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Suggestion: State that Linux runs on PCs

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Joined: 2006-08-26

Many people with whom I have spoken about computers are under the notion that the operating system is directly tied to the hardware that it runs on. In other words, they think that PCs only run the Windows operating systems and that computers manufactured by Apple only run the Macintosh operating systems. When you present them with a new operating system, such as Linux, they immediately think that they will have to go out and buy an entirely new computer to run this other OS.

I just thought that this might be something that needs to be explained on the get GNU/Linux Web site, but I could be wrong.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
I think that's a good idea.

I think that's a good idea. Alot of people indeed do seem to be oblivious to the separation of the computer and its OS so saying that may help shed those misconceptions.

Oh and welcome aboard Duke! Smiling

kode's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-19
Only one problem with

Only one problem with that.... GNU/Linux doesn't just run on PCs :-) Your point stands, but it runs on just about any architecture.

a thing's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
"PC" is not an architecture

"PC" stands for "Personal Computer"; it's not a CPU architecture. But Linux does run on computers that aren't PCs, like embedded devices.

free-zombie's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-08
though PC stands for

though PC stands for Personal Computer, it is (almost) always used as a synonym for "IBM-PC or compatible".

a thing's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
If that's what they mean

If someone means IBM-compatible PC, he/she should say that. "PC" alone still just stands for "Personal Computer".

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21
I haven't heard that term

I haven't heard that term "IBM-compatible PC" for quite a few years now. I'm a wonder if that will make some people think it means "486" :/ . And those who were too young to use a computer back then might wonder if their PC is "IBM-compatible".

In any case, it's probably better to say "You don't need a new computer for linux, even if yours has an old pentium I processor."

(Yes you could even use a 386 but I don't recommend it)

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
Duke wrote: Many people
Duke wrote:

Many people with whom I have spoken about computers are under the notion that the operating system is directly tied to the hardware that it runs on.

You are right. I have encountered this but didn't think about it while writing the website.
I will first address this with a FAQ post.
Then, as soon as I have time, I will go through the site and try to emphasize that "Linux will run on your computer".

Thanks very much for the comment!

Olivier.

PS: apologies if disrupted, my previous answer in this topic was accidentally lost.

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
OK, FAQ post added. If

OK, FAQ post added.

If anybody thinks of better ways to adress this point, please step forward!

Thanks again for the suggestion Duke

Olivier.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Looks good. One thingie

Looks good.

One thingie though:

Quote:

Otherwise, almost all Linux distributions can run on normal PCs (called "i386" computers), Athlon-processor computers (called "64bit" computers) and Apple Mac computers (called "PPC" computers, including the G5, G4, G3 series).

Maybe you just wanted to simplify things for the reader, but just in case, PCs are usually called x86 architecture, not just i386. There can actually be i686 too. Smiling
Not all Athlon processors are 64bit. I have Athlon XP 2000+ and it is 32bit, as are alot of other Athlons. From AMD processors, Semprons are the ones which are generally 64bit from what I've seen.

Also, Apple Macs aren't all PPC anymore as new Macs are on the x86 Intel architecture. Smiling

dylunio's picture
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libervisco wrote:From AMD
"libervisco" wrote:

From AMD processors, Semprons are the ones which are generally 64bit from what I've seen.

Semprons are just cheaper Athlons - the one running this computer (Sempron 2800) is x86 and 32bit not 64bit.

Maybe looking at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/64-bit will be useful with naming.

dylunio

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
Oh la la, This perfectly

Oh la la,

This perfectly shows my ignorance in the matter and how easily I make errors. I simplified it to:

Quote:

Otherwise, almost all Linux distributions can run on normal PCs (often called "i386" computers), 64-bit-processor computers and Apple Mac computers (including the G5, G4, G3 series).

I hope this is more correct and hints clearly that Joe User should look for i386 stuff, which was the point.
Thanks for help

Olivier.

dylunio's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
I'm still not sure about the

I'm still not sure about the use of 'i386' - this was the standard back in the late 1980's, although it is still used on binary packages (such as RPMs) to this day, but i486, i586 and i686 also exist, wouldn't it be easier to use 'x86' ?

Other than that it reads fine Smiling

dylunio

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Yeah what dylunio said, but

Yeah what dylunio said, but this looks much better all in all. Smiling

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
Ok, Quote: Otherwise,

Ok,

Quote:

Otherwise, almost all Linux distributions can run on normal PCs (often called "i386" or "x86" computers),...

Thanks! Smiling

Olivier.

dylunio's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
That sounds reasonable

That sounds reasonable Smiling

dylunio

free-zombie's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-08
"64bit" is called amd64 or

"64bit" is called amd64 or x86_64. These processors support it: anything with "AMD64" on the box, including Athlon64 and new Semprons and Opterons (server processor). New Intel processors like the newest Pentium 4s support it too. AFAIK all dual-core x86 processors support x86_64/amd64/em64t*. That should include intel Macs, but I'm not sure.

*EM64T is Intel's name for the AMD64 architecture, x86_64 was used during development and is preferred by many projects, including Linux, gcc and Fedora. Others, like Debian and Gentoo, use "amd64"

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