CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid Sure, got any done yet?

DynamicSquid

@CodeLongAndPros I tried installing g++ with sudo apt install g++ but it says waiting for cache lock: could not get lock /var/lib/dpkg/front-end. it is held by process 1543

CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid Try rebooting, and then run
kill $(pgrep apt apt-get)

DynamicSquid

@CodeLongAndPros It gives me an error saying: pgrep: only one pattern can be provided

Edit: oh wait nvm I tried installing g++ again and it worked

DynamicSquid

@CodeLongAndPros Ooh, I should install Crystal. Always wanted to try that out

DynamicSquid

@CodeLongAndPros Wait, where does g++ get installed (I also installed cURL)? I check the Administrator root and deleted some of the folders. I can't find g++ or cURL though?

CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid Ok Linux crash course.
You installed g++ with apt (apt install build-essential) right?
You can locate a binary with which. which gcc gives me /usr/bin/gcc

CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid

deleted some of the folders
Oh no. Which ones?

DynamicSquid

@CodeLongAndPros Wow, Linux makes it super easy to install stuff! I have Crystal, a bunch of GNU stuff, and NASM.

Oh, I have a quick question.

I noticed you do D. Is D like C++, but without the standard library? Also is it worth learning?

CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid Yeah dev on Linux is super easy. And d is like python but compiled, kinda.
For example: fib. sequence in D:

Try reading https://tour.dlang.org

DynamicSquid

@CodeLongAndPros A okay. Also, how does apt install work on Linux? Like is there a CDN somewhere? Can I upload my own package?

CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid Well there are things called mirrors, and yes. The AUR is a huge repo of software, I've put stuff in there. https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/fetchutils-git
For Ubuntu make a PPA

CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid (apt only works on Debian-derived distros. My distro, Artix uses pacman)
It will download a "deb" file and extract it into the file system.

DynamicSquid

@CodeLongAndPros Ah cool, thanks!

CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid but for Debian based distros you'd usually make a .deb file and let them download it and install with sudo apt install ./filename.dev

programmeruser

It was created because Linus was too poor to afford Minix, a UNIX clone.

Actually, I'm pretty sure that Linux Torvalds read a book that came with the source code of Minix and Linus used that.

CodeLongAndPros

@programmeruser No not this again.
Linux was made totally independent from MINIX.
It was like minix, but minix was like UNIX, and Linux is like UNIX.
From Wikipedia:

Development was done on MINIX using the GNU C Compiler.

programmeruser

@CodeLongAndPros you said that Linus couldn't afford Minix, but that's not true, it was an example OS that had its source code released in a os dev book.

CodeLongAndPros

@programmeruser Ohhh yeah. He didn't like minix and was toor poor for Unix

programmeruser

@CodeLongAndPros also, you could write a linux iso to a usb and boot from that. And I got a linux as you suggested but it's inside a virtual machine

CodeLongAndPros

@programmeruser Yeah but stuff like Puppy, Knoppox and Tails don't have tons of drivers.

programmeruser

@CodeLongAndPros what do you mean they don't have tons of drivers?

programmeruser
[deleted]

wtf, how does anyone not know wat linux is bro

CodeLongAndPros
SixBeeps

To be honest, I had Mint running alongside Win10 for a good bit, then my Mint partition decided to die. It ended up being okay for my use case, but I'm probably never gonna put Linux on here again simply because it disliked my hardware.

EDIT: I shoulda known better to say a partition died. It did not die, the OS on the partition just failed to function properly.

CodeLongAndPros

@SixBeeps That’s probably windows…

It likes to eat GRUB and “repair” your root partition
SixBeeps

@CodeLongAndPros It wasn't a bootloader issue. I could still load in to GRUB (heck, I think it also recognized both OSs on there) but for whatever reason, after installing Torch, Mint just wouldn't recognize any of my USB devices.

CodeLongAndPros

@SixBeeps uh ok

firefish

I wish I could just pacman -R windows, but boy is that impractical, like half of my dev stuff like visual studio is only available on windows.

CodeLongAndPros

@firefish Why? Mono works on Linux.

firefish

@CodeLongAndPros I know, but I have a lot of old projects that only get built with Visual Studio and aren't CIL based that I use quite often, because they're written in Visual Basic.

sheepsbleat

your forgetting something. WSL

CodeLongAndPros

@sheepsbleat
Here, I think you dropped this:

I oppose the Linux subsystem for Windows (Promoted by M$FT as WSL) and do not think it's a real solution.

sheepsbleat
HahaYes

@CodeLongAndPros calamares installer is a nightmare

CodeLongAndPros

@HahaYes Have you seen the arch installer? Boots to a cli and then says “read the wiki”

HahaYes
CodeLongAndPros

@HahaYes huh wuru is off the board

HahaYes

@CodeLongAndPros yeah because his name is now justawalrus.

firefish

@HahaYes Wuru the UwU or Wuru the Walrus... they're the same

HahaYes

Squid are you alive @DynamicSquid

CodeLongAndPros

@HahaYes I NOW USE ARCH BTW

CodeLongAndPros

@HahaYes Also want to make a Replit wiki?

HahaYes

@CodeLongAndPros uh isn't KDE basically arch

HahaYes
CodeLongAndPros

@HahaYes kde is the k de, arch is a distro.

CodeLongAndPros

@HahaYes Thing is it has to have a database for edits.

HahaYes
DynamicSquid

@HahaYes ya sorry got distracted i was writing a tutorial on memoization (coming out tmr)

DynamicSquid

@HahaYes lol you imported night

AmazingMech2418

By the way, WSL is really just a VM system for Linux in Windows. It's not too good with desktop stuff, but it at least works. Also, VirtualBox/VMWare are two other good options! Of course it will be a little slower, but at least it won't have the side-effects of dual-boot! Also, for people who need help understanding what a kernel is, it is pretty much a foundation for an operating system. Also, seriously? No Debian-derivatives? All Ubuntu and Kali users are now sad. LOL! (also, it should be "Promoted by" at the end...)

CodeLongAndPros

@AmazingMech2418 the thing it, it’s not a VM. They are going to ship the kernel with it, so people won’t install a VM, since they can just use Microsoft Linux

AmazingMech2418

@CodeLongAndPros Well, WSL2 uses Hyper-V which is the Windows built-in VM system, so I'd call WSL a VM. However, it is faster than like VirtualBox or VMWare since it is a kernel actually on the Windows computer.

CodeLongAndPros

@AmazingMech2418 It's an EEE.

AmazingMech2418

@CodeLongAndPros Though, with the whole "Microsoft Linux", aren't there rumors of Microsoft wanting to buy Canonical?

CodeLongAndPros

@AmazingMech2418 yeah, but Canonical only owns snap.

AmazingMech2418

@CodeLongAndPros And Ubuntu... Most Ubuntu-derivatives are separate, but the base version of Ubuntu is owned by Canonical.

CodeLongAndPros

@AmazingMech2418 They don't have the rights to any of it. GNOME and Linux, Apt is safe. Just snap.

AmazingMech2418

@CodeLongAndPros Well, yeah. That's because Ubuntu is mostly just Debian with a few extra things added, but the configuration of everything that is used to make Ubuntu is owned by Canonical.

CodeLongAndPros

@AmazingMech2418 Yeah but I don't like ubuntu.

AmazingMech2418

@CodeLongAndPros Honestly, the only reason people use it is because it's easy. LOL! That's why I want to try Arch!

doineednumbers

@CodeLongAndPros I am personally worried because I rely on a system that relies on Ubuntu :(. Also, if Microsoft changes the license, we can't have Ubuntu derivatives like Mint. Though since it's based on Debian, I don't think they can even do that.

AmazingMech2418

@doineednumbers They could just switch to Debian-derivative.

CodeLongAndPros

@doineednumbers What the heck?
Ubuntu is owned by Canonical, not M$

AmazingMech2418

@CodeLongAndPros They're saying if Microsoft acquires Canonical...

NoelB33

Sometimes I basically use Linux just for the terminal

CodeLongAndPros

@NoelB33 I use Linux for freedom.

NoelB33
HahaYes

YES SIR MANJARO FTW

AmazingMech2418

@HahaYes But, does Manjaro have super cow powers? I'm still kind of new to Linux, but I've grown to like Debian-derivatives a lot, although, I haven't really tried any others. LOL! I do want to try like Fedora and Arch and stuff, but personally, I like Debian-derivatives like Kali and Ubuntu and, of course, Debian.

CodeLongAndPros

@AmazingMech2418 It’s bleeding edge. I’m running Kernel 5.8 and Gcc 10, whereas Debian is on python 3.6

HahaYes

@CodeLongAndPros is this where I switch to ubuntu to make Codelong mad?

HahaYes

@CodeLongAndPros AARGH YOU HAVE PASSED ME I MUST WIN

HahaYes

@AmazingMech2418 lmao apt-get moo gang

CodeLongAndPros

@HahaYes Ubuntu is the stepping stone into Linux.

HahaYes
CodeLongAndPros

@HahaYes But Manjaro is as well.

HahaYes

@CodeLongAndPros manjaro kde is INSANE like just too good

CodeLongAndPros

@HahaYes arch has updates faster, manjaro is 1/2 weeks behind....

Hey, I forgot to update today!

AmazingMech2418

@CodeLongAndPros Nice! I actually want Arch to be my main distro on my next computer (planning on tri-booting Arch, Ubuntu MATE, and Kali, but with Arch as the main one).

AmazingMech2418

@CodeLongAndPros Well, Manjaro is an Arch-derivative like Ubuntu is a Debian-derivative.

avpimblesr1

@AmazingMech2418 If you favor Debian-derivatives, you may want to try LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition). The Debian Edition is, of course, based off Debian. There is another edition based off Unbuntu.

The Mint camp decided to create the Debian Edition in case some future event would make the use of Unbuntu to restrictive or impossible.

HahaYes

@avpimblesr1 I'd rather use KDE

CodeLongAndPros
HahaYes
firefish

@HahaYes KDE is the best WM out there, GNOME is the worst thing invented

DungeonMaster00

i use ubuntu

CodeLongAndPros

@nk1rwc

I use Arch BTW.

Bookie0

is that an earing? or is it just hanging from his...cheek?

CodeLongAndPros

@Bookie0 It's a microphone. Most photos of him are at conferences/ted

Bookie0

ah ok lol @CodeLongAndPros

Bookie0

lmaoo @CodeLongAndPros that kinda looks like jesus ngl

CodeLongAndPros

@Bookie0 pls no.

Bookie0

@CodeLongAndPros ? uh ok then

zplusfour

my dad has windows computer
but he downloads linux to program on it!

but he told me that I'll install linux when I have big projects (smh)
btw thank you for the tutorial ;)

CodeLongAndPros

@ZDev1 I use Linux when I want to be free.

zplusfour

@CodeLongAndPros rly?
I am a 12 yrs old kid maybe I'll get it when I grow up

CodeLongAndPros

@ZDev1 I'm still in middle school and use it every day.

zplusfour

@CodeLongAndPros ok nice
but I'll try later
thanks

Codemonkey51

One way to run Linux and Windows is wsl you can check that out here

CodeLongAndPros

@Codemonkey51 I oppose WSL and do not want to endorse it as a replacement for a full Linux install.

Codemonkey51
AmazingMech2418

@CodeLongAndPros WSL is not a replacement for a full Linux install. It is just a VM to use some Linux tools on a Windows computer. I personally use WSL currently and really want to make my next computer run on Linux (still need my Windows computer for stuff like AutoCAD for my Drafting class and stuff). Also, the Raspberry Pi is a great way to get started with Linux! I have three of them (two 3B+s and one 4), although I only have one up and running (my Pi 4 doesn't work with my monitor and I haven't yet flashed an SD for my second 3B+).

JustAWalrus

Unix was a clone of Minix. The opposite of what you said.

CodeLongAndPros

@Wuru No.

CodeLongAndPros

@Wuru Minix (from "mini-Unix") is a POSIX-compliant (since version 2.0),[4] Unix-like operating system based on a microkernel architecture.

JustAWalrus

Guess my sources are wrong. @CodeLongAndPros

CodeLongAndPros