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  1.    #1  
    As some of us prepare for the arrival of the Foleo, maybe some of you are like me and dont know anything about Linux, never touched a Linux, never had a Linux computer.

    What are the basics of a Linux operating system? whats this kernel thing and GUI and terminal etc etc? what do we need to know about Linux, hopefully someone can teach us
  2. Gerorne's Avatar
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    #2  
    Yes. I would like to know the benefits as well. I know pretty much nothing. Besides always reading that there are large linux communities that develop stuff.
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  3. #3  
    In a simplified view, its pretty much the same as windows. The kernel handles all the low level functions. In other words, you don't actually see it usually. (Kind of like DOS in the old Windows 95-98 systems, though Windows 2000 on doesn't use DOS). The kernel talks to the window manager, which then draws what you see. (This is probably what you're considering the GUI- graphic user interface.) What's different between Windows and Linux with regards to window managers, is that theres many options for window managers, each with its own distinct look and benefits. From what I've read/seen about the Foleo, Palm is using their own window manager. The terminal is the same as the command prompt in Windows.

    Benefits of it are that its entirely open-source, can be customized in many more ways than Windows, etc. The downside of it is that newer hardware generally takes longer to be supported, since everything is open-source, drivers need to be written. I would assume this won't really be a factor for Palm though.

    If you want to mess around with Linux, I suggest using a LiveCD, Ubuntu is the big name these days, but two small ones that I've used before are DamnSmallLinux and PuppyLinux off my USB flash drive.

    A LiveCD simply means that it won't install anything to the hard drive but instead runs entirely in RAM. There are options to install to the drive on many of these discs though, so make sure you don't touch that.

    As an aside, I recommend having a Linux LiveCD around at all times, preferably one that can read NTFS drives. The reason for this is if Windows can't boot up, you can use the LiveCD and it'll usually be able to read the hard drive so that you can transfer any data you still need before formatting and reinstalling.
  4. #4  
    Also, most of the excitement around here about Linux is because Garnet has become stale, and the idea that Linux can multitask but yet still be completely customized to give a good handheld experience is very promising, not to mention many of the other problems with Garnet that it would fix.

    Another benefit to Linux is that it can run in small spaces, on less powerful machines, PuppyLinux is 90 megs and includes most of the programs you expect from an operating system, but can run on pretty much any old machine you have. (I think I've read about it running on old Pentium II machines.)

    There's also a stigma with Linux about it being too complicated. This is partly the case, because if something can't be fixed or installed properly using the GUI, then it has to be done in the terminal, using complicated commands. Most of the time with the modern distributions this isn't as necessary anymore.

    Even worse is when apps need to be compiled to run on the specific version of Linux being run. Most modern Linux distributions though take care of this using repositories, big directories of software that can just be installed using the GUI without any hassle.
  5.    #5  
    nice im learning already! so its basically a dos prompt system with complicated command lines but executed commands will appear on a graphical window? i know that sounds so lay man and elementary
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by bulls96 View Post
    As some of us prepare for the arrival of the Foleo, maybe some of you are like me and dont know anything about Linux, never touched a Linux, never had a Linux computer.

    What are the basics of a Linux operating system? whats this kernel thing and GUI and terminal etc etc? what do we need to know about Linux, hopefully someone can teach us

    You won't need to anything about the internal workings of Linux beyond the GUI that Foleo provides. As youself this: Do you know anything about the inner workings of Windows beyond the GUI? Most users do not and they do just fine. The point of the GUI is to provide a user friendly interface to users do not need to know the technical aspects of what is under the hood. Don't worry that Foleo is running Linux. Linux is no different than any other OS at it's core.

    Greg
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by bulls96 View Post
    nice im learning already! so its basically a dos prompt system with complicated command lines but executed commands will appear on a graphical window? i know that sounds so lay man and elementary

    No, it is just a different Operating System. DOS is not Windows 95, nor is Windows 95 Windows XP. They are each different Operating Systems, but at the end of the day each provides users with a means at doing certain tasks.

    Linux can provide interfaces that look like DOS and look like Windows XP, but Linux is not a type of DOS nor is Linux a type of Windows XP. Linux is simply a different operating system that will do things similar to what operating system developed by Microsoft will do.

    Don't get worked up that Foleo is running Linux. As a Foleo user, you are not expected to know Linux. All you are expected to know is how to operate the Foleo GUI. This is no different than what is expected of the typical Windows user. As a Windows user, all you are exptected to know is how to operate the Windows GUI. You are not expected to understand the technical aspects of what drives the GUI, or what is under the hood. Yes, Linux has command line interfaces, but this is not part of the Foleo GUI. Let the developers worry about what is under the hood.

    Just know that the fact that Foleo is running Linux is a good thing. Linux is a proven OS with alot of community based support. If the community embraces the Foleo, development for the Foleo will take on a life of it's own.

    Greg
    Last edited by gzartman; 07/17/2007 at 11:52 PM.
  8. #8  
    You need to know as much about Linux to use a Foleo as OS X users need to know about (Mach/BSD) Unix: as much or a little as you like. The Foleo is dead simple to use. You hit the power button, hit the Apps key, select the desired app from the menu; or to sync email with the Treo, hit the email key. You'll generally spend considerably less time with the interface than you would on Windows, Mac OS, or most Linux desktop systems. The only thing that might throw you off at first is the filesystem, which is one area where the Foleo is no different from other Linux platforms.

    Since we don't know the details of the UI or the package management system used by the Foleo until the product is launched, it may not be a good idea to learn too much too soon about Linux. But the Terminal, from the little I've used it, seems pretty standard, so if you really want to learn a little Linux, find a tutorial that focuses on the shell, like this ebook.
  9.    #9  
    hmmm... i really do not plan to develop any apps for the FOleo, i just wanted to know some ins and outs of the thing so i will know how to trouble shoot. I pretty much know the Palm OS very well after using it for years, and have been quite adept in software troubleshooting, i just want to reach that same level in the Linux OS for the Foleo since i will be using it for a while

    Thanks for the inputs guys! If you still want to share more you are very welcome
  10. edoan's Avatar
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    #10  
    Troubleshooting a version 1.0 product? Naaaah. j/k. It'll come to you as the community grows, just as it did for PalmOS. People will figure out how to present things like stack traces and dump files in a useful manner, you may/may not need to know things like ps -ef or kill -9, but you will if the need arises. How many Palm users out there know about reset+power button to do a hard reset? Only the ones who NEEDED to know!

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