back to article The netbook newbie's guide to Linux

Thanks to their design as appliances, you can get down to useful work straight away with any of the new breed of Linux-based netbooks. But sooner or later, a fair few folk come up against the unfamiliarity of Linux. And, like the legendary tribe of pygmies, you may find yourself jumping up and down in the head-high long grass …


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Using vi

vi doesn't depend on X working. So if everything is fubar, you can still vi.

And for very simple occasional use of vi, the command set is VERY small:

ESC : get out of input mode

i: insert (do into input mode)

":" : get into command mode

dd: delete a line

ARROW KEYS: move about

dl: delete a character. you'll learn which one it's deleting

w: write the file

q: quit the file

q!: REALLY quit the file, even if vi thinks it unwise

That's all.

No "Open is under FILE" or "Edit->Abandon changes to undo all changes and exit".

A very minimal set of vi commands gets work done. And works ANYWHERE with a command line on linux.

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"Photoshop just HAPPENS to be Windows only, but that's only a fluke"

If I'm not mistaken it was a Mac programme originally ported to Windows. And it wasn't a fluke, it's called "selling". It may be availble for Linux one day, just as soon as enough people are willing to part with cash for it....

Bronze badge

who the ... ?

Ah, I see. Carry on!


You're right Stu

But Mac isn't why "PS CS4 isn't on Linux" is a problem for "Windows users" , so I figured it pretty much tangential. Heck, PS on Mac uses a GIMP-like multi-window interface, so no retooling needed for the UI.

Plenty of people say that they would use Linux if it had PS ("GIMP's a stupid name" or "It isn't ready for CMYK so I can't use it") so the demand is there. Plenty of people BUY Linux and Occulus makes enough money over the cost of licensing to make porting a game to Linux and selling it a job that pays.

So the "free as in beer" bit is no reason not to sell on Linux.

Unless adobe are afraid that PS will not compete with GIMP, despite the name and all that...


Killer app: the package manager

Getting quite offtopic now, but in response to the "killer app" question - for me, it's the package manager. Synaptic, apt-get, yum, whatever comes with your distro of choice. Saves me from having to download an installer, put up with its inane "install wizard" prompts, etc, etc. Dependencies are automatically installed. In a single command and a matter of minutes (possibly seconds), I can have virtually any application I'd want. And then Update Manager keeps them all patched. Uninstall/purge is just as easy, and unneeded dependencies are automatically removed. It all can be done through a gui if you'd like. It makes Windows/Mac systems look downright archaic.

Anonymous Coward

@Every waking hour

It is not because it is complicated - it is addictive :)

Come join us...



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