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Examining gOS With Its Ubuntu Origins In Mind

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the mostly-walks-like-a-heron dept.

Operating Systems 110

An anonymous reader writes "The history of computing is that of giants being toppled. Right now, Ubuntu is the giant of the Linux world but some have been suggesting that gOS' latest release — 3.0 "Gadgets" Beta — might be a serious challenger. Can this be true? The truth is a little more complicated, as the Ubuntu Kung Fu blog explains in its review of the new release."

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110 comments

Serious challenger? (2, Insightful)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591393)

Any other distro could be as long as the devs put enough work into it, listen to their user base and -- especially -- get a little marketing. The real question is, will they?

Re:Serious challenger? (4, Insightful)

Bandman (86149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591705)

Probably not?

Seriously, the reason Ubuntu has been as successful as it has is because Shuttleworth can pay people to work on it.

Free open-source developers who are volunteering their time work on problems that are fun, or are hard.

Paid developers work on what someone tells them to.

In the minds of most programmers I know, there's no glory or bragging rights in building a unified user experience. .

Re:Serious challenger? (2, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591883)

Does their marketting team have anything to do with their success?

Re:Serious challenger? (1)

Bandman (86149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591945)

Shuttleworth paid their marketing team, I imagine.

Other successful software companies use marketing to increase revenue, there's no reason Canonical shouldn't.

Re:Serious challenger? (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 5 years ago | (#24594401)

Shuttleworth paid for ShipIt, which got them a lot of press and users. I can't say how much it really cost -- AOL gives out CDs all the time, so it's gotta be fairly cheap.

Just as important though is that he recognized that Debian was broke, and that a lot of people agreed. Paying people to fix the problems probably earned him a lot of free marketing team members. I'm not sure he ever anticipated Canonical would get significant revenue selling support and engineering.

Re:Serious challenger? (1)

kipman725 (1248126) | more than 5 years ago | (#24595707)

"Debian was broke" well this Debian user would like to respectfully disagree. The only thing I have found broken is linux video editing and I'm 90% thats my own fault for not been good enough at fault finding to get through the compile errors.

Re:Serious challenger? (2, Interesting)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 5 years ago | (#24595927)

Debian the community was broke in 2004. I know because I was there watching them. In 2004, they seemed to be holding a competition with XP for longest running stable release. Except XP got SP2, essentially making Debian the winner. They hid from users, they had no focus on the desktop. They did have a lot of great stuff that was just going nowhere, because they were paralyzed by vote. #debian was nearly a cess pool of wrath from people who felt they earned the right to it. They refused to integrate new technologies like Knoppix, even though it's based on Debian. The greatest worry at the time was how they were losing user and developers to Gentoo, and rightfully so.

However you feel about Debian today, there was previously a large void in Debian that Ubuntu brought to the table. Many of the changes Ubuntu has made are in Debian today. I know quite a few current Debian contributors that started on Ubuntu, but found it easier to work with Debian directly and let Ubuntu sync changes. It's a bit strange, but I can see why people might do that.

Re:Serious challenger? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24592085)

Does their marketting team have anything to do with their success?

nope, everyone i know that uses ubuntu uses it because its easier to install/use and/or its nicely integrated.

Re:Serious challenger? (2, Insightful)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 5 years ago | (#24592385)

Does their marketting team have anything to do with their success?

Certainly. In my mind, Zenwalk [zenwalk.org] is, hands-down, a better distro. Faster, lighter, equally compatible, large library of pre-built software, easy to maintain. Running Zenwalk makes Ubuntu feel like Windows... it really *is* that much zippier. And there's probably other distros that are of the same calibre, but I simply haven't felt any need or desire to go looking.

But Zenwalk doesn't have nearly as large a marketting weight, nor does it have the collection of fanbois touting how great it is to anybody who doesn't tell them to fuck off. As a result, an overrated distro is the big dog in town, while a better product is underappreciated. *shrugs* all things come to an end, eventually. Something will eventually topple Ubuntu, and something else will eventually topple that.

Why I use Ubuntu and not others like Zenwalk (5, Insightful)

KWTm (808824) | more than 5 years ago | (#24593379)

In my mind, Zenwalk is, hands-down, a better distro. Faster, lighter, equally compatible, large library of pre-built software, easy to maintain. Running Zenwalk makes Ubuntu feel like Windows... it really *is* that much zippier. And there's probably other distros that are of the same calibre, but I simply haven't felt any need or desire to go looking.

Without thinking any less of Zenwalk, I would say that the reason I chose Ubuntu, and the reason I hope most people choose Ubuntu, is for the critical mass effect. Although it's perfectly alright for there to be an unlimited number of Linux distributions, I hope that one can emerge to be the flagship distribution, the de facto standard, so that the non-Linux world --vendors of Other Operating Systems, hardware manufacturers, and the lay public-- can have a standard distribution to see, experience and understand. If a hardware manufacturer decides that it can't possibly support all Linux distributions, at least it can say "we support Ubuntu Linux" and the other distro's can take it from there. If some noob-to-Linux goes crying for help, at least s/he there's a chance that some not-quite-geek has heard of the distro and can offer some help and support --including emotional support, where appropriate.

Red Hat had the chance to be that one flagship distro. They decided to cut it loose and focus just on big companies. Debian never really focused on the end-user experience. Mandrake (now Mandriva) came the closest to Ubuntu, in my opinion, but I guess they were missing a millionaire benefactor.

So, I hear you, and I don't think Zenwalk is any less because everyone's talking about Ubuntu. But I think Ubuntu has its place, and I think all the Linux distros benefit from Ubuntu's standing.

Having said that, can you tell me a bit more about Zenwalk and how easy it is to maintain? I briefly checked out the web page and couldn't tell if it was based on the Debian system, like Ubuntu. If it's not too far off from Ubuntu and it's able to benefit from ports to Ubuntu, then I might check it out. Because I find that one necessity in a Linux distro is the existence of a strong package maintenance institution, so that I can be confident that new software will be packaged and made available for (and compatible with) my distro.

Re:Why I use Ubuntu and not others like Zenwalk (4, Informative)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 5 years ago | (#24594015)

Having said that, can you tell me a bit more about Zenwalk and how easy it is to maintain? I briefly checked out the web page and couldn't tell if it was based on the Debian system, like Ubuntu. If it's not too far off from Ubuntu and it's able to benefit from ports to Ubuntu, then I might check it out. Because I find that one necessity in a Linux distro is the existence of a strong package maintenance institution, so that I can be confident that new software will be packaged and made available for (and compatible with) my distro.

It's Slack-based. But unlike Slack, it has a package-management system with dependency checking, and uses a modern 2.6 kernel. It still uses the same .tgz package format as Slack, meaning it's essentially a tarball and you can install Slack packages, as well as coming with utilities that let you convert rpm and deb packages to tgz so they can be installed, and installs packages very quickly. I can't fault apt... it is a very good tool for system management. But Zenwalk's netpkg brings all of that functionality to a Slack-based system. Like Ubuntu, Zen has restricted packages for drivers like NVidia and ATi, as well as DVD playback and MP3 encoding (which aren't actually needed most of the time). I have not yet run into a software that I use which isn't in the repo, but unlike Ubuntu, I didn't have to configure *anything* on my laptop. Everything worked out of the box (well, for performance reasons I did choose to install the NVidia binary blob driver: I play games). Even MP3 and DVD playback, and the wireless card (Intel 8945g) worked out of the box without any need to be installed or configured.

That did mean that I had to accept a non-GPL license at install time (if you decline, the non-GPL blobs and software are uninstalled), but the idea is simplicity for end users. It's designed around a one-app per task, zero configuration philosophy, and it achieves that *very* well, choosing apps that are both stable, and lightweight, and coming with driver functionality out of the box that you simply don't see on any other distro. And it's got software out of the box for everything the average user does with their computer. Finally, it's a smaller ISO, so a faster download, as well as being faster to run in general.

Bottom line: It's better for desktop linux than Ubuntu. :)

Re:Why I use Ubuntu and not others like Zenwalk (-1, Redundant)

kipman725 (1248126) | more than 5 years ago | (#24595731)

"zero configuration" so linux for the people that miss the whole point of running linux desktop?

Re:Why I use Ubuntu and not others like Zenwalk (1)

DoctorFrog (556179) | more than 5 years ago | (#24597047)

"zero configuration" so linux for the people that miss the whole point of running linux desktop?

"zero verb" so english for the people that miss the whole point of communicating english language?

;-)

Re:Why I use Ubuntu and not others like Zenwalk (1)

aurispector (530273) | more than 5 years ago | (#24597543)

There's a flip side to this that goes the the heart of the controversies. Without a doubt, the overriding strength of linux is the ability of configure it any way you want. However, the general population of end users don't want or need that level of flexibility; they just want the damn thing to work. Here's where Ubuntu shines.

The one big remaining problem is packages and software. For all the virtues of FOSS and GPL, in the end you're dependent on volunteers and/or sponsorship. At the end of the day, the choice for a given distro is to either develop your own packages or to use another distro's packages.

As distasteful as is may be to the FOSS community, I think the ability to walk into a store and buy a piece of software that works with basically any linux distro is the key to wider adoption and marketshare. The hard core kernel junkies will disagree, but there's basically no reason to be dependent on on your distro for software. Currently it's a closed market and it's not possible to develop software that will work out of the box with any distribution without customization - you still need the community to port your products to a given distro's package manager. What company is going to invest time and money developing when they can't really control their own compatibilities and release dates?

As powerful as FOSS/GPL can be, you have to allow companies to make money if you want them on board and developing, especially when market share is as small as it is currently.

Re:Why I use Ubuntu and not others like Zenwalk (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 5 years ago | (#24597631)

"zero configuration" so linux for the people that miss the whole point of running linux desktop?

"zero configuration" so that you don't have to spend hours finding and installing drivers and tweaking everything so that you can use your hardware. It all works out of the box, and the only one you may possibly need to install is the binary blob driver for your video card, and that only if you want 3d acceleration, as the open source drivers which come with it are perfectly adequate for running 2d or using a screen saver.

All of the configuration options are there. None of them are hidden from the user at all. There's even a control panel app which provides direct access to some of the more obscure settings on a system. "Zero configuration" means that you don't need to, not that you can't, or that it's in any way difficult.

Re:Serious challenger? (2, Interesting)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#24594101)

Faster, lighter, equally compatible, large library of pre-built software, easy to maintain.

Yet judging from the screenshots it's running the exact same apps that Ubuntu uses (ghex, gcalc, etc).

This seems like a case of you just wanting to be different from the "norm" and I very much doubt Zenwalk is any better then any other Linux OS that uses the exact same software.

Re:Serious challenger? (3, Informative)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 5 years ago | (#24594275)

The difference is in the compilation options. Just because it's the same software doesn't mean it's the same build, and anybody who's compared performance/benchmarks under Gentoo as opposed to Ubuntu can tell you what a huge difference it can make.

Gentoo can be faster than Zenwalk (though in some benchmarks isn't), but Zenwalk is much easier to install and maintain, and they're both *hugely* faster than Ubuntu.

Re:Serious challenger? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24600551)

and anybody who's compared performance/benchmarks under Gentoo as opposed to Ubuntu can tell you what a huge difference it can make.

For very small values of "huge." Yes, benchmarking software is going to see a performance improvement from better compiler options, but for day-to-day applications, you're not going to notice a difference.

I'm a software developer (so I understand the compiler options, and had them set appropriately for my box) who has moved from gentoo to ubuntu for precisely that reason.

Re:Serious challenger? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 5 years ago | (#24594105)

In my mind, Zenwalk is, hands-down, a better distro. ... Running Zenwalk makes Ubuntu feel like Windows... it really *is* that much zippier.

For a fairer comparison, I suppose you could give Xubuntu a try.

Re:Serious challenger? (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 5 years ago | (#24594283)

I did. :) It's still sluggish, and takes about twice as long to boot up. :)

Re:Serious challenger? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24596699)

I did. :) It's still sluggish, and takes about twice as long to boot up. :)

I use Ubuntu. Rebooting my machine takes less than 30 seconds from clicking the button in the corner to being back logged in again. That 30s naturally includes not only ubuntu shutting down and coming back up but also the bios loading, etc...

I would assume xubuntu is significantly faster but well, I love compiz.

In those numbers... I might be able to speed up rebooting by how many seconds? Six? Seven? It doesn't matter much. Besides, to have all the joys of Compiz is worth six extra seconds twice a week or so.

Oh? My computer is fairly new? The difference is much more significant on older, slower computers? Your preferred distro is your preferred distro on specific cases and specific activities? Which might be different from the majority of new people adopting linux? For whom another distro than your preferred one might be better?

Noooo.... Can't be. It's all just marketing.

Re:Serious challenger? (1)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | more than 5 years ago | (#24595659)

Does their marketting team have anything to do with their success?

It's not entirely fair to say the success of Ubuntu is due entirely to marketing and paid developers... What about Suse, RH, Linspire etc. Many have tried before.

It think - for once - the often overused word 'vision' is appropriate

Re:Serious challenger? (2, Insightful)

joelholdsworth (1095165) | more than 5 years ago | (#24592087)

In the minds of most programmers I know, there's no glory or bragging rights in building a unified user experience.

Fortunately, there are a few of us around who believe in getting the little things just right.

Re:Serious challenger? (1)

Bandman (86149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24592623)

And $deity bless you for it, because the world needs more people like you

Any chance you feel like telling a few hundred thousand unpaid programmers what to do?

Re:Serious challenger? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24592187)

But even Ubuntu doesn't "just work". It's not just about money. The guys designing the system need to "get it". So far all the linux community has been able to do is superficially copy Mac OS X the same way Windows copies Mac OS and fails.

Re:Serious challenger? (2, Funny)

Bandman (86149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24592639)

Ah, yes, but we (usually) fail less spectacularly

Re:Serious challenger? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24593501)

And we also seem to have a much smaller marketshare for desktop OS and there also seems to be much less software...

Re:Serious challenger? (1)

comment() (1160035) | more than 5 years ago | (#24597319)

Seriously, the reason Ubuntu has been as successful as it has is because Shuttleworth can pay people to work on it.

Shouldn`t Fedora or openSUSE be the most popular distros then? I`m pretty sure RedHat/Novell employ more programmers to work on them than Canonical does for Ubuntu.
No, I believe the reason for Ubuntus success is exceptionally good marketing. Not that there is anything wrong with that - RedHat and Novell can definitely learn a thing or two about how to present their products from Canonical.

Marketing (1, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591409)

Shuttleworth does a great job marketing and pushing Ubuntu. He signs deals with the right vendors. People who know nothing about Linux have heard of Ubuntu.

Yet, it is my least favorite distro I've ever tried. Popularity does not necessarily equate to quality.

That being said, I'm glad people are starting to realize that alternatives exist, and Ubuntu might be a gateway to other (better) distros. I hope Ubuntu doesn't turn people off though. I wish there was more of a coordinated effort to market other distros as well as Ubuntu is marketed.

Anyone remember the GetFirefox.com campaign?

I'd like to see a similar campaign for GetOpenSUSE or GetKDE or GetMandriva, or whatever.

Re:Marketing (1)

NemosomeN (670035) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591601)

The problem with that is that, in general, excluding Knoppix, Linux is a much larger commitment than Firefox. Even Knoppix is a slightly larger commitment. (I've never had as much luck with other Live CDs, Ubuntu's crashed my system on boot, DSL is great, but not generally full-OS, and DragonFlySBIE [I think? I'ts been a long time], though not Linux, didn't have such great hardware support)

Re:Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24591627)

I guess it's just DragonFly BSD, for some reason I was thinking there was another acronym tacked on the end, despite its BSD origins)

Re:Marketing (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24593259)

Speaking of DragonFly, here's this doc http://www.dragonflybsd.org/docs/nanosleep/index.shtml [dragonflybsd.org] about how they managed to get rid of an important timing bug to minimize the sleep/wakeup delay in nanosleep() calls. Very interesting for those in multithreaded apps.

Re:Marketing (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591859)

It is harder to change your OS than your browser. That being said, Linux could still benefit from marketing, as Ubuntu has demonstrated. The problem is that Linux isn't one big, unified community.

I'd like to see something like GetKde.org as a grassroots campaign. KDE apps can be installed on Windows and Mac OS X as a gateway, to allow people to try out OSS before making a big commitment. Pushing a desktop like KDE could be a unified project supported by several major distro communities. Many distros easily install side-by-side with Windows for risk-free dual-booting.

I think most consumers don't even realize that alternatives exist. Linux won't suddenly gain massive market share, but with some marketing it would grow none the less.

Re:Marketing (1)

NemosomeN (670035) | more than 5 years ago | (#24594285)

Installing KDE programs on Windows is harder than installing Linux, at least it was the last time I tried.

Re:Marketing (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24594601)

http://techbase.kde.org/Projects/KDE_on_Windows/Installation#KDE_Installer_for_Windows [kde.org]

There is a standard installer that will download the packages and even put them in your Start Menu.

I also enjoy your signature. Very subtle.

Re:Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24594927)

You are the first person who has commented on my signature and gotten it.

Re:Marketing (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591649)

umm, dare I ask, what exactly don't you like about it?

Re:Marketing (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24591767)

Name sucks. Should have picked a name not as associated with post-apartheid genocide forgiveness. (Not GP) ("Ubuntu" was cited as the driving force behind "Truth and Reconciliation" in South Africa)

Re:Marketing (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24591911)

The concept of ubuntu existed long before apartheid.

Alright, then fine. Rename it to Candy Linux. No wait, that's associated with weight problems and diabetes. How about Rose Linux? No, because roses have thorns. How about Sunshine Linux? No, that can be associated with skin cancer and global climate change. Maybe Rainbow Linux? No, that would scare off the homophobes. How about Happy Linux? Yeah, happy linux. Nothing wrong with happy! (as long as it's not associated with anti-depressant dependancy and bipolar-disorder, or a wide variety of psychological conditions, really).

Re:Marketing (3, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591819)

1 - Gnome only
2 - Fairly vanilla packages
3 - Really ugly themeing
4 - Basically zero options in the install process. I get the default packages, and that is it.
5 - I could never get the ATI drivers to work well with Ubuntu on my wife's laptop, but they worked great with Sabayon and openSUSE.
6 - I compiled a custom kernel by hand, but then I couldn't get the ATI driver to load at all, because Ubuntu demands that there be a restricted module package for the kernel, and I couldn't make one for a custom kernel.
7 - Never could get madwifi to work on Ubuntu well, when it worked out of the box with openSUSE and Sabayon.
8 - When I asked for support in the forums I was repeatedly flamed in PMs, and on the IRC support channel. I was told that I needed to install the 32-bit version, even when I asked for help the in the 64-bit forums. I was repeatedly told the 64-bit version is unsupported, even though Cannonical sells commercial support for it.
9 - Asking about restricted formats also provoked several flames, and Ubuntu fights methods that allow people to easily install them.
10 - I eventually tried out Kubuntu to find arguably the single worst KDE desktop I've seen in a distro.
11 - I was repeatedly instructed not to install a toolkit or attempt to compile anything manually. "I might screw something up, and frankly you shouldn't ever try to to do things on your own."
12 - At every turn Ubuntu removed choice. It was the most simplistic, straight-forward distro I've ever tried. There is a target audience for that, and it isn't me.
13 - Ubuntu supposedly "simply works" just like Apple. Fans would like you to believe neither Apple nor Ubuntu ever have problems, and yet Ubuntu has had some serious bugs with their last four releases I've witnessed.
14 - Kubuntu is a bastard child that not only receives little developer attention, but it is usually a release behind Ubuntu on *buntu features.
15 - A forum moderator actually told me I was an idiot for owning ATI hardware, to which I replied "it is the laptop my wife bought" to which he later replied "then you should divorce the bitch." I expect better from moderators. It is the single worst community I've ever dealt with. I really got spoiled on the Gentoo forums. I really love reading those.

Re:Marketing (2)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24592029)

1 - Gnome only

No, Kubuntu.

2 - Fairly vanilla packages

I have no idea what you're on about here.

3 - Really ugly themeing

It's a theme, you can change it.

4 - Basically zero options in the install process. I get the default packages, and that is it.

You get what is needed and you can do your customization after the install process. This is the best decision ever made by the Ubuntu community.

5 - I could never get the ATI drivers to work well with Ubuntu on my wife's laptop, but they worked great with Sabayon and openSUSE.

Thousands of others have no problem. Can you install these drivers by clicking "yes" to an option on these other distros?

6 - I compiled a custom kernel by hand, but then I couldn't get the ATI driver to load at all, because Ubuntu demands that there be a restricted module package for the kernel, and I couldn't make one for a custom kernel.

If you do advanced things you're expected to know what you are doing. This is the same for any linux distro.

7 - Never could get madwifi to work on Ubuntu well, when it worked out of the box with openSUSE and Sabayon.

When was this?

8 - When I asked for support in the forums I was repeatedly flamed in PMs, and on the IRC support channel. I was told that I needed to install the 32-bit version, even when I asked for help the in the 64-bit forums. I was repeatedly told the 64-bit version is unsupported, even though Cannonical sells commercial support for it.

Again, when was this? Ubuntu has one of the best communities of any distro.

9 - Asking about restricted formats also provoked several flames, and Ubuntu fights methods that allow people to easily install them.

When was this? It's actually one click to install them now.

10 - I eventually tried out Kubuntu to find arguably the single worst KDE desktop I've seen in a distro.

Oh, so you have tried Kubuntu. Makes your point 1 a straight up lie. Can you say *why* you thought it was so bad? And when was this?

11 - I was repeatedly instructed not to install a toolkit or attempt to compile anything manually. "I might screw something up, and frankly you shouldn't ever try to to do things on your own."

Well, it seems from 6 above that you have demonstrated that you don't know what you're doing so they've been giving you good newbie advice.

12 - At every turn Ubuntu removed choice. It was the most simplistic, straight-forward distro I've ever tried. There is a target audience for that, and it isn't me.

All the choice is there, you just have to know what you're doing. The universe repository has more packages than any other distro.

13 - Ubuntu supposedly "simply works" just like Apple. Fans would like you to believe neither Apple nor Ubuntu ever have problems, and yet Ubuntu has had some serious bugs with their last four releases I've witnessed.

Apple doesn't "just work" either. Computers don't "just work". If you want something that "just works", go buy a toaster or a microwave - if it breaks, take it back to the manufacturer for a full refund.

14 - Kubuntu is a bastard child that not only receives little developer attention, but it is usually a release behind Ubuntu on *buntu features.

You mentioned Kubuntu. Again I ask, when was the last time you looked at it?

15 - A forum moderator actually told me I was an idiot for owning ATI hardware, to which I replied "it is the laptop my wife bought" to which he later replied "then you should divorce the bitch." I expect better from moderators. It is the single worst community I've ever dealt with. I really got spoiled on the Gentoo forums. I really love reading those.

Report him. That shit is not tolerated in the Ubuntu community.

Re:Marketing (5, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24592697)

I've done this about five times on Slashdot. Someone asks me what I don't like about Ubuntu, I get modded down troll for answering a question, etc. I don't really feel like arguing, but if you really want to go point-by-point:

No, Kubuntu.

Kubuntu is a separate project worked on by seperate devs. It doesn't get the baseline Ubuntu features for precisely that reason.

I have no idea what you're on about here.

Fire up a Knoppix CD, or Kubuntu and you'll basically see a vanilla KDE desktop. They don't customize the packages, install addition patches, or do anything. Now fire up Mandriva, or openSUSE, or PCLinuxOS, or Arch's KDEMod, or Sabayon, etc. You'll see they've added other patches to expand functionality, fix bugs, backport features, etc. What is the point of 20 million distros if they all ship the same packages?

Many Ubuntu packages are largely the vanilla, upstream package with no changes. (Ubuntu has a decent number of kernel patches and toolchain patches, like many other distros, but they largely inherit these from Debian). openSUSE (my most common example recently, because it is my new favorite of all the major distros I've tried recently) hires devs to backport features, and make the best possible packages they can. Again, many Gnome users praise openSUSE for putting out a bettter Gnome desktop than Ubuntu, because they don't ship vanilla packages.

You get what is needed and you can do your customization after the install process. This is the best decision ever made by the Ubuntu community.

I'm not saying Ubuntu is wrong. I'm saying I don't like it. I want options in my install process to customize it. Ubuntu is targeted at a certain audience. I'm not a member of it. I used to recommend Kubuntu to people who weren't computer savvy and wanted something very simple, and yet I discovered that other distros were just as simple to use, while providing better packages to boot.

It's a theme, you can change it.

I always change the theme on any desktop, but you asked what I don't like. I really don't like Ubuntu brown and orange. A recent poll on the openSUSE forums showed most responders saying they never bother changing the default theme. I don't understand that. Why wouldn't you customize your desktop?

Thousands of others have no problem. Can you install these drivers by clicking "yes" to an option on these other distros?

openSUSE offers a 1-click installer. Sabayon includes them by default. Heck, Mint (a nicer fork of Ubuntu) includes them by default. I followed the instructions on Ubuntu's wiki, yet they never worked. I asked for help and was repeatedly attacked for attempting to use ATI. Mind you, on the exact same laptop (my wife's old laptop) I ran Gentoo with the ATI drivers (custom kernel, -viper release), Sabayon with the ATI drivers, and openSUSE 10.1 with the ATI drivers. The only distro I had problems with was Ubuntu.

If you do advanced things you're expected to know what you are doing. This is the same for any linux distro.

You're not seeing what I'm getting at. I know how to compile my own kernel. I've been doing it for years. Since I'm impatient, even on binary distros I compile my own kernel and manually patch in drivers rather than wait for distros to releasing updated packages. On Ubuntu and Kubuntu, after I made my own kernel, it would not load the ATI module at all. It gave me an error about how it could not load the module because it was missing a restricted modules .deb package. They've gone out of their way to patch into their kernel sources a measure to stop you from using proprietary modules. I've never seen another distro do this. For the stock Ubuntu kernels, this package exists. For custom kernels (I downloaded a -mm kernel and then patched in the Ubuntu diff. I normally always patch in that distro's patches to the kernel in case they are important). If I never patched in the Ubuntu patches, the ATI driver would load. The problem isn't that the problem offered no solution, the solution was to avoid the Ubuntu kernel.

When was this?

Going on two years I think. I'm dyslexic and I get things out of order. My sense of time is piss poor. I think the release was 6.10 or 6.04. I've read up on newer releases, but I can't imagine going back and trying it again.

Again, when was this? Ubuntu has one of the best communities of any distro.

The last time I complained on Slashdot about this very thing I was called a liar. They said I likely never asked for help, was an asshole my self, or made the whole thing up. You can Google up me (enderandrew) and see I politely asked for help repeatedly on the Ubuntu and Kubuntu forums. What you'll also see is that most of the responses on those threads were eventually deleted. You'll note that before I ever seek help, I search documentation (wiki) use Google, and attempt to fix things myself.

I'm the only Enderandrew on the internet. It is quite easy to verify my story, and I never try to hide who I am.

When was this? It's actually one click to install them now.

Again, I think this was going on two years ago. The Ubuntu devs were speaking out against projects like Mint and Easy-Ubuntu, (and there was another automated script to download codecs and drivers). The devs repeatedly spoke out how your OS should be 100% pure, and said they would not condone any automated method to put proprietary software into Ubuntu. If that changed, it is news to me. The Ubuntu community has also spoken out against Shuttleworth for Ubuntu not being 100% OSS, and then when he attempted to make a 100% OSS fork of Ubuntu, he was criticized for that not being open enough.

Oh, so you have tried Kubuntu. Makes your point 1 a straight up lie. Can you say *why* you thought it was so bad? And when was this?

I've been civil and reasonable. In return I was modded a troll, and called a liar. Don't be like that. I really hate being called a liar.

Well, it seems from 6 above that you have demonstrated that you don't know what you're doing so they've been giving you good newbie advice.

I'm a SysAdmin. I administer Linux, Windows, Unix and AS/400 systems for a living, and I've been a Gentoo user for years. But clearly, since Ubuntu didn't work for me, I must be an idiot. It can't possibly be that the distro don't just magically work with my hardware. I appreciate the vote of confidence.

All the choice is there, you just have to know what you're doing. The universe repository has more packages than any other distro.

No, the distro offers far less configuration options than any other distro I've ever used. You think that is brilliant. Good for you. I think each user should have the desktop of their choice. I'm not saying you shouldn't have the choice of running Ubuntu if it works for you. I'm saying I found it restrictive. I think you really should try a number of other distros out, and perhaps you'll see what you're missing out on.

Apple doesn't "just work" either. Computers don't "just work". If you want something that "just works", go buy a toaster or a microwave - if it breaks, take it back to the manufacturer for a full refund.

Yet, both Apple and Cannonical both market that their software "just works" as opposed to the competition. Did you read any reviews on the latest LTS release? Kubuntu got KDE 4 shoehorned in, with what was universally reviewed as the worst KDE 4 packages out there. There were major problems with Xorg, Pulseaudio, etc. Shuttleworth said it was okay to have such a buggy major release because these things get patched. Yet Microsoft gets blasted for the "wait for SP1" attitude.

Do yourself a favor. Google up reviews for latest Kubuntu release. Now read the forums and user reactions. I'm not making this stuff up.

You mentioned Kubuntu. Again I ask, when was the last time you looked at it?

I haven't used it in close to two years. But I read reviews of every major distro release. I also read various distro forums, and linuxtoday.com every day.

Re:Marketing (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24592927)

I've done this about five times on Slashdot. Someone asks me what I don't like about Ubuntu, I get modded down troll for answering a question, etc.

I can see why. You're wrong and you seem to be uninterested in learning this.

Kubuntu is a separate project worked on by seperate devs. It doesn't get the baseline Ubuntu features for precisely that reason.

No it isn't. What gave you that idea?

Fire up a Knoppix CD, or Kubuntu and you'll basically see a vanilla KDE desktop. They don't customize the packages, install addition patches, or do anything. Now fire up Mandriva, or openSUSE, or PCLinuxOS, or Arch's KDEMod, or Sabayon, etc. You'll see they've added other patches to expand functionality, fix bugs, backport features, etc. What is the point of 20 million distros if they all ship the same packages?

Many Ubuntu packages are largely the vanilla, upstream package with no changes. (Ubuntu has a decent number of kernel patches and toolchain patches, like many other distros, but they largely inherit these from Debian). openSUSE (my most common example recently, because it is my new favorite of all the major distros I've tried recently) hires devs to backport features, and make the best possible packages they can. Again, many Gnome users praise openSUSE for putting out a bettter Gnome desktop than Ubuntu, because they don't ship vanilla packages.

Oh, so "vanilla" means "like debian".. that's ok, I like debian. Sounds like you have a different personal preference. This is probably the most legitimate thing you have said in this thread.

I'm not saying Ubuntu is wrong. I'm saying I don't like it. I want options in my install process to customize it. Ubuntu is targeted at a certain audience. I'm not a member of it. I used to recommend Kubuntu to people who weren't computer savvy and wanted something very simple, and yet I discovered that other distros were just as simple to use, while providing better packages to boot.

Again, personal preference, good for you.

I always change the theme on any desktop, but you asked what I don't like. I really don't like Ubuntu brown and orange. A recent poll on the openSUSE forums showed most responders saying they never bother changing the default theme. I don't understand that. Why wouldn't you customize your desktop?

I like the default theme, personally. I also don't really care too much about it. You obviously do and that's your preference.

openSUSE offers a 1-click installer. Sabayon includes them by default. Heck, Mint (a nicer fork of Ubuntu) includes them by default. I followed the instructions on Ubuntu's wiki, yet they never worked. I asked for help and was repeatedly attacked for attempting to use ATI. Mind you, on the exact same laptop (my wife's old laptop) I ran Gentoo with the ATI drivers (custom kernel, -viper release), Sabayon with the ATI drivers, and openSUSE 10.1 with the ATI drivers. The only distro I had problems with was Ubuntu.

When was this? I have a machine with ATI drivers, Ubuntu installed them by default and alerted me that it had done it.

You're not seeing what I'm getting at. I know how to compile my own kernel. I've been doing it for years. Since I'm impatient, even on binary distros I compile my own kernel and manually patch in drivers rather than wait for distros to releasing updated packages. On Ubuntu and Kubuntu, after I made my own kernel, it would not load the ATI module at all. It gave me an error about how it could not load the module because it was missing a restricted modules .deb package. They've gone out of their way to patch into their kernel sources a measure to stop you from using proprietary modules. I've never seen another distro do this. For the stock Ubuntu kernels, this package exists. For custom kernels (I downloaded a -mm kernel and then patched in the Ubuntu diff. I normally always patch in that distro's patches to the kernel in case they are important). If I never patched in the Ubuntu patches, the ATI driver would load. The problem isn't that the problem offered no solution, the solution was to avoid the Ubuntu kernel.

I can't really comment, having not experienced the problem myself. I do a little kernel dev so I compile kernels all the time and I've had no problems.

Going on two years I think. I'm dyslexic and I get things out of order. My sense of time is piss poor. I think the release was 6.10 or 6.04. I've read up on newer releases, but I can't imagine going back and trying it again.

Things improve rapidly in the open source world.

The last time I complained on Slashdot about this very thing I was called a liar. They said I likely never asked for help, was an asshole my self, or made the whole thing up. You can Google up me (enderandrew) and see I politely asked for help repeatedly on the Ubuntu and Kubuntu forums. What you'll also see is that most of the responses on those threads were eventually deleted. You'll note that before I ever seek help, I search documentation (wiki) use Google, and attempt to fix things myself.

Those people likely received warnings for being bastards towards you and if they kept doing it, got kicked out. I don't think you can ask for more.

Again, I think this was going on two years ago. The Ubuntu devs were speaking out against projects like Mint and Easy-Ubuntu, (and there was another automated script to download codecs and drivers). The devs repeatedly spoke out how your OS should be 100% pure, and said they would not condone any automated method to put proprietary software into Ubuntu. If that changed, it is news to me. The Ubuntu community has also spoken out against Shuttleworth for Ubuntu not being 100% OSS, and then when he attempted to make a 100% OSS fork of Ubuntu, he was criticized for that not being open enough.

Well, the official policy of Ubuntu became much clearer about 2 years ago when they started shipping proprietary drivers by default. This is about the time that Jeff Waugh left in a huff. Any strong statements you heard against proprietary drivers or codecs was likely coming from him. I believe the official policy now is "if you want people to stop using proprietary drivers, provide a better free driver" and this happens to match with my own personal opinion on the matter. Other people are militant about remaining pure and are willing to sacrifice a lot to achieve it, but I personally think this was one of the biggest reasons why Ubuntu broke away from Debian in the first place.. that and the insanely slow pace of development.

I've been civil and reasonable. In return I was modded a troll, and called a liar. Don't be like that. I really hate being called a liar.

You've got to be more humble then. You can't say "everyone is an idiot except me" and expect hugs.

I'm a SysAdmin. I administer Linux, Windows, Unix and AS/400 systems for a living, and I've been a Gentoo user for years. But clearly, since Ubuntu didn't work for me, I must be an idiot. It can't possibly be that the distro don't just magically work with my hardware. I appreciate the vote of confidence.

A newbie to Ubuntu, which you admit you are.

No, the distro offers far less configuration options than any other distro I've ever used. You think that is brilliant. Good for you. I think each user should have the desktop of their choice. I'm not saying you shouldn't have the choice of running Ubuntu if it works for you. I'm saying I found it restrictive. I think you really should try a number of other distros out, and perhaps you'll see what you're missing out on.

Umm, no. It's all there, it's just under the hood. You have to get your hands dirty.

Yet, both Apple and Cannonical both market that their software "just works" as opposed to the competition. Did you read any reviews on the latest LTS release? Kubuntu got KDE 4 shoehorned in, with what was universally reviewed as the worst KDE 4 packages out there. There were major problems with Xorg, Pulseaudio, etc. Shuttleworth said it was okay to have such a buggy major release because these things get patched. Yet Microsoft gets blasted for the "wait for SP1" attitude.

Apple may do that shit but all Shuttleworth is saying is that you shouldn't have to have a long grey beard to configure a printer. He may well be thinking of other distros the same way you are thinking of Ubuntu .. 2 years ago .. and getting a lot of facts wrong. That's a real problem in the open source world. On the other hand, Apple just straight up lies.

I haven't used it in close to two years. But I read reviews of every major distro release. I also read various distro forums, and linuxtoday.com every day.

I know it's a big call but I personally don't think you can have a valid opinion on something that is moving at the pace open source is unless you reviewed it yesterday and did so with sufficient vigor. People who have multiple distros installed on multiple machines and use them all regularly typically have only constructive things to say.. like "I found something that works better on distro X than on distro Y, and here's why I think it is better". Slagging something that you last looked at two years ago just makes you look stupid, sorry.

Re:Marketing (0, Flamebait)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24593497)

I can see why. You're wrong and you seem to be uninterested in learning this.

I was civil and asked the same of you. You've failed in that regard.

No it isn't. What gave you that idea?

Talking to the devs and hearing them complain about how few people work on the project, and how they don't have communication with the Ubuntu project enough to include the major Ubuntu features in their releases. The facts are pretty clear here. Fedora, Debain, openSUSE, and every major distro pretty much includes both major desktops. Ubuntu gives you zero choice. There is no option to install KDE. That option does not exist. You must download a separate project from a separate site. It does not include the same features. Cannonical places all their eggs in one basket, and a few guys have developed a KDE spin of Ubuntu. However Kubuntu and Ubuntu are not the same. Where as Fedora, openSUSE, Mandriva, Slackware, Arch, Debian, Gentoo, Sabayon, PCLinuxOS, etc. etc. etc. have one distro with both desktops, and then some.

You officially have no clue what you're talking about, while at the same time trying to talk down to me. Don't be that guy.

Oh, so "vanilla" means "like debian".. that's ok, I like debian. Sounds like you have a different personal preference. This is probably the most legitimate thing you have said in this thread.

You don't know what the term "vanilla package" means, and missed my explanation that it means similar to the upstream packages. Since I'm a guy who likes to be factual, I gave Ubuntu credit for actually not having a vanilla kernel or toolchain, yet those benefits come from Debian. Here I explained that Debian is not vanilla, which is a good thing. Go re-read what I posted. You clearly didn't comprehend it.

When was this? I have a machine with ATI drivers, Ubuntu installed them by default and alerted me that it had done it.

If Ubuntu includes proprietary drives by default, that is seriously news to me. The entire purpose of forking Mint was to include proprietary drivers and codecs. However, I acknowledged this could have changed since the last time I tried it.

However, a quick check on Ubuntu's own website shows that Ubuntu doesn't do this by default.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BinaryDriverHowto/ATI [ubuntu.com]

Are you lying, or is their documentation wrong? See, it isn't polite to call someone a liar. It certainly doesn't feel nice to be called a liar. Seriously, don't be that guy.

Things improve rapidly in the open source world.

It still remains the single worst distro experience I've ever had, and I see no major feature in *buntu to convince me to try it again. In fact, even the KDE devs were bad-mouthing Kubuntu for putting out bad KDE packages. Diplomatically they said certain distros had trouble building and compiling the right packages. It wasn't Fedora, and it wasn't openSUSE. Kubuntu was the only other distro to push out KDE 4, and those packages were universally trashed by people.

Ubuntu has likely improved overall. But so have other distros. openSUSE 11 is a major improvement over 10.x

Well, the official policy of Ubuntu became much clearer about 2 years ago when they started shipping proprietary drivers by default. This is about the time that Jeff Waugh left in a huff. Any strong statements you heard against proprietary drivers or codecs was likely coming from him. I believe the official policy now is "if you want people to stop using proprietary drivers, provide a better free driver" and this happens to match with my own personal opinion on the matter. Other people are militant about remaining pure and are willing to sacrifice a lot to achieve it, but I personally think this was one of the biggest reasons why Ubuntu broke away from Debian in the first place.. that and the insanely slow pace of development.

Perhaps the comments I read were his, but there are a few problems with your statement. 1 - Ubuntu's website claims it doesn't ship the proprietary drivers by default. 2 - I read an article just two months ago written by Ubuntu devs trashing Shuttleworth's insistence on including non-OSS packages, and saying his 100% free version wasn't free.

I also just did a quick Google search, and the first result is Shuttleworth again saying that Ubuntu will not include non-free drivers. So I don't see how this supposedly started happening two years ago.

Perhaps you didn't see the mailing list threads where Shuttleworth was blasted because not only was Ubuntu not free enough, but Gobuntu wasn't free enough either, which he abandoned.

Oh, and as I'm writing this I've Googled up about 10 different areas on Ubuntu's website that all claim the proprietary drivers are not shipped by default. You must first enable the restricted driver manager, and then download them.

You started this post by claiming I was wrong, but don't seem to know what you're talking about.

Re:Marketing (2, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24595501)

Why can't you use <quote>? When you did your Google search for Shuttleworth comments did you happen to get the date of the comment? People change their opinions over time you know.. Actually install a the latest version of Ubuntu on a machine with a 3d graphics card.. watch as it automatically installs the restricted drivers.

Re:Marketing (1)

featurelesscube (1107925) | more than 5 years ago | (#24594319)

openSUSE offers a 1-click installer. Sabayon includes them by default. Heck, Mint (a nicer fork of Ubuntu) includes them by default. I followed the instructions on Ubuntu's wiki, yet they never worked. I asked for help and was repeatedly attacked for attempting to use ATI. Mind you, on the exact same laptop (my wife's old laptop) I ran Gentoo with the ATI drivers (custom kernel, -viper release), Sabayon with the ATI drivers, and openSUSE 10.1 with the ATI drivers. The only distro I had problems with was Ubuntu.

When was this? I have a machine with ATI drivers, Ubuntu installed them by default and alerted me that it had done it.

Then you probably have a desktop with a post 9600 ATI. I have three laptops with ATIs in them. They work with Fiesty but will not work with Gutsy or Hardy due to ATI dropping support in the binary. It is true however that Sabayon ships a nicer KDE and configures graphics cards properly that Ubuntu will not, I usually run a partition of both on each machine (my two favourite distros) and I have seen this many times.

Re:Marketing (1)

rufus t firefly (35399) | more than 5 years ago | (#24595075)

openSUSE offers a 1-click installer. Sabayon includes them by default. Heck, Mint (a nicer fork of Ubuntu) includes them by default. I followed the instructions on Ubuntu's wiki, yet they never worked. I asked for help and was repeatedly attacked for attempting to use ATI. Mind you, on the exact same laptop (my wife's old laptop) I ran Gentoo with the ATI drivers (custom kernel, -viper release), Sabayon with the ATI drivers, and openSUSE 10.1 with the ATI drivers. The only distro I had problems with was Ubuntu.

When was this? I have a machine with ATI drivers, Ubuntu installed them by default and alerted me that it had done it.

Then you probably have a desktop with a post 9600 ATI. I have three laptops with ATIs in them. They work with Fiesty but will not work with Gutsy or Hardy due to ATI dropping support in the binary. It is true however that Sabayon ships a nicer KDE and configures graphics cards properly that Ubuntu will not, I usually run a partition of both on each machine (my two favourite distros) and I have seen this many times.

If you need ATI binary support on Ubuntu and don't want to do any of that stuff manually, may I suggest EnvyNG [launchpad.net] ? (Homepage is here [albertomilone.com] .)

Re:Marketing (2, Interesting)

featurelesscube (1107925) | more than 5 years ago | (#24595597)

Unfortunately that won't work with envy:

https://answers.launchpad.net/envy/+question/23594

The only way to get a working binary for the older cards is to install an ATI blob from version 8.28.8 http://ati.amd.com/support/drivers/linux/radeonprevious-linux.html [amd.com] or before. A lot of laptops use 9100s, they were dropped along with a heap of other models after this release.

You just have to give up in the end and lose most of your acceleration, or install a old distro from cd and not update it.

Re:Marketing (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24593433)

I'm a SysAdmin. I administer Linux, Windows, Unix and AS/400 systems for a living, and I've been a Gentoo user for years. But clearly, since Ubuntu didn't work for me, I must be an idiot. It can't possibly be that the distro don't just magically work with my hardware. I appreciate the vote of confidence.

Apparently you're an idiot. Yes, that's an ad-hom, and I don't care.

He addressed all of your points (and really, in Ubuntu is it *that* hard to apt-get the needed KDE packages?), and I've run multiple ATI setups on both desktops and laptops with no problems, and yes that includes "older" chipsets.

You know, QuantumG already kicked your ass until your nose bled and you still didn't get it. How about this: don't use the distro and STFU. Novel made its choice to be an MS bitch boy and I'll give them no quarter.

That's a rather haughty nick you've got.. after eating this much crow you might try my nick on for size.

But..but.. I run Gentoo! Waah! I'm a ricer! Pay attention to me! I've just *got* to know what I'm talking about! Talk about the epitome of amateurish instability. Gentoo has always been a cosmic joke on the noobs.

From the way you're whining I'll bet your not much of a sysadmin. Don't let me catch you in my data center or you'll be mopping the floors.

Re:Marketing (2, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24595385)

You'll notice he's modded up to +5 too. Slashdot "moderators" don't read the entire thread, and these posts are too big for them to read past the first paragraph. He's openly admitted that he's talking about Ubuntu fron two years ago and yet he insists that he knows what he's talking about.

What a dick.

Re:Marketing (2, Insightful)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 5 years ago | (#24595711)

Since I'm impatient, even on binary distros I compile my own kernel and manually patch in drivers rather than wait for distros to releasing updated packages.

You are not the target market for Ubuntu, why would you expect it to conform to your expectations (which frankly are pretty extreme)? Most of the things which you quote as disadvantages for you, are advantages for someone who just comes fresh to Linux, and has no idea what a kernel is, and doesn't want to read distro forums and linuxtoday every day, they just want things to work with no tinkering.

I hope Ubuntu doesn't turn people off though.

I seriously doubt it will turn people new to Linux off in any way. The only people it will turn off are those like yourself who like to tinker and customise, which is fine because there are many other specialised distros for you.

Re:Marketing (1, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24598459)

You are not the target market for Ubuntu,

Funny, that is exactly what I said. I didn't blast Ubuntu. I didn't say Ubuntu was wrong. I was asked what I didn't like about Ubuntu, which is a matter of opinion, and then QuantumG busts out personal attacks, calling me a liar and such.

Repeatedly I said there is a market for Ubuntu, and I'm not it.

I can't help it if he can't read.

Re:Marketing (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24592757)

BTW, I should have added. You said thousands of people have no problems with the ATI drivers. That laptop (my wife's old one) had the ATI 200M chipset. When I Googled, I found several people have problems with the drivers and that card/chipset. What I didn't find were any answers. I tried both the OSS and proprietary drivers, and never got either working fully. Search for Ubuntu, ATI 200M and you'll likely find that was the case.

Re:Marketing (0)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24592979)

But it was two years ago dude. ATI have likely released source code for those drivers by now. Keep up or keep quiet.

Re:Marketing (5, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24593301)

ATI hasn't released code for those drivers actually. They've released specs and technical documents on newer, high-end Radeon cards.

When you attack someone and say that they're wrong, next time try to have facts on your side.

That doesn't change the fact that when I tried the distro, they were the only ones that had issues with those drivers.

And despite your claims that Ubuntu is the best community (seriously, check out a real helpful, knowledgable community like Gentoo) that doesn't change the fact that people attacked me for asking for help.

The facts are the facts. Your comments don't change them.

Re:Marketing (1)

armanox (826486) | more than 5 years ago | (#24595189)

The ATI 200M is a mess running in a lot of distributions. Actually, I run Fedora on my laptop because I can get the proprietary driver to run without hassle. The open source drivers (it's a r300 card if memory serves) have minimal support for the card, and especially no acceleration whatsoever. The Ubuntu and Gentoo communities are the two greatest wealths of Linux information on the Web. Both have super zealots that get in the way though... Ubuntu is not a distro for a lot of us. And that's ok. That's what makes the Linux world great - I can run Red Hat at work, Fedora on my laptop, Gentoo on my desktop, LFS on my toy system, and Solaris on my server (yes, I know it's not Linux), all for different reasons, without too much trouble.

Re:Marketing (1)

chmod a+x mojo (965286) | more than 5 years ago | (#24595199)

Don't know what your problem was, MY 200M has worked just fine from edgy > gutsy. I only had to install the vanilla drivers from the ATI site, and if you can't find a Debian / Ubuntu walk through for that you need to take remedial Google classes.

Re:Marketing (1)

gslavik (1015381) | more than 5 years ago | (#24592117)

if you want to compile everything by hand, why not keep using Gentoo? I have a laptop with the ati express 200M chipset, fglrx works fine. I also had an X800 PRO that worked with fglrx. Now I have an X2400 (in my work machine) and fglrx is working and functioning. Where did you get stuck with while installing the driver?

Re:Marketing (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24592785)

See, the ATI Express 200M did work fine with Gentoo. This was my wife's laptop, and there were a couple issues with sticking with Gentoo.

She didn't want to wait for compiles on her laptop. It also overheated quite a bit during heavily compiling. We decided to find her a binary distro. Since I loved Gentoo, we eventually settled on Sabayon for her, but I tried Mandriva, Sabayon, openSUSE, Ubuntu and Kubuntu.

And as of this week, my home desktop is no longer Gentoo. It meant leaving behind Reiser4 (which I was a proponent of) and I went with openSUSE on my box. I always enjoyed Gentoo, but I want to give back. I've volunteered to help out with openSUSE, so I need to run it on my home box.

Re:Marketing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24593007)

Dude stop trying to apply logic, the linux zombies here will mod you down. The first thing you need to do is start your posts with

* "I own X computers all run *nix"

* "Dont get me wrong, I like linux but.. "

* "I prefer linux over windows, but in this case.."

Etc, you get the picture. First convince the zombies that you're one of them, and then deliver your message. In fact I can prove to you that it works quite well. :)

Good luck !

In case the zombies forget to mod me down as troll here is a nice tidbit of truth:

Linux has had over a billion dollars pumped into it and still doesn't have the market share of Windows 2000, an OS that is MORE THAN 10 years old and is no longer produced. This is hilarious !

Oh yeah, and the antitrust trials are over now. Just in case the zombies were in a coma this past decade. Any PC supplier is free to install any OS they want. They dont because nobody buys them, and the margins are razor thin. Other OEMS will undercut them and sell more PC's because people want windows on their desktop.

Linux & FSF are running out of excuses. Feel free to blame anything from OOXML to novel or ballmer for your miserable failure.

Oh yeah and in the server market, in the 90's what was *nix share? 90%? What is it now? LOL, there was initially no reason for vendors to be locked into windows, they only chose it because NT was a stable and viable platform. After killer apps from MS like Office/Exchange which pale in comparison to any user applications that FOSS has produced, and IIS 6 trampling all over Apache, the end is near ! Sure LAMP will still be around, but the Fortune 500 will for sure be engulfed by MS.

Re:Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24594349)

After checking out all your postings [ubuntuforums.org] on the Ubuntu forums I have come to a conclusion.

Not only are you whining about Kubuntu feisty (which was released in 2007 before gutsy and hardy) you're spitting in the faces of all the people who helped you.

A forum moderator actually told me I was an idiot for owning ATI hardware, to which I replied "it is the laptop my wife bought" to which he later replied "then you should divorce the bitch." I expect better from moderators. It is the single worst community I've ever dealt with. I really got spoiled on the Gentoo forums. I really love reading those.

I assume you mean this thread [ubuntuforums.org] in which you're asking for help with your wife's laptop. All I see is people trying to help you of course don't let that get in the way of a good lie, I'm sure you'll just come back with "it was deleted" or some other crap.

So lets recap..

1) You're talking about two releases ago.
2) you lied about the support you got offered.

Re:Marketing (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24595753)

So true. I should go on a rant about how I hate Redhat.. even though I haven't used it since 2001.

Or slackware.. oh wait, slackware hasn't changed since 2001.

When it comes to open source stuff one really has to keep up or shut up.

Re:Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24595079)

umm, dare I ask, what exactly don't you like about it?

It's too popular. I can't be one of the sheep. If Linux ever takes off in whole, you can bet I'll be switching to BSD.
It's the same reason I like bands nobody's ever heard of. Because once they do, then I'll say that the band sold out.

Re:Marketing (4, Insightful)

Bandman (86149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591821)

You know, Robert Kiyosake, who is 99% full of crap, had a gem of wisdom in one of his books.

He told the story about how he met with a reporter who wanted to become an author, and she asked him for advice, since he had been published numerable times. His advice to her was to learn marketing. "You'll notice", he said, "that the cover of the book says 'best selling author', it doesn't say 'best writing author'".

There's a lot of truth in that statement.

Best is such a subjective term, but Ubuntu is the most successful distro in recent memory, in terms of users, name recognition, and having a unified interface.

It's certainly not perfect, but for usability and bringing Linux to the masses, it's a damn bit better than everything else out there

Sorry to all the Mepis, RedHat, Mandrake, Gentoo, Slack, and other distro fans.

Re:Marketing (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591941)

I'd say openSUSE should be a serious contender.

* Novell will sell support.
* Novell is preinstalled on major OEM computers. * openSUSE will start an installer in Windows, resize your Windows partition automatically, and set-up a dual boot environment.
* Out of the box, it will install ntfs-3g and offer write access to your Windows partitions from within Linux.
* The installer is simple, yet powerful. The installer is fast.
* Package management in openSUSE 11 is now as good as in Ubuntu. Previous to openSUSE 11, it was slow and problematic.
* Ubuntu has larger package repositories, but openSUSE puts out solid KDE 3, KDE 4 and Gnome desktops. People have argued it is the best Gnome desktop out there, the best KDE 4 desktop, and the best KDE 4 desktop.
* Novell/openSUSE's branch of OpenOffice.org is much nicer than upstream OOo as well. Hardware support is pretty damned good as well.
* Yast is arguably the best tool for system management out there, and makes Linux accessible to the masses.

As a disclaimer, I certainly don't support Novell's patent deal, which still ticks me off. That being said, I really like what openSUSE delivers.

If I were going to push/market one distro to the masses, it would be openSUSE.

Re:Marketing (1)

Bandman (86149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24592067)

To be honest, I haven't tried open or closed SuSE since 8. I decided when they signed the pact with Microsoft that I wasn't going to use them.

I suppose I could install it in a VM and see what it's like.

Re:Marketing (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24592813)

I think 11 was a really good release for them. Their KDE 4.0.4 packages had a bunch of KDE 4.1 features back-ported, but KDE 4.0.4 still wasn't something I'd recommend to anyone.

If you do decide to try out KDE 4, upgrade to the 4.1 packages right away.

Re:Marketing (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 5 years ago | (#24594479)

I don't want to put you on the spot, but you can blame Miguel for this:

* There's a difference between Suse and openSuSe. Having to pay for it is crappy.
* Ubuntu has ntfs-3g as well, for quite some time (maybe a bit too long, I donno)
* Ubuntu has wubi, which will install directly to your Windows partition and set up dual boot. That said, this is like competing on which bike comes with better training wheels.
* Debconf is great, has a number of frontends, and doesn't need to push patches into linuxwacom etc. I haven't used Yast much, but my general opinion is that if I have to configure something, there's a bug somewhere. Which is why Ubuntu installs debconf to "Default".

The real test of SUSE's new package management is going to be upgrades. Can I upgrade from 10 to 11 or from 11 to 12?

Re:Marketing (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24594645)

The real test of SUSE's new package management is going to be upgrades. Can I upgrade from 10 to 11 or from 11 to 12?

Well, upgrading from 10 to 11 can be done, but isn't necessarily easy because the RPM structure changed significantly (for the better). Going from 11 to 11.1, or to 12 shouldn't present the same problems.

but my general opinion is that if I have to configure something, there's a bug somewhere

You so nicely cemented what I was saying about Ubuntu. There is an audience for it, and that audience is very happy living with defaults.

Re:Marketing (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 5 years ago | (#24594697)

I'm not asking for immutable defaults, simply sane ones that don't ask me questions on dist-upgrade. When I want to change something, I'm glad I can. When I don't have to, I'm also glad ;)

Re:Marketing (1)

armanox (826486) | more than 5 years ago | (#24595207)

And Slackware (since the 90's) could install on a DOS based system and boot by typing loadlin.exe from the DOS prompt (DOS Mode for Win9x required though)

On a side note, does anyone remember linuxconf that used to handle virtually all configurations?

Re:Marketing (1)

Cato (8296) | more than 5 years ago | (#24595267)

Wubi is great - it recently let me install Ubuntu on a friend's PC to give him an option for secure web browsing (he doesn't want to do online banking on a Windows setup that has had lots of viruses). In fact, I just left Wubi running while we left the house, having kicked off the first screen - when he came back Ubuntu was working fine. Since Wubi only touches c:\boot.ini, not the boot sector, this is quite a low risk thing to do, unlike most Linux installs. Wubi still has some bugs that prevent it working on a couple of PCs I tried it on, but the concept and implementation is very good.

Re:Marketing (1)

Cato (8296) | more than 5 years ago | (#24595251)

The only distros I won't use are those from vendors who have signed patent deals with Microsoft. I don't see why I should help Microsoft make money from Linux, and there are plenty of other distros to choose from if you don't like Ubuntu - for example, I believe PCLinuxOS and Mandriva are also good for desktop users.

Personally I use Ubuntu everywhere that I can and am about to try Ubuntulite on a 96 MB Pentium 233 laptop, where it should work pretty well - it uses LXDE and has low resource requirements, yet you can do "apt-get safe-upgrade" to get security updates on all packages, most of them from the Ubuntu repositories.

Re:Marketing (1)

Steve Max (1235710) | more than 5 years ago | (#24599025)

Actually, in my experience the package management in OpenSuse 11 has been much faster than in Ubuntu. Haven't had problems either, at least since the end of the beta (when the update-checker always reported a lock on the database and was unable to do anything). Now, unlike Ubuntu (or at least Kubuntu), the update-checker actually updates the local repositories and you don't have to re-check them when upgrading your system; it even runs the upgrade itself, resting on the system tray. People who complain about Suse's package management should definitely give 11.0 a try.

gOS.... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591483)

gOS has a place, much like Puppy Linux, DSL, etc. But gOS is heading to as much proprietary-ness as you can get with Free Software. Compare the gOS homepage with Ubuntu's, http://www.thinkgos.com/new/ [thinkgos.com] and http://www.ubuntu.com/ [ubuntu.com] . gOS has no obvious place for developer participation on the home page, while Ubuntu clearly advertises it. The main page for gOS nowhere mentions Ubuntu or even Debain, heck, Linux isn't even mentioned! The main page for Ubuntu clearly states that it is A) Linux and B) made from Debian, as of now it even has a banner celebrating Debian.

Re:gOS.... (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591597)

Maybe that is a good thing? Maybe non-techies don't need to know it is linux. Really for Linux to win they just need to know it isn't Windows.

Re:gOS.... (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591825)

Really for Linux to win they just need to know it isn't Windows.

It might actually be in linux's favor if users don't even know that.

Re:gOS.... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591989)

It might actually be in linux's favor if users don't even know that.

Ok, but search for gOS tutorials online and you won't find very many. Search for Ubuntu and you will find a ton (and most work for gOS), search for Linux tutorials and you will find more than you ever could need. If someone can't get something working in gOS, chances are someone on the super-active Ubuntu forums has had the same issue and fixed it, but the typical user finding nothing on the home page that said it was even Linux would not even think of searching Ubuntu's site.

Walk into any book store and you will find a few books and magazines about Linux, Debian and Ubuntu, but no gOS books, so the gOS user who doesn't know that it is Linux, Debian and Ubuntu has no print documentation (and an awesome Wiki doesn't help you if you can't connect to your network).

Buy a different computer that has Linux installed and the typical user will think they have to learn everything again, rather than just (if it is Ubuntu) installing a gOS metapackage (they used to have it at least...) and getting the familiar look of gOS back.

Try to get tech support and the guy will look at you blankly if your OS is gOS, but if you say it is Linux they will be more likely to do something for you.

It may help adoption, but it isn't good in the long run for the user.

Re:gOS.... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591827)

Ok, think of it this way. The non-geek wants to know more about the OS they use. Now had it been branded as Linux, Ubuntu or even Debian they could find a multitude of books. But since it is gOS they find nothing and think of it more as a "toy" OS.

Re:gOS.... (2, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591745)

The main page for gOS nowhere mentions Ubuntu or even Debain, heck, Linux isn't even mentioned! The main page for Ubuntu clearly states that it is A) Linux and B) made from Debian, as of now it even has a banner celebrating Debian.

You mean like Apple's homepage talks about Darwin and BSD, or Microsoft's homepage talks about NTOSKRNL? Or Motorola sells its linux phones [motorola.com] with strong LiMo branding? (game: count the number of times the work 'Microsoft' appears on that page)

Ubuntu may garner some geek cred there, but it's not going to be helpful with their marketing to the Windows user base. Linux has a bad reputation for ease of use. gOS users can find out they're using Linux after they've been happy with it for a while.

How gOS behaves towards the community is an entirely different matter, and I don't know anything about that.

Re:gOS.... (3, Informative)

Narpak (961733) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591993)

Though if you press the "gOS" button at the top bar you come to http://thinkgos.com/new/gos.php [thinkgos.com] which states:

gOS 3 Gadgets BETA is based on the solid Linux distribution base of Ubuntu 8.04.1.

and also

Designed for NetBooks & NetTops

Re:gOS.... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24592065)

Yes, if that was the main page, a lot of my complaints would disappear, but the fact remains that it isn't the main page and most people think that that button goes back to the main page.

Re:gOS.... (1)

Narpak (961733) | more than 5 years ago | (#24592317)

If you press the big Picture link in the middle of the main page you come to the gOS page I linked; which is the main download page. Big black letters "Linux for the rest of us".

Not mentioning Linux on their Intro Page seems like a pretty insignificant downside to their OS. And I reckon everyone actively thinking of installing a new OS should and would do the necessary research to at least know what it is they are installing.

Regarding the article itself: Seeing as gOS openly announces it is Designed for NetBooks (and based upon Ubuntu) talking about it being a rival for Ubuntu is a tad off target. At least so it would appear to me.

Sounds shit. Why bother? (1)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591525)

The article concludes that you should try it out, but why bother? It sounds shit, and I don't have the time to fuck around with a shitty distro focused on Google crap that I don't even use.

It sounds half put together (take the dock, which just relaunches programs rather then displays already running programs), the problems with Compiz, and to quote the article:

In summing-up on a practical level, Iâ(TM)d say that if gOS has a fault itâ(TM)s that itâ(TM)s a little rough-and-ready. It feels clumsy. Some of this might be down to the beta status of the release I looked at, but I donâ(TM)t think that explains all of it. Thereâ(TM)s a feeling of disparate things being thrown together (a disease that has blighted many up-and-coming Linux distros).

Basically, for anyone who is even a little bit knowledgeable about Ubuntu, they could put together something like this themselves (apt-get install is such a cliche, but you know why it is? because it is true), and it would be tailored to them.

Oh yeah, and the review didn't mention a word processor besides the Google Docs (which the reviewer could get to work off line in any case), I'll be sure not to load this distro up for the next twenty four hour plane ride I take (about one or two ever year recently).

Re:Sounds shit. Why bother? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591783)

It sounds half put together (take the dock, which just relaunches programs rather then displays already running programs)

It's just Avant, a poor clone of the OS X dock. It is in beta and nowhere ready for production use in my opinion. You'd think they could at least wait till it worked before adding it to their product.

Oh yeah, and the review didn't mention a word processor besides the Google Docs (which the reviewer could get to work off line in any case), I'll be sure not to load this distro up for the next twenty four hour plane ride I take (about one or two ever year recently).

From the article, "OpenOffice Writer, Calc and Impress". Also three colored OpenOffice icons are shown in the dock in the screenshots.

Re:Sounds shit. Why bother? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#24592521)

My mistake, they replaced Avaunt in this version with some other dock clone, which, reportedly, does not require Compiz, but has even more functionality problems.

Re:Sounds shit. Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24596673)

Actually, the dock is provided by wbar, not Avant. Earlier releases of gOS experimented with Avant but (I think) it only works if desktop effects are enabled. wbar has the advantage of running on really crappy hardware, even VMWare's SVGA adapter, for instance.

Re:Sounds shit. Why bother? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591887)

As much as I agree with you (after installing and playing around with gOS before) there are a few things wrong

Oh yeah, and the review didn't mention a word processor besides the Google Docs (which the reviewer could get to work off line in any case), I'll be sure not to load this distro up for the next twenty four hour plane ride I take (about one or two ever year recently).

But apt-get install is easy to install things that it doesn't have included. The same complaint would be relevant to MS because Windows doesn't have a word processor either.

Re:Sounds shit. Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24592435)

Avant has always listed running apps for me and avoided relaunching. Avant also requires a composited desktop, which I'm pretty sure isn't included by default in gOS. More likely, it's a slightly tweaked panel.

Blogspam? (4, Insightful)

HeavensBlade23 (946140) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591545)

Is this blogspam? Such a sensational summary for an article that basically says 'Meh, I guess it's kinda cool'

What's the point (1)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 5 years ago | (#24591895)

It looks like they've designed a version of linux to run web apps, which are by their design, supposed to work on virtually every existing PC with a browser already, seems kinda pointless- they've just added widgets, which could have been a single application. Just for reference of how well ubuntu can be adapted, have a look at mint- much more user friendly (for customizations), that's where I'd go for an ubuntu-like distro.

Re:What's the point (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24592023)

Well, basically it was made to run on the gPC that Wal-Mart sold for $200, so a lot of the stuff was chosen to make up for low RAM and a slow CPU, and a web app sure loads a lot faster than OOo. Plus the WM is light to help combat slowdowns.

Re:What's the point (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#24592089)

...and a web app sure loads a lot faster than OOo.

Except, it comes with OO too.

Twice nothing is still nothing (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#24592175)

This is the state of OEM gOS at Walmart.com: Everex TC2502 Green gPC w/ Via C7-D Processor [walmart.com]
.

The $150 clearance special, in store only.

"Step up to the Everex Vista Basic system with 1 GB RAM for only $68 more."

In the states - the OEM Linux system with bottom-feeder specs and the shelf life of a housefly remains the reality in big box retail.

Re:Twice nothing is still nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24592379)

ummmm no, the $68 is for a 2 yr service agreement, the vista 1gb version is $278

Re:Twice nothing is still nothing (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#24594057)

ummmm no, the $68 is for a 2 yr service agreement, the vista 1gb version is $278
.

You're quite right, of course.

But that is just rubbing salt into the wound.

gOS...meh... (1)

certain death (947081) | more than 5 years ago | (#24593143)

I think the latest version of gOS looks a lot like an updated version of Microsoft BOB, or whatever Packard Bell called their stinker version of it. Way too cluttered with crap on the desktop and none of it is really all that interesting.

Why leave Ubuntu? (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 5 years ago | (#24593275)

For many a lot of traction OSs get is because they are looking for something better. I don't know about many of you but so far there hasn't been anything compelling my to go past Ubuntu, it just works, is well updated and the community is great. Then again same goes for KDE 3.x for me right now.

What got me to Ubuntu was dissatisfaction with one element or another form different distributions, like package management, hardware support, proprietary can rattling, etc.

What could gOS do? Look at what people want that Ubuntu doesn't provide, some I can think of:

Pre-installed codecs and multi-media support (can never get web page MIDIs to play right since leaving SuSE.

pre-installed hardware support (especially all those wifi cards that need ndiswrapper)

Apps others don't have (Printshop/Printmaster like app for Liunx?)

Pre-installed Wine (I wouldn't use it but a lot of Windows converts would be tempted, if programs 'just installed and ran').
ry (Envy and xfree reconfigure are great but you have to remember the shell command to activate maybe add a 'fixme' script that can make the process painless.)

Printer drivers that are consistent (gutenprint is nice, till your try to print a #10 envelope on a Laserjet)

Better (brainless/painless) disk repartitioning and setup (around Dapper the partitioner for Ubuntu got tougher).

More pre-installed backgrounds, screen savers, clip art, and OOo templates, system sounds, etc. (doesn't sound like much but such things go a long way to a 'user')

A good multimedia, graphics, Office suite of pre-configured on initial install (choosing between Kaffiene, Amarok, Xine, etc. turns many users off.)

Not thinking/saying Gnome is like Mac OS, which it really isn't.

e17 (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 5 years ago | (#24593359)

I was intrigued when they first started selling the green PCs, because gOS [wikipedia.org] was running e17 [enlightenment.org] . I thought that was pretty cool since that was the first distro. I knew of besides e-live that was based on e17. Since they've switched to gnome they've lost some of that uniqueness and I haven't kept up. I still think it's pretty cool that everex selling their PCs with gOS on it at a major retailer (walmart) though.

Different Default Linux Software! So what? (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 5 years ago | (#24595297)

If those are the programs you want installed on your computers by default, by all means use this distro, and I'm not completely knocking distros here because they do provide this easy pre-installed software bundle feature, but I think they should be put on the backburner.

Computer users just want to use the programs they like. Focus should be on new and great Linux software and on improving it, not on some group who packaged certain software together. You like the "dock" program they are using? Cool, show it off. You like that Linux is coming pre-installed on a computer? Great. But, having an entire article about a particular bundle of Linux software? Just seems like something that should be much more unimportant to me.

Linux users need to turn away from caring about software distro packages and turn to caring about Linux *software* itself. Sure, Canonical does some development work, but it's those software projects and all the upstream software projects that they bundle up that should get the attention, not the bundle itself. The bundle is just a software delivery medium, one that is not and should not be needed but only provided for convenience.
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