What's a Linux?
CodeLongAndPros (1535)

What is Linux?

Today, I attempt to answer what Linux is, for Windows users.

First of all, let's talk what (technologically) Linux is.

Linux is the Kernel. It controls stuff like your CPU/GPU, RAM, SSD/HDD, Keyboard, Mouse...
Everything like that. But that's not useful, you say. That's wrong, you say.

But it's true, but I'll get to that later. Now, let's look at Linux's genesis.

Who made Linux?

Linux was made in 1991 by our Lord and Savior, Linus Torvalds:

It was created because Linus was too poor to afford Minix, a UNIX clone.

He GPL'd it, meaning that anyone can use it, change it, and they can't be stopped.

What is a Linux?

Above, if you remember, I said Linux is the kernel. And it is.
People take the kernel, and other tools and make a 'distro', or 'distributions'.
Most people here have a breakdown. They don't understand that they have a choice about what they use.

Some of the more popular distros are:

  • Linux Mint
  • Debian
  • Arch Linux
  • Manjaro (Based on Arch)

How can you use Linux?

There are three main ways to try Linux.

You can use QEMU. If you don't know how to use it, see my tutorial here

This is the safest option, i.e. you can't nuke your files

You can dual boot. This is the worst option, because Windows does not play well with other in the sandbox. I can't help you install it because each computer is different.
I recommend taking backups of both Win and Linux bi-daily

There's one more option:

Install Linux.
If you rely on PhotoShop, Fortnite (oof), and other Windows specific apps. dual boot is the best option, although there are risks.

This one has the potential for data loss, but only in transfer.
Linux can, and does, keep a database of every file (all 1,000,000) of them.

Some of the benefits of Linux

Linux has benefits, many more than Windows, in fact.

Let's start with the obvious:

  • Linux can run on anything, even a potato
  • Going off of that, Linux can run on pretty any computer made since 1990 (32 bit)
  • It's open source, so it's super customizable. If someone does not like it, they patch it.
  • It's rock hard.
  • It's insanely fast. My computer turned on in 12 seconds, 7 spent in the bios. That's a five second startup including GRUB. Whereas most windows machines take about 20 seconds.
  • Updates can be installed as fast as they are released (Bleeding edge), or they can be never installed (LTS). Repl is using a Linux distro released two years ago. Do that with Windows.

If you hit a snag switching to Linux, if you do, you can comment down here and I'll be happy to give remote support to an extent.

Happy hacking!

I oppose the Linux subsystem for Windows (Promoted by M$FT as WSL) and do not think it's a real solution.

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DynamicSquid (4535)

Ooh, I finally got Ubuntu setup on VirtualBox cause screw M$FT. It seems slower than Windows since it's in a VM, so I probably won't use it for anything major. Are there any small things I could do with it?

CodeLongAndPros (1535)

@DynamicSquid hmm. It's going to be slower, because vm. You could try:

  • Porting some of your code to Linux
  • Configuring Vim
  • Playing a game like ETR, SuperTuxKart or powder-toy
  • Learn to use APT.
DynamicSquid (4535)

@CodeLongAndPros Oh cool, I'll try those out, thanks!

DynamicSquid (4535)

@CodeLongAndPros I tried installing g++ with sudo apt install g++ but it says waiting for cache lock: could not get lock /var/lib/dpkg/front-end. it is held by process 1543

CodeLongAndPros (1535)

@DynamicSquid Try rebooting, and then run
kill $(pgrep apt apt-get)

DynamicSquid (4535)

@CodeLongAndPros It gives me an error saying: pgrep: only one pattern can be provided

Edit: oh wait nvm I tried installing g++ again and it worked

DynamicSquid (4535)

@CodeLongAndPros Ooh, I should install Crystal. Always wanted to try that out

DynamicSquid (4535)

@CodeLongAndPros Wait, where does g++ get installed (I also installed cURL)? I check the Administrator root and deleted some of the folders. I can't find g++ or cURL though?

CodeLongAndPros (1535)

@DynamicSquid Ok Linux crash course.
You installed g++ with apt (apt install build-essential) right?
You can locate a binary with which. which gcc gives me /usr/bin/gcc

CodeLongAndPros (1535)


deleted some of the folders
Oh no. Which ones?

DynamicSquid (4535)

@CodeLongAndPros Wow, Linux makes it super easy to install stuff! I have Crystal, a bunch of GNU stuff, and NASM.

Oh, I have a quick question.

I noticed you do D. Is D like C++, but without the standard library? Also is it worth learning?

CodeLongAndPros (1535)

@DynamicSquid Yeah dev on Linux is super easy. And d is like python but compiled, kinda.
For example: fib. sequence in D:

int fib(int x)
  if (x==1)
    return 1;

Try reading https://tour.dlang.org

DynamicSquid (4535)

@CodeLongAndPros A okay. Also, how does apt install work on Linux? Like is there a CDN somewhere? Can I upload my own package?

CodeLongAndPros (1535)

@DynamicSquid Well there are things called mirrors, and yes. The AUR is a huge repo of software, I've put stuff in there. https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/fetchutils-git
For Ubuntu make a PPA

CodeLongAndPros (1535)

@DynamicSquid (apt only works on Debian-derived distros. My distro, Artix uses pacman)
It will download a "deb" file and extract it into the file system.

CodeLongAndPros (1535)

@DynamicSquid but for Debian based distros you'd usually make a .deb file and let them download it and install with sudo apt install ./filename.dev