Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 20th May 2009 20:59 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu When Dell announced a shift in its Linux strategy last week, accompanied by a new netbook, many wondered why Dell insisted on pre-loading Ubuntu 8.04, instead of newer versions of the popular Linux distribution such as 8.10 or 9.04. BetaNews contacted Dell about it, and Dell replied explaining their rationale behind opting for 8.04.
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Member since:

Excuse me, but Microsoft never was hampered by constantly releasing software of beta quality.

Why do you think, businesses only upgrade to a new Windows version after the first service pack?

I am typing this on my business machine, and when I started my own business 5 months ago I had to make a VERY tough decision: Redhat, Fedora or Debian?
I was feeling adventurous that day and went for Fedora9+KDE4 (though also installing Debian on a second partition). Guess what? I still have Fedora9 on this machine.

The machine with Fedora9 is in fact MORE stable than 9 year old Windows XP.
I had to calculate some deformations of metallic parts on this machine using a finite element (FE) solver, and because time was short I had to borrow a Windows XP machine from a friend of mine to get more number crunching power. I used both machines in a 24/7 session running two separate calculations on each machine all the time.
During the 2 weeks I had to reboot the windows machine 3 times and the Linux machine once. And I did almost all of the necessary desktop work on the Linux machine, because XP cannot handle running an FE solver on all 4 cores and still leave you enough CPU cycles to do desktop work on it.

You see, people tend to think Windows were somehow better than most Linux distro's because they actually did make large steps towards stability during the last years. But they still are less stable than Linux.

My personal experience with machines that have to do calculation work and desktop work simultaneously is this:
- IRIX needs a reboot every 3 months (SGI hardware)
- HPUX needs a reboot every 3 weeks (HP hardware)
- Linux (Redhat) needs a reboot every 2 weeks (PC hardware)
- Windows XP needs a reboot at least once a week. (PC hardware)

Reply Parent Score: 2

strcpy Member since:

Obviously you haven't paid close attention to the new shiny notification system in Fedora. It actually prompts you to reboot almost every friggin' day. Ditto for Ubuntu.

This is exactly the kind of criticism stemming from a developer perspective. With each release the system is more closely tied to non-essential, desktop-related wrappers and layers. Once more things like D-BUS will require a reboot after an update, things are not really that different from Windows XP, again from an engineering standpoint.

This is not how things used to be in Linux.

If you need anecdotes, Fedora 9 was a total nightmare here. (But obviously Red Hat and Centos pulls this off much more sanely.)

Reply Parent Score: 1

darknexus Member since:

Eh? I've been running Ubuntu 9.04 since it was in beta, and the only time it's prompted me to reboot was either when a kernel update was installed, or something critical to X was updated. Seeing as how I was running a GUI, now, that made sense. Granted, there were times during the beta and RC phase when this was happening daily, but that's because updates were being pushed out daily... which, imho, you should expect if you're running a beta version of an o and particularly an open source os like Ubuntu or any other Linux systems.
Since the 9.04 release I've only been prompted to reboot once, and that was because I voluntarily installed the rt kernel. I'm not getting any "reboot required" notifications when things such as dbus or hal are being updated, basically Xorg updates or kernel changes are the only thing that bug me for a reboot.
Now, I don't know how it is in Fedora as I don't use it and haven't since fc6... but given my experiences then, I can more easily believe that it is prompting you to reboot due to updates more often. Fedora is basically in perpetual beta, which is fine for a bleeding-edge system like that... but frequent critical updates come with that territory too.
As for Linux not being like this in the old days... well, you don't have to run GNOME or KDE, you know. The basic system hasn't changed, we've just added more complex desktops on top of it. If you don't like all the additional layers and complexity... don't use them.

All this aside, I agree with Dell's decision. However, they'll need to keep on top of backports such as Firefox, Openoffice, and relevant kernel driver changes. As long as they do that, 8.04 should be fine, and choosing the lts release makes perfect sense. Now, would I stick with 8.04 if I bought one of these? Hell no! But I'm a computer geek and I've no problem dealing with os installations and tweaks.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Rahul Member since:

You are obviously exaggerating there. Fedora does not prompt for reboot on all updates at all. Only when the package maintainer has explicitly marked that a update requires a reboot. This includes major components like the kernel.

Fedora does get more updates because unlike some other distributions which only push out security and bug fixes, Fedora also pushes new upstream releases often. You can choose to get only security/bug-fix updates via PackageKit or yum easily however.

Reply Parent Score: 1