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Re: Want to migrate from windows xp to linux

__/ [Eric] on Wednesday 08 February 2006 08:51 \__

> Hi,
> I would really like to change the OS on my two home pc's (1 desktop, 1
> laptop) from windows XP to linux.
> The things about linux that interest me are:
> 1. I like the idea of the source code being open. With many eyes on the
> code, it is not likely to have things going on behind your back.
> 2. The price is right. Although if I find a linux setup I like, I will
> buy a boxed set distro to support the effort.

This is often unneeded if you burn your own CD(s), order a free set of CD's
or find someone who has a stack readily-available. Unless you fancy
bubble-wrap, shrink wrapping or the smell of a carton container, I see no
special reason to get the physical thing directly. Support is not bound to a

> 3. I like the idea of a very stable operating system that rarely has to
> be rebooted.

[Glancing over at Ubuntu box]

09:00:40 up 120 days, 50 min,  7 users,  load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00

> 4. I like the idea of an OS that is not bloated. My windows directory
> is over 2GB, even after running disk cleanup.

I guess Mandriva FC and SuSE (among many more) are out of the question then.

> I have some questions about switching over from xp:
> I think I have a pretty good understanding of how my Windows XP system
> should be maintained. I run anti-virus and anti-spyware software. I
> defragment my hard-drive on a regular basis. I also run zone-alarm
> firewall (free version), which alerts me to any new program that is
> trying to acccess the internet.

None of the tasks described above is ever needed under Linux, skills

> So, if I migrate to linux are the following assumptions correct:
> I dont need to run any anti-virus or anti-spyware software because, for
> whatever the reason, these are not a problem for linux?


> I don't need to defragment my hard drive because it is not necessary
> due to the way linux stores files?

There is no guarantee that you will not have to run fsck (FileSystem ChecK,
somewhat analogous to scandisk.exe) one day, for example if your physical
drive degrades and develops the plague of bad sectors. You will at least be
able to rescue data under such circumstances. Linux often saves the day when
a Windows machine collapsed and fails to reboot.

> Also, what about the linux firewall? I have seen some programs like
> netstat which allows me to see a lot of information about what is
> accessing the internet, but is there anything available that functions
> like zone alarm, where it alerts me if a new program is trying to
> access the internet? I don't like the idea of regularly sifting through
> log files looking for a "needle in a haystack".

Firewalls come 'out of the box' with Linux. Most unauthorised access attempts
will assume you run Windows and therefore will be utterly irrelevant.

> One other thing is that I am familiar with linux from a user point of
> view. I use linux at work as my desktop os (RH9), but I do not have
> root access, so I have no idea about maintenance/security issues.

System administrators deserve the same rights as users. Everyone loves an
intuitive interface and many GUI's. Bear in mind, however, that your
sysadmins at work are hardcore users, who will most likely choose the
quicker route to getting some jobs done: the command-line. Don't be deceived
by this. I have never use KSSH or KCron, for example, while I prefer cPanel
to managing a Web server from the command-line. Had I started with KSSH and
KCron, maybe the habits would have evolved differently. I advise you to
embrace the GUI. Less skills to occupy your mind that way...

> Thanks for any advice you can provide me...

Hope it helps,


Roy S. Schestowitz      |    The most satisfying eXPerience is UNIX
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
  8:55am  up 22 days  4:11,  12 users,  load average: 1.12, 1.35, 1.17
      http://iuron.com - next generation of search paradigms

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