back to article Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...

The future is here, or at least the next five years of it for Ubuntu fans. Canonical has released Ubuntu 14.04 Long-Term Support (LTS) release, meaning the Linux shop will be supporting this distro until 2019. Significantly, this is likely the first look that more conservative users will get at the direction Ubuntu has been …

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Vic

Re: "Less so for organisations running Ubuntu on lots of PCs and moving to 14.04"

> You basically called me a liar.

I didn't. I said you don't know as much as you think you do. That you take such exception to this is indicative in itself...

> I also asked for an apology.

Which you're not going to get. You claimed a status you do not deserve, and I told you exactly that.

> Regardless, I backed up what I said

You didn't. You backed up as much as you seem to know about the situation. That you omitted Linux's support for exactly the same set of ACLs as you deem superior - and which have been supported in Linux for a very long time, and make integration with AD so effective, allowing it to be controlled with exactly the same Windows utilities that many people like - would tend to indicate that you don't know as much as you think you know. Which is what I said.

> if you don't have the graciousness to concede that

Of course I'm not going to concede that. Your knowledge is lackiing. I pointed that out, and now you've got the hump. I'm not sufficiently interested to argue with you, but you don't seem to want to let it drop. I would much rather hear no more about it.

Vic.

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Megaphone

Re: "Less so for organisations running Ubuntu on lots of PCs and moving to 14.04"

>> You basically called me a liar.

>I didn't. I said you don't know as much as you think you do. That you take such exception to this is indicative in itself...

I said I was familiar with both GNU/Linux and Windows, you replied saying I was not, short as that. That's calling me a liar. And no, it's not indicative of anything. Someone who knows a lot about something is perfectly entitled to take exception to being told they aren't familiar with it. Indicative of nothing.

>>> "I also asked for an apology.

>>"Which you're not going to get. You claimed a status you do not deserve, and I told you exactly that"

All I said was that I was familiar with security models under both GNU/Linux and Windows and you said that wasn't true (without ever having met me so far as I'm aware).

Here is my response: Link.

Those are my own words, no cut and paste you wont find any of it dragged from anywhere else. Does that sound like someone unfamiliar with the security models of the two OS's?

You've read my response. You know damn well that you were wrong. An apology and a retraction is in order.

>>Regardless, I backed up what I said

>>"You didn't. You backed up as much as you seem to know about the situation. That you omitted Linux's support for exactly the same set of ACLs as you deem superior "

I explicitly went into ACLs on GNU/Linux and also covered to a sufficient degree why they are NOT "exactly the same". Now we move from you setting yourself up as judge on other people to you betraying flaws in your own understanding. If you say that ACLs on GNU/Linux are "exactly the same" as on Windows, then you don't know what you're talking about.

>>"Of course I'm not going to concede that. Your knowledge is lackiing. I pointed that out, and now you've got the hump. I'm not sufficiently interested to argue with you, but you don't seem to want to let it drop. I would much rather hear no more about it."

If you don't like replies like this then don't write insulting posts that declare what OS's someone you've never met is or is not familiar with. I've got "the hump", have I? Well yes, being insulted does make me angry. That's kind of why you insult someone - to upset them. Silly for you to complain afterwards.

You wrote a very patronizing and ad hominem post. I wrote a very factual reply. Now you're falling back on argument by assertion and doing your best to provide reasons why you'd "rather hear no more about it". Well, of course not. I provided facts, you provide statements such as "your knowledge is lacking".

I don't pretend to know everything, but anyone reading this can click on my reply to you above and see for themselves that your attempts to dismiss what I say by pretending superior knowledge don't really wash.

Now, if you've had enough, then by all means don't reply. But don't be stunned if your doing so perpetuates this conversation that you you're supposedly "not sufficiently interested in".

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@ Hans 1 re: Puppet

Puppet does indeed look interesting, but it is not like AD because it is layered on top of Linux, rather than being a part of the Linux infrastructure in the way that AD is integrated into Windows.

MS chose to use a registry for many or all of the important Windows and application settings, and then plugged AD into this to allow any program which used the registry to instead get the settings from AD. It's elegant and well thought out, something that I don't say about Microsoft very often.

Puppet relies on discrete 'modules' to perform specific functions. This means that every time you need to control a new application, it will probably be necessary to obtain or write a new module. This is very flexible, but ultimately more technically involved.

I am not currently running an environment that requires this degree of control (the problems in supercomputers with no system disks is not a problem that needs this type of solution), but I would certainly look at Puppet if I were in control of an environment that needed that level of control.

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whatever.

I'll stick with Slackware on my desktops. Slack has worked (for me!) without hiccups for a couple decades. Can't ask for more than that out of an operating system.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: whatever.

alright, that's two "whatever"s so far.

Who pissed in your cornflakes?

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@AC, whatever. (was: Re: whatever.)

No actual comantardery on my commentardery?

Whatever. You are a part of the problem.

This site needs more signal, less noise.

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WTF?

Re: @AC, whatever. (was: whatever.)

This site needs more signal, less noise.

Which do you think you add to?

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Re: @AC, whatever. (was: whatever.)

The thing is, however lovely Slackware is, Ubuntu is far more friendly to those people who are not tech-focused. If GNU/Linux is ever to claim a substantial share of the Desktop and laptop markets, it needs this. Ubuntu is, like it or not as a technical person, GNU/Linux's best hope of casual user success.

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Re: @AC, whatever. (was: whatever.) @h4rm0ny

I used to feel this. When Unity appeared to be the 'way forward', I lost that feeling as Canonical appeared so dogmatic about it, but although I've tried, I cannot find another distribution that ticks all the boxes..

I though that Mint might be a possibility, but it feels too parasitic to be regarded as a distribution in it's own right. This is true of all of the Ubuntu derived distributions. They rely on Canonical being there to exist. Sure, they can fork the entire source and repository trees, but most of them are shoe-string operations that would not have the resource if they could not leech off of Canonical. I worked with Mint Debian, but the installation process and associated huge initial update (it's a rolling release, and the available installation media available is so old now that the update process downloads more than the original size of the installation) means that it is not suitable as a consumer distribution.

The same can be said about any of the Red Hat derived distributions. Indeed, I seem to remember a story about two years ago about Centos nearly winding themselves up because one of the critical maintainers dropped off of the radar.

Fedora is too fast moving, and RHEL has too many barriers put up by Red Hat for either to be considered to be consumer releases.

OpenSUSE appears to be a little media unfriendly, although does tick the box for support.

Slackware and Debian, being a long-established distributions are not going away and are totally usable, if a bit of a hair-shirt experience (especially Slackware), but are generally considered as too slow-moving and staid for a modern desktop distribution.

So I come back around to Ubuntu. Currently, rather than using Unity, I'm using a combination of Gnome Classic and Xfce (depending on the size of the system) on LTS releases for my own use, and do not have a current recommendation for people who ask me what they should use. I've listened to and welcome that Canonical have at least listened to at least some of the criticisms, and will evaluate 14.04 on my primary laptop with and without Unity sometime in the next few weeks.

Who knows, it may win me back. I'll try to keep an open mind.

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Happy

Re: @AC, whatever. (was: whatever.) @h4rm0ny

".....Fedora is too fast moving, and RHEL has too many barriers put up by Red Hat for either to be considered to be consumer releases....." TBH, even the Red Hat boys will describe Fedora as a 'bleeding edge' distro for power users rather than beginners. IIRC, it is effectively the free beta tool for Red Hat. CentOS, on the other hand, is based on stable Red Hat releases so - whilst not as newbie-friendly as Ubuntu - is at least stable and predictable.

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Re: @AC, whatever. (was: whatever.) @h4rm0ny

"I though that Mint might be a possibility, but it feels too parasitic to be regarded as a distribution in it's own right. This is true of all of the Ubuntu derived distributions."

Correct me if I'm wrong (not uncommon) but if Ubuntu is itself based on Debian then surely Ubuntu is a parasite too.

If you don't like Mint because its based on Ubuntu then try LMDE - derived straight from Debian

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Re: @AC, whatever. (was: whatever.) @AceRimmer

You have a point about Ubuntu being parasitic, but I believe that there may be more people committed to maintaining the Ubuntu repositories than there are the Debian ones. I think that it is a two-way thing, and Canonical pass any changes they make back into the Debian tree, so it is not as parasitic as it first appears. I'm not sure the same can be said of Mint.

I do mention LMDE (which I called Mint Debian) in my post. Check back at it to see why I have difficulty recommending it.

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Re: but it feels too parasitic to be regarded as a distribution in it's own right.

Maybe, but how do you let Canonical know what you feel is going wrong with their distributions. By picking up one of the forked distributions you like, if enough people follow same then that distribution stands chance at gaining enough resources to become a true distribution.

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Re: @AC, whatever. (was: whatever.)

Girls, girls! Stop.

It's always *so* amusing watching 2 egos in these threads. It's a discussion forum with an open agenda (it's about Linux, huh?). I'm not sure what the signal or noise anecdotes really signify, but you make up now and be nice. And at the end of the day it's about Ubuntu, which I believe cites the meaning to be (of a few): "humanity towards others". Be nice.

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Re: @AC, whatever. (was: whatever.)

>>"it's about Ubuntu, which I believe cites the meaning to be (of a few): "humanity towards others". Be nice."

Actually, 'ubuntu' is word in several dialects in Southern Africa and roughly translates as "compiling is too hard for me".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC, whatever. (was: whatever.) @ Peter Gathercole

OpenSUSE appears to be a little media unfriendly

Not really, they just don't ship certain codecs with it due to legal reasons. It's easily solved with the one click install.

http://opensuse-guide.org/codecs.php

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@Jake (was Re: whatever.)

@Jake,

Well, your comment was helpful Err, NOT.

This is a thread on the new version of Ubuntu, what if offers, what it takes away, and how good is the new UI.

It is NOT a command to start using Ubuntu 14.04. Or even Ubuntu at all. It is not an attack on MS. It is simply an article on what is in 14.04.

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Re: @AC, whatever. (was: whatever.) @h4rm0ny

>OpenSUSE appears to be a little media unfriendly, although does tick the box for support.

In order to remain true opensource the base distro do not contain any closed source files:

http://opensuse-guide.org/codecs.php

It puzzles me why this can't be a checkbox - aka 'Add non free,open multimedia codecs' in the base installer. It is easy once You know how, but first time users do not have this knowledge and once the mp3 does not play and the mp4 does not play, they reject opensuse for something else.

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Re: @AC, whatever. (was: whatever.) @h4rm0ny

"..CentOS, on the other hand, is based on stable Red Hat releases so - whilst not as newbie-friendly as Ubuntu - is at least stable and predictable."

Centos Great. but _NEVER_ use Oracle Linux. Big money corporations exploiting opensource.

This only makes Redhat add more features as close source making it out of reach for CentOS.

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Menus in windows

I think you may have the wrong picture for 'menus in windows'. That picture shows what every PC and OS I've used/owned has done for many years. I may have misunderstood .....?

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Vic

Re: Menus in windows

That picture shows what every PC and OS I've used/owned has done for many years. I may have misunderstood .....?

You've not misunderstood - just not used a recent version of Ubuntu, apparently.

Things like menus at the top of windows were removed. Now they're back. This is a change for the better - but one which, arguably, should never have been necessary.

It's the same with the live-resizing thing that the article picks out - *all* of my machines do that, and have always done so. So do yours, I suspect. It is only news because Ubuntu broke that in a previous version :-(

Vic.

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Re: Menus in windows @Vic and frank ly

There is a difference. Look at a normal Gnome or KDE system. Look where the maximise and minimise buttons are compared to the normal set of File, Edit etc.

They are on different bars.

What this release of Unity does is to put all of these on the same bar. So on the left, going from left-to-right, you've got the Unity Close, Minimise, Maximise buttons, and then on the same bar, you have File, Edit, View etc.

I'm sort of interested in how it does this. Normally, the menu bar is totally the responsibility of the application, and the window decorations are an encapsulating window or windows that enclose the whole application window, and also provides the resize bars around the window (that is one of the reason why you have a window border, to enable you to 'grab' the resize handles which are managed by the window manager). This is achieved using a parent/child relationship between all of the windows that allow a window closer to the root window to either grab and process events, or pass them into the application.

By combining the two bars, Unity appears to alter or even break the normal X11 way of doing things. I presume it is using the shape extension to try to dictate to the application a non-rectangular window. I am wondering whether there will be any unpleasant clashes between some old-style X11 applications and Unity somewhere down the line.

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@Peter Gathercole Re: Menus in windows @Vic and frank ly

Ahhhh, yes I see. I prefer to have the name of the application (and its other info) on the top bar. That way I know what the heck it is.

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Re: @Peter Gathercole Menus in windows @Vic and frank ly

Hmm. I'd not even considered that the window title has gone.

That may be a bit of a deal-breaker for me when I have multiple terminal/xterms on local and remote systems. Like you, I use the title to differentiate the windows from each other.

I still think that the biggest difference between those who can work with Unity and those who can't is whether they use multiple windows visible on the screen at the same time. Multiple overlapping windows - it's a struggle to use Unity. Single window or maximised whole screen application, it really does not matter too much. Actually, thinking about it, those who use whole-screen windows probably do not notice the difference with the placement of the window control buttons. It's always at the top-left of the window whether it is attached to the window, or at the top of the screen as far as they are concerned.

I use multiple overlapping windows, so you can see my preference.

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Re: @Peter Gathercole Menus in windows @Vic and frank ly

>I prefer to have the name of the application (and its other info) on the top bar.

The title bar is becoming very busy and cluttered, particularly when running a remote session with all it's controls also occupying it.

Whilst it is nice to see people worry about vertical space, I note that very few make any real attempt to either utilise (or enable the user to utilise) the horizontal space of the modern notebook/desktop display.

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Re: Menus in windows

Linux desktops (or rather popular widget sets) have traditionally put the menus inside the frames of the app similar to Windows. So when Ubuntu in its wisdom forcibly and put them in a global menu bar (presumably by subverting how the GTK / QT menu widgets worked), it caused rather a lot of consternation, especially with no easy way to modify that behaviour.

Global menus are great on a very space constrained desktop like a netbook where combining horizontal strips for menus and title bars saves a lot of space.

They're not so great the larger the desktop becomes. Space is no longer at a premium and people are more likely to run apps side by side with each other. Then having to move a mouse onto one app to activate it and then move the mouse up to the top of the screen and then click down is just a pain in the arse.

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Re: That may be a bit of a deal-breaker for me

"Menu in window title bar" is not the default setting.

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Re: That may be a bit of a deal-breaker for me @Pookietoo

You've not followed what I've said. The default setting of a global menu bar is absolutely a deal breaker. I've tried using it both in Unity and in OSX, and I don't care how much people quote Fitt's Law to me, I find it more difficult to move to the top left of the screen every time I want to do something with a window, especially if I am using an incremental pointing device like a track point or trackpad.

Putting the window controls back on each window is what I want to do, but what Canonical have provided is a half-way house that may be enough, but may not.

I will have to try it before I can decide.

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Re: Menus in windows @DrXym

I don't actually agree that the Linux desktop normally puts any menus inside the application window frame. The menu bar (the one that often starts with "File") is part of the application window. The Title bar is not.

The title bar, which normally contains the close, minimise and maximise buttons and a title of the window, is outside of the application window, as are any resize handles (which are normally the 'border' that surrounds a window). They sit in an encapsulating window which is inserted in the window hierarchy and surrounds and is it is the 'parent' of the application window. This is normally larger than the application window itself, and is owned by the window manager. The window manager acts on any events that occur in the encapsulating window, not the application. If the action is something like a resize, minimise or maximise operation, the window manager will then instruct the application, through the X11 protocol, to perform the action. In a re-size operation, the window manager will resize the encapsulating window, and then tell the application to resize it's own window accordingly and redraw the contents.

This is the trick that allows the window manager to run on a separate system to both the X11 server and the application itself, and is a fundamental feature of X11 that too many people overlook.

Unity appears to be fiddling with the window handling behaviour, possibly by telling the application to use a non-rectangular window, and I worry that this may not work well with some older X11 applications.

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Re: Menus in windows @DrXym

"I don't actually agree that the Linux desktop normally puts any menus inside the application window frame."

Of course it does. The frame area is rendered by the server / window manager and the bit inside is rendered by the client, including the menu. Part of the work in preparation of Wayland is about adding client side rendering of the window decorations, into QT and Gtk and fixing up their coordinate systems as a result.

Windows is no different really. It has a frame (the non client area) and the menu is part of the client area. But Windows at least sees fit to provide common controls for stuff like windows, buttons etc. rather than expecting a widget API to come along to provide them. Although increasingly many apps are using their own widgets, just painted with the standard theme engine.

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Re: Menus in windows @DrXym

What you call the frame area, which I believe corresponds to what I called the menu bar is rendered by whatever toolkit you are using from inside the application (and, critically, the application's process space). The application can totally control what appears on that bar, although it will normally use standardised toolkit routines to do it.

This does not make it the Window Manager that is providing that menu bar. The Window Manager controls the encapsulating frame, and all of the widgets that it used to do this are outside of the application's process space (but do note, however, they may not be in the Window Managers process space - it could defer these to other processes under the way X11 is structured).

Do not confuse the Window Manager with the widget runtime shared object/library. They are not the same thing.

I see what you are getting at, however. The toolkit routines that create the menu bar are normally in shared objects/libraries that are dynamically bound in to the executable at run time. By providing a compatible but different set of routines at runtime, I can see that compliant programs could have their behaviour changed by the system, so that it would indeed be possible for the runtime to intercept and alter some of the expected behaviour.

But note that I said compliant programs. What about those that do not use the Gtk and QT runtimes to manage their menu bar. What if they do, but have statically linked the routines available at compile time. What if they are so old that they use the Xtk or Andrew Toolkit, or Motif, or CDE. Or, heaven forbid, coded all of the menu bars themselves!

If the modification is done at the runtime-call level (and this could be the bit I was unable to see when I wrote my earlier posts), it would be necessary for Canonical to patch each and every dynamically bound widget toolkit, and they would totally fail to manage statically bound binaries.

Regarding your comments on Wayland, remember that Canonical is not implementing Wayland. Their alternative to X11 is Mir, but this is not in current releases of Ubuntu. We are not talking about Wayland.

If, however, Wayland is making it the responsibility of the application to draw all window decorations, then I can see problems ahead when applications hang or crash. Having things like the "Close" button handled by another process, to allow mis-behaving process to be closed, is such a good idea that I wonder about the sanity of the Wayland developers in throwing this away. I have often wondered whether their drive to eliminate the overheads of X11 will end up throwing the baby out with the bath water. X11 may be old, but the concepts it introduced were mostly very sound, with the possible exception of the poor security model.

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Anonymous Coward

Privacy.

Due to the privacy blunder I'm now a happy opensuse user. Might have a look at Ubuntu, once amazon becomes opt-in, but I won't trust Ubuntu completely again.

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Anonymous Coward

Which flavor folks?

Small flavour to ask. I have a free laptop, actually the hard drive which had Vista is dead, hence its now free.

Can anyone offer a URL to a free easy Linux dist that'll boot off a USB key, and act as a good learning template?

I'm determined in 2014 to get off my lazy ass and start learning another OS and not be chained to MS for another 20 years.... Mucho Gracias!....

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Re: Which flavor folks?

Some flavour of Ubuntu is undoubtedly the easiest, but you'll learn some bad habits and not become as familiar with the underlying way everything works as you would with something more traditional. I would personally recommend Debian as it is package based (i.e. you don't have to compile everything), stable and you can put on a desktop environment of your choice. It's what I use for my work environment and it is one of my two favourite distros. You could also consider Kubuntu or Xubuntu which are Ubuntu derivatives that don't use Unity. The latter is particularly simple and light to run so would better suit a USB stick install.

If you want something a little more fun and which will get you closer to the metal in interesting ways, then I strongly recommend Gentoo. On this distro, you'll be compiling your own software but it has an interesting way of streamlining it and it is perhaps the best distro for learning who GNU/Linux works without running into a Learning Cliff.

So I personally recommend Debian, or Gentoo if you fancy something weird and really fun and where you can get right into its intestines.

I should also mention CentOS. A lot of enterprise environments are RedHat / CentOS based, so if you're interested in this professionally, you might want to consider looking at CentOS as you're more likely to run into it in the world of work. But I wouldn't go this route personally. I find Debian-based systems easier to work with and learn. Also not sure about installing and running this from a USB stick. Probably can, but I don't know how easy it would be and it's not common. The others you definitely can.

I hope that helps.

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FAIL

Re: Which flavor folks?

Wow. I assume that's one of fans reflexively down-voting my attempt to be help someone. Well, to the downvoters, consider that you're protesting against someone trying to help another choose a GNU/Linux distro that is right for them, and then think about what that says about you.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Which flavor folks?

Possible source of downvote: the OP asked for a bootable USB distro that is easy to learn and you pointed him/her to Debian/Gentoo?

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NB

Re: Which flavor folks?

Do you know your way around a Linux system? Are you comfortable with CLI based installation procedures? Then try Arch linux. It takes a bit longer to set it up but once that's out of the way it's a power users dream machine.

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Re: Which flavor folks?

"Possible source of downvote: the OP asked for a bootable USB distro that is easy to learn and you pointed him/her to Debian/Gentoo?"

Well I said Gentoo if they had technical background and wanted something "interesting" that would show them a lot of the low-level stuff. For someone who is interested in GNU/Linux for purpose of learning as the OP said, I actually think Gentoo is an excellent system. And I did begin my post by saying that some flavour of Ubuntu would undoubtedly be easiest. But as they're on a technical forum and expressed interest in knowing how it all works, I actually do favour Debian over Ubuntu. The latter increasingly wraps everything up in thick layers of GUI and you don't get as much of an understanding from it than you do Debian. IMO, anyway.

I may be coloured in my views by the fact I've used Debian for about a decade so I don't notice the rough edges as much anymore. But anyway, I did explain my reasoning for each option and it was a sincere attempt to help.

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Re: Which flavor folks?

Linux Mint - the Cinnamon desktop should run well on an ex Vista machine, or use MATE or Xfce otherwise.

I'm setting up several old XP system to dual boot Mint. Once networking in XP is turned off and updates, anti-virus, etc. are removed from XP it runs quite quickly. So anything that my customers struggle to do in Mint they cn do a quick reboot in to XP and do what they want there - as long as doesn't require Internet access.

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Re: Sparticus Re: Which flavor folks?

".....So anything that my customers struggle to do in Mint they cn do a quick reboot in to XP and do what they want there - as long as doesn't require Internet access." I can't recommend dual-boot with WinXP as I already hear rumors of black hats looking for attack vectors in such scenarios. TBH, if you need Windows that much, buy an OEM Windows 7 license off eBay instead.

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Re: Which flavor folks?

> I actually do favour Debian over Ubuntu

Given that umbongo is mostly debian anyway all you really get is UI tweaking, ie Unity.

And please stop recommending Mint, it has a whole bunch of proprietary crap bundled in and is forever tainted by Eadon's evangelism.

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Re: Which flavor folks?

Well, I've been using Debian for about 15 years, and installed it probably 50 times or more...

...and more often than not, I've had to manually fix something that the install messed up, major or minor, including cases where the new OS wouldn't boot.

Most recently, about a month ago, I totally failed to get the Debian installer to accept the partitioning I wanted, and I had to go back and boot off a Knoppix CD and set it up before trying to install Debian again. (Note that this was probably me not understanding the options the installer was offering me, but if I didn't get it, I doubt the novice would.)

For myself, I'm pretty happy to keep using Debian, but I don't think I'd recommend it to someone with no Linux or Unix experience. (I wouldn't recommend Ubuntu to anyone.)

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Re: Which flavor folks?

>>"For myself, I'm pretty happy to keep using Debian, but I don't think I'd recommend it to someone with no Linux or Unix experience. (I wouldn't recommend Ubuntu to anyone.)"

I'm curious to know which distro you would recommend, then? (no sarcasm - genuine question).

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@AC Re: Which flavor folks?

My suggestion: Buy a 32GB PATA SSD (I assume your old laptop uses a 2.5" PATA/IDE drive), you can get a Kingspec drive on e-bay from a chinese supplier for about £40. I did that for my 8-year old Acer Travelmate and installed Mint 13 LTS - works very nicely thank you. A Linux distribution with a big set of installed software will easily fit into 8GB leaving room for lots of personal data or multi-boot installations. Because it's PATA, there is a 100Mb/s limit to the possible data rate from the drive, but it's silent and robust. (If your laptop has a SATA drive, just buy a small SATA SSD.)

With an older and less powerful laptop, LXDE would be less sluggish than MATE (as I found) but there are other Linux distributiions and even lighter-weight DE possibilities out there.

With Linux, you can keep copies of any installed image on an external hard drive (use a Gparted live CD or similar to make partition copies) then you can recover from the inevitable foul-ups as you experiment. A Boot Repair Disk live CD is also a good thing to get and use. Good luck - have fun.

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Re: Sparticus Which flavor folks?

[different Spartacus]

Whilst I shudder at the XP suggestion, he DID say "with Internet turned off". That normally stops most attack vectors.

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Re: Which flavor folks?

How old's the lapdog? I've tried Mint 15 / XFCE (Umbongo derived) on my daughter's EEE901 (Came with Umbongo / unity - neither of us could stand it.) Went for XFCE because it is relatively lightweight. Put a shedload of apps on it. Very usable, surprisingly fast. Everything including a 3g dongle working out of the box. Problem is daughter and I found it just a little unstable. She wants Debian like wot dad has. I'll try it shortly. It'll give me a chance to get the partition alignment sorted out for SSDs. (2 in the EEE.) I wanted to try XFCE prior to installing Debian 7 on my main box - Running Debian Squeeze with Gnome 2 at the mo and don't like the looks of Gnome 3. XFCE looks quite nice - I think I can tweak it to bits and live with it.

Try a couple of live DVDs and see what you think. At the other end of the scale - try one (or several) of the Puppies. I'm using a version of Fatdog (64 bit take on Puppy) on a usb stick as a live distro running in RAM with no hard disks mounted. Visit site, buy, pay, print receipts as required, reboot. All gone. Fairly minimalist, easy to configure and very fast. I think it uses Joe's Window Manager.

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Re: Which flavor folks?

"Well I said Gentoo if they had technical background and wanted something "interesting" that would show them a lot of the low-level stuff."

Some people also like to build kit cars but most use a car to drive somewhere and do something unrelated to the car itself. I see Gentoo / Arch as the kit car of the operating system world. Great if you like pulling things apart, or chasing real or imagined performance gains, but not so good if you use a computer for something else.

Most people use a computer do other stuff - browse the web, write a document, manage their accounts, write a program, play games, watch porn, administer their network or whatever. They expect the OS to do what it's there for - to facilitate these activities with some semblance of consistency, user friendliness and usability, not constantly throw brickbats at their head.

Unfortunately the Linux scene has always had an extremely self-destructive streak. I've read some hilariously defensive replies when I've commented on usability issues in dists. Usability is seen by some as a Bad Thing. Desktops like Unity and GNOME are openly scoffed by some as "dumbing down". While I think Ubuntu hasn't gotten everything (particularly its not-invented-here syndrome), I would still recommend it to someone who wants something that just works.

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Re: Which flavor folks?

Much as I love Gentoo - it would be painfully slow to compile everything on a USB key (especially if it's an older one)

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Mushroom

Re: Sparticus Which flavor folks?

'Matt Bryant

I can't recommend dual-boot with WinXP as I already hear rumors of black hats looking for attack vectors in such scenarios.'

Is Windows that sh*t that even if you disable networking it could still be attacked - really!

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Re: Sparticus Which flavor folks?

"Is Windows that sh*t that even if you disable networking it could still be attacked - really!"

That's highly dependant on how you plan to get new media to the machine to work with, and how much you trust the USB drive you're importing it from, really....

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