Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 20th Aug 2008 01:43 UTC, submitted by Rahul
Hardware, Embedded Systems "Me and Bobby Powers have spent a few hours smoothing out the process of getting fully-featured Linux desktops to boot on the XO laptop. On the whole, OLPC developers have been pretty good at getting code upstream, so only a few fixups are needed to get things operational on the XO." On a slightly (stretching it here) related note, here is a detailed guide on installing and optimising Ubuntu on the Acer Aspire One that we reviewed last week. I replaced the default Linpus installation with Ubuntu using this guide, and I must say that I am quite pleased.
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Celebrating the problems.
by theTSF on Wed 20th Aug 2008 10:45 UTC
Member since:

This is part of the reason that Linux has been stagnant in the desktop areas. People go with pride with how many hours it takes for them to "optimize" (or get everything to work) for their system. While most desktop users just want everything to work. I know the XO laptop has some bigger differences that makes installing a Desktop Linux a bit more tricky and can be scripted down so it is easier for the future, however there are a lot of "Linux approved" hardware out there that takes a fair amount of tweaking to get working past the original config. Which is exactly what people don't want

Reply Score: 1

RE: Celebrating the problems.
by MacTO on Wed 20th Aug 2008 12:06 in reply to "Celebrating the problems."
MacTO Member since:

At least you have the option to optimize the system with Linux. In comparison to Linux, the ability to do so on Windows is fairly limited. As for Mac OS X, it is so highly integrated that you would end up losing most of its benefits if you tried tweaking it. So perhaps your comment is better called celebrating the benefits.

As for desktop users expecting everything to just work, well, I can hardly claim that a fresh installation of Windows just works. It takes a heck of a long time to just install the drivers and applications. In comparison, most Linux distributions will deliver the drivers and a nice suite of software out of the box. If you're hardware is appropriate, it won't even require tweaking.

The XO is built from 10 year old hardware from the perspective of performance. Using an un-optimized Linux distribution on it, including its Sugar interface, is a bit disappointing. But do a bit of tweaking and select the appropriate applications, and it is usually a speed daemon. Sorry, couldn't help myself. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:

Only for us geeks and not with all Linux based distributions.

We take pride in fitting an OS into a box it was never meant to run on. We tickle to tell an Ubuntu user how we just recompiled the kernel in our Gentoo or Slack build. For me personally, it's what different OS I have under VM and level of security I impose on them (security for security sake teaches me so I can apply the apropriate lower level of security practices for my clients).

Don't let that fool you though. There are some very good "just works" distributions that will never require an average user to look under the hood. In the 5% of cases remaining where cli is required, well, it's like breaks and steering in your car; go see your local gear head.

In my case, discussions with average users are more gear towards "it took X minutes to install with Y number of steps". It's about how easy it is, now how long I can take with some obscure whim on my own systems.

Reply Parent Score: 2

zombie process Member since:

I think you are perhaps misguided or misinformed. In general, installing linux is as easy or easier than installing, say, XP or OSX. Certainly you can make it more difficult by tuning your system post-install, etc, but you in no way have to. Sure, there may be some bumps and warts to smooth out in some cases, but the actual install is simple.

And now for the requisite "and try installing Vista on the XO and see how far you get." :-)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Celebrating the problems.
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 20th Aug 2008 14:29 in reply to "Celebrating the problems."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:

People go with pride with how many hours it takes for them to "optimize" (or get everything to work) for their system.

The default Linpus installation is fully optimised and functional out-of-the-box on the One, but sadly, it locks users out fo the advanced Linux stuff (i.e. panel is hardcoded-locked down, desktop is locked, no Bluetooth stack, no package manager, limited email/IM clients, etc.).

In addition, it's RPM-based, and I'm more comfortable with Debian-based systems.

So, I installed Ubuntu, which is not yet optimised for the Atom platform, let alone the One itself. As such, I had to do several optimisations manually.

This was a matter of choice, not a must. For 90% of the people, the default Linpus installation will work just fine, and no optimisation is needed.

Reply Parent Score: 2

starterz Member since:

Linpus works well, for a beginner. I tried my best and customized it (it is based on Fedora 8 with Xfce), and still found myself annoyed with all the limitations and things I had to uninstall-reinstall for them to work (Pidgin for example). Did not even bother with another Linux distribution, since not even Ubuntu could guarantee fully supported and working hardware with no issues. I switched to XP, and have been extremely happy with my Aspire One since.

Reply Parent Score: 1

StephenBeDoper Member since:

This is part of the reason that Linux has been stagnant in the desktop areas. People go with pride with how many hours it takes for them to "optimize" (or get everything to work) for their system.

Quoi? The article is a DIY guide for modifications to a device that *already* works. It's not talking about simply getting things to work in the first place. In other words, it describes something that's optional, not something that's required.

Reply Parent Score: 3