New Sheriff in Town

I think the website OSnews is  fishing for comments or missed the mark completely on this article. The article makes a point that a 2003 post which states if Linux is to dominate the world of computers Linux needs to have one and only one desktop.

While the thought has some merit, it has too many fallacies to be treated as anything but noise. Anyone care to drive one specific model of car, sleep in the same brand name bed, eat the same meals as the rest of the world? I think not.

We live in a world filled with choices. Linux is one of the best OS choices for many. Some Linux users obviously feel it is important that Linux as an Operating System rule the world, and dominate Microsoft and Apple. For myself, I need to use all three Operating Systems, and as far as I can see into the future, no single OS has an edge on the other.

NewSheriffinTownI would think we (as in the whole world) have had enough of world domination attempts to know they do not work, and why they are not good for all people. Linux, Microsoft, and Apple are no exception to this idea of domination.. If Linux were to become the worlds OS of choice, Linux would be seen as another Microsoft or Apple, only worse, and a new OS would rise from the trenches and become the favorite of those who are able to make their own choices.

As for OSnews, I hope they achieved their objective, whatever it is.

Your Linux Desktop Choice

There is such a wide choice in Linux Desktops one has a difficult time deciding which desktop is the right desktop? Search engines are my friend, I open up my browser and do a search for Linux Desktop.

The search result is more than I expected. There are more Desktops than would fit in ten articles. Being the literate computer user I am, I narrow my search and find some interesting comparisons.

It seems that the correct Linux Desktop for me is not how I prefer to do things. What? Exactly the best Linux Desktop for me as recommended by several experts is defined by the age of my computer.

If I own a new computer, I should be using Unity, Gnome, Cinnamon, KDE of course, and maybe XFCE.

If my computer is older, as in three years old or more, I should think about using: LXDE, LXQT, Mate, Openbox, LXLE. If my computer is ancient, I should think about using, Open Box or rat poison which does not use a mouse.

This advice is all a little slanted. Of course if your computer is older, you may not enjoy for a high graphic desktop like KDE to go through the motions of loading your menu. But that is common sense, not written in stone rules of computing in Linux.

What if you have a new computer and you are mouse adverse for any number of reasons? Should you get rid of your new computer by putting it in a closet until it is an old computer. Buy an old computer that is memory and graphics challenged to install Rat Poison desktop on?

Of course not. Linux is about choice, not about the age of your computer. If you enjoy high quality graphics, like dressing up your desktop, and clicking through more programs than you may possibly use, go with a desktop built for this purpose.

If you mainly compute through your web browser or office suite, you may not care for a lot bling on your desktop. Perhaps XFCE or Openbox better suites how you relate to your desktop.

Arriving at a place where your computer works the way you want it to and not the way a web article tells you it should is where you really want to be. From glitz to practical, to minimal, don’t be fooled into a desktop that does not work for you.

Linux is for the most part Linux. There are not several authors putting out their own versions of a program. Take time to be a little selective. You do not always need a repository with 20,000 plus programs. Possibly the default choices work just fine.

Linux Distro Hopping Dream Page

If you just can’t find enough Linux distributions to try out, or you are bored with what is out there, I found the crown jewel of choices! It resides at Distrowatch under the related links section.

There are enough Linux distros that have not been reviewed or made it into the top 100 of the Distrowatch main page to keep you busy for months, even if you try one a day.

And that is just Linux distro’s. There are sub sections of distro links that are not based on any distro, or even Linux, but stand alone.

The Distrowatch related link page is: http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=links

I do not have any relationship with Distrowatch, but as a reformed distro hopper, this Distrowatch links page reads pure gold if you are a hard core distro hopper!

Caution advised, some of these distributions are not for the feint of heart, and from what I read, some are not so friendly either.

Bullett Proof Linux For Beginners

I read this in a couple of places today. Someone had a real flash of insight when they thought of it. Whoever it was, let me know so I can credit it to you. I read this several times, and the source was not identifiable.

If you want a bullet proof Linux installation of your very own, how do you do it? How can you have an installation of your favorite Linux distribution that never breaks because of something you tried to do? A rock solid Linux that always performs as well the day it performed when you first installed it?

I wish this was around when I started using Linux. I would be a Linux pro by now, or at least a pretty advanced user. Enough delay and buildup to a great idea.

When you first install your Linux Distribution of choice, and it is updated, and everything is working perfectly, add a virtual box to your system.

Once you have  a virtual box installed, install your Linux Distribution on Virtual Box. You do not have to update it if you do not want to, and I am sure your distribution would prefer you did not.

If you really need to update your virtual machine do a little bit more. It would be fair, since you are doubling the work of the distributions server, to donate some money to your distribution of choice.

After all, you would be on your way to becoming a Linux Pro, if it were not for them. Contact the site admin, or one of the forum moderators on how to donate. Most Linux Distributions are ran on a shoe string, and they would really appreciate your financial support.

Now when you want to make any changes to your system, make those changes in your virtual machine first. This way, if you make a mistake, you can undo it, or copy back your pristine virtual machine backup, and start over, knowing your working system is safe and secure.

This is an almost perfect setting for a learning environment too. You can tinker, modify, and change settings to see what effects what. If they are not good changes, you haven’t hurt your working Linux System. If they work as you hoped, and wow you, you can make the changes on your working Linux system.

You can even go further. On the forums of your Linux distribution of choice, there are always one or more post install problem sections, where forum members write about their Linux problem in the hope someone knows the fix and responds.

If you like to tinker, and want to learn more about Linux, you can do what they did, breaking your virtual machine. Then you can see if you can fix the problem in your virtual machine.

When you can learn to fix simple problems, you can post the fix, helping out another Linux user who is not as advanced as you are. Then you can start tackling harder problems and help me out :-).

Not only, will this help you learn Linux, but it will help you better understand how Linux works because you can get in their and play with the nuts and bolts of your system.

You may not want to update your virtual machine, as it is likely to break, and you don’t want to put undo download stress on the distribution server; sending files costs money.

You should learn how to copy your virtual machine file to a safe location. Make sure you shut it down first before copying your virtual machine file to another location.

This way when your virtual machine breaks, you have a good working copy of your virtual machine. Copy your virtual machine back from its stored location to your virtual machine folder.
I read this in a couple of places today. Someone had a real flash of insight when they thought of it. Whoever it was, let me know so I can credit it to you. I read this several times, and the source was not identifiable.

If you want a bullet proof Linux installation of your very own, how do you do it? How can you have an installation of your favorite Linux distribution that never breaks because of something you tried to do? A rock solid Linux that always performs as well the day it performed when you first installed it?

I wish this was around when I started using Linux. I would be a Linux pro by now, or at least a pretty advanced user. Enough delay and buildup to a great idea.

When you first install your Linux Distribution of choice, and it is updated, and everything is working perfectly, add a virtual box to your system.

Once you have  a virtual box installed, install your Linux Distribution on Virtual Box. You do not have to update it if you do not want to, and I am sure your distribution would prefer you did not.

If you really need to update your virtual machine do a little bit more. It would be fair, since you are doubling the work of the distributions server, to donate some money to your distribution of choice.

After all, you would be on your way to becoming a Linux Pro, if it were not for them. Contact the site admin, or one of the forum moderators on how to donate. Most Linux Distributions are ran on a shoe string, and they would really appreciate your financial support.

Now when you want to make any changes to your system, make those changes in your virtual machine first. This way, if you make a mistake, you can undo it, or copy back your pristine virtual machine backup, and start over, knowing your working system is safe and secure.

This is an almost perfect setting for a learning environment too. You can tinker, modify, and change settings to see what effects what. If they are not good changes, you haven’t hurt your working Linux System. If they work as you hoped, and wow you, you can make the changes on your working Linux system.

You can even go further. On the forums of your Linux distribution of choice, there are always one or more post install problem sections, where forum members write about their Linux problem in the hope someone knows the fix and responds.

If you like to tinker, and want to learn more about Linux, you can do what they did, breaking your virtual machine. Then you can see if you can fix the problem in your virtual machine.

When you can learn to fix simple problems, you can post the fix, helping out another Linux user who is not as advanced as you are. Then you can start tackling harder problems and help me out :-).

Not only, will this help you learn Linux, but it will help you better understand how Linux works because you can get in their and play with the nuts and bolts of your system.

You may not want to update your virtual machine, as it is likely to break, and you don’t want to put undo download stress on the distribution server; sending files costs money.

You should learn how to copy your virtual machine file to a safe location. Make sure you shut it down first before copying your virtual machine file to another location.

This way when your virtual machine breaks, you have a good working copy of your virtual machine. Copy your virtual machine back from its stored location to your virtual machine folder.

Linux Distro Hopping, a few Distro Comments

Since I have been checking out a number of new distros, I thought I would post a quick line or two on them. One of the important things for me, is a distro be able to see youtube and Ted videos out of the box, or easily make them play. I also use usenet, so a usenet reader is also on my list.

One finding, or food for thought: Using LVM means you have to backup anything you want from your home directory before installing another distro. If there is a workaround, I did not find it.

I think the simplest hard drive scheme is a 10 – 15  gig root (if you have the space), a swap file that matches your memory or at least four gigs for movies, and whatever space you have left as home – unless you multiboot.

Crunchbang #! (Debian) – see my previous post, is awesome once you understand it, and can get past “Windows way” thinking.

Kubuntu & Xubuntu (Ubuntu 14.04) – This is a very stable, easy to use distro, using the KDE desktop of course. I find myself doing too much clicking when going through the menu for a program, depending on where it is. Uses about 550 mb of ram.

* This applies to all ‘buntu from what I read…If you multiboot, grub occasionally misses all your distros. Also only Kubuntu, though it was installed on sdb, put grub on sda without asking.

Linux Mint (Ubuntu 14.04) – Awesome. A very well thought out distribution. Most of the programs are programs you want to use. The different desktops are for the cpu speed, amount of ram, and hard drive space, although, even if your system is new, you may notice a speed difference between the desktops.

LXLE (Ubuntu 14.04) – Not sure what to think about this one. Comprehensive is a good word for LXLE. It is fast, and very large at the same time. There are enough programs you may never need to add anything. Though I did not notice any that would not get used over time.

Debian 7.5 – Sparse and fast. Installs with the LXDE desktop, which is one of the fastest desktops around. One of the most stable and secure distributions around. Not pretty, you will need to add software, and you may want to tweak the settings. You do have the option of loading any other desktop, and window manager such as XFCE, KDE, or Gnome. I think if you give LXDE a chance, you will like it.

Plays youtube videos from basic install, at least the few I tried. Copy and paste the link below to load flash player so you can watch TED and maybe some other videos.

https://wiki.debian.org/FlashPlayer

A downside of Debian is Debian and Debian users are not overly friendly at times. They are usually experienced users, and have little patience for asked a 1000 times questions.

Kannotix (Debian) – This is a good solid distro. It’s been around a long time. Not a lot of flash, just solid.

SolydXK (Debian) – Close to Kubuntu and Xubuntu. SolydK did not like my Intel video chip set, and gave me a few problems. Solid though, and upgraded just fine. SolydX is awesome, but the upgrade left search the engines option out of Firefox.

Net Runner – Very fast! I liked this distro right away, until I looked for a binary news reader – like Pan. I could not find one. Other than that, it may need to be tweaked for appearance, but it is very fast.

Manjaro – Fast, but too green for me. I became annoyed by the color scheme too quickly. I am not a KDE expert, and playing around with the settings left me wanting someone who knows what they are doing to change the color scheme. Also had a few small problems. This distro may be troublesome for new Linux users. Updates pretty quickly too.

CrunchBang 11 “Waldorf”, my Thoughts Jun 2014

Sometimes less is more. Sometimes less frees you from doing more. Less makes you think about what you want to do rather than what you could do. Less is very effective at removing time wasters.

I tried Crunchbang Linux some years ago, when it was unstable, and prone to breaking. I did not enjoy the Crunchbang experience back then. Who wanted a Operating System that was going to break, had a silly menu, and an empty desktop?

I finally get it. I finally understand what Crunchbang delivers, and what it represents for me. After the install, there is a dark mostly empty screen, with Conky on the top right side. The menu is sparsely populated. Only the minimum programs are there. A perfect blank canvas waiting for paint.

What programs are present are all most of us use in our day to day computing. From here on out, once Crunchbang is installed, if you want more, you need to do it yourself. This is the real power of Linux and Crunchbang in particular. The basics are covered, the rest is up to you.

Out of this emptiness Crunchbang Linux sits in the revered top twenty on the Distrowatch web sites ranking of Linux Distro’s most popular. For a long time I did not understand why. I think I do now.

Does it matter I have fifty of the greatest Linux programs ever written a few mouse clicks away if I rarely use them? Does it matter that my desktop could be placed in an art gallery when my net-centric apps are covering the desktop?

When I installed Crunchbang a few days ago, it was obvious some changes were needed. I thought I fell of the deep end, again. Where was the bling, the color and cool desktop pics, etc? Where were the programs I use?  I did not like the dark desktop which is the default Crunchbang. What was the point of how the menu is accessed. Who cares about Shortcut Keys?

I brightened up the desktop. I added the programs I prefer to use. I added them to the menu. I modified the menu to a menu I like. I don’t know if I am done, but I know I can add, remove, and modify almost everything.

My old dislikes were: The menu sucks, the programs are old, the distro is dark and boring. Truth is, menu access is brilliant. One left click anywhere on the desktop and there is the menu.  The programs are rock solid, and in almost every case perform every function the newest release does. I changed the desktop wallpaper to something lighter. I added some programs I prefer to use.

Using Crunchbang is watching your favorite television show at prime time, without commercials. Crunchbang is surfing the net without any ads. Crunchbang is a word processor which loads full screen with only the cursor as a distraction.

Crunchbang is so popular imo, because it is malleable. Crunchbang is true Linux putty. Crunchbang allows you to have a desktop and programs you want, not what a majority of people are willing to live with. Crunchbang allows you to create the perfect Linux for you.  You do not need a dedicated team to set up your desktop, You can learn in mere minutes how to modify the desktop and the menu to your liking.

Linux is a series of trade offs. Everything is a trade for something else, with few exceptions.  Crunchbang is one of those exceptions. Crunchbang frees you from some of what you do not need, and allows you to take control of your Linux experience.

Crunchbang has great resources in their forum, and more distant help scattered across the web. Everything I wanted to change, I found posts in the forum. Almost everything in Crunchbang is changeable, and explained in a way everyone can understand. The forum feels homey, somewhere you can hang out with friends and talk Crunchbang, even distro hopping if you wish.

The web’s Crunchbang comments and articles are helpfull too, but may not apply to the current version. I prefer forums for distro support. Crunchbang has a very good forum. I enjoy the tone of the posts I read.

Crunchbang is very personable, once you realize Crunchbang prefers you make most of the decisions beyond the basics. Perhaps this is the crux of Linux in the separation between beginning Linus users and more skilled Linux users.

Beginning Linux users want the experience of Linux with no thinking, and that is good as Linux is a new experience. Perhaps more experienced users know the difference. Jump in with an open mind, willing to learn, and no preconceived notions of what a Linux Distribution should be, and give Crunchbang a go. You might like being in control of your computer and master of your Crunchbang Linux realm.

Easy Linux Distro Hopping – Thunderbird and Firefox

One of the good/bad things about Linux is distro hopping. Distro hopping means trying out different distributions of Linux as the mood hits, or an exciting new distribution appears. Some people change Linux distributions monthly. Other people less often. Some people not at all.

A few people have their favorite distribution and try out other Linux distributions on the side, so to speak. I am one of those people. For me the Linux distribution I am using is possibly not as great as the new distro I will take for a test drive. I do not want to miss out.

One of the downsides to jumping Linux distributions is email and web browser settings. Email because I either have to keep email on the server, or I have to ensure I do not need any emails in the old distribution before I delete it for the next latest and greatest Linux Distribution.

There is an easy fix however, if you use Mozilla products which I am a big fan of. I prefer Thunderbird for my email and Firefox as my web browser. If you are using either or both of these, distro jumping becomes much less painful.

This post is for the new distro hoppers. A How To for easily moving your Firefox and Thunderbird email, address book and settings to your newest distro. This works for popular distros as of June 2014.

With [most] Linux distros, all your files are kept in your home directory. Your email, and your browser settings are stored as invisible files in your home directory. This is how Linux keeps everything right in the case of multiple users on a computer.

Each user or account has their own home directory where their personal files are stored.  This makes distro jumping easy. When you want to either try out a Linux distribution or try out a second distribution, keeping your email and browser settings is a fairly simple process.

In your file manager, no matter which manager you have is a setting in preferences for viewing hidden files. This needs to be checked because you want to view hidden files – temporarily.

After setting the hidden files switch, when you look at you home directory, you will see a number of files that have a period in front of the folder name. These are hidden folders. Most folders contain settings and other information for the user based software you have installed.  There are a number of hidden folders, and they tend to clutter up the file manager, so they are hidden and not viewed by default.

Two of these hidden folders you are most interested in are: .mozilla and .thunderbird. These two folders contain all your Thunderbird and Firefox email and settings.

Your new distribution needs to have Thunderbird and Firefox installed. If they are not present, install them both before proceeding.  Copy these two folders, .mozilla and .thunderbird, from your old home folder to your new home folder. Your file manager will warn you that these folders exist and do you want to replace them. Choose: yes.

Tat is all there is to it. I did one jump recently where this did not work for Thunderbird, not sure why. What I did was create my accounts in Thunderbird, and then close Thunderbird before allowing to to check of new email. When I reopened Thunderbird, my old emails, address book, etc were all present.

Light Fast and Powerful Linux Distro that Roars

Well, I had I thought written a fairly good article written about SolydXK Linux. It is “had” because my fingers turned: ctrl c, into something resembling: ctrl cv, which left me with an empty document and no backup. Ok, I thank Windows for that dual blunder.

So this will be a shorter written praise of SolydXK Linux. If you want the stability of Debian, melded with Mint Linux,  head on over to the SolydXK website and check out what they have to offer.

I found three flavors on the site, SolydX, a blazing speed, well crafted XFCE  compilation, SolydK, a slick and very fast KDE compilation, both created from Debian Testing repositories, and the third SolydX soho business compilation.

SolydX is a nearly perfect for me. Fast, light, powerful,  and almost complete. I added three programs that most people would have no interest in. SolydX and SolydK are geared for home use, and home gaming. SolydK is great but has too many programs I would not use.

SolydXK updates are done quarterly as a package deal. If the update is not ready for the quarter due to package behavior, or other problems, the update is held back. This sure tames the guessing game update for SolydXK users. Of course if you want the SolydXK for business compilation, it is built on Debian Stable, so updates are very slow.

SolydXK is being developed by an ex Mint Linux (LMDE) user, who struck out on his own with some help of course when Mint Linux LMDE went south, or north. If you are new to Linux, SolydXK has several tutorials to help you out. The forums are also responsive and you should find the solution for your issue quickly.

Due to the tutorials on the SolydXK website, their forum, and the plethora of how to’s and examples on the already on the web, I won’t waste your time with installation, and operation. I will mention, if you like Windows XP, and are looking for something similar, SolydX or SolydK will be to your liking.

If you want a fast integrated, fast, and light Linux distro that is based on rock solid Debian, with a very nice paint job, and a big engine, head on over to SolydXK website and check out their offerings. I think you will like what you see and read.

Note Taking for Linux With Encryption

If you use a Mac or Windows, you may have read my posts about what I feel are the best note taking applications for Windows and Mac. As I now use Linux, and have used Linux for many years on and off, I want to share with you what I feel is the best Linux based note taking and storing program.

My favorite Windows and Mac note taking applications do not run on Linux natively. The best known Linux note taking program I know of is Tomboy. Tomboy, is a cross platform application. Tomboy does have some limitations which keep it out of my favorites as my needs are different. Tomboy is included by default in many Linux distributions and worth checking out if your needs are simple for note taking and storage.

What for me is a better alternative to Tomboy for Linux is a program named Cherrytree.  Cherrytree per the home page is:

“A hierarchical note taking application, featuring rich text and syntax highlighting, storing data in a single xml or sqlite file.”

I enjoy using a a notes program with a tree like structure. If you ever used any version of Treepad for Windows, you will be right at home. Cherrytree’s tree like node structure lends itself to easily visually find any note. Cherrytree also contains a handy search function. The tree node structure allows for notes to be placed under notes. This means no folder to open and peruse, notes are visible unless you have condensed the node.

cherrytreeI enjoy the Cherrytree search function. When using the search function, Cherrytree lets me know every instance of the keyword, or phrase I search for. Cherrytree has options for keyword setting on each node of the tree. My notes are not that complex, but the option is there if you need it.

What makes Cherrytree special, is Cherrytree has an encryption option for storing note files. On top of an easy to use, and easily to modify tree structure, notes can be encrypted when the file is saved.

What I do is I have two files. The first Cherrytree file contains my ’43 folders’ type information (calender and to do system), and general notes. I leave this file unencrypted. I have a second file containing passwords and other personal private information which is encrypted. Swapping between the two files with Cherrytree is a breeze. When Cherrytree is in use you may open another file as easily as you can with a text editor.

For the password protection scheme, Cherrytree uses 7-zip. 7-zip uses Strong AES-256 encryption in 7z and ZIP formats. Strong enough encryption for me. If my computer turns up missing, as in stolen, I have plenty of time to make all the alerts I will need to make.

Another important Cherrytree option is the ability to make each node on the tree ‘read only’ with the press of a key. There is nothing to match the frustration of overwriting a password or phrase because I did a Shift + V (paste), instead of Shift + C (copy) and later saving the file and not noticing what I did.

One final and perhaps moot point is Cherrytree is aware of file modification. Some programs are written with the user in charge, no questions. A file may be saved in a changed state, no questions asked. Cherrytree however asks if I want to save the modified file. This simple question has saved my passwords from being overwritten by mistake because I am thinking of other things while closing programs.

Cherrytree is in the repository of many Linux distributions. If Cherrytree is not in the repository of your favorite Linux distribution, you can download Cherrytree (as I have) in the format you need from the authors web site. Install instructions are easily followed, and simple to do.

The odds of anyone trying to break an encrypted file saved on a stolen computer are so low it is not worth worrying about. Thieves are only interested in a quick buck, not personal secrets. Truth is, if a thief is smart enough to break password encrypted files, they are not physically stealing for a living.

If you use Linux, and want an easy to use program to store sensitive notes, Cherrytree is the best program I have found. Having read only ability by a key toggle, and strong encryption make Cherrytree stand out from the crowd.

For all this, Cherrytree is donation-ware. Try out Cherrytree, and if you like it, let the author know by making a donation to the program via Cherrytree home page. Donating helps keep Cherrytree and its author reamin alive and healthy.

Linux Lazy, Linux Free, Linux Choices

I am thinking about Linux distributions. Linux Distributions are fascinating due to their varied natures. I am not about to sell you on trying or using Linux. For myself, I have been a Linux user for over a decade. I know Linux has a lot to offer. If you are happy with your operating system, stick with it, it is working for you. But read on, I think you like this post anyway.

What is unique about Linux Distributions, and perhaps any Operating System, is so much of Linux happens between the users ears. That comment is not making a number of Linux users happy, so let’s look into it further.

For most of the world, computer usage or computer life for a few, is defined by a few programs. They are in no particular order: programs for the web, for productivity, entertainment, and social media. These categories cover most computer users day to day computer usage.

Most older versions of your operating system could be perfectly at home today sitting on your desk, or on your laptop. They would need a horse power boost due to the size of web and other documents, and multimedia, but for the most part they would work just fine. If I still had a version of Windows 95 for example, I could use it to listen to music, browse the web, watch some videos, send email, and create good looking documents.

With the exception of changes to how web documents are created and viewed, small additions to basic video, everything you do with your computer is generally what people did in 1995 minus some of the real time video heavy applications. There was less of everything of course, computers at that time were not central to life as we know it, but they were getting there.

With that thought in mind, think about Linux. There is basic Linux, which is almost the same as using windows with no additional programs. The Linux desktop is generic on millions of Linux computers around the world.  Every modified version of Linux, named a “Linux Distribution” have different window dressings (desktops), programs, and ways of doing things, but in general they all generally accomplish the same tasks if they are for general computer users.

Window dressing and software is where Linux Distributions become interesting. Think of a basic bicycle, or automobile. That is how basic Linux, Windows, Mac OS, or other operating systems are off the shelf. They all take you from point A to point B. What makes each bicycle or automobile unique is how it is dressed up, how fast or slow, and how comfortable it is for you, the owner.

When all the glitz and glitter is stripped away from an operating system, the files we work with, watch, or listen to, are essentially the same. Music is music, documents are documents produced by different software. Video is video. A web site is basically a web site.

If you spend most of your time using a web browser, the latest version of whatever web browser you are using looks almost the same on every computer’s operating system. If you listen to music, or participate in social media, all programs operate under certain agreed upon standards, whether they be tweets, or two hour movies.

This idea of ‘unique’ is one of the fascinating concepts of our minds and Linux distributions. There are a few hundred different distributions, or versions of Linux waiting to be downloaded, installed and used. Some look like Windows and some look like each other.

Some Linux Distributions are easier to install than others. Some Linux Distributions have two or three programs that all do the same thing (more choices), some have one or none depending on what the version of Linux is meant to do.

When you buy a computer, you use Windows in most cases. Generally, you can do everything you  need to do with the programs that come with Windows. When you use Linux, your desktop can be anything from a black screen with a > to desktops that look as if they should be framed and displayed as art because they are that pleasing to the eye.

This is what I find fascinating about Linux! If it doesn’t exist, and it probably does, you or I can create it. Probably as simple as a few lines of text in a terminal. Of course we can also make it as complex as any program written in Windows or Mac OS if we choose to.

We can pick and choose from a number of top notch music players that rival itunes in power and capability. Or we can use a program with no visual interface at all, using only a line of text in a terminal, telling a program to play a single song. We can mix and match our Linux Operating System this way. As simple, complex, plain or pleasing as we want.

Linux is the American Dream Operating System! Where else can you have it exactly your way? Not a choice of vegetables and which sauce you want on your burger, but exactly what you want for your burger from the type of bread, choice of meats, how its cooked, and exact mixtures of special sauces. Kind of like being a kid at the soda dispenser, mixing different flavors, and hoping we like the taste when we a re done.

I am both too lazy and time constrained to want to do the creating and upkeep of a building a from scratch Linux Operating System on my own, though others obviously love the challenge. Tweaking and creating until it is perfect – for them.

Linux for the masses

Build or download your dream operating system

I prefer the easy, lazy way. I use Mac OS because it is close to Linux, even though it is highly controlled. I use my Linux Distro of choice because it is as close to what I want my Linux Operating System to be without putting in the painful sweat equity myself.

I really enjoy Linux and all the freedom and choice Linux gives me. I wish I had more time to not be so lazy when it comes to using such a great operating system. It must be a blast to create exactly what you want in a computer Operating System. Having run exactly the way you want it to. Yet, it must be even better when other people like it too, and clone your dream operating system on their computer.

For all our freedom of choice we insist we want, we really don’t want it. We could have a computer with an operating system that is uniquely our own because we could build it ourselves. Yet most of us choose a plain vanilla computer using a plain vanilla operating system. I think the reason is, for all our talk about wanting personal freedom, we are basically lazy. We really want it our way, but only if someone else does the work for us.

Our laziness flows across our daily life. Our clothing, our meals, everything we could make, unique to ourselves, if we really wanted to, we generally do not do. We balance our laziness with our money. Why do it, when we can buy it almost as we want it? Rather and maybe more truthfully, we settle for something close to what we want.

Or perhaps in the case of the two hundred plus Linux Distributions waiting to be downloaded, installed and enjoyed, most of us, find the one. The one Linux Distribution where we know when we use it, that it is better than we could do ourselves. At least I want to think so.