Why is it that questions about a given Linux distro are so numerous? You can do anything equally regardless of distro.

Although all Linux distros are built upon the same core, some versions do better than others for certain tasks.

For example, my wife and I have separate computers. She likes to run Runescape on hers. To date, I’ve only found Ubuntu to be able to handle Runescape graphics. (Probably Linux Mint also.)

I like to watch Netflix and Amazon videos. There are a lot of distros that support that, but not all. I am presently running the KDE flare of Fedora 28 on my machine, and this suits my needs perfectly.

Now, if you like to fiddle and have a basic understanding of how software compliments other software, you could probably get any version of Linux to do what any other version of Linux does, regardless of distro (as you point out). But I see it as easier just to pick a distro that suits your purposes best, install that and run with it.

Upgrading to Fedora 28 from Fedora 27

Upgrading is slow but definitely worth it.

I am presently upgrading from Fedora 27 to Fedora 28, which as of writing just came out.

At the stage I am at now I have already undertaken all of the command line instructions and have rebooted the computer. The system has started the upgrade process in the reboot. It’s taking a while but I think it will be worth it.

In the meantime, I am without my computer. So I’m using my new Pixel 2XL phone to dictate this article. It makes a few mistakes but that’s ok.

I was once a big fan of rolling Linux distributions but sometimes found them unstable. Sometimes certain programs would just stop working, or the whole OS, which is part of the deal with rolling distributions. I always thought I wanted the bleeding edge of Linux software, something you can get with rolling distributions.

What what I found, however, was that I really didn’t have the stomach or patience to wait for those programs that stopped working to start working again or go through tedious and confusing steps to get the program that stopped working to work again, or get the whole OS up and going again.

I am no newbie to Linux. I’ve been using Linux since 1998. So in these 20 years I have used most of the major distributions, if not all. Pretty much you name it, I’ve run it.

What I’m using now is Fedora Linux. The reason I decided to go with Fedora is that Linus Torvalds uses it and he is the creator of Linux.

Furthermore, I discovered, unlike some other non-rolling distributions, Fedora Linux can be upgraded to the next version without reinstalling the whole software. Meanwhile, you get regular updates so your programs stay fairly bleeding edge.

Upgrading Fedora from one version to the next can be done easily either from the command line or from inside the desktop environment, (which in my case is KDE).

That’s what I’m doing now. I’ve upgraded, or rather am still upgrading, Fedora 27 to 28, all from the command line. It’s easy to find instructions how to do this by a simple Google search, or if you prefer, DuckDuckGo.

At a certain point in the installation procedure the computer automatically restarts to begin the actual update process. That takes time. Be prepared not to be able to use your computer for about 45 minutes or so, which explains why I’m dictating this article on my phone rather than typing it on my computer.

So if you’re thinking of upgrading, by all means do so. Just search Google for “upgrade Fedora 27 to Fedora 28.” Be prepared that this will take some time but it will be worth it in the end.

The process is now complete. My computer is back to normal. Everything is as it was but under the hood is the new Fedora 28 version of Linux.

To what extent can you tinker and customize Ubuntu when compared and contrasted with Debian?

Well recently I was using Ubuntu KDE, i.e. Kubuntu. You can customize it to look and feel pretty much like anything you want!

For example, are you tired of the Ubuntu logo rotating as your computer boots? You can change that. Are you tired of the boring login screen when you type your password? You can change that with two programs I helped write. Here they are.

ISS-Sunrise shows the sun rising over Earth while your computer is booting. You candownload it here and follow the instructions in the readme file.

PenguinOfLiberty is an alternative login screen with animation and sound. You can download it here. Again follow the included instructions. They come as zip files. Unzip them by clicking on them. Ubuntu will give you an option to extract the files. Extract them all.

I like PenguinOfLiberty. It shows a statue of Liberty that looks like a Linux Penguin at night. There are little stars floating about and sounds from the city and the ocean sounds you might hear in New York. I spent a lot of time developing the sound track. It annoys my wife whenever I reboot my computer, though!

Here’s a screen shot of the login screen on my computer.

How can I switch from Ubuntu Gnome to Ubuntu Unity without losing data?

Why would you want to go backwards? Ubuntu gnome is the way Ubuntu is going. Away from Unity.

Anyway, the problem is classically simple. You must find out where your important files are and back them up on a DVD (like I do) or a USB stick.

Install the new OS and copy the data back from the DVD or USB stick.

Make or Break it Browser for Linux

For me, the make it or break it browser for Linux has 3 tests. Period. Don’t pass’em, you’re outta there.

  1. Play YouTube videos.
  2. Play Netflix videos.
  3. Play Amazon videos.

Here’s the long and short of em’.

Google Chrome – yes.

Firefox – no.

Every other one – no.

Why Firefox makes it difficult is beyond me. I’d love to use it, but I can’t. Doesn’t pass the test.

Who is the manufacturer of the Linux operating system?

Oh I really want to answer this question. Can I?

Linux is not a product of manufacturing. There is no company that made it. In fact, there is no one “Linux” operating system – there are hundreds of different Linux operating systems. They are based on the Linux Kernel which was written and still maintained by a guy named Linus Torvalds. He did i originally as part of a college experiment.

Then along came a bunch of other people calling themselves GNU (pronounced Gah-New) who wrote lots and lots of underlying programs to work with the Linux kernel to make up the whole of the operating system.

All of this is called “the Linux Community.”

They are the “manufacturers” of Linux. A great many good hearted volunteers who spend their spare time doing their hobby – writing Linux code!

What is the purpose of SteamOS (based on Linux), as there are almost no good games designed for Linux?

If you are seriously interested in gaming, then I who have been using Linux only as my OS for twenty years, recommend you to buy an Xbox or PlayStation.

SteamOS allows many games written for Windows to run on Linux.

The point is that real Linux people don’t run anything exclusively for Windows. Why? Because we don’t believe in it. It’s an ethical issue.

We have a free operating system that we can download and reinstall on as many computers as we want for no money – legally by the way. We have free software that is as good as or in most cases better than Windows programs. Like GIMP – replaces Adobe Photoshop. Kdenlive – replaces video editing programs. BLENDER – which is used by Disney and Pixel to make animated movies. LIBREOFFICE – replaces entirely Windows Office.

It’s not that we migrate to Linux and then try to find a way to run Windows programs over here. It’s that we migrate to Windows and never look back. I have no software made by Microsoft or for iOS and Windows machines on my computer.

And you know what? I’m writing to you. Presently, I’m using Fedora KDE (my version usually changes 2 or 3 times a year).

I have no virus protection software – I pay no money for that ’cause we Linux people don’t need it. I’m saving a bunch of money.