Several days ago I wrote a rather scathing article about my utter dismay and disappoint with Mandrake 9.1 and by association, Linux as a whole. Since then I have had many many flames and equally as many agreeing emails (is there a simple opposite word for flame?) Since then I have been trying, really really trying to get my system working fully. But time and again I’m coming up against the same brick wall of (un)usability, computer esotericism and down right idiocy.
Editorial Notice: All opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of osnews.com
NOTE: To view screenshots of the issues discussed in this article, please check here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
My last article was written shortly after I’d spent a day and a half pulling my hair out trying to get Mandrake to work satisfactorily, it was written undeniably in the heat of the moment and right on the cusp of me removing Mandrake’s EXT2 partition and never touching any form of Linux again. However against my better judgment I decided to leave it installed – after all I’m determined that this will NOT beat me. (I actually did nuke the partition and reinstall it)
I find this the single hardest thing to track down and fix. As I
mentioned in the last article. I was disappointed that Mandrake didn’t
want to let me use my USB ISDN Adapter. It seems to correctly identify
it in USBView but there is no means to select it in the Mandrake
internet config program, using either basic or expert options.
I’m sure there is a config file somewhere I could edit but a few
problems arise from that theory.
1 – I don’t know where that config file might be or what it’s called
2 – I wouldn’t know what to edit or what to change anything to
3 – I have no idea how to identify the usb port it’s connected to (In
windows this is USB port 3)
I also couldn’t get Bluetooth working with Mandrake – so no Personal
Network and no syncing with my phone- even if I knew how to do that in
Linux. But one of the comments I received after the last article was
from someone who claimed that it was supported in Mandrake 9.1. as he’d
personally put it in there. Apparently the module is called
Bluez. So I looked, and I looked and I looked but nothing comes up
anywhere when I do a search for “Bluez”. But running “lsmod” shows a
module called bluez as present (incidentally why can I only lsmod as
But I can’t find any documentation on my computer about Bluez, nor
anything on the mandrake site, nor indeed anything anywhere that tells
me how to use or configure it. So it’s just sitting there on the
computer, maybe doing something maybe not, I can’t tell. With he
best will in the world, how on earth am I (or anyone else) going to know
that Bluez is the Bluetooth module? If it was called bluetooth (or
contained the word bluetooth in it somewhere) it would be easy to hazard
a guess as to it’s function, but the only way to know what Bluez is/does
it by someone telling you! Surely there has to be a better way than
As someone else pointed out, perhaps I should have visited the Mandrake
site PRIOR to installing it and finding out if my hardware was
supported. A very good point I thought, so, belatedly I did return to
the Mandrake site to check their hardware compatability list. It err…
doesn’t seem to work very well, or was it just me? Typing in
“Eicon” (for my USB Terminal Adapter)… nothing comes back.. Type in
USB ISDN nothing comes back…. Type in Webcam Go, nothing comes back…
finally in sheer desperation I enter “ISDN” to which I get about 6
entries back all with showing the “not compatible with Mandrake” icon.
Not a good sign. Tried typing in Bluetooth…. nothing… Bluez,
nothing. Maybe I just went on a day it was down or not working
properly, but even a couple of days later was still not getting
anything back. Surely Mandrake have tested their OS with lots of
hardware, but perhaps not my specific bits, but surely other Mandrake
users have tried them.. Looking through the newsgroups and archive
there are loads of people using a similar kit as me and running Mandrake
(and having similar problems). Ok, next stop: the Eicon site.. Oh
dear, the USB TA is not shown to be supported by Linux. Not good news,
but I know that it DOES work, as I had it working correctly in Suse 8.0.
Can’t actually remember how I configured it though, other than to use
the Hisax driver and connect via USB… Suse seemed to do the rest!
Next up, my graphics card (Matrox G550). Seemingly, something is wrong
somewhere as whenever I try to run any OpenGL thing, the computer locks up completely.
Tried with Unreal Tournament, several OpenGL games and some XMMS
visualations–all do the same. So I pop over to the Matrox site and download
their latest Linux drivers and their latest incarnation of Powerdesk,
their graphics card tweaking utility. Apparently, it will allow me to
stretch my screen (good) as well as adjust the screen resolution easily
and refresh rate (excellent). Download the tgz files, extract
them, examine and digest the install instructions, seems easy
enough. So, I open up a terminal and run the install.sh file as instructed.
But oh dear, once again I’m thwarted in my attempts to get anything
Apparently the latest drivers aren’t compatible with this latest
version of Xfree86. (Luckily I know what Xfree86 is). But the drivers
are dated last month, so in my mind, that means they’re fairly new. So
why are they incompatible? Perhaps these drivers are already installed –
it’s definitely using some kind of Matrox driver! So I decide to skip
that and try and install the Powerdesk tools by double clicking the
rpm and going through the installer process. It works. Fantastic,
my first proper install of any application ever. (Well, it doesn’t throw up
any errors!) But there’s a problem. I don’t know where the program has
been installed or what it’s called. How on earth do I find out? After
lots of searching for possible names I take a guess that it’s called the
same as the rpm, and it is. I su into the shell (as it asks me to do)
and run it again. Click Ok to continue at the pop up window and “poof”,
it logs out of KDE and returns me to the log in screen (I’m guessing X
restarts as the screen blanks for a long time). Try as I might it won’t
do anything else but this every time. Bummer! but not to worry I just
have to remember not to run anything OpenGL and I can live with it not
working 100% for now.
Next up Xine. Oh dear oh dear, where do I start?:
It was always my understanding that Xine enabled me to play movies,
specifically unencrypted DVDs (or encrypted ones with the DeCSS plugin).
So I’m guessing that Mandrake (or any distro) doesn’t come with DeCSS
installed but I was curious to see what happens anyway, so I started it
up and inserted a disc. For starters no autoplay, but that’s fair
enough as Linux doesn’t really seem to manage that yet and I felt I was
being a little optimistic expecting that. However try as I might I just
can’t find the “play DVD” button. There’s a play VCD button, A DVB
button and one marked CD. Obviously I know what that VCD button is for
(Video CD) and CD is for compact disc obviously, but not idea what DVB
is for. Hovering over it with the mouse and the tooltip reveals it’s
for Digital TV input – neat! If only I had any of those on hand to test
Xine is the epitome of a bad interface design. Not only does it have dark grey text/icons
on a black/dark grey background (a visual nightmare), but lots of what
look like working buttons but confusingly aren’t. It’s cluttered with
tiny little meaningless icons that tell you next to nothing, even with
mouseover tooltips. Just what the hell is an MRL browser for? What is an
MRL and why would I need it to browse it? Clicking it brings up a file
explorer type window, nowhere does it give even a hint at DVD
playback. and after much trial and error I find that I can only play
.vob files one at a time (or sequentially by creating a playlist) and
even then I can’t just type in the path to file, but have to clik up
from my home to directory to the root and back down again to
/mnt/cdrom! I thought the DVD element may be missing because I hadn’t
installed DeCSS and it hadn’t enabled the right bit of Xine. So I
rebooted into Windows (still no Internet access for me in Mandrake)
popped over to a site that has the plugin, downloaded it, rebooted
back into Mandrake and tried to install it. Oops! can’t just download
that plugin on it’s own, I have to download the other 8 or so library
files as well. So back I go to Windows and back onto the Internet where
I decide to download everything on offer on that site. I’m sure
that’s overkill as there is probably just one of two packages I need,
but I don’t know which ones they might be, so I downloaded the lot (all
12mb of them) just in case I needed them it would saving me rebooting
every five minutes. Back into Mandrake and finally get Decss and the
dependencies installed. (note: this is now 2 things I’ve managed to
install: mandrake is already allowing me to do more than any other
distro thus far) Fine, now to retry Xine, but strangely it’s the
same. I load a random .vob file…. Nothing happens, no error, no
playback, nothing. (previously when I’d tried this without the DeCss
plugin it complained about not being able to play it). Tried another
disc, same thing, Tried loading the main menu, great it works… only I
can’t navigate around with the navigator nor just click on the screen
element as I do in any windows DVD players. So for all the fantastic
skill of the coders it’s still useless to me as far as I’m
concerned, as I can’t play DVDs, but due such having such a
dreadful inept and annoying interface I almost feel that it’s a blessing
in disguise. (But I would like to point out that I think the work been
done to reverse engineer DVD encryption, navigation and playback is
truly stunning. I tip my hat to all concerned). At some point
I’ll download videoLan and try that, at least that had a simple
interface and easily allowed the playback of DVD discs. (Well, it did in
Installing from Source
After the resounding success of installing from RPM in Mandrake,
I thought I might be lucky installing from source (tar.gz file, as
opposed to a srpm in this case). I download gocr, to try my luck with
optical character recognition. Xsane works brilliantly for scanning
already so I hoped GOCR would be the perfect compliment. Downloaded it
from sourceforge unzipped/untarred it and followed the instructions, which were
(after untarring) “2. Change to gocr directory and run make.
cd gocr[version]; make install
That’s it.” if only that were true!
When I installed Mandrake (using all 3 discs this time unlike last
time) I didn’t check the “development” tree in the applications. My
logic was thus: I am not going to be doing any programming in Linux
(would do if I could program c or c++) the most I’ll be doing
programming wise will be html, php, sql any maybe a modicum of Python. I (wrongly)
assumed that the development tree would be for coders developing linux
applications and didn’t make the assumption that it was in fact
“virtually compulsory” in order to install source code. But not to
worry, I just installed GCC (and libraries) it from the original
Mandrake discs and reran the installer. Sadly only to be met with
another error message.
I’ve never managed to install anything from source ever, regardless of
distro. I’ve always encountered spuriously obscure errors like this. Not
being a C coder I have no idea what they means, and therefore no way to
know how easy is they are to fix or resolve: Is it my fault they won’t
install or is it a fault with source code or have I downloaded an
Program installation is one of the THE most annoying things in Linux.
When it’s not dependency hell from rpms, it’s the necessity to download
15 different library files, or just getting an install error message
that I can’t understand. Sure, it might be much easier with Xandros/Lindows/Debian/Gentoo etc (if I could
access the internet of course) but surely Linux is mature enough that
some bright coder could build an installer framework for Linux, so
regular people needn’t have to compile source? There are dozens for
Windows and I’m sure as many for Mac (Nullsoft, Vise, Installshield
and Microsoft leap to mind for Windows)
“ah!” I hear you all exclaim.
“but haven’t you come across that ‘missing dll’ hell in Windows
often enough?” you ask?
err… well no actually, not really! I can think of no more than about
two or three occasions when (back in 1998) I was running windows
98 and downloaded a VB based package that needed VB5 (or VB6) runtime
files. Mostly when that happens now though, the author repackages the
.exe with runtime files included or gives a link to download them from
Microsoft – (certainly that’s a bit of a pain, but simplicity
itself to install by anyone: download file, double click .exe… click
“next” a couple of time and that’s it, done. Then run desired
Neither of these issues is the specific fault of Mandrake or the GOCR
developer(s) but they’re not helped by them either. Perhaps I’m just not
thinking like “a geek” enough to use Linux effectively and get it
working properly. But I keep thinking that it shouldn’t be this
complicated. I’ve had to re-install MacOS a couple of times in the past,
as well as build literally dozens of Windows machine from scratch and
it’s not this complicated (Windows certainly wasn’t brilliant, all that
rebooting you had to do with win9x was ludicrous – but at least it is
much better now in 2000/XP) Perhaps it’s just that every other
operating system is geared towards “real” people whereas Linux isn’t.
Installing anything on Macs, Amigas, RiscOS, Beos and even Windows is
simple. With Linux it’s complex, slow, tedious and immensely
frustrating, especially when it doesn’t install (as it is in Windows
when things don’t/won’t install) – but it’s an exception in Windows, not
the norm (In my experience anyway)
Too much choice
Obviously, choice is a good thing; no one really disputes that. But too
much choice always runs the risk of being overly confusing, and
contributing to many people overlooking the good and using the bad, or
at least using the not so good. Mandrake comes with far far too much
duplication in applications that just breeds confusion (and frustration)
it needs a lot more rationalization of the apps it installs by default.
Why are there three basic text editors installed with KDE? I’m sure if
I’d installed Gnome there would be even more? If just one was installed by
default, with the others being left on the CD or downloadable from the
web, knowledgeable, power users could go ahead and get them if needed.
But as it is, its’ just confusing, to my eye, they all look and perform
about the same anyway, I mostly use them as a basic text editor, or for
opening up readme files. (as I’m sure most people will do with them)
I’ve also got what initially appears to be four different image viewers,
Is there a reason for them all? Why not just have one good image/camera application rather than 3 or 4 that are similar – I don’t have a digital camera, so have no idea why I would need any one over another. I’ve got two competing Audio ripping tools installed, Grip andKaudioCenter, two sound and volume mixers, the badly named Aumix and
Kmix, several cd players: Xmms, KSCD, Noatun, Xine and Kaboodle, two
multimedia audio player: Kaboodle and Noatun. There’s three word
processors, OpenOffice Writer, Kword and Abiword. Two ICQ clients, two
ftp clients, three web editors (Mozilla, Quanta and Bluefish, two
scanning programs: (Xsane and Kooka), three image viewers, Two KDE
system monitoring tools, two version of Ghostview, several email
clients, two slideshow, spreadsheet and flowcharting programs and
a myriad of terminal tools and I only installed KDE I didn’t install
Gnome, goodness knows how many other duplicate programs I would have got
had I installed that as well?.
Don’t get me wrong! There’s nothing wrong with these programs; they are
all fine in themselves but there’s no need for them all to be installed
by default for every user, when just one, the “best one” would suffice.
I wonder how many CDs Mandrake would ship on if they supplied just the
best or most common applications needed by most people? Not to mention
how much money they would save on packaging, testing and configuring the
apps. Let alone how much less confusing Linux would be.
There is so much about Linux to adore. KDE and most of the KDE
applications are brilliant, Koffice is truly wonderful, (I’m writing
this in Kword and it’s genuinely superb). I can burn CDs effortlessly
with K3d, Scan easily and quickly with Xsane, quickly get to what I want
with Konqueror, manage my diary, address book and sync with exchange
using the wonderful Evolution (Kmail is pretty damn good too). But the
wonderful and brilliant applications of Mandrake-Linux (and Linux in
general) are hugely overshadowed by the sheer difficulty in getting the
system working, using it day-to-day and the sheer and needless
complexity of some of the basic operations and the sheer amount of
redundant (i.e. duplicate) applications.
Footnote & Resume
Many of the comments I received last time commented that I didn’t give
much detail about myself and level of ability, so in an attempt to
rectify the situation I will conclude with a brief resume of my computer
My first computer experience was my next door neighbors Atari VCS
(can’t remember the model version, but pre 2600, the one with the wood
effect paneling), from then on I was hooked. My Dad bought a ZX81 for
£99 (mail order) in 1981 (when I was 10) and this was my first
experience with personal computing. It grew from there to a ZX Spectrum,
(AKA Thompson/Timex I believe?) Dragon 32 (my dad’s computer
actually), Commodore Plus 4 (sadly), Commodore 64 and then to the
(godlike) Amiga and BBC/Acorns at school. Spend most of my time in
Secondary school working in a computer shop selling home and business
machine (at that time that was AT compatible Amstrad 1512s 1640s and
then 8086s and Amstrad PCWs, Back in the days when 4 color monitors and
high density 5.25″ floppies were a BIG deal!)
Went to university with my Trusty 286 in tow, after taking it to bits
and “improving” it several times. I finally “improved it” a bit too much
🙂 and ditched it in 1995 for Pentium 90 that was the dog’s bollocks of
processors then and which I built myself. Moved from Win3.11 to Win95
(via OS/2 briefly). At University worked extensively on Macs (OS7), HP
Workstations, (HP/UK) and Sun boxes (Solaris). Then left Uni and started
working in IT as a web developer/graphic designer. (Primarily
developing on Sun boxes running Apache/Perl and when I installed Linux
(Red Hat 5) for the first time) 7 years down the line from
University I’m a freelance web developer/graphic designer/System
Admin/network kind of person, who also dabbles in a bit of journalism
now and again (not always IT-related).
I mostly (though not exclusively) develop for Windows web platforms
nowadays: .NET/ traditional asp, SQL server/ MySQL, a little PHP and the
odd bit of Python and Rebol (www.rebol.com) – thankfully no more
I’m currently using a self-built computer:
AMD Athlon XP 2400+,
MSI motherboard, with USB2 and Bluetooth (onboard),
60gb HD + 30Gb (slave),
Matrox g550 Graphics card,
Real Magic Hollywood+ Decoder card
USB ISDN TA (EIcon Diva)
PQI USB 6 in 1 (removable) Media reader/writer (for writing Mp3s to my
PDA and mp3 player)
Wacom Graphics Table (A4 size) – Serial
all running in rather nice Orange colored “i-Tee” PC case.
Maybe we can “invent” one:
hose – as in hose that carries water and can put out a flame
5 minutes to watch DVDs :
1. got to http://plf.zarb.org/~nanardon
2. choose the closest contrib and PLF mirrors and copy the urpmi.addmedia generated lines
3. type ‘urpmi libdvdcss2 xine-dvdnav’
4. open your DVD player, insert a DVD, open xine, click on “DVD”, the DVD menu appears. Enjoy !
No need to boot back to windows, no need to fight with rpms, urpmi solves all your dependenies, downloads all rpms that are needed and install them.
You would have asked on the mandrakeclub forum (no need to be a member) or on the mailing list, you would have had your answer.
And really, if you want to have DVD out of the box, don’t blame Linux. Just blame the DMCA.
I wrote a guide to setup urpmi and install any software here (flightgear, gocr, which is included in Mandrake packages, anything) :
why cant you lsmod as a regular user?
rick@alpharhix:~$ whereis lsmod
lsmod: /sbin/lsmod /usr/share/man/man8/lsmod.8.gz
rick@alpharhix:~$ echo $PATH
As you can see… /sbin/ isnt in a regular user’s $PATH, as it should be. If you do want to execute it as a normal user you could do “/sbin/lsmod”.
flame <> deflame
I have read the article and looked at some screenshots. I find the article good on it self but the whole problem with the author is that his background is not Unix and he is trying to find to much “windowz”. Linux/Unix is not Windows and you should not expect eveything to work or be configured just like in Windows. Try reading a book and/or Internet pages there are a lot of howto pages on the net (google it if you want..). Almost all the problems he encounterd are fixed very easy…
Mandrake 9.1 is a great desktop distro it is aiming at the new linux user but i think its not quite ready for that.
Xandros Lindows and Shaolin Linux are better for new Linux users.
The future is bright the future is Linux!
Why the heck do you put yourself through all the hell to install Linux…
Face it, you can’t install and run Linux; Get over it.
Go do something productive instead of writing some meanless article about how you can’t install Linux. Write an article telling us the glory of Windows please.
Please don’t install Linux, it makes you look like a moron.
Please no more penis envy.
I’ve been trying all sorts of distros for years, always failed to install a usable version of GNU/Linux. I’ve been through the hell of rpm dependencies, Mandrake’s inconsistency, Debian’s obscurity, Lycoris’ lameness. But I kept trying, because I hate failure.
Now I use Linux From Scratch on my laptop along with Fluxbox, Mozilla, XMMS, MPlayer, the GIMP, GQview, vim, among others, and connect to the Internet in WiFi. I wouldn’t want to use anything else, besides maybe MacOS X (when I get rich). My system is totally tweaked and fits my needs.
The problem with GNU/Linux as it is today, IMHO, is that you have to be obstinate to make it usable. That’s why LFS became my only viable choice.
“Linux doesn’t do$thing!” “My hardware doesn’t work!” “$thing is/isn’t/should be $other_thing!!!!”
Join the club, buddy. I could bitch up a storm about it finally taking a debian PPC install to realize I have a hosed SCA drive. I could whine, bitch and scream about how I had to fucking debug X11 MYSELF because the only two xconfigs I could find for similar hardware were using video cards and not mobo video, but hey, guess what? I know I’m playing with an erector set, not a Porsche. I know what I’m getting into, and it’s patently obvious that you don’t.
You want all your gear to Just Work? Want to not have to compile applications? Want your video card to run? With all the features? Then run Windows or MacOS.
Linux is still a work in progress in a vast variety of areas. This kind of whining doesn’t do anything to help it along- this article, in fact, is about as bad as my coworker trying to transition from NT4 to debian. The temper tantrums were fierce, I tell you.
If you want Linux to Just Work Damnit, then you can Just Wait Another Five Years. Until then, the kernel and all the goodies on top are still very much the province of those of us that actually want to play around- those of us who don’t bitch and piss and moan when something blows up or doesn’t work properly.
(yet) another article about “Linux” (un)usability on the desktop. What a surprise – there seems to be a crop emerging every week these days.
Could I ask for a moritorium on these articles for a while? I think I would rather read about the XFree86 debate than come across someone else ranting about their (lack of) success using Linux on the desktop.
This poor man seems to have had a truly bad experience with Linux. I sympathise with him greatly, but in addition I’d like to make a few points as well:
1. DeCSS – this is a legal issue, not a Linux issue per se. Unfortunately companies are (rightly) scared of being sued off the face of the earth if they include DeCSS – or Mplayer with encrypted DVD support – at the moment. The long-term fix for this is to write to your democratic representitives and/or the music industry to campaign for a more open acceptance of this sort of software.
2. Drivers – I agree entirely. ISDN is a real problem in Linux for starters, and overall driver support is pretty terrible at the moment. We need a standardized virtualization layer between the kernel & XFree86 and the driver subsystem to allow for “Linux” drivers to be written – as opposed to “Mandrake” or “Red Hat” or “SuSE” drivers. Linux’s open APIs and kernel code should be an advantage, but at the moment it’s not.
3. Commercial offerings – A lot of long-time Linux users assume that your average new Linux user will know – or be able to find out – that to get the functionality they need, they can just download X and Y file from the Internet. Fact is, a lot of users either (a) believe that an application will actually work out of the box and/or (b) don’t have the experience to do so. Let me tell you — it’s really easy to stick with what you know, so when something goes wrong, people are much, much more likely to go back to the familiar “old faithful” than brave a new world. You may not like it – but it’s true. To break through the scare-factor and the inertia of the familiar, Linux has the be better than Windows at setting itself up for the user. Not set up properly after a few hours of downloading (and not everyone has broadband), but out of the box! At present, as has been illustrated time and time again, it’s not.
4. Articles critical of Linux – I agree with a lot of points raised by these sort of articles (although they can be a bit “over the top” ;-)), and I applaud OSNews.com for publishing them. Keep up the good work!
Is it just me or are other people getting tired of seeing these articles from both sides? Every day it’s “My 20 page article on why Linux is ready for the desktop/enterprise”, “My 50 page article on gripes and why linux isn’t ready”, “My grandma used linux for an hour after I installed and configured everything for her, so anyone can use Linux!” Please make it stop! Maybe try spacing the articles out every 3-4 days.
Actually, I really do think a lot of what this fellow has to say is pretty legitimate. I went through a lot of these kinds of issues myself with Mandrake 8.0 and I still have problems today that drive me nuts enough to have to go for a brisk walk to cool down.
I don’t want this to be perceived as a “mandrake sux, use gentoo” post, because I started with Mandrake myself and it is what got me interested enough in Linux to stick with it. But a lot of what the author mentions, such as not knowing where to find configuration files, are problems I went through. The problem with Mandrake is that, if it works well for what you need, you’ll probably like it, especially if you don’t like digging around in your OS too much.
If it doesn’t, however, it’s a sort of complicated black box if you’re not already a Linux geek. You’re basically trying to unravel layers, top down, to figure out where things are. It’s like trying to figure out how a car engine works with a fully assembled car, and no diagrams. You can pick around and figure things out but it’s not the best way to learn.
As for dealing with plugins and dependencies and RPMs, I doubt anyone who has used an alternate system like apt-get in Debian or portage in Gentoo hasn’t been irritated as hell about these things. I know I have. I still have machines at work that run Red Hat, and I have to deal with these problems from time to time (not too often though; they’re servers).
See, my first distro was Mandrake, and after about 8 months of being irritated by problems similar to the author’s (though not *specifically* multimedia; I don’t care much about DVDs and the like), I decided to ignore all of the puffery about Debian and Gentoo, and pick one, and just see if there were any advantages. I decided to dive in as deep as possible and went for Gentoo.
Now Gentoo is like building a car engine, ground up. Here’s a piston, here’s a spark plug, this is how they work together and what they do. Rather than digging down to find things, I build from the ground up, so that, when the install was done, I knew where everything was and what things relied on. I *am* a Gentoo cheerleader; I admit this, though it’s hardly a religious matter for me. For my style of learning, I found that the time investment in installing Gentoo – which takes some time, and is manual, is far less than the time investment it took me to unravel Mandrake from the top down. (Note that now that I have been using Gentoo for this long, I probably could work just fine with Mandrake, just because I know how things work a lot better).
I have since installed Debian-Unstable as well, which has many of the same benefits as Gentoo, and is quick and easy to install (the installer isn’t as “pretty”, but it’s as simple as any other Linux distro’s installer, as far as I’m concerned).
Neither of these distros will be appropriate for everyone, but I would suggest that, like me, the initial time investment in something like Gentoo is probably far less than the *total time expenditure* for figuring out what the hell distros like Mandrake are doing. That’s *my* opinion, and these distributions are far more structured toward the way I like to learn things than Mandrake.
I would suggest that there are a *lot* of Mandrake, SuSE, and Red Hat users who would probably be incredibly surprised by Gentoo (and Debian, of course). Someone mentioned in an article here on OSNews some time ago (maybe it was just linked from here) that a lot of Gentoo users are ex-Mandrake users. I’m one, and there are many others.
I don’t know if Debian or Gentoo will make your experiences with ISDN hardware or DVDs easier. But I will say that you will be exposed to most possible places that you would configure these devices directly, as you install and compile your system (and your kernel), and will probably encounter configuration areas you didn’t know even existed.
Plus, chances are (esp. with Debian which has a huge software collection, though Gentoo isn’t a slich) you simply won’t have to deal with dependency issues at all. I never do. Sometimes ebuilds fail because of a human error or whatever, but I haven’t yet run into “this can’t install because this library isn’t installed yet” even once, in about 9 months of using Gentoo. Ditto with Debian. I got a full desktop up and running with the latest KDE in about an hour with Debian, on a P2-400. Mandrake’s software manager/internet updater (forget what it’s called) simply can’t compete – yet – in terms of reliability.
Also in closing I would say that Linux never will be Windows, and I’m kind of bored with the constant chorus that it should be like Windows. Linux should be as easy as it can be without sacrificing versatility and customizability, and if it never is as easy as Windows – a very closed environment, I just don’t care. I don’t use it for that reason. If it can be as easy and still have that versatility, great, but there’s just a whole population out there for whom Linux is just never going to be worth it. And for whom, I might add, all of the things we Linux users hate about Linux *simply aren’t issues* (such as a cruddy CLI).
It may well be that Mandrake’s folly is that it does try too hard to be a plug-and-play, configure-it-all-for-you OS, just like Windows. For some people, that desktop is appropriate. Some people even love it. Very cool. It’s just not for me, and I don’t agree that Mandrake is always the best choice for a beginner. It isn’t. It’s the best choice for certain kinds of beginners (like me, just to see what Linux was before deciding to really get into it), but Gentoo and Debian seem best for people who know they want to take a plunge. For seasoned Linux users, almost any distro will do, you can pull apart and modify your system to look like most others.
But if Mandrake is causing the author this much frustration, it seems like it might be a great idea to try another distro. After all, most of them are free anyway!
Mandrake was a great first distro for me, and if I had to use it for some reason now, I could, probably without a problem (of course I’d have no issues with recompiling a kernel now or things like that). But Gentoo just seems to be all aces for me, and I don’t think I’ll be moving to another distro anytime soon (Probably if I’d tried Debian before Gentoo, I would have stuck with that, too. I like both a lot).
Their reputations for being time-consuming and complicated are highly overstated and misrepresented (in most cases). I recommend the author give one or both a try, and to not be too turned off by people taunting him for “not being able to get Linux working right”. That’s just unfair, and a cruddy attitude. The point here is that the author *is being incredibly tenacious* in light of this frustration, and maybe a little compassion, understanding, and most of all, encouragement — rather than derision — is in order. I’ve been where he is. I’ve been angry and about to kick my monitor in. Generally I find out it’s some stupid little configuration setting that’s not right or something, but remember, most people are coming from Windows and don’t *think* Linux yet. That may seem backward to old-time sysadmins who have been using UNIX since the 70s, but that’s how it is, that’s where I come from, and it is surmountable, but it can be maddening. Rarely a week goes by where I’m not cursing wildly about something. But eventually I get through it, and in the end, for me, it’s more than worth it.
Isn’t it the first thing one does before one puchases an operation system to check the software vendor’s HCL (hardware compatability list) before one purchases a new operating system. For example logic would say I couldn’t run Win XP on a 386, but maybe that is takeing the example to the extreme. So ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS check the HCL b4 you buy an OS, where it be BeoS, Unix, BSD, Linux, Windows.
Good point, but there’s a snag. A good deal of hardware that’s considered ‘compatable’ with Linux requires a lot of work to get it to work. And with the big desktop distros it becomes less an issue of weather Linux supports it, but weather that distro can detect it accurately and set it up for you. Admittedly, I haven’t looked too hard, but there ought to be a site that documents ‘how supported’ (for lack of a better term) something is, in other words, how easily it’s set up… weather there’s a simple binary install, simple compile, or you have to go so far as reconfiguring your kernel and/or editing a dozen elusive configuration files, and how stable/extensive the support is.
To all you Linux Experts. Why don’t you do something constructive. If you have got a peticular platform installed, with all of the applications working, lets say on laptop brand xyz model 666. Why don’t you make a recovery cd and send it to sourceforge so us f-ing idiots can get past go. (partimage or makerecovercd)
I believe that until linux software is easier to install, that platform specific distro’s are the answer. For example, why don’t one of you genius’s build a home entertainment pc (HTPC) using a via m9000 motherboard which has nearly everything onboard, get everything working just right, make a disk image, then send it to the mirrors for us to download and use.
It will prove that you really do know what your doing and not just a box of farts that’s just as bald headed as the rest of us from pulling your f-ing hair out. Who knows, maybe VIA will notice and make you a buncha $$$$$
(p.s. Install the DVD css but disable it in a way that people in countries who can, can enable it easily. ie. add a missing file.)
if a friend decided he wanted a semi-pro audio workstation and insisted on using a sblive value edition to run audio software that required well written asio compliant drivers…i’d call him names.
you want a pleasant 3d experience with linux? at minimum get a supported radeon card.
want an really great 3d/opengl experience with linux? get an nvidia card. let’s see…nvidia stole, i mean hired a boatload of ex-sgi engineers, yes that’s SGI, the guys who made opengl what it is.
what on god’s green earth are you dinking around with a matrox card for in linux?
you enjoy futile, stupid pursuits or what?
(i’m sure many have made it work…but you aren’t many, you are a frustrated newbie, so get smart)
next: usb modem.
my bonafide hardware ethernet adapter, and external full blown hardware modem (plugs into a serial port), work just fine for me. i spent like all of 10 seconds on configuring both.
which has allowed me to learn other things about linux.
but go ahead, if that’s your thing.
it’s not the job of linux to use every conceivable hardware combination.
i would not, and have not ever used a usb modem/usb-cablemodem or matrox card on any of my machines…linux or xp.
but go ahead.
p.s. ISDN sucks….i’d rather use an analog modem a dog shit on.
Why is the failure of Linux (either kernel or all distributions as a whole) if your single distribution doesn’t make a choice and installs such many things by default?
This is just one of these “there is a 100 $ bill on the street and I could pick it up and use it but, boy, is there some dirt on it or what, better leave it there” kind of opinions.
If you have more than enough money, buy something commercial. Linux is not commercial. It is free. If you get your job done with it, it’s a big benefit. I myself do get all my work done with is, so savings for me!
If you do not get your work done with Linux, then invest on something more expensive, more polished and more commercial. Remember that in this case the money is away from you and you have to get it back from your customers.
I originally tried Mandrake and just gave up because of it’s constant issues.
I now use Gentoo and, after some teething problems, am having a wonderful time with it. It doesn’t pretend to be friendly like Mandrake, but it’s so easy to maintain and stay up to date.
To be honest, what annoys me more than anything with Mandrake, Red Hat, et al, is their versioning.
9.1? 0.91 more like. At least 0.91 would reflect the quality of their product.
The story is like a story about a guy who was waiting for a buss. The buss never came. A very sad but totally uninteresting story.
If you want something out of the box on some specific hardware then pay for it.
I think Osnews should rather accept storys bye people who are willing and able to write about how they managed to make things work using this or that linux distribution on this or that hardware.(if they had problems)
Those of you who install those distroes write a story about it telling readers about the steps you had to take in order to make it work.
Installing Mandrake9.0 on a Thoshiba Tecra 8000 with a Belking PCMCIA card (ADSL) I had to add 2 lines to a file.
(All the information on the Belking CD)
Also I had to adjust the screen to 1024*768 and to 65000 colours 16 bit where the 16 bit was the important point.
Well using the Mandrake Control Center (Resolution).
Did I loose my nerv beecause of that. No.
If think Mandrake simply is a great distro moving in the right direction.
I have installed and used various distributions since 95.
A great journy seeing how fast it all improves also for the destop.
Mandrake is sabotaged deliberatly,so you will buy the new book of theirs.The Money Grubbers at Mandrakesoft are a sly bunch of Carnival folks,who will do anything to make money [Mandrake Club],for instance.
Mandrake is _far_ from polished. Try Red Hat 9, it’s a much more usable Linux desktop system. I have converted to Red Hat 9 from being a diehard Windows 2000 and XP user.
look. if you cannot install Mandrake – you should by a pre-installed Mac and forget linux. at least you will not have the “too much choice headache” any more. and no need to read manuals. and not need to understand how to install packages. and not need to understand anything at all 🙂
Even Microsoft XP does not function “perfectly” …
Plenty of Freezes …
Plenty of Crashes …
And in many cases there are no Drivers for XP
So by Iain Alexander’s, and a few other Troll-like-articles,line of thinking. Microsoft XP must be totally unsuitable for the Desktop, and it is wrong for Microsoft to market XP as a suitable desktop.
In fact, the issues Iain, and others have brought up in recent OSNEWS “articles”, are minor niggles in comparison to the endemic failure of Microsoft toward the security of it’s own products and services and products
Microsoft was notified of the Issues, concerning only Microsoft implementation of the JVM, on September 2nd 2002 and after SEVEN MONTHS on April 9th 2003, Microsoft have issued an update to fix the problem.
Such a delay with such a serious vulnerability is so abysmal that it borders on the absurd.
Quality and security are measures which only mean something when compared relatively to another.
There is no absolutely secure, therefore you must expect, that once a vulnerability is made known to the vendor, the vendor should do their utmost to close the Window of Exposure ( http://www.counterpane.com/window.html ) as soon as possible.
For example, with the lastest SAMBA vulnerability, once notified, the SAMBA developer owned up to the mistake and the SAMBA project released a patch within 48 hours.Redhat has already backported the patch into their distributions RPMs. Similarly any major security issues in Mozilla and Netscape browser are also fixed and updateable within a couple of days
Meanwhile, there are currently 13 KNOWN unpatched vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer ( http://www.pivx.com/larholm/unpatched/ ).
Some DANGEROUSLY EXPLOITABLE have not been fixed in over a year ( http://security.greymagic.com/adv/gm002-ie/ ). That Microsoft has not rewritten the scripting system embedded with IE so that it is sandboxed by default is bad enough, but to have such major unpatched vulnerabilities exposed for months is abysmal.
Other inherent vulnerabilities, such as the Shatter attack ( http://security.tombom.co.uk/moreshatter.html ), Microsoft has known about since 1994!
Even if the API/call flaw is inherently unfixable, that is plenty of time for Microsoft to implement a safer methord/systemcall/API, adapt it’s own applications to use the safer methord and depreciate the unsafe API.
It also appears that Microsoft ‘s own implementation of SMB is vulnerable and Microsoft has known about it for over eight years ( http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=59960&cid=5681769 ), but Microsoft either choose not to, or cannot fix the problem themselves.
Microsoft is clearly not closing the vulnerabilities they are aware that exist in their products and services.
A year after after Bill Gate’s Email promoting securtiy over functionality, Microsoft by choice, remains neither secure or trustworthy.
Microsoft’s attitude towards the security of it’s products, service and customers is abysmal.
From Jason Coombs’ A response to Bruce Schneier on MS patch management and Sapphire ( http://www.securityfocus.com/archive/1/315158 )
Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) and Microsoft’s version of HFNetChk both failed to detect the presence of the well-known vulnerability in SQL Server exploited by Sapphire, which is one of the reasons so many admins (both inside and outside MS) had failed to install the necessary hotfix. MBSA and HFNetChk are Microsoft’s official patch status verification tools meant to be used by all owners of Windows server boxes …
….In addition to designing MBSA to avoid scanning for SQL Server vulnerabilities, failing to update mssecure.xml reliably and in a timely manner, deprecating HFNetChk by pushing the MBSA GUI as its preferred replacement, and hiding the details of the technical limitations and internal security assumptions made by design in Microsoft’s security analysis tools, Microsoft pushes Windows Update (windowsupdate.com) as a safe and reliable way to keep Windows boxes up-to-date. Unfortunately, Windows Update isn’t designed to supply or verify the presence of SQL Server hotfixes, either.
None of Microsoft’s own hotfix/patch status scanning tools designed to prove “baseline security” were able to help administrators avoid Sapphire. This entire scenario, this comedy of errors, illustrates the security risk created by any organization that pushes security around from department to department, passing the buck and hoping that somebody else will know how to deal with the problem. The result is a system so flawed that it borders on the absurd.
Because of this continued inherent attatude to security, Microsoft’s products and services should be considered UNSECURE by default.
Not only that, but by Microsoft own declaration, it’s going to be another FOUR OR FIVE YEARS before Microsoft’s security issues are addressed, with the release of the now renamed Palladium (NGSCB – which sounds like an old soviet “security” agancy to me ). Microsoft appears to be targeting it’s “trusted platform” efforts toward the security of Microsoft’s own profits and maintaining it’s own monopoly..
Knowing this, are you and many of the more intelligent persuasion, going to limit yourself to the Microsoft desktop platform?
In comparison, the current issues with Linux are a lot more fixable, if not with your current distribution then with another targeted towards the beginner.
Like a lot of earlier comments I am getting fed up with the “Linux installed on my palm in ten minutes” or “I have tried twice and can’t get my pc to work with Linux so it must be crap” articles.
The fact is that todays operating systems and hardware are getting more and more complicated and the speed that hardware is developed is very fast. We need to get back to the “right tools for the right job” mentality and stop this constant whinging. I personally have been using Linux for about ten years and had minimal problems (I had a problem with my modem in 1997), but that isn’t to say that I recommend it to my mother! A friend has had no success installing Linux, but had some success with XP; another only had success with windows because the manufacturer supplied them with the right drivers; another had no success with either operating systems….. the list goes on.
For those people who constantly say how hard it is to install Linux on their machines – please come to my house and install windows (any version, but especially NT). Now that is enough to make a grown man cry!
Just for the record I have the following on my machine
Linux Mandrake 9.1 (x2)
Linux SuSE 7.1
I know that I still get slow downs doing big compiles on Windows 2000 while trying to do other things like put in my timesheet through that IE only monster my company at the same time as I am editing file and such.
I know that my friend has had a hell of time getting his Ethernet card to work with XP even with vaunted vendor support.
I know that I have gotten application crashes and stuff that is only supposed to relegated to less unstable versions of Windows.
I know that XP is better. But still, it seems like crap shoot some of our XP and 2000 boxes run just fine like champs and others give us nothing but grief.
Flashback. Summer of 2002. My motherboard is destroyed in a freak accident, with processor and RAM intact. I think *gasp!* I don’t have any money! So I go to my techie friend, who says, “Hey, I’ve got an Emachines mobo you can have if you install Linux on your computer afterwards.” No choice; so I back up my HD to cd-r’s and get to work.
Step 1: Lycoris. Okay, it’s all purdy, but install freezes at 98%. Try again. Fail. Try again. Fail. *sigh* and I break out the backup distro he gave me–Libranet.
I install that, run it, it detects everything! Cable modem, bastardized mobo, trashed Mitsumi CD-ROM drive! Now, I don’t mean to spread Libranet propaganda; in fact, I have grown to hate it with all my heart. Thankfully, I’ve been replacing Libranet piece-by-piece with Debian. I don’t understand the fuss about installing software. Apt-get it, or if it isn’t in Debian, download the relevant lib*-dev packages and compile it. No problem. If you don’t like it, apt-get remove will do the trick. Also, Win users: Note how Linux programs are so much smaller than Windows?
So really, I’m the “newbie meets Debian”. My friend didn’t help me much, mostly because I was too proud to ask. And now, I wouldn’t use a shitty GTK+ pseudo-configure utility for the world–Libranet comes with a bunch of Perl scripts (that are not too difficult to read) launched from an app called “Xadminmenu”. I’ve been replacing these with more flexible alternatives.
By the way, I’ve probably learned more about computers in the last eight months than in my entire life. Windows is a parasite. I wouldn’t have thought of learning C or any sort of programming in my Win98 days, and yet here I am, slaving away at it.
Thank you, Linus Torvalds, for creating something that restored my faith in computers acting in logical ways.
So, Linux is WAAAAAY ready for the desktop. IceWM at least….
If you’re building a computer just to run Linux then obviously you can chose hardware that’s known to work well in it. But if you want to buy a ready built system or you have an existing computer, hardware support can be real problem. Linux hardware support also limits your choice, you can’t always chose the best value solution.
I bought a Radeon 9500 pro rather than an Nvidia card, as at the time they gave better performance for the cost. Unfortunately ATI’s drivers for Linux are garbage, I’ve had stability problems and AFAIK there’s nothing like Nvidia’s TwinView available. If I wanted to use Linux as my main OS I’d hard to replace that quite expensive card, which would wipe out most of the money saved by using free software.
Almost all broadband ISPs where I live provide free USB modems when you sign up with them, they’re the only ones I’ve ever seen in highstreet shops. Having to buy a non-usb solution would add quite a lot to the cost and wouldn’t be supported by the ISP. I spent several days reading FAQs and HOWTOs, editing config files and compiling kernel modules to get the provided modem working in Linux. In Windows it worked with a few clicks of the mouse and was online in minutes.
My point is that it isn’t just unusual or low quality hardware that isn’t well supported in Linux. That may not be the fault of Linux, but I think it will keep a lot of people from switching even if they like using Linux.
Here we go. This is a real valid criticism of Linux.
Honestly, this is probably the toughest issue to face. Enterprise level support of hardware commonly used on servers is there for linux. However, even when the support is there. It does not mean that the drivers are any good.
BTW, I heard the very latest ATI drivers were a ton better. I saw some noise about this on a few lists maybe last week.
Even when the hardware is supported getting it setup can be a pain.
Sure, printers are easy with almost every major distro giving a nice gui and a list and using CUPS and all that jazz.
However, getting USB devices and Firewire devices working can be an exercise in pain. Until the folks making the hardware make the tools to not only access the device (ie drivers) but setup tools I do not seeing the situation getting a lot better. Better support for these devices through hardware detection (ie Kudzu,Yast2 and others) and setup are needed.
I helped a friend get his Firewire HD working but it took a good hour or two of tweaking about and this with both of us having together over a decade of unix experience and me having nearly 7 years of linux experience alone.
//1. got to http://plf.zarb.org/~nanardon //
Well, duh! How stupid of him not to know about that website!
It’s nearly as popular as google, right?
And, naturally, Mandrake alerted him to the existence of that site.
Here is my experience working with XP, Mandrake and Debian.
I get a DivX version of Shrek, try to copy it on Toshiba sattelite laptop with XP installed on it (I do not own the laptop). The copying process goes until 60% and then quits resulting with a Cyclic Redundancy Check Error. I try the same thing on my Desktop with XP loaded (there are also Mandrake 8.2 and Debian 3.0r0) and the same thing happens. So, it is up to the CD media! I do not watch DivXs on my desktop since it is 300 MHz, bla, bla, … Then, I watch the movie on the laptop directly from the CD. Everything goes OK until the same place where the CD is “destroyed” and XP freezes. Reset! Here comes the interesting part. I fire up Debian and copy the contents of the CD with no and absolutely no problems at all!!! I started ProFTP daemon, copied the movie on the laptop, watched the movie and went to bed )
I am sure you know about the CDs that come with the magazines and have web interface for accessing the contents of the CD. There is index.html file in the CD’s root, you click it (double-click), the browser fires up and you start reading. Not so easy with XP if that file is corrupted. Windows Explorer freezes and you can not even read the contents of the CD. No other idea but to fire up Debian and copy the CD contents except that index.html file of course ))
I do not know if any of you know that you can have problems with the floppy disks when you use them on different floppy drives. It does not happen too often but it can happen. Even more, you can not format them under XP. There is an error which I can not remember what was it about. The solution is to start Debian (or any Linux) and format the floppy using kfloppy. This happened to me 5-6 times.
I dived into Linux world using Mandrake. Now I am using Debian. No problems, no nothing.
“My first computer experience was my next door neighbors Atari VCS (can’t remember the model version, but pre 2600, the one with the wood effect paneling), from then on I was hooked.”
The author doesn’t seam to know what’s a videogame and what’s a computer. Atari VCS is a videogame and because the author has played on one of those machines, we could atleast expect him to know the difference betwen a videogame and computer!
How the hell can OSNEWS publish articles written by people who tries Linux, but don’t manage to use it 2 times in the same week from an author who thinks that Nintendo Gamecube is a computer?
I will remove OSNEWS from my bookmarks and then forget about it.
//s. So, it is up to the CD media! I do not watch DivXs on my desktop since it is 300 MHz, bla, bla, … Then, I watch the movie on the laptop directly from the CD. Everything goes OK until the same place where the CD is “destroyed” and XP freezes. Reset! Here comes the interesting part. I fire up Debian and copy the contents of the CD with no and absolutely no problems at all!!! I started ProFTP daemon, copied the movie on the laptop, watched the movie and went to bed ) //
Boy, your system must be frustrating! All that work to watch a video. I can watch DivXs through my 32″ TV in about 15 seconds. Lounge on the couch, eat some popcorn, fall asleep. It’s great!
Just enjoy! And forget about the hell of windoops.
His problems with hardware configuration point out the need for a “Device Manager” type interface in Linux
If you have problem using linux, there is a simple solution for that. Just don’t use it. Spend a lot of your money for windows or mac os. But please don’t complain about something which was entirely free for you.
Noone forces you to use linux.
Me personaly. i have extreme difficulties in using windows. For god sake, I am not able to change the boot-process and is there anyway to change the gui?
So I don’t like Windows, you don’t like Linux. Who cares?
Lots of people need a “guru”, it takes tenacity to learn the ropes. I’m still waiting for audio apps(multitracking) to fall out of the sky, myself. Maybe bleeding-edge hardware is poorly supported, but that’s not very important for people on a budget. Especially people who don’t want to pay rediculous amounts for common software. There’s more good apps written by those who like to code than you’d ever expect, and the companies who rely on obscene cash flow for their business model are going to fade away. I’ve been using Linux more often than not for the past three years, and it’s close enough to completion(in terms of apps for every purpose) that I’m dumping Windows forever. While I still keep a windows partition, I haven’t booted into it for over a month. Still worry about web pages that won’t load properly unless viewed with IE, but seems to be less & less of a problem. Either the Linux browsers are getting better, or MS gave up trying to own the internet. Hell, I guess the Linux browsers are getting better, because MS certainly hasn’t given up their efforts to control the world by controlling the internet!!
I see that linux hasn’t changed much in the last few years. I remember this exact same type of disastrous nightmare 4 or 5 years ago when I decided to give it a try. I’m sure it supports a lot more snazzy and sparkly stuff now — but all in all it still seems like the same disorganised mess it was before. I have a couple friends who had the same sort of problems with Redhat a few months ago.
Fortunately I found the BSDs. Not quite as well suited for the desktop yet (takes a bit of patience) but the overall system is a lot more organised. Ironically whenever I have problems it’s usually when installing/using linux software.
I might try debian again eventually — as I recall they seemed to have their act together.
Boy, your system must be frustrating! All that work to watch a video. I can watch DivXs through my 32″ TV in about 15 seconds. Lounge on the couch, eat some popcorn, fall asleep. It’s great!
What’s that got to do with copying the CD contents using Linux and not using Windows XP?
I might try debian again eventually — as I recall they seemed to have their act together.
Try it and you’ll wonder how can it possibly be that some one has problems installing software on Linux )
You commented on using urpmi. But then you also mentioned th urpmi downloads everything for you.
If his ISDN adapter doesn’t work under linux, how would he use urpmi to download everything he needs to get it to work?
Or is urpmi Win32 based?
“Go do something productive instead of writing some meanless article about how you can’t install Linux. Write an article telling us the glory of Windows please.”
I agree 100% with the above quote. The first article might have seemed helpful or given the *volunteer developers of Linux* something to think about (in their spare time, of course–I shouldn’t even be doing *this* right now because I’m not being paid to…). But when I see something like this going on, I can’t continue to give credibility to the writer (beyond suspicion that we’re talking about either a griper or a MS shill.)
How much effort has the author made to bring these problems to the attention of the developers? I don’t have time to bother them, nor time to *contribute* so I put up with what I get. It still improves and improves, anyway, because the people who *do* have time to work on these things *care* about what they’re doing.
Anyway, this is basically a blanket dismissial; if I see any more pointers to these kinds of articles, I plan to ignore them. I’ll be much more interested in positive contributions from now on (e.g., “I found a great site that talks about how to IMPROVE the xxx distro…”)
Isn’t it ironic how the zealots work?
some_guy: windows crashed on me again
zealot: use LINUX, it RULEZ
*insert some article about how great linux is and how close it is to beating microsoft on the desktop*
some_guy: maybe I’ll try
some_guy: nope, it’s not working, and I don’t understand what all these strange cryptic errors mean. I think they’re in arabic or something. And what about… etc, etc…
zealot: you fool. why are you using linux if you cannot do something so simple as recallibrating the discombobulation array! go back to windows you whiny baby.
The worst of these articles are not the articles themselves, but that they raise so many arrogant, snob, macuser-like screams of people pretending they are so special because they have a working linux. Like they had it working in 30 minutes, cmon.
Look around, you will barely find that in other oses forums, besides mac’s, that is.
Maybe I missed this in the article, but just for how long have you been using linux? I noticed you were able to install two software utilities, which is apparently more than you were able to accomplish with other distros. Have you EVER used linux before? Chances are pretty decent that a lot of things did “just work” but you had no idea how to “work” them. Most of the problems you encountered here can be easily fixed by someone with just a few weeks of linux experience. You need to know what you’re doing. Not just in linux, but with everything else as well. Example? Raise someone on Linux exclusively. This person knows how to play DVDs, install software, and activate their Bluetooth module. Now get them on WinXP. Chances are pretty decent that they’ll have NO idea how to do ANYTHING. “How do you install software? Damn thing doesn’t even have a ‘tar’ utility.” “How do you play .avi files? WHAT??? NO support out-of-the-box for .avi files? What kind of crap is this??” See what I mean? You know what you’re used to and use it as comparison point for the unfamiliar. If linux doesn’t do things like windows, then GOOD. It’s not supposed to! If you don’t know how to use the tool you’ve been given, then that’s a different problem entirely. To install linux and think it’s going to be windows all over again is just deeply stupid.
“Go do something productive instead of writing some meanless article about how you can’t install Linux. Write an article telling us the glory of Windows please.”
I disagree 100% with the above quote. Way to go idiot. If new users don’t get scared off by linux itself they’re sure to get scared off by your lame attitude.
The author of the article had a lot of legitimate concerns. I’ve experienced a lot of the same problems with linux before and I know how overwhelmed new users must feel. Even those with a fair amount of *nix background (such as myself) get annoyed with silly things that don’t work. It’s not that it’s hard to get around these problems — it’s bloody annoying. It doesn’t take brains, often it takes patience and endurance — NOT everybody has time for this nonsense. When you know how something should work and how easy it should be you get quite frustrated when you can’t seem to get it to work right.
Which is why I no longer use linux
quote: It doesn’t take brains, often it takes patience and endurance — NOT everybody has time for this nonsense.
No, it takes me about two hours to get a box up and running on linux with minor tweaking and such for my personal environment because I am picky that I would go through on any machine no matter what OS.
The deal is that the installation of linux for me has been the easy part. It is the postinstallation that is a pain.
Go through the online update process for your distro and get the latest updates first. Just in case they did a kernel update before you get the third-part drivers and such.
Download and install Nvidia or ATI or ltmodem drivers (got to have these ahead of time of course or you are not going anywhere in modem dial-up land).
Install the msttfcorefonts.
For the my distro already has plugins and multimedia support crowd, you still need to update your plugins to the latest and greatest or there are flash sites that will kick you to the curb.
Mplayer and xine comes with your distro but even if you find the win32 codecs and put them on your box will your version of mplayer or xine that came with your distro use them? What libdvd stuff? Nope. It is a painful outside install for RH but at least once it is on it works.
Then if you want quickstart of OpenOffice you have to find that shell script that keeps that going if you want to give up the extra memory that sucks down. I don’t mind as long as OpenOffice starts quicker.
Want something faster than Mozilla you have to go out and grab phoenix.
Got RH9 and want to be able to edit the menus in Gnome? That is an extra step for god’s sake.
Thought about scripting this stuff and publishing it but what to script is dependant a lot on stuff you have agree first to licenses to get or even worse I do not have the range of hardware to test all the 3rdparty stuff.
Get the picture. I have been using linux for years. Up and going in 30 minutes? Nope not if you want a system that actually does something.
Linux is my preferred desktop. I am a unix professional though, a geek and a tinkerer. Is it for everyone. Hell no. Pick the best tool for what you want and let the snobs yell and scream all they want.
The interesting thing with this and similar articles is that more people are trying to do useful and productive things with Linux.
These users expect Linux to just work. In the past Linux users had the attitude that a lot of things would probably not work with or would take a good bit of figuring out in order to get them working.
I agree that most Linux distributions today have too many options and that systems should concentrate on a few good applications. I don’t need 4 editors, 5 chat programs, or 6 web browsers.
Most linux documentation is quite poor. What I think people need are decent instructions on how to accomplish a certain task on their Linux system. It appears that most linux distributions release new versions without doing tests with users to see if they can accomplish desired basic tasks.
OK. For the record I run Mac OS X. So if you don’t like that, think people who do don’t know anything, or whatever about the Mac OS X makes you violently ill don’t bother reading any more.
Flashback. Winter 2001.
AMD 1.33GHz 512MB DDR system I have, hard drive gets bad sectors, tanks my Windows 98 installation, does all sorts of evil things like deletes all my email in my inbox (corrupted directory where the files were).
Sitting there thinking, you know, I never really bought Win98 for this machine now that I think about it. I need to be legal, what are my options?
RedHat 7.2 to the rescue. I install it, with Gnome as my desktop (don’t ask me why, I just like it’s interface more). I start to get things going.
What didn’t work?
My Zip drive (it actually died, figured that out later)
My current library of games (ho hum, bought a PS2 and a GameCube instead)
Other than that, my network card, Video card (GeForce2 based) worked ok, later found out about nVidia’s drivers.
Somewhere along the line, I stumbled onto Ximian, and started using them as my update/desktop providor. I think it was because Evolution was coming out/betaing whatever you call it at the time. I really really liked Evolution. It was easy to use, did what I needed, and had a similar interface to what i was used to (Outlook Express).
For about eight months I ran ximian desktop and Red Hat 7.2/7.3 as my primary workstation. i could surf the net, read my email, do what I needed to do short of games. I bought a few from Loki (Quake III, Heritic II, Alpha Centauri) to get my fix. However I could never get Quake or Heritic to run. I actually couldn’t find where the heck they installed! Alpha Centauri worked great.
Some things I never figured out:
How to add an icon for a program to my desktop
How to get most plugins to work with Mozilla (Until Safari came out, i still used Mozilla on the Mac platform)
How to get any IM client to work (I still had my work computer, which ran Windows 2000 in a VM ontop of Linux. the reason I stopped using Linux on my work machine was an internal application/VPN dialer and my winmodem didn’t get along, worked fine over the ethernet though)
I finally dumped Linux for a used Powerbook G4 after I got my wife an iMac that following July. She was my ‘experiment’ to see if Mac OS X was any good. I moved off to my iMac, formatted my AMD with RH 7.3 again and a new, larger drive (I was using a 10GB to replace my failed 75GB drive, had to buy a new one because of an un-related shipping issue with mailing my drive back to IBM, didn’t use a static bag, my stupid mistake)
Why did I do it? Surfing the web was inconsistant for me on Linux. I could never get flash to work right, or realplayer. And unfortunately Quicktime didn’t work either (I did go back and try cross over after I found out about that, it actually worked well)
So now, I’m on Mac OS X on a new Powerbook 12″ G4 that I really enjoy. It has Unix underpinnings, I can play with Apache, Tomcat, whatever I want, but the Internet surfing environment is better.
It’s not perfect mind you, still have a few tiny things that don’t work, but they’re MS Specific so what would you expect?
>Actually, I really do think a lot of what this fellow has to say is pretty legitimate.
I agree. I’ve been through many many Linux distros and have had pretty much the same experience with most of them.
Redhat came closest for me and I ran it for a while, SuSe, Mandrake, Knoppix, and others had killer problems of one sort or another so I ended up ditching them and trying something else.
I finally took a chance on Xandros and couldn’t be happier. It works with all my hardware, gives me easy access to the windows network and is simple and fast to setup. It even allows me to print to my hp printer connected to a windows machine on the network, something I’ve never been able to do with Linux. And being Debian, software installation is generally trivial.
of the people that cant install Linux or seem to think Linux is the messiah that will make my PC run like hell and produce grape juice out of a USB port. I mean WTH is wrong with this, we get a “i can do” and a “i cant do it” article every day. Is it just to get more comments on articles? And what is it with these people that have new hardware and it doesnt work in Linux? At the bottom is my system configuration and it worked out of the box with RedHat 9 (and RedHat 8) everything, i mean every device I had. So You people expect that every obscure USB modem will work? “well it works in XP”, well keep XP then, you want choice, be prepared to learn some things and actually DO something, you dont want choice but the crashes etc with XP or 2K or (god forbid) Win9X then stay MS. This is getting so annoying and boring to read about people that a) have no clue but expect everything to go peachy (what you just bought a cheap a** PC for xmas?) b) Have some clue but are not prepared to invest any time into LEARNING something new. Screw the windows ways, forget what you knew. start reading!! (yes i know its a drag, but you really just got your drivers license without learning, right?) and c) people that if something doesnt work are too lazy to search google, but if something doesnt work in XP they are happy to search the net for hours to get the newest drivers and try it with that.
Ok, I run Linux 100% at home and so is my Wife, she’s happy, she is stillg etting used to it and still has doubts and questions but after all, it was HER choice to run it (i really had nothing to do with it) and its HER choice to learn how to use things. Hell , she found out some key combination that i didnt know. So, please no more of these “Linux is not ready /is ready for the desktop ” bullshit stories. I really think people take this Linux-thing too far. Anyway, just my 2 Cents.
*Asus P4Pe Motherboard with Firewire and USB2 support (both recognized and working out of the box)
*onboard sound, works but i disabled it and use a sblive
*onboard LAN, works but disabled for my trusty 3com card
*SBLIVE (as mentioned
*Ati Radeon 9500 Pro
*1GB DDR Ram
*WinTV Radio Card, works like a charm however i havent tried the radio , yet since i dont listen to radio
*48X CDRW Works
*19″ Hitachi 752ET Monitor, works flawlessly
*16X DVD Drive
*2X 80 GB HDD (UDMA 133)
Now, this is not the newest machine on the planet , however its ok i would say and it works well. Installed without hitches and i booted into X without a problem after reboot.
I had to install no drivers (the ati driver in RH 9 works fine and gives me 1600×1200 resolution, although bad 3D but i am no gamer) and i had no reboot as of yet. So IF you are thinking of buying a device and you ARE thinking that eventually you might wanna try something else, spend a few euros (dollars) more and get brand name or check online .
Some things i have forgotten what took me about the same amount of time to install as it would on windows: My digital Camera (mounted as a SCSI device on /dev/sda1) and my Creative Nomad (downloading gnomad and installing it was a matter of minutes. Thats it.
Anyway too much ranting, i think i said enuff.
Michael C. Barnes takes an in-depth look at desktop operating system options available on the market today
Largo loves Linux more than ever
Success with Linux on the Home Desktop
No complaints here: Linux gaming is gaining steam
The buzz around Linux gaming has never been louder
David N. Trask, technology director at Vassalboro Community School, calls it a quiet revolution and one that already is saving his school about $5,000 a year.
This Linux learning proccess would be alot easier if once we get Linux up and running, we could make a disk image. Then if we screw somthing up while trying to get the rest of the stuff running, we don’t have to start at square one. I’ve been making ghost images with windows at various points during the install of all the different software,for years. It’s a real time saver, and you can be a bit more bold about the stuff you are willing to try. I’ve been trying to install a cd recovery app after install, but I get an error about needing (init?) compiled into the kernel. I really appreciate articles like this because even though they are a bit whiney, they point out things that are hard for newer users that are probably second nature to the people who code Linux apps. Plus I get a laugh out of some of it.
thanks! O.S. News
That’s a good idea. When I first started playing with Linux I screwed it up quite badly when trying to get things working and had no idea how to fix it. A recovery CD would take a lot of the risk out of trying different things with the OS.
I’ve always had problems getting Redhat and Mandrake to work on my hardware, yet good old boring “it doesn’t have a GUI installer” Slackware has ALWAYS worked properly from the start. Same with FreeBSD.
I remember the first time I installed Vector Linux. It took me a whole week to get X up and running. I didn’t realize that xfree86config started a fresh file each time you ran it. “Hide the sledge hammers” but I got it going finally. I sure wanted to put that partition on a disk image!
Xine needs dvd-nav to play dvds. dvd-nav is not, and will not be merged with the xine tree. In other words, Xine is not a dvd player. There is a plug in that makes it one, but expecting it to be one out of the box is ridiculous. Those windows dvd players you love cost $$$. It costs to get rights to CSS decryption (which you couldn’t open source), it costs to get dvd menu protocols. People giving you software for free should not have to pay to do it.
By the way, ogle does an excellent job with dvds. You may wish to try it sometime.
Can people please stop complaining about how Linux doesn’t do everything for you…like windows or MAC OSX. Windows and MAC OSX are designed for people who have minimal computer knowledge. Face it, it requires no real understanding of computers and/or software to put a system together or to install windows or MAC OSX — to my point, I put my first computer (a 286) together when I was 12.
Unix administration requires solid understanding of computer hardware/software. I can’t remember ever hearing a CS major complain about configuration problems in linux or BSD. On the other side, non-CS people bitch and moan about having to edit any configuration files because they don’t know where they are or what the stuff in them means. Well…buy a book on Linux, read the man pages, read some how-to’s, read documentation provided by the developer(s).
And the funny thing is…windows processes and programs are just as tough to configure, if not tougher. Ever run into problem that the basic configuration options of a program or process don’t solve (it’s happening less and less these days but it still happens..take for instance you sound card and graphics card want the same IRQ and don’t play nicely together and don’t). Ever heard of the windows registry? If you know what to look for, you can fix some of these problems in the registry. However, try hunting through that to see what the setting are for a process or program and then have fun changing them if you even know what to change and to what…microsoft won’t help you and neither will tech support for the program. Your screwed!
Well, in unix your not.
As it currently stands, Linux development is currently focusing on performance enhancements and expanding operational capability. (BTW–there is support for USB ISDN modems, just ask for some help) The linux development community is not as capable and as coordinated as apple and/or microsoft. By that I mean that while linux has an incredibly talented poole of developers working on the kernel, X, kde, gnome, etc., most of the developers do not work on linux dev. full time -AND- the community programming managerial structure that is present in many of the development groups doesn’t lend itself well to streamlining progress. In some cases, XFree86 for example, the project heads in a direction that is actually retarded and has to be corrected by a fork or someother major fall-out (unix programmers have the highest concentration of arrogance of any professional group I can think of..and rightly so some extent but it can really hurt progress when one or more blowhards railroad a project down an obsolete path).
Usability of features contained within linux is important…but most users of linux will concede that features within linux are usable, not always easy to use, but usable. As the feature set of linux improves and matures…developer focus will shift to the usability of features.
But honestly, people need to stop wasting time writing these articles.
For the RedHat set, use the freshrpms.net xine, ogle and mplayer rpm files and yes, use apt so it figures out everything you need for you.
To get all those quicktime videos on the net going you just download these files
Extract these and copy the files (not the subdirs or anything) into the /usr/lib/win32 directory.
Install the mplayer plugin after you install mplayer.
If you do this and get the rpms from freshrpm you literally have to do NOTHING else to get Quicktime videos used on the apple.com/quicktime for example to work.
Watching the newest X2 trailer right now in another window.
>Can people please stop complaining about how Linux doesn’t do everything for you
“everything for you” as in actually working?
He isn’t making the case that linux doesn’t do everything for him. In a lot of cases it simply doesn’t work at all.
I sympathize with you. Here’s a fact:: a first time Linux user, with no Unix experience, always needs help from an experienced Linux user for a first-time installation. I have been testing Linux distros for years and it is not always a piece of cake, even for me. Certain hardware is still considered “exotic” for many Linux distros…, but drivers are often (not always) available. Finding all this out has more to do with one’s research abilities than with Linux know-how. I can verify any hardware combination in about an hour’s time to see if a particular distro will fly with the equipment. The method I usually use is to pop the toast into the CD or DVD reader to see what happens. If I can’t get the distro up, I do some research, find drivers if necessary, then try again. Very rarely…. I’ll say it again…. very rarely can a newbie install a Linux distro via download/cd-burning….etc. You have to remember that much hardware is Windows-specific, not because of market demand, but because of illegal pressure from Microsoft to make sure there is a marked demand that excludes Linux as much as possible. Winmodems are not in existence because they are cheaper. That is a lie. They are there because Microsoft wants them there. This applies to other hardware components that use Windows-specific drivers. The companies that make the devices are pressured (illegally) to NOT make Linux drivers, under penalty of losing Windows support. Normally this is not in the contract, but it sometimes is.
So the next time you want to install Linux, buy the CD’s, then get help from a Linux geek. A few months later, you will be one of those geeks lending a helping hand to someone else.
i have built several computers over the years and each
and everyone of them has worked right out of the box.
heres my latest system, duplicate this and u wont have
epox 8rda motherboard
512 megs ocz pc 3700 memory
i am using 2 ibm z15 scsi drives
i am using logitec controller
amd 2700+ processor overclocked to 2.73 gigs
i also use watercooling but that is neither
here nor there. if u are not an overlclocker
then regular cooling will work for u
i have one dvd reader. i place it first on the
first ide bus. i have 2 cd burners. i place one
of them behind the dvd reader and the other
as the master on the second ide port.
i have 2 floppies,
in bios turn off plug and play. i turn off acpi
also in bios i set my system to boot from floppy,
then cd rom , then scsi
when i want to install Mandrake i just stick the
first cd in the dvd rom drive and reboot.
its about that simple.
and also i am using a cable modem. in 9.1 it gets picked
up automatically and installed. it is a motorola sur board.
4100, the 4200 series also work too.
i have a network card i bought at frys for about 10 dollars
connecting my modem. i do not recommend usb modems for
linux just yet.
if u duplicate my system, u dont have to use scsi drives,
u can use ide drives instead but then u just wont have
the speed of scsi.
i want to mention that i purchased the ibm scsi drives
because it seems is getting out of the drive business.
u can purchase them for about 150 on the internet.
be sure and use lsi scsi controllers. they are very
inexpensive and work like a dream.
also want to mention i am using an old hitachi superscan
elite 802 for monitor, it works and its big.
shop like wise owls instead of cuckkoo birds
Uhh, isn’t this site called osNEWS? Where is the news? Another one not ready for GNU/Linux. OK by me.
And BTW, i always use a screwdriver to put nails into the wall…
All you have to do is write an article, we’ll do the rest for you.
Come on, I can read this stuff on IRC all day if I want to.
You sir, are an idiot. RTFM. Did you learn Windows in a fucking hour? No. And you wont learn linux in an hour either. For someone that claims to have all this background in tinkering, you sure dont seem like you want to.
Im gonna let you in on a little secret, its called http://WWW.GOOGLE.COM . Use it, learn, almost every god damn thing you whine about you could plug in there and BAM, answers.
Yes one thing I agree with is that ISDN support sucks ass. But ISDN also sucks ass, and you and the other 50 people in the universe still using that crap can go to hell.
And DOWNLOAD ALL 3 CDS NEXT TIME YOU INSTALL! Idiot. Try installing 1/3 of Windows XP and see what happens….
first, I am glad the author tried Linux and took the time
and trouble to write about it.As a new user his concerns should be taken note of.
However, many of these articles go like this:
Window user finds that the often guru assisted learning
curve ( the existence of which they have either forgotten or are in denial about) does not 100% tranfer over to Linux. They write an article about how tough Linux is
and how it is not ready. Then ( for some mysterious reason – aahh the lure of Linux) they persist and come to
realize that the learning curve although it exists, is
not really that steep. That there may be the odd pothole
thanks to the DMCA and hardware manufacturers, but with
a little effort ( rememeber that from your first Windows
days ? sure you do)
So they mollify their stand a little.
Then comes another windows users dipping their toe in,
screaming “It’s so cold!!!” Not noticing that the guy
who said the same thing last month is doing laps.”
Repeat cycle of yet another windows noob frst reaction to Linux,endlessly .
Having said that here are some points:
Windows is not _that_ easy. It is more it is what people are used to.
They require gurus, online forums, newsgroups, support to
solve mountains of problems. Don’t believe me? Google
“Microsoft” “windows” with any of the following
keywords – problem, can’t, won’t, broken, doesn’t, how,
trouble . Oh and don’t forget . “reinstall”.
My oh my oh my.
Bob Marley sang it best.
“Sooo much trouble in the ( Window’s ) woooorrllld.
And lets not forget that Windows comes preinstalled. As Linux does more often the whole install saga becomes moot. As for reinstalls, at least with Linux you don’t
have to phone Bill and beg. And you can put it on
another machine with out having to worry if the BSA will
bust down your door.
“In America -BSA breaks door for you.”
For Heaven’s sake _Pick an Absolute Beginner Distro_ like Lindows,Xandros,or Lycoris if you are just an average Windows user.
If you are a power user, Mandrake,Suse, or even Libranet.
should be doable.
Do not use Gentoo,LSF _to start with_ unless you already know that they won’t be a problem for you. If you have to ask whether they are right as your first distro for you,then they are not. Later, by all means.
It is preferable to use a Debian Based Distro. “Coincedently”, 2 of the 3 main noob distros,Lindows,and
Xandros are just that.
Imho, Xandros is probably the noobs best bet.
If not then make sure your rpm Disro has a version of apt-get. Mandrake has urpmi for example.
Hardware. Since Microsoft expects you to often change
_all_ the hardware ie, upgrade/replace your new system,
it is not unreasonable to find out if any of your hardware is one of the rare ones ( these days) that
will give you trouble. If so replace it with a Linux
freindly one. After all MS wants you to buy a whole new
box just so it can run XP. Libranet gives free prepurchase hardware support before you buy. Tell em your
setup and they will tell you if any problem hardware.
Do do a Dual boot if you don’t have another box.
So you can google your problems away. You can take your
time in the setup. The key to a succesful dual boot
is to free up some space on your hard drive, and install
Read the installation guide. At least skim throught it.
If you buy a Distro, you will get support. Use it.
Finally, just to show everyone how the win noob does linux article is done check this out, which was itself
featured on OSN a while back.
He seemed pretty happy with Mandrake 9.0, and Eugenia
(always a tough critic) feels that 9.1 is a big improvement over 9.0.
Hey Linux weenies, many Linux weenies and companies that sell various Linux distro’s are bragging about how Linux is ready for the desktop. This article points out that it isn’t. So there. If you want Unix, the best interface possible, and very cool software, get a Mac. Then you can dip into Unix as you feel like it but enjoy the best of both worlds.
Buy a Mac
That’s a great idea. I have heard that Apple provides ( for free, the only thing free with Apple, take advantage of it… ), a starting handle to push the cpu at the same level as the financial pretentiousness of their stuff.
To be fair, i must admit that you haven’t, very cautiously, never said a word on the hardware ;-)))
Apart the Linux’s trolls, a real annoyance, Linux seems fine to me, at least for the time being ( i will be glad to see an open source system without this b*** of X). But thank you for your “generous” suggestion ;-))))))
// After all MS wants you to buy a whole new
box just so it can run XP.//
You. Are. Lying.
Funny how my 3+-year-old 1.1 Ghz AMD T-bird system, using a 3dfx(!) Voodoo 4 card runs JUST DAMN FINE with XP.
Ok, I did buy a stick o’ 128 MB RAM for $20. Big deal.
Stop the FUD, you Penguinista a##-clown.
Stop the FUD, you Penguinista a##-clown.
Go out drinking or something man.
Zealots are everywhere man. Careful you don’t become as much of a flaming yelling nut as the guy you are trying to deflate.
Go get a beer, cola drink of your choice get out of house a moment.
It ain’t that serious man. Its just a frickin’ OS.
How in the world did you get Evolution without installing Gnome?
My previous post being stated for the record (wink!)…I would like to say that Linux can be a big pain in the butt when working with ‘new’ features. It took me about 6-8 hours of ‘scratch me head…thumb through reference’ time to get Gentoo up and installed alway through to kde. Add in the compile time and it was about 3 days in total. Then I had to monkey around with XFree, change kernel soruces and compile options a few times, to get my ATI card to function effectively in 3d and I wouldn’t exactly call myself please with the end result. But everything else is cool (network is up and running, usb printing works, cd burner working kinda, ogle’s working well…really nice for DVD’s) and I don’t play games on Linux anyhow.
But my linux/BSD experience has been a progressive one…I started on redhat 7.0 and recommend it for first time users. But debian is also really cool. I was recently allured to Gentoo due to the ‘built from source’ hype…and the hype panned out for me. I really like Gentoo because helps me with my delusion that I’m a hacker (I’m not btw). I want to try LFS as well in the future just for the learning experience.
I think someone else hit on the head when they said you have to be obstinant (sp?). You either have already know exactly what you are doing or have succeed at all costs attitude. Learning Linux and BSD has become my hobby…I use open source programming environments within linux for research, but really, I could spend a little cash and do the same in windows.
Obviously your Skills using the internet are somewhat lacking.
Here is the point he failed to make: This is a “commercial” distrobution that Mandrake, Inc. wants you to shell out $40 to $120 for, while the installation software itself fails to live up to the “ease of use” they claim in their media circus. The commercial distrobutions constantly market how they are a viable replacement to Windows while failing to aknowledge that there are issues which the software itself does not address easily. The are living off the backs of open sourcers who donate *all* of the software that allows companies like Mandrake to exist.
How is a windows convert supposed to know:
“rick@alpharhix:~$ whereis lsmod
lsmod: /sbin/lsmod /usr/share/man/man8/lsmod.8.gz
rick@alpharhix:~$ echo $PATH
or even know the correct question to ask to get this answer? They won’t!?
My advice to any would be convert is to go with the non-commercial distro. Debian, blah blah…Go with the people who built this from the ground up. Go with the one that admits shortcomings from the word go, yet provides an experienced userbase that is willing to help out. They are also willing to tell specific users to stick with what they have. They are not in the business of selling an image that cannot be lived up to…
Maybe if we keep publicizing the problems with getting Linux going, some of the armchair experts will actually put their expertise where it belongs: in the install modules.
Very good article. Well done. You clearly point out the problems with Linux.
Ok, I’ve lost my patience. But I am going to try to be polite about it. Here’s a little chart to identify potential Linux users:
willing to pay for support | not willing to pay for support
willing |small bussiness/ | hacker |
to learn |private user | |
how to admin | | |
a Linux box | | |
not willing to | | |
learn how to | large business | Leech/troll/parasite |
admin a Linux | | |
box. | | |
Ok, now can you identify yourself in this chart?
If you’re not willing to learn to administer your own box
either by buying a book or downloading the faqs, or
consulting with those who know how to administer their
boxes and you’re not willing to go to a store and buy a boxed
set with the freaking manual spelling out how to run Linux,
then what are you doing with Linux?
You want it to just “work” then go and pay for that service,
That’s what distros like Mandrake, Suse, Lindows are for.
Don’t insult me or others by claiming that Windows or Mac OS X
just “works”. YOU PAY FOR THE PRIVELEGE OF THOSE
OPERATING SYSTEMS JUST “WORKING” BECAUSE THEY
ARE PRE-INSTALLED AND TARGETED TO YOUR
SPECIFIC HARDWARE. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?
If you don’t want to pay and you don’t want to learn, then
go find an AI to do your thinking for you. Let us know
when you find one.
Here’s a tip: why not ask Microsoft to provide an ftp
site where you can download their next operating system
for free. While you’re at it, why not ask for free phone
and personal visit support. I’m sure they would be happy to
provide it for you and all the rest of their customers.
–Johnny “Get a clue and stop trolling — it doesn’t pay” Dev
Somone posted on how drivers for Linux shouldn’t be specific for a distro:
From above: “We need a standardized virtualization layer between the kernel & XFree86 and the driver subsystem to allow for “Linux” drivers to be written – as opposed to “Mandrake” or “Red Hat” or “SuSE” drivers.”
Note: I could be wrong (I’m no driver-coding guru), and could have wound up always using drivers that are written to do the checks for locations and versioning beforehand (though I’ve used cards found in trash bins, scavanged from old dead boxes, etc, nothing too obscure or antiquated; why waste money buying what others don’t want? Thanks, Moore’s law! with a little help from the “that’s SO 4 months ago” computer marketing industry 🙂 more than what source code would normally need have done to check to see if the compiler and libraries, etc, are installed), but I’m fairly certain that…
Drivers are in fact written for Linux, not a specific distro. The kernel version (what linux essentially is, everything esle is the frosting, ableit being kind of handy to at least have a command-line shell or the like… :-), and compatability of the compiled binaries are another story, but unless you make every distro use the same compiler versions and same exact kernel version (and by extension ‘make’ them all release their upgrades at the exact same time), this isn’t going to happen. Thank goodness too, because not everyone wants to use the same kernel, nor the same compiler version. Perhaps a convention for distributing the driver as a source package, and including a ‘setup’ shell script to determine kernel/compiler version or just simply compiling/installing automatically. Those who know a little programming in linux would say this is already done for the most part, since ‘./configure; make; make install’ or autogen.sh is fairly common, but for new desktop converts and those with no interest in C/C++ programming on *nix wouldn’t and really shouldn’t be expected to know this. Making a “setup.runme” or “runme” script file that does this and tells the user what to do next, such as instructions on editing a file and adding/changing XYZ in it would be good (redundant, but at least ‘cross-user-compatible’ :-). I’ve seen this in software, where the Makefile lists the steps for the user to do next. Simple, but helpful if you haven’t read the README or INSTALL file (I know, I know…). Of course getting hardware vendors to release source in the first place may be another problem. Some hardware makers just don’t want for whatever reason to release source code (be it protecting propietary code or just habit… I don’t know and I’m sure and there are likely a host of other factors in the business world, like third-party drivers made for sale, etc). In their cases you are at the mercy of the vendor/3rd-party coders and their *choices* of versions to support and the distros to configure for.
[Back to what I was talking about with regard to instructions/shortcuts for driver installation… too much caffeine, if there is such a thing…] The instructions that such a runme file outputs could likely be made to open in a gui editor window or in a some copy/paste-accessible pop-up dialogue accessible for GUI users not up on the hackin’ ways, as well as well as for lazy coders like me :-), to copy and paste into the appriate place), or even make the changes for the user *if* they are possible to be made for every configuration.
There has been work done toward standardization of the Linux distros, but to some degree this may be seen as a problem for distros who are very commercially motivated. I think kernel/kernel module standards are important, in where they’re found (and aren’t they already? I’ve always found the modules in the same place no matter the distro when I do looking for them; no doubt thow that I haven’t tried a couple at least that are out there, and am probably missing an obvious exception… :-).
For obvious reasons, I’d find one exception to the GUI pop-up idea, at least for graphics cards… 😉
I’ve got stock Dell Dimensions at home and work, and with the exception of Mandrake 9.1, have always had my hardware auto-configured during installations and at startup for the distros that use kudzu, without incident (they’re fairly new, and I haven’t installed the 2.0 or 2.2 kernels, for love of my usb ‘pen drive’ :-). Any even MDK9.1 has installed hassle-free for me, when I am conservative about what I install during inistall install. Mainly MDK9.1 seems to have trouble with my sound card. … It helps that both have NVIDIA cards, speaking of an excellent company that supports drivers for Linux. I may never buy video cards from a different vendor… And no, I don’t work for them :-p
Somone posted on how drivers for Linux shouldn’t be specific for a distro.
That would be me
The kernel version (what linux essentially is, everything esle is the frosting, ableit being kind of handy to at least have a command-line shell or the like… :-), and compatability of the compiled binaries are another story […]
You’ve just made my point for me. Thank you 🙂
Fact is, a large majority of Linux drivers are kernel patches that have to be compiled in.
[…] but unless you make every distro use the same compiler versions and same exact kernel version (and by extension ‘make’ them all release their upgrades at the exact same time), this isn’t going to happen.
Thus, we need a way to divorce drivers from the kernel, so that distros can have custom kernels without the Linux driver having to be recompiled all the time. Then we can have a Device Manager which can work with any and all binary Linux drivers (ie. no compiling). Thus, we need a virtualization layer in the kernel subsystem to make this a reality.
Thus, we need a way to divorce drivers from the kernel, so that distros can have custom kernels without the Linux driver having to be recompiled all the time.
Sir, quite politely I will say that a little knowledge is very dangerous.
Drivers can be built into the kernel.
Most are not!
They are built as modules that are in turn built for that kernel.
You do NOT have to recompile the kernel to install the Lucent Technologies winmodem drivers.
You do have to install the rpm specific for your kernel version. Or you if you like compiling your own you compile the module for the kernel.
You don’t recompile the whole kernel.
I don’t see the difficulty in Linux drivers at all!
True story: When I was setting up my computer (it’s an older PIII, with just the onboard hardware and two Realtek LAN cards), I first installed Win2K. Well, Win2k, the very mainstream OS, could’nt autodetect my very standard INTEL i810 graphics card, or my very standard on-board audio card!
COME ON! This is Intel hardware we’re talking of! And Micro$oft don’t support Intel?
I then installed Mandrake 8.1 and later 9.0. All my cards and hardware was autodetected on install, and I have’nt had a problem. And 8.1 was a 1 CD version!
The only hardware I could’nt install was my USB ADSL modem (it’s an AZTECH 100U) The problem there was that even AZTECH did’nt release any drivers. But when I searched, I found a driver for it under development somewhere in France. Finally, before I installed it, we shifted ISPs and started using a cable connection with an ethernet interface, so I never tested it out.
Which brings me to another point: When I put the new ethernet card for the cable, well, I just booted up into Mandrake, no messages. So, I thought autodetection had’nt worked, and went into the control centre to check up. Well, before I knew it, it had autodetected and installed, and was waiting for me to set up the IP and other settings. For the very same card (I had shifted to Win98 by this time – Win2K was slowing me down, and I needed DOS compatibility for my exploratory programming) took 2 reboots, one to install the driver and one to set up the IP and DNS.
I’ve been using Linux for about 3 or 4 years, since RedHat 5.1 (still have the CDs). And in all that time, my only problems have been with third-rate hardware. Sure, it takes a little getting used to, the new interfaces and new metaphors, but they’re just that. Interfaces and metaphors. All it takes is to have an open mind and look beyond the superficial into the really important. That’s where an OS is easy.
Start off a newbie on Linux alone and see how well he does in Windows! Ought to be a real eye-opener! 😉
“// After all MS wants you to buy a whole new
box just so it can run XP.//
You. Are. Lying.
Funny how my 3+-year-old 1.1 Ghz AMD T-bird system, using a 3dfx(!) Voodoo 4 card runs JUST DAMN FINE with XP.
Ok, I did buy a stick o’ 128 MB RAM for $20. Big deal.”
Sounds like a nice system. Obviously you didn’t need to
to upgrade except for your memory which you would probably do well to double. too.
“More is better
Over the past six months, we’ve determined that XP runs just fine on a Pentium III-500 with 128MB of RAM. As expected, however, boosting both hard drive speed and RAM makes a significant difference in XP’s performance. For best results, choose a hard drive that spins at 7,200 or 10,000RPM (vs. a 5,400RPM drive), a fast enough processor to feed it (400, 600, or 800MHz vs. 233 or 266MHz), and generous amounts of RAM (256 or 512MB vs. 64 or 128MB). You should probably avoid 8- or 16-bit ISA or legacy I/O cards for sound and video, and we highly recommend PCI or AGP video cards, too, in order to enjoy XP’s nifty video effects, such as menus that fade in and out and drop shadows on windows and desktop icons.”
Believe it or not there are plenty of people who have
boxes below these specs. For them it means upgrading
in whole or part. I run Linux niftily on a Pentium
. I feel my point stands.
“Stop the FUD, you Penguinista a##-clown.
Fud was invented by IBM, perfected by
Microsoft. Penguins tell no FUD. They bust it.
I installed Mandrake 9.0 on my old PII 350 MHz PC. Over the years I gad upgraded the PC by adding more RAM, a CD Rewriter, and a hard disk along with a UDMA 100 controller card to which I connected the HDDs and DVD-ROM and CDRW drives. Mandrake 9.0 installed on it flawlessly. It detected all my hardware and gave me mo problem at all.
Recently I purchased a new PC which came with XP pre-installed. I isntalled Madrane 9.1 on it and it is running without any problems. Given my experience installing Linux on old as well as new PCs wothout any problems whatsoever, I am simply unable to understand articles written by those who are unable to install Linux on their systems.
My apologies for the typos in my previous post. It is posted below again with the typos corrected.
I installed Mandrake 9.0 on my old PII 350 MHz PC. Over the years I had upgraded the PC by adding more RAM, a CD Rewriter, and a hard disk along with a UDMA 100 controller card to which I connected the HDDs and the DVD-ROM and CDRW drives. Mandrake 9.0 installed on it flawlessly. It detected all my hardware and gave me no problem at all.
Recently I purchased a new PC which came with XP pre-installed. I installed Mandrake 9.1 on it and it is running without any problems. Given my experience installing Linux on old as well as new PCs without any problems whatsoever, I am simply unable to understand articles written by those who are unable to install Linux on their systems.
Although Linux still isn’t perfect installation wise (it is after you’ve configured everything) it’s come a loooong way since I started using it in ’98. Of course you should try to get information about support for your hardware before installing, but if there is one advice a linux newbie should get it’s that you shouldn’t bother without the internet connection For setting up and configuring a system, with any distribution, you’ll have to download a lot of stuff, read a lot af information, howto’s, go to mailing lists and forums, just to get the system up and running.
This is a perfect thing to do on a stormy saturday night with a few beers and you might make a few friends on the way, good fun, however I have tried setting up a system without internet, (nasty telefonica spain gave me a brand new unsupported USB modem), rebooting to WNT every time something comes up is a horrible pain in the eh… neck and shouldn’t even be attempted.
Bottom line, if Linux is going to be accepted as a windows replacement for the masses. It’s going to have to work as easily as Windows does. That’s it, that’s what needs to be worked twords… making Linux as easy if not easier to use than Windows.
You complain alot about your hardware being hard to identify and set up. Well, one thing that’s very smart, is to sort out the hardware in ADVANCE! Either find out what hardware is in your computer while you’re still in Windown and find the correct drivers for everything, or boot up with something like Knoppix and have it identify your hardware automagically. Do your homework – read around on the net for known problems with your specific hardware.
And then of course, the most important part of it all:
1) Don’t use Mandrake (I made the big mistake of starting with Mandrake too… set me back many many months).
2) Don’t use USB-modems or NICs of any kind.
3) Learn while doing! You should look at this hardship as a great opportunity to learn, instead of adversity!
Yes, that’s right! Linux does not need to become more user-friendly. People need to become more Linux-friendly! Thousands upon thousands of people use Linux daily, and no, we’re not all programmers or l33t haxx0rs you know! If thousands upon thousands of _ordinary_ people can use Linux easily, there is no reason why anybody shouldn’t be able to do the same. We’re all humans, you know!
The crap about “not being a C coder and thus not knowing what the error means” is just bullshit! The guy who wrote this, clearly hasn’t done is fair share of googling!
And why is he crying out for an install shield equivalent in Linux? I don’t agree with him that program installation is a huge problem in Linux, allthough I would agree that package _tracking_ and maintaining is a big problem… but nevertheless, once more: Linux does not NEED the installers you find in Windown, which are in fact making a mockery of the user, doing a million things behind his back. No-sir-y! The users must adapt (and that is bound to teach them a load anyway, which is a good thing)!
I’ve had my own experiences ranting about this or that difficulty with linux. I mostly hate the documentation. I’ve finally decided that it was my problem for not recognizing the fundamental issue: linux is not a unified product of any one company. You’re stuck with the basic problem that virtually all linux documentation is old (outdated) and relates to linux versions and hardware different from yours. Add to that the understanding that the developers code because they like to code. It is rare that they like documenting their code as well. Sometimes it doesn’t get done at all.
I have somewhat old vanilla hardware: dual Pentium II 266; conventional built-into-the-motherboard video and audio; usb 1; IDE drives; yada yada. Installing vanilla RedHat is usually smooth and simple with a few exceptions. These exceptions have been different with each upgrade and required more hassling than I wanted to go through but I mangaged and have gotten an OS that has grown to be slick, very functional, and fun.
The trick is learning the knack of finding out what you need to know to make it work. Linux often requires that you have help. It doesn’t come in a stand-alone form with complete and accurate documentation. Documentation on the web is sometimes overwhelming and often doesn’t match your situation. When you get stuck you have to find a guru. Surprise! That’s not so hard and it’s rewarding. In my experience, hassling until I’m cranky and then going onto a email or usenet group results in faster and more complete satisfaction than wrestling with similar issues in Windows.
I recently swapped out a 9GB IDE drive in my linux box for a 120GB. I put the 9GB drive into my wife’s Windows box as D drive. Neither BIOS recognized the full drive size. Partitioning and installing in linux was a snap. Installing the smaller drive in the Windows machine broke networking (long story involveing BIOS lock-up). It was absolute hell getting networking going again under Windows, involving finding old CDs required to install software that should have been on the C drive and then rebooting countless times.
Any machine and any OS can be a problem. Solutions are found differently for Windows problems and linux problems. I find the linux way works well and fast even though I would like the problems not to have been there in the first place.
I agree with most of what you say. These too numerous programs, not always perfect.
I just disagree about gocr installation. If you had added contribs directory to urpmi sources, you would have installed gocr very easily (urpmi or rpmdrake).
I could install it that way, but the results for character recognition were awful !
That means we all have some job for everything goes well.
Don’t give up !
You the author noted in one spot “I didn’t check for hardware listing” (paraphrase). Like any product including the dreaded microsoft offerings, it is wise to investigate hardware first. Even M$ products in the NT vain Do Not I repeat “DO NOT” work with all hardware. I have a couple pieces of hardware that either do not work with, or took months to finally have drivers that worked on 2000. To this day my scanner, does “NOT” work with 2000, and my ATI All in wonder card does really weird things with 2000, such as working with a tuner program that perpetually asks me for a password to change channels?, talk about annoying, had to go back to 98SE.
You need to do one of 2 things, either fully document your hardware first and find drivers, or tailor your hardware towards a distribuition.
I have taken the latter choice myself. I use demolinux and knoppix to test hardware for one. When it comes to putting together a Linux PC I select hardware first, not the other way around.
My Asus P2BF (vintage 1997) with 128MB Ram, P-II 350, 13GB Drive, Banshee 16MB Video, 3Com Nic, Adaptec 2940 SCSI/HBA, Plextor SCSI CD/Writer, Ensonique 32Bit Sound Card, Acer 36x CD/Rom and Acer ISA 56k (Jumper Configurable) Modem. This system has worked fantastically with: Redhat 6.2/7.1/7.2 (7.3 had some kind of memory issue not sure why), Corel 1 and SE, Xandros, Mandrake 8.1. Strangely enough this same system has weird quirks with M$ products specifically the Banshee card, dunno why.
I recommend as M$ does, check the HCL first and either realise not everything will work or purchase stuff that does first.
The author has very accurately diagnosed a problem with Linux that is a holdover from the bad old days of mainframe class UNIX… the “Cult of UNIX” mentality of Linux developers.
In this cult, the use of a computer and its resources is a privelege which must be earned by memorizing arcane knowledge and “secret” incantations, which are hidden from the masses and can be learned only from the illuminati who have devoted their lives to the service of Linux.
Members of the “Cult of UNIX” HATE, FEAR and LOATHE Windows primarily because it is EASY TO USE! It lets common people who have no knowledge, who have not “earned the right” through years of study, make use of sophisticated technology regardless of their sloth and lack of proper devotion and worship for technology.
The dream of the members of the “cult of UNIX” is to give Linux enough of a pretty GUI, with a few office tools, to attract the unwary into trying to use it. Then once they begin to feel comfortable, they are lured down a slippery slope of ever increasing difficulty as theu try to customize their systems to make use of expanded capabilities.
Wanna see fire come out of someone’s ears? Suggest to a member of the “Cult of UNIX” that the next generation of Linux release should do away with the text conole, and not allow any configuration process that wasn’t done through a GUI. They will universally be thrown into a fit of apoplexy at the suggestiom that Linux should actually be EASY TO USE. If that happened, it would be no better than WINDOWS, and the whole faith, the whole lifestyle, the very idea of devoting ones life to learning the secrets of Linux in order to properly worship your computer might be lost.
A modern Linux Desktop Distros offer _both_ the power of
the command line and gui uber alles. You hardly ever have
to use a command line if you don’t want to.
If the Cult of Linux held sway to the extent that you
maintain that wouldn’t be happening would it?
Besides,Windows still has a “Run” command so even MS ackowledges the command line has some utility . Moreover, MS also acknowledges the
power of the command line for developers and sys admins in a current project to beef up their shell.
Did you take a look on recent GNU/Linux distributions? Great, aren’t they? Pop in Knoppix and wait for a minute. Use the dialup configuration wizard and go surfing. Hmh, easy. Xandros, put it in and wait for a few minutes. Click one icon and start text processing. Can it get any easier?
And yes, i always use a lawn mower to cut my poodles hair.
Well, I’m not a developer, nor did I ever use an Atari, but I’ve installed several Linux distributions on a variety of hardware and I never had that much trouble. You’d better just stick with windows.
I know the company I work for has saved a lot of cash moving to Linux (50+ licenses for OS, office suite, graphics, etc.). We now buy most of our hardware from auction sites and all of our power apps are free. Sure, we’ve had trouble installing some things (could never get xsane to work with a usb scanner on SuSE, but it worked on RedHat). We’re slowly migrating everything to source-based distributions, which allow the most flexibility and will usually allow an app to install when an RPM-based system slips with dependencies. I personally had trouble with pppoe and Mandrake 9.1, but it was a release candidate, so who knows.
Why is it okay to whine about Windows but not about Linux? You people are hippocrates! I tried installing Linux. Basically I didn’t have any problems. But the biggest problems with Linux are A) it’s users (they are bunch of childish morons) and B) Linux is too freaking sssssslllllooooowwww… If you want a *nix style OS on your x86 desktop/laptop then install FreeBSD 4.8. Otherwise stick with Windows XP.
A stomach churing as Mr. Alexander’s experiences are, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a humorous quote that a friend of mine uttered while setting up linux machines: “I can’t imagine using linux without having another machine to use.” That rings very true for me and many others. I spent years using various unix and unix work alike systems, developing software, and I have had very similar problems when it comes to linux. I think Sun has it right where you buy the hardware and the software all at once and just use it. Of course, then it’s insanely expensive, which isn’t good either.
I think that those here who are telling Mr. Alexander he’s expecting too much, or that he doesn’t know enough, or he’s stupid, are just shooting the messenger. He is an experienced user, even with unixes, and has no problems operating complex software. His points are valid.
And to complain that Windows is just as difficult is insane. I installed XP for the first time while watching TV. It booted, I used it, the end.
The author considers himself a computer tech/sys admin of some sort. There really are two classifications of computer tech (and sys admins too): Those who know what they are doing and those who don’t.
What’s the difference? Generally, it boils down to research. People who work on computers for a living often run into problems they don’t know how to resolve. So they start researching. Asking friends, checking the Internet, reading a book and things like that.
If the author would have gone through this procedure (like any good tech would) then he would have easily solved most of his problems.
If the author’s point was that Linux is not ready for your average comptuer illederate home user, I agree. As does just about everyone else. We all know that. Point taken. Move on to something else. Stop writing articles that have been written over and over for years now.
Now, some of his points were somewhat valid. ISDN is not well supported. Not as much reason to anymore. Many ISPs have moved away from this technology to the cheaper and easier to implement DSL and Cable standards.
Problems with RPMs? The answer to this is: You must know what you are doing. Period. It’s easier than installing from source in some situations but not in others. That’s the nature of the beast. For a lot of situations, that’s a good thing. After all, desktop Linux is currently aimed at the corporate environment where they usually don’t want Joe user installing programs.
Finally, Linux is not Windows and is not (perhaps should not) be as easy to install. If you want a Linux box that just works, buy one with Linux already installed or pay someone who knows what they are doing to install it. If you want to use RPMs, use Redhat and rpmfind.net.
Don’t complain when you buy a table that requires American Standard tools and then you try to use Metric wrenches on it…
I wonder how someone can discredit himself with writing such articles.
Frankly, here is someone who jump onto something he doesn’t know squat about, without using his brain.
Why did you download Mandrake ??? That’s for experienced Linux/Mandrake users, dammit !!
Newbie like you should go buy the distrib, that’s what it’s made for : it’s not put there to download for stupid people who don’t know about it. You should have used your brain and should have bought MDK ! It comes with some months of phone assistance, for people like you, who think they can, who think they are great, but obviously cannot, and are not so great.
We’re wasting time with people like you. “We” are daily linux desktop users like me who do real work, instead of whining, and actually writing long stupid articles. Why do I say that ?
I searched bluez on google : The FIRST entry take you to the right place (BlueZ – Offical Linux Bluetooth protocol stack ) !!!!!!
I searched for “bluetooth linux” : the FIRST entry take me to all that I need, including howto.
I would have no problem getting it to work, and surely, MDK support would not have any problem too.
You do not know where a rpm installed program has been installed ???
Even me, who doesn’t use any distro, know that the files and their paths are listed in the RPM, and that there IS a SIMPLE way to see the files in the archive, with the graphical MDK tools. I know because I installed a MDK 9.1 for my brothers 2 weeks ago.
Then, complaining about Xine and its interfaces. I agree : it’s as confusing as the interfaces for WinDVD or PowerDVD … by default, to give a familiar look to windows users I think. You don’t like the GUI ? It’s themeable, so just take one that suits you.
For installing from source code. I don’t even know where to start, as it’s so stupid. Someone with no understanding of Linux or the distro trying to compile from source. Even experienced Linux users like me can have a hard time installing programs from source on distros. You’re 10 years away to being able to do that, stop it.
And the worst about stupid people like these, is that they make assertion on distros even though THEY are the problem, and they don’t even know what they are talking about. We go nowhere with people like those. No, I’m wrong : the worst is the writer saying that it’s no good that a program which can’t work alone should install anyway. That’s the way it works in Windows : that’s why so much Windows bow go stray everytime, until it can’t work properly anymore. It WON’T happen on a distro, THANKS to this. It protects stupid people like this one, and they don’t know it, even saying it’s complex, slow, tedious, …
These people waste their time writing such nonsense, and we should applaude ? Only people who do not use Linux on the desktop would applaude such a thing, as it gives absolutely NO information, no idea on how to improve anything. The worst being that the writer of that article is clearly someone who go through a distro with the Windows way, and expect Linux to be a free Windows. I have no sympathy for guys like him, and am actually glad if he leaves true linux users alone.