Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Nov 2007 21:22 UTC, submitted by irbis
Window Managers "Linux has proven amazingly flexible: after nearly 10 years of use, I'm still impressed by how the Linux operating system does exactly what I want on any type of hardware. Desktop customization is no exception; from the ultra-modern KDE and GNOME window managers to with the likes of Fluxbox and AfterStep, there's a Linux desktop to suit everyone."
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wm for a server?
by rockwell on Mon 19th Nov 2007 22:49 UTC
rockwell
Member since:
2005-09-13

Linux rocks on servers ... but why use it on the desktop?

I'm not trying to be a smart-a$$, but seriously. I maintain Linux servers and they are pretty much rock-solid (mostly Tomcat5 and Java webapps).

What can Linux on the desktop do for me, that a properly-configured XP install won't?

Reply Score: 1

RE: wm for a server?
by shykid on Mon 19th Nov 2007 22:53 in reply to "wm for a server?"
shykid Member since:
2007-02-22

What can Linux on the desktop do for me, that a properly-configured XP install won't?

Cost less and not treat you as a pirate by default, for starters.

Reply Parent Score: 21

RE[2]: wm for a server?
by ml2mst on Mon 19th Nov 2007 23:15 in reply to "RE: wm for a server?"
ml2mst Member since:
2005-08-27

Cost less and not treat you as a pirate by default, for starters.


Agreed, beside that, you can get rid of the resource hungry antivirus and antispyware scanners and think of working with multiple visual desktops. Once your used tho that, you'll miss it on a DE that doesn't support it.

Reply Parent Score: 10

RE: wm for a server?
by KenJackson on Mon 19th Nov 2007 23:12 in reply to "wm for a server?"
KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

What can Linux on the desktop do for me, that a properly-configured XP install won't?

When I learn about a software package (let's assume it's named NAME) that sounds like it might be helpful for me, I fetch it from who-knows-where and install it in one step like this:

sudo urpmi NAME

Other distros use equivalent apt-get or yum commands.

If I decide to uninstall it, I use this command:

sudo urpme NAME

What is the equivalent Windows command?

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: wm for a server?
by netean on Tue 20th Nov 2007 11:43 in reply to "RE: wm for a server?"
netean Member since:
2006-01-08

the equivelent on windows means you don't have to learn a set of command (that are different on pretty much every linux distribution).

You download the program, click the installer and it puts an icon on your taskbar, on your desktop (if you like). - unlike apt-get that might install things anywhere it please and is often hard to find when installed.

The other beauty of the windows system is. if you get a computer magazine it comes with software that you can install straight from the disk. not have to compile from source - which means having all your header libraries installed.

Another benefit, is that you can then copy the install program on a disk or usb file and give it to a friend (if it's freeware or shareware of course) or install it on a machine that isn't connected to the internet or doesn't have broadband.

Try using sudo urpmi openoffice 2.2 on a 56k dialup connection..

Try doing the same on a non-internet connected computer.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[2]: wm for a server?
by mk@tuco.de on Tue 20th Nov 2007 15:26 in reply to "RE: wm for a server?"
mk@tuco.de Member since:
2007-01-23

Thatīs not the answer.

There is a german saying, if you canīt describe (the advantages of) something within 1-2 sentences, it means you donīt know it (them, the advantages).

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: wm for a server?
by mk@tuco.de on Tue 20th Nov 2007 16:09 in reply to "RE: wm for a server?"
mk@tuco.de Member since:
2007-01-23

I should have quoted it.

Thatīs not the answer.

There is a german saying, if you canīt describe (the advantages of) something within 1-2 sentences, it means you donīt know it (them, the advantages).


was a reply to
What is the equivalent Windows command?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: wm for a server?
by chemical_scum on Mon 19th Nov 2007 23:18 in reply to "wm for a server?"
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

What can Linux on the desktop do for me, that a properly-configured XP install won't?

Just Work.

Reply Parent Score: 11

RE[2]: wm for a server?
by atezun on Tue 20th Nov 2007 00:17 in reply to "RE: wm for a server?"
atezun Member since:
2005-07-06

While this statement is a bit untrue, as I've seen plenty of xp installs just work. Some of us just don't like dealing with some of the nuances of windows. As a student developer setting up a gcc is a royal pain in windows, while it's nearly idiot proof on most linux distros. Plus as a science major there's all sorts of useful software just sitting in my repositories.

Also, on my laptop I need to do a total of 11 driver installs on a fresh copy of XP. If you ask me that's absolutely nuts. Vista thankfully brought this down to a total of 2, but Vista has it's own problem. A linux install meanwhile takes me half the time and all I need is two clicks of a mouse to enable my wireless and accelerated video drivers. My trackpad in particular is a sticking point. It stinks in windows as its scroll no matter its sensitivity is jumpy and horribly unresponsive, not to mention on some websites it plain refuses to function. Yet in linux it is smooth as can be.

In general my biggest beef with windows is its software maintenance scheme(installs, upgrades, finding new programs) as it's nothing short of a PITA. I'll admit I'm an exception though as windows has never been my primary OS.

For me though I guess it's the reverse, what can windows do for ME that a properly configured linux install can't?

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: wm for a server?
by diogob on Mon 19th Nov 2007 23:46 in reply to "wm for a server?"
diogob Member since:
2005-07-06

If you are a *nix server developer is very handy to have apt-get and lots of libraries out of the box. And you have a environment closer to the server for testing purposes.

Xfce is great also, altought is not mentioned in the article.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: wm for a server?
by Oliver on Tue 20th Nov 2007 19:55 in reply to "RE: wm for a server?"
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

Xfce isn't a WM, it's a small desktop environment.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: wm for a server?
by lemur2 on Tue 20th Nov 2007 01:20 in reply to "wm for a server?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

What can Linux on the desktop do for me, that a properly-configured XP install won't?


Freedom from the "upgrade treadmill".

Protect you from viruses & malware.

Give you a one-stop, easily searchable, guaranteed no malware GUI application installer.

Choice and customisability of the desktop. (Themes, "windowblinds" etc by default).

Cross-platform compatibility & interoperability.

Choice of well-documented filesystems.

Pervasive use of open formats, not tied to any platform.

A browser compliant with W3C standards, including SVG, and which can pass the acid2 test.

"Future-proofing".

Choice of underlying computer architecture (not tied to x86 platforms alone).

Larger range of compatible hardware.

Hardware recognised immediately, no need to search for the right "driver CD".

Full range of desktop applications in addition to the bare OS.

A working 64-bit desktop with all drivers.

Virtualisation support built-in to the kernel.

Freedom to copy the exact same desktop software to as many machines as you would want, without additional costs.

Ability to run all applications as a normal user, no need to run desktop applications as root.

Attachments are not simply dumped by mail clients.

No subscriptions required (even to virus databases & the like).

An update service that will not "push" unwanted software on you.

Lack of spying on you ... no information sent back to big brother.

Lack of ongoing registration & activation requirements.

No killswitch (no genuine disadvantage), even if you replace a hard drive or a video card.

A 3D desktop with visual bling if you want it.

...

...

... apart from that, not much.

Edited 2007-11-20 01:40

Reply Parent Score: 21

RE[2]: wm for a server?
by pixel8r on Tue 20th Nov 2007 02:09 in reply to "RE: wm for a server?"
pixel8r Member since:
2007-08-11

This is an awesome list!

I think I've been using linux for so many years that I take all of these things for granted. Some features haven't been around so long but I use windows so rarely that I wasn't aware windows didn't have these features...or maybe I just hadn't given it any thought.

In actual fact, my windows XP install is currently corrupted due to being hit with spyware that every anti-spyware tool has been unsuccessful at removing.
It needs a reinstall, and I just dont have the patience and time to even bother with it. Its the first time I've been hit with spyware and I've always used a good firewall and run anti-spyware every now and then. I didn't like to have anti-virus or anti-spyware tools running all the time since it drains resources and I use windows mainly for games. I'd agree with all the people that say Windows XP is stable, except that it can be killed by spyware...so use it at your own risk. My data is safer with Linux.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: wm for a server?
by autumnlover on Tue 20th Nov 2007 06:10 in reply to "RE: wm for a server?"
autumnlover Member since:
2007-04-12

Freedom from the "upgrade treadmill".


Can I understand it right ? I can install and use OpenOffice 2.x on Red Hat 7.0 installation, as I can on Windows 98 ?

Protect you from viruses & malware.


It's a myth.

Give you a one-stop, easily searchable, guaranteed no malware GUI application installer.


I am sure you never tried Ubuntu's Synaptics with offline DVDs as repositories ;-)

Cross-platform compatibility & interoperability.


But not between applications - compare win's clipboard and GNOME equivalent of it.

Hardware recognised immediately, no need to search for the right "driver CD".


So unlucky me. Using Ubuntu for one and half year, and still cannot make Realtek RT 2500 WiFi PCI Cards on two desktop to run on Ubuntu. Latest driver included in 7.10 repos failed to detect my card, saying "card not installed". IT IS installed, damn it! ;-)

A working 64-bit desktop with all drivers.


Drivers - maybe. But not all applications.

An update service that will not "push" unwanted software on you.


Unless you're unlucky one, equipped with Radeon 8250 and updated to brand new X-server version 7.3 ...

A browser compliant with W3C standards, including SVG, and which can pass the acid2 test.


There are no Opera for Windows ?

Lack of ongoing registration & activation requirements.


Registration IS required on Windows ? No!

Attachments are not simply dumped by mail clients.


I don't see how it is related to OS ?

Reply Parent Score: 5

-OT- RE: wm for a server?
by gilboa on Tue 20th Nov 2007 04:05 in reply to "wm for a server?"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

"I'm not trying to be a smart-a$$, but seriously. I maintain Linux servers and they are pretty much rock-solid (mostly Tomcat5 and Java webapps). "

I won't mod you down (others will), but your post is completely OT.

"What can Linux on the desktop do for me, that a properly-configured XP install won't?"

The same question can be asked in reverse: What can Windows on a desktop do for me, that a properly-configured Linux install won't *.

- Gilboa
* Assuming that you're not gamer. (Though there's enough native/wine-working/OSS games to keep casual gamers happy)

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE: -OT- RE: wm for a server?
by dagw on Tue 20th Nov 2007 11:17 in reply to "-OT- RE: wm for a server?"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

The same question can be asked in reverse: What can Windows on a desktop do for me, that a properly-configured Linux install won't *.

Apps. There are still plently of great apps which don't have an equal equivalent on Linux. It really is that simple.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: wm for a server?
by Soulbender on Tue 20th Nov 2007 09:19 in reply to "wm for a server?"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

This is almost like asking "I already like Britney Spears, what can Bob Dylan do for me that Britney can't?".

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: wm for a server?
by trenchsol on Tue 20th Nov 2007 11:29 in reply to "wm for a server?"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

I have been using Linux and FreeBSD as desktop last couple of yeas. Currently I am using SUSE.

It is the combination of GUI applications and usual UNIX command line programs that makes my life easier. I am a developer and many things in UNIX based systems are meant for developers. Even basic FreeBSD and Linux installation offers much to developer.


Everything in UNIX can be scripted. Daily tasks can be automatized with scripting. Even GUI applications can be scripted and integrated with command line programs. Microsoft is working on that too.

Another important thing are upgrades. With Windows one has to run with a pack, in a manner of speaking. If you don't follow the upgrade dynamics, you find yourself incompatible very soon. UNIX based are much more tolerant, and you can keep older system much longer. I need to have stable and predictable environment, and upgrades cost me time and money.

Even if you upgrade, or migrate to another machine, you can keep old configuration files. Everything is in the configuration files.

I have never tried Windows with SFU (services for UNIX). I wonder if I would find that combination usable and useful. I hope someone will share Windows/SFU experiences with us.

Reply Parent Score: 4

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

For me, I get a few benefits from Linux on the desktop:

- more efficient use of system for running VM (I use VM to host my OS collection and to develop/test custom installs before I buld a physical machine)

- Linux based OS on the desktop supports all my needed functions outside of video games. My video card is too old to push modern games so that's not really an issue even.

- Linux based OS are highly modular so I can reconfigure my system to specific needs. My desktop has a specific configuration.. my localy use VM have specialized configurations (ispconfig specialized server, eGroupware specialized server).

- Software to perform 99% of my needs is ready and waiting at my finger tips in the repositories. There is literally two programs that I can't or don't install through the distribution repositories.

- I have multiple machines at home and can throw a distribution on them legally as needed or at my whim. To build the same systems on a Windows platform, I'm looking at five to ten thousand in license fees.. that prohibitive limitation simply does not exist for me with FOSS.

- I get a native connection to my servers. ssh/X beats VNC or any other remote desktop I've tried.. hands down.. there is just no contest in that area. This is after years of Remotely Possible, Remote Desktop, Reach Out, VNC and any other windows platform solution plus limited success with VNC on *nix machines. even the X servers (clients?) that run over windows with ssh and X forwarding can't compare.

- I have lost all trust and faith in Mirosoft. After growing up using every OS they've released since Dos 5 I just can't help but recognize the coporate culture and behavior in the market place. I've no trust of what there binary blobs are doing besides what I want them to do and I have no interest in premoting there hostile business practices further by not voting with my wallet.

- Bash.. Windows is getting better at command line with every new branding

At this point, the only reason I hav a Windows native partition is to boot over for gaming and support some legacy locked-in data (PalmOS software and Motorolas windows only backup/sync software). I can't currently imagine using it as my primary OS for day to day work. I keep windows VMs installed since I already have the lincenses and need to keep current with IT for professional reasons or testing. Vista will also get installed eventually once I find a legal license for Ultimate (it's a learning tool, I need the full tool present to learn). After learning, it's eventual end will be only a DX10 gameing platform.

Yup, Linux and other platforms are great on the server side. If Windows does everything you need on the desktop side then stick with it (you've already invested a lot in licenses after all). If your reason for not trying a Linux or BSD OS as your desktop is because of brand recognition.. well.. it's time to setup a test machine and give it a try.

Reply Parent Score: 7

cycoj Member since:
2007-11-04

Sorry OT.


At this point, the only reason I hav a Windows native partition is to boot over for gaming and support some legacy locked-in data (PalmOS software and Motorolas windows only backup/sync software).


AFAIK there's gammu and moto4lin which support Motorola mobiles, I also think kmobiletools and startalk does it as well. I've used it with my L6. All these are in the debian sid repos. One less reason to boot into windows ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: wm for a server?
by Oliver on Tue 20th Nov 2007 19:53 in reply to "wm for a server?"
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

>What can Linux on the desktop do for me, that a properly-configured XP install won't?

Windows Vs Linux is like faith Vs reality. I choose the latter =)

Reply Parent Score: 1