“We all know dependencies are one thing we hated about installing application on the Linux boxes. If you worry about wiggling with those dependencies, Libranet is coming to rescue you from the apps installation nightmare.” Read the short review at OSForge.
Libranet 2.8.1 Review at OSForge
2003-09-03 Debian 15 Comments
i installed 2.8 aboot a month ago and i have to say that’s my fave (i’ve tried mandrake9.0, debian3.0 and morphix). everything runs so smoothly, configuration/installation is easy peasy and the kernel compile thingy in the adminmenu rocks.
everybody on the forums are friendly too, i have never seen a flame war ever.
This latest release of Libranet is very nice. I have been using it since it was released and it has been a pleasure to use.
I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to run Linux but doesn’t want to waste a bunch of time setting everything up. Libranet’s support mailing list and online forums are quite useful too.
I saw a flame war on there once. It was between me and some other jerk who’s rancorous personality matched my own. Other than us two idiots, everybody else is a gem.
I’ve tried several distros and Libranet is definitely one of my favorites. The Debian package management & Libranet’s 100% Debian compatibility together with Libranet’s own easy to use GUI tools make a combination that is hard to match, even when compared to Mandrake, SuSE etc.
However, Libranet users do have their share of dependency problems too. The base system of Libranet seems now to be Debian Sarge/testing, but, in order to have, e.g. the newest KDE included in Libranet, they have had to mix sofware from other sources than Debian Sarge too. That sort of mixing of sofware sources is in Debian always considered problematic. Thus if you use Libranet long enough, and especially if you don’t strictly stay with the default sources list provided by Libranet but install and update software from other sources too, it is not that difficult to meet quite difficult dependency problems.
It is partly just a Debian problem (i.e. old softare in stable and even in testing branches), but I would like the Libranet team to pay more attention to the problems of mixed sources, at least in their documentation if they cannot avoid the mixing of sources in the distro itself. I have seen some Libranet user stories when a user has, for example, mistakingly made Gnome or KDE unusable, when carelessly just apt-getting sofware from various sources.
Gentoo’s Portage? no? =)
“Gentoo’s Portage? no? =)”
*BSD port system is available for Linux. So why did they build a close imitation with portage? WHich, actually, seems less powerful and more buggy than the fine original?
I don’t really get it.
Tried Libranet 2.8 and wasn’t particularly impressed. The distro defaulted to IceWM, which is one of the ugliest looking Window managers I’ve ever seen. Plus, when you go to the ‘Start menu’, the menus don’t cascade on their own, you have to click each one .. how annoying.
Of course, you can change window managers/desktop enviroments, but the start menu is different in each of them.
Another issue is having to deal with the shitty fonts. Importing TrueType fonts was easy enough, but there’s no effect on the display until you go into KDE/Gnome and set up the fonts. And even when you set it up under one DE and fonts look good in one app, it looks terrible when you switch to the other DE and open the same app.
Synaptec is another gripe – it lists about 300,000,000 different packages and has everything known to man, except usually for the package I’m looking for. And then when it does have the package I’m looking for, it normally installs a version of the app other than the one I wanted.
Last but not least, there’s the Libranet-specific adminMenu. While the main interface is GUI and looks nice, some of the individual components are CLI. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, as I recall, they used some bright color that just grated on the eyes .. can’t remember which color specifically, but I seem to recall neon yellow. Not only that, but to add to your misery, they crammed all of the options in a tiny window inside the CLI so that people like me who can’t see well have to squint to read them. Not only that, but when you maximize the CLI window, the fonts don’t get any bigger!! Grrrrrrr.
Of course, I’m sure most of this is probably user error, I didn’t find it to be a user friendly as everyone makes it out to be, but still miles ahead of other distros (which isn’t really saying much).
*BSD port system is available for Linux. So why did they build a close imitation with portage?
Just for the fun of it..?;-) There are about a billion different editors for Linux too, but all still just doing basically the same thing…
But as to Portage vs. APT: I think it is pretty clear that a well designed binary package management is much more stable than a source-based system. And, of course, installing binaries is much faster too. Most people don’t probably want to have their PC’s compiling stuff for days & nights, and not to mention, to fix all the potential errors and broken stuff afterwards.
Also nothing prevents me from compiling software from sources even when using a binary-based distribution, like Libranet. Also the gains in speed etc. when compiling and optimizing stuff from source are usually only very, very marginal. Though, I must admit, that the Portage (or BSD Ports) system of compiling sofware seems like quite a user-friendly way to do it.
Here’s a screenshot of my Libranet system
I am a firm supporter of Libranet, those Canadians know their stuff. Installation was a breeze, setting up is perfect, it includes the newest Gnome (and if you want even newer it’s as simple as an apt-get upgrade to the unstable tree). It’s debian compatible and for bleeding edge peeps like myself I find that using another distro would really be a waste of time. I have saved countless hours running Libranet. It’s relative to switching from dial-up to broadband, that much time is saved. Congrats to the Libranet team on a wonderful release. I highly recommend Libranet to any frustrated Red Hat Linux / Mandrake / Suse user. You will be surprised.
I use Libranet 2.8.1 it is a nice and I like it very much I use Gentoo I like too, apt-get and emerge is diferent philosofy can not compare.
Plus, when you go to the ‘Start menu’, the menus don’t cascade on their own, you have to click each one
You can change that IceWM behaviour (and many other IceWM features) from IceWM Preferences; IcePrefs is the program to do it if I remember right.
I agree that most IceWM themes look quite unaesthetic, though some new themes make it much more appealing (www.themes.org). And I agree also that Libranet, though basically very easy to use, may not, however, be the best/easiest newbie distro out there. Mmaybe Mandrake or Lindows would suit such users better. For example, there isn’t much Libranet documentation except the (sometimes geeky) Debian documentation out there online.
Libranet is excellent for those people, and also newbies, who are ready to learn new things, search for online documentation, customize things themselves, also edit some config files sometimes too etc. Mandrake and Lindows do more handholding and are probably easier for newbies anyway.
I totally agree. Basing a distro on sarge sometimes and sid (unstable) in others creates an unnecessary issue for people who just want a stable system that works and can be worked on. IMHO, this makes a plain Woody system better (and more stable) than Libranet. I recommend RedHat or Mandrake over Libranet. They are even cheaper. At least they know where they want to take sources from (i.e. current rawhide or the Cooker).
I recommend RedHat or Mandrake over Libranet.
Perhaps. But Redhat & Mandrake have their problems too. For example, Libranet hasn’t tweaked KDE like Mandrake & especially Redhat have which means that 3rd party KDE software usually installs & works much more reliably in Libranet, especially if it is Debian-tested. I gave up using Redhat 9 partly because of that. Also, Redhat is not very home user friendly: not much multimedia software, not even ALSA yet in RH9, and no official support for APT-like package management tools, only unofficial sources. Mandrake is much better in these things (multimedia, URPMI etc.).
When trying Libranet, I soon updated all the way to Debian Sid, just to avoid all those nasty dependency problems that I had otherwise (well, maybe it would have worked ok, if I had not added Sid to the sources.list?). After that (and after apt-pinning some problematic software to stay in Sarge versions) Libranet worked mostly very well. Quite stable, and all the new software available in Debian Sid.