Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Coolest thing I've seen about Linux yet!

So, I've been using Ubuntu (first 8.10 and now pre-release 9.04) on my IBM laptop (thanks Lana!) for the past several months, and in general, I have been very impressed with its usability, capabilities, and function.

First of all, Ubuntu, like most Linux distributions is free (as in beer and speech), so that instantly gives it a leg-up on Windows for the computer tinkerer who occationally messes up their system beyond help and needs to reinstall. It also has a great update manager that keeps your system up to date without hitting you over the head with "genuine" versions and involuntary reboots. The out of the box folder organization leaves a little to be desired for users who are not used to Linux, but that's a pretty minor point of contention.

To further my uber geeky experiments, I recently setup a headless (no monitor or keyboard) file server to share, um, "data" between a small group using Ubuntu Server Edition 8.04. The setup was mostly smooth and the updates and installation of the pertinent programs was very straight forward, but using a text-only Comand Line Interface really left something to be desired when it came to renaming and moving files around. It's a long adventure of typing in the full path of the file you want to move and then the full path of where you want it moved to. Not really my idea of fun.

This brings me to my point of the coolest thing I've seen about Linux yet. While I was Googling around to figure out how to use SSH to access my server from off-site, I found this gem:
Re: How to use sshd

You can also do:

sftp://username@IP.add.re.ss

in nautilus or konqueror and it will allow you to do drag'n drop file moving.
How friggin' awesome is that? Not only does it get me a secure connection from any computer running Linux back to my server at home, it gives me a graphical environment to manipulate files and folders! Rock on!

Now, there's probably a Windows version of this, but it probably isn't free and definitely requires more work than I just invested in figuring this out.

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