Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Linux ?? Woohaa! What's that ?!?!
Linux is becoming more of a frequent word when it comes to choosing an Operating System. Gone are the days when Windows was THE operating system for the average home user. Linux was then considered to be only for technical ppl or for those that could spend hours on end configuring their system. However the waters are shifting. Linux distributions have become better and more user friendly over the years while retaining their characterising stability. To prove this I have just run a completely new installation of Mandriva Linux 2005 limited edition. Mandriva Linux ( formerley known as Mandrake linux) has always been renowed as one of the most user friendly distributions available. Mandriva Linux is available for several architectures (types) of the cpu family. Mainly it is available for PPC (power PC ) which are machines running Motorola based Processors ( these are mainly Mac computers), i586 is for 32-bit processors both from Intel and AMD. These include the Intel Pentium 4 and The AMD athlon. (this is probably the distribution you need to get ) x86-64 is for processors which are 64-bit compatible such as the AMD64 processor.
The beginning: Getting the distro...
As all other linux distributions, Mandriva LE2005 is distributed under the GPL ( General public licence) and is available to everybody by downloading the appropriate cd images from one of the many public ftp servers and burning them to cd. Alternatively Mandriva may send you a boxed edition containing cds and manuals for the first time user for a reasonable fee. With this you get more software than one would get with the downloadable version. The last way to obtain linux distributions is as easy and is what I did...buy a computer magazine which has as give away cds a full linux distribution.
Preparation: Installing the System...
Mandriva comes as a bootable cd, this means that all one has to do to start the installation process is to turn on his computer and put in the first cd (or the dvd if using the dvd version) into the drive. This will load the setup process and load all information needed. Up till now nothing any more difficult that a windows installation right ? No...thought so The obvious thing to do in such a situation is to follow the instructions given.
Takeoff: Controlling the beast...erm.. penguin
Up till now I have reviewed the installation process, but what about the system itself ? Mandriva Linux instantly impresses the user with it's sleek appearance. The system, for those that love their windows counterpart, looks amazingly like that of Windows Xp. The Kicker (taskbar) has mainly the same features as it's counterpart in windows. It provides easy access to many programs and also encapsulates various applets in it.