Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 16th Sep 2004 00:28 UTC
Original OSNews Interviews The Debian-based Ubuntu Linux was unveiled today and a preview release is available for download. Ubuntu uses Gnome 2.8, kernel, OOo 1.1.2 and comes with a text-based, but dead-easy, installation procedure. Ubuntu has disabled the root user (sudo is used, same way as OSX does it) and it endorses the "less is more" philosophy. There are still bugs on the preview release, but the team welcomes feedback via their mailing list. Read more for an interview with team member Jeff Waugh (also of Debian and Gnome fame). Screenshots also included, and more are here to be found.
Order by: Score:
Heh, Smalltalk
by Rayiner Hashem on Thu 16th Sep 2004 00:53 UTC

A few nerds indeed, Eugenia ;)

Ubuntu looks interesting, though I don't see how it's any different from UserLinux...

how stable will it be?
by mabhatter on Thu 16th Sep 2004 01:20 UTC

How stable will it end up being? I seems Gnome always gets the second-rate treatment...but it looks so cool [I have a thing for underdogs!]

I like the comment about Small talk too...there's a lot more interesting stuff to do than copy MS right now. The coup de grace would be to build your whole distro around something like GNUSmalltalk scripting for EVERYTHING...that would give it the "spit-n-polish" people expect from a desktop OS sorta like how MS has Visual basic that let's you hook everything easily. Throw in really good template scripts to get users acquainted with Unix-style scripting, and then you'd be leveling the field. To do that level of integration requires making a cut to make some stuff BEST over just Good. Best part with OSS is that somebody else could do all their scripting in REX...and it would be just fine too!!! As long as you stick to the Debian sources, then your users have great data portability and migration!!

by lupusBE on Thu 16th Sep 2004 01:25 UTC

If it had the new Xorg I would switch to it.

anyone know some deb packages of the latest xorg?

fun fun fun!
by janeiro on Thu 16th Sep 2004 01:37 UTC

i originally switched to gentoo because i liked their style (and fell in love with their package management).

now comes ubuntu which looks put together really well... it's a good think i have an extra computer in times like this.

sounds interesting but...
by linuxgeekintraining on Thu 16th Sep 2004 01:40 UTC

it's pretty dumb to totally disable the root account, even under MacOS X you can get the root account back by simpling executing sudo passwd root as a administrator level user

I hope that the reviewer was mistaken and that the creators of unbuntu linux only did something similar to the OS X developers in respect to disabling the root account, easily fixed if you know how.

RE: sounds interesting but...
by Eugenia on Thu 16th Sep 2004 01:43 UTC

You can bring it back, yes. I have my root account activated atm. You simply have to load the "Users and Groups" application as a sudoer user, and then click to see "all users", and then select a new password for root user, and then voila, you can use the root user normally.

Re: xorg
by Seo Sanghyeon on Thu 16th Sep 2004 01:44 UTC

There's no way we can ship a desktop without a GUI, and X.Org packages are too big an undertaking for Warty; this has been bumped to Hoary. But Warty will ship with the requisite 4.3 plus lots and lots of patches (currently 234k). --From the Ubuntu wiki.

Warty is the current release. Hoary is the next release. So it doesn't have xorg yet, but has lots and lots of patches upon 4.3, and will have xorg in next 6 months.

by Spike Burch on Thu 16th Sep 2004 01:53 UTC

personally, i'm trying this out. it's debian based, but not outdated, and it supports PPC. all i can possibly ask for, for my mac.

Are you a developer looking to help develop an alternative desktop OS? Look no further than

by Seo Sanghyeon on Thu 16th Sep 2004 01:55 UTC

Also note that Daniel Stone, the's release manager, is in the Ubuntu team. That says something.

by Ubuntu-fanboy on Thu 16th Sep 2004 01:57 UTC

From the screenshots and the specs it looks really nice and I've been wanting to try this new distribution for a long time, but I do have some questions before I start off to download and install it:

- Those apps in the screenshots from the article.. are they included with Ubuntu? (eg. the Device Manager from s2)
- Does it come with proprietary codecs for playing video's or is there an easy way to install them?
- Does Ubuntu have a special Debian menu? (I hope not, one menu is enough for me)
- What's the boot sequence like? Text or graphical?

Well, that last question is a bit silly, but I just happen to like graphical boot sequences ;)

Like UserLinux
by Steve on Thu 16th Sep 2004 02:00 UTC

It seems very much like UserLinux using Debian Unstable instead of Debian Testing.

Re: Like UserLinux
by Seo Sanghyeon on Thu 16th Sep 2004 02:04 UTC

Well, Debian Unstable has no GNOME 2.8.

RE: Cool!
by Eugenia on Thu 16th Sep 2004 02:10 UTC

- Those apps in the screenshots from the article.. are they included with Ubuntu? (eg. the Device Manager from s2)


- Does it come with proprietary codecs for playing video's or is there an easy way to install them?

I don't think so.

- Does Ubuntu have a special Debian menu?


- What's the boot sequence like? Text or graphical?

Text, and I am sorry to say, it's slow to boot (just like debian). Slackware is much faster when loading for example.

RE: sounds interesting but...
by SnakeCharm on Thu 16th Sep 2004 02:10 UTC

That it's easy to enable root if you are in `sudoers' is not the point, the point is to discourage the use of root and the root password (like say OpenBSD does by issuing a warning while at the same time recommending the use of `su'). It's a good practice, and as a bonus, it educates about healthy security protocols.

just my .02

I am using Ubuntu right now!
by bullethead on Thu 16th Sep 2004 02:13 UTC

This is a HUGE improvement over what I have seen from other Debian based distros. I am using the AMD64 version of this system which was released on September 15th. Congrats to everyone.

Why isn't it on Distrowatch?
by Jason on Thu 16th Sep 2004 02:14 UTC

A distro just isn't a distro until it's on Distrowatch. ;-)

Device Manager, etc
by Seo Sanghyeon on Thu 16th Sep 2004 02:19 UTC

Actually, Device Manager and other apps on the screenshot is also included in the stock Debian for a long time.

apt-get install hal

"hal" package includes Device Manager and project Utopia things, and it was there in Debian for 9 months now.

RE: Why isn't it on Distrowatch?
by Sol on Thu 16th Sep 2004 02:26 UTC

Check again ! It's there now and is probably rising in popularity *very* quickly...

by Spark on Thu 16th Sep 2004 02:46 UTC

This is the first time since Fedora that I got this warm and fuzzy feeling while reading about a new Distribution. ;)
It sounds like it has all the non-suckage from Fedora (Open Source and open development structure, focus on shiny GNOME desktop, fixed release shedules, leading edge software, focus on Usability and the "Just Works" mantra) plus some more non-suckage (release shedule apparently synched with GNOME release shedule, base install on one CD, a heart-warming project philosophy).
I'm downloading the ISO right now and then I need to make some room to try it out. Can't wait, because it will also be my first look on GNOME 2.8. ;)

re: sweet
by Laydros on Thu 16th Sep 2004 03:29 UTC

yeah, basically i have seen some good distros that had a lot of what this has ( for example) but this one appears to have major support behind it. thats the catch i find myself with. there are some great distros that don't have to be difficult or have 13 cds to install, but they are all so small that they vanish after a few months, or have slow updates. its also nice to see something more dial up friendly. gentoo and straight deb are great, but ive always kinda stuck with slack or one of the dumbed down distros because i don't have the ability to download almost my entire os.

i hope it turns out to be all it appears to be!

by Anonymous on Thu 16th Sep 2004 03:40 UTC

Sounds interesting. I'm downloading it now to give it an install on my "scratch" partition.

Just for clarification, is Jeff going to be doing development on both Debian and Ubuntu?

by Jeff Waugh on Thu 16th Sep 2004 03:46 UTC

We're all doing development on both Debian and Ubuntu. :-)

Debian and Ubuntu (@Jeff)
by Anonymous on Thu 16th Sep 2004 03:50 UTC

Now I'm really confused ;)

Is this a way to freeze what's in sid every 6 months and release it?

I suppose if there's a lot of overlap between the two projects it might be interpreted that Stable will be the "server" release, and Ubuntu will be the "desktop" release?

by Jeff Waugh on Thu 16th Sep 2004 03:57 UTC

Ubuntu will have a separate release every six months, based on sid. It will be appropriate (and have supported software) for desktops and servers.

Dont see the point
by Roberto J. Dohnert on Thu 16th Sep 2004 03:57 UTC

There are other distributions out here that are easy to get and are more widely supported, I personally dont see any reason for another Linux distribution. No offense to anyone, the engineers or any of their users but thanks, but no thanks

free pressed cd?
by igus on Thu 16th Sep 2004 04:27 UTC

There is a free cd offer at, and we can request as much as we like. is it true?

RE: Dont see the point
by rain on Thu 16th Sep 2004 04:30 UTC

Well, I do see a point in yet another distro because none of the major distros fill my needs. SUSE is the one that I like most on the desktop, but it's oh so slow on my hardware.
however, this one doesn't really make a difference to me either.
I think a completely new DE would be required to satisfy my needs. Something as easy and fast as BeOS, but a bit more modern.
Ah well, I have more hopes on Haiku than on a good DE for linux.

I like the approach that this distro has though. But it still wouldn't improve my linux experience much since it pretty much how I have my mandrake install configured allready.

RE: Don't see the point
by Michael Salivar on Thu 16th Sep 2004 04:31 UTC

I think that as long as the Linux community continues to evolve and fluctuate as it does now, there will always be the need for another distribution. There's always a new demographic rising up, and someone who fits that demographic is bound to build a distro around their philosophies. In addition there's always new software being written, and that opens the opportunity for new integration schemes.

Until Linux stops evolving, someone will always want things a bit different, and that itself drives the evolution. The day that cycle stops, I think Linux will be dead.

Michael Salivar

by Eugenia on Thu 16th Sep 2004 04:35 UTC

I wanted to install Mono and some GTK# applications (Muine and MonoDevelop, to be more exact) and there are no such packages on the ubuntu apt repositories. Any pointers?

RE: Rain
by Michael Salivar on Thu 16th Sep 2004 04:38 UTC

This is definitely stretching past the topic, but have you tried the xfce desktop environment; or some of the lighter distributions like Slackware, Vector, or Arch? While I haven't tried Ubuntu yet (dialup, downloading now), judging by their philosophy and the size of the ISO, Gnome should be significantly faster there than on Mandrake.

I wouldn't suggest Libranet at this stage (some nasty package repository issues), but they're a testament to how much more responsive the big DE's can be on a lighter base system.

debian repositories
by daniel on Thu 16th Sep 2004 04:40 UTC

We can still point ubuntu's /etc/apt/sources.list to debian-unstable, debian-experimental, debian-kde-cvs, etc, right?

by Jeff Waugh on Thu 16th Sep 2004 04:46 UTC

Mono's not in our supported list for Warty, but would be available in universe if it built (that's fixable, but we primarly concentrate on fixing supported packages for obvious reasons). There is a community member providing a repository of mono stuff - I'll see if he can post about it to ubuntu-devel.

by Jeff Waugh on Thu 16th Sep 2004 04:58 UTC
@Jeff Waugh
by Eugenia on Thu 16th Sep 2004 04:58 UTC

Thanks for the reply Jeff.
BTW, another problem: I can't install K3B via the default repositories on Synaptic. It tells me that some KDE packages are not installable because some packages are missing. Could you have a look at that? K3B is really needed...

Also, when Synaptic starts, it gives me some error messages that 2-3 of the repositories are down, it can't find them. Are these websites down indeed?

by Brad Griffith on Thu 16th Sep 2004 05:08 UTC

I've just installed Ubuntu and I'm enjoying thoroughly. Everything just feels right. Fedora has always irked me for a few reasons - menu editing being out-and-out impossible in their second release being a big one. I like the cleanup of the GNOME menu layout. Thank you. This is just absolutely great.

Re: SmallTalk
by Wolf on Thu 16th Sep 2004 05:31 UTC

Man...after repeated display of love for smalltalk by rayiner, i finally looked at how exactly does the small talk code looks and whoa...this is how it looks...for as simple function as WinMain...

// Beware SmallTalk Code Alert!

!ApplicationProcess * methods!
winMain: hModule with: hPrevInstance with: cmdLineArgs with: nCmdShow
Public - Calls initialization function.
" Initialize OLE "
WINAPI OleInitialize: NULL.


" Register Windows "
ActiveDesktopInfoWindow registerClass: hModule.

" Create application and run message loop "
WinApplication new run: [ActiveDesktopInfoWindow new open].

" Uninitialize OLE "
WINAPI OleUninitialize.

! !

// SmallTalk code ends

good god we have C++.

Thanks, Jeff
by daniel on Thu 16th Sep 2004 05:34 UTC

That makes sense.

If would be nice if your packages would be named slightly differently in the future so people could potentially mix and match, but I suppose that would take a ridiculous amount of work for only a small gain...

Errors with Synaptic
by Jon on Thu 16th Sep 2004 05:41 UTC

Couldn't stat source package list warty/restricted Packages (/var/lib/apt/lists/archive.ubuntu.com_ubuntu_dists_warty_restricted_b inary-i386_Packages) - stat (2 No such file or directory)
Couldn't stat source package list warty/restricted Packages (/var/lib/apt/lists/archive.ubuntu.com_ubuntu_dists_warty_restricted_b inary-i386_Packages) - stat (2 No such file or directory)
Couldn't stat source package list warty/restricted Packages (/var/lib/apt/lists/archive.ubuntu.com_ubuntu_dists_warty_restricted_b inary-i386_Packages) - stat (2 No such file or directory)
Couldn't stat source package list warty/restricted Packages (/var/lib/apt/lists/archive.ubuntu.com_ubuntu_dists_warty_restricted_b inary-i386_Packages) - stat (2 No such file or directory)

@Wolf, re: Smalltalk
by daniel on Thu 16th Sep 2004 05:42 UTC

Your example just shows how horrible C and the Win32 API are, since all that code is just interfacing with Win32 C libraries. A Smalltalk class (like a C++ class) would hide all of that for you, and a "hello world" program in Smalltalk is just:

Transcript show: 'Hello, world!'

Not that it proves anything.

So Jeff
by Michael Salivar on Thu 16th Sep 2004 05:45 UTC

So Jeff, let me get this straight while we have you here. You're building all the packages yourself, yet the repositories are nearly identical to Debian unstable, besides Gnome and ./configure options? Or are your repositories mostly just a mirror of Debian unstable, and you're not doing all that much building?

If it's the former, is it really worth it, or are you planning on building your own repositories, and are just using Debian unstable to provide a framework for such a large undertaking?

But then, I'm probably just being hopeful. I've always had dreams of apt without the mess of Debian (just my opinion!)

Michael Salivar

Sorry if this is plainly obvious once Ubuntu is installed, I still have another 24 hours of downloading.

One fatal flaw here
by M on Thu 16th Sep 2004 06:42 UTC

Why I won't be using this.

"Can I use both Ubuntu and Debian packages together, in the same sources.list?"

"In general, it's not a very good idea. While Debian and Ubuntu are compatible to a large degree, and share many of the same source packages, the binary packages are not identical due to having been built independently.

Thus, if Debian and Ubuntu package lists are mixed, there will be some packages which have the same version number, but are actually distinct. APT currently does not handle that situation elegantly, and unexpected behaviour may occur."

So basically the biggest strength of Debian is lost? This is why distros like Lindows, Xandros etc won't ever be huge because your stuck with a tiny subset of packages and can't tap into Debian's vast repository.

I looked at the package list and right off the bat thought of half a dozen apps that I use and need but now can't install because I can't mix packages. Without being able to access Debian repositories am I supposed to a) hope someone official dos it for me? or b) try to figure out how to compile everything from source? *shudders*

At first having no idea who you people were I didn't give this project much thought. But then the more I researched the more excited I got seeing who was involved and the goals of the project. Frankly I couldn't wait to download it. Then I got to that FAQ question and stopped my download. Duplicating the Debian repositories for a "one-off" doesn't seem like a smart idea and being stuck with only a limited set of programs I can't add onto without breaking things doesn't work very well for me.

Anyway that's the way it appears to be. If I'm mistaken and you will actually be able to install official Debian packages then let me know.

by Jeff Waugh on Thu 16th Sep 2004 06:46 UTC

The entire repository is built on our machines, both for flexibility and security reasons. The flexibility requirement will make more sense over time, as we bring on community developers and so on. :-)

RE: One fatal flaw here
by Eugenia on Thu 16th Sep 2004 07:08 UTC

>So basically the biggest strength of Debian is lost?

I hope it is. When you mix and match different distro packages like that, you will END UP having conflict at the end. I prefer to have something that really works 100%, rather than ending up even remotely with problems. Linare and Xandros have problems many times with the Fedora/debian packages respectively because their setup is not 100% identical, for example.

The only packages that are completely broken on ubuntu today are the kde stuff. And of course, there is mono and java missing, which I am not happy either, but I can wait a few weeks before getting them. I just want an assurance that packages like that will end up to the repository at some point, in order to continue using ubuntu.

by Jeff Waugh on Thu 16th Sep 2004 07:15 UTC

Almost all of the packages in Debian main are available in our (unsupported) 'universe' suite. One of the first itches I think our community developers will scratch is making sure these build and work correctly all the time. But the whole repo will still stick with our time-based release process. It'll be great. :-)

This looks nice
by ralph on Thu 16th Sep 2004 07:27 UTC

I'm downloading the iso right now and will try it out.

On question though, as I'm more of a kde guy, can anyone be more specific about the interesting kde stuff on the way?

Support for Alpha?
by the_trapper on Thu 16th Sep 2004 07:27 UTC

Any chance of support for Alphas coming in future releases?

It's really sad that what used to be the second most popular Linux architecture is so poorly supported today. Essentially, the only choices are Debian proper, Gentoo, and old versions of Red Hat and SuSE. NetBSD is okay, but I would prefer a Linux.

I need a good, solid, up to date server platform and this would certainly fit the bill.

Looks very promising
by amiroff on Thu 16th Sep 2004 07:46 UTC

I liked the idea of Computer menu and Trash applet. Never thought of that idea before. Rearranging windows to launch some disk location or trash was bugging me till death ;)

I wish good luck to fellow Gnome and Ubuntu developers. Hope we finally get a decent Gnome ditro that just works.

First Impressions
by Spark on Thu 16th Sep 2004 07:51 UTC

So, it's installed and these are my very first impressions.

It didn't seem to like SATA (my harddisk is SATA, my CDROM is not), telling me something about a non standard CDROM and that I'd have to select a driver from a floppy or something like that... At first I thought it couldn't handle my CD burner and installed my old CD ROM, but that wasn't it. When I disabled SATA, everything worked but this forced me to install on some prehistoric ATA disk which I had still lying around. Hopefully this will work better in the final release and I also think that it should try to do a better job at telling the user why it failed. :/
Aside from that, the installation was very nice, friendly and easy wording and no difficult selections. When it came to setting up a user, it told me something about the user to use "instead of the root user", considering that there is no root user, I think this wording should be changed.
It did not ask anything about package selection and the only thing it asked about hardware was the choice of screen resolutions (this should be improved). A few minutes later I could log in to X and load Firefox to write about my first impressions, so that's pretty cool. Of course still a lot of work left with regards to polish and hiding cryptic console messages. Setting up of the packages also took ages, some nice progress bar wouldn't have hurt. ;) I guess that's all on the radar for the next release.

The first notable thing is, that there are no desktop icons by default. This is again, quite refreshing and fits my working style, as I usually put a lot of my own files and documents on the desktop, which makes it an extremely hostile place for any kind of launcher. Also the trash finally sits on the panel, I always wanted to have it there and not hidden behind my windows. That's probably a GNOME 2.8 improvement but it's the first time I'm seeing it. It's especially useful because it follows Fitt's law, so you can just pick up anything, throw it into the corner and it will be gone.
The "Computer" menu at the top seems to be a similar idea to the "System" menu of Ximian. Accessing Home, Network, etc folders from here instead of from desktop launchers seems like a good idea to me. It's a bit weird to have "Desktop" there, which opens the desktop in a file manager window. This doesn't seem right to me from a consistency point of view, but on the other hand, it's extremely useful...
I really like that "Desktop Preferences" and "System Configuration" are separated by task and not by whether you need root privileges or not. Everything seems to make sense.

The theme artwork is also pretty nice but everyone can see that on the screenshots. I also like the cursor theme, which is very simple and friendly looking. Some parts about the Industrial-based theme could certainly still be improved. For example the checkboxes are as dark as the background which at first made them look deselected to me and it looks bad in menus. I think they would look much better with a white background. Some other details which I never enjoyed about Industrial are (this is not specific to Unbuntu):
- The many gray lines, which often end up as double lines and looking extremely ugly. Bluecurve was similar at first until they switched to a more 3Dish look, which has improved it a lot in my opinion.
- Some buttons are smaller than others on the same row, I guess that's some kind of bug?
- The text entry and arrow button of a combo box look very disconnected. The Luna theme manages to draw combo boxes in a way that makes the widgets look connected, I wish more rounded themes would do this (especially Industrial).

Negative so far has been that my refresh rate was set to 60hz and I could not increase it without reducing my resolution to 1024x768 (allowing me to chose 75hz). I get 85hz at 1280x1024 with Fedora, so something is wrong. Either it's the missing Nvidia drivers which I'll install next, or the autodetection got something wrong (it didn't ask me for my monitor frequency range). I fear it's the latter, which will probably force me to set the modelines manually in the Xserver config. :/

GNOME 2.8 so far makes me very happy, I tried the reworked FTP functionality and it's working beautifully.

Random Thoughts
Considering that this is a first preview of the first release and that all the exciting things seem to be planned for the second release, I'm deeply impressed so far. This is definitely not your standard distribution.
I love the no-root thingy, although it's probably not perfect yet, at least it should be another step into the right direction. Funny how this is exactly the opposite as how Lindows started, but with a similar usability goal.

Now I'll try to copy this to my real harddisk and see if I can get it to boot... It would be a real shame if not, because I absolutely want to give this a longer testrun.

Hopefully the team will continue this way and keep thinking out of the box, and please keep the base install as small and GNOME centric as it is right now. ;)

Now I wrote a lot more than I intended again, that's a sign that I need sleep.

RE: First Impressions
by Eugenia on Thu 16th Sep 2004 07:57 UTC

You know, you could have send this to be posted as a review instead of posting it deep in this thread that almost no one reads.

Re: First Impressions (@Spark)
by Daniel Stone on Thu 16th Sep 2004 08:04 UTC

If we need to ask you about your resolution -- congratulations, thanks a bug! Please either get in touch with the ubuntu-users list, or myself (daniel dot stone at canonical dot com), and we can hopefully quash this bug and have it fixed for our final release.

Thanks for the thorough testing and review!

RE: First Impressions
by Chris Haney on Thu 16th Sep 2004 08:06 UTC

Spark, you should post your mini-review at

@Jeff & M & Eugenia
by Michael Salivar on Thu 16th Sep 2004 08:08 UTC

That's my take on it too, Eugenia, and what I was getting at with my comment about the Libranet repository problems earlier. That distribution shows so much promise, but it won't even install Elmo (a simple ncurses MUA) without spitting out dependency conflicts. This with the default mixed sources.

Jeff, this has the potential to be what I was in search of for the longest time. I came into the Linux world with Debian, and have always loved the concepts of apt, but their repositories are just so damned frustrating. I half wish I hadn't discovered Arch so I could get more excited about this distro, but then I do prefer the way Pacman handles /etc. Jeff, I feel comfortable commending you and the rest of the Ubuntu team before I even finish downloading the ISO. I hope this proves to be a distro I can install on the parent types' computers, with apt's config handling.

Michael Salivar

By the way, I love the name, that's a wonderful word which more people should know.

this is it
by whatever on Thu 16th Sep 2004 08:24 UTC

Gnome Human Interface guidelines has REALLY paid off this time. Everything is so polished and at the right place. Kudos ! Although there are few bugs - but overall it owns KDE/Windows. Gnome developers were right - bring it on MacOS !!

Wooo Hoo !!

*tears in eyes*

Slack Update
by Schumaher on Thu 16th Sep 2004 08:45 UTC

Hi, I installed Slack, but can someone tell me how to update it with nice things such as Gnome 2.8 and Hal??? Debian has nice apt-get but how to deal with new releases in Slack?

By daniel (IP:
by Wolf on Thu 16th Sep 2004 08:51 UTC

Wow really. So its win32 API's flaw. How about now you give a sample for creating a window in smalltalk. Take any library you want. Lets see how simple it is to create a window and process messages in smalltalk.

Also on another note, i hated the syntax of smalltalk. Even basic has a better syntax.

RE: how stable will it be?
by frederik on Thu 16th Sep 2004 08:56 UTC

> I like the comment about Small talk too...there's a lot more > interesting stuff to do than copy MS right now. The coup de > grace would be to build your whole distro around something
> like GNUSmalltalk scripting for EVERYTHING...that would give > it the "spit-n-polish" people expect from a desktop OS sorta > like how MS has Visual basic that let's you hook everything > easily.

gnustep provides SmallTalk scripting with StepTalk (

Trash in the panel
by Julian on Thu 16th Sep 2004 09:34 UTC

Also the trash finally sits on the panel, I always wanted to have it there and not hidden behind my windows. That's probably a GNOME 2.8 improvement but it's the first time I'm seeing it.

OK, so for everybody who wants to have this on his / her current gnome desktop:
1. Visit and read the instructions on how to pull the trash applet from CVS and install it. Then add it to the panel.
2. Download Gnome Extra Setup or fire up GConf and tell nautilus not to show the trash on the desktop.

by daniel on Thu 16th Sep 2004 09:38 UTC

Here you go, this program shows a window with the current time:

aScheduledWindow := ScheduledWindow
model: nil
label: 'Time Now'
minimumSize: 200 @ 200.
aScheduledWindow component: Time now printString asComposedText.
aScheduledWindow open

(example 1-2 from

Re: First Impressions
by Spark on Thu 16th Sep 2004 10:21 UTC

The display refresh problem is now solved after I changed HorizSync and VertRefresh in XF86Config-4 to my monitor's specification. It was set much too low, so I assume that monitors either aren't automatically detected yet or that my specific monitor can't get detected?
Fedora doesn't detect my monitor either, but it provides a list to chose from (at installation time) which includes a very similar model. My monitor is a "SAMSUNG SyncMaster 950p+".

Now I'll try to get this moved over to my SATA disk. ;)

Re: First Impressions
by Jon on Thu 16th Sep 2004 10:26 UTC

My monitor was detected perfectly, 1280x1024@ 85Hz.
If yours is not detected not even with Fedora, it seems that either the linux generic code has a bug, or probably, your monitor is not 100% vesa compatible.

by Daniel Stone on Thu 16th Sep 2004 11:00 UTC

Hm, it's still a bug; we should do detection on everything except some integrated Via chipsets. If you get in touch either with myself personally or the ubuntu-users list, we can debug the probem and get it fixed for the final release. ;)

RE: @Spark
by Spark on Thu 16th Sep 2004 11:35 UTC

Sure, I'll mail you or the mailing list once I got some sleep and everything working again. ;) Is there any specific information which would be helpful right away?

I almost want to try it...
by Jason on Thu 16th Sep 2004 13:24 UTC

I recently went through a spell of trying out a bunch of distros:

- MEPIS 2004.01
- Fedora Core 2
- Slackware 10
- SUSE 9.1
- Buffalo 1.4.1

After all those I chose to install White Box on my desktop (I use it for my servers). WBEL is very far from the bleeding edge (e.g. 2.4 kernel, KDE 3.1.3). But it just works and works pretty well on my old K62-400, 256 MB RAM. Sure I could run a lightweight DE like XFCE or WM like Blackbox but I like a full-fledged DE like Gnome or KDE. Yes, I want it all. Of the distros I mentioned above, SUSE 9.1 was the best. It was pure eye candy. The polish and professional feel was striking! Unfortunately that eye candy doesn't run so well on my old h/w. Also as much as I love YaST, it is so damn SLOW. I've always thought apt and Debian's package management was the best but every Debian distro I've ever tried has disappointed me (even MEPIS after running it for a week).

After writing that I'm not sure what my point is... maybe my expectations are too high. I'm pretty sure XP would be a DOG on the same h/w. I've been with Linux since 1997 (first install was RH 4.2) and I've yet to find a distro that just worked 100% out of the box with all the latest goodies. Long gone are the days of wanting to fiddle around with stuff, beating it into submission. I just want a powerful desktop and I just want it to work. From what I saw of SUSE 9.1 I think Novell/SUSE has done it, but alas I'm poor right now and can't run it without making sacrifices.


no root, no way!
by mick_nobody on Thu 16th Sep 2004 13:31 UTC

I love it!

We heavily restricted root access on a flock of alpha;s we have and no none of the admin's get root. They get sudo, it is much much more secure and creates the requisite paper trail necessary for auditing...

re: no root, no way!
by linuxgeekintraining on Thu 16th Sep 2004 14:28 UTC

"I love it!

We heavily restricted root access on a flock of alpha;s we have and no none of the admin's get root. They get sudo, it is much much more secure and creates the requisite paper trail necessary for auditing..."

if that works for you then great.

however we need root access on our Linux servers at work. We only use root to log in when we are at the KVM console however, and only use su to switch to root whenever we need to do anything to the servers when working from our NCD Thin Client "X terminals" which boot and run off the linux servers using TFTP (similar to LTSP, but not exactly the same method)

by Dan on Thu 16th Sep 2004 14:28 UTC

Anybody out there interested in getting a root image available for coLinux? I'd love to run this right on my desktop along with windows. - It makes testing so nice and simple.


by cybrjackle on Thu 16th Sep 2004 15:28 UTC

How is the wireless support during install?

RE: wireless
by Chriffer on Thu 16th Sep 2004 16:45 UTC

My wireless racd was detected (and I would assume pcmcia before this), it may have asked if I wanted to use the wireless or the other card. It then scanned for wireless networks. Must have found mine, then asked me for an essid and encryption key. In other words it worked perfectly.

Ubuntu and hardware detection
by Greg Brondo on Thu 16th Sep 2004 17:18 UTC

I must say that the Ubuntu team has done an excellent job! I'm an old Debian user that moved to FC2 so I could have some spit and polish. But now! Also, the HAL and DBUS subsystems work like a champ! I cannot believe I plugged in my Sony Clie, hit the MS Files icon on the Clie and *poof* there it is on my desktop! I think I can actually install this on my wife's laptop and see I can *migrate* her away from Windows finally!

Thanks Ubuntu Team!


PPP Connection
by justin on Thu 16th Sep 2004 23:47 UTC

Ubuntu rocks, Finally a great PPC distro,

Has anyone got a dialup connection working on ubuntu ppc?, Im have difficulties with this part.



Keeping Debian honest
by ed on Fri 17th Sep 2004 09:00 UTC

It's been said that Debian is an important distribution, even if it never gets much market share, because it keeps the other distributions "honest". Other distros can add all the proprietary value they want, but Debian will always be a completely free Linux-based operating system.

These days, Debian seems to be trying its users' patience. It's going years between releases, forcing users to decide between stable and out of date, or reasonably recent and unstable. (Everybody and his dog has a theory for how to fix this, such as the recurring "We should split Debian into Workstation and Server releases".)

I see Ubuntu as a way to keep Debian honest. It's not going to replace Debian, but it may make Debian more useful for a lot of people, by getting the software into their hands faster, and, at worst, encouraging Debian to run just a bit faster. Good for everybody, I say.

Human Ubuntu theme
by neutron on Fri 17th Sep 2004 12:39 UTC

Is the theme Ubuntu Linux is using available standalone? It's one of the prettiest themes I've ever seen. Wow!

Hi there, i would like to install ubuntu, but there seems a problem with my system (the Problem is described in an earlyer Post). I have an single SATA Drive on my i875p Board, and when i try to install, it says "couldn't find your cdrom" etc. is there workaround or an howto to get this working? Because i will test ubuntu, it seems, that this distro fit my needs... Thx for the help

Ubuntu or not Ubuntu
by Anonymous on Mon 20th Sep 2004 09:03 UTC

I was all excited when I read about the release of Ubuntu distro, not only is the name African but also sponsored by a great South African Mark Shattleworth. Features like Linux 2.6, gnome 2.8 and many others. I have been following the progress of numerous open source projects through the years and I am real keen to migrate to Linux from Microsoft. I have done numerous migration case studies over the years but every time it just not see feasible to make the switch. I am yet to install a distribution without any headaches or any manual tweaking and although I know that this is a pre-release my excitement was quickly quenched when it failed to pick up my monitor settings and I am stuck in 640X480 mode within gnome on my Dell Inspiron 8200 with a 15 monitor. If I, a computer literal and experienced developer can not migrate successful to Linux, how do we expect any home desktop users to do the same?

Hopefully this problem would be sorted out in the final release, and I would be able to migrate to Ubuntu and replace all my commercial software with projects like: PostgreSQL, Apache, Mono, MonoDevelop, SVN and Open Office.

I solved the problem for mayself. is anyone out there who whas a similar problem, he can mail me. The Solution ist very simple (in my case ;) . Now, I'm writing these comment with firefox / ubuntu.

THX for this great Distro!