Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 17th Oct 2013 22:05 UTC, submitted by Drumhellar
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu

After the customary six months of incubation, Ubuntu 13.10 - codenamed Saucy Salamander - has hatched. The new version of the popular Linux distribution brings updated applications and several new features, including augmented search capabilities in the Unity desktop shell.

Although Saucy Salamander offers some useful improvements, it's a relatively thin update. XMir, the most noteworthy item on the 13.10 roadmap, was ultimately deferred for inclusion in a future release. Canonical's efforts during the Saucy development cycle were largely focused on the company's new display server and upcoming Unity overhaul, but neither is yet ready for the desktop.

It's also the first version available for phones. Well, for the Nexus 4.

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RE: Real News agout an OS
by bassbeast on Sun 20th Oct 2013 12:24 UTC in reply to "Real News agout an OS"
bassbeast
Member since:
2007-11-11

Win 8.1, SteamOS, Android..plenty of OSNews of late.

That said until Linux in general and Ubuntu in particular can fix the frankly abysmal driver situation? Then Linux on the desktop will remain lower than the margin for error.

For an easy to replicate example take any old machine, or make a partition on your current one and take the "Hairyfeet Challenge". Its really easy and shows what a mess Linux drivers are and actually tries to tip things in favor of Linux by only requiring HALF the support a standard Windows release gets.

Oh and before anybody says "it isn't a fair test because you don't/can't upgrade Windows" show me a distro that gets a decade of patches WITHOUT upgrading or paying an insane yearly license and I'll concede the point, until then the only way to keep patches current is to jump on the upgrade treadmill.

Download the version of your distro from 5 years ago and install it,making sure all the drivers are working, in the case of Ubuntu this would be 10.10 which just FYI support ended in 2012, and then upgrade to current using ONLY the GUI, no CLI or "open Bash and type" allowed as Joe Average doesn't have the skills nor desire to learn CLI and frankly in 2013 they shouldn't have to. If you do this on most systems what you'll end up with is a broken mess, even bog standard hardware like Realtek and Via will often end up with trashed drivers which again in 2013 ia aimply unacceptable.

If you want to know why Linux desktop adoption is lower than the margin for error,even when MSFT puts out the most hated release since MSBob? Its the drivers,its a mess. Say what you will about MSFT but I just recently retired my old nettop at the shop, we are talking about a circa 2003 Sempron that went from XP RTM - last patch Tuesday, know how many broken drivers I had with no less than 3 SPs and countless patches? NONE.

And THAT is what you are competing against, until I as a system builder and retailer can slap the latest Ubuntu on a desktop or laptop and know that the odds are better than 90% that the customer can update/upgrade for the typical 5 year lifespan without ending up a mess? Then Linux will stay off my shelves and without retail sales and more importantly support Linux is going nowhere fast on the desktop.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Real News agout an OS
by darknexus on Sun 20th Oct 2013 12:39 in reply to "RE: Real News agout an OS"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I just recently retired my old nettop at the shop, we are talking about a circa 2003 Sempron that went from XP RTM - last patch Tuesday, know how many broken drivers I had with no less than 3 SPs and countless patches? NONE.

My experience is, in Windows, it's not the drivers breaking that you have to worry about. Especially in the XP days it was updates being applied in the wrong order, something that was fortunately fixed with Vista and above. Remember the initial IE 7.0 update applied via the Windows Update web site and what happened there when the ActiveX-based installer decided it would install the IE 7 update first, then install IE 6 security updates over top of it? You could avoid it by installing IE 7.0 yourself instead of letting Windows Update do it (something I still do for IE updates to this day) but I saw quite a few broken systems because of that and similar incidents. Of course keeping your security patches current would prevent this as well, but we all know how well most users do that don't we?

And THAT is what you are competing against, until I as a system builder and retailer can slap the latest Ubuntu on a desktop or laptop and know that the odds are better than 90% that the customer can update/upgrade for the typical 5 year lifespan without ending up a mess? Then Linux will stay off my shelves and without retail sales and more importantly support Linux is going nowhere fast on the desktop.

Well said. The problem with desktop Linux is two fold: drivers and applications. In both cases we need a system of separation, separating drivers from kernel updates and separating application updates from the operating system's packages. The first bit requires some sort of stable kernel ABI which so far the Linux community is against. Solaris got that one right years ago, and the BSDs got the other part right by separating ports from the operating system software.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Real News agout an OS
by Alfman on Sun 20th Oct 2013 18:09 in reply to "RE[2]: Real News agout an OS"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

darknexus,

"My experience is, in Windows, it's not the drivers breaking that you have to worry about."

The thing is windows drivers are only supported for a limited time by manufacturers before being left behind and breaking with new operating systems.


"The problem with desktop Linux is two fold: drivers and applications. In both cases we need a system of separation, separating drivers from kernel updates and separating application updates from the operating system's packages. The first bit requires some sort of stable kernel ABI which so far the Linux community is against."

There are many (maybe even most) in the linux community who want stable kernel ABIs even though Linus has decided otherwise. I feel it should be stable for technical reasons, however I also see a risk of negative repercussions. With stable ABIs, many manufacturers would be far more likely to follow their windows model and deploy closed source drivers under linux as well.

The problem with closed drivers is that we're 100% dependent upon manufacturers to update and compile the drivers for new architectures, integrate new features, fix bugs, etc. With linux today, this isn't usually a problem because most drivers are open source.

On windows, I've seen lots of hardware stop working due to windows upgrades, even hardware with userspace drivers that shouldn't have been impacted by a windows upgrade. My parents had an HP printer/scanner/copier machine that was fully functional until I bought them a new windows 7 machine. HP doesn't provide windows 7 drivers. (If anyone else has this problem and is so inclined, you CAN run windows XP under a virtual machine and use the original drivers with full functionality in a VM). I had a Pinnacle Studio video transfer adapter that I used for video editing, it doesn't work with windows 7 and same deal with an Encore bluetooth adapter. Recently windows 8 broke a dameware video mirror driver. In all these cases a user generally has to toss out an old working product and buy a new one solely due to the driver incompatibility with a new version of windows.


The point of this rant isn't to pin blame on any one party, but rather to illustrate why closed source drivers are bad for compatibility. Someone will probably retort that we shouldn't expect things to work on a new OS that was never listed on the box, which is a fair point. However it's still true the closed source drivers are largely responsible for it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Real News agout an OS
by ddc_ on Sun 20th Oct 2013 22:34 in reply to "RE: Real News agout an OS"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

Say what you will about MSFT but I just recently retired my old nettop at the shop, we are talking about a circa 2003 Sempron that went from XP RTM - last patch Tuesday, know how many broken drivers I had with no less than 3 SPs and countless patches? NONE.

Oh, I wish I had so much luck with Windows. I recently installed Windows 8 on my laptop... I had to hunt down an exact working version of sound driver (which got automatically updated with broken one later that day), camera randomly stops working (and causes BSOD once a month), middle button of touchpad doesn't work as middle button, video driver is buggy, and another (vendor-supplied) driver refused to install after failing to find corresponding hardware (otherwise present in the system). Needless to say all these issues are Windows-specific – I have none of these under OpenBSD.

That's not to mention tones of crap that come with drivers. Even if you are careful and lucky enough to avoid installing stand-alone application for managing wireless, bluetooth (these are most ugly) and what-not, you've still got random litter in control panel, "My Computer" and throughout hardware-related settings dialogs. And, of course you get a bunch of autostart programs for updating, monitoring and providing OSD you never asked for.

Edited 2013-10-20 22:38 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Real News agout an OS
by WereCatf on Sun 20th Oct 2013 23:21 in reply to "RE[2]: Real News agout an OS"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I had to hunt down an exact working version of sound driver (which got automatically updated with broken one later that day)


Oh, that sounds familiar!

camera randomly stops working (and causes BSOD once a month), middle button of touchpad doesn't work as middle button, video driver is buggy, and another (vendor-supplied) driver refused to install after failing to find corresponding hardware (otherwise present in the system).


I bought this HP laptop in 2010 or something and while it was working quite okay otherwise the soundcard was fucking horrible: every now and then it just decided randomly to try to output audio to headphone connector even when no headphones were connected or it insisted on trying to use an external microphone when there was no such thing connected. The same went vice versa, too: it insisted on outputting audio through speakers even if you had headphones connected or it insisted on using built-in mic even when you tried to use an external one.

There was no way of choosing what to use in the software, it was all supposed to be "automatic." The method how you normally choose input and output in Windows didn't work, because all the devices were collapsed into one virtual one, with no way of configuring it. There were no Microsoft-supplied drivers for it, it was a HP-modified version so reference drivers wouldn't work on it, and the HP-modified drivers were already outdated when I bought the laptop and HP never released a single update for them.

And yet, under Linux it worked just fine with whatever drivers the OS came with.

Even if you are careful and lucky enough to avoid installing stand-alone application for managing wireless, bluetooth (these are most ugly) and what-not


I can't even count the number of times these manufacturer-supplied 3rd-party apps have been the most-broken part of the whole deal, breaking something that would've otherwise worked, like e.g. how some manufacturers insist on supplying replacement apps for managing WIFI-networks. Sometimes I could modify the drivers so that the 3rd-party app didn't install, but the bare essentials did, and then the thing worked just fine, but also just as often the 3rd-party app was so ingrained in the drivers themselves that it would just fail inexplicably without the app, doing nothing, but running the app would hard-lock the system or BSOD it.

I don't blame Windows/Microsoft for any of these problems, though. I place the blame wholly on manufacturers doing craptastic job, skipping the standard ways of accessing things and not caring in the slightest about the result as long as their logo was visible somewhere at all times.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Real News agout an OS
by Soulbender on Mon 21st Oct 2013 07:24 in reply to "RE[2]: Real News agout an OS"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

bluetooth (these are most ugly)


Oh yeah, remember the time before Windows had it's own bluetooth stack? That was AWESOME! Every computer and device vendor had their own shitty stack that was not compatible with other vendors and couldn't co-exist with other stacks and things would break randomly all the time. Wasn't that long ago either.
Yeah, tell us again how awesome the Windows driver situation always was and is.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Real News agout an OS
by jimmystewpot on Mon 21st Oct 2013 07:24 in reply to "RE: Real News agout an OS"
jimmystewpot Member since:
2006-01-19

I find the driver situation strange.. I seem to have been living in a bubble over the last few years which recently bit me in the butt..

Since 2008 I have been using Centrino based laptop's running Kubuntu exclusively.. I have not had a single driver related issue in that time. It has always just worked..

However I recently came to own a HP Pavillion dv6.. (won in a raffle) which in all honesty is THE WORST laptop I have ever owned.. (another story).. The driver situation is pretty much exactly what you describe. It has an AMD radeon graphics chip (6xxxM) with an ralink wireless card and realtek onboard ethernet.. the realtek seems to work well.. but the ralink has shocking wifi reception despite having "driver support".. but that doesn't really matter when the state of AMD graphics support on Linux is so so so so so so so so so so bad.. When I used to be a gamer (10 years ago) the ATI card I had at the time was excellent.. ohh how this experience has completely smashed any dreams I had of my previous experience...

While the driver state from AMD is improving it is not improving fast enough... and the damage has already been done to AMD reputation. I will NEVER buy a HP or anything with an AMD graphics chip.. it's absolutely shocking.

Edited 2013-10-21 07:33 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Real News agout an OS
by lemur2 on Mon 21st Oct 2013 08:42 in reply to "RE[2]: Real News agout an OS"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

but that doesn't really matter when the state of AMD graphics support on Linux is so so so so so so so so so so bad.. When I used to be a gamer (10 years ago) the ATI card I had at the time was excellent.. ohh how this experience has completely smashed any dreams I had of my previous experience...

While the driver state from AMD is improving it is not improving fast enough... and the damage has already been done to AMD reputation. I will NEVER buy a HP or anything with an AMD graphics chip.. it's absolutely shocking.


Au contraire, I have just installed Kubuntu 13.10 on my laptop with AMD Mobility Radeon graphics, it worked out of the box with support for OpenGL 3.1. To enable the new dynamic power management support I had to add one boot-time parameter to the linux command line options in grub "radeon.dpm=1". For some reason Ubuntu is missing a library file to get UVD hardware video acceleration working, so I had to install a library file from a PPA.

That is the total extent of problems with radeon graphics in the latest release, and they aren't really problems in the sense that the graphics will work (less well, but still work) without taking these steps. The graphics performance isn't up to full possible high-end gaming speed yet, but it is just fine for desktop usage, for that it works very well indeed.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Real News agout an OS
by lemur2 on Mon 21st Oct 2013 08:17 in reply to "RE: Real News agout an OS"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Download the version of your distro from 5 years ago and install it,making sure all the drivers are working, in the case of Ubuntu this would be 10.10 which just FYI support ended in 2012, and then upgrade to current using ONLY the GUI, no CLI or "open Bash and type" allowed as Joe Average doesn't have the skills nor desire to learn CLI and frankly in 2013 they shouldn't have to. If you do this on most systems what you'll end up with is a broken mess, even bog standard hardware like Realtek and Via will often end up with trashed drivers which again in 2013 ia aimply unacceptable.


But ... that's not how you do it. For a Windows system, you have to pay real money for a new version, and user files are often intermingled on the same disk partition as the operating system, so updating the same version piecemeal, update by update ad nauseam for hundreds of update packages is seen as the way to go.

That scenario just doesn't apply for Linux. You may as well upgrade rather than keep updating an older version because it doesn't cost you for your OS over again.

So what you should do is:
- Download the version of your distro from 5 years ago, in the case of Ubuntu this would be 10.10,
- install it with the OS one one partition, the user home directories on another partition, and a third partition for swap, making sure all the drivers are working,
- Save the tail end of the /etc/passwd file for the details of all users (only necessary if you have a number of users),
- Sometime later download the current version 13.10,
- make a bootable USB of version 13.10 (using the tools provided by the OS),
- boot version 13.10 from the USB (make sure that the newer version of drivers all work before you commit further),
- format the OS partition and install the upgrade version back into that partition, leaving the users home directories partition intact,
- reboot, then edit the /etc/passwd file and re-instate the tail end of the file to restore all of your users (only necessary if you have a number of users).

This sounds like a lot of effort, but it really isn't, and it takes waaaaaaaaay less time than updating or upgrading Windows.

One gains the following benefits from following this process: (a) one saves a great deal of time, (b) you get a full upgrade rather than just an update, (c) you don't touch any user's data, and (d) you get to test the new version before you commit to it so there is very low risk.

I have followed this process of updating the desktop Linux OS, more or less, about fifty times across various systems. I followed it again just yesterday on my laptop for Kubuntu version 13.10, from which I am posting this very post.

I only ever had a problem on one occasion, and I simply decided to not commit to that problematic new version of the OS (it had KDE version 4.0), I shutdown, took out the USB and re-booted the older version still on the hard disk. I just skipped that ill-working version and waited for the next one six months later.

Edited 2013-10-21 08:29 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Real News agout an OS
by lemur2 on Mon 21st Oct 2013 11:15 in reply to "RE[2]: Real News agout an OS"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

then upgrade to current using ONLY the GUI, no CLI or "open Bash and type" allowed as Joe Average doesn't have the skills nor desire to learn CLI and frankly in 2013 they shouldn't have to.


"- Sometime later download the current version 13.10,
- make a bootable USB of version 13.10 (using the tools provided by the OS),
- boot version 13.10 from the USB (make sure that the newer version of drivers all work before you commit further),
- format the OS partition and install the upgrade version back into that partition, leaving the users home directories partition intact,
- reboot, then edit the /etc/passwd file and re-instate the tail end of the file to restore all of your users (only necessary if you have a number of users).
"

BTW, you can easily do all of the above without touching the command line:

http://www.kubuntu.org/getkubuntu/download
http://www.kde.org/applications/internet/kget/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KTorrent

https://apps.ubuntu.com/cat/applications/usb-creator-gtk/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubiquity_%28software%29

http://kate-editor.org/about-kate/

Perhaps not all of your userland applications come with the default install:

http://jontheechidna.wordpress.com/2010/07/05/introducing-qapt-and-...

Enjoy.

Edited 2013-10-21 11:30 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Real News agout an OS
by bassbeast on Mon 21st Oct 2013 16:49 in reply to "RE[2]: Real News agout an OS"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

I'm sure that is all true...if your time is worthless. This seems to be a concept that the FOSS community can't/won't grasp, that time has value to most folks and it doesn't take long at all for those "upgrade broke my driers" scenarios to make Windows cheaper than Linux. In my case if I have to spend just 1 hour fixing a driver a year? That Linux system cost me MORE than a Windows license.

Frankly I wish there was a way to force Linus and pals to work retail for just a month to see what their politics actually cost. The first time Linus saw all profits for the month dry up because his kernel fiddling broke major wireless driers? I'm sure he'd change his tune.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Real News agout an OS
by ddc_ on Mon 21st Oct 2013 09:19 in reply to "RE: Real News agout an OS"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

Joe Average doesn't have the skills nor desire to learn CLI and frankly in 2013 they shouldn't have to.

I come over this mantra every now and then, and I am puzzled. Why Joe Average shouldn't have to know CLI? CLI is a productivity booster, and it is the only real reason to use Unix-like systems (Mac aside) over Windows.

If Joe Average goes for CLI, he took the right direction with Linux (or BSD for that matter). If he is for free software, !windows or whatever idealogical reasons - go to Haiku instead. Or sit and wait for ReactOS.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Real News agout an OS
by zima on Thu 24th Oct 2013 14:09 in reply to "RE[2]: Real News agout an OS"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

CLI might only seem to be a productivity booster...

http://plan9.bell-labs.com/wiki/plan9/mouse_vs._keyboard/

Reply Parent Score: 2