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Libranet On The Rocks

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the end-of-the-road dept.

Announcements 152

An anonymous reader writes "Following the death of his father Jon, it looks as though Tal is going to finally throw in the towel with regards the running of Libranet. Given his age and his personal circumstances who can blame in? But on a purely selfish level, is there anyone out there who can help save my favourite distribution?"

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fp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14118963)

fp !!!!!!!hd ljh fuf !!!!!!!! ..

survival for the fittest? (-1, Troll)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14118967)

I guess as in the real world, it's "survival for the fittest" in the Linux world as well. Right?

Poor taste (-1, Offtopic)

lheal (86013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14118991)

Think about it.

I'm sorry, but who? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14118970)

Just curious, but what is noteworthy about Libranet? Is it an especially well balenced linux distro?

Re:I'm sorry, but who? (1)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 8 years ago | (#14118995)

From what I understand, it had a great package management system.

Re:I'm sorry, but who? (1, Insightful)

Miffe (592354) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119024)

Ofcourse it had, it is based on Debian.

Re:I'm sorry, but who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119162)

Very hard distro to run though. As the story said, even the son of the distro creator has given up on running Libranet.

Re:I'm sorry, but who? (5, Informative)

HiThere (15173) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119032)

LibraNet is a Debian clone that has a very nice added administration package, and also can install Nvidia drivers off the CD. (Granted that most commercial distributions can do that, but a bog-standard Debian Sarge can't, and as a result my screen displays at unacceptably low resolution.

LibraNet is really "only" a Debian that's been smoothly polished...but that only covers a lot of usability. (I prefer using my system to tinkering with it. I may be a programmer, but I prefer to work at a considerable remove from the hardware.)

Re:I'm sorry, but who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119515)

"LibraNet is really "only" a Debian that's been smoothly polished..."

Hardly. It was one of 3 solid distros which made Debian accessible for the average non-techie. To say Libranet was the only polished version of Debian while ignoring Lindows, Xandros, and Ubuntu is either ignorant at best or fanboism at worst. Oh and you ignored Corel Linux and Storm Linux. Two distros which were ahead of their time.

It just never got traction and remained a niche distro. I understand why they wanted to try and charge and make a living off it, but IMHO if from the start they had made completely Free it might done much better.

Oh and RIP Storm Linux. How I miss thee. Talk about wasted potential. You Ubuntu users don't have a clue what could have been. There's a whole sad history of defunk debian based "ease of use" distros. I guess Libranet is the latest to join the club.

Re:I'm sorry, but who? (-1, Flamebait)

mkavanagh2 (776662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119633)

You can't fucking read.

Re:I'm sorry, but who? (0, Flamebait)

vespazzari (141683) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119836)

You can't fucking read.

then there is not much point to your comment is there?

Re:I'm sorry, but who? (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119589)

...and as a result my screen displays at unacceptably low resolution.

The primary thing that the NVidia drivers give you is 3D acceleration, otherwise the nv driver should be suitable. It can run at at least 1600x1200, I know because I just swapped in a new Geforce and I switched back to the nv driver briefly before installing the new NVidia drivers.

Re:I'm sorry, but who? (4, Interesting)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119049)

It's Debian based first off, always a good thing :)

It has a very easy to use installer. As mentioned already it has great package management based on dpkg, apt and synaptic.

It makes a great desktop system out of the box; very little effort is needed to get everything to just work. It comes with all the typical goodies for a desktop (browser, email, office suite, etc) whether you pick Gnome or KDE as the default desktop.

All in all a very good "I think I'll install this for my Aunt Tillie" type of distribution.

I am sad to hear about it going away but on a purely practical note I think anyone who used this and wants to upgrade when Libranet is gone would do well to look to Ubuntu.

Ubuntu? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119074)

is a Debian fork as I understand it...not pure Debian like Libranet.

Re:I'm sorry, but who? (4, Informative)

oscartheduck (866357) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119059)

Libranet is, as already noted, a Debian based distribution; at heart it is pure Debian. The major innovation is an administration tool called adminmenu. Adminmenu covers a lot of stuff, from rolling in a new kernel to administering user accounts to managing print jobs, to setting up a graphics card; all the little things that are otherwise a bit of a pain in the ass to a beginner. It's a one stop shop for almost every common administration problem. It takes the pain out of administering your GNU/Linux distribution.

Re:I'm sorry, but who? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119075)

Libranet is a Linux distro cum P2P networking system, and as such had a lot of originality. Essentially, package distribution was over a distributed P2P networking system. You'd type in "lnpkg_load apache", and the system would then find all nearby peers with the Apache package, and install it.

By itself, this would be good, but what made it one better was a Gentoo type optimization for specific platforms. What this meant was that if you wanted different compile options, the Libranet package system would search out peers for a similar configuration before trying to compile the package itself. If it had to compile the package itself, it would register the fact it was doing this (so other peers, if they started to do the same thing, could avoid duplicating a work in progress), and once complete would share the optimized binary. All in all, this solved the "Spend three days "installing" the latest updates by recompiling them for a 5-10% speed increase" issue with Gentoo.

The P2P system was pretty popular as it wasn't limited to Linux packages. You could "install" movies and music and such too. Sharers were encouraged to distribute in the most raw format, so that, if, say, someone wanted a 30k/second version MPEG4 of "The Matrix", to fit on a PDA, they could get it using a similar system to the above, someone who'd already downloaded the file and converted it could then distribute the 30k/second version.

All in all, pretty awesome. Easily the best Linux distro AND the best P2P system out there. Shame it's going, but I guess with Hollywood and the music industry after anything that hints at freedom of expression, it's probably better for it to go before the lawsuits start flying!

Re:I'm sorry, but who? (1)

bconway (63464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119118)

Libranet is last year's Ubuntu.

Re:I'm sorry, but who? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119201)

Just curious, but what is noteworthy about Libranet? Is it an especially well balenced linux distro?


As others have said here Libranet was a polished Debian with a very nice system administration utility. I came in right about Libranet 2.7, and purchased 2.7, 2.8, 2.8.1 and finally 3.0. 2.7 through 2.8.1 were ROCK SOLID.. but with 3.0 some bugs were creeping in, repositories acting wonky, etc. Libranet always had (has?) a tight community and Libranet Inc. was very responsive. When Jon passed away I had a feeling that Tal would be overwhelmed. It appears as though I was right.

I really lament the passing of this distro, because as they say in the Mac world "it just works". The kernel compilation and other features in adminmenu are the cat's pajamas.

I'm already seeing early in this thread smug Ubuntu zealots pushing their agenda, and this turns me off completely. I'm not sure what the deal with these people is but I rate many of you right up there with some of the Gentoo people in terms of "self-assured righteous asshole factor". As far as my new distro goes, as one other poster says it is risky nowadays to rely on a distro from a one man shop with respect to continuity. I agree with this even though I love Slackware and Mepis. I don't have time for changing up distros on a whim any more, and on that note I'm jumping ship to Suse 10.0.

LibraNet helped me overcome my fear of Linux (5, Interesting)

KWTm (808824) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119218)

Although not a LibraNet user (I've been using Mandrake since 9.0, now switching over to Ubuntu), I have to acknowledge LibraNet's help in getting me past Linux's steep learning curve.

Having had trouble downloading Linux, I had ordered a stack of some 20 CD's or so of every Linux distro imaginable (to me at the time). LibraNet was one of them, sandwiched among Lycorix, Peanut Linux, Slack, FreeBSD, Pink Tie linux (Red Hat was going to sue unauthorized users of the term "Red Hat"), and the nine CD's of the main Debian 3.0 distro. For some reason I would keep getting errors installing (including the vaunted Mandrake with its "user-friendliness").

LibraNet was the first to install successfully, and make it easy to switch between KDE, GNOME, and ICEwm with the click of a button. It showed me what Linux was capable of. Even more impressive was the big button which simply said, "Recompile kernel". I never used it, but it was a shock to me that one could recompile the kernel as easily as clicking on a button. LibraNet impressed me with its multitude of screensavers. (Basically these were X screensavers, for which I have yet to find an equal that works with KDE --why are KDE screensavers so sluggish?)

LibraNet gave me the motivation to keep moving forward, to find what could be done with Linux. Kudos to the maintainers.

(I should sneak in a line or two about BasicLinux by Steven Darnold, who also showed what Linux was capable of, installed on a lowly 386 through a diskette.)

Re:LibraNet helped me overcome my fear of Linux (0)

CoolVibe (11466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119546)

(a little OT, but I just have to point this out)

... Lycorix, Peanut Linux, Slack, FreeBSD, Pink Tie linux ...

FreeBSD is _NOT_ Linux. Just so you know. But you had trouble getting FreeBSD going? Odd.

(Back ontopic) Otherwise I sympathise. I once installed Libranet, and the adminmenu certainly is impressive. It's sad to see this one go.

Re:LibraNet helped me overcome my fear of Linux (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119684)

I never used it, but it was a shock to me that one could recompile the kernel as easily as clicking on a button.

Why not, most of the trouble people have compiling the kernel is to make it small, add some weard functionality and making sure it works before completely switching. You know, doing usefull stuf.

If you just want to recompile it, yes, I can create a script for that on much less than a day.

Adminmenu (3, Informative)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119220)

Libranet allows adminmenu [libranet.com] (screenshot [libranet.com] ), which makes it well suited for desktops because novice users can easily configure important settings such as Firewall, DNS & IP, manage device drivers, and configure/compile a kernel, through one simple interface similar to KDE's Control Center.

While kernel compiling and other more advanced functions may not be necessary for novice users, it allows people interested in learning more about GNU/Linux a springboard to access its deeper features and perhaps become more proficient with the OS & software.

IMHO, Linux could benefit from more tools such as this, not to hold the hands of people who have no business tweaking such features, but to allow users to "break the ice" with advanced Linux ditro features.

I hope that Adminmenu or YAST could be easily integrated into other distros, as long as these tools don't cry when users want to start tweaking settings from the commandline (then again YAST has a complete curses implementation, which allows you to use the same tool for remote administration as local administration through GUI, neat).

Re:I'm sorry, but who? (1)

oneeyedelf1 (793839) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119521)

Kanotix is a nice debian distro (uses debian sid). Though it lacks administrative extras, it does have all the usability that kde brings to the table.

pickup the slack (-1, Flamebait)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14118996)

I can pick up the slack with my Piscesnet project...

WTF is Libranet?

Re:pickup the slack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119061)

"WTF is Libranet?"

well, judging from the link in the article, its a linux distribution.
go ahead and click on it. its easy and you'll be amazed at the results.

Re:pickup the slack (4, Insightful)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119065)

You just *might* have found out if you had clicked on the article link. They're there for a reason, y'know?

Re:pickup the slack (0)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119152)

You're replying to "BushCheney08" - so stupid, they're probably not a term limits joke.

Re:pickup the slack (0, Offtopic)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119263)

...so stupid, they're probably not a term limits joke.

What does that even mean? And do you really think a silly little part of the Constitution is gonna stop my boy from running again? How very unpatriotic of you!

- Bush4Eva

Re:pickup the slack (0, Offtopic)

Liam Slider (908600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119425)

I'd say that suggesting a violation of the Constitution, as a joke or not, is rather unpatriotic.

FUCK FUCK FUCK_ FUCK FUCK _FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119156)

shut up you penis cunt

Re:pickup the slack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119583)

Good to see a RTFA get a +5, insightful.

Libranet will be missed (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119033)

Libranet is a great distro for the non geek to get up and running with a debian box. I found it to be a great learning distro that put awesome tools, including a kernel compiler, into the hands of the average person. Without it, I would not have had the successes with linux I have had. There is nothing it can do that you can't do elsewhere, and it mix of stable, testing, and unstable may put some folks off, but I feel it is an invaluable tool for a niche part of the linux community. Libranet will be missed.

Re:Libranet will be missed (2, Interesting)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119142)

Libranet is a great distro for the non geek to get up and running with a debian box.

So is Xandros [xandros.com] . And although the previous edition costed around $40, it was still less than half the price of the last edition of Libranet, which if I'm not mistaken, is $90. But now the Xandros OCE is free: OCE = Open Circulation Edition. The business edition is for exactly that, businesses, and just a lot of extra megs on the hard disk for a home user (unless you really, really prefer Sun's Star Office over OpenOffice. org).

Dont' get me wrong, I tried Libranet and it was damn good. But Xandros is just as good and also has excellent compatibility with debian software, without costing nearly a hundred dollars. And support on Libranet wasn't too great when I tried it; I just wound up referred to their forums. Big deal, Xandros has a forum too, and the people there are both nice and helpful. For that much money I'd expect it to have soemthing over a free edition of Linux, but it doesn't. Now I'm not a free software zealot saying all distroes should be free, but $90? Sorry to sound insulting (I actually am sorry) because Libranet was pretty good, but it wasn't better than Xandros and I can't see paying that much when there's an alternative that's just as good and free. If it weren't for ignorance about Xandros I don't think Libranet would have gotten as far as it did.

Ug (0, Offtopic)

matr0x_x (919985) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119035)

All good things must end... like sex... and puppy doggs

ubuntu takes over? (3, Insightful)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119036)

both libranet and ubuntu are based on debian. They both use debian's package system. Libranet is dead, long live ubuntu.

Re:ubuntu takes over? (2)

concept10 (877921) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119363)

I have never used Libranet (on Ubuntu since 4.10) but come on, let's have some respect for the vision and product of Jon Danzig. It does'nt have to be the biggest distro, but I for one support anyone that has done something for the community.

long live redunctionism (2, Insightful)

Apostata (390629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119393)

As a former Libranet user (now running Kubuntu I might add), I find this statement to be poorly reasoned as well as off-topic. Just because they both are Debian based does not preclude that one has somehow usurped the other. Furthermore, Libranet has been around longer than Ubuntu, and the founder of Libranet recently passed away. Show some respect.

Re:long live redunctionism (1, Insightful)

oneeyedelf1 (793839) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119534)

As is said before, Ubuntu forks Debian, an ideal libranet was against.

Re:long live redunctionism (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119894)

So is a port of adminmenu in the works, or is the source locked away someplace?

I use Ubuntu on my notebook, and coming from a RedHat/Fedora background, sometimes .deb files trip me up.

one man wonder distros (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119041)

This is why you should never rely on one-man-wonder distros like libranet or slackware for anything beyond hobby machines.

Re:one man wonder distros (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119070)

Mepis is in that category too, with seemingly tight-fisted control (aka dotmepis debacle)

Not 1-man distros so much as derivitive distros (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119139)

I'm not worried about slackware; its an original project dependant on noone but itself. But what happens to Ubuntu if Debian folds?

-everphilski-

Re:Not 1-man distros so much as derivitive distros (1)

avenj (673782) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119188)

Well... considering Ubuntu is an independent distribution with their own (pretty damn good) dev team, infrastructure, repositories, etc, I would have to vote for 'nothing'

Um... (0)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119513)

From http://www.ubuntulinux.org/ubuntu/relationship/doc ument_view [ubuntulinux.org]

As Ubuntu prepares for release, we "freeze" a snapshot of debian's development archive ('sid').

Ubuntu is built on debian.

If Debian folds, Ubuntu will either (a) have to start their own primary linux distribution or (b) start leeching off of someone else as they are a derivitive work which was my point. Look at Slackware, despite Patrick Volkerding's health problems the releases have been steady. However a derivitive work whose upstream decides to fold will find themselves in a very uncomfortable position.

-everphilski-

Re:Not 1-man distros so much as derivitive distros (1)

MooUK (905450) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119195)

If any distro is unlikely to ever fold, it's probably Debian. I'd not worry about that.

Maybe so (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119531)

Maybe so. My point stands. There are better examples I just didn't have one at the time. I'd be more worried about a derivitive work than a 1-man distro. I mean look at slackware. Despite Patrick Volerding's health problems the new versions have been rolling off the presses without a hitch...

-everphilski-

Re:Not 1-man distros so much as derivitive distros (2, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119616)

Debian is a large scale (thousands of people) non profit with branches in many countries. Its less likely to fold than GE. It might gradually fall off but not fold. Further Debian is at this point a meta distribution. I'd say Debian folds when Linux like OSes are no longer needed or desired which means Ubuntu is pointless.

Re:one man wonder distros (3, Informative)

Pop69 (700500) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119141)

Slackware has a thriving community that is capable of stepping in to maintain the distro if anything were to happen to Pat Volkerding. This was pretty much proven during his recent illness.

Libranet doesn't seem to have attracted the same kind of following unfortunately.

Re:one man wonder distros (2, Interesting)

martinultima (832468) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119147)

"That is why you should never rely on one-man-wonder distros like libranet or slackware for anything beyond hobby machines."

Excuse me??

Sorry if this is a bit off-topic, but I happen to be the sole creator/maintainer of my own distribution [kicks-ass.org] , Ultima Linux, which is a one-man distro based on Slackware (yes, another one-man distro). Every single machine I own runs Ultima exclusively, including a full-time Web server [kicks-ass.org] which also hosts the project. Hmm, anything beyond hobby machines?

And for the record, last time I checked Slackware was still the oldest maintained distribution, whereas entire [wikipedia.org] companies [wikipedia.org] with more people than you can count have gone down after only a couple years.

As for Libranet, I'll admit that I never really looked into it much before, but it sounds like it is/was a really neat distribution. It's really too bad that it's going down, some of the features (especially the adminmenu and P2P system) must have been very unique and it would have been kind of cool to maybe tweak them to work with another system such as my own. Maybe that's what I'll use the free 10GB on my hard disk for.

By the way, Ubuntu is overrated. I've used it before; apt-get/dpkg was an absolute nightmare even for an advanced user like me, and I still have yet to find Ubuntu-compatible packages for stuff like wireless networking that I've come to take for granted with my Linux system. Just my 2 cents.

Re:one man wonder distros (1)

MooUK (905450) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119210)

Ubuntu now has a very clean looking package management, and also synaptic. And AFAIK it does wireless pretty well when it supports your adapter.

Re:one man wonder distros (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119212)

If this post wasn't a blatant advertisement, then I dont know what is.

Re:one man wonder distros (2, Informative)

martinultima (832468) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119224)

By the way, yes, it is true that Slackware does have a community that is more than willing to take over if anything bad happens to Mr. Volkerding. (Sorry if this is redundant, but it is true.) As for my own distribution, a good number of packages are indeed hand-built, and it may in fact become independent of Slackware if worst comes to worst. Ubuntu, on the other hand, has stated explicitly [ubuntu.com] that they would be nowhere if Debian were to disappear.

By the way, I will admit that while Shuttleworth does raise a few good points about binary compatibility, I would rather have a distribution that is compatible down to the very last bit with its "parent" – that way, if a package is available for the one system but not the other, one can simply download and install the package that's already available.

For example (correct me if I'm wrong), let's have a package pika which is in Debian but not Ubuntu or Libranet. If Libranet is indeed binary-compatible with Debian like I've heard, I could just download pika from Debian and install it on Libranet. Ubuntu, on the other hand, I'd have to either Google it, or if no one else had the package, build it from source, which can be a mess – especially with my favorite example of wireless drivers, which involve a lot of low-level stuff that can fail pretty easily if done by someone with little experience.

The same thing holds true with Ultima/Slackware, by the way – may as well just put in a quick shameless plug here while I'm at it. Let's say that someone wants FVWM2 on Ultima Linux, which doesn't have it in the default install [because I don't use it much, and Ultima's based mostly on what I use]. Rather than being forced to build it from source or Google it, the user could go to Slackware's site and download the package from there, because FVWM2 is included in Slackware proper. Because I try to develop Ultima to be as close to Slackware as possible, including using the same compiler and glibc versions and all that fun junk, it should work without a hitch.

OK, now to try and get back on topic, the point I'm trying to make is that if I were to choose a Debian derivative, Ubuntu or Libranet, I'd go for Libra. Really is too bad that they're closing... :-(

Re:one man wonder distros (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119226)

heh, you prove the point: since you're the creator and maintainer the distro will only last as long as your interest in it or your life span, anyone else would be kind of silly to use it for production. My guess is slackware and ubuntu would only really last a short time beyond the lifespan of their leaders. For that matter, if Linus T. takes up another hobby or goes to the big happy hackery in the sky, I could see the Linux kernel flying apart in at least four major directions.

Re:one man wonder distros (2, Informative)

martinultima (832468) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119293)

"heh, you prove the point: since you're the creator and maintainer the distro will only last as long as your interest in it or your life span, anyone else would be kind of silly to use it for production. My guess is slackware and ubuntu would only really last a short time beyond the lifespan of their leaders. For that matter, if Linus T. takes up another hobby or goes to the big happy hackery in the sky, I could see the Linux kernel flying apart in at least four major directions."

Well, as the saying goes, nothing gold can stay, eh? Although then again, the same could easily be said about Bill Gates & Micro$oft, or Steve Jobs & Apple... I have yet to see any of them dead yet, so who knows? Besides, even if I were the only user (not currently the case, I've gotten more e-mails from people using it than I know what to do with now ;-) at least it's a system that works for me.

"Ubuntu now has a very clean looking package management, and also synaptic. And AFAIK it does wireless pretty well when it supports your adapter."

Just out of curiosity, have you ever used it? Because if you haven't, I see no reason to listen to you. In my own experience, though, it didn't support any of the adapters I own. Even though none of them had a problem with Slackware, Ultima, or even Damn Small.

"If this post wasn't a blatant advertisement, then I dont know what is."

I congratulate you on your ability to discern acute details. I would have never known. But seriously, yes, it was technically an advertisement, I'll admit, but advertising aside,

#! /usr/bin/python
if ( "one man job" == "unreliable and poorly built" ):
print "Well, maybe you're right."
else:
print "I told you so!"

And for the record, I actually do try other distros, and am open to suggestions and stuff. How else do you think I come up with new ideas? ;-)

Re:one man wonder distros (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119401)

looks like you're responding to other posts as well as mine. I was just pointing out certain distros probably won't live beyond the life or interest of any one person, and other more team-oriented ones will (and for at least two of the BSD this is likely true too). Would be a very fun hobby, but to make the thing live on might want to consider making a team out of the more enthusiastic of your users

Re:one man wonder distros (1)

martinultima (832468) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119439)

Yeah, I know I was replying to more posts than yours. I had responses for all of them and yours was just the first I clicked reply on ;-) You do have some very good points there, I will admit.

Re:one man wonder distros (1)

concept10 (877921) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119335)

"apt-get/dpkg was an absolute nightmare even for an advanced user like me"

APT/dpkg use is almost brain dead - maybe you should'nt creating your own distro if you can't figure out how to use these tools.

Re:one man wonder distros (0, Troll)

martinultima (832468) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119457)

"APT/dpkg use is almost brain dead - maybe you should'nt creating your own distro if you can't figure out how to use these tools."

That's the beauty of the thing: It's so 'brain dead' that it's virtually impossible to do anything.

Case in point: Trying to install Frozen Bubble on a friend's Ubuntu system. Simple enough, right? Well, I had to manually edit the configuration files (not a problem for me, but for new users it can be), and then find the right version of SDL-Perl because it wasn't included. Or something like that. I don't remember too much, only that we ended up re-installing Ubuntu, then eventually just installing Ultima after it screwed up big-time.

And then to get any of the "fun" packages like MPEG support and RealPlayer needs lots more manual configuration editing and tweaking. There's an entire page somewhere of nothing but tweaks so that you can get a usable system after installing. My system, on the other hand, I regularly re-install on my machines just to make sure everything works right, and have yet to see any problems with the "out-of-the-box" configuration.

Also, apt-get makes it almost impossible to cancel an installation and then re-install. Slackware's pkgtools on the other hand work very simply:
1. Download package.
2. installpkg packagename.tgz

In fact, with tools like KDE's KPackage, it's even simpler than that.

Maybe I'm just a Slackware user who's used to things that "just work" without much fuss, but I think that a lot of those apt-get and similar systems are just unnecessarily complex and only make matters worse. Simplicity is divine.

Re:one man wonder distros (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119277)

What does that make the Linux kernel, then?

Re:one man wonder distros (1, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119304)

As long as the OS is under the GPL, or some other Free Software license, there's absolutely NO REASON to avoid one-person outfits. If the maintainer bows out, at worst you can support yourself, and in practice there will always be a sizable community ready to join in for all but the most obscure systems. The nearest thing there is to a problem amongst free software enthusiasts is that many have an aversion to forking, but there's no reason for that, especially when a distribution no longer has a maintainer.

While there are a lot of vanity distributions, it's also true that most of the innovation has started with individuals saying "This just doesn't work for me, how can I do this in a better way?" Slackware, for instance, had the first "packages" as we'd recognize them today (ironically, because of the work Debian and RedHat did to fix the flaws in Slackware's original model, there's a lot of people now who think it doesn't have packages at all. However, the concept of breaking up the install into packages of specific applications and bundles of tools and related files, with the user installing by saying "I want this, this, this, not that, this, this..." (etc) was something that originated with Slackware); Libranet is clearly popular (as this thread shows) with people who've used it who saw it as the first time someone had actually come up with a GNU/Linux distribution easy enough for them to understand.

I agree with you about proprietary operating systems. That's why I wouldn't touch, say, SkyOS with a ten foot pole. But GNU licensed Free Software? Why the hell not? What do I have to lose?

Re:one man wonder distros (4, Insightful)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119339)

>there's absolutely NO REASON to avoid one-person outfits. If the maintainer bows out, at worst you can support yourself,

That, by itself, is a great reason to avoid one-person outfits.

Re:one man wonder distros (1)

johnMG (648562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119383)

> > there's absolutely NO REASON to avoid one-person outfits. If the maintainer bows out,
> > at worst you can support yourself,
>
> That, by itself, is a great reason to avoid one-person outfits.

The OP was referring to the worst case scenario. A better case scenario is that someone
very close to the project steps up.

Re:one man wonder distros (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119639)

As opposed to what exactly?

With a commercial, Free Software, distribution, at worse you can support yourself too.

With a commercial, proprietary, distribution, at worse you can... erm, jump ship. You don't have the option of supporting yourself. So if you can't jump ship because you're tied to whatever platform it is, you're screwed.

you're forgetting SLS! (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119801)

> "Slackware, for instance, had the first 'packages' as we'd recognize them."

No, actually, the packages predate the distributions -- I used to download individual packages off of funet.fi, back in the very early days when you still needed a Minix boot floppy to run fdisk and mkfs for Linux. The first "distro" was SLS, and it simply tried to provide a little overall organization for the steadily growing mass of packages that already existed. And Debian didn't "fix the flaws in Slackware's original model" because A) it wasn't "Slackware's model", it was simply the standard model that everyone used at the time (but, if anything, it was SLS's model), and B) Slackware and Debian were founded at basically the same time, which makes it hard to claim that Debian was influenced by Slackware in any way, since Slackware didn't exist back then! Of course, Slackware went from non-existence to 1.0 status in almost no time, since it relied on pre-existing technologies, while Debian took several years to reach 1.0, since they were trying to solve problems that nobody else had previously addressed.

Your poor grasp of history aside, though, I do agree with your main thesis that dealing with "one-person outfits" is perfectly safe, for the most part. I would qualify that by saying that they're safe if they're basically doing some minor refining of existing alternatives (in Slackware's case, the amorphous mass of packages on funet and other sites, and in Libranet's case, the mass of packages available on Debian mirrors). Basically, what it comes down to is: have a back-up plan. (That is to say, not a plan to make backups, but a backup to your current plan).

Libranet users have plenty of viable alternatives that will be easy to switch to if it all does go south, so I—like you—think they have little to worry about.

Re:one man wonder distros (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119319)

Then again Slackware has already outlasted a lot of commercial software vendors I've seen.

Re:one man wonder distros (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119772)

That's because it's one guy feverishly working in his mom's basement.

When he finally dies or gets a life slackware is going to be over.

I wouldn't bet my companies server farm on when that will be.

Re:one man wonder distros (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119360)

This is why you should never rely on one-man-wonder distros like libranet or slackware for anything beyond hobby machines.

Absolutely. That's why, when I bought my first dedicated Linux box for my job in 2001, I went with a distribution backed by a company: Progeny. Thus, I was guaranteed solid support and an up-to-date system for eternity.

Uhh, (Linus Torvalds) == (One Man Wonder) (1)

mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119430)


This is why you should never rely on one-man-wonder distros like libranet or slackware for anything beyond hobby machines.

You know how the suits always tell you that they purchase IBM/Microsoft/Sun/Oracle because when the shiznat hits the fan, they want someone they can call 24/7/365?

Well what are they gonna do when Herr Kernelmeister Torvalds up and kicks the bucket? Call Alan Cox? I mean good grief - does Richard Stallman even own a telephone?

Re:Uhh, (Linus Torvalds) == (One Man Wonder) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119476)

Yes, he does. Its wrapped in tinfoil, and basically useless, but he has one :)

Re:Uhh, (Linus Torvalds) == (One Man Wonder) (1)

hkb (777908) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119562)

Maybe you've been out since 1996, but the Linux kernel isn't and hasn't been a "one-man show" for quite a while. If Linus were to bite it, Linux would still continue on with teams and teams of other people.

Re:Uhh, (Linus Torvalds) == (One Man Wonder) (1)

martinultima (832468) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119690)

<German-ish translation of sorts>Also, Herr Kernelmeister Torvalds ist nicht jetzt tot. Das Linux-Community wird es maintainen, ob etwas schlecht zu Linus happent.</German-ish translation of sorts>

  THIS COMMENT IS NOT VALID XHTML 1.1 STRICT! :-)

Re:one man wonder distros (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119605)

This is why you should never rely on one-man-wonder distros like libranet or slackware
Or Apple ('s Mac Os X).

Re:one man wonder distros (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119670)

You've got this all wrong. If Jon Danzig [danzig-verotik.com] is throwing in the towel, it just goes to show that you should never rely on a distro that is created and maintained by a rocker.

Uh... (0, Flamebait)

Arctic Fox (105204) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119085)

But on a purely selfish level, is there anyone out there who can help save my favourite distribution?"

How about you? Don't be a leach.

Willing to help (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119087)

I'm willing to help in whatever way I can.

MOD FUNNY (2, Funny)

ziggamon2.0 (796017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119240)

Come on, can't you see the humor in an Anonymous Coward offering help?

Libranet is one of few (5, Informative)

node357 (889400) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119117)

Libranet is one of the few Debian-derived systems that can claim to be 100% compatible with Debian. Its main distinguishing feature is the Libranet Adminmenu, which is on par with Mandrake (Mandriva) Control Center and YAST. Adminmenu is simple and effective, and has allowed novice users to see results of "technical" procedures first-hand, which they can learn from without having to pass the grade just to use their computers. The greatest merit of Libranet is its tightly knit and devout user community, where humor and spirit abound and the answer to any question is usually contributed mere hours after it is posed. Libranet has a rich history, a great following, and a future that its proprietor really ought to consider hard before giving it up. Anyone who hasn't tried this distro has really missed out on a unique and effective approach to Debian GNU/Linux.

Re:Libranet is one of few (4, Informative)

gooman (709147) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119267)

I agree. Libranet is a very nice distro. It always seemed a bit expensive, being Debian, but it offered some unique value, first of which is Adminmenu. Adminmenu is simple, powerful and polished. Using IceWM as the default GUI makes for a familiar interface without the sluggishness of KDE or Gnome (Great for older hardware). The selection of applications is well thought out. Of course there's apt get if you need something not included. For the newbie, it is extremely friendly and fast, a great way to learn Linux. I've recommended it for years. For the experienced user, it's just Debian, but still a very nice "Linux for the Desktop" distro.

My highest compliments regarding Libranet after Adminmenu is the community. The community is very knowledgeable and helpful and generally polite. I set my parents up with Libranet for that very reason, I knew they could ask questions in the forum and get answers without getting flamed and never wanting to try that again.

Since Jon's death, this was kind of expected. Nonetheless it is very sad news for a great distro.

Re:Libranet is one of few (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119285)

Halleluja!

Re:Libranet is one of few (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119512)

Fascinating. Is Adminmenu in some ways superior to Webmin? Should anyone even bother with it when Webmin is available?

Re:Libranet is one of few (1)

CoolVibe (11466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119588)

Webmin's "problem" for me at least is that it offers an interface through a browser. Those things aren't always available, and adminning a box remotely (across the internet) with webmin is something I'd rather avoid.

Adminmenu's strength is that it's a loose application that doesn't need another application to access it. Yes, it's X, but one only needs the X libraries and X through ssh tunneling will do the rest.

ID:GPL. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119122)

"But on a purely selfish level, is there anyone out there who can help save my favourite distribution?""

Courtesy of that creation of ID...the GPL. Libranet will live on forever in your hearts and minds.

Wooohooo Israel == t3h 0wn! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119134)

Yeah bitches! Shabbat Shalom etc.

Re:Wooohooo Israel == t3h 0wn! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119175)

Israel FTL!

DEATH TO GENTILES! JEWS UBER ALLES! ISRAEL SUPREME (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119191)

Shut up whitey, you are a slave to Israel now!

adminmenu for debian/ubuntu? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119206)

Good now that libranet is dead...maybe they'll open source their adminmenu tool so other distros can use it.

Re:adminmenu for debian/ubuntu? (2, Insightful)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119411)

Good now that libranet is dead...maybe they'll open source their adminmenu tool so other distros can use it.

If it was in so much demand someone would of created an opensource version. Yast will be open source, Debian and Ubuntu both have projects. Most people seem to be fine with synaptic, apt-get and aptitude.

As for "Good" that libranet is dead is rather harsh, libranet showed how someone could take opensource software and create a business out of it.

Re:adminmenu for debian/ubuntu? (1)

patiodragon (920102) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119765)

"Most people seem to be fine with synaptic, apt-get and aptitude."

This is true, for the "Add/Remove Software" part of administration. I use Ubuntu and Suse and don't want to spend time administering either. Having 1 place to go to administer 90% of the machines functionality is a huge help.

The Ubuntu community is very helpful in giving answers, but it often results in "it's easy, just type 'sudo this_line in /etc/app/app-conf' and you're done". Simple, if you can remember all the "this_lines" and their homes. Until there is a more extensive and human-readable administration section, it still doesn't get first place in the "linux for human beans" category.

my 0.02USD

Re:adminmenu for debian/ubuntu? (1)

lspd (566786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119773)

Most people seem to be fine with synaptic, apt-get and aptitude.

These are great tools for package management, but have virtually nothing to do with configuration/administration. If you mess up the configuration during the initial package install, you're on your own in figuring out which package to "dpkg-reconfigure".

As an example.... Lets say you install the x-window-system and gnome metapackages. You attempt to configure X, but for one reason or another it doesn't start up correctly. Which package needs to be reconfigured to fix X? You could simply edit /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 by hand, but that's not the correct solution (Debconf will give up on managing the file if you edit it.)

Debian doesn't give you any real guidance in these situations. It does have powerful tools to fix problems but they're not simple to use. Unfortunately, most of the third-party admin tools don't integrate well with Debian's existing configuration system. If adminmenu is different in this respect, it would be a worthwhile addition to Debian.

Re:adminmenu for debian/ubuntu? (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119813)

Most people seem to be fine with synaptic, apt-get and aptitude.



Just for the record, I'm not fine with them, and I'll be happy when a ubiquitous alternative comes along, one which is along the lines of adminmenu or YAST. Until then I'm writing shell scripts to help myself and making them available on the forums of the specific distros for which I make them, but it is not as elegant a solution as those GUI tools. And why do the work over again? Hopefully they will open source adminmenu as it is quite good!

So many distributions (0, Flamebait)

k00110 (932544) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119208)

Seriously, how many Linux variants people need ? I would rather see a new OS than 100 other Linux distributions. If you want to save something, save your-self from another linux variant.

Re:So many distributions (1, Redundant)

PenisLands (930247) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119252)

As long as there are millions of people in the world, there will be many different linux distributions. Having a broad range of choices is important. Imagine if there were only 3 or 4 big linux distros.
Though I may get modded as redundant, I felt that this was important to say anyway.

Re:So many distributions (1)

k00110 (932544) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119334)

Having a broad range of choices is important. Imagine if there were only 3 or 4 big linux distros.
Too bad the broad range of choices doesn't apply to Operating Systems. People are still pretty limited to Windows, Linux, MacOS in general. Don't you think it would be more interesting to see more OS than distros ?

Re:So many distributions (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119629)

Imagine if there were only 3 or 4 big linux distros.

That would actually be pretty cool. It would allow for much more standardisation than we have now and would probably also help push Linux even further into the mainstream.

I think that the dozens of little distros out there actually hurt Linux more than helping it.

Re:So many distributions (2, Funny)

k00110 (932544) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119364)

I don't agree with your opinion : Score:0, Flamebait

Re:So many distributions (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119738)

And all we really need is cynobacteria.

KFG

bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14119345)

Go use NetBSD

YOU NEAL! YOU!! You Can Save The Distro!!! (1)

Halvy (748070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119559)


But on a purely selfish level, is there anyone out there who can help save my favourite distribution?"

Well, you're going to have to do something when they fire your sorry arse from here!

LOL!!

--Safely entrenched at the bottom of 'Bad Karma', now I can FINALLY speak my mind.. :)

In soviet Russia... (0)

flamesrock (802165) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119730)

Libranet throws in the towel.

Bloated or not (1)

timothykaine (821252) | more than 8 years ago | (#14119823)

I'd fork her.
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