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Linux review

[This is also an article from the previous blog.]

After a while dealing with Linux. I have learnt many things.

There are too many distributions of Linux. It is hard to choose. I have tried LiveCD. It is nice to use LiveCD. Because, if you got the pendrive or external harddisk and the computer BIOS is able to detect USB, then you are able to boot in the pendrive or external harddisk LiveCD through BIOS. However, the pre-requisite of the pendrive or external harddisk is that, the file system need to be FAT. This is because a program syslinux is only able to modify the boot sector in FAT, ext2/3, but not NTFS.

There are a lot of LiveCDs, for rescuing computer, auditing computer and else. However, the most I prefer is SLAX KillBill edition. Because, using SLAX, you can add other tools in it, especially when you are using portable drive (pendrive or external harddisk). Besides that, you can also save the configuration. Therefore, though it is LiveCD, it works well for customisation. And for KillBill edition, it provides Win32 emulator. Even an auditing LiveCD – Ophcrack – also uses SLAX as its base.

However, SLAX KillBill edition cannot read Unicode. This makes me disappointed. Maybe I am stupid that I don’t know how to setup chinese reading in SLAX KillBill. Since it is not usable enough to install chinese reading and writing, and cannot modify the setting but only save configuration (because it is LiveCD), I would like to choose an alternative. The alternative that provides modification of the system, read/write chinese, usable and else. Then I try to search for the Linux distribution with harddisk installation. Then I found Ubuntu.

Ubuntu is very great with its usability if compare with other Linux I have experienced (though not much). Besides that, it is easy to install with GUI. And the installation can be fit into 1 CD.

However, I found something very disappointed. First, it is easy to install tools/applications, but not in the way I want. Because the installation mostly through internet. That means without internet, you cannot install the downloaded applications. Maybe because I am a newbie, that is why I found that is is really hard. Next, many time I found that there are open source applications. Then I tried to download and install in Ubuntu. Though I can compile it, but there are still something make the applications incompatible. That means, though open source is platform independent, it is still not compatible to every distribution of Linux.

Next, I found that Linux is not compatible with NTFS. Which I means, Linux cannot write to NTFS, but only read. Luckily, there is a compatible program for Ubuntu called “ntfs-3g“, however, though I installed it, I can only detect one drive and one NTFS partition, actually I got 2 drives and several NTFS partitions.

Next, since I found that LiveCD is so great it can be booted whenever it goes only if the computer BIOS can detect USB, then I try to make my Ubuntu become portable. However, it fails. It is because different computer has different drivers, therefore, it is not compatible to the computer. But I think, in future, there will be a portable OS.

Lastly, though Linux is very great, if you really want to change from Windows to Linux, then you might lost a lot of entertainment. This is because many games are written for Windows platform. Though Linux has games, there is no large games. This is because most of the programs run in Linux are open source. For games, if open source, then how can they earn money.

Todo: Next, I plan to install Windows to my external harddisk, to see whether it can be portable or not.


About Allen Choong

A cognitive science student, a programmer, a philosopher, a Catholic.

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