j4mes

Ubuntu rant

26 posts in this topic

Recently, I installed Ubuntu on a desktop of mine just to see what the fuss is about. Now I clearly understand what the fuss is about ...

It's fucking Windows with a Linux kernel.

Seriously, it takes thirty minutes to installl, no gcc, make, kernel headers, etc., in the default install. /etc is polluted with god knows what. To give it some credit, it does install a lot of packages ... I'll probably only use fifty or less in my day-to-day computing. Plus it kind of adds to the general clutter. Maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but, as a human, clearly defined structure is very helpful in understanding things. That includes computers. When the filesystem is polluted with thousands of files -- many of which I know nothing about -- there are some serious design flaws. All of this without gcc and all the other stuff that is fundamental to doing just about everything on this platform.

What do people see in this distro? Yeah, it's easy, but there's a thin line between "easy" and "peculiarly frustrating." apt-get install gcc ... haven't had to do that in awhile.

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I like to use linux because you have to think to use the OS...Windows and Macs (sorry fanboys) have become brainless operating systems, incorporating the ideal of "if it doesn't work, start all over" mentality.

JFK applies here...

"not only because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

**one of my favorite speeches of all time*

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All major distros aimed at ease of use suffer from what you described, it's called "ease of use". RedHat, SuSE, Ubuntu, Windows, etc ALL attempt to cut off the end user from changing too much about their experience (the last time I used RH, it didn't install gcc either). Most users will never need something like gcc since it's not really needed.

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Hum... I like ubuntu.

I like debian, and ubuntu is based on debian (wuu i guess nobody here knew that! lol). Yes, it is bloody easy to install and manage. But its stable and opensource. SO, it's not windows.

I think if we wanna make people to want to install linux at their desktops, it must be easy, simple and beautiful. That's what ubuntu is trying to be. For servers you won't use ubuntu (well, now they've a server version.. but i didn't tested it) but for desktop I think you don't need to suffer everytime you wanna install a new drive.

I agree with you when you said that some basic stuff aren't included (specially gcc and make). But this won't make me give up on ubuntu.

And there are hundreds of distros around.. each has its focus. Ubuntu is a desktop-userfriendly-linux distro. Again... i think its a GREAT step to make linux popular and make people (normal people, non-geek people) want to install and give linux a try. ;)

my 2cc.

excuse my english.

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Ugh, don't start with the whole "Linux user experience" and "Linux vs. Windows." I'm referring to Ubuntu, the Linux distro.

Frankly, I don't know anyone who doesn't have to compile something once in awhile. Not including compilers and tools does not equal ease of it; it just keeps people who need them from using them. The people who don't need them won't.

Up to this point, Ubuntu has been more confusing than anything. With Slack, Arch, etc., I know where I'm at. The process is straightfoward. I seem to have a running Ubuntu system at this point, but I have no clue where I'm at or even what's on my box. I thought it would the distro for ease of use and functionality, but I'm finding that so little of what I actually need is in the default install! Basic tools that, in all honesty, don't have a really good reason for being absent.

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Ugh, don't start with the whole "Linux user experience" and "Linux vs. Windows." I'm referring to Ubuntu, the Linux distro.

Frankly, I don't know anyone who doesn't have to compile something once in awhile. Not including compilers and tools does not equal ease of it; it just keeps people who need them from using them. The people who don't need them won't.

Up to this point, Ubuntu has been more confusing than anything. With Slack, Arch, etc., I know where I'm at. The process is straightfoward. I seem to have a running Ubuntu system at this point, but I have no clue where I'm at or even what's on my box. I thought it would the distro for ease of use and functionality, but I'm finding that so little of what I actually need is in the default install! Basic tools that, in all honesty, don't have a really good reason for being absent.

John Q. Enduser will probably NEVER have to compile something from source in Ubuntu (or other distros with its aim). If you're an end user and are just trying to escape WIndows' myriad of problems, you'll find yourself loving the fact that you don't have to search for software to install because you've got Synaptic which also serves the purpose of where you remove software.

And since you talked about a clearly defined structure and not knowing what a lot of Ubuntu's enormous amouts of default install files are, is that Ubuntu's fault or your's? Comparatively, if you investigate Windows' file structure (and the files within), you'll find thousands of files even die hard Windows users won't know what their function is.

I use Ubuntu everyday as my desktop (expert install, not the default install) and I don't find it confusing at all. I come from a Slackware background (started with 7.1 or 8, I can't remember which) so I'm in no way new to Linux. And in all the distros I've tried, Ubuntu is the only one so far to pretty much "just get it right" for the novice end user.

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If ya don't like it, don't use it,don't complain.
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Pinhead, I think what you are forgetting is that Linux is about choice, If people want to use an operating system that is A.) Not Windows. B.) Free. and C.) Works well. Shouldn't they have that choice?

P.S. Ubuntu is probably doing more to promote the addoption and the betterment of linux than most linux related orgonizations out there.

Edited by digitalgalileo
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One of my favorite distros of all time is Gentoo. I've built Gentoo installs on my laptop several times, and loved every minute of it.

However, I have a life, and for my hardware, nothing works as well out of the box as Ubuntu. With work, family, and other things going on, I want to be able to *use* my box when I have the time to do so. With most other distros I've tried, I find myself constantly tweaking this, tweaking that, and finding less and less time to actually get things done. I enjoy tinkering, but sometimes it can get out of hand.

And the fact that I have to spend a few seconds to apt-get gcc isn't that big of a deal. As mentioned earlier, Linux is all about choice. I choose Ubuntu for my situation. If you don't like Ubuntu (which is quite apparent) then your time may be better spent installing a distro you do like, or another one you're curious to try.

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In some cases it can be a good thing gcc isnt there, either when you are running a server/gateway of some sort, or when you are the "Average User" who has no need for such. It gives you a choice. If you want to use a distro geared torwards mom and pop to compile your applications, then go for it. But dont expect gcc and so on to be in by default. This reminds me of one of those articles you see on osnews every now and then, some fan of something else installs a distro that they know will not meet their needs, ( by default? ) just for the sheer purpose of bashing it. Could be wrong.

( Repetition, my 2 cents. )

Also:

I too find it hard to sudo apt-get install gcc and so on. I too. :blink::P

Though my mother doesn't. ( No really, she doesn't. ) ( No confusion. )

Edit:

Just to clarify the second part of the "Also" is actually not a joke. You can take a guess at the first line. :)

Edited by |cfh|
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I will try not to repeat what has already been said above me.

Seriously, it takes thirty minutes to installl, no gcc, make, kernel headers, etc., in the default install. /etc is polluted with god knows what. To give it some credit, it does install a lot of packages ... I'll probably only use fifty or less in my day-to-day computing. Plus it kind of adds to the general clutter. Maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but, as a human, clearly defined structure is very helpful in understanding things. That includes computers. When the filesystem is polluted with thousands of files -- many of which I know nothing about -- there are some serious design flaws. All of this without gcc and all the other stuff that is fundamental to doing just about everything on this platform.

30 minutes to install? How long does slackware take to install? Debian? Suse? Arch? Windows? ....Gentoo? 30 minutes is not bad. GCC being left out (among other things) is really not that big of an inconvenience. With a single command you can install every package your system is lacking. You mention /etc is polluted with 'god knows what'. Have you ever used a Debian system before?

You also say there are some 'serious design flaws' because the filesystem is 'polluted' with 'thousands' of files that you know nothing about. Is it the developers fault you know nothing about these files? Most linux systems are 'polluted' with 'thousands' of files, it is a unix-based operating system.

Frankly, I don't know anyone who doesn't have to compile something once in awhile. Not including compilers and tools does not equal ease of it; it just keeps people who need them from using them. The people who don't need them won't.

Ubuntu, imho, is aimed at two groups of people: 1) people new to linux; 2) people that want an easy setup but want to still have a stable system (ie: unlike Suse/Redhat/etc). The first group will probably not need to compile anything for quite some time. The second group I would like to think knows enough about linux to install gcc when they need to compile something. You said 'it just keeps people who need them from using them', and I agree with part of this. It keeps people who do not understand what they are doing from using it, and hosing their system. The Ubuntu developers did not make it impossible to compile a package, they simply designed it so you need to physically install gcc via apt before compiling anything. Joe Average will probably not know this, and avoid any unnecessary compiling.

Up to this point, Ubuntu has been more confusing than anything. With Slack, Arch, etc., I know where I'm at. The process is straightfoward. I seem to have a running Ubuntu system at this point, but I have no clue where I'm at or even what's on my box. I thought it would the distro for ease of use and functionality, but I'm finding that so little of what I actually need is in the default install! Basic tools that, in all honesty, don't have a really good reason for being absent.

Sorry you feel that way. If you like Slackware or Arch linux better, why are you using Ubuntu? Personally, I like FreeBSD better then Ubuntu, and I use FreeBSD on my machine. Not understanding something is fine, but complaining about how it does not work properly when you do not understand it is a bit childish.

It sounds like you want an OS that after installation, has every package you need for every day use. ("but I'm finding that so little of what I actually need is in the default install!") How many Operating Systems do you know install every tool you use/need in the default installation? I know of none.

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I'm guessing they didn't include gcc in the default install because Ubuntu is built around binary packages.

Edited by unity
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Well I just dual boot Arch Linux and Ubuntu

When I want ease of use I boot Ubuntu

When I want to get behind the glitz and do some work....I boot up Arch

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I've installed Ubuntu to play around with...not much, as I end up doing what I want no matter the distro, so I usually stick with something that's minimal but not irritatingly minimal (so far, I like Slackware the best). I know a few people who use it, and one of my friends has gotten some of his family using it on old machines they'd have otherwise given away or thrown out.

I've set people up with OpenSuSE 10 at school, because I have more experience with it than Ubuntu. Probably none of them will ever have to compile anything, ever, so I didn't install the devel tools (make, gcc, etc) and it hasn't bothered them. I showed them how to install things with YaST, and how to find packages (particularily the libdvdcss2 packages, since everyone wants DVD support, even if it *is* a little shady). Granted, things wouldn't work for me with no compilers or whatever, but that's because I build new kernels and patch things and get software that's source-only in some cases. But I don't think most people use that -- Mom is set up with a defaultish install of Slackware 10.2, and I think the only time she's ever seen the command line was for changing passwords.

If it's simple enough to get people started into something they have no clue about, cool. If they find out they need more options, at least they'll have gotten their feet wet, and have maybe a little more clue about where to find it. I started out with Mandrake 9, and progressed to the (debatably) "more advanced" Redhat 9 because I knew I used Redhad packages in Mandrake. Same thing with Vector Linux and moving up to Slackware. Maybe beginning Ubuntu users will be more inclined to move to Debian when they need more out of their systems?

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Ease of use is one thing, but Ubuntu is so stripped down from a configurability standpoint that I hardly know my way around anymore, ironically enough. I much prefer stock Debian which I can also get installed and desktop-ready (for me, anyway, which means that I have a player for most audio/video files/DVDs etc., word processor, nice looking fonts et.al.) in around 30 minutes.

Debian is a bit old, though, so I personally tend to stay with Gentoo, budget in the time, so I don't have any headaches in the future. I have to say, though, that I appreciate the huge amount of acceptance among feckless users that Ubuntu has managed to garner, so it's not all bad...

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I will try not to repeat what has already been said above me.

Seriously, it takes thirty minutes to installl, no gcc, make, kernel headers, etc., in the default install. /etc is polluted with god knows what. To give it some credit, it does install a lot of packages ... I'll probably only use fifty or less in my day-to-day computing. Plus it kind of adds to the general clutter. Maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but, as a human, clearly defined structure is very helpful in understanding things. That includes computers. When the filesystem is polluted with thousands of files -- many of which I know nothing about -- there are some serious design flaws. All of this without gcc and all the other stuff that is fundamental to doing just about everything on this platform.

30 minutes to install? How long does slackware take to install? Debian? Suse? Arch? Windows? ....Gentoo? 30 minutes is not bad. GCC being left out (among other things) is really not that big of an inconvenience. With a single command you can install every package your system is lacking. You mention /etc is polluted with 'god knows what'. Have you ever used a Debian system before?

You also say there are some 'serious design flaws' because the filesystem is 'polluted' with 'thousands' of files that you know nothing about. Is it the developers fault you know nothing about these files? Most linux systems are 'polluted' with 'thousands' of files, it is a unix-based operating system.

I can (and did) install Debian in literally fifteen minutes on my laptop. Of course, I do have some automation scripts to help me with that. Regardless, I know what's on my system. Same with Arch. It's true that I could easily install everything that my system is lacking, but I would have to remove the things that my system doesn't need! Debian has some unnecessary stuff, too, but not nearly to the extent that Ubuntu has. It's the developers fault for including tons of software that most people would not normally use. It's bloated.

Frankly, I don't know anyone who doesn't have to compile something once in awhile. Not including compilers and tools does not equal ease of it; it just keeps people who need them from using them. The people who don't need them won't.

Ubuntu, imho, is aimed at two groups of people: 1) people new to linux; 2) people that want an easy setup but want to still have a stable system (ie: unlike Suse/Redhat/etc). The first group will probably not need to compile anything for quite some time. The second group I would like to think knows enough about linux to install gcc when they need to compile something. You said 'it just keeps people who need them from using them', and I agree with part of this. It keeps people who do not understand what they are doing from using it, and hosing their system. The Ubuntu developers did not make it impossible to compile a package, they simply designed it so you need to physically install gcc via apt before compiling anything. Joe Average will probably not know this, and avoid any unnecessary compiling.

That's assuming that everything Joe Average wants to use is in the repositories. I don't like compiling things, unless it's a kernel or my own software. Anyone who has been around for any significant amount of time is sick of it, and having everything in binary form is just dandy. However, some things are only distributed as source. I find myself compiling things all the time because it's simply not in the repositories. Since this is so common, and there's already so much unnecessary software there, why not just include the tools?

Up to this point, Ubuntu has been more confusing than anything. With Slack, Arch, etc., I know where I'm at. The process is straightfoward. I seem to have a running Ubuntu system at this point, but I have no clue where I'm at or even what's on my box. I thought it would the distro for ease of use and functionality, but I'm finding that so little of what I actually need is in the default install! Basic tools that, in all honesty, don't have a really good reason for being absent.

Sorry you feel that way. If you like Slackware or Arch linux better, why are you using Ubuntu? Personally, I like FreeBSD better then Ubuntu, and I use FreeBSD on my machine. Not understanding something is fine, but complaining about how it does not work properly when you do not understand it is a bit childish.

It sounds like you want an OS that after installation, has every package you need for every day use. ("but I'm finding that so little of what I actually need is in the default install!") How many Operating Systems do you know install every tool you use/need in the default installation? I know of none.

There are none. However, it could easily be done. I started on a distribution not long ago for myself just to avoid writing and rewriting automation scripts for different "popular" distros. Kanotix has so far been the closest to what I need in a Linux distro out of the box. Optimized, with KDE, and comes with all the necessary software. Installs in 10 minutes or so from a LiveCD on a fast system. But it's not like what I need is out of the ordinary.

I'm not bitching. I tried Ubuntu because of all the fuss, didn't like it, and proceeded to remove it. It just rubbed me the wrong way to have such vital things missing from the install. Yet everyone is so in love with it. Frankly, as far as ease-of-use distros, back when Redhat was king, it was a lot easier than Ubuntu (relative to the time period of course). I can say the same about Suse, Mandrake, and so forth. Not that they didn't have problems.

Edited by pinhead
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All the desktop linux distros are like that, gcc is optional, and getting a usable development environment on some of them (ubuntu, for sure) is nontrivial. You need the right collection of packages, gcc alone does not cut it. As amazing as it is to me, it is more difficult to produce a usable development system on ubuntu than on osx -- with os x i just install xcode (right on the cd). I'm not. It installs everything I need.

Ubuntu has a bunch of packages, with no clear direction. You need gcc, of course. You also need the dev libraries, the headers, and a bunch of other things. There was not a meta package to install a usable (usable being defined as line, something akin to what slackware gives you) development environment.

Again, this is not ease of use, this is fine grained package management, which is often the exact opposite of ease of use; it's a feature best suited for power users.

Now as to windows and os x sucking because they make things easy; I don't know about you, but I want to be productive in my os, I want the os to make things easy for me to do productive work. Having a difficult os just to be difficult or a challenge makes no sense to me whatsoever. That's why I use os x, the os is easy to use, and I can be very productive because it is very easy to get a usable development environment going. That's also why I like bsd, and slackware to a lesser degree. I'm able to be productive, the oses are easy to use in the sense that I basically install them and have 99% of what I need.

Ugh, don't start with the whole "Linux user experience" and "Linux vs. Windows." I'm referring to Ubuntu, the Linux distro.

Frankly, I don't know anyone who doesn't have to compile something once in awhile. Not including compilers and tools does not equal ease of it; it just keeps people who need them from using them. The people who don't need them won't.

Up to this point, Ubuntu has been more confusing than anything. With Slack, Arch, etc., I know where I'm at. The process is straightfoward. I seem to have a running Ubuntu system at this point, but I have no clue where I'm at or even what's on my box. I thought it would the distro for ease of use and functionality, but I'm finding that so little of what I actually need is in the default install! Basic tools that, in all honesty, don't have a really good reason for being absent.

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I like ubuntu for the most part. I just installed 6.06, one cool thing I like about the new version is that its a live cd and the install disk in one. I don't think it's dumb down at all, well not as much as any other distro. I don't really have to go out and compile my software, I don`t think your learn much if anything from "./configure; make; make install" anyways.

I still don't think there is a real OS anywhere on this earth. I think an OS should be loaded and you should be able do everything from watch video to surf the web right off the bat. I haven't find a single OS that has all the codecs for watching video. Now I know there is a few legal thing but come on. you think someone out there would make a real distro.

since 1999, I have not fillet comfatable with any OS from windows to linux and everywhere in between. :wacko:

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I was going to use Ubuntu, but I realised I probably won't learn anything! Ubuntu is nice for people that just want a windows replacement to go online, check their emails, and type basic documents, but you don't need to actually do anything to get it working, which I what I look for in a distro.

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That's assuming that everything Joe Average wants to use is in the repositories.

I think you are kind of missing the point of what people mean when they say the Average Joe. Average Joe isn't your Average Hacker, your Average Coder, or even your Average Knows-how-to-do anything-besides-use-word-and-read-email.

There are about 199 million users in the United States alone who will never knowingly compile a piece of code in their lives if my guess is right. The guy right at the 50% line of those users PC knowledge, That is Joe average.

The distros motto says it all. "Linux for Human Beings", read: "Linux if you spend more time washing dishes any given day than the sum of your time reading any RFC's"

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slackware takes about 15 mins to install, thats without kde ;)

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Average joes need metapackages, not the fine grained stuff ubuntu provides. Additionally, linux is not at the spot right now where you are likely to be able to get by without compiling something. I think it's probably a goal for the desktop linux folks, but not quite there yet.

Oh, and add to that that ubuntu is pretty much unusable without using the unsupported universal repositories, but that's another matter entirely.

That's assuming that everything Joe Average wants to use is in the repositories.

I think you are kind of missing the point of what people mean when they say the Average Joe. Average Joe isn't your Average Hacker, your Average Coder, or even your Average Knows-how-to-do anything-besides-use-word-and-read-email.

There are about 199 million users in the United States alone who will never knowingly compile a piece of code in their lives if my guess is right. The guy right at the 50% line of those users PC knowledge, That is Joe average.

The distros motto says it all. "Linux for Human Beings", read: "Linux if you spend more time washing dishes any given day than the sum of your time reading any RFC's"

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i've been using version 6.06 for the past few days, it's just as bad as windows on updates :S

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i've been using version 6.06 for the past few days, it's just as bad as windows on updates :S

Damn keeping a system up to date. Damn it to hell. :grr:

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Ubuntu is meant to be the type of Linux distro whose merits and pitfulls should not be discussed in a binrev thread. It should not be compared to any other distro. It's meant to be it's own thing. It's not meant for Linux advocates, Debian users, Read Hat users, hackers, anyone computer saavy enough to be in these forums, etc.

I'd like to see discussion about Ubuntu to see if it meets it goals. Discussion about Ubuntu always end up being about how it compares to other distros and that's a useless discussion in my opinion.

No, i'm not an Unbuntu fan boy.

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