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back to article 'Lenny': Debian for the masses?

The venerable Debian Linux distribution has experienced a significant new release with its latest update, dubbed Lenny. While Debian is still not the easiest Linux distro to install and use, Lenny makes significant leaps forward and remains one of the most powerful Linux options. Many Linux newcomers stick with popular distros …

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I remember a time...

...when people took pride in the fact that Linux was hard to install and use. The idea being that the harder it is the more you learn and the better off you are for it. Sadly now everyone is trying hard to copy the winblows approach and just make everything as simple as possible. I think it's the wrong way to go.

If you aren't willing to put up with the learning curve and want something "that just works" then feel free to go to hell and use windows or whatever is trendy these days. It's morons like you who help spread malware and other crap.

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Also a nice slim netbook

Debian on eee (901 in my case) runs quite nicely too, though you'll need to follow the wiki and, now I'm going to use that dreaded sequence of words) **compile your own** wireless driver. That said it takes about two lines using module assistant and then you're golden.

My nVidia card worked pretty easily, though I can't remember if I had to install the driver explicitly using apt-get, it comes so naturally these days that I forget if I had to do it or not.

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Unhappy

Tried it in Virtual PC 2007...

Debian crashes during installation.

I know Virtual PC is not a real PC, stop whining at me. But it is a widely used program so I would expect it to work.

Don't bleat at me that it's Microsoft's fault either. Virtual PC existed before Debian Lenny, so a 1 minute test would have shown that it crashes. So now I'm having going out of my way to try it.

Imagine for two seconds that I haven't been using UNIX and Linux for the last 12 years, instead I've been brought up on Windows. My first impression as Bob the User is: Debian/Linux doesn't work. It doesn't matter too much why not. All the reasons and excuses in the world are meaningless. First impressions count. I would go back to my XP box and forget about Linux, refusing to believe the (not inconsiderable) hype, the year of the Linux desktop and so on. And I would probably tell my XP-using mates that Linux doesn't work. And we would make ourselves feel a little better by playing a few Windows games.

Oh boy. I went the extra mile and tried Debian in Sun's xVM. Debian installed. I rebooted. Guess what? Kernel panic. Yep, there's a lot to be said for Windows, I would be saying to myself.

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Debian hard to install?

Do you really find installing Debian difficult? I don't really understand how.

I personally don't see much difference between Debian "Etch" and "Lenny". I'm sure there are changes but your on the most just package updates. I do like Debian but choose Ubuntu on the whole not because it is easier but because the packages are more up-to-date and more frequent releases (I mean you should watch a smallish bounder erode through wind erosion before a Debian release comes to fushion).

I do like Debian though as it is rock solid.

MIke

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Linux

Lies.

"Imagine for two seconds that I haven't been using UNIX and Linux for the last 12 years, instead I've been brought up on Windows. My first impression as Bob the User is: Debian/Linux doesn't work. It doesn't matter too much why not."

Yes, because Bob the 'tarded user knows all about virtual machines and installing operating systems.

You might want to check the compatibility list for Virtual PC before spouting off about linux being broken.

"Oh boy. I went the extra mile and tried Debian in Sun's xVM. Debian installed. I rebooted. Guess what? Kernel panic. Yep, there's a lot to be said for Windows, I would be saying to myself."

Personally I think you're a liar. Debian is vary stable and supports more hardware variations than any other OS *ever*.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Tried it in Virtual PC 2007...

A quick look at the Virtual PC 2007 documentation would have shown that Linux is not a supported guest OS and the last version of Virtual PC that supported Linux was Virtual PC 2004. Sadly Virtual PC 2004 does not behave nicely on Vista.

It's odd that Debian doesn't work in xVM but the newer versions of that seem to be less than stable as PCBSD also goes titsup in xVM.

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@Alex

In the dear old days when PCs were shiny and new, we all had to wrestle with operating systems, weird software, and be half-programmers, half hardware guys, to write and print out even a letter. This was kinda fun when it was a cottage industry. But now PCs are like toasters or TVs,and I've lost interest in making them work the way they should. I reserve my love of learning for something other than what I was doing in the 1980s. I don't expect, twenty-plus years on, to have to go through what I did back then. I just want a hassle-free installation and a 'don't make me think' interface, because I have a lot more things to do now. It's why I given up on so many open-source things: I just don't have the time, and I just don't want to learn. I'm probably a pretty average punter, so if I were the makers of O/S and other software, I know who I'd cater for if I wanted to get big-time.

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Linux

Some Clarifications

First off, there aren't different "versions" of Debian. Debian itself contains Gnome, KDE, LXDE, XFCE, and the like. You don't have to install something like Kubuntu to get KDE, Eeebuntu to get the Eee version. Debian main scales from everything from a N810 to a massive server.

Secondly, there is no "CLI installer". I don't know what the reviewer was referring to there. The text-mode is the same installer as the graphical one, just presented... as text. Not command line. There is cdebootstrap, which lets you bootstrap a new Debian installation from within a running one, and that is a fully-automated command-line tool, but I don't think that's what they were thinking of.

If you want to manually select which desktop environment you use -- or none at all -- you can just not select the desktop environment task and install the kde, gnome, or whatever packages you like yourself. It is not hard, and they are not mutually exclusive, either. You can have both Gnome AND KDE on your system at once. They will integrate into each other's menu systems even.

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Network install speed

I guess I should also add this: the comments about the netinst images are a bit misleading.

The network install should never be slower than downloading a massive ISO and using that. In fact, it should almost always be faster, because you download only what you really need. It would only be slower if you're going to be installing a whole bunch of machines -- in which case you could opt for the DVD, or a caching proxy, or a mirror.

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Anonymous Coward

When I hear 'Lenny'...

...I immediately think of a crappy little car repair place in Brooklyn somewhere, with someone yelling, in a really thick New York City accent:

"Hey, Lenny! What the -fuck- is wrong with you? Get over here, we've got customers!"

Anyway... still better than 'Xenophobic Xylophone' or whatever the latest Ubuntu moniker is.

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Unhappy

GNOME

While there are ways to install KDE and such from the GUI installer, it requires passing command-line parameters at boot-time, which is definitely not user friendly.

Right or wrong, Debian is VERY friendly with the FSF/GNU (hence why they are one of the only Linux distros that follow RMS's stupid "GNU/Linux" naming policy). And the FSF/GNU is heavily tied w/ GNOME, so GNOME is what gets shoved down your throat.

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Linux

OK. Tell us then.

Two tantalising comments, but no details at all.

1) "...there are plenty of CLI-based system configuration tools that you won't find in Ubuntu."

Uh-huh. Interesting. And some examples are....?

2) "...but for the seasoned user grown tired of Ubuntu's hand-holding..."

Uh-huh. Interesting. And some examples are...?

I like Debian & Ubuntu. Yet I cannot immediately think what you are referring to.

So could you elaborate please?

Thanks.

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@ Alex

And its quite possibly morons like you who give people such an inaccesible and elitist perception towards Linux and its users.

It is quite possible to have a simple to use interface and something "that just works", whilst still retaining advanced functionality for those who wish to make use of it. It does not have to be one or the other.

As for 'The idea being that the harder it is the more you learn and the better off you are for it.', is it perhaps not more like 'The idea being that the harder it is the more you can say everybody look at me aren't I so clever.'.

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Debian hard?

I keep hearing that Debian is difficult, but that hasn't been my experience at all. My last install was Etch, and I found it to be much faster and easier to get going than Vista, tho' YMMV. At least I didn't have to sit through a bunch of reboots for each application or update install.

It is possible to simply accept the defaults offered, or make simple choices, and have a fully functional desktop 'puter.

The odd bit is that I originally chose Debian, and I've run/administered other distros too, because it was the easiest to get going; everything was where it was supposed to be and did what it was supposed to do. Then there was apt, no doubt the best package manager of any distro.

Now it's time to upgrade my servers from Etch (stable) to Lenny, and my desktops from Lenny (testing) to Squeeze, the new testing version. it will be painless and quick; update, upgrade, point my list to the new version, and dist-upgrade. A few minutes for each machine, and not a reboot to be seen.

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Anonymous Coward

But I installed OpenSuse 10.1 on VirtualPC

It works quite well too, including networking. Not sure where this compatibility nonsense is coming from. If Debian didn't work on VPC, then something is wrong.

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Linux

mrmond

However on a supported product like vmware or virtualbox it runs fine.

Even runs on an acer aspireone netbook. But I'm still using ubuntu cause I'm obviously a lazy virus loving malware spreader who can't be bothered with a real os.

Jeez. Get a life. Debian wasn't the first and isn't the only non ubuntu gnu/linux os out there.

I don't ever recall Linus Torvalds never said it had to remain hard to install or use forever, or that you had to use the terminal for some tasks (Even if it is faster a lot of the time)

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you got to try Elive

If you want to try a Debian fork that is smoking fast, doesnt freeze up all the time (like Ubuntu) and not needlessly difficult for the average linux noob, than you you have to try Elive www.elivecd.org

Its really a shame that Shuttleworth who is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, runs a distro coded by slacker/freetard ner'dowells. If you want to experience a Linux distro with commercial quality, you have to try Elive.

Im just a fanboy, not part of the dev team

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Go

They'll Just Never Learn

To the vast majority of automobile drivers, fluid flow and thermodynamics is not only uninteresting, it's hard to master, takes a dedicated effort to learn, and then once it is learned its uses are relatively few. I learned a bit of it as a nuc boat mechanic in 1969; been no good to me since. And yet I drive a truck daily that takes advantage of the principles of fluid flow and thermodynamics... among others admittedly. But do I care how heat is generated and how it's used? Do I care how pressures are created and put to use? Do I care about how energy is extracted form a fuel? Do I really care about all the engineering that has to go into the creation of a usable engine to meet my transportation needs? No, and neither do 99.99% of the other drivers on the road all over the world. And it's always been that way; all they want to do it get from point A to point B in their version of style and comfort.

The same applies to the OS. It's a frakkin' tool to simply get a job done for 99.99% of the world's home computer users and 99.99% of them don't give a tinker's damn which one it is or what it's called or named. If the tool works they're satisfied.

The IT world simply can't come to grips that when it comes to the OS on the platter the non-tecky types (the buyers of home computers) just don't give a damn...they want it to work and they expect those of you who revel in the OS and its nuances to install it when needed, fix it when needed, and then silently take the money and slink away back to where ever it is you come from until needed again.

Guys, nobody but you cares about the OS and the fact that this type conversation keeps happening is proof that you're just not getting your story out and into the heads of your intended audience. On this site, and other arenas like it, your preaching to the choir; everywhere else you may as well be speaking Martian 'cause ain't nobody caring or listening. You enable nice toys, but after that nobody gives a damn what you think or want. You're their fix-it man when it breaks and invisible the rest of the time.

Now you have to understand, I love it. I love a good clown act and I love to see people beat themselves up over stuff only they understand. Kind of like watching a fireworks factory explode. Oh wow! Man that was awesome! The fireball was magnificent and the sound was deafening! Huh? There was somebody in those buildings? Damn, that's gotta hurt! Wow did you see that green fireball!!!

We need more green explosions guys, so keep the fires going.

<End of Thread>

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Stop

Lies? No, the truth...

David Hicks, prove me wrong.

Install VPC or xVM, then try and install Debian Lenny. See what happens. I have several versions of Linux and FreeBSD installed in VPC 2007. They all work fine. The latest Debian does not.

As usual, the Linux fan boys can't stand a little criticism. I don't need to check any compatibility list for VPC. It is Debian Lenny that does not work on it.

I know Linux is not a supported guest OS. So what. That doesn't mean anything.

I haven't said that Linux is broken. I have said that Debian Lenny does not work in VPC or xVm. So instead of trying to spread some FUD, go and see for yourself.

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@Alex

Attitudes like yours push people into windows. Attitudes like yours will ensure linux remains for the arsy-tempered minority.

I've better things to do than fight with low-level stuff just to prove something to something about my testosterone levels to you. I have work to do that involves doing useful stuff.

(BTW a for-example, if I had to configure my iptables by hand rather than a point-and-click gui it would have taken much longer, leaving me open to malware for much longer. Just something to consider).

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One more thing that's better than Ubuntu

It's not brown.

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@ I remember a time... By Alex Posted Monday 16th February 2009 18:01 GMT

your attitude is a perfect illustration of why i can't be arsed with Linux.

the same l33t157 attitude i encountered on the "help" forums.

if Linux is so good and so free and easy to use why isn't it a distro on all new PCs?

no licence fee, no activation/ re-activation, genuine disadvantage etc.

the truth is, its a geek toy, nothing else.

get back in yer closet.

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Boffin

Elite my arse

I confess to getting a kick out of Unix guys bashing each other over who's the hardest. They're all limp-wristed C programmers as far as I am concerned. I stopped programming in disgust when assembly language went out of fashion. Now that was coding for real men. Just try doing recursion in assembler. Heck, it practically does itself in C, sometimes when you aren't even expecting it. Of course assembler is a bit soft for those of us that started out programming in raw machine code instructions, but it is undeniably convenient not to have to calculate all those hexadecimal jumps and offsets in your head. The beginning of the end, I suppose. Script kiddies these days don't know they're born.

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Linux

What?

@Michael Fremlins - Why on earth would you want to run Debian in a Windows VM?

I worked at a major european telco where debian which was the defacto distro was deployed across tens of thousands of production servers running core infrastructure and services. They like it because is rock solid, very secure, adaptable and facilitates development of super fast apps that run close to the metal.

And in a large corporate or ISP hosting setup's where linux slices are virtualised it is similarly unlikely that Windows would feature.

In userland license & software costs are the main driver in encouraging the shift to open-source. The trend isn't users trying out linux in a windows vm - it is folks ditching windows completely for linux distro's like ubuntu and debain. For those who still wish to use Windows only software (and haven't already shifted to OSX) its more likely they will be running a win32 emulator under linux.

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Linux

Leeny for the masses (at least the IT educated ones)

@Michael Fremlins

I do have 3 xVM Debian Lenny Virtual boxes running on my lab, the three of them seem to be working just fine.

Honestly, I build Debian Linux VM´s all the time and never had any version crash on xVM or VMWARE

@Doug Glass

Thanks god no sane IT person pays attention to arguments like these, because computers are not cars you know.

If anyone followed your arguments computers would still be black and white terminals, and you won´t be ranting against the people who over the years make things possible.

I bet you do not run Windows 3.11.

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oh goodie

'The latest X.org brings some nice new features like hot-swappable support for input devices such as mice and keyboard and enhanced support for touch screens and tablets.'

Wow. even DOS could do that in 1984 ... Support for wireless networking and bluetooth should be right around the corner. Real soon now. Yes , i can almost smell it. It'l definately be less than 25 years ... On a cosmic scale that is infinitesimal. In the mean time we will make do with pieces of wood and bearskins in the cave...

Come on guys, it's 2009. Get with it !

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whats the big deal with a distro being easy, or hand holding?

some people JUST want an alternative to windows, and install whatever JUST works.. for the more knowledgeable tweakers out there, there's always debian, gentoo, slackware, arch for the rest of us, that dont care bout a few seconds of boot time or 1 more second of application startup time, we have distros like mint, ubuntu, kubuntu, pclinuxos, and others..

if someone wants to spend HOURS configuring for a few more fps, or 2 seconds boot time, more power to you. I personally wanna be up and running as fast as possible, if I want to learn more, then I'LL deal with debian,or the others mentioned above.. but LINUX is LINUX (package management,talkinb about how long it took you to get this or that .2% faster, and tweaking are just for forum, chatroom, blogging braggin rights.

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watching flies screw, paint dry is more exciting..

then using cli to get your rocks off for braggin rights, linux is linux.. who CARES??? i mean really..

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Joke

'Lenny': Debian for the masses?

"We wouldn't recommend it for Linux newcomers since it requires more command line know-how than most, but for the seasoned user grown tired of Ubuntu's hand-holding, Debian makes a powerful step up on the Linux ladder."

Hmm... apparently not (for the masses).

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This post has been deleted by its author

Stop

@Alex

What a complete moron you are!

Computers and their associated operating systems are designed by humans. That means if they don't "just work" as they're supposed to, then they've been badly designed! There is no spiritual enlightenment to be gained by struggling and toiling away to make some opaque machine behave itself. You seem to be comparing the daily chores of maintaining an OS to something akin to scientific discovery! Idiot.

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Anonymous Coward

Debian on VPC

Oh NO, Debian doesn't run on VPC 2007? Think of the CHILDREN!

How dare the developers not make sure it runs on something intended to "maintain legacy (Windows) applications" (Per Microsoft's description of VPC) and instead wasted their time on making a bare-metal installation less painful and all of the other work they did.

I'd demand my money back if I were you.

Really now, you run Linux on a Microsoft virtual machine product that only claims to support MS operating systems, and you're going to conclude it's the Linux flavor that is the issue? That all the people who are hyping Linux are just quietly ignoring the fact that it doesn't even boot? Your XP buddies are really that in awe of you that they'll think "wow, if Fremlins can't get it to work, it must be *really* hard to do"?

I can't even blame Microsoft here (and I'm no MS fan), since they're upfront about what VPC is for!

Or, look at it this way: Microsoft Word sucks, it can't open MP3 files. Yes, I know the MS Fanboi's will harp on me that it's not a supported filetype, blah blah blah. I don't need to read the documentation, it's Word that just doesn't open MP3s!

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*applause* @ Doug Glass

Too right. If you want to experiment with low-level OS or programming skills, great, fire up the Assembler or Lisp and have fun. For the rest of us for whom the computer is a tool, or, god forbid, an appliance, we'd rather spend time actually *using* it.

And given the fact that this distro apparently still can't get to grips with Nvidia (without pissing around in config files, by the sound of it), I'll be giving it a miss.

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Anonymous Coward

PITA installer

Does Debian still do that utter pain in the arse trick where it does the following:

Slackware might say "Do you want to use option a, b, c, d or e? [c]:" - ie a choice of 5 things with the default being c. Nice and logical. Whereas Debian would do this:

"Do you want to use option a? y/n:" No. "Do you want to use option b? y/n". Well maybe - if there's not going to be a c!. "Do you want to use option c? y/n" Ah, okay, the best of the three. Hang on, I would have picked d if I'd know it was available in the first place!

It drove me mad. That, and the way that during install, instead of flowing from one bit to the next it would ask "You can now either install your network drivers or configure your display" Well if I don't configure my network drivers here will it ever ask me again? God knows! Is there some obscure bit of config which can only be reached by using a particular set of choices? God knows!

I was always left feeling that I might have made better choices, or missed something which contributed to later problems. And I'm not thick. I tried to like Debian so many times, and each time it really pissed me off with its installation workflow.

If this has been fixed to either make it linear, or detail unfinished parts, then it might be worth another look. Otherwise, life's stressful enough and Slackware flows very nicely by comparison.

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Bronze badge

As a typical user...

(ok, not so typical, but what the hey) I find automation useful 90% of the time, but still want to be able to override it for the last 10% when I want to do something "outside the norm".

Windows has the automation, but boy does it ever try its hardest to keep you from "going manual".

Linux distros have the Manual route covered, but are lagging behind in the "automation" stakes. The distributors that are trying to make things simple (I'm looking at you ASUS) seem to want to achieve that by going the Windows way and disabling the manual controls.

What I want (eventually) is something which has the ease of use of Windows, but with an easily-triggered trapdoor to let me get at the guts of the system.

Most linux distributions are *almost* there... Almost. But not quite.

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Failed net install on VirtualBox

I wanted to try out Lenny on a VirtualBox before putting it on a production system...it froze up while installing. It got stuck while "retrieving file 811 of 811". FAIL.

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Become Programmer to Use Left Hand Mouse

While back, my first Linux try. Idiot told me to just switch hands -- or creat this little program and install it somewhere. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight!

I want to COMPUTE (word process, browse, email, run Delorme maps - the best by far).

I DON'T want to return to a university for programmer's school in order to run my fucking mouse left handed.

I don't want to personally manufacture a car in order to drive to a store.

Linux will become useable or it will die (remain dead) in *all* but super-specialist zones.

You want me to learn to program? Fuck You.

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Linux Method For New Car Rims

Buy or manufacture mining equipment

Mine back yard for iron ore

Erect steel manufacturing facility (get permit first)

Order casting form

Smelt steel (add alloys now)

Pour new rims

Dip in water to cool (wear gloves)

Set up machine shop

Do final machining

Use new rims

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That Place

Use Win - Puke for numerous reasons.

Use Linux - Puke over expense of hiring programmers.

Rock - Me - HardPlace

Solution - Buy pencil, buy paper pad, move to cave, write notes to self, enjoy simple networking.

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Why Linux Might Remain Dead

I ain't stupid -- I used to reformat a floppy to 1.8 megs, compress it, and thus get 3-4 megs of certain types of data on a single floppy disk. Did it for fun.

But, I REFUSE to become a semi-programmer merely to do some simple daily computing.

Get over it, fix it -- or see Linux DIE (for real people with lives).

(I hate MS as much as anybody - bunch of broken, but painted well, Yugo salesmen).

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Don't feed the troll and don't reviewers do basic research.

@Alex

As for Alex. "Please do not feed this troll"

----------------------------------------

The reviews biggest error:

KDE, XFCE, Bussiness Card, Net Install, Live and etc. etc. etc.

www.debian.com - Left hand column choose: CD ISO Images.

Down the page click link: Download CD/DVD images using HTTP or FTP.

# Great Britain: debian-iso.mirror.anlx.net: FTP HTTP

# Great Britain: debian.virginmedia.com: FTP

# Great Britain: ftp.ticklers.org: FTP HTTP

# Great Britain: www.mirrorservice.org: HTTP

CD's 1-20.iso

File:debian-500-i386-kde-CD-1.iso

File:debian-500-i386-xfce+lxde-CD-1.iso

File:debian-500-i386-businesscard.iso

File:debian-500-i386-netinst.iso

File:debian-live-500-i386-gnome-desktop.iso

File:debian-live-500-i386-kde-desktop.iso

File:debian-live-500-i386-lxde-desktop.iso

File:debian-live-500-i386-rescue.iso

File:debian-live-500-i386-standard.iso

File:debian-live-500-i386-xfce-desktop.iso

DVD's

Etc. etc.

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Silver badge

@william henderson

If some unpaid volunteer was sharp with you on a support forum, either read http://catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html or buy support for one of the commercial distros. You can always pay Microsoft $100 to report a bug. They like to get $100 from many users for the same bug, and perhaps they might fix it next year.

"if Linux is so good and so free and easy to use why isn't it a distro on all new PCs?"

Distributors like to sell antivirus software. If they do not get that sale, they like to sell an adware cleanout service. Most people do not need to buy extra software to do what they want with Linux. If you talk to a PC World employee, they will parrot last year's FUD about Linux so their employer can shift some high margin crapware. OEM's have said that Microsoft will not allow them to ship Linux. They certainly get discounts for being Microsoft only shops. They have started using Linux as a stick to beat down Microsoft's prices. They are not that enthusiastic about Linux because it does not require an expensive 140W CPU and two graphics cards to send an email.

Imagine a world without Linux: Home users would be spending £200/year for a DOS/95/ME derivative, businesses would be spending £500 per seatyear for Vista and XP would be dead. There would be no netbooks. Routers would cost the earth, and home users would have to pay extra for software to share their internet connection among multiple computers. Satnavs would need the latest Pentium, a large battery, a noisy fan and would only be useful for 30 minute journeys. There would be separate internets for Windows and Mac users. Google and wikipedia would be replaced by Microsoft Live and Encarta. PVR's would only record what the TV networks want you to record, would delete it within 7 days, and adverts would be mandatory - not even a mute button.

The truth is, Microsoft users are completely dependent on Linux. Get back in yer closet.

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Why the GUI love?

I really don't understand why everyone goes crazy over the GUI installer when Debian's text installer (d-i, the one it's had for six or seven years now) is not only incredibly easy to use and incredibly flexible (supporting all kinds of machines, partitioning setups, and network setups without manual intervention), but also twice as fast because it doesn't have to load an entire GUI off of the CD? I can get a new machine installed, online, security-patched, and rebooting into the live system before the Ubuntu CD finishes booting for the first time. "GUI installer" is the "word count" of linux distros, apparently.

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Linux

Good god, are we really trying to stop Linux!

This comment trail is painful to read, and infuriating.

I am a self confessed geek, and have been for 40+ years, and also a 30 year+ UNIX user (and Linux since it has been around). I've supported UNIX systems at a source code level, and have worked in a major vendor's UNIX support Centre as one of the senior techies.

I have NOT got the spare time to fiddle with Linux to get it working on my day-to-day system. I do NOT want Windows. So, I use a major distro expecting this to do most of the hard stuff, and this has become Ubuntu. It's quick to install, supports pretty much everything on mainstream PC's and provides the necessary apps. for close on 100% of users who are application agnostic (not everyone, I know).

But I can tweak it if I want. It's close enough to Debian to allow me to put most .deb packages on. And I can compile the stuff up if I need it (e.g. the airprime module to speed up 3G USB dongles). If you want to use the bleeding edge Nvidia drivers, you can, but if you don't, what is in the repository will suffice. But I won't deny other distro's the right to exist, or peoples right to use them. Nor will I deny the rights of people to use Windows when they know no better.

It's important for Lenny to be produced, because it feeds through to other distros, but it is not the OS for the masses, and the Debian core team probably know that. Ubuntu could be, but the jury is still out, waiting for mainstream app. and game support. Normal users want stability, confidence that the system works, the apps. they need, and maybe a good update and patching process.

Also, it would not be the first time that a Microsoft product deliberately offered poor support or artificial barriers to alternative technologies. I used to use the Microsoft tools Virtual Desktop (on a work provided laptop, please note) which used to lose windows when switching between desktops. But only the Firefox ones!

To all of the Linux proponents out there, get with this message. We need a DOMINANT Linux distro for the masses. Stop squabbling in public, it's ugly, and makes people turn away.

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Ubuntu vs Debian

Ubuntu boots quicker than Debian. Remove Gnome and Network-Manager and Ubuntu isn't nearly as annoying.

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Flame

An OS that "Just Works..."

I love how all you Windows guys say that as if you know what it means!!! Keep up the good work et c...

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@Peter

I Disagree that any of the distro's are anywhere near truly "multimedia at one click" especially for games and home network streaming, it is hard enough for most users in a simple clicky win environment never mind the funny land of linux distro's.

But i do agree the linux needs a dominant distro or it will go on for ever as a geek fest, what i find really funny is i help people over skype with distro setups and installs as well as linux for webservers and gaming servers. now i must spend 5 hrs a week at least explaining and doing talk-through’s of installs and problems , not that I am a super genius just experienced in using the little black and white devil.

But then see the same people post on forums and newsgroups about how great and easy Linux , and how it is better than this or that .....lads grow up .

No Brainer

" it would not be the first time that a Microsoft product deliberately offered poor support or artificial barriers to alternative technologies"

what like sony or apple or 100 other big players do, market forces I am afraid as well as product protection. it's linux that leans on MS backoffice platforms then it has to have it's own.

@Flocke Kroes

You sir are why linux will stay in the land of the tweaker and tinker, MS actually paid $20 000 for the latest IE exploit , and to burst you delicate little bubble "Imagine a world" actually MS does dominate the market home and office and handheld .....and in case you did not notice hardware is nothing to do with an OS ..wop de do linux can run my fridge ..but can it play games in HD for my son or stream HD to 2 laptops and my TV as well email, web browse, can I vpn in with less hassle , how easy is a NAS setup..blah blah blah ..all with little pain ?

Linux is fecked until one main distro takes over and it become windowfied with one click and wizards galore of course the evangelists will have a heart attack and claim treason ...It must be tough being a fan boy........not.

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Linux

@Peter Gathercole

Completely agree!

I use Ubuntu because it supports everything on my laptop out of the box and I was up and running with it in not time at all. It doesn't prevent me from tinkering with it though: I can tweak it to my heart's content, install, un-install, re-install stuff, be a geek by writing my letters with LaTeX or automating some photo manipulation using Image Magick in a nifty shell script. And if I want to go the uber-geek route, I can alway tinker with Gentoo in a VirtualBox VM. But the important thing is that the starting curve is very smooth. Linux needs the whole spectrum of distributions: from the easy to install ones like Ubuntu to the hardcore ones like Gentoo, and everything in between.

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Anonymous Coward

@Alex

I just hacked one of my arms off to make Linux more difficult to install - so much harder to type. I was really proud when I rebooted and it all worked!

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@william henderson By Flocke Kroes Posted Tuesday 17th February 2009 06:06 GMT

not being an l33t haxxor of the various o/s's, what your comments suggest is that; linux needing no antivirus/malware programmes and having none installed, could be passing on such like to others, without even being aware of it.

the assumption that black hats have not written and disseminated code to do this is almost as nieve as those that use windows unprotected.

given the surprised that continue to jump out at us over rootkits etc. in long established and well known windows variants, what of little known linux?

all the talk of vitrual PCs etc. is so much fog.

totaly irrelevant to 99% of PC users.

i say it again, though in a different format; if linux is that good and free, why insn't it the no. one distro?

because it is not what the fanbois claim it is.

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