9. How do I get support for Linux?

Story: 10 things the “Average Joe” won’t know about Linux Total Replies: 22
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Sep 05, 2012
8:04 PM EDT
Yes well when you can tell me where you get your support for Windows I will answer that..go ahead..I'll wait..oh that's right you never did get any support for Windows did you?

Not from MS or the Hardware Manufacturer either that the OS came on. Unless you paid for it, and then it still wasn't worth what you paid for it..

Sorry for the diatribe but I am tired of even recognizing this question as legitimate anymore. I used Windows for years and the only 'support' I ever got was from the internet and friends that knew more than me about it.


Sep 06, 2012
12:35 AM EDT

Sep 06, 2012
12:48 AM EDT
What Scott said...

Sep 06, 2012
1:29 AM EDT
I understand the irritation that this topic must inevitably arouse in any long-time Linux user.

But for what it's worth, I thought the question was legitimate:

* it is raised often, especially by those unfamiliar with real world Linux, and of natural interest to anyone considering trying Linux,

* it was handled well, with reassuring, simple and practical advice on when support is most likely to be needed, where good, friendly support can be found, and what it will be like to use it.

In fact, I bookmarked the page.

Sep 06, 2012
1:56 AM EDT
It is a good article and written well, in spitting fire at that question I meant no harm to the author. Just that I hate that question in general..



Sep 06, 2012
9:56 AM EDT
Anyone who asks "But what about support?" has never tried to get support.

They assume.

In 1995, a very good engineer/admin introduced it to me this way: I have found a high quality well supported and free UNIX-like system. Linux.

It was true then, and it has only gotten better.


Sep 06, 2012
11:07 AM EDT
I must be dumb but I never understood what "support" means and what exactly it entails.

Sep 06, 2012
11:10 AM EDT
In the old days, supporting Windows wasn't such a big deal because it was simple didn't do much and easy to fix by trial & error. Today, it is a complex convoluted bloated blob where copy cat tricks no longer work to fix anything.

On the contrary, Linux is much more sophisticated yet easier to support because it is still a modular well structured system with lot more support on the Internet.


Sep 06, 2012
12:05 PM EDT
A lot of us, being geeks and all, are probably in that position where WE provide the support for Windows and anything else to those around us, regardless of whatever "real" support is available in our situations.

My company just plopped down a hundred or so Windows 7 machines. IT dropped the boxes and ran. Can you guess what I've been doing for the past week or so?

Sep 06, 2012
6:11 PM EDT
+1 Scott for that rant.

Also, +1,000,000 Scott for being the editor-in-chief.


Sep 06, 2012
6:23 PM EDT
Quoting:A lot of us, being geeks and all, are probably in that position where WE provide the support for Windows

In prior lives I served as the office geek, helping neophyte windows users (only rarely did I find the other kind) by answering questions, trouble-shooting, backing up and restoring systems, etc. What I got for it was rarely more than a thank you (if even that much). Instead, people starting treating me like the sucker I was. Need support for Windows software? Call the windows dupe. He'll fix it.

(True, I was working for the firms. But supporting windows wasn't in my official job description. So forget getting credit for it.)

Not. Any. More.

Without receiving cash in hand, I will not support windows (period). And that goes for peers at work (a university), students, friends, AND family. You want my windows knowledge? Then pay. I have bills to pay. Microsoft doesn't give a dam about its users, so why should I?

As for Linux, that's another story. People usually try Linux because they are willing to learn, and I'm more than willing to help make the world a little bit better place, if the user is willing to learn.

Sep 06, 2012
6:29 PM EDT
Yes a pretty good article actually, I've bookmarked it too.

Sep 06, 2012
6:45 PM EDT
@DrG, at least you'll do it for pay.

What shreds of sanity I have left, are not for sale. They are too valuable to me.

Sep 06, 2012
8:15 PM EDT

I think I should follow your lead. Those shreds are getting scarce.

Sep 06, 2012
8:25 PM EDT
> What shreds of sanity I have left, are not for sale. They are too valuable to me.

Now you see, that's your problem. What are you doing working in IT if you're sane?

Sep 06, 2012
8:41 PM EDT
I think there was a book about that very thing -- generally considered one of the best novels of the Twentieth Century. They made a movie out of it.

What was it called?

Oh yeah. Catch 22 .

Sep 07, 2012
1:36 AM EDT
Flattery will get you just about everywhere with me gus3..;-)


Sep 07, 2012
2:49 AM EDT
@ gus:

General Parsing Error



Sep 07, 2012
8:40 AM EDT
I'm kinda surprised Scott only had an issue with one question. I thought the entire article was ridiculous.

First, who the heck is it written for? Non-linux users? Hardly! What non-Linux user is gonna be reading Everyday Linux User? If one jes happened to stumble on to this article, he'd probably get bored to tears in no time and move on. I know I did.

Look at the first question: "What is Linux?" The author then goes on for 8-10 paragraphs explaining what Windows is. Then, one line at the end explains, "Linux is the same." I hadda pick my jaw up off the floor!

The rest was Newell attempting to impress other Linux users with what he knows about Linux, cuz it certainly didn't give an easy to understand picture of what Linux is to a non-user.

I could go on fer about twenty more paragraphs, but I won't, which I'm sure will elicit loud huzzahs and applause. ;)

I'm getting a bit baffled and perturbed by some of the articles I'm seeing posted on this site. Usta be I'd see links to great tech articles from IBM and the like. Now I'm seeing stuff like "Use head and tail to read text files", an article so pointless/useless, had me looking for my wayward jaw, again. What? This guy never heard of the -f option, which instantly makes the tail command monster useful and invaluable to any serious Linux user?

Yes, you naysayers are correct. If I don't like it, I should start my own blog. I could then write, "I'm notbob and I like Linux" and it would be posted in LXer. I'll get right on that. OTOH, if all these lame articles were NOT posted to LXer, what would we have to kvetch about? Never mind. Carry on. ;)

Sep 07, 2012
11:32 AM EDT
Had to use head and tail on some monster-sized log files yesterday ... I'll have to look into -f

Sep 07, 2012
2:53 PM EDT
tail -f is about all I use. Great for viewing log files on the fly. Invoke tail with:

tail -f /var/log/messages

....and you can view the messages log file live as it's actually logging. It will remain open and viewable until you purposely stop it. Very handy for immediately seeing if that USB device you jes plugged in was detected by yer system or for monitoring ssh log-in attempts, etc.

I guess I can see using tail to read files if one doesn't use emacs. ;)

"vi --the heart of evil!" --nb

Sep 07, 2012
3:02 PM EDT
1. tail -f is essential to any system administrator. Writing anything about tail without the -f option is somewhere between clueless and insane, and perhaps a bit of both.

Quoting:"vi --the heart of evil!"
OK. I get it. I'm evil. (misquoted from Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Seriously, I've used vi since 1995 and I haven't grown horns yet.

Quoting:What shreds of sanity I have left, are not for sale.
Just remember, there is no Sanity Cruise.

Sorry, notbob, no applause here. I thought the article was decent overall. With some amazing thing called a search engine you never know who is going to find it and read it, so I wouldn't assume a non-Linux user will never get there as you do.


Sep 07, 2012
8:13 PM EDT
People who use vi aren't evil. Heck, I'll use it if I hafta ....at gunpoint!

As for the applause, that was for not continuing my anti-article rant. ;)

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