And wirh VMware, you can even run windows in its own window on Linux. The opposite is also possible but nearly as stable. Linux has a relly more stable nature. If one respect a few principles, such as not running programs as root, you don't have to worry about security too much. Of course, on a home network, a minifirewall like the netgear, is a minimum whatever OS you are running.
When you choose a distribution, choose a free distribution, free as in beer. But also think in terms of Free as in freedom. I'm proud to have not a single peace of pirated or illegal software on my computer. It's free. The quality of the experience is much better than on windows. You have access to some of the most sofisticated pieces of software that drive the internet, for free. Think about it, apache runs on close to 70% of all web servers, bind runs on most of the name servers, tcp/ip is a free (as in freedom) suite of protocol. And it is more stable. I have been using Linux since 1992 and full time at work since 1995. Now on my computer at home, I don't run Windows at all. Personally, I use the gentoo distribution (www.gentoo.org
) which is the best I ever had so far. If you are good with computers, this distribution is fun. You actually gain computer understanding by running it. The /proc filesystem is just an amzing source of information on your system. In case you don't know, each directory represented as a number, corresponds to a process id. In each of these directories is information about the corresponding process.
/** as root of course because some information can only be seen as root, for obvious reasons which seems to be completely disregarded on the windows platform. And this is why on Linux, switching to root is a decision you make. Usually, you don't have to switch to root very often. **/
1 1261 3 6417 6601 7014 dri loadavg swaps
1008 13 359 6428 6602 7016 driver locks sys
1122 154 360 6429 6604 7025 execdomains meminfo sysvipc
1140 1644 4 6433 6607 7029 filesystems misc tty
1145 1648 4492 6434 6608 7046 fs modules uptime
1146 1649 4493 6460 6610 7047 ide mounts version
1147 1650 4494 6463 6611 7070 interrupts net vmnet
1162 1658 4495 6465 6614 9 iomem partitions
1240 2 5 6468 6645 bus ioports pci
1256 2938 6 6476 6646 cmdline irq scsi
1257 2958 6225 6487 6688 cpuinfo kcore self
1258 2971 6350 6598 6840 devices kmsg slabinfo
1259 2981 6413 6599 7002 dma ksyms stat
See all these numbers are processes running on my computer. If I go in a directory and do an ls there, you can see files of - bytes (because they are not files on disk but the entire /proc filesystem is entirely in memory, you close your computer and it disapears. you can cat each of these files to see the content, only as root for some of them, and see for instance, the file descriptors it holds or the dynamic librairies it links.
The alphabetic names are files or directory containing information about your computer, each component, each loaded driver, each anythin that is on your couputer besides running processes. for instance, If I want to know what is going on on my memory usage I do:
# cat /proc/meminfo and get this:
total: used: free: shared: buffers: cached:
Mem: 1058508800 868675584 189833216 0 74833920 657428480
Swap: 1028116480 0 1028116480
MemTotal: 1033700 kB
MemFree: 185384 kB
MemShared: 0 kB
Buffers: 73080 kB
Cached: 642020 kB
SwapCached: 0 kB
Active: 233516 kB
Inactive: 568284 kB
HighTotal: 131008 kB
HighFree: 2044 kB
LowTotal: 902692 kB
LowFree: 183340 kB
SwapTotal: 1004020 kB
SwapFree: 1004020 kB
which tells me exactly what is going on on my system.
If you want to see how you memory reacts, in an other way than on a graph, but live, you do this:You open a small window in a corner and type:
# while true; do clear; cat /proc/meminfo; sleep 2; done
which gives me the result every two seconds. You can chose 5 if you want to see the result every 5 seconds but doing this even every second is far less costly for the computer than running a Graphic chart to display an only approximative view of your system.
The /proc filesystem is a reason to switch to linux if you like to learn how computers work. You don't have to but you have the option. Rarely is it not possible to pinpoint what is going wrong. You really have all the tools AND the source code to do it. I'm not sayng everyone needs to do that. But it is really not that hard.
The proof, I'm completely stoned and I have no problem using it.
If you have any question on how to use or install it, just ask , I might have some answers and I always like to help new people switch because every one switching is someone who in a way rebel against corporate abuse. And the money goes in the pockects of a small few individuals who control too big a part of the economy for an individual. Fortunately Bill Gates is a humane guy, outside of his business life. But in business he is one running at the lowest standards of the industry.
To end this message, I will make this suggestion, get knoppix.com
which you burn on a bootable CD that lets you get a Good idea of wht linux is, without having to install anything, you but the CD and you open firefox, enter www.cannabisculture.com
and you are here. As simple as this, for most people, at least, unless your hardware is very esoteric. It can also be used as a recovery disk for any OS with the advance tools installed on it. It can also be a good hacking tool for those who cannot install any sfoware on your office computer. You can run nmap, nessus, hping, tcpdump, etherreal, snort etc. etc. which are softwares that compare to commercial software that go for thousands of dollars each with enterprise quality.
Anyways, have fun.