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Ubuntu Is Hyper-Active At OSCON

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the as-one-might-expect dept.

Linux Business 379

ruphus13 writes "Ubuntu and Canonical have been very active at OSCON this year. They showcased a new distro, announced improvements to their code-hosting platform, and made Mark Shuttleworth available for a couple of talks and panel sessions. Quoting: 'Ubuntu Netbook Remix, a complete distribution designed to run on Atom-based Netbook PCs. The main difference that sets it apart from its big brother Hardy Heron is the Ubuntu Mobile Edition (UME) Launcher, a user interface created specifically for use on the teensy screens and keyboards of today's popular ultra-portable computers.' Canonical also announced Version 2.0 of Launchpad, their code-hosting platform. Enhancements include 'a planned API that'll allow third-party applications to authenticate, query and modify data in the massive Launchpad database, without a user needing to manually access the system via a browser.' Mark Shuttleworth went on to state that Linux's market share will grow when it has better eye-candy than Apple's."

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379 comments

If its shiny (5, Insightful)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311433)

they will come...
I think Shuttleworth might be on to something there.

Re:If its shiny (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24311485)

And yet I still haven't "upgraded" to Vista.

Funny how that works.

Re:If its shiny (3, Interesting)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311557)

Shiny, and fast, and cheap, and useful.

Ubuntu (and many other popular distros) have been trying to get there. Last missing part was "Shiny" - Compiz and other similar eye-candies may get them there.

You forgot #5: hardware compatibility (5, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312555)

Shiny, and fast, and cheap, and useful.

And compatible.

Ubuntu (and many other popular distros) have been trying to get there. Last missing part was "Shiny" - Compiz and other similar eye-candies may get them there.

Are you sure that was the last missing part? There's still a problem with getting manufacturers of PC components designed for home use to work wholeheartedly with the Ubuntu community. I don't see penguin logos on boxes, and not everybody has a working printer and enough paper to print out a distribution's hardware compatibility list and carry it into a local computer store.

Re:You forgot #5: hardware compatibility (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312787)

Yes, I am sure that was the last part missing. But by that, I did not mean they have already achieved the others.

To repharse what I said earlier - They have found the last missing part - the bling. Now they have to work on all of them and get to a reasonably satisfactory level.

Re:If its shiny (4, Insightful)

smussman (1160103) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311581)

I think it's because an OS should have the shiny UI, *and* reliability/good hardware support.

I think Vista is a pretty good reason why trying for just the one doesn't work.

Re:If its shiny (3, Funny)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311487)

Microsoft's response will be to add autoinjectors loaded with Ritalin to their base operating system installs.

Marketing (5, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311655)

I have people telling me they want Apple computers, and they have never seen the UI of OS X.

They want Apple computers because of marketing and hype. They are becoming trendy status symbols. (Put the flame-throwers away, I'm not commenting on quality here). Linux doesn't have a marketing department. That is why Linux won't take a sizable chunk out of the desktop market.

People draw comparisons to Firefox and its adoption, but Firefox grew when it adopted a marketing campaign. People seem to forget that.

Re:Marketing (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311669)

Dude, free shiny stuff markets itself to stoned teenagers - I think thats a market with explosive growth potential.

Re:Marketing (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24311875)

They want Apple computers because of marketing and hype. They are becoming trendy status symbols. (Put the flame-throwers away, I'm not commenting on quality here). Linux doesn't have a marketing department.

[No flames from me.] They want Macs because of the marketing and hype combined with geeks like me who say "If you've got the money and you don't want any problems, you should get a Mac." That's quite the combination.

Ubuntu has a marketing department. Ubuntu is also very good. But you still cannot just toss the disk at anyone not willing to put up with a bit of adventure. You've got to do hand-holding through set-up. And the semi-annual system upgrades are not without pucker-factor yet. Apple isn't Nirvana but it's a much easier answer when people ask what they should get.

The only announcement I'd like to hear from Ubuntu right now is that they're taking on the challenge of matching what Madriva does well. You CAN just toss that disk in and spend no time with config, and it's got that great Mandriva Control Center. Hats off to Mandriva for proving what can be done right now today. Ubuntu really has to match that to live up to their own mandate. That done, I think U is the distro I'd put most people on. No more "get a Mac."

Re:Marketing (3, Insightful)

Nate B. (2907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312683)

I think the "problem" is a bit deeper than most people will care to admit. Apple is a common word and the name of a computer company with 30+ years of history behind it. Mention ipod or iphone and even non-techies can identify the company behind it.

Ubuntu sounds multicultural and foreign. No offense, but most people will readily identify Apple and remain cautious about Ubuntu. That may not be what anyone here wants to read, but I don't think the Free Software desktop can go head-on with Apple with the Ubuntu name leading the way and expect the Free Software desktop to be anything but roadkill in Apple's wake, no matter how shiny it is.

The grandparent has swerved into the truth, Apple is an exclusive brand that is hot now and has been hot for several years. Likewise, Linux and F/OSS is its own exclusive brand that appeals to a different group of people. I don't fault Mr. Shuttleworth for trying to improve the Free Desktop as I think it's a worthy goal. I just think it's a fool's game to try to out-Apple Apple.

Department of Redundancy Department (1)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312745)

They want Apple computers because of marketing and hype. They are becoming trendy status symbols. (Put the flame-throwers away, I'm not commenting on quality here). Linux doesn't have a marketing department.

[No flames from me.] They want Macs because of the marketing and hype combined with geeks like me who say "If you've got the money and you don't want any problems, you should get a Mac."

Er, yes, exactly, that would be the "hype" previously referred to.

Re:Marketing (0)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312327)

could turn around the way of looking at that, a person could have the "status" of being "expert" at something somewhat or very hard to learn. Or they could have an easy to use tool with much thought and polish given to the UI.

back in 70's and early 80's I had only worked on computers via text terminal. Somewhere around 1985 or 1986 I was able to walk up to some new Macs at the national lab where I worked, and never having touched a mouse or seen a GUI before was able to make the Mac do things, it was intuitively obvious for me. 23 years later my five and eight year old are able to do things on their iMac after the twenty minute initial training I gave them.

the major GNU/Linux distros (and BSD too) are getting there, but some parts still too esoteric for Aunt Minnie or Grandma.

Re:Marketing (1)

jps25 (1286898) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312375)

While I agree with your general point of crappy Linux marketing, Linux also lacks a lot of useful, mature software, which is available for Apple or Windows.
For example, there's no software for Linux geared towards writers, while there are several for OS X (Avenir, Ulysses, Scrivener, CopyWrite, etc..).
It's also "more fun" to use an Apple. The (normal) user experience is just superior.
For a typical coder or general computer geek it might not be so and Linux might suit their needs, but quite frankly, while I use Linux almost exclusively, using my Macbook is a delight.

Re:Marketing (5, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312419)

People draw comparisons to Firefox and its adoption, but Firefox grew when it adopted a marketing campaign. People seem to forget that.

Linux doesn't, but Ubuntu does. But it's also important that Apple also delivers, even if you subtract some for obvious hype and willingness to overlook Apple tend to deliver products that work well. I've seen several that could give Apple a run for the money on style, but then they tend to fail on other points. And the far more useful, yet ugly products. Honestly, there's not that many running in the "fashionable yet usable" category.

Think for example of clothes - you can get very stylish clothes but they're often awkward to wear, horrible to wash and neither robust nor very practical. Or you can have clothes that are very practical, comfortable, durable, easy to wash and utterly unstylish. Want to look classy 365 days a year? There's not actually that many you'd want to wear. What I'm saying it that you better be good to be fashionable, for a durable product at least.

I don't think Linux is good enough to be fashionable just yet. Yes, it's a good workhorse but a workhorse is no show horse. The most important thing Linux could do right now is to let Macs have their day to break the MS dominance and get as many cross-platform (Win/Mac/Linux) standards in place as at all possible. Oh yeah and RMS/hippies moving to servers/techies aren't exactly a great start for a fashion statement.

If I wanted to try a fashion image, I'd try the "choice" image. Show different people, one working in a terminal, one working in KDE, one working in Gnome, working in different applications etc. which all say "I use Linux" and then go "What do you want Linux to be for you?". Would have an ounce of truth yet the implied lie that Linux can be everything you want it to be, sounds like a good commercial to me.

Re:If its shiny (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311769)

Not only does the OS have to be prettier than osx ... but they've got to make some sort of electronic status symbol to rival apple's ipod / macbook.

I'd get one just to show that I WASN'T using apple (or m$)..

Linux needs more work on the user interfaces. (3, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311971)

You have turned Mark Shuttleworth's sensible idea into an offensive idea.

He is merely saying that Linux needs more work on the user interfaces, so that it can compete with Apple's well-designed products.

Users are sensible to demand that software make things easy for them. Why should every user do more work because programmers wanted to same themselves some work?

Re:If its shiny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24312191)

Compiz and KDE 4 (If they ever get KDE 4 to work right) will definitely start to draw people to Ubuntu. After all, we are watching something happen right now that is a major change - Windows is in a descending arc of popularity and people are willing to try something new. OSX is grabbing up most of that, but while OSX is very nice, I just don't like it as much as Ubuntu Linux/Gnome/KDE... We might be seeing the start of something big here.

Re:If its shiny (5, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312377)

A Friend of mine recently tried Ubuntu Hardy. He wasn't too fond of Vista, and couldn't get his hands on a copy of XP. He's quite familiar with computers, but I would not describe him as technically minded. Expecting a short and brutal install process followed by a hasty retreat back to Windows, I was frankly blown away by what followed.

Firstly, he installed it, via the Windows installer, without undue hassle and was initially very impressed. He ended up having problems with wireless network card drivers, but before then he discovered the compiz window/eye-candy manager and the whole cube desktop thing, as well as dual monitor and window tiling features. He even ended up compiling an add on for compiz from source, and this someone who to my knowledge has never even written a Hello World program (though he has edited game ini files and the like).

He has seen Macs, and though he's impressed, the price is off putting. Anyway he is now using Vista, and has found its visual effects fairly pleasing. But, he still wants to go back to Ubuntu, due in no small part to the compiz cube, which he considers superior. In fact, even his girlfriend actually prefers Ubuntu. This last remark, while somewhat sexist, is in this particular case a justified testament to the wide appeal of Hardy.

In short, I remain shocked, bewildered and pleasantly bemused by this state of affairs. Desktop Linux is here right now. No actually, it's over here [ubuntu.com] . It is not an exaggeration to state that Aunt Tillie can use and actually enjoy Ubuntu Hardy, as though as it might be for us to accept it.

I personally thought that with Microsoft's Vista difficulties, Apple and OSX would be in the ascendant. Right now however, I foresee the migration of a sizeable fraction of home desktop users to Ubuntu in the short term. You would be surprised just how fast Ubuntu can spread once people see those wobbling windows and desktop cubes.

Remember how you though that Bittorrent would be too complicated from the average desktop user? Yeah.

Re:If its shiny (1)

Smauler (915644) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312577)

As an alternative experience, I tried to install Ubuntu the other night and got as far as partitioning. Turns out it doesn't see "fakeraid" partitions. I was lucky I knew a little about my partitions etc or I might have tried to continue the install, which I'm sure would have completely wiped my Windows partition. Anyway, I did a little research, got a little drunk, got to this page [ubuntu.com] and gave up. I'll give it another go when I've got a bit of time on my hands.

Desktop installation of operating systems is not properly ready for the masses. My Windows Vista 64 installation didn't go right either, for entirely different reasons.

Re:If its shiny (3, Interesting)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312793)

I would have to completely disagree. Right after my son's 2nd birthday, I was in one of these kinds of discussions, and decided to do a little experiment. So, I formatted my son's hard drive, gave him an Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Badger) disk, and told him to go install his computer. He did it with no problems. Now if a two year old who cannot read yet can install the OS, I think that it is unfair to say that it is not properly ready for the masses.

As an aside, I followed up with having him try to install WindowsXP. He was unsuccessful. I attribute this to the fact that WindowsXP required reading to get through the install.

Re:If its shiny (1)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312831)

My 11-year-old son successfully installed Ubuntu & that silly compiz cube thing. He's now got WOW running under wine, too.

I had some trouble, though, because I have a large soft RAID rig that I didn't want to give up. It seems to me that if you are doing something well outside the desktop mainstream Ubuntu isn't any better than anything else.

YMMV.

Yawn (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311465)

Wake me up when I can actually install it on my HP laptop and have the drivers actually work. I'm pretty disillusioned with Hardy Heron on this one. Ubuntu's supporters have got as bad as Microsoft's "Just wait until the next version, then it'll work..."

Re:Yawn (4, Interesting)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311561)

As much as I love ubuntu, I have to agree with you. The 8.04 just wasn't "done" when it was released. Although I didn't have any driver problems, Pulseaudio has caused nothing but headaches for people, and their including a beta release of a browser (firefox 3) in a LTS OS is a strange thing. I've read the arguments for and against that one, but still, if they kept it in beta a few weeks till firefox 3 was released, they could have fixed lots of other issues as well. Its opensource, its not like there are huge marketing campains with millions spent on advertising that would be wasted by delaying the release..

Re:Yawn (2, Insightful)

s.bots (1099921) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311851)

The inclusion of a beta in a LTS makes far more sense than including a browser that will soon be outdated and unsupported. Firefox 3 will exit beta long before Ubuntu releases another LTS. Definitely agree with the rest of the comment though, 8.04 could've used some more time.

Re:Yawn (1, Interesting)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311941)

Same here. I've been using Linux (Debian then Mandrake then Ubuntu) as my main desktop for eight years. I installed 8.04 and *everything* broke. That was enough incentive to switch to OS X - I was struggling without Photoshop and Dreamweaver anyway and the task of getting Ubuntu working again compared to splashing out now I actually have a salary - it just wasn't worth it.

Re:Yawn (5, Informative)

FoolsGold (1139759) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312139)

It's probably useful to note that now, whenever you go to download Ubuntu 8.04 from the official site, you're actually downloading the refreshed ISO known as 8.04.1. This ISO has all the updates up to the beginning of July, which means it also has the final release of Firefox 3, a much better working PulseAudio and many other fixes out-of-the-box. From this point of view, the LTS is now much more polished if someone uses the refreshed ISO.

Re:Yawn (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312497)

including a horribly unstable browser (firefox 3) in a LTS OS is a strange thing

There, fixed it for you.

Re:Yawn or It used to work and then we fixed it (1)

vertical_98 (463483) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312759)

We run ltsp thin terminals at work. Started off with Debian and ltsp 4.2. When 6.06lts (dapper) we switched and enjoyed the ubuntu goodness. (Dual-heads from an agp and a pci video card, thin client attached printers, snazzy desktop, Jammin 125s for the sales floor). It had its flaws (zombie connections being a biggie) but running 10 clients off of a quad p3-700 was super sweet. We waited eagerly for the next LTS release and installed with utmost haste to a quad xeon 900. Slicker interface (check), zombie connections gone (check), Jammin 125s...white screen of death....thin client attached printers....um no, not any more....Dual head.....not anymore thanks to xrandr. Option to install xinerama instead of xrandr....Are you kidding me? I can kinda of understand Xrandr, but not replacing lpserver is damn near unforgivable.

If I sound bitter, its probably because I am.

Re:Yawn (1)

Gusfm (1157321) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311621)

I have a HP laptop, and everything is working just fine. I had some trouble to make wireless work since it was a broadcom, but with ndiswrapper it's working now. Actually I don't know what could not work. Did you tried the last version?

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24311645)

I agree that some things are flaky, but at least you only have to wait six months until the next release, instead of six years.

Re:Yawn (1)

kesuki (321456) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311759)

you think linux not working on a laptop is bad! my 'dads' pc ran and loaded 7.10 fine, no issues. but 8.04 despite upgrading fine SIMPLY WON'T INSTALL.

this on a commodity desktop system with popular motherboard and part sets!

and on my system at home 8.04 ubuntu won't work at all, it hangs on trying to load gnome, i can get gnome to work in fail safe mode, but it wont' do that automatically! i switched to KDE via meta package and Kubuntu ran no issues.

I'm starting to worry about the future of ubuntu/kubuntu... did he hire the wrong kind of programmers? not enough men on the team to cope with the 'pace' of open source innovation?

or are buzzwords higher priority than basic functionality? I think the whole 'just use 1 CD' as the installer might be limiting them, i know knoppix has had to remove popular software before just to get it on 1 CD... is it time for linux to go DVD media images exclusively? last i checked a DVD burner cost $30 and a blank cost around $1 (for non garbage grade media) and it's not like you have to make the image 4.7 GB 1GB is plenty. for now.

Re:Yawn (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312601)

I think the whole 'just use 1 CD' as the installer might be limiting them

I think you can fit a very feature-rich desktop in 700mb. It's not like Windows or Mac OS come with even a tenth of the functionality provided in a standard Ubuntu install. Most certainly, the media size is not the limiting factor in terms of hardware support.

The fact that your dad's PC can't install 8.04 either means it is marginally unstable, or perhaps Ubuntu 8.04 just plain sucks. I'm leaning towards the latter, in the last year or so, they seem to be obsessed with promotion and whiz-bang rather than quality.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24311797)

Ok, but only if I can give you a good, swift kick in the nuts to wake you up. Then, once you regain consciousness again, I'll help you install Ubuntu Hardy Heron on your HP laptop. It'll be fun.

Bet no Microsoft fanboy ever offered you this level of personal assistance in installing an OS.

Re:Yawn (1)

Narpak (961733) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312033)

Thankfully Ubuntu release a new version every 6 months; so the improvements come available often.

Re:Yawn (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24312743)

Maybe you should go to talk to HP about that? For some reason Ubuntu support isn't at all as high as Windows support on their priority list.

I don't think eye candy is apple's big draw (5, Insightful)

Tragek (772040) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311507)

At least, not in the markets where linux is competing against it. It's ease of use, and the "it-just-works" factor.

Re:I don't think eye candy is apple's big draw (5, Insightful)

seanonymous (964897) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311549)

Eye candy? Yeah, let me know when my mom can walk into the Ubuntu store and have someone walk her through sending photos.

Re:I don't think eye candy is apple's big draw (4, Insightful)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311603)

This thread is the correct one.

Apple has the die-hard users it does because it functions perfectly for their needs and doesn't make them do any work.

When you don't have to present too many diverse options and functions, it's pretty easy to make the results look sleek. If Apple even tried to provide as much at-a-glance information in their UI that Linux users have gotten used to, they'd have something as messy as the Vista dockwharfpier.

Re:I don't think eye candy is apple's big draw (2, Informative)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311691)

I'm not a big Apple fan, but that is the one thing they definitely did right. Plus their Apple stores have 1-on-1 training for quite cheap.

Re:I don't think eye candy is apple's big draw (0)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312523)

Plus their Apple stores have 1-on-1 training for quite cheap.

I figure it that way, the kind of customer that needs personal 1-on-1 training is once hooked probably an Apple customer for life. Plus it's a dead-on image builder "I never thought I could figure out a computer, but now I use a Mac and is very happy". Still a great idea, just saying that I don't think it's for charity...

OS X and Linux Side By Side (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24312021)

If Shuttleworth wants anyone to take him seriously he needs to be able to:

* Demonstrate a Ubunut machine running side by side

* No idiotic package management

* Apps can be installed by simply dragging them anywhere in the file system

* Apps can be just dragged to the trash when no longer needed

* A bundle type system for application resources

* Perform the most common actions Apple's target demographic performs everyday: checking/writing Mail, webbrowsing with flash, etc., importing photos

* Same level of fonts and font selection

* Same level of UI widget layout spacing across every single item of every single application demoed

* Remove every single thing in Ubunut that has absolutely nothing to do with photos, mail, webbrowsing, movies

* Come up with an equally compelling and easy to say/remember/talk about names for a drop in replacement for iPhoto, iMovie etc

* One to one feature completeness with iPhoto,iMovie etc with every single operation taking as many or less steps to accomplish

* Not a single instance or case of having to edit X config or other types of files no matter what the hell goes wrong with the system

* No freezing or other UI glitches when apps are busy computing like Linux apps do now

* Progress bars, tray/dock type notifications

* X never ever crashes to a command line

* Cut, copy, past work for every single application. Support every single type of media that the apps support

* A feature complete and comparable version of OS X's font dialog

That's about five to ten years worth of work right there. Get busy Shuttleworth. It costs huge amounts of money to get people to put that effort into engineering, design, and quality control.

 

Re:OS X and Linux Side By Side (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24312153)

Ain't going to happen.

There are just too many bearded Star Trek uniform t-shirt wearing FSF/GNU nutcases out there holding back desktop Linux. Ubunutu would have to make a clean break from that crowd and effectively sever ties with those wackos.

And things like package management are Band Aids on top of much, much deeper and fundamental flaws and problems with Linux and open source software development.

Re:OS X and Linux Side By Side (1)

clampolo (1159617) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312445)

I disagree with you about package management. When I was new to Linux it gave me major headaches, but I like the fact that the package manager makes installing, uninstalling, and updating things easier.

You are right about browsing with flash being hard for novices and I'll also add in that watching dvd's is a PITA for novices as well. Despite what zealots say about how easy it is, I could never picture my mom, dad, or sister figuring out how to get youtube working or figuring out how to watch a DVD. Maybe as more OEM's ship Linux, they will pony up the fees for licenses that will remove these burdens on new users.

Re:I don't think eye candy is apple's big draw (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311727)

There's just one caveat - "it-just-works" required the whole company to take on a single ideology of "there is no step two". Steve Jobs can pull that at his own company. Can Shuttleworth start a similar movement and implement it?

Eye Candy is a small part.. (0, Offtopic)

tempest69 (572798) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311849)

ok, mac's eye candy is nice.. really nice. But they have bigger advantages...

The video and wireless work once the OS is installed..

You dont have to chase down weird libraries to make a peice of software work. sure APT and Yum are admirable but it isnt in the same league.

Does netcfg support multiple nics?

Will they ever settle for a propper name for commands like "pump" or rather dhcpcd, i mean dhcpclient.. but asking for "man pump" or "apropos dhcpd" act like your some sorta idiot from another dimension.. Yea, pulling that BS makes me pretty bitter about the process.

Really.. fix the dumb stuff.. it needs to be done otherwise users are just hobby linuxers are staying that way. Yea there are issues.. but come on.. man pump WHAT bloody retarded reason is there to leave no trace of it's succesor???

Storm

They make pills for that... (1)

GigaHurtsMyRobot (1143329) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311509)

Getting better eye-candy than Apple is no small feat. It is possible, though, but would require a huge shift of development resources and mindset. Everything would need to be re-thought, re-designed, animated, and smoothed... based on a looks-first, features-second methodology.

Think Different. ;)

Re:They make pills for that... (2, Interesting)

clampolo (1159617) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311805)

I'm wondering what percentage of Linux users are developers vs people that know nothing about programming. As a programmer I have absolutely no need for any more eye-candy. At most I'll have firefox, an interpreter/compiler, a shell, and a couple editor windows up.

For all the talk about how cool OSX is, I have NEVER heard of a hardcore embedded guy ever using Apple.

Re:They make pills for that... (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311949)

I get paid to do embedded programming on stuff like atmega8 controllers. I use Linux at work, and a Mac at home, and I'd never even think of changing the home computer.

And I develop software for the Mac in my spare time. You know, the Mac has a pretty damn active third party developer community for an OS with that kind of market share.

So kindly take your "I'm a PROGRAMMER so I am BETTER than you because my OS is DIFFUCULT" attitude and shove it.

Re:They make pills for that... (1)

clampolo (1159617) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312045)

So kindly take your "I'm a PROGRAMMER so I am BETTER than you because my OS is DIFFUCULT" attitude and shove it.

Ok then kindly find me a copy of some FPGA place and route software, a copy of Synplicity, and Modelsim that work under OSX.

What is this "Eye Candy"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24312085)

I'm not a professional developer, but I hack in my spare time. I use Kubuntu Hardy, but I've never installed any of that Compiz stuff. I'm also completely ignorant of Mac OSX; never seen it.
I'm really curious. What does the eye candy they're talking about consist of? I read about Compiz to find out whether or not I wanted to install it, but it just sounded like it's some animated variations on regular GUI stuff, like weirder ways to maximize and minimize a window. Is that all we're talking about here? Is that really the kind of thing that's keeping people from migrating to Linux?

Re:What is this "Eye Candy"? (1)

clampolo (1159617) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312271)

Compiz has wobbly windows- i.e. they wiggle a bit when you move a window around. Windows zoom in and out when you open and close them. You can also bend and stretch windows a bit. It's ok, but it's definitely not an incredibly useful feature. It just looks sort of cool.

I played around with some Macs and it's also kind of silly. When you start up some new gadget/widget/(or whatever they call it) there is a ripple effect when the thing starts up. Windows and stuff also zoom in and out when you open and close them. Pretty useless stuff, but hey I guess someone thinks it is cool enough to pay an extra 25% for the hardware.

There is also a bar on the bottom for quickly launching an application. And when you hover your mouse over a pic it swooshes out at you. I could imagine it being cool at first.

As for what Shuttleworth is talking about..I have no idea. I can't tell from the article whether he has any ideas or he is just begging the Open Source community to think up some new eye-candy ideas.

"eye candy" is misleading (4, Insightful)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311563)

Vista has better "eye candy" than XP, even arguably better than OSX, but many people aren't switching because it's not just about "candy." It's about user experience, in which animation and soothing visuals play only a part. Simplicity is more important than prettiness, and the ability of the user to know somewhat intuitively what a button will do goes a lot farther than 3D visual effects.

Sorry, its not the eye candy. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311569)

I gave gutsy a try (this was before hardy was out), and was able to run compiz at full tilt on my gimpy macbook's gma gpu.

The problems I had with the system in comparison to mac were:

no graphical sudo out of the box

no incorporation of a global menubar in gnome, eating massive amounts of valuable vertical real estate and subjecting you to those annoying "palettes" many websites use to try to prevent you viewing source.

terrible opengl performance. I can run vlc and mplayer using opengl out on osx, try this on ubuntu and watch the 3 fps mess you get out : /

Re:Sorry, its not the eye candy. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24311865)

no graphical sudo out of the box

$ gksudo $COMMAND
Installed by default.

Re:Sorry, its not the eye candy. (4, Informative)

TeacherOfHeroes (892498) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312011)

Actually, if you're looking for a global menubar for GNOME, there is one, it's just not an official part of GNOME.

http://code.google.com/p/gnome2-globalmenu/ [google.com]

Install some deb files, add the applet to a panel, and you're done. Menus will automatically reappear in their own windows if you remove it later.

Not eye candy. (4, Insightful)

heteromonomer (698504) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311587)

I disagree with that last statement of the article. It's not the eye candy that's the clincher. It's the user-friendliness, tightness and seamlessness of integration, consistency across the interface and hardware compatibility.

Re:Not eye candy. (2, Interesting)

friendofthenite (1226310) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311965)

That's probably be true for most Slashdot readers. But a lot of regular consumers are won over by slick visuals -- just look at the number of people willing to take a performance hit for the sake of displaying Aero Glass on Vista. Also, Apple's draw isn't only due to smart marketing and a good UI; people marvel at their products in the stores, and new Apple users are always proud to show off how impressive their new device looks (both the hardware and software.) Eye candy is important to a lot of people whether you like it or not.

Re:Not eye candy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24312081)

Well, the term "eye-candy" doesn't appear anywhere in TFA, just in TFS. Shuttleworth was praising Apple's attention to the melding of art design and ease of use interface in its software, epitomized in the iPhone as "a pure software experience". He wants Ubuntu to be like that, only built on a free software foundation.

Blame Russia: +1, Informative (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24311683)

For deploying planes to Cuba as a response to the U.S. missile threat in Europe. : a typical Bushite tactic. For the brain-dead, the U.S. started the Cuban Missile Crisis with a deployment to Turkey:

from Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

In 1961, the U.S. deployed 15 Jupiter IRBMs (intermediate-range ballistic missiles) at Äzmir, Turkey, aimed at the western USSR's cities, including Moscow. Given its 1,500-mile (2,410 km) range, Moscow was only 16 minutes away. Yet, Kennedy gave them low strategic value, given that a SSBN submarine provided the same magnitude of threat, and from a distance.

Khrushchev publicly expressed anger and personal offense from the Turkish missile emplacement. The Cuban missile deployment â" the first time Soviet missiles were outside the USSR â" was his response to U.S. nuclear missiles in Turkey. Previously, Khrushchev had expressed doubt to the poet Robert Frost about the readiness of the "liberal" U.S. to fight over tough issues.[12]

From Novosibirsk With Vodka,
Kilgore Trout

New twitter sockpuppets uncovered (-1, Troll)

trimmer (1331297) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311689)

hillywill [slashdot.org] and dedazo [slashdot.org] are [slashdot.org] of course [slashdot.org] twitter [slashdot.org] itself [slashdot.org] .

sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24311799)

Your trolling would be meaningful if only the user IDs and the age of those accounts matched your claims. As it is, it looks like you just created yet another account to crapflood [slashdot.org] Slashdot with. You must feel very proud of yourself, twitter.

Re:sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24311991)

Oh yeah, very good strategy, AC alias twitter. Now you want to convice the /. crowd that I am you. And of course I meant willyhill [slashdot.org] above. I'm [slashdot.org] eagerly waiting to be added to his list [slashdot.org] . That would be the ultimate proof that the good guy willyhill and his friend dedazo (I'm still in doubt about Macthorpe [slashdot.org] ) are parts of twitter's game.

Installation over eye-candy (1)

evil_aar0n (1001515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311711)

I love Expose' on the Mac, but that's not what keeps me from investing a lot of time in Linux, lately - and I go as far back as '94: it's ease of software installation.

When Linux, any distro, has a software installation mechanism that's as easy as the Mac's, I'll give it another try. Yes, apt-get is good, but it's not yet in the Mac's "drag-and-drop" league.

Re:Installation over eye-candy (3, Interesting)

snoyberg (787126) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311879)

I dunno, I always found installing programs with apt-get easier than on my wife's Mac. Why is it easier to find the program, drag it to applications, and then drag that link to the menu than just install it with synaptic?

Re:Installation over eye-candy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24312861)

Ubuntu is definitely easier. Why should you have to figure out where to drag those dmg things to when you could just click a .deb and have it install in the right place?

Re:Installation over eye-candy (2, Funny)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311969)

Yes, apt-get is good, but it's not yet in the Mac's "drag-and-drop" league.

not it's way better.

Re:Installation over eye-candy (3, Insightful)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312309)

Yes, from a technical standpoint it is better. But tell someone that isn't "technical" how to install an app they need. You either tell them to go to the command prompt, which scares the hell out of them, or you tell them to use a tool like synaptic, that has so many choices and things you can install that it is just plain overwhelming. They want to play movies, they don't want to decide if they want Totem, Gstreamer, VLC, etc...

Re:Installation over eye-candy (1)

Chris Burkhardt (613953) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312355)

> Yes, apt-get is good, but it's not yet in the Mac's "drag-and-drop" league.

Hehe. That's a joke.... right?

Fix the kernel source packages (0)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311725)

10-12 years or so ago I was a Linux user. My first distro was Slackware, then I moved to Redhat because certain software I was using only ran on that distro. At the time compiling your own kernel was quite a normal thing to do. I've had a long long break since where I've touched on distros from time to time but not run anything seriously.

Well my work's meant I've been doing some heavier C coding of late, and in looking up something or other I came across the LinuxChix kernel hacking tutorial and realized how short a step it was from compiling a kernel to modifying some code (at least to add printk debug statements). Heck I'd installed many distros and compiled custom kernels many times in the past. How hard could it be? Right?

So I've been trying lots of distros on VMWare with an aim to compiling a kernel and adding some debugging. First of all what the fuck happened? The process use to be bog standard and simple. Now you don't even get the option to install the build tools when you install the system. You have to go and install a bunch of packages manually on all the distros.

Second of all, what's with Ubuntu not providing kernel sources, then doing so for a short while, then breaking them? Currently the correct way to install kernel source is to clone the whole Ubuntu git repository. We don't all have unlimited bandwidth.

See:
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Kernel/Compile [ubuntu.com]
"NOTE: This method has been broken since at least June 14th, 2007. Details are here. Use method #1 above ("git") instead."

I thought this was Linux for human beings. Apparently in catering for end users, they've decided to leave developers out in the cold. That's not smart! One extra step to download the source I could understand, but I didn't want to spend lots of time trawling through a tutorial working out which packages I need to apt-get. I wanted to spend that time looking at a kernel.

I finally did get a kernel compiling and building correctly, and put my couple of printk statements in - on Debian, not Ubuntu. Only took about 3 days to get my head around things. The distros are more diverse in their way of doing things than ever. (For example no link at /etc/grub.conf to /boot/grub/menu.lst on some). Sure, my lack of familiarity with 10 years or so of development didn't help but this is why I quit Linux in the first place - I don't have the time or inclination to deal with incomplete, out of date tutorials. (For example my kernel compiles weren't working without initrd. Had to find out that was my problem by trial and error, then had to work out the debian specific way of building initrd.)

So Linux for human beings and year of the Linux desktop my backside. It's nice that the software now installs less problematically on more hardware and that things aren't completely broken out of the box. However to me that seems like 2 steps forward, one step back.

Mod as you will.

Re:Fix the kernel source packages (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311891)

Human beings as a rule does not need to add debug statements to some kernel. Generally the Ubuntu works for the masses, sometimes some user comes along and needs more than the 99% others. Annoying as it might be, he - or she - is going to have to work a bit harder to get his exact wishes satisfied, that's how life is, if you aren't among the millions of drones, be prepared to work harder.

Re:Fix the kernel source packages (1)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312287)

I just used the linux-kernel-source package, which is probably a clone of the Debian kernel, and kernel-package to build it:

sudo apt-get install build-essential libncurses5 linux-kernel-source kernel-package fakeroot
fakeroot make-kpkg clean
fakeroot make-kpkg --initrd --append-to-version=-custom kernel_image kernel_headers

That's about all you need to know. I didn't get some of the restricted goodies, and had to link the firmware directory from the stock kernel to /lib/firmware/`uname -r`, but it works. That being said, adding debug statements to the kernel is not something human beings usually do.

Re:Fix the kernel source packages (4, Insightful)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312575)

As a developer myself for OS X and Linux, I still prefer Slackware over anything else distribution-wise. Give 12.1 a try; it's not anymore "behind" than any other distribution, it just doesn't depend on a memory hungry framework that some distributions install (package management, settings management(uggh think openSuse) and it comes with gcc by default. it doesn't depend on offline package management, for someone modified apt-get to work with tgzs (slapt-get and swaret). And yes, you can download the kernel source from the ftp, build it, and install it along with the compiled modules without any struggle over dependencies. It's still "Linux", at least the one you are in search of ;).

Also, I want to say that I think Ubuntu can be defined as an OS by itself (that uses the Linux kernel) is if they create a nice X11 interface that defines what Ubuntu is. The main issue between any 2 distributions is that other than the package management and any special apps they include, everything else is the same, and if not there, can be built and added. just for shits and giggles I compiled apt-get, and grabbed a few apps to test out. i also tested out the deb2tgz app that converts it to slackware packages, and I had the default gnome desktop that Ubuntu comes with on a Slackware machine. That's just the easibility of the friendly applications it comes with; if I only want it to look like the default DE that Ubuntu uses, I can put it on anything that runs an X11 server with a decent video card.

Oh well, the reason I am posting these opinions that I have is that I think Ubuntu can really become something other than "another user-friendly Linux distribution" if they design a special DE that truely integrates every piece of code that they run off the GNU based OS that runs off of the Linux kernel. Sort of the same way Apple has OS X running off of and is integrated with the Darwin OS, that runs off of xnu, the mach kernel.

Just me, but, maybe, if I can get it all working (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311731)

On a 64-bit Hardy boot at the moment that I installed at release. In love with the idea of 64-bit, like three years of support, but besides that, shininess does rank high in why I might switch from several years of Debian testing 32-bit boot even though the parent has its own good qualities.

Eye candy nonsense (1)

caywen (942955) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311745)

At the tender age of 3, Shuttleworth was hooked to a machine, just to keep his mouth from spouting junk. At least, that's what Thomas Dolby told me. Anyways, stupid joke aside, this whole eye candy nonsense really has me peeved. What these devices need is *less* eye candy and more clarity. Sorry, but gradient fills all over the place doesn't make something useable or desirable. Have stuff animate all over the place does nothing to make these portable devices more responsive. Putting in realtime shadows/reflections on everything doesn't do anything to give you more battery life. Give me a lightweight OS with a *pleasant* UI that doesn't just focus on eye candy. Make that OS highly responsive and usable, and highly stable. And design it to maximize battery life, interoperability, and highly portable across many architectures.

Re:Eye candy nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24311989)

Get off my lawn!  Durn kids and yer new fangled reflectsits and animatronic icons.  640K ought to have been enough for anybody. 

Re:Eye candy nonsense (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312057)

At the tender age of 3, Shuttleworth was hooked to a machine, just to keep his mouth from spouting junk. At least, that's what Thomas Dolby told me.

So he speaks in 5.1 stereo?

Re:Eye candy nonsense (1)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312113)

Exactly. I don't use a Mac at work because of eye candy (I use minimal effects and prefer just a tasteful UI), but because of its tremendous usability. KDE 4 has loads of eye candy, but on my Linux machines I'll be sticking with KDE 3.5.x for a long time to come. The problems with the eye candy in KDE 4 are that it doesn't have much else. They revolutionized the desktop in a way that I (nor, it seems, very many others) have much of a use for, wanted, or asked for.

As for other eye candy stuff, I don't really need a rotating cube, etc. I just want highly usable, consistent apps. Not that Linux doesn't have a lot of those, but there is much to be done before we meet or beat the standard set by Apple.

What I like about Ubuntu (4, Interesting)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311751)

What I like about Ubuntu is that as a whole, the community takes the biggest problem with a given platform from an end user standpoint, and then provides an open solution that sticks to the common design rules of the software it compliments. The software doesn't stick out, is modular, sticks to standards (or provides a defacto method that tries to emulate already existing standards), and it seems like it could be drop-in software that would work in any distribution.

It's kind of the antithesis of YaST, for example, which seems like you couldn't separate one part from the other, and it also seems like if you use any other tool to mess with the files YaST has touched, then YaST will either have a problem or ignore it and pretend it never existed. (I'm not sure if this has changed, the last time I used SuSE was version 9)

As a user of Ubuntu, it gives me security by making me feel like if the distribution ever became anything users didn't want, they could easily take these parts and fork. Also as a user, it makes me feel like they are trying to develop software that works for the end user primarily and not as a advantage that only this distribution can have to attract users and keep them. One reason why I use OSS is because I don't feel like my data is tied to anything, and I can always use it. Ubuntu makes me feel that way about the software as well. It really is closely rooted to Debian in that way and really I feel it ties Debian together with some sealant in the cracks and some polish as well. Good job everyone and thanks!

Re:What I like about Ubuntu (1)

kwabbles (259554) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312321)

really I feel it ties Debian together with some sealant in the cracks and some polish as well. Good job everyone and thanks!

Hehe... I used to think Ubuntu was like taking the engine out of a Mercedes (Debian) and installing it into a DeLorean.

Netbook Remix... (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311787)

I really would love to try Netbook Remix on my EEE. That has me more interested then I ever was in an OS since the old DOS days.

Re:Netbook Remix... (2, Informative)

goodster (759030) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311993)

It's your lucky day!

http://www.eeebuntu.org/ [eeebuntu.org]

You can download v1.0 of the distro right there. There's a post-install script you have to run to get the sound drivers set up then you're off to the races.

Eye Candy? How about getting audio to work? (1)

JeremyALogan (622913) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311889)

My comment to Mark Shuttleworth would be that getting the basics tied down, like consistently functioning audio, are little more important than eye-candy.

Re:Eye Candy? How about getting audio to work? (1)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312349)

Check out the bug comments for this issue in Launchpad. Complex problems can't be solved by flinging personal accusations, and it is a complex problem.

ume-launcher isn't bad (2, Informative)

jrothwell97 (968062) | more than 5 years ago | (#24311945)

I'm using ume-launcher (the Netbook Remix launcher) on my Eee PC 701 right now, and it really isn't bad at all. It's still quite buggy though:

  • Clutter has a few problems, I think
  • It's impossible to edit the menus (I think it reads off the Debian menus file)
  • Sometimes it works after resuming from a suspend to RAM, sometimes it doesn't
  • Sometimes it works after switching back to tty7 from a text terminal, sometimes it doesn't

Apart from that, it's very efficient, and either way it pwns Asus's default Eee launcher: it's prettier, less resource-intensive and more space-efficient.

it just needs the applications (4, Insightful)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312099)

Forget the UI, it's usable and that's what matters. What Ubuntu needs now is support from other players in the software market.

Honestly, I'm pretty well convinced at this point that Ubuntu is "ready". I know tons of people that would switch to it if they could. The crux of the problem is that the major applications these people depend on (or at least, are used to using) don't run on it. What Ubuntu needs more than anything is to make deals with the major players in various software markets (graphics, video, gaming, CAD, simulation, RAD languages, etc) to port their applications. I don't know how this could happen, but I'm pretty sure it's necessary for us to see major adoption.

While there obviously are some amazing and great tools that come with Ubuntu, it needs to be possible for someone to use those few applications they need. Companies need to start offering Ubuntu versions of their products. If that happens, it's game, set, match. And I actually think this would be possible: considering how disheartened many people feel about Vista, convincing them to port to another platform in order to reduce their dependency on MS might not be so difficult anymore. People seem to be finally seeing the pattern than dependence on a moving target like Windows can come back to bite them.

I think a few deals in this direction might actually have the potential to push Ubuntu into the mass market.

Eye candy, wireless, audio, etc...It just worked (3, Interesting)

mtjo (1080513) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312243)

At least, not in the markets where linux is competing against it. It's ease of use, and the "it-just-works" factor. This was my experience trying out the live cd of Kbuntu 8.04. Everything worked. Audio, wireless, etc. The KDE 4 UI definately has the wow factor going on, at least for me. I am not an everyday user of Linux, but one of my test boxes has PCLinuxOS installed. I chose it because it worked pretty much out of the box and had a nice UI. Kbuntu 8.04 blows it away. I don't go for the eye candy as I didn't upgrade to XP until I couldn't run IE7 and upgraded from 2000, but I am rather infatuated with the KDE 4 look.

Hyperactive? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24312339)

sounds like there is a bunch of fags there if there is so much interest.

The difference between Mac and Linux "eye-candy" (5, Insightful)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312343)

When Apple introduces eye-candy, they use it sparingly themselves, and make a great API and developer tools so developers can also use it in their apps.

Linux eye-candy seems to hit a dead end, where all it gets used for is for the original project that developed it to see how many different flashy effects they can make.

The Linux projects need to realize that it is not about the flashy eye-candy itself--it's about providing more capabilities to application developers.

Design first is not about "prettiness" (3, Insightful)

nostriluu (138310) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312491)

The typical engineering geek response is that it's "shiny," "pretty," and just skin deep. But in reality what it is, is consistency, a carefully considered experience that starts with design first - not colours and gradiants, but design elements and human factors - and fit the features to that. Read some Raskin, for example, to understand.

Until the software developers starts respecting designers and stops being a bunch of alpha monkeys talking about what they decided to code up that day for themselves, Apple will continue to lead in this area. And I'm not even an Apple fanboy, but it is the truth.

This is the world we live in... (1, Interesting)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312559)

It's not eye-candy, it's not usability.

It's people thinking they get the best by picking the product that costs more money.

I've experienced a couple of linux-'converts' before, they all basically say the same thing when living with Ubuntu for a couple of days: "What?! You get all this?! For FREE?!?!"

There's just this popular misconception (well, it probably makes sense anywhere else than software) that you have to 'pay to play'. You want a Mac, you pay bigtime. You want Vista, you pay. You want a TV, you pay. You want a hotel-room, you pay. You want a gum-drop, you pay. YOU DON'T GET ANYTHING FOR FREE! And if you do, something MUST be fishy.

This was the worst release of Ubuntu yet... (2, Interesting)

cuby (832037) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312591)

I use ubuntu daily in at least 3 different computers since 6.10.
7.10 was very solid, this one... Is not.
Just look at this massive thread at ubuntuforuns:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=768200 [ubuntuforums.org]

I'll not list all the bugs that I've found because I'm tired of it... And yes, there are people that don't have or didn't notice them (yet).
I'm not abandoning this distro because I like its philosophy. I'm willing to continue my little contribution, but with releases like this, it seems more like a UbuVista or BugBuntu and no eye candy will hide it.

Just give me my suspend/hibernate back! (1)

odiroot (1331479) | more than 5 years ago | (#24312623)

It worked on 7.04. It worked like a charm on Gentoo. I still have /etc/hibernate copied from Gentoo installation but, of course, you MUST do it other way so my beloved scripts are useless. For god's sake, I even got this working with restricted ATI/AMD drivers and now I'm limited to power on/power off functionality like TV or dishwasher.
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