Home > Ubuntu > Ubuntu, a promising new Linux distribution Ubuntu, a promising new Linux distribution Eugenia Loli 2004-09-30 Ubuntu 69 Comments With a six-month release schedule, solid funding, and many prominent Debian and Gnome developers employed by Canonical to work on Ubuntu, the future looks bright for this project, says Kuro5hin. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 69 Comments 2004-09-30 5:06 am I intalled Ubuntu yesterday to try it out. The install was certainly painless, the system feels very clean yet usable from start. What I did notice however, was how many KDE apps I actually use even though I run Gnome. This is a problem with those DE focused distros. They can’t choose the best software, they have to choose the best software for a certain DE, which in the case of gnome is rather limited in my opinion. Which leads me to the question: Can I download and install software from an offical debian repository and except it to work well? Also, I couldn’t get the sound working without editing config files, which is the first distro in a long time I’ve had that problem with. Other than that it’s a nice clean and easy distro. 2004-09-30 5:13 am If you enable the universe repositories (either manually edit sources.list or just check them on in Synaptic), you will have access to all the popular KDE stuff with just a few easy clicks. Hope that helps. 2004-09-30 5:28 am It is recommended not to use the officieal deb repositories. But as the previous poster pointed out, just uncomment the universe entry and you can install the KDE libs. 2004-09-30 6:05 am I have been extreamly impressed with Ubuntu since installation, even though the installation itself was not without bugs. I have a Gentoo system I have been tweaking and customizing for a long time, but Ubuntu is sufficiently impressive that I may dump my Gentoo system and start again with Ubuntu once its final release is out. We’ll see. As for the KDE stuff not being there, I honestly can’t think of any KDE software I would even *want* to be installed, with the exception of K3B. Even that I don’t really NEED, it would just be nice to have. Im sure better CD creation software is comming for Gnome anyway. 2004-09-30 6:48 am I have it installed and I really like it. I haven’t changed any defaults yet which is a definite plus. The universe repositories seem very solid as well. The only thing I think could be added is a little more prettying up of everything. I tried fedora a while back and while I really liked the over all cohesive experience, having to deal with rpms was a nightmare. It has been way too long for someone to create a distro that is essentially a pretty debian (lindows and friends don’t really qualify as debian IMHO). I don’t know if it is just gnome or ubuntu, but in any case I am enjoying it so far. 2004-09-30 7:02 am I was going to submit it here, but figured OSNews had already done enough Ubuntu reviews… 2004-09-30 7:11 am I’m still a Slackhead, but at least until Slack-current has Gnome2.8, i’m sticking with Ubuntu. 2004-09-30 7:42 am Ubuntu is showing a lot of promise. Basically it’s a debian-based version of Fedora Core. A lot of people who have personal problems with Fedora Core’s RPMs(or the dislike of the RPM system) will now have access basically the same product except that it uses debian. Both distros will push each other as soon as Ubuntu finishes catching up(X.org, Anaconda, and a few others) hopefully in the next version in 6 months. Personally I like their choice to keep the distro to 1 CD and the rootless setup is an interesting choice. I would like them to elaborate more on their pay-based technical support and professional services. 2004-09-30 8:28 am I liked the menu-driven installation, but when I chose to “Use partition” and gave mounting points to my fat32 Windows partitions, at the first boot, Ubuntu did not recognized it as vfat and gave messages as if there were errors and began TRUNCATING wrong files! I had to reboot my machine, only to find the GRUB menu now containing only Ubuntu lines 🙂 After re-installation of my WinXP, luckily I found the files were not spoiled. Only a new strange folder in C: drive. Fedora did not have such a problem. 2004-09-30 8:40 am … and ended without Internet access: The wizard doesn’t know about any DSL connection (btw, selection “Modem” in the wizard would complain that wvdial is not installed! From where to install it without Internet?). And the resolution I got was 640×480 again with no obvious way/frontend to change it (well, xf86config and xf86cfg were installed). So unusable for users if you don’t want to low-level setup or have another computer running as DSL gate. 2004-09-30 8:50 am it’s the same thing! 2004-09-30 9:03 am When I insert a flash card into either my USB or PCMCIA card reader, Ubuntu mounts it and puts a little icon on my desktop for easy browsing… very slick, something I’ve not seen yet on Linux. well, he should have tried mandrake 9.x . Proj Utopia is much more wide than this, luckily. 2004-09-30 9:06 am Good point. I think the main difference between Debian and Ubuntu, is that Ubuntu offers a scaled down Debian with all the neccesary services active, and just with one program for each need. Now, some might say that is limiting the choice that GNU/Linux should offer, but quite frankly, newbies doesn’t want to be bothered with 5 browsers, 2 GUIs, ect, etc. They just want to start thier PC and use whats given too them. Remember, this distro is squarly aimed at home users (read ex-Windows users). These people aren’t used to choice. 2004-09-30 9:07 am Because this project has other goals than debain, as you would know either actually reading the review or even trying ubnutu out? 2004-09-30 9:18 am ok i have readed the review and i have tried ubuntu.But i stick with debian installer.The mostly ex-windows users use fedora,mandrake,Suse in the first place not ubuntu. 2004-09-30 9:27 am Must be because Ubuntu is new… right? Right? You understand the concepts of “is new” and “has been around for a while”, yes? 2004-09-30 9:30 am … and ended without Internet access: The wizard doesn’t know about any DSL connection (btw, selection “Modem” in the wizard would complain that wvdial is not installed! From where to install it without Internet?) Try pppoeconf, that should do it. 2004-09-30 9:33 am Yes i understand the concepts of new.and that’s is not the reason,the reason is you can do evertyhing on debian that ubuntu can so why go with ubuntu? if you want one browser deinstall the other how hard is it? 2004-09-30 9:43 am *Sigh* You act like Ubuntu is somehow aimed against debian, but it isn’t. About uninstalling a browser. Believe it or not, there are people that don’t even know what a browser is, they only know where to click when they want to use the internet. Now what exactly is your problem with a distro that is catering to these folks? 2004-09-30 9:46 am So I take it you’ve never had the oppertunity to sit in front of a clueless Windows user’s PC and have to explain that you shouldn’t just delete the directory, but that you should uninstall it with the appropriete program. Windows actually makes this very easy. Imagine the trouble having to explain to that same person how to do it “Linux”, without them breaking half the dependencies. 2004-09-30 9:49 am ok i see it on this way. is enough of “easy” distros in this world i mean fedora,mandrake,Suse so why doing a new “easy” distro all the time. i dont’ understand the meaning of it.of course every new easy distro have something the others are missing. yes you have right the people dosen’t know what a browser is so that is way they should use the 3 easiets distros. 2004-09-30 9:53 am Because Ubuntu adds something new? It’s community driven, it uses gnome, it employs some new ideas (like having no root user), it is based on debian, thereby making the vast debian repository and apt-get available to those who want it while keeping it simple for people who just want something that works? Besides, if ubuntu isn’t in some ways better then the competition it will simply die, so where exactly is your problem? 2004-09-30 9:59 am do you think windows user knows how to use apt-get the first time they sitting with ubuntu? i don’t think they know how to edit the soucers.list file so. well debian is community driven too. ok i can take the debian-installer and add a new thing that ubuntu dosen’t have and then i have a better distro? in fedora there is a icon on desktop is easier for them get updates? my problem is i can’t have a oppinon to say what i want? 2004-09-30 10:07 am 1. No, I don’t think windows users know how to use apt-get the first time they see it. That’s why Ubuntu installs with sane defaults and will have an applet that alerts users to new updates and an userfriendly front end for apt in the future. 2. The point is that I like the concept of a user friendly distro that still gives me the option to use about every debian package there is out there. 3. Who said you weren’t entitled to your opinion? Who says I’m not entitled to disagree with it? 2004-09-30 10:10 am Well you got 3 nice things there better then others here. there is a user front end apt.Synaptic ok just forget this discussion we don’t can get any more further. so sorry if i write my thoughs here. 2004-09-30 10:19 am Could someone running Ubuntu tell me if it is able to automatically mount a memory stick (i.e. you stick it in, it shows up on the desktop, you can right click it to unmount)? 2004-09-30 10:20 am It does. After all it’s using Gnome 2.8 with the project utopia stuff. 2004-09-30 10:51 am I personally like this distribution : – apt-get – Gnome – limited set of packages installed – new version every 6 months – only 1 CD – clean interface – my usb stick is automatically detected I don’t like this spatial thing, but I found rapidly a easy way to disable it : http://members.chello.nl/~h.lai/gnome-extra-setup/ What I miss is a forum, like the one for gentoo. Great place to find information. I didn’t see a link to a forum on Ubuntu’s website. 2004-09-30 10:58 am They use a “user-list”. Basically a very spartan forum. What’s nice is the comments from the head honcho,Mark Shuttleworth, himself. 2004-09-30 11:06 am I agree Windows has an easier interface for uninstalling applications but ironically one can not uninstall IE the default browser in Windows XP as well as other “crucial” applications as defined by Microsoft which makes uninstalling a browser in Linux in this instance a walk in the park. I also don’t think newbie users should be allowed to uninstall applications in GNU/Linux. New projects like autopackage will probably fill the gap for decent distro-neutral package management tools in the future which should eradicate the problem of difficult uninstallation for everyone using Linux. 2004-09-30 11:06 am http://lists.ubuntulinux.org/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-users for users & http://lists.ubuntulinux.org/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-devel for developers 2004-09-30 11:24 am I don’t like this spatial thing, but I found rapidly a easy way to disable it : http://members.chello.nl/~h.lai/gnome-extra-setup/ That is already the slow and complicated way. The easy way would have been to open the Nautilus settings and just tell it to always use browser mode. 2004-09-30 12:06 pm …that people remove Linux to install Windows, but who really cares? Does that mean Linux is in the same category with “malicious code?” No… What a juvenile argument! Grow up, Mr. Kanellos. Microsoft is releasing the starter edition of their OS because they realize their price is way too high for a lot of the world (well, actually it could be argued that Windows is priced too high period). Even MS realizes the real issue–poverty. 2004-09-30 12:10 pm Why Ubuntu? Because it’s Debian unstable with a well integrated GNOME 2.8 desktop, excellent hardware detection, easy install, an aim to create or port a range of useful administration and configuration tools and vast numbers of bugs fixed. So you combine the free software ethos, package management ability and general quality of Debian with the ease of use and attention to detail of a commercial distro. Plus, by using the work of the Debian people as a starting point they save time and allow themselves to concentrate more on polishing and improving the user experience rather than solving problems debian has already solved. As a final point, Mark Shuttleworth is supporting the work of 30 odd engineers to work on Free Software. How can that not be a good thing? 2004-09-30 1:06 pm I’ve been running Ubuntu on a couple of machines for about a week and so far am rather impressed, even though it is presently a preview release with the final release scheduled for October 20. What I like: 1 CD install Daily CD’s with updated packages Debian, Gnome, and Python based Excellent update system (apt/synaptic) Free software So far it seems fast and stable Just works philosophy Community I’ve experienced a few bugs but the developers seem to be quite responsive, knocking these out and polishing things up for the final release. 2004-09-30 1:22 pm I don’t like this spatial thing, but I found rapidly a easy way to disable it : 2004-09-30 1:28 pm I’ve read so many good reviews of this distro, I think is time to download the iso and use it my self. 2004-09-30 1:46 pm is enough of “easy” distros in this world i mean fedora,mandrake,Suse so why doing a new “easy” distro all the time. i dont’ understand the meaning of it.of course every new easy distro have something the others are missing. And what if this ‘something the others are missing’ is something I want and need? Should somebody not make it because ‘we have enough distros’? Look, maybe Ubuntu, in the end, isn’t offering enough new and good things to bring it a user base. Worst case scenario: it dies off. But even still, maybe by the time it dies off, the developers working on it have pounded out some good code. So, however it goes, it’s probably going to be a net gain for the community. On the other hand, it could turn out to be the next Redhat/Mandrake/SuSE. Remember when these guys were start-ups? For all we know, they could end up doing a good enough job with Ubuntu and fill a viable market and accrue a big user base. So, what are you complaining about? 2004-09-30 2:12 pm Unfortunately, using spatial nautilus implicitly requires that one changes ones pattern of storing files in folders, and using the desktop in general. I’ve noticed spatial has forced me to use the search function in GNOME, and has also compelled me to prefer single hierarchy folders over deeply nested ones. I don’t even bother organizing files into folders anymore. I just dump all my files in my document folders and use the search function on the desktop to locate them. The same applies to my picture and video folders. My music folder is the only folder, in my home directory, that is somewhat nested. But that’s because my CD ripper forces me to create folders base on genre, artist name, artist album and so forth. I have grown to adore this method of working of the desktop. Nautilus has one major caveat. And that’s the fact that each nautilus window doesn’t have it’s own search component. Since spatial nautilus forces one to avoid deeply nested hierarchy of folders, it is easy for a single folder to contain hundreds, if not thousands, of files over time. Manually hunting for one file in a folder containing a thousand files, should be a crime punishable by public nudity. I think Nautilus will go a long way in enhancing the user experience by adding a search function to the interface. It’s function will be to search files within the folder, filter them out, and present them to the user. In fact, I’d argue that the most important feature of any file manager is its search component. It is almost unbelievable that Nautilus lacks one. I wish the global search utility was smart enough. The reality is, it isn’t. In addition, I find it awkward to use. I want to google for information on my desktop just as I do for information on the Internet. I expect the file manager, Nautilus in this case, to be the googling interface on my desktop. I don’t believe the Nautilus maintainers overlooked this simple concept. Yes, I’m aware of Beagle and Storage. But I still maintain that search is the most important aspect of file management, and should have been a core component and interface of Nautilus. Overall, I wouldn’t trade Nautilus for ice cream. Prior to spatial nautilus, I never used any file manager on Linux. I have always held that the browser mode is deranged. But I understand some people might find it usable. I know a lot of CLI gurus who also just commenced using the file manager because of spatial nautilus. So contrary to popular misconception, spatial nautilus is not just useful for Jane Potbelly and Joe Sixpack, many old school Unix gurus find the concept brilliant and usable too. 2004-09-30 3:20 pm They are planning on creating a more robust community site, which would include forums and such. Hopefully before the second release. 2004-09-30 3:30 pm I just installed Ubuntu last night, and the installer is still basically the same horrible Debian one, there was no kind of bootsplash of any kind to hide those nasty init messages, and as soon as X started my monitor freaked and is now destroyed for good – so I think Ubuntu has promise, it can at least only become better Thank you Ubuntu, I’m now computerless and I think your X config was to blame. Next time I’ll remember to buy a monitor X already knows how to setup, so this hopefully won’t happen again, even though Debian and every other distro has handled it fine. So RIP my beloved IBM P76 – you were a good monitor, nice picture, good refresh rate, affordable on a student budget. 2004-09-30 3:41 pm It could be just bad luck that your monitor coincidentally died post installation. I doubt seriously that it was caused by Ubuntu X settings. Most auto-detect-and-configure distro have conservative settings for X and unlikely to fry any monitor. Users usually have to tweak the default configuration, if the option wasn’t offered during the installation, to take the advantage of the full power of their monitors. 2004-09-30 3:57 pm That might very well be, but I still find it odd that it happened the second Ubuntu started X.. besides am I not allowed to be a bit sad now that my monitor is dead. Anyways I really think Ubuntu is a great idea, and I wish them the best of luck – but I won’t be installing it anytime soon. I got a bit scared off but this, it’s sad because a kick ass GNOME platform is what I really need and Ubuntu seems to provide it from what I’ve gathered in reviews and screenshots and they employ several key developers from important projects so it should have good odds for becoming one seriously kickass distro, if it isn’t already – I really can’t tell, I’m waiting for a friend to lend me an old monitor so I can get back to work. So rock on Ubuntu! 2004-09-30 5:47 pm I want three options, and then it will be viable. alt-click opens in current window switch click and alt-click behavior max windows to open before defaulting to same window Typically, I think the first two would be used together, and the last alone, though all three could be made to get along in some situations. 2004-09-30 5:51 pm I disagree that newbies shouldn’t be allowed to uninstall applications, this would make the situation even worse than with Windows. I do think libraries and other dependencies should be hidden from view and handled automatically, however. Then it’s easy to look through packages lists and conclude what’s what, and what it is you want to uninstall, and what you need to install. But then, any good package manager needs at least full command line functionality, and preferably a rather advanced graphical mode as well, like what Synaptic is now. 2004-09-30 6:36 pm @SyntaxError Your bug has been filed: https://bugzilla.ubuntu.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1936 Please update it with any additional informatino you can provide. 2004-09-30 6:45 pm Wow, that’s scary. I downloaded the .iso and was thinking about installing it, but I’m now having second thoughts. My main system is a notebook so if its monitor goes, then that’s all she wrote. What kind of questions did the X part of the installation give you? Did you maybe give it too high of a frequency or give it bad modelines? Did you report this to Ubuntu? I’d be curious to what they’re response is. I’ll have to check out their forums to see if anyone else had this problem. I’ve never had problems with X on Slack, Gentoo, or vanilla Debian on this notebook, but that’s some scary shit you experienced. Maybe i’ll just wait for the final ISO. 2004-09-30 6:51 pm This distribution is the most hyped-up piece of beta-ware available. Hurry, go get it, while supplies last. Where is all of this hype coming from? Well, Eugenia is buddy-buddy with Jeff and Miguel, so she’ll push Gnome any chance she gets. In the meantime, the distributions that actually work easily out of the box, such as MDK 10.1 and Suse 9.1 are overlooked. These are the only distributions that are worthy of being recommended to new users. I am sick and tired of all the snake-oil sellers that have popped up all over the Internet. Unfortunately, the poor users are being taken for a ride as a result. Having said this, I think Ubuntu’s ultimate goals, Gnome on Debian are laudable. It just needs time to mature, not unnecessary hype. 2004-09-30 7:43 pm …and I am really enjoying it. I am a Fedora Core user but thought this dist. sounded nice… My only tweaks thus far were: a) install the smp kernel b) install pptpconfig c) install pan d) install nvidia glx driver e) ssh f) apache2 Now I need a few good games to try out the glx stuff. So far it has compared nicely with Fedora as far as hardware detection goes. Issues I’ve been seeing are: I loose my resolution settings after a reboot, evolution choked a few times (using exchange), and some manual installs/builds are not possible without installing some extra development stuff. This is a very nice and clean distribution, no “clutter” and it has been fairly easy to find and add what little apps I miss from Fedora. Snappy performance, too! Looking forward to the next release (at 6 months) and will simply continue to “upgrade” as needed (until 4.10 is out). Mike 2004-09-30 7:48 pm [quote] ok i have readed the review and i have tried ubuntu.But i stick with debian installer.The mostly ex-windows users use fedora,mandrake,Suse in the first place not ubuntu. [/quote] But not all. Why slag a distro for trying to win over newbies and use a more (IMHO) stable system. When I was searching for a *first* distro. to use, I went through Mandrake – thanks for frying my LG-CD-RW -, Fedora – no new user should have to go through the .rpm hell IMHO. There’s a reason that these distros give you all the software in the 6-9 CD’s, its damn hard to install them otherwise. How is learning: $apt-get update $apt-get dist-upgrade $apt-get install <packagename> …or even better $synaptic more difficult that: download rpm, check dependencies, download dependencies, check dependencies, download dependencies, check….(i think you get the point). I applaud the debian based distros aimed at new users, specifically Knoppix, Xandros, and (again, IMHO) the cream of the crop, Libranet. There is no better way to learn the *nix thing then by using (again, IMHO) something based on debian. my $0.02 USD, 0.01454556654 CAD 2004-09-30 7:49 pm Something that happened which for me scored big points on this distro that shows a great deal of promise, was one time while I was in the #ubuntu channel (great place to go, the devs hang out there, and it’s quite active). I had noticed that some of the packages in the universe had the data files present, but not the actual executables. I thought this was a bit odd, so I asked about it. Someone there said “thank you”, proceeded to address it with the right people, had it fixed pretty much right then, and asked me to open my mouth anytime I noticed something like that in the future. Talk about developpers being receptive to their community, I was pretty impressed. 2004-09-30 8:05 pm Yes, Suse and Mandrake, because they do everything right? It’s not like RPM, even with it’s afterthought dependency checking, still has a tendency to trap you in dependency hell. And it’s not possible that those distributions are so bloated with cruft that they run unnecessarily slow on even a 3 year old machine. And speaking of cruft, it’s impossible that all that excess software not only makes it more difficult to learn about the operating system, but also to diagnose problems when they do arise. Yes, Suse and Mandrake, they’re god’s gift. Have you even tried Ubuntu? Or for that matter Conectiva, Xandros, Lycoris, or Libranet? Can you honestly say that Suse and Mandrake are perfect? The truth is that none of them are… nothing on this earth is perfect. And unless we allow and embrace alternatives which refuse to sign into the old boys clubs, we end up with a stagnant brew which is good for nobody but the ones profiting from it; like our current mainstream. There’s ALWAYS room for another distribution. 2004-09-30 8:37 pm A few people have asked this, I can’t help but bite and say why I think. Ubuntu PAYS some DD’s to do work on Ubuntu, why not support that? The installer basically configures the system exactly how I would usually configure it if I was using Debian. Why not save time? Ubuntu takes snapshots of Sid for every release, so it is basically a supported Sid, not a bad thing at all. Lets face it, Debian’s boot etc is ugly. Sure its not a big deal, I don’t reboot enough to care. I have yet to have anyone argue that Fedora doesn’t at least appear more professional though with its graphical boot. Why not include such things? Above all else though, they do not have the burden of supporting so many architechtures. I use x86, I have grown tired of waiting on things like X to be ported to all branches before even making it to sid. For those asking “can I add debian repo’s to ubuntu”. Yes you can. As was already stated however ‘universe’ coupled with ‘main’ is already equivelent of debian’s ‘main’, so just do not include this. For instance: deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu warty main restricted universe deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian sid contrib non-free Would give you all packages Debian provides where the Ubuntu version is not newer or conflicting in any other way. I used to use the same argument “why not Debian”, but the design structure of Ubuntu is a lot better then most Debian based distro’s however. They are mostly Debian devel’s working on something new. They have a more concentrated goal, and in my experience this almost always allows for a more professional product. Ubuntu promises to commit all changes back into Debian, why not get them earlier if you can? Debian still provides a better server, but imo, if you like Debian, you need not look further for a client. 2004-09-30 8:40 pm A debian based Linux distro with multi-millionaire founder, I’m sure that reminds me of something. 2004-09-30 8:47 pm Why the ubuntu don’t have i586 or i686 compiled packages, or like slack i586/i686 flags. No one use 386 desktop/laptop or 486 to run the gnome or kde. Please forget the i386 packages. 2004-09-30 9:02 pm For that guy in the last Ubuntu thread who’s going to be installing it on his VIA C3. Besides, the benefits of i586/i686 get smaller and smaller as CPU speed increases, so it’s not that big a deal, and the compatability is for those who need it. I’ll bet if you ran Gentoo side by side on identical Athlon 1.8Ghz systems, one i386 and the other i686, you wouldn’t even notice a difference. That said, the transition to i686 has obviously begun, more and more distributions are popping up with that requisite. In my opinion i586 would be better at this point, but we’ll see how it plays out. 2004-09-30 9:45 pm @LibraNet User Fedora – no new user should have to go through the .rpm hell IMHO And they don’t, thanks to the fact that Fedora includes yum, a program that is just as capable as apt. If debian didn’t have apt, you would have .deb hell, because guess what, dpkg has the same problems as rpm! Additionally, there’s always apt4rpm if you don’t like yum. I’m sick and tired of hearing a complaint that was addressed a while ago. 2004-09-30 11:05 pm It just asked me for resolution and I told it 1280×1024 like I always use.. I’m pretty sure I was just unluck and my hardware died of natural causes.. still strange though and it nags me a bit. 2004-10-01 12:42 am everyone else on Earth learned that debian doesn’t have a monopoly on dependency resolution two years ago. Where were you? Under your rock? On Mandrake: urpmi.update -a urpmi –auto-select -v urpmi <package> or even better: rpmdrake On SuSE, use YaST. I don’t know SuSE, I don’t know the details. But I know it can do the same job. You can perfectly easily use apt with RPM packages, too. **THE PACKAGE FORMAT IS IRRELEVANT**. This needs to be printed on the wall of every Linux user. A few years ago, debian users had a package management tool that resolved dependencies, and users of other distributions didn’t. This is no longer true and has not been for several years, so stop acting like it is. 2004-10-01 12:45 am how can dependency checking be an “afterthought”? I mean, come on, let’s be honest. It’s hardly fricking rocket science. How much code do you need to actually implement dependency checking on RPM or Debian packages? I ain’t a coder but I’d be amazed if it was more than a couple of hours work for a half-decent hacker. Everything else has nothing to do with the utility or the package format; it’s about repositories and sanely stated dependencies, which depend entirely on the *packagers* and the packaging policy. 2004-10-01 12:55 am “And they don’t, thanks to the fact that Fedora includes yum, a program that is just as capable as apt. If debian didn’t have apt, you would have .deb hell, because guess what, dpkg has the same problems as rpm! ” Actually, it’s a little different… The .debs have PACKAGE dependencies, whereas rpms depend on libraries. RPM does NOT specify the name of the package (which would be much easier than having to guess what file is in which package) Plus there is no single page that will answer that. Debian has a page that you can either look for a package name, or for a specific file. Since there are so many distros that use RPM, sites such as rpmfind.net pop up, but not all packages are made for Suse, Mandrake, etc… not to mention sometimes you have incompatibilities between versions of the same distro! Granted Debian’s packages aren’t always perfect… but then again, most of the packagers do it in their free time… 2004-10-01 2:22 am What that last anonymous poster said pretty much sums it up. Consider the definition of afterthought: An idea, response, or explanation that occurs to one after an event or decision. –reference.com Now a very general timeline: RPM’s inception years and years more years Apt4RPM and other’s add library dependencies to RPM 2004-10-01 3:34 am I got the PPC iso of ubunto (warty) the CD install just fine, but after rebooting I get the yast loader, but when i choose L for Linux, I get a black screen with various kernel loading text. ie: openpic : exit. I went to the ubuntu IRC site, but no help. So I’m afraid I cannot endorse Ubunto for PPC just yet 2004-10-01 8:04 am “Why the ubuntu don’t have i586 or i686 compiled packages, or like slack i586/i686 flags. No one use 386 desktop/laptop or 486 to run the gnome or kde. Please forget the i386 packages.” I asked a developper about that, and he told me they recompile everything (including “universe”) with -mcpu=pentium4 -march=i486. This means “optimized for i686, runs on 486 and above”. I guess i386 is misleading. 2004-10-01 8:19 am I finally managed to get an install CD burned (my burner is slowly dying). Smooth install, for a Slacker like myself; Gnome 2.8 looks and feels great; I like the non-root thing. My wife is a newly converted Linux fan who knows just enough about the OS to break something if she has root, and she doesn’t (yet) know about sudo. And here, we come to my issue. Xsane just doesn’t want to work unless you run it with sudo. I’ve tried chmod 755 /.dev/usb/scanner0, chown user:group …/scanner0, etc. etc. to no avail. I am forced to run Xsane with sudo. Now, for me, this was not too frustrating. I got it to work, after all, and I can just modify the Gnome menu to run it that way. But, to the newbie Linux user who has no idea of the power, or for that matter the existence of sudo, this can be a show-stopper. I know, not everyone who tries out Ubuntu uses the same hardware, blah blah blah. However, this is not a hardware-specific issue; after all, it DID autodetect my scanner (Epson 1250+) and load the proper backend just as any modern Linux distro would. And, in Slackware I DO have to set permissions correctly. My problem is that Slackware is definitely not for the Linux beginner, yet it is easier to manage my scanner in it than in Ubuntu. Well, that’s not exactly correct; now that I know to run with sudo in Ubuntu, it’s actually easier to implement than in Slackware. The problem is that the newbie won’t get their scanner working just by clicking on the menu entry for Xsane. This can be unbelievably frustrating for someone who is used to the “click it and go” experience in commercial OSes such as XP and OS X. Before I am flamed to death, let me say that I also understand this is a preview release, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this issue is ironed out before the final release. Overall, this is an awesome distro with a slick, no-frills DE that is reminiscent of Dropline Gnome on Slackware. I am looking forward to giving this distro a permanent home on my main system. 2004-10-01 10:07 am The .debs have PACKAGE dependencies, whereas rpms depend on libraries. RPM does NOT specify the name of the package (which would be much easier than having to guess what file is in which package) RPM dependencies can be package or library (as appropriate), as can RPM ‘provides’. So in SuSE (for e.g.) you could go in YaST and search for the package which provides library x (ofcourse YaST can do this for you). Plus there is no single page that will answer that. Debian has a page that you can either look for a package name, or for a specific file. A webpage isn’t necessary when your packager manager frontend can find the dependancies. The Debian page you mention is only really useful for Debian, it is no good for Ubuntu or Linspire. Most (if not all) RPM based distros will let you search for a package name, dependancy, provision… Since there are so many distros that use RPM, sites such as rpmfind.net pop up, but not all packages are made for Suse, Mandrake, etc… Likewise not all .debs are made for Debian, Linspire, Ubuntu, etc… 2004-10-01 3:40 pm @Morgan Before I am flamed to death, let me say that I also understand this is a preview release, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this issue is ironed out before the final release. File a bug and you won’t be flamed to death. Talking about broken things here without filing a bug is rather pointless. 2004-10-02 7:06 am @Shawn I agree that a bug report should be filed, and therefore I have done just that at the Ubuntu bugzilla. However, I don’t think it was pointless of me to post the bug here as well. People who are reading these comments are probably doing so because they are interested in an up-and-coming distro, and I like to think that they would want to hear users’ experiences with it. I’m not trying to give the distro a bad rap; quite the opposite! I think it is very polished and nearly complete even in this preview form. In fact, the above issue is the only problem I have encountered since installing it. That’s about a hundred less problems than I have run into with Slackware, and it’s my main distro. For example, I run Slackware 9.1 upgraded via swaret to -current, but I exclude kernel upgrades specifically so I won’t break some hardware support. That’s just one of several gripes I have with Slackware, but I can accept those issues because it is such a solid distro compared to some of the more well-known alternatives. I guess I’m trying to say that I consider my previous comment to be constructive criticism that I felt needed to be shared. I’m sorry if it rubbed you the wrong way. 2004-10-04 3:28 pm Hi Everyone, I installed Ubuntu recently and I like it alot. I do feel that somethings would have been nice to have installed by default. These are the GCC compiler/libraries and spamassassin/razor/pyzor. Without spamassassin/pyzor/razor, the junk mail controls in Evolution v2.0 do not work. Without GCC, compiling downloaded software was a no go. Obtaining this software was easy via Synaptic or a manual apt-get was but it was still something of a pain. Aside from this, things were smooth.