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InformationWeek: Getting the Right Linux Footprint

May 06, 2003, 08:30 (15 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Fred Langa)

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"For all its advances in other areas, the Linux setup process has long been a major obstacle to the operating system's wider acceptance. In fact, until quite recently, installing Linux was like a trip back in time:

"Forget graphical interfaces. All too often, a Linux install was and still is either fully or mostly a text-based operation, although some of the screens might be dressed up a bit with colored backgrounds or multicolored text. For example, Slackware 9.0, the most-current release of that popular Linux distribution, sets up entirely through myriad screens of DOS-style colored text, like software from the mid-1980s. Primitive? You bet.

"Forget auto-detection of hardware. Despite the fact that today's hardware is capable of identifying itself fully and openly to any software that knows how to ask, Linux still often requires that you know, in advance, the brands and models--and, sometimes, even exact model numbers--of the video card, network card, audio card, (etc.) in your system. If you pick the wrong driver, you might end up having to perform the entire installation over, from scratch..."

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