Which Version of Linux is Right for You?

Do you know how many times I’ve heard that question asked in the media or various Linux magazines or what not? Too many. So I’m going to tell you KISS, Keep it simple, stupid. That is the philosophy of the Arch Linux distribution, but for those who are just starting out with Linux, I highly recommend Keep it Simple, Stupid by just going with Linux Mint. I use Linux Mint KDE when I use Linux Mint.

Now I’m an experienced user. I’ve used all kinds of distros from Arch itself as well as offshoots like Manjaro and Antergos to Gentoo and Slackware. I’ve used Debian, Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Studio, Linux Mint, SolyXK, Fedora, openSUSE plus I use an Android phone (Android being a derivative of Linux developed by Google).

I’m not talking about installing these operating systems in a virtual box. I’m talking about actually installing it on my computer as my sole and only operating system for weeks, months or years at a time. So I really know what it’s like to live and work in a computer that runs Linux as it’s operating system.

This blog post – posted inside Linux. Although once I was also a kind of Windows XP expert, but I don’t even like, trust or understand Windows anymore. Everything I need is here on my computer and I pay nothing for the privilege of using any software I need. I’ve learned to meet all my needs inside a “Linux box” as we call it.

There’s people going to tell you to install this version or that version, and that’s fine. But if you’re just starting out, go with the most popular, robust and driver friendly version of them all that works right out of the box every time on every computer. Linux Mint.

Where can I find Ubuntu 14.04 original source code?

Where can you find the Ubuntu original source code? Umm…. Linux isn’t quite like that. Linux is a kernel written by and maintained by Linus Travalds. On top of that is what we call GNU (a collection of thousands of Linux-compatible programs), which work with the kernel to make the software we commonly call “Linux/Gnu” such as in distributions known as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Arch, etc.

So when you talk about the Ubuntu 14.04 original source code, you’re talking about a collection of thousands of different programs written by thousands of people interfacing in one package or distribution called Ubuntu. The good people at Ubuntu weave it into an interface that is relatively easy to install and use. But there is no source code that makes up what we call Ubuntu. It is thousands of programs included with the Ubuntu distribution and packaged into a downloadable ISO file you can burn and install.

From there you can do just about anything you want by adding or subtracting thousands of additional free programs and giving your system the look and feel you like.

You can contribute to any of the many aspects of the Ubuntu project. Just go to their website at Ubuntu.com and volunteer. This answer was typed on an Ubuntu system. I’ve been using Linux since the year 2000.

What nobody is telling you about the cyberattack

By Wayne Boyd May 14, 2017: There are many aspects to this ransomware attack that have yet to be mentioned.

All of the systems attacked, it seems, are running older, unpatched, sometimes even illegally cloned versions of Microsoft Windows. The cyber attackers are using ransomware that exploits these older versions of Windows. Essentially they tell their victims that if they don’t pay their files will be deleted. If their system had been updated, then the attack would not have been successful. Everybody knows this.

Issue number one:

  • Microsoft demanded money for an upgrade.
  • When people didn’t pay up, cyber terrorists demanded money through ransomware.
  • Microsoft did not orchestrate the attack, but essentially they did demand money for already functioning operating systems. People were sandwiched between two parties, both demanding money to keep their system safe.
  • Microsoft did, after the fact, cave and provide upgrades for free.

Issue number two:

  • There are alternate secure operating systems that do not cost money to purchase, install and keep upgraded.
  • Save money, drop Windows, install Linux, run your hospital, package delivery company or government on open-source software.

Issue number three:

  • Bitcoins. The alternative currency. It’s legal. It is so secure, in fact, that the cyber attackers are demanding they be paid in Bitcoins. This is the currency of the future. I read in an article that Bitcoins was a form of cyber currency used by criminals. Well, guess what? Criminals use paper money too, and non-criminals use Bitcoins too..

Xubuntu

Members of the Arch, Antergos and (especially) Manjaro communities will probably be happy to learn that I’m over here now. Xubuntu.

I was at a point where I thought to experiment and I reformatted with Sabayon Linux. What I learned is that Gentoo based distributions take forever to compile and use simple software downloads.

Alas, after a few days I thought to go back to the safety net of Antergos OS. At the time, I didn’t know, Cnchi, the Antergos installer, was broken. To have broken software on a rolling distribution of Linux is normal. To have that happen to the installer was unfortunate to me.

I had no computer! This wasn’t a VM box install. This was the real deal. I needed something to use until Cnchi repaired itself.

Even though some people in the Manjaro forum have been very “good riddance” to me when I suggested an April Fools prank they did was not funny, I reinstalled Manjaro.

It turns out my ISP was having problems at the time. I didn’t know. No fault to Manjaro. I could not update the system once it was installed.

My wife suggested, “Go back to Ubuntu.”

Well, not exactly. I hate Unity and even though Unity is out the door it’s still here for now. I did, however, have a DVD install of Xubuntu, the Xfce version of Ubuntu.

That’s where I am.

It’s not a rolling distribution, but it is solid and I don’t have to reinstall because I can keep the system up to date, apparently, with the click of a mouse.

I loved Arch/Antergos/Manjaro and the now discontinued Apricity. I still belong to their forums. I am now back with Ubuntu.

Everything works. Codecs, YouTube, Netflix, all functional out of the box. That helps a lot!

Sabayon Linux Deal Breaker?

Install a System. It worked great in a Virtual Box window. Time to install it on a real system, not a virtual one. I downloaded the ISO file from the Sabayon Linux Website. Burned the ISO file to a DVD and installed, since my older system requires I install from DVD.

Follow the Wiki: I followed the steps which took a whole day to upgrade the system in the Sabayon New Install Wiki. That just took forever. In any case I wound up with a fresh install of Sabayon Linux, based on Gentoo, running on my computer.

Printer Can’t Be Found: Well, obviously if I can’t set up the printer with at least CUPS if not the HP Printer utility that would be a deal breaker. One must be able to print out stuff on the printer, right?

Still looking into it. Not happy that it’s not as “out of the box” as it seemed in a virtual box, especially after investing two days in the install, update process. Not many people would be impressed, although when you have a working, updated system they say stuff like “Your system is up to date! Cool!”

The best computer program

It’s the greatest program.

Ever.

It’s free, and it’s available for Windows and Mac. Oh. And Linux. Oh. And Unix. Oh. And BSD which you may not have ever heard of, but there you have it. TrueOS, Linux, Windows 10, Mac computers whatever they call their OS. You can find it. It’s free. You can download it. It’s free. It doesn’t cost you anything, nobody’s making money because. It’s free.

Microsoft and Adobe don’t want you to know about the program that makes Photoshop obsolete.

The program is called “GIMP”

Notice I didn’t put a period there. Not sure if I should or not. Notice, finally, “GIMP” is all in capital letters. That was on purpose.

GIMP, or the GNU Image Manipulation Program, is the greatest computer program unless you’re into sound and video editing, in which case there are other great programs.

I will not bother to tell you what GNU means because that will make you not want to know and it’s recursive and really cancels itself out with it’s own name. Okay. I give in. It’s pronounced “Gah nu is not Unix.”

There. Got it out of my system.

It’s originally a “not Unix.” So here we have “GIMP” which translates as “Gah nu is not Unix Image Manipulation Program.”

Just call it GIMP and get over it. It’s a great program. You can go to Barnes and Noble and buy a huge fat book how to use this computer program. I did that until I figured out an essential truth. GIMP is NOT PHOTOSHOP. It can do everything you can do in Photoshop, but it’s not Photoshop so you have to do it in a different way. A completely different way. GIMP really means Gnu Image Manipulation (is not) Photoshop.

Disappointment in Manjaro Linux

I’m really disappointed by Manjaro Linux. Not the distro, but the people. The forums.

The problem with rolling distributions of Linux is they can break. The cool thing about rolling distributions of Linux is you always have the latest greatest software, even if it doesn’t work.

Let’s take a look at Arch and the Arch derivative Manjaro. Manjaro is steady.

Take another look. Manjaro Linux forums are as unfriendly as the Arch forums. The entire line suffers from antagonistic people who, if they look at other derivatives they are scorned.

You may think a distro, or derivative, community is not important, but eventually, if you settle somewhere, you’ll need to talk to people who run that derivative.

Look away.

Arch people hate non-Arch people. Manjaro people hate non-Manjaro people.

Go with Antergos.

It’s a derivative. It’s solid. It works. The forums are small, but non-critical.