May 16, 2012

So is Linux to Ubuntu as DOS was to Windows? Where can I find like a side by side comparison of Linux, Unix, Gentoo, Windows and KDE?

I Know Mac and Windows, old and new. But I have never actually investigated you guys! I am so SICK of Windows and can't afford a Mac. So I am crossing over the Awesome side.....I hope! Please enlighten me!!!! Thanks

Well, let's put it in plain english, you can not compare two diferent types...

Well, let's put it in plain english, you can not compare two diferent types of objects. You can either use a bus or a car for transportation, with both methods you can reach a fair distance, but they are totally different.

For starters, UNIX is a multiuser operating system, but you can consider UNIX as framework or paradigm for a variety of operating systems that have a lot in common, like Santa Cruz, AIX, HP-UX and Solaris or QNX, and then other kernels have something in common with UNIX like BSD or Linux, on the other hand the paradigms of QD-DOS later called MS-DOS and the NT microkernels are completely different, the DOS is single user and just 1 runlevel. The NT kernel namely Microsoft Windows NT4, Windows 2000, and further are multiuser, have multiple run levels and a very complex architecture. If you want to compare to something familiar, think of the kernel as the engine of an operating system. On one hand you have a gas fuel inyection sparkplugs 4 times emgine, very complex and with a lot of very tiny components interdepending one to another (Let's call this one the NT Kernel) and on the other you have a TDI turbo diesel engine, very reliable, modular and very efficient (Call it Linux kernel), but you don't want only the engine, along it serves no purpose, so the rest of the car is all the software around it. In the case of Microsoft is called Windows, in the case of Linux there are lots of Distros and Flavors, why is this? Well you don't have an engine company that discloses all the parts of the engine for free and gives you blue prints and the right to modify the engine as you wish, but Linux is that, you can freely recompile the kernel to fit your purposes. Still there are hundreds of pieces of software that follow the same rules and you may notice that they are licenced under the FSF or the GPL so that you can use them freely or even rebuild or recompile or use just some parts of it etc.

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I am sure someone who is more knowledgeable than I will get more specific,...

I am sure someone who is more knowledgeable than I will get more specific, keeping that in mind I will try to answer your question.
Linux is the Kernel.
Ubuntu is one of the many Distro's that has been implemented. Some are Arch, Debian, RedHat Fedora, LinuxMint.
Now to answer directly. The command line or Terminal is sorta like DOS only one hell of a lot more powerful. I would venture to say that many Linux Servers do not have a GUI/Pretty front-end.
So in completion lets say that the Commandline/Terminal to the GUI (Ubuntu, RedHat Fedora, Arch, Debian) as DOS is to Windows.
I hope I stated that clearly enough and I hope you enjoy whatever distro you use. I use LinuxMint Debian Edition (LMDE). I have used RedHat, CrunchBang, Zen and Debian. However I find that LMDE the one I enjoy the best.

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You have asked for a side by side comparison of apples, oranges, watermelons, squash, and hogs. Everything is all mixed up together. What you really need is a comparison of Linux OS's with Windows.

For that purpose I would recommend that you download live disk versions of a couple of Linux OS's that offer some actual differences. I would recommend a few like OpenSuse, Gentoo, and Mint. OpenSuse, Gentoo, and Mint use different packages to manage software and have some fundamental differences that I won't bother to try to explain because I can't; I'm not an IT guy, I'm a PE. By loading the live disks you can run the OS from an optical drive and test the nuts and bolts without making any actual changes to your machine.

To insure that you are comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges, run the same desktop environment on both. You can run Gnome, KDE, Enlightenment, or one of many others. I would recommend that you run LXDE. It is quite simple, Windows XP - like, and you can concentrate on learning about Linux OS's and what they can do without having to master a desktop environment. I think you will be surprised how easy it is to use.

One of the best things about learning to use a Linux OS is trying out all of the free software. It is pretty mind-boggling how much is available and you can download and try out all manner of media apps, e-mail packages, browsers, office suites...all kinds of stuff.

After using the live disks for a while you can narrow down which OS you prefer and then you can start taking on the various different desktop environments. It isn't a decision you will want to make overnight. That being said, about all Linux OS's are pretty much the same when you are running the same package. They may look a little different but, by and large, they are pretty much functionally identical.

For what it is worth, I am running an HP laptop with a Core 2 Duo processor and 3GB of ram. My favorite software packages are:

E-mail - Thunderbird
Browser - Chromium
Photo Manager - gThumb
Music Manager - Banshee
Terminal - Guake
Spreadsheet - Gnumeric
Word Processor - AbiWord
Media Player - vlc
Dictionary/Thesaurus - Artha
Notes - Tomboy
Bible Study - Xiphos

But there are usually several choices for each purpose under the sun. I promise you, you'll find something for every need on the Linux side.

As for Unix, again I'm not a tech and I don't even know if you can run Unix on a PC, but I can't imagine a compelling reason to try.

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