FAQ

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Q&A

Q: I’ve been searching on the Internet for a new operating system, and came across Blag. What is Blag?

A: Blag is a GNU/Linux distribution. It’s based on Fedora Core and is suitable for a wide array of purposes. It is very fast, stable, and secure.


Q: What makes it so special? I mean, aren’t there over 300 different GNU/Linux distributions available for free download on the Internet today?

A: Yes, however Blag is one of the only GNU/Linux distributions officially recognized by the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation. Blag only contains free software as defined by the FSF.


Q: What does it mean to have an entire GNU/Linux distribution that is free software?

A: Anyone is free to run the program, to modify, study and redistribute the program. That’s how the GNU General Public License works. There are many other free software licenses as well, like the BSD, Artistic, and Apache licenses.


Q: I heard that Debian GNU/Linux is free software, also. Why isn’t Debian included on that list of free GNU/Linux distributions?

A: Debian’s main software repositories contain non-free software. The FSF and GNU Project have strict policies regarding software freedom and use.


Q: Okay, now I understand. So Blag is a completely free GNU/Linux system. What's special about Blag 140000?

A: Blag 140000 is the latest version of the distribution. It's based on the stable Fedora 14 GNU/Linux distribution. It includes many different add-ons, updated packages, the latest kernel, and brand-new packages in the software repository.

Blag 140000 also sports a fast, smooth and bug-purged GNOME 2.x, the official GNU desktop environment. If your computer is a little slower than most, it can still run Blag. Simply use or install some lighter desktop environment (like Openbox, included on the CD). Blag can run on most desktop or laptop computers without any hardware issues at all.


Q: OK, BLAG 140K is the latest. But where can I find a how-to to install it ?

A: Documentation about BLAG 140K can be found here


Q: Will I see any big differences in the way I work? I like to watch Flash videos — will I still be able to see them?

A: Blag only includes and distributes free software, so Macromedia/Adobe’s Flash content player is a non-free software package. Gnash is included by default on the cd. If you want to watch youtube videos, minitube is included too.


Q: I use Ubuntu. Are there any fundamental differences in the way Ubuntu works in comparison to the way Blag will work for me?

A: Aside from the fact that Blag only includes free software, the only other fundamental difference between other distributions and Blag is that Blag uses two different package managers, ‘yum’, and ‘apt’. yum is the official package manager of the YellowDog and Fedora Core GNU/Linux distributions. apt is the official package manager of Debian and Debian-based distributions, like Ubuntu. If you are converting from Ubuntu to Blag, you’ll feel right at home when it comes to installing or removing software. If you prefer a graphical interface, Blag includes the easy to use synaptic manager.


Q: What about multimedia support? Will I be able to watch and/or download QuickTime or Windows Media videos for later viewing?

A: Despite the fact that those two multimedia protocols are of the proprietary nature, hackers (not crackers!) have found a way to decode these formats and make them viewable by free software media players. You will be able to view QuickTime and Windows Media files, even from within a browser (the default browser in Blag is Icecat).

And of course, Blag supports free formats like Ogg Vorbis and Theora, as do all GNU/Linux distributions.


Q: How about Office suites? Does Blag allow me to type up documents or make presentations and spreadsheets?

A: Yes, Blag includes an office suite: the latest version of AbiWord and Gnumeric for word processing and spreadsheet creation. You may also install OpenOffice in addition to that, but it’s nice to have a lightweight, full-featured word processor at your disposal. AbiWord does a lot, and so does Gnumeric. While presentation software is not included on the CD itself, you can install the OpenOffice presentation software through the blag software repositories.


Q: How about printing support? I have a three-in-one printer, scanner, and fax machine. Will it work with Blag and free software drivers?

A: Yeah, most likely. I have one of those as well, and it works flawlessly. Even so, I recommend purchasing a single-function PostScript printer so you don’t have to deal with compatibility issues down the line, if any. That being said, there is still very good support and tons of free software drivers for a wide array of different printer hardware.


Q: What text editors come with Blag?

A: There are three text editors that come with Blag. On the graphical side, you have gedit, a fully-featured, fast and powerful text editor that comes as a default in the GNOME desktop environment. As for command line or text-based editors, Blag comes with vi and emacs.


Q: How’s support for CD/DVD burning tasks?

A: No problems here. Blag includes Brasero. Brasero is a powerful, fast CD burner with lots of different features. If you prefer the KDE desktop environment, go for K3B. It’s basically the same thing, just with a different interface.


Q: Blag sounds like a great GNU/Linux distribution? Where can I get it?

A: Visit the Blag web site and download the latest CD image, burn it to CD and install!


Questions If you have a question that isn't answered in the wiki, there are other resources you can use to contact blaggers.


Email : ping@blagblagblag.org

Free Software

BLAG is Free Software as defined by the Free Software Foundation

To obtain a BLAG CD, you can download it and burn it to CD, or order it via postal mail.

If you find any software or documentation that is non-free according to the Free Software Foundation's criteria, please report this to the forums so we can remove it. http://forums.blagblagblag.org/


Installing BLAG

See: Installation

See also : How-to to install BLAG 140K

Upgrading BLAG

It is advisable to keep your installation updated with the latest updates to ensure that you have all the latest security patches and bug fixes etc.

See the relevant section below for instructions and available options.

NOTE:

  1. apt/Synaptic not working in BLAG 90k. yum recommended
  2. Ensure that you Modify Your YUM Repo File

Installing Applications

Synaptic

These instructions assume you are using GNOME as your window manager (the default during install). You may find slight differences on your system...

Click on Applications, then System Settings, then Synaptic Synaptic will now launch! (it's a bit slow to appear)

(Note, you may be presented with a pop-up window warning that your package information is out of date and asking whether you wish to reload it. You should answer yes.)

The Synaptic interface is pretty obvious. You get a panel down the left with catagories of software which dictates what is listed in the panel on the right. By default you will see All available packages.

If you haven't already done so, update the database by clicking reload.

The list on the right is displayed with a little box beside each entry. Those with filled in boxes are packages already installed. If you wish to install a new package, click on an emply box and mark the package for installation.

When you are ready, click Apply and Synaptic will do the rest.

If you don't know the name of the package you need, just hit search and type something appropriate like 'email client' and search both name and description to provide a list of possible packages.

To uninstall a package, just select mark for uninstall and press apply.

To upgrade installed packages to the latest versions, hit Mark All Upgrades then apply. (this may take some time)

apt-get

You use apt-get from the command line, either a terminal or an xterm.

First you should update you package database with the command apt-get update.

You are now ready to install new packages with the command apt-get install package_name

If you don't know the correct package name you can try to search for a bit of it using apt-cache search something where 'something' is part of the name.

You might also find it useful to know how to uninstall - apt-get remove package_name

Other useful stuff includes apt-get upgrade or apt-get dist-upgrade to upgrade everything to the latest stable version.

See http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/apt-howto/index.en.html#contents for more in-depth instructions.

yum

The tools provided by Fedora for rpm installation and updates are yum (text) and system-config-packages (GUI).

Use yum for managing packages and updates in BLAG 90K

How do I install Java?

The name of java package in blag is openjdk. It provides the same functionnalities as java except the proprietary parts.

Using Applications

How do I Burn a CD or DVD?

BLAG now uses Brasero (found under Sound & Video)

You can also make some disks using Nautilus

Previous version of BLAG came with graveman and gnomebaker


How do I read an NTFS partition?

See: NTFS

General

Navigating Linux is difficult, where can I find guides to help me learn how navigate with a Terminal instead of a GUI?

For Blag users who maybe come from Microsoft Windows and do not know how to navigate their operating system with a terminal (instead of the traditional limited GUI method), the following links are extremely useful for learning exactly this:  :www.tldp.org --> is a great place, as is the garrick faq (in the topic)

http://www.linux.org/lessons/index.html
http://linuxsurvival.com/index.php?module=ContentExpress&func=display&ceid=1&meid=-1
http://www.google.com/search?&q=%22basic%20linux%20commands%22
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=linux+basics&btnG=Search
http://linux.oreilly.com/
http://www.linuxdevcenter.com/pub/a/linux/excerpt/LinuxDeskHacks_chap1/index.html
http://slackbook.org/
http://store.slackware.com/cgi-bin/store/slackbook?id=z4wZnP3T:mv_pc=43
http://slackwiki.org/Main_Page
http://steve-parker.org/sh/sh.shtml
http://www.ftpsearchengines.com/

books authored specifically to help linux users who are new to operating systems:

(Author), Addison Wesley. in german it's "Linux - Installation, konfiguration, Anwendung". For this book, there is no english translation, though. :"Red Hat for Dummies" book has been around for a long itme. At this point, there are probably many different books in the "for Dummies" series available at your local big book store (such as chapters) for learning the basics.

How is Windows similar to Linux in its structure?

Microsoft in general has been essentially ripped completely off of Linux and Unix over the past 20 years or so. It is arguable that despite their obvious differences, similarities in structure and general file orientation exist. At http://www.linuxrsp.ru/win-lin-soft/table-eng.html the various authors show how analogous these two different operating systems can be.