From: Whiskers on
On 2009-11-20, RodMcKay <NoJunkMail(a)> wrote:


> I've dl a ton of themes of all kinds, from desktop looks to controls,
> window borders, icons, etc., and they all install from the desktop
> instead with no fuss, no muss <raspberry>:
> Right-click on the desktop, and under the theme tab towards the bottom
> of the dialogue box there is an install button. Navigate to the
> tar.gz file and select it and off it goes. Easy as pie. The theme
> will either install, or won't, giving you an error message on why not.
> But the valid ones do install in a moment.


Reading between the lines, I get the impression that you are following the
Windows tradition for acquiring software: find a web page with something
on it to download, download that to the 'desktop', find the icon, and
click every which way till something happens - and hope nothing bad

That isn't the best method. Virtually all Linux distros have 'software
management' tools the like of which Microsoft can only dream about, and
dedicated 'repositories' of binary packages prepared ready for that
version of that distro and intended to be installed (or uninstalled) using
that distro's usual software management tools. Usually the packages are
'digitally signed' as well as having a hash published by the repository,
so that if you trust the repository you don't need to worry about the
package being compromised by anyone with malicious intent. As the
repositories are usually managed by the same people who build the distro
in the first place, trust should be a foregone conclusion.

As you've discovered, you can take the Windows approach to getting new
software, but then you run up against the same problems as you are exposed
to in that other OS - plus the probability that some of the software you
get by that method will not be compiled for your particular distro, or
indeed not compiled at all, and may also 'depend' on other stuff being
present which you will have to check for yourself whereas the distro's
software management tools and repositories usually automate such things.

As has been said elsewhere in this thread, you would be wise to become
familiar with the workings of your chosen distro, and with the Unix/Linux
'philosophy' in general, before moving yourself away from your familiar
environment - and then get more experience with it yourself before even
thinking of 'helping' anyone less confident than yourself to change their
operating system. 'Sticking plaster' such as finding a 'theme' that
resembles the appearance of a Windows 'desktop', is not a short-cut or a
substitute for doing the job properly. You'll just waste your time trying
to get Linux to behave like Windows - which it never will, nor should it.

Don't compare moving from Windows to Linux to changing your Ford family
car for a Honda family car. A better analogy might be changing from a
family car to a kit of parts that can be built into anything from a moped
to a moon-base.

-- ^^^^^^^^^^
-- Whiskers
-- ~~~~~~~~~~
From: J.O. Aho on
RodMcKay wrote:

> And thanks for pointing out that the security risks are the same when
> dl a tar.gz, etc., to what we have in Windows. Good point to know.
> Then how do you get around to these problems, though:
> - people who don't have internet access

They get it from a friend who has downloaded it for them or from a magazine

> - source goes down and you can't dl?

Most of the time there are more than one valid source to get it from, to get a
source code, I don't care if it's in a RedHat source RPM or a Debian source
deb or if it's from Gentoo repository, all of the actors are trusted

> - for ease of using and dl a tar.gz, etc., do you use same approach
> of scanning for viruses?

There aren't any real viruses to Linux (there are trojans, but that ain't the
same thing as viruses), if you download something from a source that you don't
trust, go through the source code before you compile it.


From: J.O. Aho on
RodMcKay wrote:

> Fortunately, I did find reference to the linux version of ClamWin
> which is a project I'm already familiar with.
> Various sites all over said that the av apps mostly check for Window$
> viruses.

Be warned, they may give false positives when you scan your Linux system.

> I don't know how to be root in Fedora. Unlike PSLinuxOS which tells
> you right up front to log on as Guest or Root (but doesn't warn
> against how bad root it!! <shudder>),

Most of the login managers nowadays by default deny root login, you need to
make changes in the login managers configuration to allow root login.

> In terminal, I
> found that "exit" gets me out of root, too, so stumbling upon that was
> probably a good thing.

You can also press ctrl-d to exit, and if you search something you have done
before in the terminal, you can press ctrl-r and type something that was on
that line, say "find", and pressing ctrl-r again will find the time before the
last time you used "find". There is nothing like that for GUI, that remebers
how you moved your mouse around and klicked on different buttons.

> And now there's Trojans. I knew that phishing was still a problem
> with Linux, but Trojans, too. Well, more research. That's okay.
> Gotta be easier than the full-time job having Window$ is! <g>

Trojans are the simples of them all, just makes something to look like a reall
app and then do something bad, those you could find on the C64 back in the
early 80's.


From: J.O. Aho on
RodMcKay wrote:
> On Sun, 22 Nov 2009 22:25:31 +0100, "J.O. Aho" <user(a)>
> wrote:

>>> And now there's Trojans. I knew that phishing was still a problem
>>> with Linux, but Trojans, too. Well, more research. That's okay.
>>> Gotta be easier than the full-time job having Window$ is! <g>
>> Trojans are the simples of them all, just makes something to look like a reall
>> app and then do something bad, those you could find on the C64 back in the
>> early 80's.
> Do you use some sort of av for trojans in Linux?

Trojans are simple to make and difficult to detect, just avoid those shady
places to download things, if you find a application on the net, try to first
install it from your normal repositories.


From: TJ on
RodMcKay wrote:
> Ah, okay. Good advice. I don't yet have one of those ("normal
> repositories") as I haven't dl anything yet besides a few themes, so
> this will be good to start working on.

Each distro maintains its own set of repositories, usually in several
locations. Mandriva, for example, maintains many repository mirrors in
several countries around the world. That is where you should always go
first when looking to install new software. The software on the
repositories has already been compiled and "integrated" (for lack of a
better term) into that distro's overall system. Ever hear of "dll hell"
on Windows systems? Well, something similar exists on improperly managed
Linux systems, only with them it's called "dependency hell." (Wikipedia
explains it fairly well. Look it up.) Using the repositories avoids that

And if you think that downloading and installing themes is the same as
managing software, you indeed have a lot to learn.

BTW, that was one of the things I didn't like about the live CDs.
Admittedly it's been a few years and they may have changed, but I don't
remember being able to install and use any software that wasn't already
on the CD, unless you took the extra step to actually install the distro
to the hard drive from the CDs that offered that option. That was the
point, as I remember it. The live CDs were a way to try out a Linux
distro without disturbing your existing hard drive.