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Topic: General Unix/Linux Thread (Read 32711 times)

  • Frenzie
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General Unix/Linux Thread
There is more to discuss, but opening a new topic for everything might be a bit much. Here's a quick overview of what exists already:



Some other subjects I might talk about include the compose key, Geeqie, Pandoc, qBittorrent, tmux, and VirtualBox. I semi-regularly write something about such matters on my blog.

  • Macallan
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #1
Are you trying to tell me that I should keep my obscure hobbies out of other peoples' threads? ;)

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #2
:lol:

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #3
vnstat is really useful to get an overview of the network volume use on a particular computer. For more precise information of overall use you need to set up something where your router pushes stats to your computer or your computer retrieves them from your router.

  • ersi
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #4
What is the compose key? Ctrl, Alt, Shift, Win/Super? Something else?

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #5
It's a specialized key. ;)


Anyway, the compose key is whatever you want it to be. Back in '09, I used Right Ctrl:


However, these days I use Caps Lock:

  • Belfrager
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #6
There is more to discuss, but opening a new topic for everything might be a bit much. Here's a quick overview of what exists already:

And where's the beginning? I mean, for us, mere mortals that don't have a clue about what are you saying? :)
Why should I install Linux operative system in the first place?
How is it done?
What are the benefits over windows?
Why do you use mysterious terms no one uses?
Doesn't Linux gives you much more work and much less available software?
Etc... :)

Courageous Windows users would like to know.
A matter of attitude.

  • ersi
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #7
Compose key is just to provide another layer of Alt Gr function? I tried right now, and compose seems to do nothing useful for me. But I sure would like to map Caps Lock function to a key combination rather than a single key in a nasty place. Something like this would work https://donatstudios.com/assets/43/hhkb.png even though I prefer an additional numbers keypad too.

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #8
Compose key is just to provide another layer of Alt Gr function? I tried right now, and compose seems to do nothing useful for me.

It overlaps with Alt Gr, but because it can take multiple keys as input it's significantly more versatile.

Here's a few things that aren't useful per se, but note that you might not want to use Alt Gr for some reason or other:
Alt Gr + m = µ; Compose, m, u = µ
Alt Gr + s = ß; Compose, s, s = ß
Alt Gr + c = ©; Compose, o, c = ©

But speaking of the last one, Alt Gr + what produces ™? Alt Gr + what produces ¥? How do you type ±? Why does z lead to æ and Æ? It makes certain things simpler and more intuitive. Compose, t, m = ™; Compose, =, y = ¥; Compose, +, - = ±; Compose, a, e = æ.

Here's an article about it: http://cyberborean.wordpress.com/2008/01/06/compose-key-magic/

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #9
And where's the beginning? I mean, for us, mere mortals that don't have a clue about what are you saying?  :)
Why should I install Linux operative system in the first place?

If you're happy with Windows, you can safely stick with it. If you're curious, I'd recommend trying a LiveCD of one or all of the following. NB A LiveCD means no installation (and thus no risk) is necessary to try it out.

http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop (review)
http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php Choose Cinnamon (review)
http://www.opensuse.org Choose Live KDE (review)

However, I personally use Xubuntu (review) and Debian Xfce.

Doesn't Linux gives you much more work and much less available software?
Etc...

More work--I'd say only if you want it to. Less available software, probably, but most software is crap anyway. I was already using Filezilla, Inkscape, Pidgin, LibreOffice (as OpenOffice), SciTE, Workrave, Opera, and several other multi-platform programs, so in my case making the final switch was fairly uneventful.

Of course, if you require MS Office, Solidworks, or other MS-exclusive applications for your work, you will need a Windows installation. In my case, the computer software I needed most the past few months was Python, which comes with most Linux distros by default. That is, it actually made my life significantly easier than installing Python on Windows would've been. Soon I'll have to use R, which doesn't come preinstalled but I guarantee it will be significantly easier to install for me than for a user of Windows.*

What are the benefits over windows?
Why do you use mysterious terms no one uses?

It's all Unix terminology. Most of it predates even MS-DOS.

Benefits are personal. One benefit in my case is that Windows doesn't exactly make it easy to put e.g. all your user data on one particular partition or HDD, but most Linux distros tend to set it up that way by default.

Then there's freedom. For more background see e.g. http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/linux-gnu-freedom.html

* It'll mean searching for r-base in a graphical package manager or typing sudo apt-get install r-base in a terminal.

  • ersi
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #10
Here's a few things that aren't useful per se, but note that you might not want to use Alt Gr for some reason or other:
Alt Gr + m = µ; Compose, m, u = µ
Alt Gr + s = ß; Compose, s, s = ß
Alt Gr + c = ©; Compose, o, c = ©

Ah, yes. Here I see the point. However, for me Alt Gr and Alt Gr+Shift do everything needed. For example, on my keyboard © is produced by Alt Gr+Shift+c. Alt Gr+c produces ¢.

Alt Gr + what produces ™?

Alt Gr+Shift+8

Alt Gr + what produces ¥?

Alt Gr+Shift+y

How do you type ±?

Alt Gr+Shift+9

Why does z lead to æ and Æ?

I have Estonian layout. In my case Alt Gr+a produces æ and Alt Gr+Shift+a produces Æ.

But I agree that the compose key can be useful to access more characters or the same characters in a customised way.

@Belfrager
I can corroborate everything Frenzie says about switch from Win to Linux, though we shouldn't be trusted so much, as we are techie-minded above average. On my part, I'd add Manjaro (Xfce) and Mageia (KDE) among LiveDVD's to try out.

To me it feels Xfce is the best desktop environment to make the switch. Office software is vital to my work, but it has turned out that Libreoffice/Openoffice is a sufficient replacement, even professionally. Wifi works, attached storage works, Flash works, sound and video works, DVD's work (for Disney DVD's I had to launch a script to make them work, but the script was already included in Mint, Ubuntu, and Manjaro, so no problem), printers work (particularly if HP). What more do you want?
  • Last Edit: 2014-01-01, 16:12:07 by ersi

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #11
On my keyboard layout the answers are different (and ± can't be typed at all I believe), but on the whole I find it a more elegant solution than switching keyboard layouts or customizing them on the third (Alt Gr) level. In any case, you caught me somewhat unprepared. :P

  • Belfrager
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #12
@Frenzie
Nice, I'll pay close attention at those links you provided. Thanks. :)

@Ersi
Currently I need nothing specific for professional needs. Decided that profession must adapt to me, not me to the profession. :)
Besides what you mentioned, I just need an image editing software, but I'm sure that exists.
A matter of attitude.

  • ersi
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #13
Besides what you mentioned, I just need an image editing software, but I'm sure that exists.
Indeed - Gimp http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LmW5ndnEqw I haven't figured out this Gimp thing myself. I only need image viewing and some scissor functions, which are provided by much simpler programs.

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #14
To me it feels Xfce is the best desktop environment to make the switch.

However, Xfce (and Cinnamon) are more like classic Windows. I'd argue it's simply an extremely effective paradigm, but people looking for something else might at least initially be more pleased with Unity.

  • ersi
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #15

To me it feels Xfce is the best desktop environment to make the switch.

However, Xfce (and Cinnamon) are more like classic Windows.

This is not "however". It's exactly the idea, to provide a familiar user experience even though the underlying opsys is different. All people for whom I am adminning in my small hobby manner appreciate the familiarity of the experience. I try to make the switch for them so that the most visible change is that they don't see anti-virus programs any more.

...people looking for something else might at least initially be more pleased with Unity.

Unity is Mac-ish (I suppose - I have seen Macs only in shops) and I think its utility is only in appealing to those who switch from a Mac. I don't know anyone besides myself who would be interested in different experiences.

In the graphical section, KDE provides the best "different" experience (kind of). Otherwise the only truly different experience is to do everything in the console. There's also a good "middle path" provided by Openbox. Dwm and the likes are too barebones, only good to shoot up multiple terminal windows, which can just as well be done with tmux or 'screen' in the console.

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #16
In the graphical section, KDE provides the best "different" experience (kind of).

But KDE is the most like Windows (or can be). With a few quick settings it can be as different as Unity or practically a clone of Windows. In any case, know your audience. :P I'm just saying that Unity, unlike Gnome Shell, is actually functional. :)

Unity is Mac-ish (I suppose - I have seen Macs only in shops) and I think its utility is only in appealing to those who switch from a Mac.

Or to those who'd switch to a Mac but don't feel like buying one of those overpriced computers? Perhaps. It does follow its paradigm quite closely, from the window buttons to the global menu to the way task switching works (Alt+Tab for applications; Alt+` for windows within applications).

Dwm and the likes are too barebones, only good to shoot up multiple terminal windows, which can just as well be done with tmux or 'screen'.

For those who wonder what ersi's going on about, here are some links:

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/linux-and-open-source/is-tmux-the-gnu-screen-killer/1901/
http://lukaszwrobel.pl/blog/tmux-tutorial-split-terminal-windows-easily

Otherwise the only truly different experience is to do everything in the console.

Not necessarily. I can actually add Cygwin to the list of programs I used on Windows (with PuTTYcyg) because it offered a significantly more powerful shell than Windows. These days that's no longer true because of PowerShell, although the fact that the GNU utils in many ways work better in a Unix-like environment remains, but back during the Windows 9x days PowerShell was still a long way off.

  • Macallan
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #17

To me it feels Xfce is the best desktop environment to make the switch.

However, Xfce (and Cinnamon) are more like classic Windows. I'd argue it's simply an extremely effective paradigm, but people looking for something else might at least initially be more pleased with Unity.

There used to be a few window managers that look like windows 95, Mac OS 9, AmigaOS etc., many of them fvwm hacks ( which itself is a Motif lookalike... ). After years of playing with KDE, xfce etc. I ended up with just WindowMaker again.

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #18
Xfce 4.8 and 4.10 made large strides in improving the user experience. It's now closer to where Gnome 2 was in 2010. In any case, do you have any tips for using WindowMaker? Or screenshots of your setup? That reminds me, I promised to share a screenshot of mine.



(full size; 120kB)

  • Macallan
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #19

Xfce 4.8 and 4.10 made large strides in improving the user experience. It's now closer to where Gnome 2 was in 2010.

Yeah, I saw that but didn't have much time to play with anything lately.


In any case, do you have any tips for using WindowMaker?

There isn't really much that's not blindingly obvious ( then again, I'm doing this since the mid 1990s so my judgement may be off ) - it's just a window manager that has NeXT-like application icons that you can stick on the dock or the clip. Works with most applications, notable exceptions are firefox and opera, mostly because they're started by scripts, not the actual binary that then talks to the window manager. For those just sticking the icon on the dock won't work since it will try to start things like xul-runner instead of firefox's startup script, but that's trivial to fix.


Or screenshots of your setup?

Here - kinda big ;)
Fairly old school, just a bunch of xterms, pidgin, firefox, bluefish abused for hacking C code, evince showing some hardware docs, balsa ( I got fed up with sylpheed / claws taking bloody ages working over IMAP, balsa was just the first I ran into that doesn't have this problem ), amarok, gkrellm.

Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #20
Fairly old school,

My  XFCE is so old school, that it's late 19th century or early 20th . Yes, I know what I'm saying ;)  Most of the desktops are highly configurable. For my desktop, I actually took out the standard XFCE applications menu and replaced it with App finder. Even Gnome 3 is reasonably configurable and usable, but it's not obvious how to do that at first (in fact, at first it seems almost unusable except maybe as a tablet interface.)

One strange thing I noticed this morning is that it seems KDE communicates better with user than Gnome or Cinnamon. I tried to change the Firefox panel icon in Cinnamon to a custom one, and Firefox disappeared from the panel with no explanation. When I tried to do so in KDE, it at least told that for some reason it couldn't find Firefox and I was able to show it where the browser was ( in /usr/bin as usual...IDK ) I need a DE that more reliably tells me what's wrong if strange things like that happen. Meanwhile, the GTK 2 DEs  (Mate and XFCE) had no trouble finding Firefox at all.

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #21
Apparently not all 34-year-old code is hard to compile today.

http://drj11.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/on-compiling-34-year-old-c-code/

  • Macallan
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #22
Plain C is simple. Try to compile something like KDE1 on a halfway modern compiler though.
( C++ and especially gcc's implementation of the language changed a lot in the last 15 years )

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #23
I'll take your word for it. :D

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #24