SiriusHardware
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Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:30 am

Ok, that's a deliberately mischievous headline, but the fact is that Linux has been limping along in third or fourth place for years now despite the obvious advantages, such as the fact that it costs absolutely nothing.

For myself, my reason for staying with Microsoft for so long was that if software (you-name-it) or hardware (whatever) was available for anything, it was available for Windows and possibly nothing else. I didn't ever want to be in the position where I saw a utility, game, peripheral or internal card that I wanted or needed and couldn't get it for my operating system.

So for me and I suspect many other people, the Raspberry Pi was my first (it has to be said, rather painful) experience of Linux. (No fault of the Pi, by the way, it's just that Linux is a bit raw compared to the smooth hand-holding experience of Windows).

Nonetheless, experience with Linux on the Pi made me sufficiently interested in Linux to want to try out 'Normal', ie, PC Linux and so I now have an oldish PC running Debian, chosen because it's the most similar version of Linux to the Raspbian I use on the Pi.

At the moment, there are still reasons why I won't be using Linux as my primary PC operating system - the lack of Flash for websites, for example, and the fact that most Linux distros can't play a legitimately purchased DVD straight 'out of the box'. (As with so much about Linux, you have to hunt around for the solution to that problem). For the first few weeks of my Linux PC's life the video card, which had 3D hardware capability, limped along in 2D mode only. I had to seek help from some incredibly patient people in the Linux forums to get that working.

Then there's hardware compatibility. The first wireless card I tried in the Linux PC was an Edimax 7711ln, which had a Linux symbol on the outside of the box. It turned out that I needed to compile the supplied driver myself, something I had no idea how to do. Even when that problem was resolved it turned out that WPA/WPA2 encryption was broken in the driver anyway: Solution: buy another wireless card, and just hope that it will work. If you are building a new Linux PC it's a good idea to have three different kinds of everything handy - either that, or you need to do some very careful research into Linux compatible hardware beforehand.

Some of these problems are because the Linux community is forever having to play catch-up. A bit of hardware gets released (invariably with Windows drivers, rarely with Linux drivers) and it (understandably) takes the community a while to reverse-engineer drivers, sometimes perfectly, sometimes less so.

The other, more serious problem is that Linux's current share of the market makes it simply not worth the manufacturers' while to support it - or so they say.

And this is where I am hoping that the Raspberry Pi can make a difference. I'm hoping it will create a whole new generation of Linux-savvy computer users who will generate a massive uptake in the use of Linux, therefore finally making Linux a viable system for all of the hardware manufacturers and software producers to support.

So, a quick poll:

Had you ever used Linux before you got a PI?

If not, have you subsequently gone on, like me, to experiment with PC Linux? If it became sufficiently mainstream, would you consider going over to Linux entirely?

wranzzon
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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:10 pm

No I had never used Linux before the Pi

shuckle
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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:22 pm

Yes, I have used linux a lot. Mainly because it so much easier than windows. I do not play games, so I have not seen those problems you mention. For me most hardware works better in linux than in windows. Finding those drivers in windows is really difficult.

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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:02 pm

Been using Linux for 15 years, about 7 on the desktop.

Linux doesn't need saving. Counting Android and all the embedded linux systems out there they probably outnumber Windows systems
Don't judge Linux by the Pi.......
I must not tread on too many sacred cows......

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Dweeber
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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:42 pm

Limping along ?

I administrate tons of Unix and Linux boxes (200+) none of them are really workstations, they are servers.... I don't even really use the Raspberry Pi as a workstation, command line only. I almost never use X on it or if I do it is from a Win environment to access X on a Linux/Unix server.

I have to use too many tools and applications that simply won't work in a Linux workstation environment. Right tool for the right job. Using a Linux workstation for the sake of "using Linux" doesn't make sense unless it works for you.
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smartpatrol
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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:55 pm

I completely understand where you are coming from being new to the scene I have used linux as a hobby and professionally over the last 15 for real work such as edge mail handling 200k messages a day at a mid-sized company filtering spam and viruses or as Oracle Database servers. Most Linux distributions are very "fiddly" after working with Linux a few years you get use it even windows requires tweaking installing drivers etc.. Be glad you are just getting into it now! It used be be much worse the hardware support is night an day compared to a decade ago!

Anyway like any tool as complex and useful as Linux you need to determine how you want to use it. I doubt Linux as a whole will ever be a install and go desktop operating system; although Ubuntu is giving it a good shot. Thats why i recommend Ubuntu or Fedora Core to any casual user that wants to play with a Linux desktop system. Keep one thing in mind while you are looking at that pretty gui that the real power of an OS like linux is at the command line.

I personally use Linux daily at work and have for the last 5 years or at home i use it for server duty i would use it for my main system if i didn't have a need to game.

brs
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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:30 pm

I have been using Linux since the early 90ies and happily for most of my professional career, my main desktop workstation has been running Linux or FreeBSD. Today, Linux is doing stronger than ever - many popular Internet services are running on Linux servers (being the "L" in LAMP architecture http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LAMP_(software_bundle)) and so are many embedded devices (anything Android for example).

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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:31 pm

I've used linux for many years now, the only windows I use is on other people's PCs. I use Mint Linux 13 mainly at the moment. I used linux at the start to run apache/mysql website local debugging and development. I eventually fell out with windows a few years ago. Flash is included in most desktop linux systems, and a dpkg installer is available for x86 (intel/amd) systems from adobe. I've never run into problems running mpeg2 VOB files from linux, as I mainly have mp4/xvid/divx.

The Pi Raspbian is a step back in time version of linux, mainly due to the large size of desktop distributions, and the ARM requirement. I think linux today is much better than the DOS of when I first started using PCs. Linux is a little harder to learn at the beginning, but is just as useful as anything Microsoft has developed. I used to get annoyed at having to install the Java SDK, and ActiveState Tcl/Tk before I could write any free programming for windows.

Visual Basic VBA edition in MS Office was quite useful in some environments, but the reality of web development focused on PHP and JavaScript. There are other ways of doing it today. Almost all need a good programmer's editor. I use gedit or geany.
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TillM
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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:08 am

Ok, that's a deliberately mischievous headline
Not really. Just an ill informed opinion headline from another ill informed noob!

If windows is so great, why is it dying? How many windows phones are being sold? Tablets? SBC's running windows? If it wasn't for linux (which is going from strength to strength) you'd only have android on the raspi --- oh wait linux again.
For myself, my reason for staying with Microsoft for so long was that if software (you-name-it) or hardware (whatever) was available for anything
And I wonder how many of those windows programs you actually paid for? Or like most windows users do you scourer the warez sites for that pirate copy of photoshop?

It's a known fact that linux supports more hardware out of the box than any windows does. Sure some newer devices don't work straight away, but once they do work, you know they'll work for just about ever. Unlike windows where when you get a new version you can end up needing new hardware.
You just need to be a bit more careful when buying your hardware for linux. But once you have all compatible linux hardware, you can rest easy knowing it only takes 15 minutes to install a complete system without having to hunt around for driver cd's you haven't used for years.
most Linux distros can't play a legitimately purchased DVD straight 'out of the box
It's as simple as "sudo apt-get install mplayer" or "sudo apt-get install vlc"
Which windows plays DVD/Bluerays out of the box?
For the first few weeks of my Linux PC's life the video card, which had 3D hardware capability, limped along in 2D mode only.
Strange you don't mention the brand of video card? All well known brands of video cards worth owning are fully supported under linux accept for arm stuff which is slowly changing.
If you are building a new Linux PC it's a good idea to have three different kinds of everything handy
This is just complete FUD! My whole house and business run on linux, 13 computers in all built by myself. I never needed to have three of anything to get the job done including wirless, I just brought quality brand components which are known to work with anything, it's not hard! IOW I support hardware makers that support me! The raspi is the first time I broke my vow and bought something from broadcom knowing they are not linux friendly. Only because I believe in what the raspi people are trying to do and wanted to support them.
Some of these problems are because the Linux community is forever having to play catch-up.
More FUD.

Play catchup to what exactly? That some lazy hardware manufacturer doesn't want to spend time making universal drivers that will work for anything other than windows?

Linux is not a commercial entity where there's a time scale to have stuff working. People in the community go out of their way to make stuff work coz they have an itch to scratch. You know that they don't even have to give it to you, they do it because they're good and honest people that believe in the community and advancing linux.

I think your perception of linux is completely wrong and way off the mark, not to mention downright insulting.

Linux is not windows, is not macOs. Linux is a community driven project that just so happens to be kicking some serious butt lately. It pulls in people from all walks of life including some big players. In the end it will dominate there's no question about that. The power of open collaboration will be far too strong for any one entity to combat. You can either jump on the bandwagon and help, or just go back to to your narrow minded windows world and wither with your virus infested hardware.

For those who want to jump in and learn. Once you learn the true power of linux and what it can do as well as what it stands for, you'll wonder why you never used it before. There are others to, the bsd's but linux is the biggest one with the biggest following.

SiriusHardware
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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:10 pm

TillM wrote: And I wonder how many of those windows programs you actually paid for? Or like most windows users do you scourer the warez sites for that pirate copy of photoshop?
TillM - I don't mind you mounting a fierce defence of Linux, which you obviously love and have had nothing but good experiences with. Some of the things you said made me question some of the things I originally said.

However, you have absolutely no right to attack me personally or accuse me of criminal activity. You know nothing about me. I have never been on 'warez' sites, as you refer to them, and my shelves here are groaning under the weight of original DVDs and (Windows) software boxes accumulated over many years. I don't have Photoshop. For photo editing I use Thumbsplus, which I originally tried as a demo, then bought. It has served my photo editing / sorting needs ever since.

As I indicated, I expected that my post would provoke a (hopefully good natured) response in support of Linux, and, incidentally, my final (genuine) point was that I hoped that Linux would become more popular as a result of it having been adopted by the Raspberry Pi.

Linux fans often say, correctly, I have no doubt, that Linux is very strong in the largely invisible server / infrastructure world where most people will never see it. Honestly, the majority of computer users neither know nor care what the Internet (for example) runs on. I should have made it clear that I was talking about Linux as a desktop PC operating system, ie, as an alternative to Windows and MAC, but I did think that was obvious enough from the general context of my post.
TillM wrote: Unlike windows where when you get a new version you can end up needing new hardware.
That is an absolutely valid criticism of Windows. I tend to run the same Windows version for years after a new one appears for that very reason. I am still hanging on with Windows XP now, in fact.
TillM wrote: You just need to be a bit more careful when buying your hardware for linux.
I know that now, and I did actually say that. But to get to that point of awareness, I first had to go through several items of hardware which just didn't work correctly under Linux.
TillM wrote: But once you have all compatible linux hardware, you can rest easy knowing it only takes 15 minutes to install a complete system without having to hunt around for driver cd's you haven't used for years.
Agreed, that is the upside of the way Linux does things, although if you are a seasoned Windows user you keep every driver disc you ever get in a place where you know you can lay your hands on it. It's just a different way of life.
TillM wrote: Which windows plays DVD/Bluerays out of the box?
I don't know of any version of Windows which plays Blu-Ray straight from installation, which is why I didn't even mention Blu-Ray. Blu-Ray is a relatively new and highly proprietary format. DVD has been around for years, but even then, Windows as recently as XP did not come with the native ability to play DVDs. I use PowerDVD 7 to do that on XP..My Dad has the newest PC in the family (Vista based) and he seemed able to play DVDs from day one - but maybe his machine / bundle included codecs that the builder (Acer) had paid for? If so, I apologise for the implicit assumption, ie, that Windows does and Linux doesn't.
TillM wrote: Strange you don't mention the brand of video card? All well known brands of video cards worth owning are fully supported under linux
'Worth owning'. Hmm. I can't afford new computers every couple of years, so all my hardware is years behind what most people own.

The graphics card in question is as mainstream as you can get, but very old: It's an Ati Radeon 9200 SE. Ati's proprietary Linux drivers may originally have supported this card, but now do not.

Left to its own devices, Linux chose drivers which enabled the absolutely basic features of the card and did not attempt to utilise the card's hardware 3D capability - it was left up to me to realise that everything was being rendered in software and seek help to enable the card's 3D capability. So yes, it was ultimately possible to get it to work using a mixture of third party drivers and forum help. The problem is that this stuff is often so obscurely named that you can't even guess what it's called in order to go looking for it yourself.
TillM wrote: Play catchup to what exactly? That some lazy hardware manufacturer doesn't want to spend time making universal drivers that will work for anything other than windows?
Yes, exactly that. You jumped to the conclusion that I was criticising the Linux community, but the fact is that hardware invariably comes with Windows drivers on the day it is released, rarely with Linux drivers (which is not the fault of Linux) and so, consequently, the Linux community have to work like hell to create or reverse-engineer what is already available for Windows. In other words, to catch up.
TillM wrote: People in the community go out of their way to make stuff work coz they have an itch to scratch. You know that they don't even have to give it to you, they do it because they're good and honest people that believe in the community and advancing linux. I think your perception of linux is completely wrong and way off the mark, not to mention downright insulting.
I said, and I stress again, that I hope that the advent of the Raspberry PI means that more people will adopt Linux for personal computers than do so now, and that as a consequence, hardware manufacturers may be forced to offer better Linux support for their products.

Broadcom (who you said don't have a good previous record for supporting Linux) appear to have taken a step in the right direction with the release of previously closed information which should hopefully prove useful to those trying to squeeze the best from the PI - long may that continue, and let's hope other hardware manufacturers follow suit.

brs
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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:31 pm

We are living at the dawn of the post-PC area. All this PC & desktop stuff may soon be as irrelevant and uninteresting as arguing about the relative merits of Amdahl vs. IBM S/360 mainframes.

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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:25 am

SiriusHardware wrote:
TillM wrote: But once you have all compatible linux hardware, you can rest easy knowing it only takes 15 minutes to install a complete system without having to hunt around for driver cd's you haven't used for years.
Agreed, that is the upside of the way Linux does things, although if you are a seasoned Windows user you keep every driver disc you ever get in a place where you know you can lay your hands on it. It's just a different way of life.
TillM wrote: Strange you don't mention the brand of video card? All well known brands of video cards worth owning are fully supported under linux
'Worth owning'. Hmm. I can't afford new computers every couple of years, so all my hardware is years behind what most people own.

The graphics card in question is as mainstream as you can get, but very old: It's an Ati Radeon 9200 SE. Ati's proprietary Linux drivers may originally have supported this card, but now do not.

Left to its own devices, Linux chose drivers which enabled the absolutely basic features of the card and did not attempt to utilise the card's hardware 3D capability - it was left up to me to realise that everything was being rendered in software and seek help to enable the card's 3D capability. So yes, it was ultimately possible to get it to work using a mixture of third party drivers and forum help. The problem is that this stuff is often so obscurely named that you can't even guess what it's called in order to go looking for it yourself.
As a former Windows user, I also had the habit of attempting to keep driver discs. However I had been given bits and pieces of the years that was impossible to find drivers for. Generic or outdated technology that no longer had support ? Linux could use them perfectly.

As for the graphics card, funnily enough Windows does the same thing.
It defaults to a safe barely accelerated driver. Most computers that are store bought will have drivers pre-installed but if you build your own computer, chances are you will need to install the vendor drivers before the full capability of the video card can be used.
If you have old hardware, chances are that you will have similar difficulty in Windows or Linux.

For example, I had a Voodoo Banshee that I was using only a few years ago. VERY outdated. VERY hard to find windows drivers for.
Even Geforce 4s which are newer but still fairly old can be a pain to setup on either OS as you need to find the version of the drivers which still supported the hardware.
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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:28 am

I'd tried out various linuxes over the years, but always found it too much of a hassle to do simple things. The only thing that had impressed me was puppy linux. All the others were too much hassle for seemingly no benefit (other than price).

Now that I'm forced to use it on the Pi, I'm starting to appreciate the pros and cons, but I still wouldn't like to have to use it as my main OS...
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...

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cheery
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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:57 am

Raspberry Pi is certainly a game changer, but it isn't saving linux. Linux is widely accepted, deployed and capable operating system on it's own. What you are looking at is a black swan for large computer industries. - They won't see it before it KOs them.

Raspberry Pi is a platform that makes it easier to be something else than just merely a consumer of software. You'll get to see the freedom in free software. It's reversing the trend that was iteratively turning computers more boring, uninteresting corporate monoliths.

Of course that's what it was meant to do. Kids were being turned away by the expensive and arcane computing experience, and it introduced a terrible problem for computer industries, which would need lots of capable people to work for them in future as well.

So.. I think this story about apple/microsoft walled gardens are coming to their end. They are unsustainable as they don't support producers themselves. ;) We need computers that are exactly like the Pi. Better for producers even if it'd require bit more skills from users themselves (probably not in fact). But having useful skills.. I don't think you'll hate that.

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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:22 am

To answer the original question, I first tried Linux when it was distributed on 20-30 floppy disks. I didn't get on too well with it, partially because the PC I had allocated it was an obsolete Pentium 75 -- too slow even then. I have paid for every copy of MS operating systems I used, except for Windows 2000 -- I simply could not afford it. The EULA for Windows XP, and the knowledge that I'd either be stuck on XP Home or have to pirate again, was the straw that pushed me onto Mandrake Linux. (I use Windows Pro at work, using Home would have driven me crazy.) When I built my latest PC I had to move over to Ubuntu because Mandriva did not have SATA drivers for the new motherboard. I've since moved to Mint and I'll probably bite the bullet and go to Debian soonish.

I find that cost, or piracy in one form or another, is a constant with Windows. You need to pay for everything. The only applications that are free come from the Linux world, or at least run on Linux too. But the vast majority of community software on Windows is shareware. On Linux, even shareware is virtually unheard of.

Hardware is a problem with Linux, but the situation is improving all the time. It sounds as if you have not enabled the non-free repository; I'm not sure if pure Debian has one, Ubuntu does. That's where all the binary-only software lives including NVIDIA drivers and Flash.

Administrating Linux is a bit of a change from administering Windows; not actually harder, but a different process with different sticking points. I always say that occasionally, and about as often, both Windows and Linux will give you a truly hard problem that has you sweating and tearing your hair out for three days. The difference is that with Windows you will come out of those three days having rebuilt your PC, formatted and reinstalled the OS, no wiser and feeling beaten. With Linux you come out having found, understood and fixed the problem, with a renewed faith in yourself and your fellow man.

If you are in any way a power-user, you do need to be able to build software from a tar-ball, but it isn't a difficult skill to acquire.

That's administration, but from an end-user point of view, minor GUI differences aside, Linux is as easy to use and as capable as Windows. The only deficiencies are things like games, (and Steam will soon be native on Linux.) I once installed Mint Linux on an, almost computer illiterate, friend's computer when I had lost patience with them (malware up to the eyeballs and they had lost the XP disk that I had bought them out of my own pocket.) They got along fine with it. The only complaint, and why they finally had another friend reinstall XP, was that they couldn't play games.

That same computer was originally Windows 2000. Every time XP booted, it saw a new printer, helpfully went to the Internet for new drivers for it, and failed to find any. I looked too, but they weren't there. That was £100 worth of printer that was unusable, so Linux is not the only one with the problem.

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penguintutor
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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:49 pm

I've been using Linux for about 12 years and it is running on almost every "computer" in my house, including TVs, Routers, Blue-Ray player, Mobile Phones, Tablets, SatNav as well as traditional computers. The only thing that I can think of that is running a non-linux based operating system ('kernel') is the Wii and an old PS1 that my daughter has.

I have almost completely ditched Windows except for Work (due to company policy), testing and occasionally playing games (My son loves Theme Park World - which only runs on XP or earlier).

I didn't get on too well with it, partially because the PC I had allocated it was an obsolete Pentium 75

Wow - you were running on a Pentium! I use to dream of running on a Pentium :-)
My first Linux PC was a 486SX, which was slow but usable as a second PC (not dissimilar to how I see how Raspberry Pi compares with a laptop). It has only been the last few years when I finally made the move to Linux on the desktop in 2009 Blog - Linux now desktop ready, which waited until that long because video editing was not up to scratch before then.

I think the Raspberry Pi is going to increase the awareness of Linux and hopefully create a new generation of programmers that are more aware of the importance of free software, but in some there is a risk it could create a negative impression of Linux as well. Anyone seeing the Raspberry Pi and thinking that is what Linux is like on the desktop may think that Linux is slow and not up to the standard of other operating systems, which is not the case.

The distribution on the Raspberry Pi is a cut down, light-weight version of the Linux desktop. LXDE does not look as good as a full KDE / Gnome (even Xfce) desktop running on a proper spec'd PC with the usual standard applications. Even gaming (previously poorly supported on Linux) is now viable on Linux systems.

To the title - Linux doesn't need a saviour - it's heavily used in data centres, very popular on mobile phones and tablets (although not with the open source support as the other areas), widely used on embedded devices and ready as a complete desktop replacement. It's popularity will no doubt improve on the desktop as people start to count the cost of using Windows and proprietary software vs. the free Linux option.

I think that the Raspberry Pi will make people more aware and show people that they can create software that runs on Linux without paying large license fees for compilers or other operating systems and that is going to be good for Linux and open source. But there will also be people that will see the Raspberry Pi and think that represents what it is like to run Linux on the desktop and that's not the case.

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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:33 pm

yes projects like these are great to make people aware of linux. I mean, I could now give my mom a credit card sized low power thingie and have her use it for mail and browsing without too much hassle. Which is awesome. It's also a great target platform for fun software/hardware (though I wouldn't want to wait on the Pi compiling medium to large sized C++ projects for instance), eg that project with the gps connected to it was a great example of an idea that would have been hard to realize a decade ago for such a small pricetag.

As a sidenote on the x vs y debate: having used all kinds of OS'es on all kinds of different hardware during the last 15 years or so, I learned these things:
- each has it's problems
- most of them are pretty much superior for some tasks but I found none of them that was good at all possible things I wanted from a device (this is just, as mentioned above, a matter of selecting the right tool for the job)
- for each there exist fundamemtalist fanboys that will try to minimize or even deny the first point, and claim their OS does not obey the second point :twisted:

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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:55 pm

TillM wrote:
Ok, that's a deliberately mischievous headline
Not really. Just an ill informed opinion headline from another ill informed noob!

If windows is so great, why is it dying? How many windows phones are being sold? Tablets? SBC's running windows? If it wasn't for linux (which is going from strength to strength) you'd only have android on the raspi --- oh wait linux again.

etc etc..
For myself, my reason for staying with Microsoft for so long was that if software (you-name-it) or hardware (whatever) was available for anything
I find some people who use forums just plain horrible. I can't believe that someone would write such a nasty reply and for what gain? Very strange indeed.

The OP was a well written post making in my opinion a valid statement, however, I don't think Linux needs saving though, it's general purpose use seems to be getting bigger and bigger all the time, just perhaps not in the desktop computer arena.

Charlie

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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:10 pm

I was introduced to M$ in the mid 80's and started using Linux in the late 90's.
My Tag line became -
"XP made me switch to Linux and Vista keeps me there"

As a Computer Professional I worked with all levels of Users and Hardware.
The M$ experience was not all that smooth and the price was more than I was ready to endure.
I switched and never looked back .

I'm now retired and deeply into Linux based projects. It keeps me out of the bars and brothels.
The Grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but it still has to be mowed.

tufty
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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:31 pm

Is that supposed to be a good thing? After all, bartenders and *ahem* courtesans *ahem* need work as well. Goddamn anti-free-enterprise hippy communists, you'd be first up against the wall if we had enough imaginary money left to pay for bullets.

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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:48 pm

Rasperry pi the savour of Linux?
As a newbie to Linux I'm not so sure, my first impression was that it is very difficult to do anything, and the user privalage system makes windows UAC seem unobtrusive.

The thing is that the pi was designed to get young people interested in programming, I'm thinking that maybe it needs a much simpler os for that purpose. I've had my pi a few weeks now, and I'lve only just got it to mount network drives in rw after days of research, and don't ask how getting the printer to work is going.

So maybe the question should be will Linux kill off the pi, or at least it's primary purpose as a learning machine for young people?

flyinghappy
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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:18 pm

KimB wrote:
Rasperry pi the savour of Linux?
As a newbie to Linux I'm not so sure, my first impression was that it is very difficult to do anything, and the user privalage system makes windows UAC seem unobtrusive.

The thing is that the pi was designed to get young people interested in programming, I'm thinking that maybe it needs a much simpler os for that purpose. I've had my pi a few weeks now, and I'lve only just got it to mount network drives in rw after days of research, and don't ask how getting the printer to work is going.

So maybe the question should be will Linux kill off the pi, or at least it's primary purpose as a learning machine for young people?
One thing to keep in mind here is that you are used to Windows. Coming from a background of using only windows for most of my life and then switching to Linux in the last 2 (i'm now 28...) I can tell you that I find Linux to be much simpler and actually fixable when something breaks. It is all what you are used to, MAC people will probably find Linux to be better than Windows as well since they both use a Unix style file hierarchy. It does definitely take a bunch of research in the beginning, but is well worth it in my opinion. One thing I have done that has greatly put me in touch with the Linux OS is to get away from the distro's like Ubuntu that have everything ready out of the box and move to ArchLinux or a flavor like it. It forces you to start from nothing but a console and add only what you want and learn about the very core of the OS. Linux is an extremely powerful OS compared to Windows in the fact that it can move from a PC to a server to a tablet to a refrigerator (yes, there is a refrigerator that runs on Linux...). Everything can be easily looked at as well and tweaked to give YOU the best experience possible as you can put what you want where you want.

I don't think the PI will be Linux savior as I am of the belief like some above that it doesn't need saving. Linux touches every bodies life in one way or the other as most Internet Service Providers are running Linux servers. Do I think Linux will break the PI? Of course not, Linux is growing daily and has been ever since 1991 when it was introduced. It is lightweight and very intuitive once you let go of the Microsoft way of doing things.
Pi with ArchLinux running a minidlna/samba home server

jamesh
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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:41 pm

KimB wrote:
Rasperry pi the savour of Linux?
As a newbie to Linux I'm not so sure, my first impression was that it is very difficult to do anything, and the user privalage system makes windows UAC seem unobtrusive.

The thing is that the pi was designed to get young people interested in programming, I'm thinking that maybe it needs a much simpler os for that purpose. I've had my pi a few weeks now, and I'lve only just got it to mount network drives in rw after days of research, and don't ask how getting the printer to work is going.

So maybe the question should be will Linux kill off the pi, or at least it's primary purpose as a learning machine for young people?
Whilst it really shouldn't take days of research to figure out how to mount a drive RW, I see your point. A beginner to Linux (and the command line) will have a steepish learning curve (but not as steep as some I've encountered in my working career - GIT for example), and that's emphasised by what I think are really rather bad tutorials on the net which assume a basic level of knowledge that a real beginner doesn't have, and ineffective books. I think with decent teaching material, Linux should be quickly learnable to a usable extent, and certainly to a level where students could use it for programming. And once you have the basics, the advanced stuff comes automatically.
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gregor3000
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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:32 pm

I too think that linux doesn't need a saviour and is doing fine. increasing it's share on variou devices.

The strength of linux is also it's open nature. this means that code is open. it also give a lot of flexibility. which means you can create a board from scratch, then modify and stick linux on it (just like R Pi). you can never do this with proprietary systems like Windows. Ok there is windows CE but it is much less flexible than linux is.

you can make a TV, stick linux in it and you have smart TV with low power consumption. you can't really do that so easilly with windows. maybe the new windows RT you could. not sure. but you would be locked into what programmes you could run and would have to pay a lot of money to get the tools and such to be able to modify it.

in linux it doesn't cost you any. so for example you have an old computer and say you drivers do not work. the idea in linux is that if you know how you can make your own drivers. which the community often does. you can make you own linux distribution that would only run on computer you built and maybe add soem proprietary software to it. you can sell them and if you manage to convince people they are supperior to all other maschines on the market you can get rich - that's basically what apple did/does (OK they took code from BSD/unix so they can do this under different software license). but Red Hat used linux and is doing quite well.

another thing about DVD out of the box - the reason for the libraries nto being provided is because they are not allowed to distribute them for free along with the product in all countries. it's similar complicaiton as some codecs. i think in windows plenty things you get out of the box you also pay for (for various licenses and fees) - the price for it is inlcuded in OS price. however making DVD playable is only a few clicks away.

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Re: Raspberry Pi- the saviour of Linux?

Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:26 pm

I'm not sure of the status of codecs, but Microsoft has some strange license conditions for a lot of the stuff it gives away free.

For instance the web core fonts package is required to be distributed in the original form, which was .cab files inside a self-extracting .exe file. They cannot be provided as part of a commercial offering, so you probably can't get it on the install DVD. There are Linux packages that include them, but they also include a Linux utility for unpacking cab files and use it as part of the installation. Before that work was done, getting those fonts into Linux was a considerable pain. Fortunately they can be distributed, because they are no longer available on the Microsoft website. In contrast, some libraries and SDKs are free to use, but they must be downloaded from the Microsoft site by every individual who wants to use them.

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