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Re: distro or add-on?

On Saturday 21 April 2001 08:54, Darin Lang wrote:

> I have been lurking up till now, but I am here to help on that
> account. I found Seul and Indy after failing to get Slackware Linux
> 7.1 running completely last November. I spent about a month full
> time studying and tweeking my GNU Linux, compiling and recompiling,
> trying to get it to work. I had no experience with Linux prior to
> that whatsoever. I installed it as a dual boot with Win98. I have
> never been able to get the sound card to work in Linux. I am only
> able to print text and just setting that up took me several days of
> study, it was a major difficulty. X windows was another nightmare
> to configure, I even have the original manuals for my monitor, but
> the data in the manual does not fit in the slot provided by X
> windows, the data X wants is missing. I had to write my x86free
> config file by hand, using the calculation how tos for X another
> confusing, obfuscated nightmare. The auto option no matter how I
> did it did not work at all, period. It took me most of a week to
> get X windows running, it still does not run properly, and my
> monitor shifts and jitters a bit. I was able to get Apple
> Networking running fine. And in fact I normally only access the
> Linux machine via telnet from my Macintosh even though they are
> side by side. I have never gotten the windows networking running.
> Samba says it is running and intstalled properly, but I can't
> access the other PC on the Network. I did get Apache running, with
> PHP, MySQL and Perl. I also have IP-Aliasing running and can access
> several virtual web sites on my Linux Intranet Server from every
> computer on the intranet.

Your problem is that you chose the wrong distro for a newbie at GNU 
Linux/Unix. The most sensible choice is Mandrake. You can check out 
Corel's. After that you can migrate to other distros, even the BSDs.

>     Another particularly frustrating feature is file permissions. I
> am constantly warned not to run as root, but I constantly have to
> switch back to root to change a file permission so I can access it.
> I don't need multiple users, I am the only one, it would be much
> easier to do away with that. I still do not fully understand file
> permissions and I have never found a thorough explanation of them
> anywhere, though I have found many attempted explanations.

File permissions are at the heart of the oft-repeated claim that 
there are no Linux viruses. While this is somewhat misleading, Linux 
is much more secure than plain Windows ME/98/95/3.1 because with file 
permissions users and programs are limited in the damage they can do 
to the system. A normal program (there are special programs with 
"superuser" privileges) when run as a normal user can affect only 
those files which belong to the said user. So, theoretically, you can 
run a virus-infected program and the most damage you can do is delete 
the files in your "home" directory. While still catastrophic, this is 
certainly much better than having your entire hard disk reformatted 
or corrupted. For the virus to do this in a Linux/Unix system, you 
would have to give the malevolent program the equivalent of superuser 

If you don't like file permissions, the solution would be to stick to 
Windows ME/98/95/3.1 or the Mac (I don't know anything about OS X). 
Here is one area where Indy shouldn't be "dumbed down" (in a manner 
of speaking). Instead an effort should be made to educate users on 
its advantages.

Question: why do you constantly have to change file permissions? Most 
programs that do useful stuff (applications vs system software) don't 
require special permissions. The problem maybe you open the file as 
user Foo and open it as user Boo.