Feeds

back to article Ubuntu 10.10: date with destiny missed

Canonical delivered the latest version of its Ubuntu Linux distribution on October 10. Releasing Ubuntu 10.10 on 10/10/10 might seem an auspicious idea, but after the overhaul that was Ubuntu 10.04, the latest release looks tame by comparison. While there is little in Ubuntu 10.10 that will knock anyone's socks, it makes for a …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

trivial criticism

The article makes pains to point out that Ubuntu doesn't create a separate home partition for user data. The article implies that this is is a shortcoming of Ubuntu. This is a stupid criticism.

Let us observe that no versions of the successful operating systems Windows and Mac OS create separate disk partitions for user data. Why not? Probably because it is a worthless division of disk space.

Disks fail, not partitions. Disk failure is something worth worrying about.

30
5
Anonymous Coward

Exactly.

Maybe I'm being short sighted but I cant see the point in having multiple partitions either, at least in a home PC. Why limit your system or home directory to a given size? Doesn't make sense.

As the article points out, advanced users can do this, but I'm pretty sure a screen asking 'would you like to partition your home directory from the system directory' would confuse people like my Mum. Normal folk just want the system to work. Faffing around by introducing these sorts of limits is just going to make things more confusing.

10
5
Bronze badge

+1

Obviously the point of this is so that you don't lose your files during a reinstall.

Thing is a modern OS should never need reinstalling. It's not something I've had to do since we were using windows '98.

It all it ends up doing is meaning you run out of space either in /home or in / when the other partition still has loads free.

Most OEMs do this with Windows computers now. There it's even more pointless because without a redirected user folder people still store all their files in the docs folder or on the desktop. I see a lot of computers friends bring to me when they've "run out of disk space" what they've got is a choc full C drive and 200GB free on D.

6
3
Silver badge
Flame

Hey, prof..

...ever used a Linux system in Real Life?

Where like, programs are running that fill partitions to 100%?

No?

Aw well.

4
6
Thumb Up

exactly

It may have been necessary to micro-manage tiny little partitions when we were installing slack in 1995, but this is the century of the fruit bat. Get with the program, granddad.

5
4
Silver badge

Partitions serve a purpose

1) They can make upgrades, back-ups etc a bit easier

2) They can allow the use of different file systems for different tasks

3) They can allow one to move files on to a separate spindle for performance

I will agree that some of the above are not for the new user and not partitions in the strict sense but doing it is not necessarily a "Bad Thing"(tm); it all depends on one's needs and at least Linux will *let* one partition (and re-partition) easily.

I have recently almost lost the will to live trying to get XP to move "Documents and Settings" from "C:" to "S:" to make better use of the second drive. The fact that an "industry standard" OS cannot do this simple thing is, frankly, a sick joke.

---

I agree totally about you "disc failure" statement. Everyone should run back-ups. I was getting the bike MOT'd and the place I went to had had a crash - 2 years of records down the toilet, no back-up. It makes your mind boggle. Back-ups easy to do (including off-site as well) and only idiots don't.

6
0
Silver badge

I want 2 partitions

I've always used 2 partitions and would continue to do so were I to use Ubuntu. It might be fine for most of you but some users' hardware causes the upgrade to fail. This happens with every version.

Of course I'd make a backup before upgrading but having /home on a separate partition means I can reinstall without having to restore. Much less dicking about.

5
0
Anonymous Coward

"Thing is a modern OS should never need reinstalling."

But, of course, Windows often does.

9
6

Partitions are incredibly useful

I have always installed any flavour of Linux with a separate /home partition. It just makes the users' private space so much more portable and flexible. Try a fresh install of say for example, 9.10 to 10.04. Without a separate user partition, you will trash the entire disk when you format it, including all the users' data. etc. Having a separate partition retains all that. I have even changed flavours of Linux while retaining all my desktop settings, emails and documents.

With the standard disk configuration tools like gparted, resizing partitions is really not an issue so the subject of disk wastage is hardly a discussion point. With the cost of storage these days, a surplus of 20Gb on a 1TB drive is very trivial. In any case, if you are that desperate for space, just create a link to the surplus space.

6
1
Silver badge
FAIL

XP may be industry standard....

....but it's hardly currently. The answer is probably to upgrade to a more modern version.

GJC

0
5
Silver badge
Thumb Down

@Geoff

If I give you my PayPal account details, will you send me the £200+ I'd need to upgrade? No? Thought not.

I'll use XP until it either goes out of support* or I no longer rely on a single PC for everything. Then it will be Linuxed. Personally I cannot afford the cost of Windows 7 and, after having to endure it in my day job, I wouldn't want it anyway.

And, more to the point, why should I upgrade something that does, pretty much, what I need? I could do a re-install and fix the whole C:\S: thing but then, as I said above, I'd just Linux the fecker.

*sp3 is still under support before anyone says anything

5
0
Coat

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

"Thing is a modern OS should never need reinstalling." But, of course, Windows often does.

Modern, Windows and OS. Words that should never be used together.

Mines the one with Ubuntu 10.10 memory stick in the pocket.

4
2
Silver badge
FAIL

@Geoff

Oh, and one other thing, Windows 7 also suffers from the inability to easily more the "User" folder; so an upgrade wouldn't help.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Sensible compromises

I think you've missed the point. Disk space is cheap these days, so it doesn't matter if you have a few wasted gig here or there. There's a sensible compromise to be made between the Windows approach of stuffing everything on C: (ahah.. drive letters.. how antiquated) and the excessively anal server admins who think /, /boot, /tmp, /etc, /var, /usr/local must all be their own partitions. I'm running three partitions - a 10 gig system /, a 10 gig staging area, and the rest is my /home. When a new Ubuntu release arrives, I do a fresh install to the staging area, boot from it, check it all works and looks good and there's no problems, and if so.. tell grub to boot from it in future. Simples.

6
0
Gold badge

Laptops

Especially given desktop PCs are only about 10% of sales now. Laptops are popular and very few of them have multiple hard discs.

0
4
Pint

Always use a standalone home partition.

I always run my home files in a separate partition, why?

Well I run the current X.04 O/S, when the X.10 come out, I install it into a seperate partition and then simply mount my home into the new O/S. If it works OK, it stays, if not, I simply restart the old X.04, never having had to move a single file.

Then further down the line when X(+1).04 replaces X.10, I do the same again. I have used the same three partitions for 3 years now, only replacing the O/S as needed.

4
0
Thumb Down

Cobblers

Windows very rarely *needs* reinstalling to rectify a problem. In fact most of the time reinstalling is a particularly bad way of problem solving because even though it may fix the problem you still don't know what caused it.

1
4
Silver badge

I prefer two partitions (but I am a UNIX sysadmin)

It's swings and roundabouts. I tend to use a separate home partition so that I can dry-run a new release while keeping access to all of my files in both releases.

Unfortunately, this is not a perfect solution, as quite often, the configuration files for all of the dozens of apps and utilities change between major releases. You often watch informational messages about configuration files being 'converted' to a new version, and find that it no longer works with the old OS. This broke the sound on my Thinkpad between 6.06 (Dapper) and 8.04 (Hardy) (both LTS releases).

I've never been satisfied that 10.04 is ready to switch to, because there are sound, display and suspend problems, so I am still running Hardy. One day, I will boot Lucid, update everything, and all my problems will be over, but I'm not holding my breath, and I don't want to switch away from LTS releases for my main systems.

1
0
Grenade

morons but not from outer space

I suggest you not try to use any flavour of linux..if you have problems with windows that require it to be re-installed.

1
6
Silver badge

RE : "Thing is a modern OS should never need reinstalling."

The forums are FULL of Windows users who seem to need to re-install every few months as their systems grind to a crawl

5
0
Silver badge

@Adrian Challinor

"Thing is a modern OS should never need reinstalling." But, of course, Windows often does.

One word : sarcasm

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re : Shoe menders

"because even though it may fix the problem you still don't know what caused it"

Bloody Windows caused it !

11
0
Silver badge
Boffin

@AC re. Sensible compromises

Drive letters were antiquated when MS used them in DOS 1.1!

UNIX already had a fully hierarchical filesystem years before Bill went to see IBM.

The concept of filesystems on separate partitions really goes back to the original Bell. labs V6 and V7 code for PDP11s, where the partitions sizes were hardcoded into the device driver for RP disks (no on-disk partition tables there!), and when the smaller RK disks were barely large enough for / or /usr.

Each device could have a maximum of 8 partitions defined, and the definition of the partitions had to work with all drives of that type present in the system. IIRC, it was normal practice to make one partition span the whole device, two more cover half of the device each, and a further four more to cover a quarter of each device. It was, of course, stupid to try to mount the overlapping filesystems, or use the wrong minor device, but this model gave flexibility.

My old Systime 5000E (a PDP11/34E in Systime covers circa 1982) had 2x32MB CDC SMB disks, with a controller hacked to look like an RP controller with RP03 drives, with overlapping partitions of 1x32MB, 2x16MB and 4x8MB. I had / on 1 8MB partition (formatted to use just 6MB, with the last 2 MB used as swap space), /usr on another 8MB partition, and then used the remaining 16MB as a /user filesystem, which was equivalent to /home on a Linux or more modern UNIX system. There was no /var or /opt at that time, as Sun were only just thinking about diskless systems. A second drive had a single 32MB partition for the /ingres filesystem (which actually had the whole of the BSD 2.6 [for which I sadly do not have a copy of the tape] unpacked in it), and which contained the Ingres database code, and all of the defined databases.

It was the only real way to manage such systems. If you are really interested in knowing what was involved in setting up ancient UNIX systems, I suggest that you start here http://minnie.tuhs.org/PUPS/Setup/v7_setup.html, and then brows the rest of the UNIX Heritage Societies site.

BTW, I started on Version 6, although I have put the link in for Version 7 as that is regarded as the point where UNIX really started to fragment.

2
1
Silver badge

I disagree

Every Windows problem is a great reason to use any flavour of linux....

2
1
Silver badge

Oops, silly me.

I meant to say CDC SMD (Storage Modile Device) drives, not SMB. How memory fades.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

I agree and disagree...

I agree that the hard disc is the REALLY important bit, but partitioning saves the hassle of having your home directory wiped when either doing a reinstall or switching distros. The default for UBUNTU is to install side-by-side when it sees another Linux installation, or reformat and loose everything. Putting /home on its own makes sense, cleanly separating the user data from the O/S. But hey, each to their own.

You can get around the hard drive failure problem by using a RAID.

1
0

You are confused...

Multiple hard discs is not a prerequisite for multiple partitions.

1
0
Mat

I kind of agree with you but...

Having a separate home partition allows you to do a 'clean-ish' install without losing data. I did this today and it has gone incredibly smoothly - The only issue was dropbox which was resolved by clearing the .dropbox* folders.

I've also reverted to 32-bit and have had no problems as yet.

1
0
Paris Hilton

Hey Mush

Anonymous Coward

Posted Monday 11th October 2010 09:02 GMT

I bet I am older than your mother -and father, and I am not confused by this partition for home directory idea.

Have done it a few times when installing the beloved Ubuntu.

I also back up the home directory frequently.

I learned many moons ago that hard drives go silent and are never heard from again,and just when everything seemed to be going so well.

Peace be with you young man.

0
0

@The BigYin

It's not rocket science to move your Profile-Folder in Windows to another drive...

http://www.starkeith.net/coredump/2009/05/18/how-to-move-your-windows-user-profile-to-another-drive/

0
0
Bronze badge

Parents

I don't know about you, but my mum doesn't use Linux. She's still stuck in the past with XP. The thought of her using Linux tickles me pink, and I've been preparing her for it, but this is going to be the slowest rollout in history. Oh, she does have several drives in her machine, for the reasons discussed. As for me, I never leave any files on my notebook, preferring to use a USB hard drive, and work out of TrueCrypt files stored on it. The maths are quite simple, no?

1
1
Thumb Down

@Chemist

No, the forums are full of users who need to reinstall Windows because they are incapable of diagnosing the cause of their problems. The need to reinstall is the user's lack of skill, not a problem with Windows.

And the slowdowns are invariably third party software or malware related. Both of which can be resolved easily without a reinstall.

0
3
Thumb Down

Re. "Re : Shoemenders"

If that's what you consider to be a satisfactory root cause analysis then fair enough. I don't.

And if that is the RCA then reinstalling Windows seems like an interesting way to "resolve" the problem.

0
0

Agreed

The first thing I did with my new Windows 7 laptop was get rid of the 2 partitions. I also can't see the point of multiple partitions on a home computer but then I'm religious about backing up and making restore DVDs so I can quickly get my system back in the event of a disk failure.

I do use multiple partitions on my Linux server but then it makes sense there.

0
0

Missed the Point

You're completely missing the point of why people have separate partitions for /home or any particular directory. It's not necessarily to protect you from a failing hard disk (Though it can if your /home is on a completely different hard disk or even a different computer.)

It's primarily to protect your valuable data from whatever may come if you reinstall your operating system. It can allow you to save a LOT of time and headache on backups for that purpose when instead you can just tell the installer of your OS to go ahead and reuse that partition instead of creating a new /home.

Other benefits include allowing you to use a single /home directory for multiple *nix installations, even sharing of your data with Windows in a dual-boot.

Windows is not successful because it's well designed or does things "correctly" as Windows is neither of those things.

I agree this article overestimates the problems with Ubuntu's automatic mode, especially in light of the fact it allows for two means of manual partitioning on the same disc, and allows you to specify filesystem mountpoints at install time if you go manual.

I do think it's automated partitioning leaves much to be desired. But, if you've already got a /home you want to assign to a new Ubuntu install you will NOT want to give it the reigns of what is mounted how anyway, since it'll completely ignore your intended /home anyway.

1
0

Meh.

Sorry, but Windows offers scant few options for fixing major issues before "reinstalling Windows" becomes the only real option. Sure, things made VERY slight improvements from XP to Vista to 7. But I must emphasize VERY SLIGHT.

In all my years doing this I've found Windows boxes to be the single biggest pain in the ass to support. And it's all due to the registry. See, in a standards-compliant operating system (Under POSIX, FHS, and SUS which are the *real* operating system standards, not what Microsoft offers its users as a de facto standard that only applies to Windows.) configuration is always plaintext, and organized in simple directories anyone can read, but not necessarily make changes to. This, by the way, is also why Windows is so readily infected is because it offers piss-poor file permission protections and thus even an unprivileged yahoo can still change system settings and thus so can a virus.

See, with Windows, it stores ALL the stuff important to the system working properly in a binary database ONLY THAT INSTANCE OF WINDOWS CAN ACCESS. If Windows breaks, good luck getting access to its configuration to fix the problem. In a standards-compliant system one could run a boot disk and use a simple text editor to fix what is likely one errant value. Because the windows registry is a binary database, you can't access it with anything but the registry editor installed on that copy of Windows.

Sure, Microsoft added a "last good configuration" option, but that hasn't done a good job on the vast majority of Windows boxes I've had to fix. Safe mode is nice if there's a driver or virus running amock but still relies on the system actually WORKING enough to boot to the desktop in the first place. And the recovery console they used to offer had very little useful tools, none of which, by the way, could access the registry.

The registry is far from robust or reliable. Sometimes... okay more frequently than "sometimes..." a COMPLETELY MINOR VALUE that's set wrong in the registry can cause a fatal chain reaction to a Windows installation.

Trust me, Windows is still far from the "reinstallation unneeded" state all the other operating systems have reached, and all because Microsoft doesn't have the first smegging clue how to design a quality operating system.

I haven't had to reinstall Linux in a long, long time. Why? Because if I break something I just start up a Live CD and change my configuration file to something "correct."

3
0

True for the most part... but...

You can fix the registry using... wait for it....Linux.

2
0
Go

Nawwwwww

Just create like-named User folders on another drive or partition and then change the location in the original folder's "Location" tab to the new folder. 7 even moves all your file for you if you wish. Easy as pie, falling off a log or whatever makes you happy.

0
1
Go

Huh?

Care to explain that?

0
1
Go

Re: "Disks fail, not partitions"

Yep, so keep your files close at hand on the system drive's "Data" partition and back that data up to one, or more, internal hard drives on a regular schedule. Or even to an external HDD. I've had the OS fail far more often than the HDD, so a reinstall to the system drive's "System" partition is fairly painless.

The idea of Ubuntu doing the auto partition and separation thing is very appealing. But then what the hell do I know, I'm just a multi decade end user.

2
1
Go

Causes cancer too

Whatcha bet.

0
1
Pint

Does anyone like it?

Personally I love it and use it day-in, day-out, yet...

The Windows people hate Linux per-se, 'cos they think it's cheap and tacky! The Mac people think their precious interface designs are being ripped off! Finally the Linux hardcore people think it should be given away with the book Linux for Dummies!

0
0
Unhappy

A smorgasboard of ignorant hate, but sadly also true

"The Windows people hate Linux per-se, 'cos they think it's cheap and tacky! The Mac people think their precious interface designs are being ripped off! Finally the Linux hardcore people think it should be given away with the book Linux for Dummies!"

And those of us who use all these technologies, appreciating each and every one for it's particular benefits or drawbacks, using each as appropriate to the task in hand, think all of you are dicks.

18
0
Silver badge

+1

OK I'm fond of banging the linux drum, it's true but +1 for that.

0
0

Does anyone like it

<quote>

The Windows people hate Linux per-se, 'cos they think it's cheap and tacky! The Mac people think their precious interface designs are being ripped off! Finally the Linux hardcore people think it should be given away with the book Linux for Dummies!

</qote>

Eh .. youngsters t'day. I remember Slackware CD's being available in the back of t'book when I was still installing Windows 3.0, & 3.11 from diskette.(1)

Regards

(1) Mind you, you've never really installed a system from diskette unless you've done a Novell Netware install - 30- 35 diskettes (and Murphys law applied even then) if my ailing memory recalls.

2
0
Linux

a most excellent comment

"

"The Windows people hate Linux per-se, 'cos they think it's cheap and tacky! The Mac people think their precious interface designs are being ripped off! Finally the Linux hardcore people think it should be given away with the book Linux for Dummies!"

And those of us who use all these technologies, appreciating each and every one for it's particular benefits or drawbacks, using each as appropriate to the task in hand, think all of you are dicks.

"

I would have posted this if not beaten to it.

Time, I think, for the various proponents of each OS to grow up a little and be more open minded towards other OS users. I'd include myself in this but I'm already there, albeit recently.

An OS is a tool to do a job, not much more.

There are too many people who view it as picking a football team to support - you might be hated for supporting Rangers by a Celtic fan, but how often are you hated for using a 12lb sledge over a 10lb sledge?

Linux *does* come with a free political movement though :P

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Really?

No comment on why you are for or against Product A or Company X is valid?

Really?

I am of the opinion that MS is very much a force for evil on this planet and has done a lot to harm the industry I work in and love. I think anyone who gives them dollar is complicit. Now, you may think I'm a dick for this, but then I think you're a massive, flopping cock for having absolutely no ethics whatsoever. MS has spent so much time and money lying, cheating and stealing that frankly anyone who supports them (financially or otherwise) should be banged up and forced to eat *nix pie for a good five to ten stretch.

I am also of the opinion that Apple's insistence on doing everything differently in the CHI is intensely fucking irritating. For everyone else, F5 means refresh, for Apple ... well fuck knows. You may think I'm a dick for expressing how I feel about Apple products, but that in and of itself makes you a dick. I am, whether you like it or not, allowed to express my opinion, particularly on an explicitly social platform like El Reg.

Do you shout "dick" at your friends when they tell you how amazing a film was or how bad a concert was? Do you shout "dick" at the wife when she tells you she really doesn't like anal sex? When your dad starts a conversation about how a particular engineering firm was renowned for the poor quality of its hanging flange brackets, do you shout "dick"?

Yes, the OS wars can be a little tiresome and often immature, but having a strong preference for something and expressing that preference do not necessarily make you a dick. Personally I could do without all the endless "I used to hand wank my VAXen back in the 70s" grandparama.

0
1
WTF?

Partitioning

While it's preferable for a unix system to be split into multiple partitions, remember that Ubuntu is competing against OSX and Windows which both use a single large partition for everything (and actually make it difficult to do anything else).

The problem with separate partitions from a user perspective is not knowing how your data will be distributed and ending up with some partitions being too small.

4
1
Thumb Up

What he said, only more so

"The problem with separate partitions from a user perspective is not knowing how your data will be distributed and ending up with some partitions being too small."

And the aim is for it not to stop during install and ask the user questions they can't answer, or which frighten them off. Remember kiddies, this is not a geek distro, this is trying to be Linux for human beings.

Ease of use trumps all. This is how it has to be if you want Linux to do anything on the desktop other than annoy the shit out of people.

12
0
Silver badge
Headmaster

Can't agree with that

I've been using 8gb for / and the rest for /home for *years* and never had a problem. These days with terabyte drives commonplace shaving off a paltry 8Gb for the OS partition is utterly trivial in the great scheme of things.

The benefits far outweigh any "disk wastage" concerns that you might have.

0
1

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.