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Ulteo, The New 'World's Easiest Linux'

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the for-mom-and-dad dept.

201

ggarron writes "Gael Duval, the creator of Mandrake and now fired from Mandriva, has created a new Linux distro, based on Ubuntu, and it claims to be the easiest Linux, and that it will redefine the Desktop philosophy."

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no (4, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540409)

it claims to be the easiest Linux

No, the easiest Linux is Tivo.

Re:no (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540769)

No, the easiest Linux is Tivo.

Well, I'd say an even easier linux is one used in a Wireless Access Point, comes preconfigured, plug it in & never touch it again.

But that's not really what the article's talking about is it? It does't mean a single-use box like TIVO or a router, but a general purpose desktop.

Re:no (1)

cyclop (780354) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540925)

You can't get irony, isn't it?

Re:no (5, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540945)

You can't get irony, isn't it?

Sentence not parse, does not?

isn't it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18541111)

That is acceptable in some dialects of English, most notably Indian English.

Love,
An Off-Topic Linguist

Re:isn't it (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18541119)

..and Singlish too.

But I'd rather call them butcheries than dialects.

In East LOndon (0, Redundant)

weierstrass (669421) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541257)

(the one in London, UK, not the one in SA) we end a sentence like that.
"You're a pedant, isn't it." instead of
"You're a pedant, aren't you."
Often contracted to 'innit'.

Re:In East LOndon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18541339)

So, it isn't just the southern US that butchers English?

Re:In East LOndon (2, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541875)

So, it isn't just the southern US that butchers English?


You can butcher a sausage?

Re:no (1)

RedBear (207369) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541629)

You can't get irony, isn't it?

Sentence not parse, does not?


I thinks we's been watchink too muchs Metalocolypse.

Re:no (4, Funny)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541115)

You can't get irony, isn't it?


Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

C:\Documents and Settings\anguyen071904>irony
'irony' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.

ATTN: SWITCHEURS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18541237)

If you don't know what Cmd-Shift-1 and Cmd-Shift-2 are for, GTFO.
If you think Firefox is a decent Mac application, GTFO.
If you're still looking for the "maximize" button, GTFO.
If you don't know Clarus from Carl Sagan, GTFO.

Bandwagon jumpers are not welcome among real Mac users [atspace.com] . Keep your filthy PC fingers to yourself.

The world's easiest Linux distro? (5, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540423)

You mean, even easier than Slackware or even Gentoo?!?

Re:The world's easiest Linux distro? (5, Funny)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540493)

You mean, even easier than Slackware or even Gentoo?!?

Gentoo is pretty easy to install. Hell, I even remember the two of three commands for installation:

Command #1:
cfdisk /dev/hda && mkfs.xfs /dev/hda1 && mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/gentoo/ && chroot /mnt/gentoo/ && env-update && . /etc/profile && emerge sync && cd /usr/portage && scripts/bootsrap.sh && emerge system && emerge vim && vi /etc/fstab && emerge gentoo-dev-sources && cd /usr/src/linux && make menuconfig && make install modules_install && emerge gnome mozilla-firefox openoffice && emerge grub && cp /boot/grub/grub.conf.sample /boot/grub/grub.conf && vi /boot/grub/grub.conf && grub && init 6

Command #2:
either 2a) rm -rf / & sleep 1000 && reboot
or 2b) cat /dev/urandom /dev/hda /dev/sda /dev/pts

Source: Uncyclopedia [uncyclopedia.org]


Re:The world's easiest Linux distro? (5, Funny)

Workaphobia (931620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540527)

Gentoo is all about choice. In this case, you choose to overwrite your partitions with /dev/urandom. While that may be fine for newcommers, power-users appreciate the satisfaction that comes from catting /dev/random and manually moving the mouse to generate entropy until every gigabyte is nuked. You already took the time to compile your system from scratch in step 1; when it's time to give up in step 2, you'll want to make sure you demonstrate that same dedication to slowly acheived perfection.

Re:The world's easiest Linux distro? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540725)

I thought that Linux from scratch [linuxfromscratch.org] was the easiest distro on the planet...

Re:The world's easiest Linux distro? (3, Funny)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540755)

Very true.

Installing Gentoo is a serious commitment. After installing comes the countless hours waiting for updates as well as software installs to compile.

God forbid someone should forget that "Gentoo is all about choice" is a mandate to obscenely rice out your GCC flags and make non-trivial changes to make.conf in order to get that whopping 0.00000000000000000001% performance gain as well as the satisfaction that you know what exactly what the "OMGPONIES" and "WTFAMIDOING" GCC flags do in conjunction with the countless other ricer flags out there.

Re:The world's easiest Linux distro? (3, Funny)

cyclop (780354) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540937)

Hey, you should know that the -OMGPONIES flag makes all apps and libs shine gorgeously with GLITTER!!!! Every seasoned Unix admin knows that. Isn't it the beauty of Free Software?

Re:The world's easiest Linux distro? (2, Funny)

eugene ts wong (231154) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542337)

Installing Gentoo is a serious commitment. After installing comes the countless hours waiting for updates as well as software installs to compile.
Oh, come on! You don't have to wait for updates. You could always recompile the packages that you already have. Sheesh!

Re:The world's easiest Linux distro? (1)

cyclop (780354) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540953)

Isn't it the IT equivalent of a mandala? I bet some cyber-mystic could use it as a ritual...

Re:The world's easiest Linux distro? (2, Insightful)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540797)

I guess it doesn't really matter too much which distro you choose these days. They're all easy.

What it not easy, as I've just rediscovered over the last two days, is Windows XP. I had the thankless task of ridding the boss's wife's computer of all the bugware/spyware/malware her offspring had managed to install, and in my cocky wisdom I decided to wipe everything and reinstall from scratch.

Two days later, after pulling out hard drives to partition and format them one at a time (no sir, XP decided it didn't like disks it had just formatted), I was swearing in frustration at this dumbass OS that goes so far out of its way to make life difficult for the user.

Contrast with a standard Slackware install, which is simply done with and usable in an hour. Makes me want to take the next moron who says Linux isn't ready for the desktop and shove his teeth so far down his throat he'll have to stick his toothbrush up his ass...

Grrrr. ;-}

Re:The world's easiest Linux distro? (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540891)

I guess it doesn't really matter too much which distro you choose these days. They're all easy.

I agree with you there.

I've never had much difficulty with my various Gentoo (from stage 3 as well as the new installer), Ubuntu, (old school) Red Hat, Fedora, and FreeBSD desktop installs.

Windows XP, on the other hand tended to be somewhat of a pain in the ass for me to get installed successfully. For some odd reason, at least 2 .cab files would claim to be corrupted, thus borking up my install. Keep in mind that my install disk was brand new thanks to ACM. My student chapter was given a 'gift' of microsoft products, and if absolutely necessary, I could have used my MSDNAA account to download a new copy and key.

Makes me want to take the next moron who says Linux isn't ready for the desktop and shove his teeth so far down his throat he'll have to stick his toothbrush up his ass...

I totally know where you are comming from on that...

Re:The world's easiest Linux distro? (5, Funny)

thc69 (98798) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541477)

I had the thankless task of ridding the boss's wife
So easy to misread. So very easy.

Re:The world's easiest Linux distro? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18541643)

Adding to the fact that The first time I have read the title of the article, I have read "Utero, The New 'World's Easiest Linux'" :D

Re:The world's easiest Linux distro? (3, Funny)

sydb (176695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541799)

It get's worse:

over the last two days... I had the thankless task of riding the boss's wife ... her offspring ... my cock ... I decided to wipe everything and ... scratch.

Two days later, after pulling ... them one at a time ... I was swearing in frustration..

Makes me want to take the next moron ... and shove [it] ... down his throat ... stick his toothbrush up his ass...


Re:The world's easiest Linux distro? (1)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541769)

True; if Ulteo is going to be the easiest Linux distro, it'll have to modify KDE a fair bit, along with its default applications. Ubuntu's standard installer is pretty much the most basic possible in terms of ease of use, except that it asks you about partitioning your hard drive, so there's not much improvement available there.

Re:The world's easiest Linux distro? (2, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541965)

"Contrast with a standard Slackware install, which is simply done with and usable in an hour. Makes me want to take the next moron who says Linux isn't ready for the desktop and shove his teeth so far down his throat he'll have to stick his toothbrush up his ass..."

Do you think maybe this has a bit to do with familiarity?

As a pc tech, I was used to reinstalling Windows on hosed computers. I was SO used to it that every install took less than an hour and had no issues. The first time I tried to install Slackware (having previous installed Debian with several issues), it didn't take a single hour. In fact, the third and fourth install didn't take only an hour, either.

From a user-only standpoint, Windows is just as easy to install as Linux, and vice-versa. Drivers are harder to find on Linux, but most of them 'just work', so it's kind of a push. Quite a few other issues are the same way. In fact, from a user-only standpoint, both are a freaking nightmare.

Re:The world's easiest Linux distro? (2, Insightful)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542265)

The first time I tried to install Slackware (having previous installed Debian with several issues), it didn't take a single hour. In fact, the third and fourth install didn't take only an hour, either.

Something tells me you didn't read this [slackware.com] or this [slackware.com] .
If you just expect things to be set up right, you can't just install and be happy. In fact, the tendency to do that with Windows leads to the hosing of said Windows systems you write about.

Curse you! (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541525)

You should have warned me that the second command was the un-install!

Easiest or not (3, Insightful)

owlman17 (871857) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540425)

It doesn't matter if it lives up to its claim or not, as long as it helps the average user get into Linux. Any 'easy' distro is welcome to join the fray. Welcome aboard.

Re:Easiest or not (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540469)

agreed. Linux will take over the planet. it is inevitable and the world will be a better place the sooner it happens!

Re:Easiest or not (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540513)

From TFA it actually isn't any better than (K)ubuntu today. They want to implement "admin free" (not sure this is even a good thing to have) features in future releases but they don't seem very far along that road yet.

Re:Easiest or not (2, Insightful)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540795)

It doesn't matter if it lives up to its claim or not, as long as it helps the average user get into Linux. Any 'easy' distro is welcome to join the fray. Welcome aboard.

Hopefully they will do the right thing and provide good user support. Having a distro which is "easy to use" is nice, but helping (read: 'rtfm' responces to user questions doesn't qualify) users out as well as having good and easy to read tutorials and documentation is a must.

Re:Easiest or not (1)

antoinjapan (450229) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540833)

Ulteo Sirius Alpha 1?
With a name like that their target market just halved.

Re:Easiest or not (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542213)

It doesn't matter if it lives up to its claim or not, as long as it helps the average user get into Linux. Any 'easy' distro is welcome to join the fray.

That's a lie.

Face it, geeks don't *want* the unwashed mouth-breathers to use Linux. It's *their* OS. You have to *earn* your right to use it. They ridicule any attempt to make it easy to switch. Their idea of user-friendly design is demanding that everyone wipe their MBR on install whether or not it's necessary, and whether or not they have the appropriate tools to fix it if something goes wrong. They think that loading Linux as a secondary OS by hitting F8 at startup is "too burdensome", while risking locking yourself out of your computer is no big deal. No, I'm not kidding. [slashdot.org]

Let's not forget, Ubuntu was considered "easy" for the new user. Time of merging Live and install CDs: mid-'06. Time of first cutesy name for a version: a long time before that.

I bet he hasn't even tried Linspire (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540437)

I know I haven't. Fragmentation++

Re:I bet he hasn't even tried Linspire (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540551)

I know I haven't.

Looking at ulteo's home page [ulteo.com] (check out screenshot here [ulteo.com] ), it looks like ulteo's going for something rather different to linspire [ulteo.com] (or ubuntu for that matter):

1- always provide the most up to date stable features and self-upgrade automatically
2- require no, or very little, administration by the user
3- open users horizon to potentially every application which exists, the simple way

For this release of Ulteo Sirius Alpha1, we have focused on the first point. This means that after the first installation, Ulteo will try to check for any new versions available if a network connection is available, and self-upgrade by using an incremental upgrade mechanism.
Fragmentation++

A free market always fragments. Deal with it.

Re:I bet he hasn't even tried Linspire (3, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540569)

A market requires actual money to be changing hands. As such, RedHat, Novell and Linspire are about the only ones in "the market" of selling a distribution. Add Canonical if you want to talk about the support market.

On the other hand, the insane amount of fragmentation we've seen in the "screw you guys, I'm starting my own distro" space has nothing to do with market forces and everything to do with geek egos.

Re:I bet he hasn't even tried Linspire (4, Insightful)

Mr. Hankey (95668) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540929)

On the other hand, the insane amount of fragmentation we've seen in the "screw you guys, I'm starting my own distro" space has nothing to do with market forces and everything to do with geek egos.

Or possibly with disenchantment with the direction that the current players are taking. I know I'm in that boat, and there's no OS vendor that currently offers precisely what I'm looking for. Not MS, having used their products for many years and still having to deal with the cruft; not Apple, as a former Mac user; not Sun, although I still work with Solaris; none of the BSDs, nor any one of the myriad operating systems and distributions I've used over the past 20 years.

I started running Mandrake years ago based on the direction that Gael had taken a Redhat fork several years ago, since that seemed to be the only Linux distro at the time that was moving toward what I was looking for right out of the box (simple, scriptable installs, well supported KDE desktop, automated dependency resolution, totally Free-as-in-speech core, user-centric approach, good security tools, decent compatibility with most other systems). Ubuntu is sort of there, but I'm not interested in a Gnome distribution. It just doesn't feel right to me, YMMV of course. Unfortunately, Mandriva hasn't exactly continued along the path of a smooth user experience. Update servers glitch and so do the updates sometimes. Their forums don't seem very customer-centric these days, and getting involved with development is surprisingly chaotic.

I say good luck to Gael and his new team. Hopefully they will take the seemingly half-hearted Kubuntu core and get it right. This might be my next distro, assuming everything pulls together.

Re:I bet he hasn't even tried Linspire (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541781)

And no OS provides what I want - free as in speech, free as in beer, UNIX as in POSIX (and thusly a near workalike for Solaris at user level) - though I will say I'm at least making inroads on that, NetBSD's working on that too...

-uso.

Re:I bet he hasn't even tried Linspire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540997)

A market requires actual money to be changing hands.

Absolutely right! There is no free market if you're bartering. Stock swaps are excluded from the free market, as are gifts of goods in exchange for services.

ACTUAL MONEY IS TEH KING

On the other hand, the insane amount of fragmentation we've seen in the "screw you guys, I'm starting my own distro" space has nothing to do with market forces and everything to do with geek egos.

Damn straight, it's not like linux is unique - windows geeks could also start their own distro, but windows geeks have NO EGO.

Re:I bet he hasn't even tried Linspire (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541277)

Damn straight, it's not like linux is unique - windows geeks could also start their own distro, but windows geeks have NO EGO.

Well, that, and basically no access to the Windows source code.

Re:I bet he hasn't even tried Linspire (1)

thebdj (768618) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541411)

A market requires actual money to be changing hands. As such, RedHat, Novell and Linspire are about the only ones in "the market" of selling a distribution. Add Canonical if you want to talk about the support market.
Wrong. First, add Mandriva, since they also offer to sell you a distro. Two, you do not need to be exchanging money to be directly involved in, influenced by, or influencing a market. There are several free software tools that are used by large corporations, and these free tools have affected the way some companies that charge for products make their software. In the same way, that the people making free software are watching the market to see what the people who could use their product would want. Also note, the market for a lot of distro's is user desktops. The only one of your three that makes most of its money off of user installs is Linspire, most user desktop installs for RH and Novell come from FC and openSuSE. You see, there can be a thing such as a "free" market. Not the ideological "free market" of economics, but a market where products don't cost money.

On the other hand, the insane amount of fragmentation we've seen in the "screw you guys, I'm starting my own distro" space has nothing to do with market forces and everything to do with geek egos.
Geek egos? Please. You really have not been following the Linux world that closely have you. Any complaints and splits coming from Debian are well founded. The distro has gone stagnant due to poor management. Some distros previously based on it are now based on Ubuntu (or are switching to it), which has become a better Debian. The difference here and what you will see in most situations is that here the licensing allows you to split off and "fork" into a new Distro. If licensing allowed, do you not think a few Devs at Microsoft would probably have split off and made Windows a little less shitty by now? (Sorry, that might have been a bit low.) To say that Linux distros do not affect or are not affected by "the market" is absurd.

Re:I bet he hasn't even tried Linspire (1)

lpcustom (579886) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541743)

I love having 100's of distro's to choose from personally. It helps move things forward. Everyone is competing. Competition spurs innovation. You want to talk about ego....look at Microsoft. That's ego. Linux users creating new distro's is just nerds being nerds and friendly(sometimes not-so-friendly) competition.

Redefining through mimicry? I think not. (3, Insightful)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540461)

How can it claim to redefine ANY philosophy if its aim is merely a rehash of the tired Windows 95 interface? Come on, a "start" menu?!

I understand the need to make switchers feel at home, and that's great for an "easy Linux" standpoint, but don't try to shove some "revolution" bullshit down our throats at the same time.

Re:Redefining through mimicry? I think not. (4, Insightful)

urbanradar (1001140) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540895)

How can it claim to redefine ANY philosophy if its aim is merely a rehash of the tired Windows 95 interface? Come on, a "start" menu?!

I understand the need to make switchers feel at home, and that's great for an "easy Linux" standpoint, but don't try to shove some "revolution" bullshit down our throats at the same time.
I agree with your criticism -- looks pretty much like a standard KDE desktop to me. At the same time, though, I wouldn't call the Windows 95 interface "tired". Basically, it works. It gives you an instant overview over what you're currently doing (taskbar) and gives you quick access to all open windows, even ones that are hidden. It allows you to open your favourite applications in one click (quick launcher). It gives inexperienced users who are looking for a certain functionality a place to look that quickly becomes familiar, is always easy to find and instantly accessible and works (start button). The entire bar gives you your entire essential "system controls" all in one place and does so without wasting much space. As a bonus, it gives you the time (and date, on KDE) at one glance. Also, the vast majority of computer users already know how to use it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Before anyone tears into me -- I freely admit there is room for improvement. And yes, completely inexperienced users sometimes do take a moment to get the exact purpose of, or difference between quick launcher, taskbar and system tray. But still, all in all, it's a pretty solid interface. Personally, I've never been convinced by attempts to redesign the interface. I don't like the Gnome interface because it spreads things that ought to be in one place all over the screen without serious gains in usability, and keeps me from just flicking my cursor to the upper right and clicking if I want to close a window, which is a small detail, but annoying to me. I don't like the OSX interface too much, either -- again, it spreads out stuff that might just as well be in one place, letting every window keep its menu bar to itself makes more sense to me*, and putting open and closed programmes next to each other as big colourful icons might look nice, but also feels seriously cluttered and a lot less structured to me. I admit I don't use Macs much these days, so maybe I'm overlooking something, but from what I have seen, I'm not terribly impressed.

Most attempts at redesigning the desktop interface that I've seen may have a lower learning curve than the Windows 95 one, but they also seem to limit the user more once he gets beyond the level of an absolute beginner. And a computer just isn't a typewriter. No matter how simplified the interface is, you *are* going to have to put at least a little effort into learning how to use it. That's a basic fact that we might as well accept.

If someone can come up with a better interface without losing functionality, I'm up for it. But why should an interface be "tired" and need to be re-designed completely just because it's been around for a long time?



---
* Yes, I know that Apple's menu bar at the top came before Windows style menu bars. I learned to use computers on an old Macintosh SE with Mac OS 6.0.7.

Re:Redefining through mimicry? I think not. (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542169)

There is a reason people don't go replacing old tools that work, and in a forum about Linux, one'd expect people to know it... It seems the GP doesn't. Now, I always found the Gnome bars cool, but never felt confortable using them. Reading your post I discovered why... I never tought about it with a UI pespective.

And, about:

"As a bonus, it gives you the time (and date, on KDE)"

Date and an easy to access calendar. Don't forget the calendar :)... If only I could find one at my Windows computer at work...

Re:Redefining through mimicry? I think not. (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541357)

Oh, For Crying Out Loud, that's it. I'm going to start MY own distro! And I'm going to base it off WindowMaker. Sod KDE and trying to pretend it's Windows! MY distro will be a clean break from the Windows mentality. I have the following design points in mind:
  1. Treat users like they have a clue, or at least are capable of growing a clue.
  2. Don't try to be like Windows. If there's a better way to do something than the way Windows does it, do it the better way.
  3. Don't pretend the command line doesn't exist. It does exist, and it's often better than drag-and-drool. Present the user with some graded command-line exercises to get them used to it gently -- and make it easy to restore the state, because they might not get it right first time.
  4. This is not Windows, and we are free to eschew Windows paradigms in favour of genuinely better alternatives where such exist.
  5. No -dev packages! Put the -dev files in the main package. This will make the packages bigger and slower to download. I don't care. Hard disks have grown bigger and internet connections have grown faster since binary packages were invented. It's better all around for users to have the -dev files and not need them, than to need them and not have them. Beside which, how many copies of msvcrt*.dll and the rest do you find on a typical Windows box?
  6. One of the first exercises will be compiling a package from source and installing it. If you can do that, you can do anything.
  7. Be i-tal by default; but recognise that some people will want to pollute their systems with toxic closed-source software and allow for this to be done in the least-damaging way possible.
  8. Stop trying to pretend to be Windows to the point where you begin to lose all Linux-ness. Reverse gear on a Ford is right and towards you, reverse gear on a Vauxhall is left and away from you. If people can cope with that sort of thing in cars, they can cope with something similar on computers.
This perceived need to be like Windows is seriously stifling computing, IMHO. The Apple Mac is a breath of fresh air, but we don't really want to be like that either.

Man you are a hoot. (2, Insightful)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541779)

Hahaha I don't know if you are serious about this or not but if you are man you are seriously out of touch with non-geek users.

There's no way people are going to put up with going through "command line exercizes" so that they can learn how to use it. To most folks a computer is a tool to get things done on, not a hobby to work on itself. The command line isn't better for anyone who is NOT a geek. For non-geeks the graphical user interface with its drag and drop abilities rules the roost. But seriously, good luck with that cause you're going to need it.

Seriously what is it with geeks assuming that the CLI is superior to the GUI for everyone? Can you not see from Distrowatch alone that the most popular distros are the ones that are the easist to use? You don't see Slackware or Gentoo in the #1 spot do you? No. You see Ubuntu. I know you are all a bunch of smart guys so why is this so hard to understand for you?

Re:Redefining through mimicry? I think not. (1)

Bandman (86149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541903)

I find your ideas interesting and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

If you want redefining...look at Symphony OS (1)

StringBlade (557322) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542221)

Symphony OS [wikipedia.org] is taking a much more radical approach to changing the desktop environment. There are many good ideas with it's Mezzo interface, and some not so good. But it's far and away more "redefining" than Ulteo will ever be.

Aside from that, why does Ulteo think that auto-updates are a good idea? They must have really liked Microsoft's WGA and the forced security updates and such. Mmm mm fun!

Real linux users... (3, Funny)

simm1701 (835424) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540503)

Real linux users:

Have beards
Drink (free) beer

And ROLL THEIR OWN DISTROs!!!!!

*cue insane laughter*

Based on Kubuntu (2, Informative)

aitikin (909209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540511)

Having it based on Kubuntu actually worries me quite a bit. I have installed Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and Xubuntu, and the only one I have ever seen have any serious problems was Kubuntu. Ubuntu has been running for months on a completely non-tech savvy individual's computer, Xubuntu for about the same on a semi-savvy individual, and Kubuntu...Well Kubuntu crapped out on a semi-savvy individual after 2 months. I don't know if this is just my experiences coming through, but I've noticed a few others mentioning this difference as well. So I'd be glad to have something that's KDE based that I can recommend to anyone, but if it's Kubuntu based, I'm very weary.

Re:Based on Kubuntu (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540595)

I concur, when trying to migrate my laptop OS to Linux I tried Kubuntu first as it was supposed to be the most complete (good CD/DVD burner, good music player, overall good software). But it was very buggy, the artsd always crashed lots of Knotify processes where making the machine slow, the cd burner (k3d) worked half of the time and overall it just fell very clanky.

I installed Ubuntu and since then it has became my alternative OS (using XP as main) and I am very happy with it (although I cant use it as my main because there are several hardware that doesnt work and there are some things i cant do with Linux)

Re:Based on Kubuntu (1)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540597)

I've been using Kubuntu on my workstation for over a year, including upgrading from Dapper to Edgy. I'm more than semi-savvy (my business is based 100% on custom software I have written) and I've had no problems with Kubuntu. That you've had three computers and the one that failed was Kubuntu means nothing statistically. You're not working with enough computers to be statistically significant. Sure, "a few others" makes it interesting, but considering that Kubuntu is basically Ubuntu with a different package selection, it may be just your experience is on the far side of the bell curve.

Re:Based on Kubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540631)

There was a slashdot article a few weeks back (I can't remember which one; sorry) that strayed into a discussion of the "merits" of Kubuntu. I think these comments (roughly paraphrased) sum up the analysis pretty well:

"Kubuntu gives every appearance of being a conspiracy to get people to switch to GNOME".

"If Ubuntu was the worst thing to happen to KDE, then Kubuntu is the second".

Oh, and it's "wary", not "weary" :-)

Re:Based on Kubuntu (1)

aitikin (909209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540771)

That's kinda the impression I got using it. I love KDE, but Kubuntu just felt wrong.

It's always good to have a grammar freak around. Thanks for the correction.

Re:Based on Kubuntu (1)

cyclop (780354) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540959)

Could I please be pointed to the reasons of these comments? I've used a lot of Linux distros in the past, and Kubuntu -that I use at work since 6.04- always seemed to me the best in terms of both usability, simplicity and functionality. It also seems to me it has the best thought KDE desktop I've always seen. It's both simple and fully powerful. What is wrong in the Kubuntu interface?

Re:Based on Kubuntu (3, Informative)

naich (781425) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541043)

Having installed both Ubuntu and Kubuntu on various PCs, the conclusion I'm coming to is that the best thing to do is install Ubuntu, get everything working and then do an apt-get install Kubuntu-desktop once it's all going. My experience is that most of the config tools are far easier to use in Gnome but that KDE is a better desktop once it's all sorted.

You expect the summaries to be threadbare (2)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540561)

And not the article itself. Too bad, would have been nice to hear whether this was a real contender or not.

Re:You expect the summaries to be threadbare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540629)

It coulda been a contenda! It coulda been somebody!

MyLinux the easiest Linux ever... (1)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540605)

MyLinux the easiest Linux ever... because I SAY SO! ;)

It is based on Kubuntu, not on Ubuntu (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18540617)

The article summary is slightly incorrect: Ulteo is based on Kubuntu, not on Ubuntu. This means that it used KDE instead of GNOME as its default desktop environment.

This is not a surprise, considering that Gael Duval is a big fan of KDE and started Mandrake by adding KDE packages to a base Red Hat distribution. But this announcement of a new Linux distribution started as a fork of an existing one sounds a bit like an ego fight. Also, I have serious doubts about using KDE for the "World's Easiest Linux". Either Gael Duval plans to dumb down KDE and hide most of its options, or his definition of "easiest" is rather biased (maybe "easiest for those with a solid experience of Windows"?). Neither seems to be obvious by looking at the Ulteo web site [ulteo.com] .

Also, the only screenshot available so far [ulteo.com] does not look like something that would be really easy to use. Compared to a default KDE 3.5 installation, this screenshot looks a bit closer to the default Windows XP interface, so maybe he does really think that "easiest" means "easiest for experienced Windows users". However, Firefox looks rather standard (it is interesting to note that he does not use Konq for browsing) and there does not seem to be anything special about the Konqueror window either.

So after looking at the various articles on the Ulteo web site claiming that it started with a study of "users with limited knowledge in computers", I am still wondering what is so special about this new fork of an existing distribution, and what it really means by "easiest".

Re:It is based on Kubuntu, not on Ubuntu (4, Insightful)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540659)

Also, the only screenshot available so far does not look like something that would be really easy to use.

Personally, I don't think many (if any) of us on /. are good judges of "easy to use" on computers. We're too involved in the technical end and know too much to judge what would be easy for someone without a lot of experience.

easy to use? (3, Interesting)

Raphael (18701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540801)

Personally, I don't think many (if any) of us on /. are good judges of "easy to use" on computers. We're too involved in the technical end and know too much to judge what would be easy for someone without a lot of experience.

I agree. Also, it is difficult for anybody (including usability experts) to judge anything from a static screenshot, even if you can already have some hints by looking at the crowded menus or at the buttons available in the applications. It would be easier to comment on a movie (screencast). Or just by trying it or watching other users try it.

I have serious doubts about the usability of Ulteo when I look at the navigation on their web site [ulteo.com] . Just try accessing the items in the second-level menu bar and you should see the problem quickly: if you do not move your mouse exactly as the site designer expected, you will have a hard time selecting the item that you want. As an exercise, try selecting UlteOS/Screenshots or Docs/Documentation and see how frustrating it can be if you move your mouse a bit too far up or down. And this site is supposed to promote the "easiest Linux"?

Re:easy to use? (1)

fatphil (181876) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542445)

Yes, the mouseover stuff is shit. However, if you click UlteoOS, that becomes the top level section that you're part of, and the Screenshots 2nd level stays visible even when the mouse is off the menu.

Re:It is based on Kubuntu, not on Ubuntu (3, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540829)

I agree with your sentiment on our ability to judge something subjective such as ease of use, however, I still question how easy computer use should be made. By computer, I mean personal, general purpose computers.

Re:It is based on Kubuntu, not on Ubuntu (1)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541805)

As easy as can be to bring as many people as possible into the computing fold.

Unless of course you are an elitist prick in which case naturally you'd want some barriers to entry.

Re:It is based on Kubuntu, not on Ubuntu (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542041)

We've also done that, it's called typewriter... But doesn't seems so sucessfull now, it seems most people like 'hard' better.

It's a hard rule, every time we dumb computers down, the less are we able to get from them. It is so unreasonable to persue a single standard.

Re:It is based on Kubuntu, not on Ubuntu (2, Interesting)

Peregr1n (904456) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541065)

I might be a reasonably good test bed. I recently installed Ubuntu on my home PC as my first taste of Linux. I find it easy enough to use once everything is set up, but the fact that I couldn't just click-and-install a wireless card driver just drew a blank look from me (why the hell should I need to edit config files and compile stuff for something so simple?) From my point of view, Ubuntu is pretty much there in terms of basic user friendliness and ease of use, it just needs more drivers and less applications when you first install it. There are some things I find a doddle and far easier than Windows - eg. installing updates - and some very basic things that continue to confuse me - eg. setting VLC as the default video player for all video files - which I'm sure I could figure out eventually but gave up after five minutes as it's not worth my time.

Re:It is based on Kubuntu, not on Ubuntu (5, Insightful)

Wylfing (144940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542257)

It's before my coffee and I am feeling crabby. I just hate this subtle fear and doubt BS which is based on lies and false comparisons.

I couldn't just click-and-install a wireless card driver just drew a blank look from me

I don't know why this persists. People appear to be so trained to tolerate Windows' annoyances that I guess the following is "one click":

  1. Hunt for a CD and put it in the drive.
  2. Try to figure out what to click on the manufacturer's custom welcome screen or trial-and-error figuring out what to click on the CD or oh wait don't actually insert the CD now wait until Windows asks for a driver disk.
  3. Agree to a EULA that strips you of all rights.
  4. Answer some questions you don't understand the consequences to or meaning of.
  5. Boggle at a scary message that these drivers are not approved by Microsoft and take the "not recommended" approach of installing them anyway.
  6. Reboot so it can "finish the installation."
  7. Reboot again to finally have the device recognized.

why the hell should I need to edit config files and compile stuff?

For the n-billionth time, nobody does this anymore, and hasn't for a long time. The real fact is that 99% of Ubuntu users don't even need to be aware that there is such a thing as a "driver" because the vast majority of hardware works immediately as soon as you attach it to your computer. Your plea for "more drivers" is meant only to scare people into thinking Linux doesn't have them, when in reality a distribution like Ubuntu comes with many, many times more drivers than Windows does.

some very basic things continue to confuse me - eg. setting VLC as the default video player for all video files

So now we take a task that is not basic -- configuring file associations or default applications is something that very few users attempt -- but call it "very basic" to make it seem like fundamental functionality is missing. Good job, there.

Re:It is based on Kubuntu, not on Ubuntu (2, Informative)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542349)

eg. setting VLC as the default video player for all video files
Just right-click a file of the type you want to open in VLC, click properties, select the "open with" tab, and select VLC as the default player. (if it's not there, click add and select VLC from the list)

Re:It is based on Kubuntu, not on Ubuntu (1)

nbritton (823086) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541151)

I loose my temper every time I use GIMP, does that qualify me as good judge of "easy to use"?

Re:It is based on Kubuntu, not on Ubuntu (1)

Raphael (18701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540733)

Also, the only screenshot available so far [ulteo.com] does not look like something that would be really easy to use.

There are more screenshots available on Go2Linux [go2linux.org] , describing the installation steps. It is not a surprise that it is almost identical to the current GTK+ Ubuntu installer, except for the Ulteo logo. Also, the initial boot screen has been changed to look a bit more similar to the SUSE boot splash (with the blue curves) but otherwise this is very similar to the current Ubuntu installation steps.

this screenshot looks a bit closer to the default Windows XP interface, so maybe he does really think that "easiest" means "easiest for experienced Windows users"

Indeed, this seems to be the case. I do not see anything in this distribution that would convince an average user to switch to it instead of using Ubuntu (or Kubuntu for those who prefer KDE).

Re:It is based on Kubuntu, not on Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18541527)

Either Gael Duval plans to dumb down KDE and hide most of its options, or his definition of "easiest" is rather biased (maybe "easiest for those with a solid experience of Windows"?)
You know, I'm always hearing how KDE is overwhelming/ confusing/ cluttered/ bloated due to its configurability, but do you know who I never hear this from? *Real* basic users, not power users who (for whatever reason) think they are a good judge of what a novice will find difficult. The reason for this, of course, is that the options/ clutter are mostly confined to - well, options screens, which the user has to manually find and open, and if they are anything like the True Novice that is (e.g.) my mother, then this will never, or rarely, happen.

Stock KDE consists of much the same elements as GNOME - a menu, system tray, maybe a couple of obvious icons - like "Home" - on the desktop, and if you want to find clutter, you have to dig for it.

"Bloat" and "clutter" are power users' words.

Re:It is based on Kubuntu, not on Ubuntu (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541709)

one of the big hooks for ulteo is that the upgrade ap functions automatically (download and install the alpha it will become the beta which will become the release which)

me im sticking with Mandriva (soon to be 2007.1)

Re:It is based on Kubuntu, not on Ubuntu (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542207)

  • system installation,
  • system administration
  • system maintenance
  • system upgrades
  • installation of applications
  • upgrade of applications currently on the system

Looks like the most they can hope for is managing configuration files, I mean doesn't Ubuntu use apt/synaptic?

Irony (0, Redundant)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540851)

That the world's easiest Linux has the world's most ANNOYING menu bar on their website. You can't get from the button you hovered over to the link you want to click without it disappearing or changing.

These guys suck. Fuck Ulteo.

Re:Irony (3, Funny)

unitron (5733) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541323)

You can't get from the button you hovered over to the link you want to click without it disappearing or changing.

Actually, you can, you just have to move like a knight instead of like a bishop.

Tad late... (1)

gunny01 (1022579) | more than 7 years ago | (#18540877)

This is just a tad late: Ulteo has been around for a while. The first time I heard it was in back in Nov 06. [linuxformat.co.uk]

I always said (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541041)

I always said that what Mandrake needed was to ditch RPM and move to DEB package format. But the hypothetical "debdrake" never materialised, what with the Conectiva merger (they were the ones who had bodged apt to work with rpm files). Also, Mandrake and Debian have certain fundamental incompatibilities that won't go away with a few judiciously-placed symlinks. So it would have been a big jump

The second smart thing any distro could do would be to ditch -dev packages and put the developers' files right there in the main package. Because then, when some user inevitably has to install something from a source tarball that says it requires package "foo" -- which they are just l33t enough to know they installed from the official repository, but being still a bit of a n00b they don't know that this package also requires "foo-dev" -- they don't end up going ga-ga.

I realise why -dev files were separated out back in the day. I just don't think that the reasons for doing so are valid anymore! Most of us have bigger HDDs and faster internet connections. Those who really want "stripped-to-the-bone" systems are smart enough to know what they can get rid of. And the whole -dev thing is just so non-obvious.

Irony upon irony... (1)

joshier (957448) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541085)

"Easiest linux distro", yet you still have to be in the know how to download the ISO, burn it and to set up the BIOS to boot from CD.

Haha, good try guys, but you've already failed.

Re:Irony upon irony... (2, Insightful)

jazir1979 (637570) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541157)

and what do you propose?

to install any OS from the CD you'll need to setup the BIOS to boot from it. if the distribution is any good, then magazines will start to include it on their CD/DVDs and then downloading/burning the image won't be needed either.

of course, you could always..do...this [debian.org]

Re:Irony upon irony... (1)

joshier (957448) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541667)

You've just proved my point further... they claim it as 'the easiest linux distro' yet there is existing projects which setup your computer to be able to run linux almost straight away, without going into the BIOS or burning a ISO. (also http://www.cutlersoftware.com/ubuntusetup/wubi/en- US/index.html [cutlersoftware.com]

So, why did I get modded down again? - Probably one of the guys involved in the project I expect

Re:Irony upon irony... (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541917)

if the distribution is any good, then magazines will start to include it on their CD/DVDs and then downloading/burning the image won't be needed either

Magazines? What magazines? When was the last time you saw a general-interest PC magazine on the racks?

Linux Installation (1)

bateleur (814657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541397)

Windows gets installed mostly by OEMs (and overwhelmingly so outside industry).

Given that Dell now ship machines with a variety of Linux distros preinstalled (http://www.dell.com/linux [dell.com] ) I don't think installation from scratch is a major factor in ease of use anymore.

Easy means impotent! (2, Insightful)

Door in Cart (940474) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541131)

I find marketing Linux as "easy" to be nothing short of reprehensible. Hiding essential functionality behind a faux-Windows desktop not only makes Linux look like a cheap crappy Windows knock-off, but it de-emphasizes many [gnu.org] of the reasons [wikipedia.org] why Linux is better than Windows -- reasons why some people want to leave Windows in the first place. Nobody who really values easiness is going to install a new operating system. If anything they're going to buy a Mac. Linux is sophisticated and powerful, and IMHO the community would be best served by marketing it as such.

Re:Easy means impotent! (2, Interesting)

jazir1979 (637570) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541175)

it's not hiding anything, and it's certainly not reprehensible.

linux doesn't need to be marketed to experts who know what they're doing -- because they'll choose linux anyway.

getting n00bs to start with baby steps is not a bad thing at all, and getting people who don't need or intend to ever stray from the GUI at all onto a free, secure OS is to be commended.

OS X hides it's unix internals far more than any of these "easy" linux distros. is that reprehensible too?

Re:Easy means impotent! (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541213)

I think you may have missed the goal of this project (and others). The ultimate goal in a lot of people's minds right now is to get -everyone- using Linux. That means making it easy enough that major PC OEMs will start installing the system at request, and later, install it by default. Unless they aim at 'easy to use' then there's no way it'll happen.

Linux is perfectly free to continue being a monster powerhouse. It is also free to have a cheezy frontend that looks and acts just like Windows 95. The 2 are not actually mutually exclusive, as evidenced by the number of window managers out there.

I love Kubuntu. It works extremely well right out of the box, and has a few apps that I consider 'killer'. K3B, Quanta Plus, and Yakuake are actually better than ANYTHING I can find in Windows for any price. That's saying a lot!

But I can't convert my mother to it until she can run all her Reflexive.net games and all my niece's games on it and it's 'easy to use'. I can't convert my father until HIS games work on it (not such a hard chore, I could probably find free versions of them, or even just write them) AND it's 'easy to use'. My sister is the only family member that won't require 'easy to use' so much, but she'd need her medical stuff in Linux, and it doesn't exist.

I suspect that the cheezy games my mother and father play would come quickly if Linux was easy to use. (Bejeweled, etc.) So really, what's stopping them is just ease of use.

Oh, and I think this is part of what you were trying to say, but 'easy to use' doesn't mean the same thing as 'easy to use if you already know windows.' I don't think Linux today (with KDE/Gnome/whatever) is any harder to use than Windows 95 was, it's just different.

Re:Easy means impotent! (1)

Door in Cart (940474) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541381)

I think you may have missed the goal of this project (and others). The ultimate goal in a lot of people's minds right now is to get -everyone- using Linux.
*Sigh* I haven't missed the goal; I object to it. There is no reason (of which I'm aware) for -everyone- to use Linux. If the ultimate goal is really to subvert Microsoft's monopoly of the home computing industry, then Apple stands a much better chance of doing so, if only thanks to Jonathan Ive. I the ultimate goal is really to subvert the corporate hegemony, then a new FLOSS operating system should be written from the ground up to be the simplest, least functional, most stable OS ever conceived. Who knows, there probably already is one languishing in the depths of sourceforge. Linux is simply an inappropriate choice.

'easy to use' doesn't mean the same thing as 'easy to use if you already know windows.' I don't think Linux today (with KDE/Gnome/whatever) is any harder to use than Windows 95 was, it's just different.
Easy is whatever you're most familiar with. Linux is easy (and always has been) to those of us who have taken the time to become familiar with it. But marketing it as easy is another matter. And marketing it as easy with a screenshot that looks like a cheap Win95 clone is, as far as I can tell, reprehensible.

Re:Easy means impotent! (2, Insightful)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541505)

I feel your pain.

The thing is this: ignorance is transient. You start out not knowing things, and you need showing how to do them. Everything is hard, if you have never done it before. Once you have done something a few times, though, you start to understand what's happening and it gets easier. There are a lot of things which you will only ever have to do so rarely that they never really become "easy".

The idea of treating the state of ignorance as a desirable one which should be preserved (the Windows paradigm) is a relatively modern phenomenon, and one which I think is especially reprehensible. If this trend were taken to its logical conclusion, no book would contain any word longer than ten letters for fear of spoiling the reader's enjoyment by them having to look up an unfamiliar word; and year after year, the vocabulary would shrink, eventually excluding even nine-, eight- and seven-letter words.

Re:Easy means impotent! (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541305)

after I read your comment and heard about the "start" button I was ready to hate it; but it looks ok. I agree that we like linux for many reasons and hell I like a challenge with my computer (thats why I've decided that the regular bleeding edge fedora repositories aren't edgy enough and moved onto the development ones) but a lot of people just want to be secure and not have to think about anything else; people like our parents (well, mine at least). This is pretty good for that kind of user.

Easiest Linux with Hardest Site (2, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541341)

Go on, try to quickly navigate the submenus of their site here [ulteo.com] .

Make me feel bitter about their "easiest linux ever" statement, especially the part about "easiest".

Looks promising. (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541417)

Firefox default browser: Check.
Thunderbird default email: Check.
Start menu emulating 90% of the world's previous computer experience: Check.

Weird how all the Linux gees come out to troll just because *GASP* somebody is trying to make something useful for the other 90% of the world!

Stop being assholes. I'm using Feisty right now, and I love it, but it's got twenty pretty serious flaws that make it hard to recommend to n00bs:

http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=39183 4&page=30/ [ubuntuforums.org]

Any distro that addresses and solves all these issues, and offers a solid LiveCD that does what 90% of humanity wants "out of box" is a good thing.

What's the matter with you people? Did you get picked on too much in school or something?

Out of date? (1)

squidinkcalligraphy (558677) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541521)

Anyone else notice that the firefox included is version 1.5?

Whatever happened... (4, Informative)

nschubach (922175) | more than 7 years ago | (#18541671)

Whatever happened to linking straight to the source instead of someone's lame blog? http://www.ulteo.com/main/ [ulteo.com]

YAY (1)

vonsneerderhooten (254776) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542325)

Divergence!!! YAY!!!!!!!

YALD (4, Insightful)

graybeardtechie (1081875) | more than 7 years ago | (#18542327)

Just what the world needs - another Linux distro. Maybe if a few good folks could set their egos aside, and rather than create Yet Another Linux Distro, actually contribute to an existing community, we might converge on a manageable set of improved distros. This fragmentation is destroying, rather improving, the outlook for Linux. We are rapidly building a Tower of Linux Babel.
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