Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 1st Mar 2009 17:26 UTC, submitted by kaiwai
Hardware, Embedded Systems Long-time OSNews reader Kaiwai has written down his experiences with his Acer Aspire One, Linux, and Windows. He concludes: "After a hectic few weeks trying to get Linux to work, I am back to square one again - a netbook running Windows XP SP3 as it was provided by Acer when I purchased it. I gave three different distributions a chance to prove themselves. I expected all three distributions to wipe the floor with Windows XP - after all, these are the latest and greatest distributions the Linux world have to offer. There has been at least 7 years since the release of Windows XP for Linux to catch up to Windows XP and from my experience with Linux on this said device - it has failed to step up to the plate when it was needed."
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Sadly, similar experience
by Kroc on Sun 1st Mar 2009 17:41 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

I’ve an eee 701, and I’ve tried four different eee-specific Linux distro’s and all have failed miserably. The current system on trial is eeebuntu 2.0 NBR; which is thankfully working, but took far more effort and googling that should be normal to correct terrible ‘Linux-isms’ like not being able to auto-login (deafult option during install) and connect to the wireless without prompting for the keychain password. Unbelievably infuriating and shoddy experience.

If this doesn’t work out, then I’ll be forced to go back to the awful Xandros default install (stuck on Firefox 2)—yet again—because distros and Linux in general just can’t seem to get the polish right.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Sadly, similar experience
by Vargol on Sun 1st Mar 2009 17:58 UTC in reply to "Sadly, similar experience"
Vargol Member since:
2006-02-28

And yet I install eeebuntu standard 2.0 on my EEE 901 and the only post install setup I had to do was run eee-config and that was just to stop hddtemp moaning on boot that the SSD's didn't have a temperature sensor.

Funny thing about anecdote's someone as always got one that shows the exact opposite.

Edited 2009-03-01 17:59 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Sadly, similar experience
by Kroc on Sun 1st Mar 2009 18:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Sadly, similar experience"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

I require a standard of usability and decency to the end user that goes beyond what the average geek determines as "good enough". I care greatly about UX and I find Linux distro’s greatly lacking in polish, or even the slightest care toward the end user; now that may very well be just down to the fact it’s a) free and b) done by volunteers.

You just have to compare eee distro’s with HP’s custom frontend for the mininote and you get the picture.

Reply Score: 4

SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

Oh, it's not like Microsoft or Apple do this is it?

Lets face it, Linux has to do twice or even three times the work to get near selling their OS on hardware. If Windows was so perfect as they claim then tech support lines wouldn't be needed.

Things DON'T just work like people claim all the time. Companies(and users) need to get a grip and take control, rather than pass it off as 'Linux is not ready or is lacking in what Windows can do' .These people are running out of excuses fast because that's what it is.

Edited 2009-03-01 18:57 UTC

Reply Score: 10

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Ah, here we go, more off-topic trolling about how Linux just needs to be given a chance. Guess what? It was given a chance, and it fails because it lacks end-user polish. It's fine for geeks or other enthusiasts, but when it comes to the end-user experience it is severely lacking.
No, things don't "just work" on Windows or OS X (though OS X is often better at just working than Windows due to its tightly controlled hardware requirements). Most hardware requires drivers, and any system can experience some unforseen problem. You know what you do? You go to the vendor's web site, or better yet insert the provided driver disk, and click a few buttons. Boom, 99% of the time your driver is ready and installed. Know why the tech support lines are there? Because most people don't care, and don't want to, about how to fix their computer or evenhow to perform an unfamiliar task. Tech support gets called, as often as not, for simple questions about how to connect to their home wireless.
You know what you do on Linux when it comes to a driver you don't have? If you're lucky, it's in your distribution's repository and it's up to date. If not, you do these steps:
Install the kernel source, if needed
Download the driver source,
Read its installation file for the required steps needed to compile,
Perform the steps required,
Hope you don't get any compile errors,
Then perform the steps to install the driver,
Then add it to any hal policies or boot-time module loading.
Hmm, which has the easier experience, you think? And that's not even considering how you find out if there is even a driver for your said device, and where to get it.
Linux was designed by a hobbiest, for hobbiests and geeks. I think some companies, like Canonical, understand this and yet there's not much they can do, all things considered. Even if Canonical goes one way with Ubuntu, the individual projects may pull in another direction, and it doesn't change the fact that there are very few standards. There's no standard packager (choose from rpm, deb, tgz, source, etc), no standard ABI, and no standard way to install drivers, and the end-user experience falls on its face. True, the end-users don't care about the stable ABI in and of itself, but they do care that version x of their software, as long as it says it's compatible with some version of Linux, can run on their system without any messing about.
Here's hoping Opensolaris gets polished and gets more basic drivers. It has the potential to be everything Linux is not and will never be--standard, stable, well-integrated, and easy to use.

Reply Score: 5

SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

Next time you want to good example of bad polish look at Vista. I mean Windows never put millions of users at risk over the last 7 years, where do I start?

I find is incredible you can look at Windows past and say what you say. Where is good usability when your fighting off virus's, spyware and bad drivers. Thats right bad drivers, Microsoft claim that they are the reason for stability issues from vendors. It's part of their platform not a excuse.

Edited 2009-03-01 19:19 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Sadly, similar experience
by Kroc on Sun 1st Mar 2009 19:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Sadly, similar experience"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

I didn’t mention Microsoft / Windows, nor OS X / Apple once in my post. The topic is Linux so I stuck to that and my comment was on it’s own merits. What more do you expect me to do? I downloaded and installed 4 distros which is 4 more than my mum would know how to download and install.

Reply Score: 4

SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

It was a response to both you and the article. I put linux on my wife's laptop after Vista screwed itself and it work perfectly.

It's not worth my time ranting on about my wife's bad experience with Vista, it just wouldn't make front page news, would it?

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Sadly, similar experience
by Kroc on Sun 1st Mar 2009 19:43 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Sadly, similar experience"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

No, I’m not the one who chose the article, I just replied to it; the same as you. We’re all entitled to our opinions—as wrong or as right as both may be.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Sadly, similar experience
by nyarnon on Sun 1st Mar 2009 19:56 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Sadly, similar experience"
nyarnon Member since:
2009-01-26

Yes anybody IS entitled to his own opinion, funny enough the blog owner seems not to support this point of view. Obviously the comments are scaring him witless so he doesn't post any of them :-) MS culture I guess.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

It's not worth my time ranting on about my wife's bad experience with Vista, it just wouldn't make front page news, would it?


Frontpage?

Reply Score: 2

SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

It's a term of phrase, article's like this have been front page before.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Sadly, similar experience
by gilboa on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 18:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Sadly, similar experience"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

You just have to compare eee distro’s with HP’s custom frontend for the mininote and you get the picture.


lets see,

In-order to use Windows XP on more-or-less any notebook, you need a custom manufacturer supplied slip streamed version of XP/SP3 with all the required drivers and updates.
Try installing a vanilla XP SP2 CD, and you'll end up with a nice blue screen.

... But when a Linux distribution fails to autodetect/autoconfigure/etc everything out of box (with little, if any, manufacturer support), people start complaining about lack of polish/not ready for the desktop/etc.

Did I miss anything?

- Gilboa

Edited 2009-03-02 18:24 UTC

Reply Score: 4

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

...you need a custom manufacturer supplied slip streamed version of XP/SP3 with all the required drivers and updates. Try installing a vanilla XP SP2....

Yer. You can still install XP SP3 and install what you need and the software can be downloaded from Acer and other manufacturers.

... But when a Linux distribution fails to autodetect/autoconfigure/etc everything out of box (with little, if any, manufacturer support), people start complaining about lack of polish/not ready for the desktop/etc.

Yer well it isn't, and there's no point in making excuses. You might like to ask yourself why manufacturers don't want to put in that work and why it is so damn difficult to do with any Linux distribution.

Did I miss anything?

Yes. Everything.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Sadly, similar experience
by gilboa on Tue 3rd Mar 2009 15:49 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Sadly, similar experience"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

So, if I managed to understand your post (and I somehow doubt it *) you made the following argument:

Linux is too blame because Linux is not Windows.

Wow. You really showed me.

- Gilboa
* YER?

Reply Score: 2

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Linux is too blame because Linux is not Windows.

Wow. You really showed me.

Wow, brainless central.

I said nothing of the kind. Linux is piss-poor at adding support for hardware and software after the release of a particular distribution version. That's why it is so often necessary to reformat and reinstall a new version or frantically run around finding third-party repositories and packages that you often just can't find.

That's it in a nutshell.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Sadly, similar experience
by gilboa on Wed 4th Mar 2009 14:37 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Sadly, similar experience"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

Yeah... and when everything else fails (Still not idea what yer means), switching to personal insults works even better.

Guess you "owned" me once again. (Though I'd really like to know what yer means...)

- Gilboa

Edited 2009-03-04 14:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Sadly, similar experience
by phoenix on Sun 1st Mar 2009 18:11 UTC in reply to "Sadly, similar experience"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

I’ve an eee 701, and I’ve tried four different eee-specific Linux distro’s and all have failed miserably.


Plain jane Kubuntu 8.10 with KDE 4.2.0 works quite nicely on the 701. Wireless connects right away, you have the option of saving the password in the config or in the wallet (requires entering the wallet passphrase).

The only post-install setup you have to do is to set the panel to auto-hide, and configure kdm for auto-login.

Edited 2009-03-01 18:12 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Sadly, similar experience
by Kroc on Sun 1st Mar 2009 18:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Sadly, similar experience"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Good to know, thank you.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Sadly, similar experience
by mrchilly on Sun 1st Mar 2009 23:39 UTC in reply to "Sadly, similar experience"
mrchilly Member since:
2009-03-01

Can you post some of your other problems? Linux is a more secure OS. Auto-login and asking for the keyring password are security functions. I don't quite see how this is a problem instead of a security feature.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Sadly, similar experience
by Doc Pain on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 02:29 UTC in reply to "Sadly, similar experience"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

The current system on trial is eeebuntu 2.0 NBR; which is thankfully working, but took far more effort and googling that should be normal to correct terrible ‘Linux-isms’ like not being able to auto-login (deafult option during install) and connect to the wireless without prompting for the keychain password.


No auto-login as default (you can enable it right after install if you really intend to do so) is no "terrible 'Linux-ism'". It is a well intended means of security.

But I can understand the impression that lead you to this statement. Today's Linusi seem to abandon many security barriers in favour of giving the user a certain feeling of comforability, such as not to type a username and (maybe only a) password to use the computer. Especially when Linux is installed on such a portable device, it is understandable that there may (!) be no need for this security feature because (a) the machine won't act as a multi user system (which Linux usually is) and (b) the one who opens the device to use it will surely be the person who has the right to do so.

It's not that hard to "manually" change the system's behaviour afterwards. That's the advantage of Linux: It lets you do the things you want. If you don't need a username / password check at system startup - fine, just auto-login, no problem.

You got me right: Auto-login is nothing bad per se. There are settings where it is absolutely welcome, and there are settings where it is a complete no-go. Linux serves all those settings, and it would be stupid to introduce another Linux distribution which is the same as another one, just including the auto-login feature as default. :-)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Sadly, similar experience
by Dale C. on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 06:21 UTC in reply to "Sadly, similar experience"
Dale C. Member since:
2009-03-02

What is the point of this exercise (buying the Windows version of a netbook and trying to install a Linux distro on it)? Why not just buy the version of the Aspire with Linux pre-loaded? That's what I did.

Wireless works fine. Wired networking works fine. All of the hardware I've tried out seems to work fine. And I'm reasonably sure that at any given hardware level the Linux version costs about $50 less than the Windows one.

So again I ask: If you wanted an Acer with Linux on it, why didn't you buy one of the Acers with Linux preloaded on it?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Sadly, similar experience
by lemur2 on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 06:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Sadly, similar experience"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

What is the point of this exercise (buying the Windows version of a netbook and trying to install a Linux distro on it)? Why not just buy the version of the Aspire with Linux pre-loaded? That's what I did. Wireless works fine. Wired networking works fine. All of the hardware I've tried out seems to work fine. And I'm reasonably sure that at any given hardware level the Linux version costs about $50 less than the Windows one. So again I ask: If you wanted an Acer with Linux on it, why didn't you buy one of the Acers with Linux preloaded on it?


I can't speak for the Acer specifically, but very often the OEM will offer a constrained version of Linux only on a lower-spec, cheaper, SSD-only version of the netbook, and Windows XP only on a higher-spec, more expensive, comes-with-a-hard-disk version of the same machine.

Many people want the higher-spec hardware (identical hardware to the Windows offering) with an unconstrained version of Linux pre-loaded (ie. one with a large associated on-line repository).

Typically, you can't buy such a thing. Funny about that.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Sadly, similar experience
by darknexus on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 06:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Sadly, similar experience"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Because the preloaded Linpus Lite is not the version of Linux they want to use, and because in many areas you can't always get the Linux version with the specs you want anyway? It's sometimes difficult to find the hd version of the aa1 preloaded with Linux, for example, rather you might end up having to get one with an ssd. The aa1's ssd being as slow as molasses, that may not be what you'd want.

Reply Score: 2

gfolkert Member since:
2008-12-15

With Enlightenment and IceWeasel (with minimal addons) and the ability to have multiple shells... 148MB of swap (yes I wanted swap.. it makes a difference on it), connects using the WiFi without problems (if the key is known no problems), NIC works just fine, my USB EVDO card works wonders.

And I still have over 1GB free...

Oh wait you all expect them to do EVERYTHING... sorry

Yes I did have to funk with it a bit to get the WiFi to work, but only once.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Sadly, similar experience
by wazoox on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 21:48 UTC in reply to "Sadly, similar experience"
wazoox Member since:
2005-07-14

Always the same old rant: you know nothing about linux, rant that it doesn't work like windows, then whine about you having to go back to windows. Mind it I always have the same kind of infuriating experience everytime I touch a windows machine (rarely, fortunately); nothing works as expected:

there aren't virtual desktops (how on earth can you work without virtual desktops is beyond me), there aren't any window collapsing options, there isn't active-follow-mouse option available as default, the console doesn't work properly and miss most of the most basic features (like syntax coloring, middle-click copy and paste, programs options completion, etc), programs are in ridiculous complex directory hierarchy instead of /usr/bin, installing programs demands you to dig through countless spywares-and-adds-ridden websites instead of "apt-get install whatever", etc etc.

Windows is a complete mess, I'm back to linux ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Sadly, similar experience
by lemur2 on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 22:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Sadly, similar experience"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

... nothing works as expected: there aren't virtual desktops (how on earth can you work without virtual desktops is beyond me), there aren't any window collapsing options, there isn't active-follow-mouse option available as default, the console doesn't work properly and miss most of the most basic features (like syntax coloring, middle-click copy and paste, programs options completion, etc), programs are in ridiculous complex directory hierarchy instead of /usr/bin, installing programs demands you to dig through countless spywares-and-adds-ridden websites instead of "apt-get install whatever", etc etc. Windows is a complete mess, I'm back to linux ;)


Oh yeah. Spot on.

There is no "paste-on-middle-click", text files don't have proper line terminators, security is poor, the filesystem has no built-in support for execute permission, to run many programs one must run as root, there is no central repository of independently-vetted programs, no-one (other than the authors) can tell what the programs actually do, it isn't written with end-users rights in mind, it is very old and full of cruft to try to maintain ages-old binary compatibility, it is constrained to a very limited number of CPU architectures, it is expensive, it includes a lot of stuff that requires royalty payments to be made (your money ... gone for jam), even though you pay for jam you DON'T get any actual useful applications with it, it doesn't comply with open standards, it doesn't publish file formats and keeps other bits secret so that YOU will be locked in to one supplier, it is often compromised by external attacks, it is the source of the world's spam, it is used via botnets for criminal ventures, it requires performance-sapping antivirus and other security afterthoughts, it allows itself to be compromised via "autorun", it has no one update mechanism and so requires as many update deamons as it has programs ...

...

I could go on forever.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Sadly, similar experience
by lemur2 on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 23:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Sadly, similar experience"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"... nothing works as expected: there aren't virtual desktops (how on earth can you work without virtual desktops is beyond me), there aren't any window collapsing options, there isn't active-follow-mouse option available as default, the console doesn't work properly and miss most of the most basic features (like syntax coloring, middle-click copy and paste, programs options completion, etc), programs are in ridiculous complex directory hierarchy instead of /usr/bin, installing programs demands you to dig through countless spywares-and-adds-ridden websites instead of "apt-get install whatever", etc etc. Windows is a complete mess, I'm back to linux ;)
Oh yeah. Spot on. There is no "paste-on-middle-click", text files don't have proper line terminators, security is poor, the filesystem has no built-in support for execute permission, to run many programs one must run as root, there is no central repository of independently-vetted programs, no-one (other than the authors) can tell what the programs actually do, it isn't written with end-users rights in mind, it is very old and full of cruft to try to maintain ages-old binary compatibility, it is constrained to a very limited number of CPU architectures, it is expensive, it includes a lot of stuff that requires royalty payments to be made (your money ... gone for jam), even though you pay for jam you DON'T get any actual useful applications with it, it doesn't comply with open standards, it doesn't publish file formats and keeps other bits secret so that YOU will be locked in to one supplier, it is often compromised by external attacks, it is the source of the world's spam, it is used via botnets for criminal ventures, it requires performance-sapping antivirus and other security afterthoughts, it allows itself to be compromised via "autorun", it has no one update mechanism and so requires as many update deamons as it has programs ... ... I could go on forever. "

Oh yeah ... I forgot to mention the actual point.

What I meant to point out was: Talking about a lack of polish, in Windows we have a winner! By a mile.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Sadly, similar experience
by ReeBop on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 23:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Sadly, similar experience"
ReeBop Member since:
2009-03-01

I agree with your points. I wanted to add a perspective through from my 30 years in computing though. I still remember clearly the DOS wars of the late 80's and early 90's between DR-DOS and MS-DOS. I used DR-DOS just because of the way in easily handled expanded (with a 286 memory card) or extended memory. Foxpro, dBase III+ and Paradox ran great on it. Windows 286 didn't do what I wanted, Windows 3.0 was close (grrr...UAEs) then Windows 3.1 seemed to get it right (for the early 90's). The problem was, Microsoft deliberately made Windows 3.1 not work in DR-DOS; a DOS that was superior to MS-DOS. They also forced agreements on OEMs that if they installed DR-DOS (and later, OS/2 as well), the OEM still owed Microsoft licensing money for each computer sold.

Of course, there is much more to the story than that but using their products brings back that bad memory of using the products from a company that would do such things. Yes, they were convicted in 2000 but let's face it, they were let off the hook by the previous administration. Actions such as this is what drove me to first, the OS/2 world, then to SLS and the Linux world. I moved then to Slackware, then RedHat 3.0.3 and Caldera. I use Fedora, CentOS and Mandriva now and will probably experiment with Puppy. I do maintain bootable Vista, XP and Win98SE (even OS/2 4.5 and DR-DOS) partitions however. I still believe that Microsoft leverages monopolistic power over the industry to this day. Until I see computer systems widely available in big box stores that boot into GNOME, KDE, XFCE or any other desktop envirionment included in a Linux or BSD-based distribution, I will continue to feel that way.

Off topic, I've read this site for 10+ years and it took an article like this to finally make me register and post. Funny...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Sadly, similar experience
by samiam on Wed 4th Mar 2009 19:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Sadly, similar experience"
samiam Member since:
2009-03-04

you know nothing about linux

I'm sorry, but this is what we call "Freetard behavior" on the Linux haters blog. Don't blame the user or imply they are the problem for having problems with Linux.

There are PBCAK issues (issues caused by the end-user's lack of computer clue), but the truth is most of Linux's problems are not PBCAK problems.

My issue is not that Linux doesn't work like Windows. I'm a big fan of FVWM1 (I never liked FVWM2, since it's "focus follows mouse" was broken, and I don't like how they changed the configuration file format) and love using FVWM1 with Xclock in the corner and a bunch of xterms and a browser window across virtual screens for my development environment.

there aren't virtual desktops

No virtual desktops? Windows has a "show desktop" icon on the taskbar that makes working around this easier.

he console doesn't work properly

Horrible CLI? I agree; this is why, on Windows computers I work with, I install MSYS (part of MinGW), which gives a reasonable subset of *NIX (bash, gawk, etc.) in a small package. If I want more of *NIX than that (such as "du" and "perl"), there is always Cygwin.

The issue with Linux is that the drivers are a mess. There is no stable API/ABI for drivers. This forces me to use either a stable kernel that doesn't support my hardware, or an unstable kernel that may or may not support my hardware.

I'm sorry, but with Windows, I don't have to upgrade from Windows XP to Vista to get, say, my sound card to work. Why should I have to upgrade from a perfectly stable Linux (CentOS 5.2) to an unstable Linux (Ubuntu 8.10, which was so bad I reinstalled XP again after a month) just to get all my hardware to work? Why can't a seven-year-old version of Linux work with new hardware, yet a seven-year-old version of Windows works fine with all of my hardware.

Right now, I use Windows XP for most of my work, and have a VMware virtual machine with CentOS 5.2 (with FVWM) for my open-source development work.

Reply Score: 1

Same experience
by Narishma on Sun 1st Mar 2009 17:46 UTC
Narishma
Member since:
2005-07-06

I've had the same experience with my Samsung NC10. I tried 3 different distributions (Ubuntu, Fedora and Mandriva) and there was always something that didn't work without a lot of tinkering. In the end I simply put Windows XP back. It's not perfect but at least all the hardware works the way it's supposed to. I'll try again when the next batch of distros come out.

Reply Score: 2

Apparent hate towards Linux
by WereCatf on Sun 1st Mar 2009 17:47 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

The blog in short; Kaiwai couldn't get his network interfaces to work at all or only got one of them working. And he had lackluster performance in OpenSuSE. Nothing wrong there, not all hardware is supported. It sucks but there's nothing you can do about it.

Anyway, then the blog ends in random whine about how horrible Linux is, and this: "When are the noisy people on OS News and other such sites going to take responsibility for the fact that Linux is in an appalling state and does not address the needs of end users?"

I wonder, how did Kaiwai come to such a conclusion based on a network interface issues with his netbook? On all of the machines I've used Linux on it has worked perfectly, and it sure does address the needs of a whole load of people, both geeks and non-geeks. One example of such a geek would be me, and a few examples of such non-geeks would be my sister and my mom.

As such, why couldn't you Kaiwai just leave the ranting out of it and not made yourself look like a bitter kid?

Reply Score: 20

RE: Apparent hate towards Linux
by UltraZelda64 on Sun 1st Mar 2009 19:28 UTC in reply to "Apparent hate towards Linux"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

I thought the entire article/blog post was pretty pointless to begin with, and I wouldn't have missed anything not reading it. I couldn't even bring myself to read through to the end. It all pretty much came down to: "I don't want to do anything to get this working past installation, even if I know how, so I'll just use this Acer-supplied OEM disc to install Windows... and at least I can say I 'tried' to use Linux and whine about the fact that it didn't work with zero problems..."

I'd like to see a re-review on getting Windows XP working; only, instead of using OEM Windows CDs, which have been made specifically for the netbook with all proper drivers, use the official Microsoft retail CD and fetch any needed drivers from either Acer's or a specific hardware vendor's site on another computer, make a CD (or copy to USB stick) and install that way. No cheating, though! [gathering specific device models, etc. from the Device Manager while they're fully recognized] I bet Windows XP would rate right down there with those Linux distros.

Also, SUSE? Ubuntu? If he wants speed and battery power to be his top priorities (considering his target machine was a netbook), those are probably two of the worst choices. If he doesn't want to do any screwing around to get it to work, Arch also makes no sense. An all-around bad article, IMO...

Reply Score: 3

broken_symlink Member since:
2005-07-06

i stopped reading once he started complaining about the url he had to use to download bios updates for windows.

Reply Score: 1

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I'd like to see a re-review on getting Windows XP working; only, instead of using OEM Windows CDs, which have been made specifically for the netbook with all proper drivers, use the official Microsoft retail CD and fetch any needed drivers from either Acer's or a specific hardware vendor's site on another computer, make a CD (or copy to USB stick) and install that way. No cheating, though! [gathering specific device models, etc. from the Device Manager while they're fully recognized] I bet Windows XP would rate right down there with those Linux distros.


I think one of the main advantages to Windows is that there IS such a thing as OEM CDs that are specifically made for the hardware you just purchased - it makes everything a lot easier. (Though many of these OEMs will load the machine down with crapware, but you could probably expect the same on Linux if it had OEM discs as well).

Anyway, I had to do what you said this weekend with 2 laptops - a Sony VGN-NR110E and a Compaq M2000. I set them up for a friend who had inherited the machines... no OEM discs, but they had an MSDN subscription so I downloaded a retail copy of XP from there and used 2 keys provided to activate them.

I used driveragent.com to locate most of the drivers... is that considered cheating? ;) The most trouble I had was with the soundcard on the Compaq. The driver from driveragent didn't work, and neither did the one on the Comaq website. I had to get one from elsewhere, but all in all, it wasn't too bad. I wouldn't expect my mother to be able to do it though ;)

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"I'd like to see a re-review on getting Windows XP working; only, instead of using OEM Windows CDs, which have been made specifically for the netbook with all proper drivers, use the official Microsoft retail CD and fetch any needed drivers from either Acer's or a specific hardware vendor's site on another computer, make a CD (or copy to USB stick) and install that way. No cheating, though! [gathering specific device models, etc. from the Device Manager while they're fully recognized] I bet Windows XP would rate right down there with those Linux distros.
I think one of the main advantages to Windows is that there IS such a thing as OEM CDs that are specifically made for the hardware you just purchased - it makes everything a lot easier. (Though many of these OEMs will load the machine down with crapware, but you could probably expect the same on Linux if it had OEM discs as well). "

Well, of course, if you bought a machine that was pre-loaded with Linux, then of course you would also get an OEM (Linux OS) CD that was specifically made for the hardware you just purchased.

The main difference would be that there probably wouldn't be any "crapware" on that CD.

So I cannot see how this is an advantage for Windows. Sorry.

Reply Score: 3

Yeah, this kind of stuff needs to be fixed
by mnem0 on Sun 1st Mar 2009 18:09 UTC
mnem0
Member since:
2006-03-23

A friend has a similar experience with Ubuntu and EEE.

While I agree with everything this blog post said, I still think Linux is very cool because you can get the source code for everything and it's really nice to be able to apt-get all kinds of stuff to install them easily (especially for infrastructure stuff like git, gcc etc where you don't necessarily need the latest version. Clearly for some games, apt-get doesn't work so well because things in the repo isn't updated fast enough).

I really wish all these issues were addressed though. He's absolutely right in that this sort of stuff just needs to work if Linux wants to leap into mainstream.

Reply Score: 2

v Tried the same thing
by ethomasii on Sun 1st Mar 2009 18:23 UTC
ddc_
Member since:
2006-12-05

1. What is the point of this article? To show that linux is not a right choise for netbook? Mixing up personal experience with any possible experience of others is ignorance that shouldn't sound at all.
2. I use Acer Aspire One since the biginning of Decmeber'08. All this time it ran ArchLinux. Today I installed Ubuntu just because I needed to have a working Ubuntu installation by my hand. And apart of owning a Windows Xp license I don't even want to install it, 'cause it proved less useful and efficient for me.

Reply Score: 8

detto Member since:
2007-11-25

Maybe just sharing his experience with Linux getting to work on a netbook?

Why he has to justify his opinion about Linux based on his experiences?

Reply Score: 1

nobody Member since:
2006-06-02

There's a wonderful rule: if You have nothing I want to hear - keep silence


There. Fixed that for you.

Did you even read his blog? At all? Past the FIRST FEW PARAGRAPHS? He wanted something that works, without pissfarting around for "1/2 hour trying to work out why dhcdbd was failing to load". Doesn't that sound to you like someone who has more than just "only heard of" Linux?

Reply Score: 3

ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

It isn't very polite to tell things that Yoou know to be completely and stupid.

> He wanted something that works, without pissfarting around for "1/2 hour trying to work out why dhcdbd was failing to load".

So spending a couple of hours on searching and downloading XP drivers is less configuration then "1/2 hour"? Learn Your math, please!

> Doesn't that sound to you like someone who has more than just "only heard of" Linux?

Exactly: I also installed ArchLinux on my Aspire One. And I also spent some time on configuration. About 15 minutes. I am not a linux guru, I'm just a lawyer with some ordinary computer skills, and 15 minutes appeared to be enough to configure my AOA to connect the WLANs at home and at parents' and corporate wired LAN. So when someone states he had to spend 1/2 hour time on just some aspect of configuration that took ME about 15 minutes overall, I really know he's either a lier or a complete newbie.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Interesting how people are attributing all sorts of opinions to me before I've even said a word myself about this article.

You see, I disagree with Kaiwai. Ubuntu ran just fine on my Aspire One, it took a little bit of work, yes, but worked fine after that. The reason I moved to Windows on this thing was for practical reasons, the biggest among which was the fact that my university's wifi is so bloody messy and complicated it's just too much of a hassle to set up on Linux - not Linux' fault, as I've said in a few articles, but my university's.

Linux works just fine on the Aspire One. Yeah it takes some work if you want to install Linux on the Windows version, but hey, if you want to install Windows XP on the Linux version (like I had to) it's a bitch as well: driver hunt, preparing a bootable USB Windows XP installer, it's all a mess.

The problems with some of the people in here is that they block out anything I say that does not fit within their paradigm of "Thom is anti-Linux" or "Thom is anti-Apple", despite the fact that I use all of those EVERY DAY, and have a lot of fun doing so. I advocated open standards and Linux support in universities, but me doing so doesn't fit within lemur2's ideas about me, so you never hear him about that - he much rather just attack me and paint me as anti-Linux troll, for instance.

Seriously, you guys need to grow up. Running OSNews is a tight-rope job, and I'm just SICK of people telling me I'm only in it for the money or to make Linux look bad. I spent countless hours EVERY day, even in the weekends, working on a website dedicated to bringing the news on all sorts of alternative platforms, drawing people to this website with stories about mainstream software, and then hoping they see the news about the little guys as well, doing my part in spreading awareness about alternatives.

What the frak have YOU to show for yourself, lemur2? mrhasbean? sirhomer? How many hours a day do you spend on writing about Linux, BSD, Haiku, Syllable, and whatnot, trying to do your part in making the computer landscape more diverse? Or is all you have to show for yourself comment after comment attacking folks like me, who work hard every day on bringing you all the news?

Seriously, I'm fed up with you crybabies. If you can't stand your pet project getting a few clubs with the criticism stick, then please stick to the single-interest fanboy sites on the web.

Seriously. Bunch of ungrateful asses.

Reply Score: 7

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Well said, Thom, and way overdue in saying it. You've more patience than I ;) .

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I advocated open standards and Linux support in universities, but me doing so doesn't fit within lemur2's ideas about me, so you never hear him about that - he much rather just attack me and paint me as anti-Linux troll, for instance.


I wouldn't have claimed you are an anti-Linux troll, but rather that you seem to be inordinately pro-Windows. You are undoubtedly in denial about some of the issues with Windows, and you website has a plethora of "how good will Windows 7 be?" blurbs frequently posted by yourself.

If we are going to speculate on what will soon be possible on netbooks, then rather than post over and over about how Microsoft have promised that Windows 7 will run great on netbooks (albeit without including any actual applications, mind you) ... how about some balance in enthusiasms?

Perhaps we could point out that given available pre-releases, that the soon-to-be-released Linux distributions Kubuntu 9.04 and Mandriva 2009.1 will both support KDE 4.2 fully working out-of-the box on netbooks, both be ultra-quick to boot up, and that KDE 4.2 will in turn allow for some serious flexibility in setting up a nice desktop to work with:

http://www.tuxradar.com/content/20-all-new-tips-kde-42

In fact you can customise a number of different desktop arrangements (intended for various modes of working) and save them as named desktop configurations. You can switch your netbook desktop from one to another mode just by loading the appropriate desktop configuration. Flexibility and power like this is simply not available in any other desktop. Mind you, it would be needed to mention that one should turn off the compiz-like desktop effects bling, because a netbook just isn't up to that.

Perhaps some balance to the unfortunate negativism of Kaiwai's experiences could be introduced by making people aware of soon-to-be-available innovative features like these? After all, there is no end to the articles on OSNews on what might soon be available in the Windows world.

Edited 2009-03-02 00:59 UTC

Reply Score: 1

nobody Member since:
2006-06-02

I don't envy you Thom. I once asked on your blog why you bother... I hope your answer is still as applicable now as it was back then.

Your contributions are appreciated by some of us; the silent majority if you will.

Keep it up.

Reply Score: 4

transom Member since:
2009-03-02

"What the frak have YOU to show for yourself, lemur2? mrhasbean? sirhomer? How many hours a day do you spend on writing about Linux, BSD, Haiku, Syllable, and whatnot, trying to do your part in making the computer landscape more diverse?"

Good Lord.

You certainly are a self important gasbag aren't you?

How dare anyone have the temerity to question your buddy's moronic "review"? Between this little tantrum and him telling people to "pull your head out of your ass", you guys come off like a couple of serious retards.

Reply Score: 0

Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

I am gonna disagree Managing editor are never troll on their own site , that they manage ...

Thom is Thom , and on OsNews the majority of us like Thom , not gonna say that we all agree all the time with him or all agree with him at the same time , only speaking of my own observation here , but in majority he as more valid point that are worth discussing then just simple controversy and drama , we should thank him once in a while for his somehwat good job , and the other OsNews staff for there excelent job with the site , but that's why the private message system exist , if you don't like him at all , might I sugest you go on another site or create your own , who would be more to your liking , for your own good ... Or again use the private message system to suggest change to him and his editorial that are valid , constructive and beyond the guter level of You suck , your a troll , you smell , your never gonna make my list of editor I like ...

You have the right to disagree and even express an opposite of THOM own opinion or editorial , politely , can even insult him if you can take the punishment that goes with it.

What right you don't have is to constantly harass him with no valid reason or explanation or his editorial in the comments and make up stuff about him. Like you keep doing recently.

Perhaps the moderator should delete your post and the following comments , since it has zero value with the article opinion or any valid discussion relating to the subject of the article ... It also break the TOS.

Delete mine too will at it ... Thom must not know I defended him ;-)

Reply Score: 5

sirhomer Member since:
2007-01-03

You can be a troll on your own site. I'm just pointing out the obvious, there is no way to post something like this and not expect the kind of responses that come along with it. I'm pretty sure that Thom is intelligent and knows this. So I think he posts flamebait and does it on purpose. Because look any post that is trollish enough is going to get 100+ comments and lots of pageviews. That's just how it works. This is how the site makes money. It can't make money without all the drama.

PS: I don't like being grammar nazi, but your grammar and punctuation is almost to the point of ridiculousness. Please lay off the comma key on your keyboard.

Edited 2009-03-02 04:09 UTC

Reply Score: 0

Author is an idiot - astroturfer?
by m4r35n357 on Sun 1st Mar 2009 18:49 UTC
m4r35n357
Member since:
2008-11-09

Perhaps the idea is to give the impression Linux does not function on netbooks? So, I have an AA1 (Linpus) and an eee 901 (Xandros). Both work properly with ALL hardware functioning perfectly.

For balance, look on the various forums to see the pain of installing XP over linux on these devices . . .

Anyway, wait till the Pegatron machines appear, then we will see how "advanced" XP is.

Reply Score: 4

Fedora 10 works here
by tux68 on Sun 1st Mar 2009 18:58 UTC
tux68
Member since:
2006-10-24

Disclaimer: Didn't read the article, never will, don't care.

Fedora 10 worked here out of the box on my AA1, no fiddling required. I'm posting this message from the coffee shop on it now.

My (age withheld) mother who lives on the other side of the country went out and bought an AA1 and replaced XP with Linux all by herself except for a few short hints in an email from me. She's very happy with her new traveling web/email rig.

YMMMV,
Cheers

Reply Score: 7

RE: Fedora 10 works here
by bosco_bearbank on Sun 1st Mar 2009 21:02 UTC in reply to "Fedora 10 works here"
bosco_bearbank Member since:
2005-10-12

I'll wager the xD card reader doesn't work. Now, I really like Fedora; my AA1 runs Fedora 10 and Fedora Rawhide. I also like Ubuntu, and also have 8.10 and what will be 9.04 running on the AA1. Wireless works in all four distros. The blinking led for wireless works on my Jaunty install (I'm using the Kuki kernel from Sickboy); it required a few tweaks, but I'm willing to put in that much work. I can't stand the version of Linpus Lite that Acer uses on their SSD models, and I'm not very fond of WinXP, but both seem to work with ALL of the hardware. It's just a matter of personal priorities; run what works best for you.

Reply Score: 2

eeebuntu
by lopisaur on Sun 1st Mar 2009 19:00 UTC
lopisaur
Member since:
2006-02-27

I purchased a blue Linpus AAOne back in October and dealt with Linpus up until a month ago; switched to Eeebuntu and never looked back.
Shame on Acer for the lack of upgrades.

Reply Score: 2

Different experience
by danieldk on Sun 1st Mar 2009 19:05 UTC
danieldk
Member since:
2005-11-18

I had a Eee PC 701 almost a year ago. It worked fine with Debian, and virtually took no effort on my part. Wireless networking was effortless. By the way, the same thing applied to my HP Notebook that was released just a few weeks before I bought it. Everything worked out of the box, except for the soundcard, which required adding a one-line file to /etc/modprobe.d. My brand new quad-core 4GB RAM machine worked out of the box with Debian Lenny and Fedora 10. Everything, including burning Lightscribe labels required no command-line tinkering or whatsoever.

On the other side, I have horrible experiences with my (now) ex-MacBook. I bought a HSDPA modem, and it does not work at all. OS X finds the CD-ROM emulation, determines that the filesystem is not ok, and starts to produce error messages without end (a new dialog box pops up twice a second until you pull the USB modem). Even after disabling the CD-ROM emulation it can not detect the modem, even with the latest vendor drivers. On Linux the modem worked out of the box. I am not sure about Windows. I don't use it, my brain is wired for UNIX systems.

All this shows that anecdotical evidence is useless in small quantities.

Edited 2009-03-01 19:06 UTC

Reply Score: 4

eeepc 1000h running ubuntu jaunty alfa
by nyarnon on Sun 1st Mar 2009 19:40 UTC
nyarnon
Member since:
2009-01-26

Title says all maybe you are better off using XP untill you gain the knowledge needed tp compare both systems.

Just to elaborate. I run Ubuntu Jaunty Alfa on my Asus 1000h netbook that is completely original except for a memory expansion to 2 giga. Jaunty even as a alfa version runs stable enough. But if the alfa would get broke, I can fall back anytime to a Ubuntu Intrepid stable release that I have ready on a USB key just incase. On Jaunty all hardware is supported out of the box. For intrepid I use a special eee kernel by http://www.array.org/ubuntu/.

I know that acer has a problem with the wifi. This can be solved by compiling the apropriate driver you need. For the rest there should be no real problem at all.

Reply Score: 1

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Again, you miss the point. You people always miss the point. Compiling the driver shouldn't be necessary, it's 2009 for crying out loud. Do you comprehend this? If someone wanted to try Linux on their Aspire One and they were new to it, how comfortable do you think they're going to be dropping to the command-line to compile a stupid driver? What if the driver doesn't, for some odd reason or unsuspected configuration, compile? Then what, the user is screwed, and you just say "works for me" and tell them to rtfm?
Even for those of us very experienced in Linux, as I am, it's still bloody annoying to still, after thirteen odd years in my case, have to deal with compiling drivers. An end user's system should not need a compiler installed. Period. Once the Linux community grasps that fact, perhaps then they'll understand the ultimate goal that needs to be achieve--full desktop useability, without the need to even know what source code is because, you see, Joe User doesn't give a damn.

Reply Score: 6

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

If someone wanted to try Linux on their Aspire One and they were new to it, how comfortable do you think they're going to be dropping to the command-line to compile a stupid driver? What if the driver doesn't, for some odd reason or unsuspected configuration, compile? Then what, the user is screwed, and you just say "works for me" and tell them to rtfm?

This I do agree with. It's silly how you can't just go and find a precompiled driver but you instead have to compile them all by hand.

Why not implement some rather stable binary API which gets changed only when there is an actual need for that and the kernel version bumps up as a side-effect? That way you could just check that "Oh, my kernel supports drivers compiled for 2.7. Neat, I'll go and download those." No, you have to either use distribution supplied ones or compile the drivers every single time some even the slightest minor thing gets updated.

The "stable binary API" wouldn't even have to have a very large set of functionality, just as long as it'd allow for most simple drivers to get by. And being "stable" doesn't mean it couldn't change. Just not have it change every week just for the heck of changing it.

Reply Score: 3

mrguitarmann Member since:
2009-01-28

I have an Aspire One running Ubuntu Jaunty. Why are you compiling drivers? You need to add *one* line to *one* file.

One Line:
blacklist acer_wmi

One File:
/etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

Reboot and you're in. And baring in mind this is alpha I'm willing to bet it's fixed by release.

Also, note Windows 7 on an Aspire One installs the WRONG driver (5007 instead of 5006) and leaves you with no wireless. In Beta.

What does this tell you about progress of the two OS's?

Reply Score: 1

Comment by moleskine
by moleskine on Sun 1st Mar 2009 21:04 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

There's a certain element here of "what do you expect?" Netbooks are built to a price mostly by Asian outfits with a well-deserved rep for doing the minimum in terms supporting their products, changing hardware specs at the drop of a hat, ignoring Linux if they think there's a buck to be made by doing so, and producing really ghastly homebrew software. In some respects it's amazing that Linux (or anything else) works on these netbooks at all. And netbooks haven't been around long enough to know how they last before falling to pieces. They could still turn out to be something of a rip-off.

Linux only really started on netbooks because of the great Vista clumsy elephant problem. I guess this has given folks higher expectations of Linux working on netbooks as distinct from laptops. Maybe those expectations are misplaced? The Asian hardware makers don't care, or if they do they have a funny way of showing it.

If you want guaranteed Linux on a netbook (i.e. without home DIY mechanics) then go for HP or Dell at a guess. I imagine most readers on this site are quite happy with home mechanics. To me, a refurbished laptop is the more attractive option. Plenty of Lenovo X61s around for not much more than one of the better netbooks, and I can't set up Linux on that to my heart's content.

Reply Score: 3

Mandriva 2009.0 and the Acer Aspire One
by ReeBop on Sun 1st Mar 2009 21:11 UTC
ReeBop
Member since:
2009-03-01

I bought a 6 cell battery Acer Aspire One with a 160 gig hard drive late last year. I wanted a sizable hard drive and I also was planning a dual boot system of XP and Mandriva 2009.0. I used an external DVD burner to do the install with and used the partiioning tool (DiskDrake) that Mandriva provided with no problems. I found the Mandriva setup simple with only minor caveats that I found answers for in Mandriva centric forums. I have not found Windows to be any faster or slower than Mandriva on casual observation. It is the same with battery life. I enjoy my system and boot about 75 percent of the time into Mandriva as I am more familiar with a Linux system than a Windows system.

With that being said, I wonder what his experience would be if his Acer had no operating system installed, given an "off the shelf" Windows XP cd with no manufacture supplied drivers. Do you think that an install like that would be easier than doing a Mandriva 2009.0 install? I don't think so. Keep in mind that Acer's Windows XP netbooks are preloaded with a tailored XP Home SP3 with all the drivers needed. Good luck finding and installing drivers as you are trying to bring up your generic XP system the first time. With my home network settings, I had Mandriva using my wireless router at first boot. The point is that I didn't need another system nearby to load my Mandriva from scratch. Everything I needed for a usable system was on the DVD and I was left to set my own personal preferences and download any software (i. e. Google Earth or Firefox plugins) at my leisure.

As for crapware, I had no need of the MS Office trial edition nor the default DVD player software that was loaded. Yes, a "kitchen sink" distribution is going to load a lot of software you may never use. It is apples to oranges whether you like a distribution that loads a lot of software or a bare minimum. You might as well argue about vi vs. emacs.

I'm not writing to either praise or bash the Acer, Windows XP or Mandriva 2009. My point is that if you cannot fairly compare a custom preloaded XP operating system with a DVD or CD Linux distribution downloaded from the Internet. The comparison should be between using a generic "off the shelf" XP Home CD with no drivers included and a distribution such as Mandriva 2009.0. The user experience of locating specific manufacturer drivers, installing them and configuring your system for the Internet will not be sa easy for the XP user than for the Mandriva user.

Reply Score: 4

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Ah, sugar buns, I am not using an acer oem cd - the oem cd provided was one bought through retail channels with SP2 pre-merged. In other words, what YOU saw was ME using a retail copy of Windows XP to install onto that device.

Again, this is not a Windows XP OEM from Acer, it has NONE of the drivers merged into the cd as the cd was bought via retail. For arguments sake, it is a retail copy of Windows XP. Yes, I did require downloading the drivers - but unlike the Linux world, they could be all easily obtainable through the Acer support FTP.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Ah, sugar buns, I am not using an acer oem cd - the oem cd provided was one bought through retail channels with SP2 pre-merged. In other words, what YOU saw was ME using a retail copy of Windows XP to install onto that device.

Again, this is not a Windows XP OEM from Acer, it has NONE of the drivers merged into the cd as the cd was bought via retail. For arguments sake, it is a retail copy of Windows XP. Yes, I did require downloading the drivers - but unlike the Linux world, they could be all easily obtainable through the Acer support FTP.


This is a complaint about Acer, not as you seem to imagine a complaint about "the Linux world".

Here is what "the Linux world" has tried to do for you:
http://www.linux4one.it/
"What's linu4one

Linux4one is an Italian distribution studied to work out of the box on Acer's Aspire One Netbook. Very well configured, the distribution is perfect also for those who are less experts.
Light version Characteristics

* Lxde desktop manager;
* Space occupied on disk: 1.5 gb;
* 40 Seconds boot time;
* Active Osd (meaning that if you press fn plus f7 or the wifi button the action icon appears, also present in the current 1.1 private beta testing);
* the wif led now turns off if the relative button is pressed (same as above);
* Functioning bluetooth (as above);
* eeepc 701 support;
* other improvements.....

Full version Characteristics

* Personalized kernel
* Reduced Boot times (even with SSD)
* Functioning hardware from the start, including SD readers (the left doesn't act as Storage Expansion but as regular Card reader) and wireless led
* Minimum disk writing (log. etc.) to preserve duration
* Various optimizations to enhance the system's reaction times
* OSD for special keys
* Netbook Remix Interface
* Italian and English language (other languages will be added as well)
* Based on ubuntu 8.04.2 LTS ( 3 year support) resulting in repository access
* Kernel 2.6.28, Openoffice 3, Netbok manager 0.7 and VLC with codec
* Prelminary support for Asus eeepc 710"



Downloadable from the one spot. All drivers included. Free access to over 20,000 additional packages, browseable and installable via the one common secure interface. Guaranteed malware-free.

Enjoy.

Edited 2009-03-02 11:08 UTC

Reply Score: 3

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

So the best you can do is provide me with a link to an obscure linux distribution from Italy which I would never have known about had you not provided me a link to it.

The opportunity for 'Linux' to make its way onto my Netbook was last week, not today. Where were you and your distribution one week ago when I was trying to get Linux working? where was this distribution? if it is so damn useful then it should be appearing when I put acer aspire one linux distribution in google.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

So the best you can do is provide me with a link to an obscure linux distribution from Italy which I would never have known about had you not provided me a link to it.

The opportunity for 'Linux' to make its way onto my Netbook was last week, not today. Where were you and your distribution one week ago when I was trying to get Linux working? where was this distribution? if it is so damn useful then it should be appearing when I put acer aspire one linux distribution in google.


This is the very first link that comes up when you put your suggested search term (acer aspire one linux distribution) into google:

http://www.liliputing.com/2009/01/kuki-linux-custom-distro-for-the-...

What do you know, another one! Both of them re-masters of Ubuntu.

Kuki Linux.

http://kuki.me/

... and a reference to Linux4One in the second sentence of the Lilliputing article.

I think perhaps you possibly may not have tried very hard to look.

Edited 2009-03-02 11:32 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I think perhaps you possibly may not have tried very hard to look.


Kaiwai has a point. I don't do these obscure Linux distributions either. You have no idea what their staying power is or how well tested they are.

I only stick to the major distributions. I don't have time to keep track of the ten billion million others.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"I think perhaps you possibly may not have tried very hard to look.


Kaiwai has a point. I don't do these obscure Linux distributions either. You have no idea what their staying power is or how well tested they are.

I only stick to the major distributions. I don't have time to keep track of the ten billion million others.
"

They are Ubuntu re-masters. The tools for re-mastering are provided by Ubuntu.

http://blog.mypapit.net/2006/12/remaster-and-customize-ubuntu-cd-wi...

These projects just take stock ubuntu, remove unused bits (in the case of the AA1, nvidia drivers would be an unused bit), add extra drivers not in the stock Ubuntu distribution (for AA1 this would probably be the wireless driver), and then publish the re-mastered iso.

It is basically just "an Ubuntu LiveCD + required drivers - unrequired drivers".

It points you to the Ubuntu repositories. In short, it is really just Ubuntu in terms of support.

Ubuntu Hardy is a LTS release.

"I don't do these obscure Linux distributions either."


Are you quite sure of that?

http://www.osnews.com/story/20721/Linux4one_Ubuntu_for_the_Acer_Asp...

Thom:
Linux4one Ubuntu for the Acer Aspire One
"Linux4one, a modified Ubuntu, could be a good alternative."

Oooh look, you even knew all about what I have said here.

Edited 2009-03-02 11:50 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29


""I don't do these obscure Linux distributions either."


Are you quite sure of that?

http://www.osnews.com/story/20721/Linux4one_Ubuntu_for_the_Acer_Asp...

Thom:
Linux4one Ubuntu for the Acer Aspire One
"Linux4one, a modified Ubuntu, could be a good alternative."

Oooh look, you even knew all about what I have said here.
"

Could be good alternative, oh yes. But we don't know that for realsies, now, do we? That's the meaning of the modal auxiliary verb "could" in this context. You know, remoteness of possibility.

Remaster or not, it still depends on people I don't know nor trust, who could be gone tomorrow, who might have made changes that break packages nobody uses but me, or their changes might even make the whole installation unstable.

Some of us have actual work to do, and we can't afford these stab-in-the-dark distributions.

Edited 2009-03-02 12:06 UTC

Reply Score: 1

nobody Member since:
2006-06-02

Also note in the support forum the usual Linux idiosyncrasies:

No 3G.
No sound after suspend.
iPod mounting.
Unstable wifi.

Same old story.

Reply Score: 2

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

This is a complaint about Acer, not as you seem to imagine a complaint about "the Linux world".

Tut, tut. Stop blaming the manufacturer please. This is a complaint about the Linux world, and the complaint is that you cannot easily add hardware and software support to any distribution as easily as he has laid out there with the Windows alternative.

Why?

1. Desktop development is piss-poor in the Linux world as it is, and certainly with what some have chosen to use.

2. Getting third-party software available in a sane format is not possible on any distribution. This has nothing to do with a standard package format as manufacturers would do it if it was available in even one distribution.

3. Getting third-party software installed for an end user is a whole world of hurt unless it comes within a repository somewhere - if you're lucky.

I'm afraid this is not good enough.

Reply Score: 2

moleskine Member since:
2005-11-05



1. Desktop development is piss-poor in the Linux world as it is, and certainly with what some have chosen to use.

2. Getting third-party software available in a sane format is not possible on any distribution. This has nothing to do with a standard package format as manufacturers would do it if it was available in even one distribution.

3. Getting third-party software installed for an end user is a whole world of hurt unless it comes within a repository somewhere - if you're lucky.

I'm afraid this is not good enough.


What do you mean by "third-party software"? One could argue that on Linux pretty well all software outside of, perhaps, the kernel and a tool chain is third-party software. A couple of examples, perhaps?

Maybe there is an element of horses for courses here. If a platform doesn't offer the software you require, then no need for a drama, just use another platform. Better to do that, surely, that get stuck with all the hype and a platform that doesn't do what you want.

The great thing here is that there's more than one platform. Poor software - exclude clearly flagged alphas, betas and suchlike - is the developers saying "Your time and convenience are worthless to us" to which the only answer unless you're a masochist is "No thanks and bog off".

Reply Score: 2

ReeBop Member since:
2009-03-01

"Sugar buns"? Since I'm 20 years your senior, that is not worthy of me commenting further. Did I mention any "OEM" CDROM? No. I said "off the shelf" as in from your computer store or even Wal-Mart. I do not consider an OEM CDROM an "off the shelf" boxed product. I certainly know you didn't use an Acer CDROM as I purchased mine from Amazon.com fully aware that they did not offer a CDROM for restoration purposes. Actual Acer CDROMs are $40 extra. With that being said, I saw nothing in your article stating that you used your OEM cdrom to do a Windows XP install from scratch. You did mention that you went through the initial booting steps such as I did when I unpacked my unit so I made the assumption you had the exact same experience I did. I can see that this will become a "vi vs. emacs" debate here so I'll leave this point for my next.

I want to revisit your comment about:

Yes, I did require downloading the drivers - but unlike the Linux world, they could be all easily obtainable through the Acer support FTP.


So everyday people will naturally and easily research and locate their needed drivers from the Acer FTP support site. I think not. At no time did I have to download source to any Linux kernel module driver and compile it. The Mandriva DVD contained everything I needed from the start and installed properly. My only issue was getting the unit's webcam to operate in Skype, for which I found a solution.

I am not going to say that all is perfect in the Linux world with installers and especially, documentation. I am going to say however that Linux has made great strides since I loaded SLS in the early 90's and (at least from the point of view of my Mandriva and Fedora experience) fares well against a company that was found in violation of the US Sherman Antitrust Act in the year 2000.

I do agree with several other posters in this comment thread that netbook (forgive me Psion) manufacturers make unfortunate choices in Linux distributions. I chose Mandriva for a specific reason that if I had any trouble, I would know how to solve the issue (a Mandriva / Mandrake user since version 5.2). I had only the single problem with the webcam setup, however. One thing that should be made clear though is that Linux is a kernel, the software you loaded were distributions. Your blog states "Linux review" when in fact you chose three different distributions. I chose Mandriva, read a little on user's feedback and did my install. You chose three others and did no research at all yet you did take the time to research Acer's FTP site.

Is changing the default installed operating system for the typical enduser? No. I do think the Acer would shine under Mandriva preinstalled. Mandriva Linux does exactly what I want in my Acer Aspire One.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by bigbeck
by bigbeck on Sun 1st Mar 2009 21:19 UTC
bigbeck
Member since:
2009-03-01

Darknexus hit the nail right on the head. I started using computers about a year before Windows came out. That meant working with Dos. I hated it until a graphical menu system came out called Geoworks. Now the computer was easy to use. I mean you still had the problem of driver load order locking up the machine whenever you installed new hardware but overall it was much much easier than working from the command line.

I have the new and easy to use Puppy Linux. Installed easily with just a few clicks but I still had to edit a file to get Grub to work. Printer and internet configured easily. So far so good. Next I downloaded Kstars and Stellarium,unzipped them and proceeded to locate a setup or install file - nothing. Couldn't figure out how to install a couple of simple applications. Went to a Linux forum and found out that I had to use a compiler or some other tool from the dark ages. WTF! Too much BS. At first I thought Puppy Linux was Great - until I tried to install another program which should have taken a couple of clicks. As bad as XP is, it's still way easier and faster than Linux. Like others have said,it's not 1985. Simple is always best;) Maybe in a few more years Linux will catch up to Windows speed. Just for the record,I'm not a Micrsoft fan.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by bigbeck
by setec_astronomy on Sun 1st Mar 2009 21:46 UTC in reply to "Comment by bigbeck"
setec_astronomy Member since:
2007-11-17

It's tempting to put the blame on you for choosing a distrobution which does not focus on providing (for example, since you wanted to use kstars) a nice KDE environment or non-mainstream niche programs (as much as I like stellarium, it is not a middle-of-the-road kind of application), because it is targeted at different useage scenarios and hardware usually too limited to run KDE or other graphically intense programs at reasonable speeds (puppy fans, don't shout at me, that is the impression innocent bystanders get). You may be able to install the corresponding KDE 3.x and the stellarium packages from Slackware (stellarium may only be available as a slackbuild or a contributed package via slacky.eu or linuxpackages.net, though) since Puppy has (iirc) a certain level of compability with recent Slackware releases (starting with 12.x, if I'm not mistaken).

In general, I try to refrain from posting "had you used distro xyz, everything would have worked marvelously" type of comments, because they
a.) don't help the persons having problems
b.) imply that they were to stupid to arrive at the "correct" distrobution by themselves and last but not least
c.) always provoke posts of the "well I'm using said distro xyz and while this or that may work, instead using feature foo is broken beyond recognition" type.

I would be interested to know why your choice fell on puppy (a fine distro, no arguments about that) instead of a distrobution with a more complete base repository of software, though.

More on topic, it would be interesting to know why manufactors of netbooks chose to either roll out their own half-baked, seldom updated distrobutions (acer/linpus, I'm looking at you) or go with a rather obscure player like Xandros instead of cooperating with established distros like the *butus, openSuse or Mandriva (or at least seem to have done so, during the first two waves of netbooks). If I remember correctly, this whole buisness started with the Everex PC and gOs.

And since so many users here seemingly have to build their own kernel drivers from sources: Do this popular, newbie friendly distrobutions really have no precompiled kernel module for the most common models (eee 70x/90x/1000, acer aspire one / MSI wind, etc.) in their repositories? I only have netbook - experiences with arch linux and although you have to perform several installation-steps manually after the vanilla setup has finished, there is a binary kernel package in a contributed repository (I choose to go with blind's kernel from AUR for my eee 1000h, but that is just because I prefer to stay close to the vanilla kernel)?

EDIT: various typos and gramatical errors
EDIT2: The first sentences were really not ready for primetime :-)

Edited 2009-03-01 21:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by bigbeck
by Doc Pain on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 02:46 UTC in reply to "Comment by bigbeck"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

I hated it until a graphical menu system came out called Geoworks. Now the computer was easy to use.


And when "Windows" was released, everything was harder to use again. :-)

No, honestly: GeoWorks was a very fine piece of software. In some regards, it had functions that even today's "Windows" doesn't have, such as the ability to detach menues or simple drag and drop between applications.

Next I downloaded Kstars and Stellarium,unzipped them and proceeded to locate a setup or install file - nothing.


I don't know the Linux distribution in particular (PuppyLinux), but I think it comes with a means intended to install software on it, maybe a kind of package manager (like apt-get, yum, pkg_*). THIS is the tool that is supposed to install software. If you need to download and unzip something, you're mostly doing something wrong on a mondern Linux distribution. Like with every toolset, you have to use the correct tool for the task. Downloading things (from the web) and manually installing them looks like "from the dark age" to me.

Couldn't figure out how to install a couple of simple applications. Went to a Linux forum and found out that I had to use a compiler or some other tool from the dark ages. WTF!


What do you think (binary) programs come from? Grown on trees? :-)

Honestly again: The advice you've been given seems to look strange. Modern Linux distributions usually don't require you to use a compiler or anything else to install software. Maybe you should have studied your toolset a bit more carefully? Of course, there are highly-customizable Linux distributions that do not come with installable precompiled software packages where compiling is needed. But if you use a modern Linux distribution that is "easy" to use (definition of "easy" depends on the standpoint and experience, as always), you can simply use the tools it provides to install software.

As bad as XP is, it's still way easier and faster than Linux.


Your standpoint and experience, not mine (which is exactly the opposite).

Like others have said,it's not 1985. Simple is always best;) Maybe in a few more years Linux will catch up to Windows speed.


Well, it already has. Of course there are distributions loaded with bloat and crap, just like the MICROS~1 products they want to imitate to make its new users "feel home" faster. You cannot take them to compare.

And you're mixing "simple" and "speed", both of them usually are individual feelings of the user. "Speed" is usually a term based on efficient algorithms and maximum control over hardware functionalities. "Simple" depends on, as I said, the standpoint and the experience of the user. What may look simple to me may look strange to you, and vice versa, such as manually downloading software... dark age of 1985... :-)

Just for the record,I'm not a Micrsoft fan.


Doesn't look this way to me, but I'll believe your statement. :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by bigbeck
by bigbeck on Wed 4th Mar 2009 13:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by bigbeck"
bigbeck Member since:
2009-03-01

I hated it until a graphical menu system came out called Geoworks. Now the computer was easy to use.


And when "Windows" was released, everything was harder to use again. :-)

Yes, Windows was a joke compared to Geoworks. And Windows still is a joke compared to that 20 year old Geoworks.:-) Sad,but true.

Reply Score: 1

Ubuntu 8.04 works with EEE1000H
by Ringheims Auto on Sun 1st Mar 2009 21:51 UTC
Ringheims Auto
Member since:
2005-07-23

I had an Asus EEE 1000H for a short while, and it worked excellently with Ubuntu-EEE 8.04. Wifi, bluetooth, suspend, webcam, everything.

While I don't know which hardware is in the Aspire One, I suspect they do not have open drivers, and thus are problematic to support officially by the kernel. Better buy hardware with open specifications and drivers if you want it to work with Linux. Although many netbooks come with Linux preinstalled, often the drivers for various hardware are proprietary, and difficult to get working properly with other distros.

For me I'm eyeing one of the ARM based netbooks coming out soon, and I hope these will be better concerning these things.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

The points raised in the original article, and other criticisms raised by other posters in the thread are all valid criticisms of thing that did not work properly using Linux on a netbook.

However the posters seem to be very confused over where to lay the balme for it, seemingly directing their angst at some vague notion of "Linux" in general, or the various distributions tried in particular.

When an OEM releases a new machine on to the market with Windows ... it is actually the responsibility of the OEM to make sure it all works properly, that it has all required and correct drivers, and that the chosen version of Windows runs well on the machine, and that the chosen version of Windows is appropriate to the market they are targetting for that machine.

If the same expectations were applied to getting a machine with Linux pre-installed, and the same responsibility accepted by the OEMs, then none of the issues raised to date would have even occurred, let alone be issues. The OEM would have colaborated with a chosen Linux distribution, requisite drivers would have been included (or alternative chips chosen), the BIOS and ACPI functions would have been checked and integrated nicely, and it all would have "just worked" out of the box with the expected level of polish.

As far as I can see, there are some OEMs who have chosen to go with a very limited Linux version (Linpus or Xandros), some who have gone with a distribution with a solid name but a poor implementation on netbooks (HP and MSI Wind ship SuSe, and at least MSI are apparently getting a high return rate), and only one of the bigger names has gone to the trouble to get it right ... Dell with Ubuntu. In my country, however, although I can buy a Dell Mini, I can't get it with Ubuntu.

Frustration plus.

Having said that, just now, a year or so after the netbooks started appearing in big numbers on the market, finally some of the Linux distributions have done the work that the OEMs (who should have done it) failed to do.

We are finally starting to see Linux distribution release announcements such as this one:
http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=05358

"The default edition is Xfce with a GNOME edition also available. This release concentrates on portability, with special attention paid to out-of-the-box wireless drivers, netbook and laptop installs, and USB pen drive installs. Dreamlinux builds on the now stable Debian 'Lenny' base, with a host of custom scripts and applications to make everything from installation to getting on the Internet a breeze."

... wherein specific attention has apparently been paid to make sure it works, that it is stable, and that it can be easily installed, on netbooks.

I'd also note that I have tried Kubuntu Jaunty Alpha 5 (which is to become Kubuntu 9.04 on its release), and that it works properly on netbooks. Not to say that it works (as this is still Alpha software) ... just saying that it works as well on netbooks (with all drivers out of the box) as it does anywhere else. If Kubuntu works, then so should Xubuntu (although I haven't tried it).

So (some of) the Linux distributions have finally started to catch up with the integration work that the OEMs failed to do.

Edited 2009-03-01 22:28 UTC

Reply Score: 8

v Hey
by sirhomer on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 02:27 UTC
I don't get this one
by tofuconfetti on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 02:31 UTC
tofuconfetti
Member since:
2009-03-02

I have to say that I really don't get this one at all. Ubuntu 8.10 was incredibly easy to install on both my eeePC and my MSI Wind. With the MSI Wind, the first thing I did was pop in an Ubuntu 8.10 bootable thumb drive (also every easy to make) and install it never having booted into Windows XP. With the eeePC, I found the stock linux interface terribly restrictive. (I like having a terminal handy.)

When people say Linux lacks polish and sophistication, I really start to wonder if we are looking at the same OS and what you want yours to do for you. As for installing it, it has gotten easier and faster than Windows XP any day. The worst problem I had was with the wireless and the cam on the MSI Wind and I simply compiled the drivers per very clear instructions from the net and viola! it worked fine. I guess if you aren't comfortable with that, then you should use Windows and suffer the insecurities.

For the record, I have also installed Xubuntu on an MSI Wind just for the fun of it, but returned to regular Ubuntu because it ran just fine and I like gnome a little better as a UI.

In my mind the real benefit from Linux comes in to play when you can use your computer on public networks without reinstalling every 2 months. That is something I simply could not tolerate.

But to say Linux is shabby and difficult to install and use is to misrepresent the truth. It does not need to "catch up to" Windows XP. That would insinate there was ever any "catching up" to do.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I don't get this one
by darknexus on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 02:59 UTC in reply to "I don't get this one"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

The fact that you just said you simply needed to compile a driver should tell you exactly why Linux distros need polish. You should not need to compile a driver. Ever. You may need to _install_ a driver, but you should never need to compile one on a modern os unless, of course, you're the one developing the driver in question. But a system designed for an end-user should not need a compiler installed at all. Not for drivers, and not for applications--and the applications issue is mostly taken care of with software repositories which is a concept I do very much appreciate. The driver situation, on the other hand, is still a down right mess which doesn't look like it's going to get any better.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: I don't get this one
by lemur2 on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 03:38 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't get this one"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The fact that you just said you simply needed to compile a driver should tell you exactly why Linux distros need polish. You should not need to compile a driver. Ever. You may need to _install_ a driver, but you should never need to compile one on a modern os unless, of course, you're the one developing the driver in question. But a system designed for an end-user should not need a compiler installed at all. Not for drivers, and not for applications--and the applications issue is mostly taken care of with software repositories which is a concept I do very much appreciate. The driver situation, on the other hand, is still a down right mess which doesn't look like it's going to get any better.


While I agree with your point here, the actual situation is not as dire as may have inadvertently been painted.

I also bought an MSI Wind U100, and I also tried to put Ubuntu 8.10 on it. At first the wireless card was not recognised. I found out the wireless card installed, which was RTL8187Se, and I found out that while Realtek had Linux drivers available for most of their chips, this particular card was not one of them. Realtek were still working on it, but some development code was available.

I knew that the MSI Wind was available with SuSe, so I looked at what SuSe had supplied with the MSI Wind. It was Realtek's development code for this card. No wonder that MSI had experienced a high return rate for Linux ... they were shipping a product with pre-release development versions of the driver. An alternative choice of any of several wireless cards would have saved MSI (and their users) all of this angst.

If I didn't know better, I'd almost suspect that they had deliberately picked a wireless card that had a dodgy Linux driver.

Anyway, after a while the community pitched in, and improved on Realtek's development driver. Pretty soon after I had bought the U100, a more stable version of the code (which you still had to compile for yourself) was available:

http://code.google.com/p/msi-wind-linux/

A week or so later ... binary packages were available for Ubuntu. Just download a .deb file and install with gdebi.

http://boskastrona.ovh.org/

I believe this issue has gone away now with the release of Mandriva 2009.1 and Ubuntu 9.04 (the driver is now in the stock kernel), and of course it has always worked after a fashion with SuSe.

So as for the speculation "is still a down right mess which doesn't look like it's going to get any better" ... in actual fact this particular issue has already got better.

Edited 2009-03-02 03:52 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: I don't get this one
by dagw on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 11:23 UTC in reply to "I don't get this one"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

As for installing it, it has gotten easier and faster than Windows XP any day.

Yes and no. Out of the box the latest Ubuntu on my laptop for example works maybe 90%, and technically it is fully usable. Unfortunatly getting those last 10% is an epic pain in the arse (but possible after a few days hacking). So it's not a case of closed source and propritary drivers, its simply a case of no distro having included and configured all the necessary components.

Windows XP on the same laptop out of the box maybe 60% of everything works. However getting those last 40% is as simple as going to the vendors homepage, downloading a few exe files, and running them. After that everything works exactly the way it should, no more fiddling.

So perhaps Linux doesn't need to improve relative to XP on any technical front, it can use some improvements to the simplicity of actually leveraging all those technical advantages.

Reply Score: 2

I understand the frustation too.
by willerd on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 04:14 UTC
willerd
Member since:
2005-07-15

I have the AA1 6 cell 8GB SSD. It came with Linpus Lite which booted very quickly and I thought "Amazing. It boots so fast and everything works, it can be manhandled a bit with less concern because of its SSD drive - now let's get this machine to do what I need it to do." My primary objective with the machine was to use it as a light-to-carry remote support system instead of my heavier 15.4" Dell using my preferred OS (i.e. Linux) and applications. "So," I thought, "let's get VBox installed and I can run some of the Windows s/w I need to run to VPN into my non-Linux clients. Hmmm. No VBox support for Linpus - well let's go get the kernel source and all be will ok 'cause I can compile it right?." Well, after not finding any easy way to get the kernel, I googled upon some link that would download the kernel but unfortunately I had already did some upgrades to the Linpus OS and the kernel source I downloaded no longer matched the installed version. I couldn't get VBox to compile with the source and after a few frustrating hours of search I gave up and thought, "Well, let's try my favourite distro of the big 3 - Ubuntu 8.10" It did install but wireless networking didn't work which was not a problem as lo-and-behold someone else had already encountered the same problem and kindly documented the specific tasks I had to do to optimize Ubuntu for the Acer. "Great," I thought, " but I must remember not to put the Acer into standby or else my SSD memory chips could be erased. Oh, and my wireless switch won't work." Now I had a functioning Ubuntu on my Acer - much slower to boot and bit less function than Linpus and after about a week of using it I accidentally went into standby and yep, my SSD chip became unreadable. Luckily, someone else had documented the way to recover from this little accident and about 2 hours, I recovered usage of the chip. All was quiet for about 2 months and then I did a Ubuntu security update which installed kernel 2.26.27.11 and my wireless stopped working. "Not again," I thought, "Yet another time waster" Back to Google and yet another search revealed that kernel update 2.6.27.11 was known to break support for wireless on the AA1. I had to drop back to 2.6.27.9.

In summary of my rather long post, I felt quite let down with Acer not providing a very well supported version of Linux in consideration for a slightly more advanced user of Linux; I felt let down by my favourite Linux disto Ubuntu for making it dangerous to use my choice of laptop and for breaking it during a routine security update. I actual think now that maybe I should have got the Windows version with the 160GB H/D after all and just set up a dual boot. From what I have read about it, customized as it is, it also does seem to be more stable than what I have experienced and for what my objective was with the AA1.

Thanks for letting me vent. I still love the AA1 in spite of its warts.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I actual think now that maybe I should have got the Windows version with the 160GB H/D after all and just set up a dual boot. From what I have read about it, customized as it is, it also does seem to be more stable than what I have experienced and for what my objective was with the AA1. Thanks for letting me vent. I still love the AA1 in spite of its warts.


No problem about the venting ... I have likewise felt the need to do so on some occasions when it comes to netbooks.

Just on your thought though about getting the Windows version ... be aware that the Windows version is XP Home, and it is even then made available by Microsoft under some restricted conditions (such as no more than 1GB RAM supported).

PS: I also had an issue with XP on one netbook, where I needed to repair from the OEM DVD image ... oops, no DVD drive on netbooks! I had to lash something up using a spare DVD drive and a USB external IDE disk.

XP Home also, of course, is quite limited in its networking capabilities. It cannot join a Windows domain for example ... workgroups only.

No other version of Windows (yet) is licensed by Microsoft to run on most netbooks.

So ... if we are going to vent publically about the failure of netbook OEMs to choose components such that Linux would work fully out-of-the-box as it is CAPABLE of doing ... then likewise we should bear in mind the shortcomings of the Windows version that is offered by OEMs on netbooks compared with what it is CAPABLE of doing.

Be aware also that by the end of next month there will be two versions of fully-capable Linux available to run on most netbooks, but still no equivalent version of Windows.

Edited 2009-03-02 04:49 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Comment by echo.ranger
by echo.ranger on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 06:13 UTC
echo.ranger
Member since:
2007-01-17

I just purchased an AA1 two weeks ago and have had little difficulty getting Xubuntu 8.10 working on it. I did run into some problems with the wireless and onboard ethernet but the Ubuntu Aspire One wiki pages note the problems and acceptable workarounds (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AspireOne, https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AspireOne110L). Mine also came with XP (and 1G RAM and an 8G SDD onboard) and I found that XP ran much much slower than Xubuntu. I kept XP on it for less than 24 hours before moving to Xubuntu and haven't looked back. I'm thinking about the Jaunty netbook remix when its finally released, but until then I have a netbook that I can bring anywhere and get connected (with the linux-backports-modules-intrepid package).

I'd give Ubuntu 8.10 another shot, with a little bit of prodding (and the above links for running Ubuntu on an Aspire One) it really is a useful machine.

Reply Score: 1

Linux4one
by antonypg on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 08:19 UTC
antonypg
Member since:
2009-03-02

I have tried many versions of Linux on my Aspire One and so far the best one by far is Linux4one. Everything works perfectly, it is easy to use and very fast.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Linux4one
by lemur2 on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 09:37 UTC in reply to "Linux4one"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I have tried many versions of Linux on my Aspire One and so far the best one by far is Linux4one. Everything works perfectly, it is easy to use and very fast.


For the inquisitive, here are some links about Linux4one.

http://www.liliputing.com/2008/12/linux4one-ubuntu-for-the-acer-asp...

http://eeepc.itrunsonlinux.com/the-news/242-linux4one-ubuntu-for-th...

http://www.linux4one.it/
(Scroll down the page for the text in English).

It seems to be a re-master of Ubuntu (Hardy?), made specifically for the Acer Aspire One.

"to work out of the box on Acer's Aspire One Netbook. Very well configured, the distribution is perfect also for those who are less experts."

Oooh ... and another link I found:

http://www.osnews.com/story/20721/Linux4one_Ubuntu_for_the_Acer_Asp...

Such a pity that the OP, Kaiwai, doesn't read OSNews, because this OSnews article talking about a Linux distribution re-master made for the AA1 might have saved Kaiwai quite a bit of unnecessary trouble, angst and eventual frustration, and it might have saved quite a bit of un-necessary negative publicity on OSNews also.

Oh, wait ...

Somehow I got a circular reference in there somewhere. I wonder how that happened?

Reply Score: 5

kajaman
Member since:
2006-01-06

It simply doesn't work. After I install it, it downloaded gigabytes of patches, restarted itself couple of times until something went wrong and it didn't boot at all.

True story - shit happens. However, I would be untrue saying that Windows completely fails on Eee, I know there are people out there that use Windows. Maybe these are Windows wizzards, I am definitely not, but hey.

This post should not go to front page anyway, another frustraded user with not enought knowledge trying hacking on his hardware+software and blaming Linux for his failure.

Reply Score: 1

Windows XP Retail
by REM2000 on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 09:56 UTC
REM2000
Member since:
2006-07-25

One thing i will say in self defence of Windows XP Retail installation which a lot of people are asking for to compare with linux, is that XP was released in 2001, it was taken off the shelves over a year ago, if you want to compare linux with a retail install of windows you will have to do so with Windows Vista or use a linux dating from 2006 or to be really fair compare it to one from 2001.

Windows 7 on netbooks has been proven to work incredibly well, it's not a myth or just hearsay from Microsoft. The public beta of Windows 7, proved that you can run Windows 7 on lower spec'd machines with everyday apps like Email, Web Browser etc.. In fact i know users that use netbooks with Visual Studio so they can show their projects on the move.

Having a universal driver model for Linux will push the platform no end, from a manufacturer's point of view why develop for linux as you have to do a lot of extra work, show source code etc, etc. I know if they open the spec's then someone else would write a driver, but what if they don't want to open their spec's, it's a free world and no one should be forced to do something they don't want to do both personally or commercially.

As said before a unified driver model api, which could be correlated to major kernel versions (i.e. .26 etc..) would be the big push linux needs.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Windows XP Retail
by lemur2 on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 10:31 UTC in reply to "Windows XP Retail"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

One thing i will say in self defence of Windows XP Retail installation which a lot of people are asking for to compare with linux, is that XP was released in 2001, it was taken off the shelves over a year ago, if you want to compare linux with a retail install of windows you will have to do so with Windows Vista or use a linux dating from 2006 or to be really fair compare it to one from 2001.


I suppose so.

Another way of looking at it might be to consider the pace of development.

As Windows has gone along, trying always to maintain binary compatibility (ABI) back to 1995, and causing itself all sorts of grief and security issues by so doing, and also holding back microprocessor development in the process by locking it to an even older binary instruction set compatibility, each Windows version is more and more hidebound, and more and more difficult to roll out.

Linux, on the other hand, retains source compatibility, and as time moves along it gains more and more users and developers who have read the code, and its pace of development actually accelerates.

Windows 7 on netbooks has been proven to work incredibly well, it's not a myth or just hearsay from Microsoft. The public beta of Windows 7, proved that you can run Windows 7 on lower spec'd machines with everyday apps like Email, Web Browser etc.. In fact i know users that use netbooks with Visual Studio so they can show their projects on the move.


... but even so, after you install Windows 7, you will have consumed about 9 GB of disk space and you will be able to run ... Paint, Notepad, Calc, IE and WMP. Now with ribbons. Whoopee.

BTW, I am running Kubuntu Jaunty as I type this on my EEEPC 1000H, it runs KDE 4.2 quite fast, connected to my home lan via the out-of-the-box wireless driver, it has a full suite of desktop applications installed out of the box at zero extra cost over the machine's hardware.

Having a universal driver model for Linux will push the platform no end, from a manufacturer's point of view why develop for linux as you have to do a lot of extra work, show source code etc, etc.


Actually, it is the Linux community that is doing the requisite work. The OEMs are mostly just sitting on their arses letting it happen.

I know if they open the spec's then someone else would write a driver, but what if they don't want to open their spec's, it's a free world and no one should be forced to do something they don't want to do both personally or commercially.


A rather strange conclusion. It used to be that chip makers would publish the specs in catalogues as "vapourware", in the hope that software authors would have written support for the chip by the time it was released into the market for sale ...

How times change, hey?

As said before a unified driver model api, which could be correlated to major kernel versions (i.e. .26 etc..) would be the big push linux needs.


Meanwhile, the accelerating pace of Linux development has taken it past Windows for a couple of years now, all because the source code is available and visible to many eyes, yet more and more eyes as each day passes.

I can't quite see how a "unified driver model api" quite fits in this picture, or why it is thought to be necessary. Clearly, with a Linux install taking say 2.5 GB, including userland applications, and Windows 7 taking 9 GB for slightly more than the bare functional OS, and with Linux supporting more hardware than Windows does, I wonder which of the two actually has the more "unified driver model"?

Edited 2009-03-02 10:44 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Replies to the blog replies
by kaiwai on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 11:48 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Here are the replies to the forum replies - after a while I became bitter an angry as some have clearly demonstrated that they NEVER read the article and simply just fired off a reply based on the blurb:

http://kaiwai.blogspot.com/2009/03/array-of-responses-to-people-to-...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Replies to the blog replies
by lemur2 on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 11:58 UTC in reply to "Replies to the blog replies"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Here are the replies to the forum replies - after a while I became bitter an angry as some have clearly demonstrated that they NEVER read the article and simply just fired off a reply based on the blurb:

http://kaiwai.blogspot.com/2009/03/array-of-responses-to-people-to-...


One of your complaints:
"how do I know I'm not going to find what I experienced with Ubuntu 8.10 - I upgrade the kernel and find that my ethernet stops working but my wireless does start working."


... is fixed by using an Ubuntu re-master designed for your netbook. The kernel and drivers are "pegged" at the specific re-master version that works, and everything else is stock Ubuntu.

There is no direct equivalent to this in Windows world ... it is not quite like an OEM repair disk image of Windows, nor is it like a stock Windows + downloaded drivers. It is actually better than both.

Edited 2009-03-02 11:59 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Replies to the blog replies
by kaiwai on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 23:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Replies to the blog replies"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

... is fixed by using an Ubuntu re-master designed for your netbook. The kernel and drivers are "pegged" at the specific re-master version that works, and everything else is stock Ubuntu.

There is no direct equivalent to this in Windows world ... it is not quite like an OEM repair disk image of Windows, nor is it like a stock Windows + downloaded drivers. It is actually better than both.


Apologies in advance for removing the quotation - the whole quoting system on this website is f--king horrible given that it doesn't allow embedded quoting (quoting inside quoting).

You are right, however, how long is this 'custom kernel' going to be maintained? I've been in situations where I've embraced a distribution that appeared to be great only to find that within 6 months the community dies off and I'm stuck with an unsupported installation of Linux on my computer.

My concern isn't just about whether it is supported now but whether it will be supported 6-12-18-24 months from now - that is the test as to whether an operating system is suitable for an end user.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

" ... is fixed by using an Ubuntu re-master designed for your netbook. The kernel and drivers are "pegged" at the specific re-master version that works, and everything else is stock Ubuntu. There is no direct equivalent to this in Windows world ... it is not quite like an OEM repair disk image of Windows, nor is it like a stock Windows + downloaded drivers. It is actually better than both.
Apologies in advance for removing the quotation - the whole quoting system on this website is f--king horrible given that it doesn't allow embedded quoting (quoting inside quoting). You are right, however, how long is this 'custom kernel' going to be maintained? I've been in situations where I've embraced a distribution that appeared to be great only to find that within 6 months the community dies off and I'm stuck with an unsupported installation of Linux on my computer. My concern isn't just about whether it is supported now but whether it will be supported 6-12-18-24 months from now - that is the test as to whether an operating system is suitable for an end user. "

The kernel version and drivers in the re-masters is fixed. It won't be updated at all. But it is the kernel and drivers of Ubuntu Hardy 8.04 LTS that are the ONLY components that you are complaining about in the first place.

So you do have a small risk that some time down the track you might encounter some weird circumstance where you find that the kernel version or drivers that you have don't work.

OK, at that (hypothetical) point, you will have two options:
(1) Don't do that circumstance that caused the problem, or
(2) Upgrade your Ubuntu to Jaunty or Karmic or whatever it will be then.

The (1) option is like: Patient: Doctor, it hurts when I bang my head against the wall. Doctor: Then don't bang your head against the wall.

The (2) option is like: The mainstream Ubuntu releases will support your hardware in the next release and thereafter. You are only being directed to the re-mastered versions of Ubuntu Hardy because you SAID you wanted to install something (that works out of the box) right now.

OK, so the final recommendation would be to make two separate partitions for root (/) and home (/home), then install a re-mastered version of Hardy right away, then re-install Jaunty over the top of your root partition (without touching your /home partition) later on. Say in three months time.

That way you can have the best of both: (a) you can install an (admittedly obscure) version of Ubuntu that supports your hardware right now, and (b) later you can enjoy a mainstream distribution that fully supports your hardware out of the box.

Edited 2009-03-03 02:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

On Ubuntu, you DO NOT need to compile any drivers to get it working on an Aspire One. You just need to install the Intrepid Backports Modules package and tell it to use the "ath5k" wireless driver from it. No compiler necessary.

Next time before complaining, why don't you learn about the object of your whinging.

Also, Linux runs on a huge variety of processor architectures. There's no such thing as a binary that can run on PowerPC, ARM, x86, x86_64, x64 (Itanium), MIPS, m68k etc without having to be recompiled from its source code. That's why kernel drivers are distributed as source code, so they can be compiled for your processor. Incidentally, that's why Windows on an Itanium processor really sucks; all Windows-based hardware and software vendors distribute their drivers as x86 binaries, and you can't use them on Itanium. It's the same friggin' problem as Windows NT on PowerPC - you would have thought Microsoft would encourage hardware and software vendors to distribute source code and included a compiler so people on Windows' other supported architectures could enjoy the same level of support as x86.

Reply Score: 2

testadura
Member since:
2006-04-14

Linux definitely has it's flaws and problems that occur on different hardware and with different distro's (wifi, sleep mode, lack of drivers).

These problems however, can be solved when using specific distros targeting specific hardware. In my opinion the author fails to see that a general linux distro never will support specific hardware as good as a specific distro.

The author should have tried installing Eeebuntu, Easy Peasy (awful name), Kuki or linux4one.

Compiling drivers and other complex stuff has been done already, and all hardware should work. He should take advantage of the fact that these netbooks have a widely used and fixed set of hardware, which is far more easy to support.

Reply Score: 3

B12 Simon Member since:
2006-11-08

I couldn't agree more

Easy Peasy (awful name)


Especially that ;)

Reply Score: 2

EEEBUNTU
by Special Ed on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 15:07 UTC
Special Ed
Member since:
2009-03-02

I run EEEBuntu on my AAO and it works great. Full install with the netbook drivers and everything works.

http://www.eeebuntu.org/

Reply Score: 1

Nothing to see here... Move along.
by DeadFishMan on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 15:28 UTC
DeadFishMan
Member since:
2006-01-09

I also fail to see what was the point of Kaiwai's rants. First, he takes two of the slowest distros out there - OpenSUSE being the biggest offender in this category - shove them into the damn thing and then complains that they were slow! Then gets a decent distro - ArchLinux - that he kinda make it fits into the netbook but then complains that it was too much work!

Then when people point out that there are lots of distros respins out there made specifically for this class of device and that are known for working well, he throws a hiss fit saying that he won't take his chances with unknown distros even if they're little more than tweaked versions of brand name distros and that in 99% of the cases, they will work with the same repositories and everything.

If someone dares to say that they got theirs working with little or no fuss with other distributions, he then labels them as trolls, zealots and whatnots. He wants to use Windows XP on his Aspire Acer One, that much is clear to me. Should have said so up front.

Reply Score: 3

He really wanted to install XP, so he did
by rramalho on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 15:49 UTC
rramalho
Member since:
2007-07-11

This is the truth.

He likes XP, wich is very fine as an OS. It's not free, but it works very well most of the time.

His analisys were like when you move from an automatic car to a manual - you can control much more, but he just doesn't care if it turns better or not.

I have an Aspire One A110L (modded with extra RAM and toshiba HDD), with Ubuntu and after installing the backports never had any issues besides the cardreaders.

Moving along...

Reply Score: 1

Eeepc 701
by pclapham on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 19:11 UTC
pclapham
Member since:
2006-04-13

I just finished putting Eeebuntu Base on my Eeepc 701. It works well. I've had this thought for a while now, and i know i'll probably get flamed for this. There is a *huge* developer base out there. Having people pour their work in ONE distro would probably avoid this "Linux sucks on netbook" issue we have.

I've found that Ubunutu may not be perfect but it has suited my needs in the past. If it was understood that app devs and hardware companies made sure that their stuff works on ONE distro which is widely agreed on i think the Linux ecosystem would be a better place. Then the other distos can copy the bits from the ONE that works.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Eeepc 701
by testadura on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 19:51 UTC in reply to "Eeepc 701"
testadura Member since:
2006-04-14

Indeed. The fact that a distro can be targeted at a selected set of hardware is a great advantage. And now with a few popular netbooks sharing (nearly) the same hardware, this totally makes sense! I am pretty sure Linux can offer a very solid "Just works" user experience!

I'm waiting for Haiku though :-) Having Haiku on my netbook would be very very nice!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Eeepc 701
by lemur2 on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 22:09 UTC in reply to "Eeepc 701"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I just finished putting Eeebuntu Base on my Eeepc 701. It works well. I've had this thought for a while now, and i know i'll probably get flamed for this. There is a *huge* developer base out there. Having people pour their work in ONE distro would probably avoid this "Linux sucks on netbook" issue we have. I've found that Ubunutu may not be perfect but it has suited my needs in the past. If it was understood that app devs and hardware companies made sure that their stuff works on ONE distro which is widely agreed on i think the Linux ecosystem would be a better place. Then the other distos can copy the bits from the ONE that works.


They all work ... eventually. They all share essentially the same codebase. Firefox on Ubuntu is not different than Firefox on Fedora ... they don't re-write Firefox 100 times over just to be different.

So what are the differences?

Basically ... the release cycle and testing philosophy is different. Fedora is "cutting edge". RHEL is "stable" ... follows on from code that Fedora got the kinks out of. Debian Sid is like Fedora ... but using a different package management system. Sid is a "rolling release" ... which means that it takes on the latest code when it becomes available, and often breaks other packages in so doing. Debian Testing is a "feature frozen" version of Sid taken at some point in time, and being worked on to make it stable. The latest version of testing is called "Squeeze", and it was a copy of Sid taken when Debian Lenny was promoted from Testing to Stable.

Ubuntu is likewise drops of Debian (every 6 months) that are "fresher" than standard Debian stable. After release, there is a promise that the version will be maintained at that feature freeze point for some defined period of time. "Long Term Support" versions are supported for longer. Hardy (8.04) was the last LTS version, Intrepid (8.10) is the current release version, and Jaunty (9.04) is the current development version, which will be released at the end of April.

Arch Linux is a "rolling release". It always has the latest packages. These will be more "cutting edge", but are necessarily less well tested than what you will find in more "stable" distributions.

It is all cut from the same cloth, but it is different in terms of its stability, and in terms of its currency ... which are somewhat mutually exclusive characteristics when you think about it.

You decide what is good for you ... you decide how close to the cutting edge you wish to go ... you decide how involved (or not) you want to be in the testing process. It is all about choice.

Deciding on "one standard distribution" would remove the choices that you do have ... but in another sense it is pointless anyway because it is essentially all the same evolving codebase anyway.

Reply Score: 2

Clueless
by segedunum on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 23:07 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

While I am a pretty strong advocate of open source software in many uses and the share and share alike philosophy of the GPL (it works basically), it's always astonishing to me how clueless people are as to how far off we really are at getting a fully integrated open source destop system to compete with Windows.

All Kaiwai was pointing out is that there is only so much of the "Oh, just read this guide, and oh, just point to these repositories" advice you can take before it simply becomes counterproductive. Why the hell is this article not relevant, and why should it not be posted? Are we supposed to say nothing about desktop Linux and say nothing against demi-Gods like Ubuntu?

I think we all need to get a firm grip and admit where we are a long way short in the open source, free desktop world.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Clueless
by lemur2 on Tue 3rd Mar 2009 00:00 UTC in reply to "Clueless"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

All Kaiwai was pointing out is that there is only so much of the "Oh, just read this guide, and oh, just point to these repositories" advice you can take before it simply becomes counterproductive. Why the hell is this article not relevant, and why should it not be posted? Are we supposed to say nothing about desktop Linux and say nothing against demi-Gods like Ubuntu?


Lets be honest here ... Kawai complained that he couldn't find a Linux distribution that worked properly on his Acer Aspire One ... yet there were two (not one, but two) re-masters of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS, both of which would work properly out of the box on his hardware and solve every single one of the issues he raised, both of which would inherit the Long Term Support and application repositories from Ubuntu itself, and both of which were identified in the first two sentences of the artcile that was the very top Google hit for the search terms he himself suggested.

Yet he downloaded and tried three seemingly-randomly-selected distributions that made no claims at all to support his hardware.

Then he complained that he couldn't get help from the Acer website, when it was the Acer-supplied Linux software that he found limited and constrained and was trying to replace in the first place.

Make of all that what you will.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Clueless
by kaiwai on Tue 3rd Mar 2009 12:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Clueless"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Lets be honest here ...


Lets also be honest here, you ignored 105 posts and submited that load of shit to this forum. Why should your post even be taken seriously when you can't even be bothered to read other responses and my response to those responses - because then maybe you'd realise that the issue has already been addressed. Stop flogging a dead horse - screaming the same shit over and over again isn't going to make the horse come back to life.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Clueless
by segedunum on Tue 3rd Mar 2009 15:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Clueless"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

...yet there were two (not one, but two) re-masters of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS

Why would there need to be a re-master? There should be a pretty straightforward way of upgrading one to the other. There seemingly isn't.

...both of which would work properly out of the box on his hardware and solve every single one of the issues he raised...

Given the comments around this article, there is some reason to doubt that. However, Thom himself did manage to get Ubuntu to work on his and he moved to Windows later for other reasons. We'll get to what those are below.

Then he complained that he couldn't get help from the Acer website, when it was the Acer-supplied Linux software that he found limited and constrained and was trying to replace in the first place.

Make of all that what you will.

I'll tell you what I make of it. Linux distributions are still piss-poor at adding support for hardware to a distribution after release, other than making yet another new bloody ISO, and piss-poor at providing a sane way of developing, adding and installing third-party software. If that was actually possible in a sane way then you might have got a nice front-end written and helped by Acer such as HP's one for the Mininote and a wealth of help and support from Acer. You don't. Guess why?

I don't doubt that there are draconian Microsoft/OEM agreements out there, but with the internet as a distribution medium today Linux distros should be making this exceptionally easy to do to slip through the 'net'. They're not.

Mind you, if such software was written then we would get moans from the crowd if it isn't open source, and those moans would probably be coming from the very same people who argue about licensing to allow free proprietary development.

It's a nuthouse at times.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Clueless
by broken_symlink on Tue 3rd Mar 2009 16:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Clueless"
broken_symlink Member since:
2005-07-06


I'll tell you what I make of it. Linux distributions are still piss-poor at adding support for hardware to a distribution after release, other than making yet another new bloody ISO, and piss-poor at providing a sane way of developing, adding and installing third-party software. If that was actually possible in a sane way then you might have got a nice front-end written and helped by Acer such as HP's one for the Mininote and a wealth of help and support from Acer. You don't. Guess why?


Well, in a perfect linux world, they wouldn't have to worry about adding support, because everything would be in mainline and if something isn't supported in one release you just upgrade the kernel package and there it is you hardware is supported!

The problem is that linux is a second class citizen to most hardware companies. All resources are poured into making windows drivers and linux drivers are put on the back burner. Just look at companies like nvidia. However, even then its not good enough, because unless they get those drivers into the mainline linux kernel things will never become as easy as windows.

Things are improving, but it will take time. According to a lot of people here, his hardware will be supported out of the box in the next ubuntu release.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Clueless
by dagw on Tue 3rd Mar 2009 16:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Clueless"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

According to a lot of people here, his hardware will be supported out of the box in the next ubuntu release.

That to me is on of the fundamental problems with Linux (or Linux distributions). One shouldn't have to wait for the next release and hope it's fixed then. I should be able to download a set of debs or rpms specifically for my laptop, install it and then just have all the drivers and hardware specific settings taken care. Much like it works in Windows

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Clueless
by lemur2 on Tue 3rd Mar 2009 22:51 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Clueless"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"According to a lot of people here, his hardware will be supported out of the box in the next ubuntu release.
That to me is on of the fundamental problems with Linux (or Linux distributions). One shouldn't have to wait for the next release and hope it's fixed then. I should be able to download a set of debs or rpms specifically for my laptop, install it and then just have all the drivers and hardware specific settings taken care. Much like it works in Windows "

You can download drivers as .deb files. What made you think that you couldn't?

The only caveat is this: the driver must be compiled for the specific kernel version you are running. If you change the kernel and you have some drivers which were installed as .deb files, they are likely to no longer be loadable. You will have to get a new .deb file of the driver, compiled against your new kernel version.

Having the driver included along with the kernel makes this un-necessary.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Clueless
by segedunum on Wed 4th Mar 2009 13:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Clueless"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, in a perfect linux world, they wouldn't have to worry about adding support, because everything would be in mainline...

But not everything can be in mainline because people write software and build hardware after it has been released. This simply results in people reformatting and reinstalling their distributions every six months just to get updated software. No one but enthusiasts are going to keep doing that and it's not good enough for the wider world.

...and if something isn't supported in one release you just upgrade the kernel package and there it is you hardware is supported!

Distributors cannot just offer a kernel upgrade willy-nilly to an already released distribution. It has support implications. Hardware support has to be added to an existing kernel. No one should have to wait for a kernel upgrade to get hardware support either. It just isn't as simple as you think it is.

The problem is that linux is a second class citizen to most hardware companies.

This hasn't really got a lot to do with this, and it's the usual excuse you get from the crowd. Linux distributors simply do not make it in any way easy to add hardware and software support after a distribution has been released. As such, those who might be interested just don't bother. This is killing any success Linux might have on Netbooks.

All resources are poured into making windows drivers and linux drivers are put on the back burner.

Linux drivers are just not easy to write and certainly not easy to get available to your users. There is no distribution that is giving people documentation on how to do it, make it easier and get people involved.

Things are improving, but it will take time. According to a lot of people here, his hardware will be supported out of the box in the next ubuntu release.

So he has to reformat and reinstall again as he waits for full support to become available? Pffffffffffffff.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Clueless
by broken_symlink on Wed 4th Mar 2009 14:40 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Clueless"
broken_symlink Member since:
2005-07-06


But not everything can be in mainline because people write software and build hardware after it has been released. This simply results in people reformatting and reinstalling their distributions every six months just to get updated software. No one but enthusiasts are going to keep doing that and it's not good enough for the wider world.


No one said you have to reinstall your entire system because the kernel was updated. The great thing about linux is that kernel and userland are separate.


Distributors cannot just offer a kernel upgrade willy-nilly to an already released distribution. It has support implications. Hardware support has to be added to an existing kernel. No one should have to wait for a kernel upgrade to get hardware support either. It just isn't as simple as you think it is.


Why can't they just offer a kernel upgrade? Most distributions do already, like Fedora, Ubuntu, ... And people have already mentioned how to add hardware support to an existing kernel. You just get a .deb or .rpm or whatever for the specific kernel version you are using and install it.


This hasn't really got a lot to do with this, and it's the usual excuse you get from the crowd. Linux distributors simply do not make it in any way easy to add hardware and software support after a distribution has been released. As such, those who might be interested just don't bother. This is killing any success Linux might have on Netbooks.


Again see above.


Linux drivers are just not easy to write and certainly not easy to get available to your users. There is no distribution that is giving people documentation on how to do it, make it easier and get people involved.


I personally don't think its a distribution's job to give support with writing drivers. The actual distribution of the driver yes, but again if the driver were in mainline, they wouldn't even need to do this.


So he has to reformat and reinstall again as he waits for full support to become available? Pffffffffffffff.


Again no one said he had to reinstall.

I think the only person who has the power to make what you want to happen a reality is Linus, who probably just doesn't care. He is not in this to take on Microsoft, which is what it seems like people like you want. This is just a hobby for him, and he happens to make money doing it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Clueless
by kaiwai on Tue 3rd Mar 2009 00:09 UTC in reply to "Clueless"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

While I am a pretty strong advocate of open source software in many uses and the share and share alike philosophy of the GPL (it works basically), it's always astonishing to me how clueless people are as to how far off we really are at getting a fully integrated open source destop system to compete with Windows.

All Kaiwai was pointing out is that there is only so much of the "Oh, just read this guide, and oh, just point to these repositories" advice you can take before it simply becomes counterproductive. Why the hell is this article not relevant, and why should it not be posted? Are we supposed to say nothing about desktop Linux and say nothing against demi-Gods like Ubuntu?

I think we all need to get a firm grip and admit where we are a long way short in the open source, free desktop world.


The stupid part of the debate is when people label me an idiot - ignoring the fact that I have run Linux for 9 years. I know it back to front, up and down, left to right BUT I clearly stated in the article that I no longer give a toss about tinkering, I just want the thing to work out of the box with minimum fuss and bother.

Then again, how many people here actually read the comments, read the article and take time to absorb what people say? there is an idiot on my blog called Howard who couldn't even be bothered reading the previous posts because if he had he wouldn't have made such a clusterf*ck of a comment claiming I was using a tweaked OEM installation when I clearly stated I was comparing Linux to an OEM installation of Windows XP I did from a CD.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Clueless
by m4xr8d on Tue 3rd Mar 2009 03:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Clueless"
m4xr8d Member since:
2009-03-01

Maybe you should re-read your very own blog. You never,I'll repeat NEVER stated I was comparing Linux to an OEM installation of Windows XP I did from a CD.

Idiots can be idiots for as long as they live. Regardless of how ever long they/you might have tried to use Linux.

You are an idiot.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Clueless
by segedunum on Tue 3rd Mar 2009 15:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Clueless"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

You never,I'll repeat NEVER stated I was comparing Linux to an OEM installation of Windows XP I did from a CD.

Except he.............wasn't. Maybe if a Linux distribution had what I described above, a sane way of developing and installing software, then we might get an OEM distribution CD for a system.

You didn't read the article and haven't read any of the comments here.

Reply Score: 2

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

While that is great and all, and I don't doubt Microsoft is going to leverage some power here as they have always done, Linux distributors need to be making it far easier for manufacturers and OEMs to choose the cheap or free Linux option and squeeze Microsoft on these devices. They need to add hardware support to an existing distribution faster, add software support faster and easier and prolong the life of a given distribution as a result. The distribution medium of the internet gives them the opportunity to totally bypass traditional OEM channels that Microsoft controls.

Even if an OEM is reluctant to use a Linux distribution on its devices, the weight of software and hardware support and an installed base of the back of it would force them into it.

It's doable. Alas, they're just not making it happen.

Reply Score: 2

broken_symlink Member since:
2005-07-06

While that is great and all, and I don't doubt Microsoft is going to leverage some power here as they have always done, Linux distributors need to be making it far easier for manufacturers and OEMs to choose the cheap or free Linux option and squeeze Microsoft on these devices. They need to add hardware support to an existing distribution faster, add software support faster and easier and prolong the life of a given distribution as a result. The distribution medium of the internet gives them the opportunity to totally bypass traditional OEM channels that Microsoft controls.

Even if an OEM is reluctant to use a Linux distribution on its devices, the weight of software and hardware support and an installed base of the back of it would force them into it.

It's doable. Alas, they're just not making it happen.


What incentive do linux distributors have to do this if you want it done for little or no money? The whole reason they are distributing linux is because it is profitable for them. At the end of the day I bet most companies couldn't care less about their "community driven" distributions as long as their bread and butter enterprise solutions have paying customers with long term support contracts.

Reply Score: 2