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Living Free With Linux, Round 2

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the once-you-go-apt dept.

Operating Systems 936

bsk_cw writes "About a month ago, in Living free with Linux: 2 weeks without Windows, Preston Gralla wrote about what life was like for a long-time Windows user trying to live with Linux. His main problems came when he tried to install or update software. Loads of people responded with advice — so he went back and tried again. Here's what he learned, and what did and didn't work for him."

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Linux isn't ready for the desktop (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136429)

TRON FANZINES!!!

Re:Linux isn't ready for the desktop (0, Flamebait)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136501)

Neither are you.

Re:Linux isn't ready for the desktop (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136577)

Yo mama so dumb, she threw a rock at the ground and missed. She also took an hour to make minute rice.

Re:Linux isn't ready for the desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27137201)

She also took an hour to make minute rice.

I never heard that one. Thanks.

Lol (5, Funny)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136573)

(I won't cover apt in this piece, because it's simply too confusing for newbies; even many experienced Linux experts stay away from it.)

Lol wat?

apt-cache search

apt-get install

Yup, my head just exploded from the complexity.

Re:Lol (3, Funny)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136609)

Heck, that's the advanced version. You can even just 'apt-get search'.

He also doesn't get that the command line utility is the -same thing-. Ugh.

Well, if he's trying to review from a 'clueless user' perspective, he's certainly on track.

Re:Lol (4, Insightful)

cromar (1103585) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136843)

Well, if he's trying to review from a 'clueless user' perspective, he's certainly on track.

That's exactly what Linux needs. The only way to get respect is through an easy to use UI, which is what the "clueless users" need who, you know, drive the market for desktops. If Linux was easier to use and free/cheap (as in beer), it wouldn't take long for it to be adopted. It just isn't there yet. And the only way to get there is to listen to these "clueless users."

Re:Lol (5, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136873)

"That's exactly what Linux needs."

I disagree. What it needs is people who can write for clueless users. NOT people who are actually totally clueless writing about it.

We seem to have the latter here.

Re:Lol (5, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137145)

But not everyone WANTS to learn how to use apt. Most people want to turn it on, click an icon, and have something install. Not have to add a repository, update the package listings, install it, etc.

Writing for a clueless user and telling them how to do that only works for non-lazy clueless users. Which are somewhat rare. Most clueless people are clueless from laziness.

Re:Lol (2, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137445)

I'm not saying he should have gone into detail about how apt works and how to use it, I'm just saying that his assessment of it is a bit off.

By all means leave it out and tell the clueless users how to use the GUI, I just didn't think his comment on apt was useful, and it was kinda funny.

Re:Lol (2, Interesting)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137573)

I would agree with that, then. Actually, I found the comment "...even for command-line veterans like myself" kinda funny, too. I don't consider *myself* a command-line veteran (I'm very comfortable with it, but "veteran," to me, implies about 10 years of using it ... I've only used Linux for about 6 or 7 so I can't quite claim veteran status =P) but I found apt to be pretty easy.

Re:Lol (4, Funny)

livewire98801 (916940) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137781)

He probably means 'command line' not 'linux command line'. He's been using the DOS command line for a long time, but he's implying that the Linux command line is different.

He's right. . . 'ls' never has worked on the Windows machines I work on, no matter how often I try :)

Don't be afraid of the loud whoosing sound. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27137349)

It's just the GP's point going over your head.

Image (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27137075)

That's exactly what Linux needs. The only way to get respect is through an easy to use UI, which is what the "clueless users" need who, you know, drive the market for desktops. If Linux was easier to use and free/cheap (as in beer), it wouldn't take long for it to be adopted. It just isn't there yet. And the only way to get there is to listen to these "clueless users."

At the time of my writing this, the above quote, which is actually quite insightful, was modded as flamebait. The modding encapsulates quite succinctly why the Linux community is seen as a collection of misfits, malcontents, and jackasses (which, by and large it is not - it is a community of good and caring people). It only takes the childish actions of a few to get Linux tarred with that brush. It's a shame really.

Re:Lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27137647)

There already is an operating system for clueless people. Linux has always been for people, who have a clue. I really hope, it stays this way.

Re:Lol (4, Informative)

Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137691)

There already is an easy to use UI for apt that's been around for years. It's called Synaptic.

Re:Lol (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27137051)

blah@blah:~$ apt-get search test
E: Invalid operation search

Re:Lol (2, Insightful)

Niris (1443675) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137247)

I just switched over to Linux a month ago, and apt-get was the first thing I learned . There's enough out there explaining how to use it pretty damn simply, and I love the little bugger. That's the biggest hurdle for Linux though, Windows users are too use to "it doesn't need a CD and a key? LOLWUT"

Re:Lol (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137441)

Well, if he's trying to review from a 'clueless user' perspective, he's certainly on track.

You don't get it, do you?

Adding a user through GST's "Users and Groups" is also the same thing as editing /etc/passwd, /etc/group and /etc/shadow. Guess which one a newbie end-user migrating from Windows is going to understand?

Vim and Gedit also do the same thing (more or less). Guess which editor newbies have an easier time understanding?

In fact, Brasero and cdrtools do the same thing. Brasero even calls cdrtools to do it's thing. How many newbie users migrating from windows are going to type 'man cdrecord'?

Big hint: if the answer to all of these questions is not obvious to you, my friend, then you are decidedly not helping 2009 -- or any other year -- be the Year of Linux on the Desktop.

Re:Lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136709)

Don't know about ubuntu, but since debian lenny 'aptitude' is the preferred tool to upgrade your system.

Re:Lol (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137133)

With "intrepid", apt-get is supposedly just as good as aptitude. Before that, I've heard that you're totally right.

Re:Lol (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136745)

You know what's really funny? People used to balk at package managers, yet now everybody is scrambling to use these "App Stores" that are weak versions of the exact same thing. I could have told you that the Apple App Store would be easy to use because the jailbroken installers were easy to use. And I could have told you those would be easy to use because they're based on apt.

As a Linux user for 12 years, I would like to congratulate the rest of the computer world on discovering the convenience of package management systems. Just one suggestion though. You can't put all software in a package management system, so please don't go giving up the ability to install software in other ways. You'll regret it someday if you do.

Re:Lol (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137681)

If Microsoft did that (package management system for "certified" 3rd party software), there'll be lots of people screaming "monopoly".

It's one of the ways they could reduce the number of users downloading and installing malware.

It's not like they can't do it technically - they do something like this for Windows Update already.

Re:Lol (3, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137725)

Just one suggestion though. You can't put all software in a package management system, so please don't go giving up the ability to install software in other ways. You'll regret it someday if you do.

Not one repository, but I don't see why you couldn't have one package management system. Having to deal with the kazillions of different auto-updaters on windows is quite frankly annoying, I wish they'd just register with some apt-get like utility for updates. I've got several repos where I'm only pulling a single applicatino like WINE, and payware could be exactly the same with a little license key management on top. Except they'd probably roll it into some sort of horrible DRM nightmare instead of a convienient update center.

Re:Lol (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136757)

Yeah, pretty bizarre that a two word command causes so much vexation. Most people can handle a command line interface to, for instance, their dog. "Rover, fetch" "Rover, sit" etc. Is "apt-get install" really that much different?

Re:Lol (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137187)

I think you invented some aliases for the usage of apt-get. I suggest that somebody build some packages that support this(even if it is for some simple laughs)

Re:Lol (5, Insightful)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137197)

Except that a better comparison is if you named your dog "Farciot-Shake", "Sadi-RollOver", "Satyendra-Heel", or, in general, some combination of a name completely outside of your native culture and a verb which sounds like a command you've already given the dog.

(note: obviously, I'm assuming an American English culture; substitute names alien to your culture to fill in the gaps if need be)

Forget Debian/Ubuntu/etc. Then, ask yourself what an "apt" is. And why it has anything to do with installing programs. Then, still remembering that you're forgetting you know Debian/Ubuntu, ask why you need "install" at the end of "apt-get", which sounds like you're already asking the system to get the program you're asking for. Non-geeks don't care about the difference between "get" and "install", and the redundancy throws a wrench in their understanding.

Same goes with "yum" (same situation as apt, minus the redundant verb). Same with "emerge" (which is on a system with far more baffling points for a non-geek). Same with "ports" or "portmanager" (while "manager" helps, the "ports" part of it can cause non-BSD geeks to puzzle over the new meaning). It's the sometimes strange, it-made-sense-at-the-time command line names that, at times, drive the laypersons away from the command line.

"apt-get install" - WTF? (4, Insightful)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137203)

Is "apt-get install" really that much different?

Yes, it is. "Rover, sit" works because "Rover" is the name of the dog, "sit" is a common English word, and the command pattern has been drilled into us since childhood. "apt-get install" - WTF is that to someone new to Linux? What's "apt" (I'd expect "app" at least)? Why the hyphenated "-get"? If I'm saying "get" the application, why do I have to include the redundant "install"? Heck, I'm a long-time hardcore geek and _still_ have to look it up every time; it's just not intuitive to someone who either is new to the concept of operating systems, nor to those who have to deal with a half-dozen or more OSes on a regular basis.

The App Store model, cheezy as it may be, works precisely because it's easy to find, easy to run, and easy to find & install applications. Linux doesn't have it yet. Having to spend hours Googling for what apps depend on what other apps, and how to install each of them in their own peculiar way, is largely what keeps Linux sidelined for now. At least with Windows I just stick in an installation CD for an application, or click on "install" on a distribution web page, and the install process just starts; with my iPod I just tap AppStore, find the app, and hit "install"; but with Linux I'm not even sure what the name of the application is, much less the precise command needed to install it.

Re:"apt-get install" - WTF? (2, Informative)

Shining Celebi (853093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137493)

The App Store model, cheezy as it may be, works precisely because it's easy to find, easy to run, and easy to find & install applications. Linux doesn't have it yet. Having to spend hours Googling for what apps depend on what other apps, and how to install each of them in their own peculiar way, is largely what keeps Linux sidelined for now.

I am pretty sure that all modern Linux distributions come with a full-blown GUI frontend for their package management system that handles all of that for you. Here's how I install Application X on Ubuntu -- I go to Add/Remove Programs, scroll through the categories or search for Application X, select it, and click "install." Done. The problems you're talking about don't exist anymore.

Re:"apt-get install" - WTF? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137617)

What if it's not in your current repositories?

Re:"apt-get install" - WTF? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137567)

Umm, you have to look it up *every* time and you consider yourself a hardcore geek?

Seriously?

I'm not disputing that the GUI is the right way to teach newbs, but you're no hardcore geek if you can't remember apt-get install "package"

Re:"apt-get install" - WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27137625)

assuming that you've been in a coma for quite a while i'm here to introduce a technology that might be new to you. it's called mintInstall. you just head your browser on over to the mint software portal, click a catagory, click the program, and mintInstall will download the program for you. or, if you don't have mint, you can just head over to getdeb and install software with gdebi. best yet, IMO, is to just use synaptic. no worries about dependencies or anything (although you shouldn't have any trouble with dependencies on any of my other suggestions either)

Again, WTF? (4, Insightful)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137813)

Exactly. Every time I dig into the Linux-software-install problem, the answers are always "oh, it's easy, just do X and Y and Z and P and D and Q - no problem!" Never mind that it works most of the time (what of the rest?), and there's a dozen other comparable posts that say something different and also may or may not work. I shouldn't have to elicit an obtuse answer from some unknown guy by posting a somewhat trollish message on /. - the answer should be right there on the desktop. Even the "just click on Install Programs for Ubuntu" comments come with "but when (not if) that doesn't work, use this non-intuitive command..." disclaimers.

This is why people buy Macs: it's pervasively designed for simplicity & intuition, not presumption of knowledge of cryptic commands. Would someone kindly explain why it's "apt-get" instead of "app-get"? what's with the 't'?

Re:Lol (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137651)

"Fetch" and "Sit" are commands that the user intuitively understands, and might even guess at if he wasn't already familiar with them.

"Apt-get install" is not.

Re:Lol (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137701)

Great, but what if Rover fucks up fetching? How do you fix that? Or what if the stick isn't in your repository? And the code doesn't compile right and the error messages don't give you a clue as to what the problem is?

I quit my linux expirament and switched to Mac. Couldn't be happier.

Re:Lol Woof Woof (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27137739)

except YOU are the dog, not the penguin.

same beef here, could use some better automation
for the process, but the security is MUCH better
in Linux updates.

Re:Lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136797)

(I won't cover apt in this piece, because it's simply too confusing for newbies; even many experienced Linux experts stay away from it.)

I guess that means no...

emerge apachee

emerge --update world

When I was new to Linux I found apt-get and emerge to be very helpful... who says stay away from it?

Re:Lol (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136809)

I'm an Ubuntu user, since Apr 07, and I couldn't tell you what exactly apt is. I know how to do stuff like sudo apt-get update though, and I know it downloads updates. It's not rocket science, even for a non-techie noob user like myself.

apt-get update (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27137489)

Actually, apt-get update just updates your database of available packages. To upgrade, you use apt-get upgrade.

Re:Lol (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137703)

I know how to do stuff like sudo apt-get update though, and I know it downloads updates.

Not quite. That command will update your computer's local index of available packages. To actually download the updates you'd have to use apt-get -d upgrade . The -d means it'll download the updates. Strip the -d to download AND install them.

Re:Lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136887)

Configuration

First, to configure your system, you need to setup your sources.list file which is located in /etc/apt/sources.list . This file contains the information that apt looks for when attempting to install a package. Sources can include a cdrom, ftp, http, nfs, etc. One of the benefits of Debian is that you do not need a cd to install or maintain a system, you can configure it to work totally from the internet. The following is an example sources.list file for the main stable distribution:
Note: Editing apt-get config files as well as issuing apt-get commands must be done as root or with sudo.
# /etc/sources.list - APT repositories
#
deb ftp://ftp.us.debian.org/debian stable main contrib non-free
deb-src ftp://ftp.us.debian.org/debian stable main contrib non-free

# The following line is for security updates released by Debian
deb http://security.debian.org/ stable/updates main
You can add any repository that you like, a good list of third-party sources is available on http://www.apt-get.org.
Syncking with Repository

After saving your sources.list file, we first want to update our local database so that it's in sync with Debian's sources:
apt-get update
The output will show apt-get downloading the information from Debian's servers and then syncking its own database. Your output should look something like this:

linuxhelp.net:~# apt-get update
Get:1 ftp://ftp.debian.org testing/main Packages [3245kB]
Get:2 http://security.debian.org stable/updates/main Packages [220kB]
Get:3 http://security.debian.org stable/updates/main Release [110B]
Get:4 ftp://ftp.debian.org testing/main Release [81B]
Get:5 ftp://ftp.debian.org testing/main Sources [1280kB]
Get:6 ftp://ftp.debian.org testing/main Release [83B]
Fetched 4744kB in 2m40s (29.5kB/s)
Reading Package Lists... Done
linuxhelp.net:~#
Package Installation

From here we can install any piece of software available on the Debian servers with a simple, one-line command. For example, if we wanted to install Mozilla Firefox, you would issue the following command:
linuxhelp.net:~# apt-get install mozilla-firefox
From here, apt will look at its database and see if the package is available. If it is, it then checks to see what mozilla-firefox depends on, then queues those dependencies to download along with the package. Here is the output when I attempted this on my Debian system:
linuxhelp.net:~# apt-get install mozilla-firefox
Reading Package Lists... Done
Building Dependency Tree... Done
The following extra packages will be installed:
    libatk1.0-0 libgtk2.0-0 libgtk2.0-bin libgtk2.0-common libidl0 libpango1.0-0
    libpango1.0-common libxcursor1 libxft2
Suggested packages:
    ttf-kochi-gothic ttf-kochi-mincho ttf-thryomanes ttf-baekmuk
    ttf-arphic-gbsn00lp ttf-arphic-bsmi00lp ttf-arphic-gkai00mp
    ttf-arphic-bkai00mp mozilla-firefox-gnome-support latex-xft-fonts
    xprt-xprintorg
Recommended packages:
    libatk1.0-data x-ttcidfont-conf
The following NEW packages will be installed:
    libatk1.0-0 libgtk2.0-0 libgtk2.0-bin libgtk2.0-common libidl0 libpango1.0-0
    libpango1.0-common libxcursor1 libxft2 mozilla-firefox
0 upgraded, 10 newly installed, 0 to remove and 7 not upgraded.
Need to get 14.9MB of archives.
After unpacking 43.1MB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n]

Re:Lol (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27137049)

Huh? /etc/apt/sources.list is configured during the installation routine in Debian, and all Debian descendants. A user doesn't need look at it at all unless he needs something way outside of normal usage, and by then that user normally has enough computer experience to be able to edit a text file.

There are so many help forums on the net that it's almost impossible to miss them if you have even average research skills.

Re:Lol (2, Informative)

Saffaya (702234) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136909)

I think the article author meant the complexity involved IF a problem arises when using apt-get install.
A beginner user wouldn't know how to troubleshoot it.

Re:Lol (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137021)

A beginner also doesn't know what to do when setup.exe pops up a dialog box saying 'Installshield Error: -51'. Actually, most advanced users don't either, come to think of it.

Re:Lol (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137635)

I've never seen a negative error number. I wouldn't know how to troubleshoot that either, hehe.. :)

Re:Lol (2, Informative)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137045)

However, for most people, they are used to popping in a disc or double clicking an icon that says "install". That's it. Believe me, the fact that one drags and drops most applications on a Mac boggles people minds. That's why I think we've seen more applications come with installers on OSX even if all the installer does is just copy the .app to the application directory.

Now there are GUI front ends to APT or Ports (if you're a BSD user like myself), and dare I say I find the command line easier for such tasks. One of the reasons I favored BSD over Linux back in the day was the fact I could go /usr/ports/whatever make install clean and then go grab a cup a coffee or watch TV while it fetched the needed packages and dependancies, compiled and it worked.

And when it fails? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27137461)

Search newsgroups for why. Find out you must upgrade to .NET 3.0, yada yada yada.

If there IS a workaround.

Real noob friendly.

Re:Lol (1)

ahoehn (301327) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137125)

"even many experienced Linux experts stay away from it" is ridiculous, but the principle of not requiring apt-get - or anything else that requires opening a terminal - from "teh newbz" is totally valid.

I think - like me - most new Linux users will initially revile and fear the terminal, then eventually discover that it's the easiest and quickest way to accomplish certain tasks, like Apt-Get.

Re:Lol (don't laugh so hard) (2, Insightful)

nwanua (70972) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137175)

I consider myself well versed at the techie stuff (EE & CS major, unix user since '94, non-public Linux kernel hacker for ppc). Personally, I use LFS (yes, I compile/bootstrap everything and put it in its own place, _myself_), but I agree that apt-get is a pain in the ass. I appreciate all the effort that's gone into package management, but I can't say that it is trivial to install/upgrade a package using this command.

Problems include:
- hunting down all the (often non-obvious) package names
- dependencies
- integrity checks
- conflicts with other (new, old, default, broken) packages

Automated system installation is a tough nut to crack, considering the millions of packages out there, and apt-get has come a long way towards solving it... but it's still not where it should be in terms of ease. If we can accept that, then we can continue to improve the situation, not snigger at "clueless newbies."

Re:Lol (don't laugh so hard) (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137621)

Package names I'll give you, though that's what apt-cache search is for. but dependencies and integrity checks are just part of how it works.

Likewise updates/upgrades.

I don't think it's a pain in the arse at all. OTOH I agree that newbs + GUI is a good teaching combination.

Re:Lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27137303)

It's amusing that he is using apt. All the programs he mentioned are just frontends for it...

me too! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136595)

I remember when I switched from windows to linux. I dual booted for a while but that turned into a crutch, so I wiped my windows XP partition and went 100% penguin. It was a little difficult at first, but I learned to ignore the stench and filth of not bathing. I still feel oout of place at the linux circle jerks and suck 'n' fucks, but this is who I am now. Goodbye windows and good riddance!

People don't run OSes, they run applications (4, Insightful)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136615)

People don't run OSes, they run the applications the OS runs on. It will probably be the case this guy doesn't WANT to change from Photoshop to Gimp, from IE to FireFox, from AIM to Pidgin, to run Wine for WoW. The list goes on.

Re:People don't run OSes, they run applications (5, Informative)

Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136715)

It will probably be the case this guy doesn't WANT to change from Photoshop to Gimp, from IE to FireFox, from AIM to Pidgin, to run Wine for WoW.

No need to do so, just use CrossOver Linux and CrossOver Games.

Re:People don't run OSes, they run applications (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136939)

Even if savvy users are aware of alternatives, many will still dual-boot or use a dedicated machine to run games and other pirated^W "niche" software which won't run reliably or at all on Wine.

Re:People don't run OSes, they run applications (1)

BitwiseX (300405) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137275)

time to dig the Karma hole a little deeper...

to run Wine for WoW

I'm not sure why he would want to run it from Windows..

Re:People don't run OSes, they run applications (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137525)

this guy doesn't WANT to change from Photoshop to Gimp, from IE to FireFox, from AIM to Pidgin, to run Wine for WoW. The list goes on.

Please do go on. I have to say that apart from the WINE situation those examples are purely down to personal preference. Don't try to tell me that nobody on Windows prefers GIMP and Firefox to Photoshop and IE, because I was happily using them on Windows for years. I could also run Windows Messenger on WINE if I wanted to, but I don't like having ads in my face all the time, and I'd prefer to not rely on the Windows API for anything.

My list of must haves... (0)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136657)

Linux unfortunately is missing some big important things that do not run under wine...

AnyDVD-HD -- gotta have that one to make the media center more useful I dont give a rats arse about copyright. I want 720pHD content in my own on demand system. and I'll rip my disks for my use and tell everyone else to go stuff it.

video editing software. Honestly Linux video editing software is utter garbage. Cinerella is a joke compared to final Cut and is not as usable as a 10 year old version of Premiere 4.0 It's not an itch that anyone wants to scratch so I understand.

All my vertical app programming apps. the Crestron, Vantage, Speakercraft and other suites of apps for programming high end whole house AV and automation are windows only and do not run under Wine worth a darn. Yes I can use VMware and an W2K install.

Decent accounting software. No I dont mean anything like the fake accounting software called quickbooks. I mean real accounting software. Everything linux based is designed for Point of sale and not a service industry, plus they are incredibly out of date. The last time I looked for Linux accounting apps the one canadian company that made a decent app sent me their demo that I saw back in 2004..

Aside from that I can do my day to day with linux only. Oo.o is very useable and works great. my symbian phone syncs with my linux apps well via google sync (better than any wired or bluetooth sync!) My wife before she went back to college did all her day to day stuff on a linux laptop and hated the first month back dual booting windows because of school requirements. she still mentions that she cant wait to completely ditch windows again.

Re:My list of must haves... (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136845)

AnyDVD-HD -- gotta have that one to make the media center more useful

Well, ubuntu Linux can play/rip HD-DVD and possibly some blu-ray disks, but you're right, There isn't a full FOSS app that's works perfectly yet.

I dont give a rats arse about copyright. I want 720pHD content in my own on demand system. and I'll rip my disks for my use and tell everyone else to go stuff it.

Actually, you're perfectly within your rights as a consumer of copyrighted works to do that. The fact that there are technological measures in place to stop it disgusts me.

Re:My list of must haves... (2, Funny)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137819)

All I want is Microsoft Visual Studio 2008. Is that heresy for a hardcore Linux user to say? Perhaps.

But as Ballmer would say: developers, developers, developers!

Once you woo the developers, you get the applications you want.

Lol, ubuntu users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136663)

I remember back when I used to hang around ubuntuforums, there was this guy who always said "I often try to install software from the command prompt, but I've failed each time."

One size fits all (5, Insightful)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136685)

I find these reviews of "converting to linux" a bit pointless really; they're only ever one persons' perspective on what a conversion is, of which I often find I can't relate to much of what they go through.

I'd suggest if someone wants to do a "Linux conversion log" type write-up, they consider a target audience. In particular, i'd like to see:

- The web-user; email, web, and IM (99% of reviews fall into this category)
- The business user; Exchange, blackberry, important Office data (spreadsheet, word), Wifi, power-saving management, enterprise facilities
- The multimedia user: MP3, iPod sync, games, DVD, video editing.

That in my opinion makes up most computer users, and in particular most MacOS/Windows users...the target audience. Take a person from each category and see how they survive 2 weeks on Linux; that I'd be truly interested in.

Re:One size fits all (3, Insightful)

Corson (746347) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136945)

And don't forget "speciality software" users:

- mechanical/electronic design engineers: AutoCAD, Inventor, OrCAD.
- artists/game developers: Photoshop, Maya, 3ds max.
- molecular biologists: DNA Strider, Vector NTI, Pathway Studio.
End-users choose a platform mostly for the availability of the software they can run on it.

Re:One size fits all (1, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137289)

The web-user; email, web, and IM (99% of reviews fall into this category)

No. The 'web user' is a myth. Most 'web users' use those apps most of the time, but the vast majority uses at least one or two other apps from time to time.

My sister is a web user... except she has a sony mp3 player. Her Sony requires windows software to sync... maybe it'll work with Amaraok... who knows.

My mom is a web user except she works with a financial adviser over tax season to help. She needs excel for this. Maybe Calc will do, we're not sure.

My wife is a 'web user' except she uses iTunes with her ipod, and likes to play "Intellivision Lives!" (an intellivision emulator and games). She also uses iphoto.

My mother in law is a web user, except she runs a small home business and needs her Simply Accounting.

My father is a web user, except, he has an ipod touch, and uses the itunes music store, and has a digital camera.

My father in law is a web user, but he too has an ipod, and a digital camera.

I could go on and on... the point however is that there really is almost no one who is *just* an email/web/IM user. In reality, almost everyone has at least one thing more than that.

Whether its a digital camera or an ipod or personal tax or accounting software or some game they like.

And its that one thing that makes life complicated.

Maybe linux can meet the demand... Amarok is fine for older ipods if you don't use the itunes music store. Amarok is ok for newer ipods, although its a lot more flakey...and maybe linux can't meet the demand: pretty much everyone with a touch downloads a few free apps. And the the Tax / Accounting software is a bit of dealbreaker.

My wifes Intellivision emulator doesn't run in Wine, but I was able to install a linux emulator, and then copy the bios and rom files from the CD... but it was not newbie friendly.

Re:One size fits all (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137387)

Next time I do an OS install, I plan on asking my girlfriend to run the installation, and I'll just observe, so I can give the Ubuntu team feedback about ease of use. She won't be worried about wrecking the computer, cause it won't have any of her data.

If they're not doing this already, then they should. If she can get the computer to the point where she wouldn't mind working on it daily, then they've succeeded, in my mind. If not, then there's more work to be done.

Re:One size fits all (1)

0xABADC0DA (867955) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137683)

I find these reviews of "converting to linux" a bit pointless really; they're only ever one persons' perspective on what a conversion is, of which I often find I can't relate to much of what they go through.

Not pointless at all. The big thing we learned from this article is that "Synaptic Package Manager" menu item should be called "Add/Remove Programs" (like it is in Fedora Core).

This guy didn't know wtf a "Synaptic Package Manager" is and missed the tooltip that could have explained it. Instead he tried to install from an RPM on a debian system, and completely missed the fact that there are 10,000-odd programs he can install at the click of a button.

That's a HUGE failure for Ubuntu and all caused by a menu item name...

1994 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136689)

I've lived without Windows since 1994 (thank you, Yggdrasil). It's really not that difficult.

Re:1994 (2, Funny)

lwriemen (763666) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137709)

I've never used Windows at home. I went from an x86 mono monitor running DOS to a 386 running OS/2 (1994) to (relatively) modern computers running eComStation (OS/2) and Ubuntu. If it wasn't for work, I'd never know how bad Windows sucks.

YAY! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27136813)

Another "I gave up windows for x days, here are my experiences" blog. This never gets old.

Update only what you recognize (4, Insightful)

moonbender (547943) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136857)

Choice quote:

The Update Manager is accessed via the starburst at the top right-hand top of the screen. Click it, but be prepared -- you're about to be confronted with literally hundreds of potential updates with incomprehensible names and unenlightening descriptions ...
By default, every update has a check next to it in the Update Manager. Uncheck the boxes next to those you don't want to update -- I recommend updating only software that you recognize.

That's terrible advice.

He might have a point about the huge number of updates on an initial boot confusing users -- doesn't Ubuntu pull updates as part of the install process? If not, it really should.

Re:Update only what you recognize (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137095)

That's terrible advice.

I had the same thought. Does he also pick and choose which Windows security fixes to install?

doesn't Ubuntu pull updates as part of the install process? If not, it really should.

No, it doesn't. Should it? I'm not sure. It could really slow down the installation process, especially if the network connection is slow.

Re:Update only what you recognize (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137195)

He might have a point about the huge number of updates on an initial boot confusing users -- doesn't Ubuntu pull updates as part of the install process? If not, it really should.

A perfect example of why moving to Linux will not help users - his advice amounts to "don't install security patches". I those are the only ones available by default, though it's been so long I don't remember.

Re:Update only what you recognize (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137307)

A perfect example of why moving to Linux will not help users - his advice amounts to "don't install security patches". I those are the only ones available by default, though it's been so long I don't remember.

Updates aren't restricted to security patches. Bug fixes are also included. Generally, new versions that add features or change functionality are not delivered that way, although Ubuntu is less rigorous about that than Debian is.

update what you know? (4, Interesting)

Intellectual Camel (1230692) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136885)

"I recommend updating only software that you recognize" say what?! you do this on windows too?

Re:update what you know? (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137509)

Certainly; but KB34342574845345 is like a friend to me, and "Security Update for CAPICOM" is my long lost brother, so only installing the updates I recognize isn't a big deal.

I am asking: Is Ubuntu = Linux? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136913)

Whenever "Linux" is being evaluated on the desktop, Ubuntu is fronted...so my question is: Is Ubuntu equal to Linux? The last time I checked it was not the case. So why does it [seem] to be the case?

Re:I am asking: Is Ubuntu = Linux? (3, Insightful)

despisethesun (880261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137411)

Because Ubuntu has been the one to make the biggest strides towards user-friendliness. There are others who have come a long way in this regard as well, but Ubuntu stands at the front of the pack. It's probably the easiest to use, it has probably the largest amount of available pre-compiled software, it has a large user community. I could go on, but this is basically why Ubuntu gets the nod when people try to get newbies to try Linux. More advanced Linux users have their own personal preferences, but I don't know how many of them would put the proverbial Joe Sixpack on a Gentoo system, for example.

I did RTFA... (5, Insightful)

gillbates (106458) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136935)

And have to say that it is rather well balanced. But it also reminds me of something: I've been using Linux for more than a decade, and things to which I'm accustomed - like using the command line - are not at all intuitive to the Windows user.

There is this tendency among Linux evangelists to try to "fix" a neophyte's problems rather than listening to what he's saying. While Linux has made large inroads in the desktop arena, at its heart it is UNIX, not Windows. One of the larger issues of Linux adoption is that Windows users have a mental model of computers which is Windows-specific:

  1. Typing is for documents, not the command line.
  2. Reading is for web pages, not system configuration.
  3. Configuration is about making choices, not thinking, and certainly not about knowing what hardware is installed in the machine.
  4. If it can't be installed with a few mouse clicks, it doesn't work. End of story.

Making Linux ubiquitous on the desktop will be a matter of coming up with a simpler, more accessible mental model of a computer for the end user. It will not come about by fixing a particular problem with a particular distribution.

The average computer user is an expert in something *other* than computers. They're not interested in learning the vagaries of hardware configuration or knowing about kernel dumps and command lines. They use a computer as a tool to *do something other than programming*. They want something easy to use, secure, and reliable. Windows comes through on the first part. Linux on the latter parts. However, security and reliability are a moot point if you can't use the computer in the first place. Hence, Windows gets chosen time and again, in spite of its flaws.

Re:I did RTFA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27137811)

This really nails down why I'm still a Windows XP user. I don't want to be an expert at Linux just so I can use the OS, I want the OS to be a means to some other end such as Word, Excel (I love Excel), email, and so on.

I don't want to have to spend hours re-learning all the basic stuff I can do in Windows without even thinking about it such as installing a new video card and just have it work, installing a hard disk and partitioning it without a second thought, or scanning a document to PDF with my HP all-in-one printer.

I don't want to have to go to folks like /. to help me resolve the problems I will inevitably create for myself by moving to Linux. I would much rather know that if I make that move to some distro, it'll "just work" the way Windows more or less does.

Bad update advice... (2, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 5 years ago | (#27136983)

From page 4 of TFA [computerworld.com] :

By default, every update has a check next to it in the Update Manager. Uncheck the boxes next to those you don't want to update -- I recommend updating only software that you recognize.

This seems like really bad advice. I would say the opposite: only forego an update if you recognize the software and are sure that you don't want the newer version.

The vast majority of updates will be for "underlying" software, like the kernel, libraries, and so on. These are also the things that a newbie is most likely to "not recognize". But these are the things that critically need security updates. If a newbie only updates OpenOffice and Firefox (which he recognizes) but skips the kernel, cron, openssh, iptables, and so on (because he doesn't recognize them), he may be left with significant vulnerabilities in very important subsystems.

In a modern world the default advice should be to install updates and thereby stay as secure as possible. Users should only be skipping updates when they have good reason to think that the new version isn't better (e.g. breaks a feature they like). This is especially true on Linux, since there are no updates that are being pushed out just to limit/inhibit the end user (like, e.g. Windows Genuine Advantage does).

Re:Bad update advice... (2, Insightful)

RalphSleigh (899929) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137313)

I agree that the update manager exposes too much to the poor end user who just wants to press a button and be told that everything will be all right.

Perhaps the answer here is for the update manager to wrap up any updates that do not change a bit of software exposed to the user in the applications menu as a generic 'Ubuntu system update'. You could put the details of the actual packages included somewhere accessible, and just push one system package a week/2nd tuesday of the month.

The bitter irony (5, Insightful)

steveha (103154) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137011)

The thing he found hardest, the thing he singled out for special mention as the worst problem, was: installing new software.

Eeek.

That's what Linux distros, particularly Debian-based ones, do best! The package management is the best single feature of Debian and Ubuntu, light-years ahead of the situation in Windows.

Now, he's not a troll and he's not an idiot. Which means that he has just helpfully identified something we should work on.

His basic problem is that he is used to Windows, where things are done differently. Either Microsoft Office is installed or it isn't; and the only pieces of Office that you can see are large chunks like Word, Excel, etc. It was surprising and alarming to him when there were hundreds and hundreds of little packages with odd names. For example, the updater told him it would update "anachron -- cron-like program that doesn't go by time" and he didn't know what to make of that.

In his Part 2 article, he recommends that you never update any package you don't understand. Eeek, again! What if there is a critical security update to DNS or something? He is unlikely to know what it is, so he will decline it. And he will be working very hard to go through the list and uncheck the update box for the vast majority of his packages.

The correct policy is to have the updater pull from a trusted source, and just let it update. Trust the system.

In all fairness, Windows has its share of similarly weird stuff. But they have done a much better job of wrapping it up to present to the user.

When you run Windows Update, it won't give you anything called "anachron", but it will give you things like "hotfix 967363: A Windows Server 2008-based DHCP server does not register DNS records for earlier version DHCP clients that do not send option 81 to the DHCP server". But this will be labeled as a "critical" patch that you really need to take.

Perhaps Ubuntu should have a popup on the update manager that gives newbies a quick overview of package management on Linux? Things are much better than the mess in Windows, so we need to make sure that newbies understand what's going on. When new users are confused, that should be treated as a bug, and fixed.

steveha

Re:The bitter irony (1)

needs2bfree (1256494) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137301)

I agree with parent. Its critical that Linux, Ubuntu especially, present updates in an easy to understand manner. It is, after all, Linux for human beings. I think its also a good point that what you seen in Synaptic isnt the latest release of the software. This can cause confusion when a user sees that version x.xx is out, but the version in synaptic is a couple releases behind. I came across this with Eclipse. The version in the repository is hopelessly out of date. When i tried to install software with the Software updates function in eclipse, it wouldnt work. I was left scratching my head going WTF? After all, how hard is it to make a .deb file? Ubuntu 8.10 even recognizes when you download one and helps you install it. I think this is the improvement i liked the most when upgrading.
Just my $0.02

Re:The bitter irony (2, Interesting)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137345)

I was quite surprised that he singled-out installation as being difficult. Like you, I consider this to be one of the selling points of Linux: package management makes installation centralized and streamlined.

I offer an anecdote to counter the author's experiences (yes, I know anecdotes are not worth much, but TFA is essentially just an anecdote, too...): A friend of mine recently got fed up with Windows XP and switched to Ubuntu (with no prompting from me, other than mentioning "I use Ubuntu" when he asked what anti-virus software I use). He was a total newbie to Linux. After about a week I asked him about his impressions. Overall he said it was working great, and he specifically singled-out installation as one area that was really awesome. He said that he loved being able to install things without searching all over the net.

Moreover, he said that he liked being able to install things from the repos and trust that the software would not fuck up his system. His Windows machine had gotten messed-up more than once because of all the applications he had installed (some were conflicting; others were decidedly dodgy). And so he had learned to agonize before installing anything on Windows, always worrying that this app would mess up his system. (In the end he got hit with malware somehow despite his newfound caution.) He emphasized that with Ubuntu he didn't have to agonize anymore: installing (and uninstalling!) things was now easy and worry-free.

All this to say that some newbies catch on to the "Linux way" of installing, and love it. Others (like the author of TFA) find it harder to adjust. It would certainly be nice to have some rough numbers regarding how many new users find installing easy vs. hard. This would help inform the next round of changes to the package managers in Linux.

Re:The bitter irony (2, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137371)

Perhaps Ubuntu should have a popup on the update manager that gives newbies a quick overview of package management on Linux?

You know, a five-minute video tour is a really good idea. Just a quick intro to package management and updates is probably sufficient, because Ubuntu already does a good job of making the applications menu very simple and accessible.

Re:The bitter irony (1)

Lispy (136512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137723)

Given Totems ability to show Youtube videos this wouldn't even have to take up harddrive space and could be updated in case some steps change in the future. It would all still feel really native since it's running in totems friendly player interface.

Installing software (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137543)

You're right. I use Fedora but the situation is the same. I look under "add software" and there are thousands of packages - most of which are libraries or development packages. IMHO the package database should categorize these, or at least flag the ones that are "programs" or "applications" that joe user may want to install. The package selector should have a switch (on by default) to filter on this flag/category. This would eliminate a lot of confusion in finding useful software. Yeah, the dependencies will still have to be installed, but I think people will usually default to clicking "OK" at that point.

Re:The bitter irony (1)

despisethesun (880261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137553)

I skipped straight from Gutsy to Intrepid, so I'm not totally familiar with Hardy. That said, in Intrepid, updates are basically listed by severity. Important, recommended, etc. And you can configure it to handle updates in your preferred manner, similar to Windows Update. It is, unfortunately, not in the most obvious place (in Synaptic, under Settings->Repositories->Updates tab, rather than in the Update Manager where it belongs), but you can have it install security updates without confirmation, download updates and notify you, or notify only. You can also set the schedule it uses to check for updates. I agree that it is not in the most convenient place, but once found it's no more difficult than managing Windows Update's settings.

Re:The bitter irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27137659)

Yeah, especially on Ubuntu, software updates and installs are far easier than on winderz. I was very surprised when he called this out as the difficult thing. It was an eye-opener! As was his comment about "Apply changes".

It made me realize some facets of the windoze culture. It seems that...
    * Windoze users are afraid to "Change" anything. To them, making changes means things break.
    * Wyndurse users don't trust updates; at least, when you show them the details.
    * Winders users expect that they need to be defensive: they presume they'll need antivirus software, spam protection
    * M$oft users seem conditioned to have to purchase anything additional. The article author made a point that several apps were bundled "free" with the OS, but failed to emphasize that thousands of others are there, just as free, just a click away.
    * Win'd users are trained to do a sequence of steps to install software (find kit on web, do online purchase of s/w, d/l kit, unpack kit, find setup.exe, start installer, accept license, configure s/w,...). It was interesting that this training was his first approach.

So Linux has made great strides, but we've still got work to do. Perhaps if we were less forthcoming in the UI's (hide all those updates! Just a "do it" button) it would go over better?

Re:The bitter irony (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137675)

His basic problem is that he is used to Windows, where things are done differently. Either Microsoft Office is installed or it isn't; and the only pieces of Office that you can see are large chunks like Word, Excel, etc. It was surprising and alarming to him when there were hundreds and hundreds of little packages with odd names. For example, the updater told him it would update "anachron -- cron-like program that doesn't go by time" and he didn't know what to make of that.

I'd argue this is a case of exposing unnecessary complexity by default. There's no reason there can't be an "updates to existing system" line item in the package manager which can be expanded to see details, but is not by default. Classifying or coloring updates to indicate what can be considered part of the default Ubuntu distro and can be considered relatively safe is also an idea. Finally, providing clearer package descriptions that don't rely upon the user to have pre-existing knowledge would probably be a a plus.

The correct policy is to have the updater pull from a trusted source, and just let it update. Trust the system.

The UI needs to encourage this more, as the default behavior. Why is he being shown this big list if unchecking items is an action only power users should be taking?

In all fairness, Windows has its share of similarly weird stuff. But they have done a much better job of wrapping it up to present to the user.

Windows is pretty awful in this regard, but people are used to it and the software installation paradigm has been built up by developers. Also, the typical software installation use case is actually a lot easier. Most people learn about new software online. With Windows, installation is pretty much just clicking in the browser. This is possible in some Linux distros, but in practice is very rare to have working correctly. Generally people find out about software, decide to install it, then open their package manager and search for it, hopefully find it, and install it from there. Keeping it updated is easier but installing it is not.

Perhaps Ubuntu should have a popup on the update manager that gives newbies a quick overview of package management on Linux?

I don't think this is a good idea. Many people will just try to click past it because they want to try out the system first, not read a bunch of stuff about what they should do later if they decide to keep using it. Rather, I think we need to hone the usability of the package manager for use cases other than "search in package manager and install from there" as well as provide better help and advice within the package manager and access the package manager more smoothly from the Web.

Package Management != Application Management (1)

manitoulinnerd (750941) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137787)

I do agree that Debian excels at package management. Unfortunately package management and application management are not the same thing.

Take a look at OpenOffice.Org. Or ever just the writer component, how many packages are pulled in? On Windows you download one file but here it is telling you about dictionary packages and thesauruses and all sorts of stuff most people don't want to know about.

And that is assuming the user knows they want OpenOffice.Org Writer when looking for their 'new fangled linus Word'.

I know Ubuntu has made strides in this area and I personally hate the dumbing down of software (it creates an unfair illusion of simplicity) but they obviously still have a quite a distance to travel.

I had to switch back to XP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27137057)

I regretted it, but didn't have much of a choice. Reasons:

1. Open Office didn't support some key features that are found in MS-Office, such as outlining, proper numbering of PowerPoint notes pages, and so on.

2. Outlook is far superior to Evolution, especially in how it handles tasks.

3. Sync'ing to Windows Mobile-based smartphone is so much easier in XP.

I still run Linux VMs, but for my day-to-day work it's not there yet. I hope it will be soon, though.

Same mistake every new user makes (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137099)

Reading this page [psychocats.net] is required material for people switching to Ubuntu.

Slashdot's getting kinder (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27137135)

I am shocked that I searched through this entire comment thread and found only one use of the word "noob."

This lack of nerd elitism is simply unacceptable in slashdot. Heck, the fact that I'm writing this in anything other than pseudocode is shameful...

An interesting quote from the article (4, Informative)

reashlin (1370169) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137291)

"I recommend updating only software that you recognize."

No No No NO! Update everything. People didn't spend time updating software for you to ignore them. They updated it often because it needs securing.

People not knowing how to use google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27137369)

In the last page of the article, he says that it is impossible to upgrade from Ubuntu 8.04 to 8.10. A simple google search: http://www.ubuntugeek.com/upgrade-ubuntu-804-hardy-heron-to-ubuntu-810-intrepid-ibix.html

On a side note, I don't understand why newbie users have such a hard time with the concept of package managers and the fact that you don't need to go to a site and download programs and install them yourself or have to put a CD into a drive and install from there. There was an article on Netbooks recently where one of the biggest complaints from new users of Netbooks with Linux installed on them was that they got confused about how to install software on the Netbook. I just don't get it. Maybe I have been around Linux enough that package managers seem like the obvious choice (I get frustrated on other systems when I have to install from a CD/DVD or download and install software from various sites). I just don't see why Linux software installation is such a paradigm shift.

Firefox (2, Interesting)

djnforce9 (1481137) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137413)

I remember having the same problem as this guy did with installing openoffice 3.0 only it was with Firefox 3.0 (back when RC2). For some insane reason, somebody thought it was a good idea to bundle Ubuntu with a Firefox 3.0 beta 3 (remember I'm talking about the time before the final version was released). This version had a very crippling bug with printing ("print selected text" did NOT work at all) so I had to manually try and update v3.0 to RC2 which like openoffice v3, was not in any repository or the "Add/Remove" area. What I ended up doing is downloading a tar.gz which contained it (no installer needed) and overwrite the beta version (but even that was tough because you can't touch the /usr/bin areas without the terminal since you need to execute "sudo" first (although now I wouldn't have this problem because I would just install Krusader which gives me a nice interface to work with similar to Window's total commander).

Yes (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27137497)

Now, he's not a troll and he's not an idiot. Which means that he has just helpfully identified something we should work on.

His basic problem is that he is used to Windows, where things are done differently. Either Microsoft Office is installed or it isn't; and the only pieces of Office that you can see are large chunks like Word, Excel, etc. It was surprising and alarming to him when there were hundreds and hundreds of little packages with odd names. For example, the updater told him it would update "anachron -- cron-like program that doesn't go by time" and he didn't know what to make of that.

Finally, a Linux evangelist who gets it!

I surprised that everyone seems surprised that installation is the one big thing that annoyed him. When I made the switch to Linux it was EXACTLY the thing that annoyed me. What the hell were all these little updates? Why doesn't OOffice 3.0 show up even though it's been out for a while? There's no indication or feedback on what updates are necessary or important.

We really are used to programs being just "things." Large entities. Not a frontend to a complicated backend of libraries, packages or whatever that we have to muck around with.

And, like him, I still don't know how to get OOffice 3.0 installed.

Try it the other way (1)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 5 years ago | (#27137589)

It's always interesting when long-time Windows users experiment with Linux for the first time. You'll see some tech writer blog about this every few months; sometimes they are a bit boring, but I always learn something from watching a Linux newbie try things out for the first time.

At work, it's the other way with me. I've been using Linux at work since 2000 (I'm a staff person at a university) but my boss recently made his preferences clear: I should run Windows, just like everyone else. So I did what anyone would do in this situation - I blogged about it. I thought it might be equally interesting for this long-time Linux user to write about making a return to Windows:

Linux in Exile [blogspot.com]

It hasn't been pretty. In short, I find a lot of stuff in Windows to be just plain broken. Nothing is the same, even among different "first tier" applications (that means apps from Microsoft.)

My next post will be about the stupid dialog boxes in Windows. I find them lacking compared to what I expect from Linux.

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