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Author Topic: LINUX  (Read 502 times)
MM0RAG
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Posts: 17




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« on: November 27, 2007, 12:46:40 PM »

Hi,

I am planning to build a new computer which will be dedicated to Ham Radio. Does anyone have any experience in using the Linux operating system instead of Windows. I would be using logging programmes, Hamscope, Mix W etc. Can this be done satisfactorily?

Thanks for any replies.

Jack
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K5YF
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Posts: 77




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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2007, 01:08:42 PM »

There are quite a few good ham radio applications for Linux.

The single most important thing you want to do, if this is your first try at Linux, is to build and keep the computer hardware as simple as possible until you are comfortable with Linux OS, hardware, and software administration. That means one hard drive, one sound card, one video card, no more than two cd/dvd drives, one network card, etcetera.

I suggest that you try the Ubuntu distribution first, but most all of the major distributions are good.

Before choosing a distribution take a look at it's support forum for ham related questions and issues.

Have fun!

-Brandon
N5JYK
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SSB
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2007, 01:17:51 PM »

I used Red Hat 9 (I think) a few years ago as a replacement for Solaris.  The interface CDE was excellent and it was rock stable.  I stopped using Linux because there isn't the software availability as Windows.  I think Windows is the worst operating system ever built but its universal so I put up with it.  Linux with its configurations contained in text files is really neat.  Its too bad that Linux, Unix, or whatever never took off.  Windows is a pain.


Alex....
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KB3LSR
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Posts: 297




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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2007, 01:45:19 PM »

Fedora 8 is awesome!  I use it on my laptop with school (I dual-boot with Win XP).  I've been using RedHat since 5.2, so it's just what I have "grown up with."  There are many types of linux available, I prefer the RPM-based (RedHat-type) systems because they seem to be more user friendly.  There is some ham radio software available (for free of course), but you might find Windows the best choice for a dedicated ham radio computer (Virtually all ham software runs on Windows, it may be easier to troubleshoot).

73 de KB3LSR
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K8AG
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Posts: 351




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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2007, 02:08:51 PM »

There are fewer applications for Linux than for Windows.    Some apps you may find you need to build from source code.

If you are interested in learning, Linux is the way to go.  You will be able to learn quite a bit with all of the free tools available.  You will need to spend time putzing with the OS more than with Windows.

If you want to get it up and running quickly with specific applications you may want Windows.

My 2 cents.

73, JP, K8AG
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K8GU
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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2007, 02:33:55 PM »

I still run DOS (and Windows) for my ham software.  But, there is a lot of good Linux software out there.  In addition to a lot of other things, I spend my working life administering and using a variety of Linux machines.

I second the opinion that you keep the computer simple if you decide to go with Linux.  My first Linux machine ran RedHat 5.2 also.  All I have to say is good riddance.  I have almost every different release of Fedora running on machines for work.  But, I have to say that hands-down the best Linux distribution for almost anyone but the die-hard hacker is Ubuntu.

After I mailed him the DVD, my dad said, "Ubuntu is easier to install than Windows and works better, too."  That pretty much sums it up.  If you have broadband Internet, this is definitely the case.  The software is the only thing lacking.
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N5KBP
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Posts: 288




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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2007, 03:29:05 PM »

As much as I hate Micro$oft, I would suggest using Windows XP for the apps you mentioned. Neither will work under Linux and Vista is still to new (read buggy and a PITA) for me to recommend.

Marty
N5KBP
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AC5UP
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Posts: 3835




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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2007, 03:39:59 PM »

Ubuntu is probably the easiest to get up and running the first time out, but Mandriva runs a close second (in my experience) in terms of best first impression.

After you get comfortable with Linux, and if you get the itch to go further, OpenSUSE is probably the next step. Very strong in networking, security and about as stable as it gets. All three are available for the time it takes to download the CD(s) or DVD. All three allow dual boot Linux / Winders.

You'll want 512 megs of RAM and 32 megs of VRAM (depending on how graphical you plan to be) and a 20 gig HDD. If the computer is a 500 MHz PII the Gnome desktop is the better choice, for an 800 MHz PIII or better consider KDE for the GUI. Gnome is the more established desktop and has the greater variety of native apps. But, the market is moving toward KDE and there's a new version due on December 11th.

Could be very cool.

For those considering a recycled PII / 350 or 450 for a peek at Linux, 256 megs of RAM and a 4.3 gig drive will get you there with Xubuntu. The interface is kinda' no-frills but that's a good thing on an older machine. The kernel is the same and just as reliable.

BTW: This message comes to you via OpenSUSE 10.3 / KDE / Firefox.

It works.
 
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W7QED
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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2007, 04:04:49 PM »

Even with a rather slow computer, say 500MHz, you can do almost anything you wish with linux. You can easily build systems to stream audio, or run an IRLP node.

You will find that some things on linux are difficult for first-time users. But I have found that the power and flexibility of linux far out-weigh the learning curve.

The other system you might want to consider is Macintosh. On my powerbook, I have MacRobotSSTV for slow-scan, and cocoaModem for RTTY, PSK, and other digital modes. Plus, because of Mac OS X, I can run lots of linux programs (Mac OS X is a unix operating system). The only down-side here is that the hardware will be more expensive than what you can build from discount PC parts. But like linux, the reliability and power is second-to-none.

—E
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AC5UP
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Posts: 3835




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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2007, 04:21:06 PM »

Since part of the original question was about applications... Here's a starting point:

For the KDE desktop --- http://www.kde-apps.org/
For Gnome / GTK+ --- http://www.gnomefiles.org/

The vast majority of this is freeware. K / X / Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Mandriva, etc have an installer utility to add repositories and manage your software configuration. The package manager can also check for new versions of * everything * loaded on the machine at boot... Not just OS patches, any available upgrade for any installed app.

Very handy.

Last I saw, there were 22,000+ software titles available for Linux.
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KC8RPD
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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2007, 05:06:07 PM »

As a linux user since the SLS days, I would suggest that you research your hardware purchases first.  Choose hardware that is explicitly supported, there are quite a few websites that report on this.

As to a distibution, I suggest that if you lack a high speed net connection go to a vendor like cheapbytes, and order a few out.  You're certain to find one that you prefer over the others.

For ham apps, try this site:

http://radio.linux.org.au/
 
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W3JJH
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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2007, 07:18:49 PM »

Here's another vote for Ubuntu and Gnome as a first choice for beginner's Linux.  Kubuntu (Ubuntu with KDE) is a fine second choice.  I've had good results with Ubuntu on recycled Wintel boxes.

I've also had good results with X86 Solaris 10 Unix.  It's a free download from Sun, but you have to build ham radio programs from source code.

I've had my very best results running the programs KC8AOT mentioned above using Mac OS X.  BTW, the latest release (10.5) is certified to the UNIX03 standard.

The only Windows ham radio program I still use is EZ-NEC.  I run it on an XP virtual machine on a Mac.
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KB3LSR
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Posts: 297




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« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2007, 06:13:01 AM »

Maybe the next code/no-code debate will be harped on over desktop OSes between Linux and Windows.  LoL

I too have heard Ubuntu is extremely easy to install.  My friend that told me that also told me that Ubuntu is also "friendlier" to new users.  The best thing about linux is that if you don't like what you are using, just download a different release and you are all set.

I'd recommend using a BitTorrent to download the ISOs (you will get better speed and you won't run the risk of dropping the download 1/2 way through).  Fedora 8 only comes on DVD, but Ubuntu you can get on a CD-ROM ISO.
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