Since everyone around here seems to love Linux and hate Windows, my curiosity's been raised. Being a Windows (and DOS) user all my life, I really have no idea what Linux is all about; but I'd like to find out
So anyway, school will be pretty much over in a couple weeks, so I've been doing some research about Linux on the internet. However, after reading through a couple Linux tutorials and a bunch of distro reviews, I still have only a fuzzy idea of how things work in Linux, and I figured I'd ask over here.
First of all, what's the difference between the distros? All I've been able to gather from the reviews is that some are easy to install and have excellent "package managers", while others are for more l33t people who do everything by config file. The other difference I've noticed is the selected assortment of pre-bundled software may be different; however, am I wrong in assuming that any packages found in one distribution but not in another can be downloaded and installed online anyway?
Second, what are "packages"? Is the concept of a package very much similar to the concept of an installer in Windows?
Third, can you have both Gnome and KDE? What does a window manager do anyway? Is there a distinction between "Gnome programs" and "KDE programs", or are they just "Linux programs", or "GTK programs" or what?
Fourth, does the type of file system have any noticeable effect on everyday computing life, to the average desktop user?
Fifth, will I need to find special device drivers somewhere, or should Linux come bundled with the drivers for everything I could possibly have, or does Linux magically not need device drivers? And what will happen to the hotkey functions of my laptop?
Sixth, could I access files from my Windows partition from Linux?
And finally, what is it that Linux does that Windows doesn't (other than come for free)? All I've seen so far are packages that provide alternatives to things that are already available in Windows, but that seems to be more of a "let's emulate Windows" game than "we're better than Windows" thing. Or is it stability? Or what?
Thanks in advance, I look forward to learning more about Linux