I grew up around computers. It was the first medium of video games I knew. It was an escape into a vitual world for me. I discovered 3d first-person shooters later on, and computers became the habit. I discovered linux in Junior High, and it was a bit of a rough start. There are a couple of base categories the different Linux distributions fit into (as far I experimented):
- Gentoo-Emerge based
These refer basically to the packaging format that your software will be installed on. Linux is all about customization. Back when Linus Torvalds originally created the first linux kernel (basic operating system core), deviating from Unix, everything was bash prompt (Command line interface). There simply no Graphical User Interface to speak of. It was the keyboard, tower, and screen. Yet, while the eye-candy was not present originally, the open-source community that pounced on the original kernel exploded into what is today a hundred or more variants of the Operating System (Distrowatch.com).
I became oppressed with plans to construct the perfect gaming computer from the ground up, choosing the Gentoo Linux platform, customizing my own kernel, optimizing everything to the specs of my current hardware (which were not cutting edge, mind you). It ate up my time, rushing home to get back to my in-progress computer project. Back in those days (the 90’s), wifi, was new and experimental, and since a simple base installer disk, having only minimal software on it, was all I had, I hooked into the ethernet at the downstairs station next to the family computer. I thought my project was going to flush the xbox platform that my peers at school had. I was wrong, well partially.
Graphical User Interface
The eventual entrance into a graphical user interface was absolutely exciting for me. Having read over the installation documentation that was a solid inch thick printed out, I had reached the installation of what Linux uses to display the GUI: X.org This, along with most of the non-essential software would have to be downloaded and NVIDIA software came after that. I was so consumed with the project, I often neglected eating.
The window manager
There are always multiple options in Linux. Among the Popular Window Managers are:
I choose the slick-looking Fluxbox, though I constantly had my eye on Enlightenment, as It boasted an interface that drastically overpowered Microsoft Windows XP at the time. In Fluxbox, the screen is empty. All visible customization had to be constructed by the bash prompt. I spend hours on that. The long-awaited day I was able to start up Unreal Tournament 2003 I was ecstatic. Linux uses Opengl.org to display 3d, instead of Windows with it’s Direct X. I had always liked the Opengl atmosphere better.
Freedom is can be dangerous, because it leaves to much up to the individual. But if you enjoy customizing your computer just so – Linux is a cost-effective and open system. There are still bugs for those less-professional Linux distributions, but in reality, most servers are running this operating system because of it’s efficiency.