It’s been a while since I used any Unix operating system. I’ve spent the last decade or so managing and writing code for Microsoft platforms. To the tune of about 1.5 million lines of code in the asp.net platform and about 150,000 lines of Sql Server stored procedures. To say the least it’s been a lot.
In a previous life I developed applications that had to exist on the NT platform, Sun Unix (real Unix), HP Unix, Data General Unix, RS6000 and even the NEXT operating system (what evolved into OS10). Prior to that UI wrote a Financial Trading system using the QNX OS. QNX for those who are not familiar is a Unix like os that has migrated into a specialty field as this is the OS the Toyota uses in their “Smart” cars to control the cameras etc in the car. There is a nice api which I hope to investigate if I get one the Toyota’s that uses it. You can become an app developer for it and deliver your apps to the cars.
There are several reasons for getting back to Unix at this time.
1. To see if I can do everything I need to do on a Linux laptop.
2. I recently purchased a Lime Micro Systems Software Defined Radio board and the utilities are all written for Unbutu Linux.
3. I want to make a cell phone that runs the Android operating system and incorporates the features of the Lime Micro Chip Set.
I purchased a Raspberry Pi a couple of years ago and created a Green House controller with the pie. It worked out nicely and turned fans on and off, monitored temperature and humidity and opened vents as needed. The Pi uses the Debian OS version which did most of what I was looking to do with it at the time.
The key features I want in an OS are
1. Remote desktop – a must
2. Good GUI windowing system – also a must
3. Easy to set up
4. Easy to use
For my test environment I have a couple of Dell D630 laptops, old but still functional, a couple of DELL 2950 servers. My intention is to seed the lap top with Linux and have a mirror on the 2610, Hence the requirement for remote desktop. All the systems I have and use daily I have remote access to so no matter where I am (in the world) as long as I have an internet connection I can get work done. This is a key factor and one I have been doing since the mid 1990’s without issue.
What I have done do far.
1. I stated out using Debian on the laptop and the server. Installed it about 3 or 4 times.
2. I investigated KALI Linux – great version for Hacking and Pen Testing.
3. Getting a Tails USB install going.
4. Installed Ubuntu on the server twice and on the laptops 4 or 5 times. Trying out different settings etc.
5. In trying to get the remote desktop working I ran across the Mate version – which I can say I do not like as there is little consistency between the desktop console and the remote desktop console, I also didn’t care for all of the other “stuff” that it seemed to think I needed.
6. Found that Linux like most other OS’s is a memory hog and quickly filled the 250 gb drive on the laptop. So I replaced the outdated 250 gb drive with a 2TB drive. Hopeful that will last a while till it gets full.
7. Back to installing a clean version of Ubuntu .
8. This time I investigated further the Remote Desktop Client first and can across an article using XRDP and Xfce desktop. This is really the first windowing system for Linux that I like out of the box.
9. My next step is to reinstall xUnbutu on the system and see how that install goes.
With all of the fuss everyone I know makes about Linux I expected a more user friendly Os. As I mentioned before I was a “Real Unix” developer. On the Sun Micro Systems, which is the current incarnation of ATT Unix of which the source is no longer available, is a lot easier to get up and running with all the standard tools needed for development. When I was writing code to exist on the multi-platforms in the mid 1990’s it seemed easier to make things work. Of course since it was Sun the libraries and tools were geared towards efficiency. Something that seems to be lacking in the Linux world. I expect these exist but there is a lot of digging and investigation to figure out what path is the best one to use. Each product and programming environment states how they are the best and require lots of time before you can determine if you wasted your time or spent it wisely. If any of you Unix/Linux people reading this have ideas please fill me in on them so hopefully I can save some investigation time.