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 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 Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: Sadly, similar experience
by Kroc on Sun 1st Mar 2009 18:03 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 Parent Score: 4

RE: Sadly, similar experience
by phoenix on Sun 1st Mar 2009 18:11 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 Parent Score: 3

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

Good to know, thank you.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Sadly, similar experience
by mrchilly on Sun 1st Mar 2009 23:39 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 Parent Score: 1

RE: Sadly, similar experience
by Doc Pain on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 02:29 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 Parent Score: 4

RE: Sadly, similar experience
by Dale C. on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 06:21 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 Parent Score: 2

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 Parent Score: 5

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 Parent 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 Parent Score: 1

RE: Sadly, similar experience
by wazoox on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 21:48 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 Parent Score: 1

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 Parent Score: 3

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 Parent Score: 1