Hello World

I’d like to say some words here in introducing/launching this blog.

I’m hoping to provide a helpful and useful resource to those considering a switch to Linux from another Operating System.  There are a lot of good reasons why you’d want to make the switch, but it isn’t something I’d recommend unless you’re ready to really, I mean really get into.  A half-hearted effort will likely bring frustration and little reward.

Yes, I know “Hello World” is a cliché phrase.

Obtaining Linux

Download a distro

Linux Operating systems or “distros” are available for download from a variety of sources.  When downloading a distro, I usually go to At other times I go to the project’s website; for example: Linux Mint, Crunchbang, and Ubuntu.

Why go to distrowatch?  It’s an easy name to type into a web browser.  It lets you search by distribution name and takes you to the “project page” for that distro—where you can get details about the distro—such as country of origin, which releases/editions are available, what software/applications are included, the default desktop manager, and more.

When your download is complete, you should verify your download before you burn the .iso file to a CD or DVD.  Verification is the process where you compare the md5 hash of your downloaded .iso with the expected md5 hash published at the website where you downloaded the .iso from.

There are a few ways to verify a .iso file.  In linux, issue the command md5sum [path-to-iso-file] and press ENTER.  For Mac OS-X, follow these instructions.  Lastly, in MS Windows, follow these instructions.

After verifying the download, burn the .iso to a CD/DVD.  Just make sure that you’re burning a “bootable iso image” (which is different than creating a data CD that includes the .iso file).  Most of the good burning software will have the option to “burn an image to disk”.

Obtaining Linux

Linux: you can try it

You can try Linux before changing anything on your Hard Drive. This is one of the reasons why Linux is so awesome.  This allowed me to try out Linux and I still use it today.  I still try out Linux with LIVE CDs.

Many people purchase computers from online or “in store” retailers.  At Best Buy you can get a Windows-based or Mac OS-X based PC.  Can you get a Linux-based PC?  Well, I didn’t see any in my local Best Buy.   I’m not trying to generalize about all Best Buy & I hope they don’t mind me using their name.  But I’m inclined to believe that Linux-based PCs make less profit than Mac or Windows-based machines.

Desktop Environments

KDE: a brief introduction

KDE is a desktop environment whose software is based on the Qt toolkit (wikipedia). It can be found in many Linux distros such as OpenSuse, Fedora, and Kubuntu (a derivative of Ubuntu).  It’s look and feel is different from that of the GNOME desktop environment. I’ve used the KDE environment a few years back, when I was running Fedora Core 4 on an IBM Netvista desktop machine.

While your mileage may vary, I can say that neither Fedora 4, nor KDE, operated very fast or smooth.

Then again, it could possibly be the result of an old, underpowered machine.

Desktop Environments

GNOME: a brief introduction

Gnome is a popular desktop environment for Linux Operating Systems.

Gnome can be found in many Linux distributions as the primary or “default” environment.

Using Gnome, KDE, or any other Desktop Environment can be said to be of personal preference.

I have used both Gnome and KDE and both are wonderful.  But I won’t recommend one over the other.  I think it’s up to you, the curious and adventurous user, to experiment and see which one you like best.