| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 131, 19 December 2005
Welcome to this year's very last issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The renewed GNOME versus KDE flame war and Xen virtualisation are the two leading topics in this issue; these are followed by a few interesting links, including a timeline of Perl, which celebrated 18 years of age on Sunday. Has Ubuntu Linux been dumbed down? With omission of some of the vital utilities from the latest release, Robert Storey wonders where this increasingly popular distribution is heading. Also in this issue: an interview with Robert Tolu of the GenieOS project, an update on FreeBSD release schedule for 2006, and a handful of interesting new distributions. Happy reading!
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
GNOME vs KDE, Xen, best distribution, Nexenta, 18 years of Perl
Nothing stirs the interest of open source news sites more than a good GNOME vs KDE flame war. This is a subject that everybody has an opinion about and Linus Torvalds is no different. Last week, the creator of Linux spoke his mind - in his usual, straightforward manner, which left many GNOME fans completely stunned. Is he a troll, or is this some kind of a sick joke? Well, neither, it seems, as Linus has taken a further trouble to explain himself:
"I think the KDE development process has been a lot more 'lively', and I think a lot of the reason for that has been that they haven't allowed the 'interface nazi' kind of stifling of what people feel they need to do. Read the recent KDE-3.5 release announcement with the 'visual guide to new features', and you can feel the energy. Sure, they have three different kinds of desktop choosers. So what? You don't have to use them. But the capabilities are there if you want to.
And I think that's important. It's important, because that developer energy, in the end, is what get things done. And as a side effect, you will automatically end up with a system that understands that defaults may be good, but that different people have different needs and views. Because you had a very diverse group of people that worked on it.
Linus has a valid point - open source software has evolved to become a viable competition to expensive proprietary software not just because it is cost-free, but also because it keeps attracting many open-minded developers who want to program freely, without the constraints of some arbitrary feature goals. That said, GNOME remains a very popular desktop, so it obviously suits many users perfectly well. Either way, the discussions on many news sites and forums were lively, to say the least, and it certainly created some excitement during the otherwise pretty dull week.
* * * * *
With the recent release of Xen 3.0, there has been much talk about the virtual machine monitor. Not only we have seen a growing numbers of articles about this phenomenon and noticed several web hosting companies offering "virtual" dedicated servers using Xen, some analysts go as far as suggesting that Xen is the next killer application. Given the interest, we thought that, to jumpstart a discussion in this week's forums, we ask our readers: what is your opinion about Xen? Have you used or considered using it? If so, for what purpose? And what were your results? For those who haven't had a chance to try it out, probably the best way to do so is to download one of the Xen-enabled live CDs or DVDs, such as Xenoppix (with pre-configured NetBSD and Plan9; requires 512MB of RAM) or the Xen Demo CD (with Debian "etch" and CentOS 4.1).
Running Debian and CentOS on the same desktop, courtesy of Xen
(full image size: 229kB, resolution: 1024x768 pixels)
* * * * *
What is the best Linux distribution? As always, this is something that all users have to find out by themselves, but it helps to do some reading before you plunge into highly addictive distro testing. One of the more intelligently written articles on the subject is the recently published The best Linux distribution of them all: "A few weeks back, my friend Tom asked me a question regarding Linux - that is - which is the best Linux distribution of them all. And following is the lively conversation we had about this topic which I am sharing with you." Written with Linux beginners in mind, the article gives a few Linux distribution suggestions for all types of users and explains some of the more important aspects of choosing a distribution. A good read.
* * * * *
One of the most unusual operating system born in 2005 was Nexenta. Combining the OpenSolaris kernel with GNU and Debian utilities, the project has created a controversy - after it attempted to mix two incompatible licenses in one product. But if you ignore the squabble and look at Nexenta from the point of view of its bringing us another interesting OS alternative, especially after its remarkably stable "alpha" release, then you'll agree that Nexenta is a worthwhile project. But how did it come along? Alex Ross, the distribution's creator, explains in his blog:
"I've been a Solaris user for a long time. It was love at first sight, and the feeling is still unchanged. Throughout the years I've become so accustomed to it that it's hard to do anything elsewhere. And one day, my friend pointed me to a Linux distribution called Ubuntu. So I got a hold of it, installed it and began using it. My eyes opened wide (and I swear I must have been drooling too). I thought it was the easiest and most user-friendly environment I've ever used.
'Why can't Solaris be like this!', I shouted. For a while, I went from being a 'Solaris is the best for techies' into 'Gee, my mom can use this thing called Ubuntu' person."
* * * * *
Perl, the "Practical Extraction and Report Language", is now officially a grown-up, as it was exactly 18 years ago yesterday since the release of Perl 1.000 on 18 December 1987. Here is the description of the language from the original release announcement: "Perl is an interpreted language optimized for scanning arbitrary text files, extracting information from those text files, and printing reports based on that information. It's also a good language for many system management tasks. The language is intended to be practical (easy to use, efficient, complete) rather than beautiful (tiny, elegant, minimal). It combines (in the author's opinion, anyway) some of the best features of C, sed, awk, and sh, so people familiar with those languages should have little difficulty with it." See the PerlTimeline page for more details about the history of this popular interpreter.
* * * * *
As per tradition, DistroWatch Weekly will take a break before returning again in two week's time - on 2 January 2006. Looking back at the past 12 months, it certainly was a busy and enjoyable year, with Linux and other open source operating systems and applications making clear headways in terms of market share, deployment, and popularity. DistroWatch has grown too - from serving just over 5 million pages in January to nearly 12 million in October. We would like to thank all our readers, contributors, sponsors and the hundreds of people who submitted news, corrections and suggestions over the year. And to all of you who celebrate it: merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous New Year! See you in 2006!
Ubuntu Breezy Badger - is it too dumbed down? (by Robert Storey)
People's characters are strengthened through struggle against difficulties; they are weakened by comfort.
- Chinese proverb
As some of our faithful readers may recall, I wrote a review of Ubuntu Breezy Badger, entitled The Ubuntu Juggernaut. It was published on 16 October 2005 which, by the fast-moving standards of Linux development, might seem like eons ago. Nevertheless, Breezy Badger is still the current release of Ubuntu - the next version (Dapper Drake) is not due out until April, 2006. Therefore, the review isn't yet obsolete. I still have Breezy Badger installed on my trusty laptop, and have been faithfully using and abusing it over the past two months.
All things considered, my Ubuntu experience has been positive, but I have noticed a few annoyances. Recently, I discovered what I consider to be one of Breezy Badger's greatest shortcomings - the "missing" gcc compiler.
I must emphasise that this deficiency lies with Breezy Badger alone - I swear that the compiler was present in Hoary Hedgehog (the cutesy nickname for the previous Ubuntu release). Which raises the question - "Is Ubuntu being dumbed down?"
Of course, some might argue that installing the gcc compiler is easy. Just apt-get install gcc - right?
If only. To get gcc working is not so intuitive. Packages I had to install included the following:
After installing the above, I still couldn't compile anything. This was due to a bug. I finally worked out that I needed to create two symbolic links in /usr/bin/:
ln -s gcc-3.4 gcc
ln -s g++3.4 g++
Then it all worked. However, I can't help but feel that I had to jump through too many hoops to install something that should be included in every Linux distribution. Admittedly, Ubuntu is designed with a newbie-friendly interface, and newbies are somewhat unlikely to compile apps during their first week of using Linux. However, "newbie-friendly" doesn't have to mean "oldie-hostile". Ubuntu is not just a distro for beginners - it's got enough advanced features to keep experienced Linux geeks happy. Perhaps the developers have gone too far in their attempt to "dumb down" their OS so as to make new users feel welcome.
Ideally, it would be best if the compilers and X11 development libraries were included in a default Ubuntu install. But failing that, at the very least the symbolic links should be created automatically.
|Interview with Robert Tolu, GenieOS
Interview with Robert Tolu, GenieOS
GenieOS, formerly known as "Debian Pure", is essentially a single-CD Debian "sarge" with GNOME and a few popular extras, such as pre-configured browser plugins and multimedia support. Rober Tolu, the project's creator, has kindly agreed to answer a few questions about GenieOS and about his other activities. Incidentally, a new release of GenieOS, version 0.5, was made available for download on Sunday, together with a bonus release - a remastered edition of PCLinuxOS for the GNOME fans.
DW: Robert, thank you very much for your time. First, please introduce yourself. How old are you, where do you live, what do you for living? When did you start using Linux and why?
RT: You're welcome. I really appreciate this opportunity. I would also like to say that I love DistroWatch, it has made Monday mornings a treat!
I currently live in Boston, MA and work as a Finance Manager for a local non-profit organization. I'm 29 years old, married, and have no children. I'm a Harvard graduate which is where I first heard about Linux. I was in a pharmacology class some 4 years ago when I spoke with a classmate who brought Linux up. I asked him what about Linux and he gave me some information. I didn't think much about the information he gave me until one day I was in Microcenter and happened to see Red Hat Linux sitting there on the shelf. I decided to buy it and give it a try. At first I was nervous about it, but the Anaconda installer made me feel very comfortable. However, I found that the installed system was missing too many things that I enjoy like multimedia, so I decided to ditch it and try something else. My next encounter was with Mandrake and I really liked Mandrake. But it contained too many bugs for my taste. I tried more and more until I finally landed on Debian.
It took a while to figure out the right installation, but it did everything I wanted it to. And I use Debian to this day.
DW: GenieOS seems to have garnered quite a following among the DistroWatch readers even before its listing on this web site. Can you briefly describe the project and highlight the most important differences between GenieOS and Debian? What was the motivation behind developing GenieOS? Who is the target market?
RT: The initial response surprised me. I even ran out of bandwidth a couple of times, but I coughed up the cash and kept the ISO online directly until the mirrors were set up.
No differences exist between Debian and GenieOS other than the name and the fact that GenieOS includes a few plugins not derived from the Debian repositories. All I have done with GenieOS is taken the sarge installer and added pre-seeds, simple scripts, and the appropriate Debian packages. GenieOS is not a fork, rather an easy means to setup a Debian desktop.
The target market consists of all those users who enjoy the Debian derivatives, but wish they were both free and fully compatible with the Debian repositories. I created GenieOS for my own personal use, but figured why not share my installation tool with the community.
DW: GenieOS comes on a single CD so a rather large number of Debian packages are missing and whatever the user needs has to be installed later - either over the network or from Debian CDs. How do you decide packages what packages will go on the CD?
RT: Since I developed GenieOS as a personal tool, I simply include the packages I use. I like a clean desktop with one application for each task. I don't like having 10 web browsers and 5 video players. I figure a package may always be added later from the repositories. However, some people have emailed me about adding laptop packages and printing packages which I plan to do. The goal is to have a fully-functioning desktop without going overboard.
DW: GenieOS is based on Debian Sarge, which is already fairly outdated in terms of included package versions. As such, I would be reluctant to use it on my desktop, since I prefer a distribution (or branch) with more up-to-packages and more frequent releases. Any plans to change the model to track, say, Debian's testing branch or perhaps even Ubuntu?
RT: I'm strongly considering using the testing branch of Debian since it now receives regular security updates, but no plans to track Ubuntu as I wish to avoid incompatibilities with Debian repositories.
DW: The GenieOS web site seems to be rather bare, with no community resources, such as forums, mailing lists or Wikis? Any plans to change that?
RT: Not at this time. There are plenty of Debian resources available on the web and I see no need to create another. There aren't enough differences between GenieOS and Debian.
DW: How long before GenieOS 1.0 is reached? What features do you still intend to implement before you consider it feature complete? Do you have a roadmap?
RT: I'm hoping to release a 1.0 by the middle of 2006. I have no set roadmap as the Linux world changes daily and rapidly. The only issue under strong debate at this time is whether to move to Debian testing. Beyond that, anything goes.
DW: Do you use other distributions in addition to Debian and GenieOS?
RT: I currently have SUSE 10.0 and PCLinuxOS 0.92 installed. I like SUSE's hardware detection and polish. And I like PCLinuxOS for the same reasons.
I find installing packages on SUSE to be a little more difficult. I'm just spoiled with Debian, I guess. I have tried APT for SUSE, but it's just not the same. But I think this distro has real promise.
PCLinuxOS also shows real promise. It's one of the most polished and easy systems out there. My only blight with it is that it's KDE-based. I'm not saying KDE is terrible, but I just happen to be a GNOME guy.
DW: Are you working on some other projects, besides GenieOS?
RT: Currently I'm working on a remastered edition of PCLinuxOS using GNOME as the desktop. There's an ISO already available on the GenieOS site for people to download and try under the 'other stuff' tab. I've basically taken the wonderful work Texstar has done and tweaked it to suit my needs.
DW: Robert, thank you again for your time and answers and good luck with your project!
RT: I do wish to thank you again for this opportunity! I also wish to thank Josh King, Ibiblio, Brian Piorek, the Debian team, the GNOME team, and anyone else I may have forgotten to mention!
|Released Last Week
A new version of SchilliX, a live CD based on OpenSolaris, has been released. What's new? "Updated to use OpenSolaris Nevada Build 28; WLAN support added; if there is an 'open' WLAN available that supports DHCP, the related interface is automatically configured after the boot; to configure the WLAN, check the 'wificonfig' command (man page included); support is available for the following WIFI devices: Atheros 52xx chipset via the 'ath' driver, Pro/Wireless 2100 chipset via the 'ipw' driver; Pro/Wireless 2200BG/2915ABG chipsets via the 'iwi' driver; DHCP now sets /etc/resolv.conf and hostname; new Grub menu entry allows to forward to the default hard disk boot." Here is the release announcement.
Foresight Linux 0.9.3
Foresight Desktop Linux has been updated to version 0.9.3: "The other night I published ISOs for 0.9.3, it is a minor update from 0.9.2. There was a nasty bug in Anaconda that caused GRUB install problems for some users, that is fixed now. Also, system-config-display was broken, also fixed in this release. Not completely however, it fails during the firstboot process. There are also a few updated packages, the only one to note is an update tango icon set." Here is the full release announcement.
MoLinux 2.0 "Sancho", an Ubuntu-based distribution developed by the regional government of Castilla la Mancha in Spain, has been released. The new version is based on Ubuntu "Breezy" 5.10 and includes the following: kernel 2.6.12; GNOME 2.12; Evolution 2.4; OpenOffice.org 2.0 with support for the OpenDocument format and OpenBase database application; Firefox 1.0.7; a new system for installing packages (gnome-app-install); new artwork and bootsplash; integration of the hardware notification system from Guadalinex; new translations of some of the applications. Please refer to the release announcement (in Spanish) for further details.
Version 2.0 of the Slackware-based pocketlinux distribution has been released: "This is a Christmas present to our fellows: a new version of pocketlinux. This is a major change, as we have rebuilt the complete system on Slackware 10.2. We have also added many development packages to make it easier to update KDE light using the 'SlackBuild' Scripts. This release also includes the current version of Mozilla Firefox and is the first version that comes with KDE kiosktool. This will help you to lock down the desktop. Main features: upgraded core system to Slackware 10.2; replaced KDE with the current packages from Slackware 10.2; added localised versions of 'motd' and 'login issue' to the installer...." See the release announcement for more information.
Coyote Linux Personal Firewall 3.00.37
Coyote Linux Personal Firewall has been updated to version 3.00.37: "Coyote Linux 3.00 build 37 is available for download. This release has the following changes: fix for bug#1 - changing the remote admin ACLs will now properly reload form the web admin; added a new setup interview script that is much less complex than the original. It only asks enough questions to bring up the WAN and 1 LAN interface and sets the remote admin permission for https and ssh to only be permitted from the LAN. Any remaining configuration can then be done via the console or web admin." Here is the full release announcement.
* * * * *
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
FreeBSD release schedule for 2006
Scott Long, the FreeBSD release manager, has announced a preliminary release schedule for the year 2006. If the plan is adhered to, there will be four stable FreeBSD versions - one final release in the 5.x series (in April) and three releases in the 6.x series (in March, July and December), focusing on bugfixes, performance enhancements, incremental functionality and driver additions. The developers will start preparing for FreeBSD 7.0 in June 2007. For more information please see this announcement.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
Linux Format Issue 75|
The January 2006 issue of Linux Format is now on the shelves, inclusive of the DistroWatch column. It takes a look back on the major distribution releases of the last quarter of the year, the process of upgrading existing installation and introduces the Elive live CD. Lots of other stories in the magazine too, including a feature story on Mozilla Firefox 1.5, interview with Perl's Larry Wall, a guide to setting up MythTV on your computer, as well as a nice series of tutorials on GIMP, Emacs, Inkscape, PHP and Squid. See the publication's web site for the complete content of issue 75.
And if you haven't yet come up with a good Christmas present for a geek friend of family member, why not consider a gift subscription to Linux Format? Although the price of the magazine with shipping might sound a bit high, especially if you live outside of UK, remember that you'll get over 100 pages of solid content with almost no advertising. Definitely a great value for money!
* * * * *
New distributions added to the waiting list
- IBLS. IBLS (Itty Bitty Linux Server) is a compact, easy-to-use web server that can be run straight off the CD, any time, any place, even on a Pentium 133MHz with 32MB of RAM. It is designed to be simple to use, and at the same time give power users the features and performance they desire.
- KNOPPIX/Math. KNOPPIX/Math is a KNOPPIX-based Japanese live CD with focus on mathematical applications. It supports Japanese, Korean and English languages.
- Nbed-Nakooki Live CD. Nbed-Nakooki Live CD is a general-purpose GNU/Linux live CD for the x86 platform. It features Norean, a collection of tools for Linux distribution creators, and Nakooki, a demonstration and pedagogic implementation of Norean tools in the form of a small source-centric distribution, which can also be used as a start point for other distributions.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
That's all for today. See you again on 2 January 2006 :-)
1 • Mandriva (by Garret on 2005-12-19 11:57:51 GMT from ) |
LOL, I noticed that Mandriva is not mentioned for upcoming releases in 2006.
2 • Ubuntu and gcc (by Chestbursted on 2005-12-19 11:58:15 GMT from )
The package that gives you about everything when you need to build things is called build-essential... :/ The name might not be logical but, it is pretty easy to find and install.
3 • re: "Dumbed-down" Ubuntu (by Mark W. Tomlinson on 2005-12-19 11:58:43 GMT from )
Robert - while I avoid compiling stuff like the plague, I have seen numerous mentions of a "build-essential" package in the standard repositories. Perhaps this could be a less painful way to bring some "oldie" goodness to your setup?
"Merry (insert appropriate holiday here) to all and to all, a good night!"
4 • Thanks! (by HW on 2005-12-19 11:59:40 GMT from )
Thanks for having the time and energy to provide us with such a great mag? or newspaper to read weekly and to keep us updated with!
5 • Ubuntu Breezy Badger / gcc (by TJ on 2005-12-19 12:01:16 GMT from )
The package 'gcc' is the one that includes the 'gcc' symbolic links, as always. Others install binaries like gcc-3.3, gcc-3.4, gcc-4.0 so that you can use them together.
The entry was a bit confusing to read: what were you aiming to do with a gcc version that is not the default in Ubuntu? But I'd guess you tried to compile a kernel module which needs, in Ubuntu 5.10, gcc 3.4 because kernel was compiled with earlier versionf of gcc than what's the default otherwise (4.0). I agree that it's confusing that the kernel was not compiled with gcc 4.0 like all the other programs, but there were good reasons for it.
Anyway, Ubuntu is a single-CD distribution (which is nice) for desktop users - anyone knowing what _is_ a compiler probably can also write 'sudo apt-get install gcc'.
6 • No subject (by Debianite on 2005-12-19 12:06:34 GMT from )
Desktop... My preference is Icewm, fast and stable with a right-click configurable desktop menu for applications (an essential for me). Configurable as you need and compatible with various apps from both gnome and kde used as needed. Why wait half a minute to load what's essentially a work surface?
7 • Ubuntu not dumbed down (by Anonymous on 2005-12-19 12:07:57 GMT from )
Hoary didn't have GCC either. The way to install it is by "apt-get install build-essential", which will save you from your so-called bugs.
8 • GCC and Ubuntu (by John Dong on 2005-12-19 12:10:24 GMT from )
Yes, the compiler is still on the CD-ROM in Breezy. The metapackage "build-essential" (in main) installs GCC (4.0), make, development libraries, and other stuff.
Missing from the CD-ROM is gcc-3.4, which is necessary to compile kernel modules (the kernel was built with GCC 3.4; everything else with GCC 4.0), which is something that still annoys me.
So sorry, I can't say your GCC experience with Breezy was normal and urge you to investigate the situation again (bad/incomplete sources.list?). Again, [b]the compiler is installable by default through gcc/g++/build-essential[/b], both with CD-ROM only and network access.
Ubuntu Backports Project Leader
9 • +++ GenieOS +++ (by Caraibes on 2005-12-19 12:12:00 GMT from )
Good job guys !!!
Glad to see Robert here ! I really enjoy his distro... will download the new version later today...
10 • Robert Storey -- WWYT ? (by Rohan Dhruva on 2005-12-19 12:42:40 GMT from India)
Robert Storey's "opinion" just portrays the height on ignorance. I would like to make these points clear :
1) The essential compiler tools definitely _are_ present on the cd, but not installed by default. Just do a "apt-get install build-essential" on a freshly installed system, without internet too, and it will work.
2) Breezy uses gcc 4, why do you need gcc 3.x ? If you install "build-essential", the necessary symlinks are already set up for you.
Judging from the fact that you sound a well educated guy, i think you atleast knew that breezy uses gcc4 ?
3) All distros are "developers" distro. Any distro in which you can install development tools and libraries, can be called a developers distro. What exactly do you mean by that term ?
4) No, the compiler is not installed by default on a hoary system, but the cd, as has been the tradition since warty, does carry the gcc compiler.
Please get your facts right, Mr. Storey. And DW, you could have checked the author is being highly ignorant, and lazy ? Because this article actually shows how dumb is the user, not how dumbed-down is the distro.
PS: My kuddos to GenieOS, the best Debian install method i have tried so far :)
11 • Remastered PCLinuxOS (by John on 2005-12-19 13:01:46 GMT from United States)
The Gnome remaster of PCLinuxOS available on the GenieOS site is awesome! I always liked PCLinuxOS, but didn't like the Kde focus. The remaster is nicely packaged.
12 • KDE vs Gnome (by Jesse on 2005-12-19 13:01:50 GMT from Canada)
While I share Linus' preference for the KDE desktop, I think
it is unfortunate he expressed his views so strongly. Gnome
may have (in my opinion) made some UI design mistakes,
but that hardly makes them nazis.
13 • Xen (by Patrick on 2005-12-19 13:03:28 GMT from Luxembourg)
Xen will certainly be a killer app as soon as the processors will support it (VT-x or equivalent), so that you can run any OS inside without changes.
Until then I'll stick to VMWare.
14 • GenieOS 0.5 is good but don't go to debian testing (by hobbitland on 2005-12-19 13:04:28 GMT from United Kingdom)
GenieOS 0.5 is good for easy install. But don't go to Debian testing
or I would not use it. It might be nice if the author can persuade the
Debian folks to cretae a single installation CD tehmselves.
15 • Ubuntu and gcc (by Richo on 2005-12-19 13:27:22 GMT from United States)
I think you will find that the problems with gcc3.4 you had in breezy will not occur in dapper. The problem the developers had was that they brought in gcc4.0 and discovered too late that the kernel did not compile properly (due to the newness of gcc4 and the complexity of the kernel) so late into the cycle they had to revert to gcc3.4 for the kernel only. This is what happens when you have a six month development cycle and a mission to use bleeding edge software. It has nothing to do with dumbing down.
16 • Intuitive? I don't think so. (by Mr. Pnk on 2005-12-19 13:33:31 GMT from United States)
g00fy@friggin:~$ aptitude search gcc
p altgcc - Alternate gcc package for the libc5 environment
p colorgcc - Colorizer for GCC warning/error messages
v egcc -
p gcc - The GNU C compiler
p gcc-2.95 - The GNU C compiler
p gcc-2.95-doc - Documentation for the GNU compilers (gcc, gobjc
v gcc-3.0 -
v gcc-3.2 -
p gcc-3.3 - The GNU C compiler
i gcc-3.3-base - The GNU Compiler Collection (base package)
p gcc-3.3-doc - Documentation for the GNU compilers (gcc, gobjc
p gcc-3.4 - The GNU C compiler
i A gcc-3.4-base - The GNU Compiler Collection (base package)
p gcc-3.4-doc - Documentation for the GNU compilers (gcc, gobjc
v gcc-3.5 -
v gcc-3.5-base -
v gcc-3.5-doc -
i A gcc-4.0 - The GNU C compiler
i gcc-4.0-base - The GNU Compiler Collection (base package)
p gcc-4.0-doc - Documentation for the GNU compilers (gcc, gobjc
p gcc-4.0-locales - The GNU C compiler (native language support fil
p gcc-avr - The GNU C compiler (cross compiler for avr)
p gcc-doc - Documentation for the GNU C compilers (gcc, gob
v gcc-docs -
v gcc-h8300 -
p gcc-h8300-hms - The GNU C/C++ cross-compilers for the Hitachi H
p gcc-m68hc1x - GNU C compiler for the Motorola 68HC11/12 proce
p gcc-snapshot - A SNAPSHOT of the GNU Compiler Collection
p gcc272 - The GNU C compiler.
p gcc272-docs - Documentation for the gcc compiler (gcc272).
p gccchecker - Memory access debugger for C language developme
p lib64gcc1 - GCC support library (64bit)
i libgcc1 - GCC support library
p pocketpc-gcc - The GNU C compiler for Pocket PC
v uclibc-gcc -
g00fy@friggin:~$ apt-cache search gcc
cpp - The GNU C preprocessor (cpp)
cpp-3.3 - The GNU C preprocessor
cpp-3.4 - The GNU C preprocessor
cpp-4.0 - The GNU C preprocessor
dpkg-dev - Package building tools for Debian
g++-3.4 - The GNU C++ compiler
g77 - The GNU Fortran 77 compiler
g77-3.4 - The GNU Fortran 77 compiler
gcc - The GNU C compiler
gcc-3.3 - The GNU C compiler
gcc-3.3-base - The GNU Compiler Collection (base package)
gcc-3.4 - The GNU C compiler
gcc-3.4-base - The GNU Compiler Collection (base package)
gcc-3.4-doc - Documentation for the GNU compilers (gcc, gobjc, g++)
gcc-4.0 - The GNU C compiler
gcc-4.0-base - The GNU Compiler Collection (base package)
gcc-4.0-doc - Documentation for the GNU compilers (gcc, gobjc, g++)
gcc-doc - Documentation for the GNU C compilers (gcc, gobjc, g++)
gcj - The GNU Java compiler
gcj-4.0 - The GNU compiler for Java(TM)
gnat-3.3 - The GNU Ada compiler
gnat-3.4 - The GNU Ada compiler
gnat-4.0 - The GNU Ada compiler
gobjc - The GNU Objective-C compiler
gobjc-4.0 - The GNU Objective-C compiler
lib64gcc1 - GCC support library (64bit)
libaspell15c2 - GNU Aspell spell-checker runtime library [dummy]
libgcc1 - GCC support library
libgcj-dev - Java development headers and static library for use with gcj
libgcj6 - Java runtime library for use with gcj
libgcj6-common - Java runtime library for use with gcj (jar files)
libgcj6-dev - Java development headers and static library for use with gcj
acovea - analysis of compiler options via evolutionary algorithms
altgcc - Alternate gcc package for the libc5 environment.
chill-2.95 - The GNU CHILL compiler
colorgcc - Colorizer for GCC warning/error messages
cpp-2.95 - The GNU C preprocessor
cpp-2.95-doc - Documentation for the GNU C preprocessor (cpp)
cpphs - Simplified cpp-a-like preprocessor for Haskell
cstream - general-purpose stream-handling tool similar to dd
cxref - Generates latex and HTML documentation for C programs
diasce - a C/C++ code editor for GNOME
diasce2 - A C/C++ code editor for GNOME 2
g++-2.95 - The GNU C++ compiler
g77-2.95 - The GNU Fortran 77 compiler
g77-2.95-doc - Documentation for the GNU Fortran compiler (g77)
gcc-2.95 - The GNU C compiler
gcc-2.95-doc - Documentation for the GNU compilers (gcc, gobjc, g++)
gcc-3.3-doc - Documentation for the GNU compilers (gcc, gobjc, g++)
gcc-4.0-locales - The GNU C compiler (native language support files)
gcc-avr - The GNU C compiler (cross compiler for avr)
gcc-h8300-hms - The GNU C/C++ cross-compilers for the Hitachi H8/300[HS] processors
gcc-m68hc1x - GNU C compiler for the Motorola 68HC11/12 processors
gcc-snapshot - A SNAPSHOT of the GNU Compiler Collection
gcc272 - The GNU C compiler.
gcc272-docs - Documentation for the gcc compiler (gcc272).
gccchecker - Memory access debugger for C language development
gfortran - The GNU Fortran 95 compiler
gfortran-4.0 - The GNU Fortran 95 compiler
ggcov - Graphical tool for displaying gcov test coverage data
ghdl - VHDL compiler/simulator using GCC technology
gnat - The GNU Ada 95 compiler
gobjc-2.95 - The GNU Objective-C compiler
gobjc-3.4 - The GNU Objective-C compiler
gpc - The GNU Pascal compiler
gpc-2.1-3.4 - The GNU Pascal compiler
gpc-2.1-3.4-doc - Documentation for the GNU Pascal compiler (gpc)
gpc-2.95 - The GNU Pascal compiler
gpc-2.95-doc - Documentation for the GNU Pascal compiler (gpc)
lg-issue25 - Issue 25 of the Linux Gazette.
lg-issue88 - Issue 88 of the Linux Gazette.
libc5 - The Linux C library version 5 (run-time libraries).
libg++188.8.131.52-dbg - The GNU C++ extension library - debugging files
libg++184.108.40.206-dev - The GNU C++ extension library - development files
libg++220.127.116.11-glibc2.2 - The GNU C++ extension library - runtime version
libmudflap0 - GCC mudflap shared support libraries
libmudflap0-dev - GCC mudflap support libraries (development files)
libstdc++2.10-dbg - The GNU stdc++ library (debugging files)
libstdc++2.10-dev - The GNU stdc++ library (development files)
libstdc++2.10-glibc2.2 - The GNU stdc++ library
llvm - Low-Level Virtual Machine (LLVM) compiler for C/C++
motor - C/C++/Java Integrated Development Environment
motor-common - C/C++/Java Integrated Development Environment
motor-fribidi - C/C++/Java Integrated Development Environment
pentium-builder - force pentium optimized compilation
pilrc - PalmOS resource compiler and editor
pocketpc-gcc - The GNU C compiler for Pocket PC
prc-tools - GCC, GDB, binutils, etc. for PDAs using the PalmOS
prc-tools-arm - Development toolchain for PDAs using the PalmOS (ARM chipset)
prc-tools-m68k - Development Toolchain for PDAs using the PalmOS (Motorola chipset)
ratfor - Rational Fortran preprocessor for Fortran 77.
stalin - An extremely aggressive Scheme compiler
tcc - The smallest ANSI C compiler
toolchain-source - The GNU binutils and gcc source code
treelang-4.0 - The GNU Treelang compiler
uclibc-toolchain - A compiler wrapper for uClibc
uisp - Micro In-System Programmer for Atmel's AVR MCUs
How would you know about "build-essential"? Were you guys born with that knowledge? Get off Robert's back.
17 • Ubuntu educational facilities (by Richo on 2005-12-19 13:57:56 GMT from United States)
As Ubuntistas we are taught to be respectful even when flamed (part of the Ubuntu code of conduct ;-)). We weren't born with this knowledge we learnt it here:
18 • Ubuntu's build-essential (by SpringBoy on 2005-12-19 14:23:18 GMT from Australia)
Well, I must say that it's great that I found out about the 'build-essential' package since I'm planning to set up a new box with Ubuntu in the near future.
My previous Linux systems have always been Slackware - which includes everything needed for development in the default install - so I would have been lost without my compiler, make and autoconfig! :)
19 • Rushed Ubuntu release, not dumbed down (by S on 2005-12-19 15:05:02 GMT from United Kingdom)
Actually, the compilation woes with Ubuntu Breezy impact mainly on the newbie (who, for example, has to compile the driver of his/her modem or wireless card) rather than on the experienced user, who can hack his/her way around the problems.
There are a few threads on Ubuntuforums that testify this.
I agree with John Dong: the idea of having the kernel compiled with one version of GCC and the rest with another version was a major failure.
There seem to be sound technical reasons for doing what Ubuntu developers have done, but it might have been better to delay slightly the release and do things properly.
I guess that the problem here is trying to produce a stable version out of a bleeding hedge collection of packages in a tamely manner. It is very difficult, and sometimes compromises have to be made.
20 • Re: Robert Storey -- WWYT ? (by Benedict on 2005-12-19 15:11:49 GMT from Belgium)
your comments are below par. Even if you do have a point, there are better ways to express your opinion.
21 • GREAT! GREAT! GREAT! (by Chris Satter on 2005-12-19 15:35:21 GMT from United States)
excellent job! round of applause for everyone! a real winner! acclaimed the greatest! good! good! good! a masterpiece! an award is in order! raise the trophy! bestseller! marvelous! your the greatest! three cheers! hip! hip! horay! hip! hip! horay! hip! hip! horay! this is genius at it's finest hour! wowee! ata boy! great work!
22 • Intuitive? I don't think so. (by Mr. Pink on 2005-12-19 15:51:47 GMT from United States)
We weren't born with this knowledge we learnt it here:...
So you're saying that every time I need to install something I should check all FAQs and forums beforehand just in case there might be some useful information? Is it resonable? Or productive? I came across build-essential by accident a week ago while searching for something else. BTW shame on you Ubuntu for shipping buggy zd1211 module.
23 • GenieOS (by william johnson on 2005-12-19 16:07:38 GMT from United States)
What would be the compelling reason to download GenieOS ?
If i want a single cd Debian based distro , i am going to get Mepis 3.3.1
which uses the 2.6 kernel,is extremely easy to install and use, and is
therefore the "cream of the crop".
24 • GenieOS is 100% Debian compatible (by hobbitland on 2005-12-19 16:14:37 GMT from United Kingdom)
The problem with Mepis, Knoppix and Kanotix is that they are
not 100% Debian compatible. Basing the CD on testing or
unstable is no good as testing and unstable changes all the
The good abotu GenieOS is that it allows you to get a Denian 3.1r0
stable system up and running. Then you download whatever else
you need. You can put these otehr stuff in a 2nd CD and wow you
have Debian 3.1 on just two CDs.
The problem with Mepis, Knoppix, Kanotix and Ubuntu is that their drive
to use the latest and greatest leads to potentially unstable systems.
I have tried Knoppix-3.3 iwhich is based on Linxu 2.4 an quite
stable. All Knoppix 3.4, 3.6, 3.7 and 3.9 don't work for soem things
like zip drives and cdrecord. Now they work in Knoppix 4.0.2.
The problem with Mepis, Knoppix and Kanotix is there is no
reposy for extra stuff. Tesing and unstable keeps changing so
its no good.
Ubuntu/Kubuntu at least have soem software reposy. However,
I can never get autofs to work in Ubuntu/Kubuntu for mounting
25 • Xen UNLEASHED!! (by HeLfReZ on 2005-12-19 16:33:03 GMT from United States)
Although I hate to jump to conclusions, I will have to lean with soem of the analysts in saying that Xen indeed may be the next killer app...maybe not just in and of itself, but maybe paving the way for virtualization to be the next "killer app"...all that Xen is missing is the management consoles which is where XenOptomizer will step in and hopefully other opensource alternatives...I successfully migrated 5 CentOS4/RHEL4 machines to one high-power Xseries IBM server and havent looked back...the performance is blistering...using evms or lvm backends gets rid of all of the I/O problems resultign from file-based backends...I compared the CentOS4 dom0 and domUs to serveral other offerings including Microsoft Virtual server, VMWARE ESX, and GSX runnign on CentOS4...while they all had the benefit of things liek kewl frontends and management guis, and fully functioning guis withotuh any modification...none of the other offerings can even come close to matching the performance of the Xen systems, when they say near native speed they truly mean it...I have been using Xen since 2.05 and I have never had a single system panic...and I'm not looking back...with the new Xen-enabled cpus just around the corner...the virtualization battle is about to get real ugly...
26 • Holidays (by Mick on 2005-12-19 16:42:56 GMT from Canada)
Thanks for all of your excellent work this year, Ladislav! Distrowatch seems to do more to foster 'community' than a lot of other Linux sites combined.
Enjoy your holiday - you deserve it!
27 • Re: Re: Robert Storey -- WWYT ? (by Rohan Dhruva on 2005-12-19 16:46:18 GMT from India)
O.K. i agree fully, Benedict, and i am sorry. But surely the author could have done a little more research before posting the opinion ?
Agree, Benedict ?
28 • Great! (by 1c3d0g on 2005-12-19 17:30:34 GMT from Aruba)
Awesome...my favorite distro PocketLinux has been updated to the newest Slackware base. Thanks Marcus (and Patrick of course), for the hard work, it's much appreaciated. And thank you, Ladislav, for bringing this tiny distro to the attention of millions here. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year...see you in 2006!
29 • Best Distro (by guhappy on 2005-12-19 17:35:10 GMT from United States)
The "Best Distro" article was indeed a great read. Too bad PCLinuxOS wasn't mentioned. I just downloaded the PCLOS Gnome remaster and I think that will satify the Gnome vs KDE battle royal. Anyways, another great monday and happy holidays to all.
30 • Ubuntu makes life difficult for the wrong reasons (by Praveen on 2005-12-19 17:39:30 GMT from United States)
For me, Ubuntu has been great with regard to getting a working Linux distribution, but one cannot be productive with it immediately. As Robert says, gcc isnt installed, and there is no easy way to do it, Xemacs has bad fonts, etc.
Mplayer for some reason does not full screen. This may be resolved with an alias, but is not something that is trivial, and I think one has to get some other package too. Gnuplot does not have readline included. One can go on and on about these little things. They don't have sane default packages. There is no burning application, among other things.
They should add more cds to their mirrors, and make it so that one doesnt have to manually install development tools. One cd is okay for those who want a lean distro, but not for those who want to get productive.
And their live cd sucks big time too. You cant expect people to do crypric stuff like sudo su to mount cds.
Anyway, I don't think Ubuntu will get very far if they think that all that a computer user does is to browse the net and use open office.
31 • GenieOS (by Anonymous on 2005-12-19 17:51:13 GMT from United States)
I have to agree with Hobbitland. That's the only reason I don't like Knoppix, Mepis and the others. Despite what many think, it is possible to upgrade from Sarge to Testing. The only real snag is the new udev package. However, if you remove hotplug before you issue apt-get dist-upgrade, it should work fine.
The PCLinuxOS remaster is great! Ubuntu has a great Gnome distro, but this remaster will give it a run.
32 • RE: GenieOS is 100% Debian compatible (by JeffS on 2005-12-19 17:53:08 GMT from United States)
I agree with this post 100%. I have tried numerous Debian derivatives, including Knoppix, Mepis, Ubuntu, Kanotix, and a bunch other Knoppix knock-offs, and I've always had problems when using the Debian testing or unstable repos. Once you start installing new probrams, or simply doing an update or upgrade, you will eventually end up with a broken system. The reasons for that are twofold:
1) The derivatives don't remain 100% Debian compatible.
2) The testing and unstable repos change often.
I have also installed Debian Sarge. It worked great. I could install stuff from the Debian stable repos and everything continued to work flawlessly. However, it lacked a number of plugins that are useful for the Desktop, and the net install takes a very long time.
Thus, GenieOS is very very intriguing. I gives all the stable, bug free, efficient, full Debian repo compatibility goodness of having a pure Debian Sarge install, all on one disc with useful plugins available. I'm downloading it as I type this post.
33 • PCLinuxOS Gnome Remaster (by Zimmerman on 2005-12-19 18:46:28 GMT from United States)
I believe I have stumbled upon the perfect distro for me. I have been using Ubuntu up until now, but that was been removed to make space for pclos gnome. A nice clean gnome desktop, plugins installed, central control center, APT with a great repository, and excellent hardware detection. That suits me just fine! Kudos to Texstar and to the genieos team for the gnome remaster. It's nice to see a distro that is advancing their own and promoting others as well.
34 • PocketLinux & KDE (by klhrevolutionist at 2005-12-19 19:14:23 GMT from United States)
PocketLinux is doing a good job. To release a distro that installs easily as well as having a full-featured desktop that includes an easy installer for slack pkgs. And great kudzu hardware detection. Great Job.
As for kde vs. gnome. I choose kde.
Also check out Bfilter at http://bfilter.sourceforge.net/
35 • a FM to R (by Jamie Mellway on 2005-12-19 21:23:40 GMT from Canada)
From The Ubuntu Juggernaut (by Robert Storey):
You probably won't be told to RTFM, but if you need an FM to R, some good references include the Unofficial Ubuntu Guide and the amazingly-detailed Debian Reference Manual.
From the Unofficial Ubuntu 4.10 Guide http://ubuntuguide.org/ :
Q: How to install Basic Compilers (build-essential)?
1. Read General Notes
2. Read How to add extra repositories?
3. sudo apt-get install build-essential
From the official Ubuntu 5.10 Starter Guide aka Ubuntu FAQ Guide http://help.ubuntu.com/starterguide/C/faqguide-all.html :
5. How do I install basic compilers (build-essential)?
1. Read How do I add Universe and Multiverse?
2. Install the build-essential package with Synaptic (See How do I use Synaptic to install packages?)
Development > build-essential
36 • Unparset PHP on Sat? (by Reuben on 2005-12-19 21:57:55 GMT from United States)
What was up with the unparsed php code I saw on Saturday?
Thread about it on DSLR:
37 • Ubuntu too dumbed down? (by Chilly Willie on 2005-12-19 22:42:24 GMT from Finland)
I don't think Ubuntu is dumbed down at all but what's the deal with this new "Ubuntu Desktop News"? It's certainly dumbing down its readers. The writer's style is like he's trying to sell candy to 5-10 years old girls. All that baby-talk about "amazing development," "cool new stuff," "love tasks" and "hug days." Yuck.
38 • KDE vs Gnome - who has time to learn everything? (by Bill Savoie at 2005-12-19 22:57:58 GMT from United States)
I like to write Ada Code. Linux makes that much easier than Windows. I used Gnome 5 years ago, but once I found out Konsole - the terminal program - had multiple screens - and you could script it's opening - Wow did that make programming fun. I love vim with it's color syntax, and I like to keep 6 or 8 screens open, and tab between them. I use to spend a lot of time setting up my programming environment. Five years ago I scripted most of it, and since KDE gives me that comfort - I stopped checking on Gnome.
KDE keeps giving. After Thanksgiving dinner, the grandchildren introduced me to the IPod. I warmed up SuSE 10.0 and 'discovered' amaroK. Now I have even more Bob Dylan.
The human condition is time limited. I don't have time to understand everything, yet I want to offer something back to the Open source world, so I use KDE. If you want to offer something back - you must limit your options.
Thanks Robert Tolu, John Dong, Robert Storey and of course Ladislav Bodnar. Great Read as always.. Thanks
39 • No C Compiler? (by Sphinx on 2005-12-19 23:04:54 GMT from United States)
Might as well run Solaris.
40 • Firefox on GenieOS? (by Jay Hill on 2005-12-19 23:08:08 GMT from United States)
How would one keep Firefox up to date from out of date Debian repositories?
Firefox plugins and themes require the latest version to load. Example, use a slightly out of date livecd that has Firefox 1.0.1 and you are limited. And Firefox 1.5 will not mix with 1.0.7 because of major changes in libraries. This is a problem with old liveCDs but many like Ubuntu, KNOPPIX and PCLinuxOS keep us up to date with new releases.
Is GenieOS useable as a liveCD (to at least check hardware issues before installing)?
41 • Ubuntu (by Me on 2005-12-19 23:31:44 GMT from Norway)
The package you should install is of course build-essential, it always has been. Hoary did not come with GCC either.
42 • Re: Ubuntu educational facilities (by Sal on 2005-12-20 00:02:48 GMT from United States)
Richo said "As Ubuntistas we are taught to be respectful even when flamed (part of the Ubuntu code of conduct"
I guess "poptones" didn't get the memo. Maybe you should inform him, especially so newbies don't go drifting off because of such rudeness.
43 • re: Firefox on GenieOS (by s7 on 2005-12-20 00:05:22 GMT from United States)
Jay Hill, correction, Ubuntu doesn't keep up to date right away on many new releases. There's no FireFox 1.5 for Ubuntu, unless you install it manually or through Klik, even autopackage.
44 • RE: Unparset PHP on Sat? (by ladislav on 2005-12-20 00:13:54 GMT from Taiwan)
Let's call it a "human error". But it only lasted for a minute or so.
45 • Ubuntu Mania (by Jose on 2005-12-20 01:33:54 GMT from United States)
I was pretty much shocked by the vicious and totally rude comments directed at Robert Storey. What he did was simply identify a problem and sought a means to resolve it. He tackle the problem the same way anyone would on a Debian based distro, he used "apt-get."
Yes, there is an easier way, but anyone using Mepis, Knoppix, Kanotix or GenieOS, would never have known to install "Build-essentials." Yes, he could have read the forums, but the beauty of Debian is that packages are a simple "apt-get" away. Why would you hav to read a forum to do that?
The answer seems to be that while Ubuntu is Debian based, it has changed enough to be very different. He didn't know that and I imagine many don't. It does not call for attacks better suited in the newsgroups.
Wouldn't it have been better to simply state "that while Ubuntu is a Debian based distro, changes are being made to better suit the users. One such change is the easy to install Build-Essentilas, which would have saved you the troubles you had. Please feel free to try it the next time you wish to install the GCC compilers."
A response like that or something polite would have been much more inviting to users wanting to try something new.
46 • How Ubuntu deviated from Debian? (by spill on 2005-12-20 02:22:55 GMT from Singapore)
Can somebody, highlight how Ubuntu is deviated from Debian? (with End-user perspective & Network Administrator perspective ). So far, I thought Ubuntu caters both.
As growing/new distribution, I feel it is essential to include the basic GCC setup, in the Ubuntu even for a desktop user. Because Ubuntu didn't include all packages of Debian. Some new software releases are available only in source form. Most of the time the desktop user who like to install/try the new software will find it difficult and confusing.
Holiday greetings people!
47 • RE: How Ubuntu deviated from Debian? (by Reuben Perelman on 2005-12-20 03:47:57 GMT from United States)
"As growing/new distribution, I feel it is essential to include the basic GCC setup, in the Ubuntu even for a desktop user. Because Ubuntu didn't include all packages of Debian. Some new software releases are available only in source form. Most of the time the desktop user who like to install/try the new software will find it difficult and confusin"
There are other reasons why you want to compile programs. Maybe you want to make your own 'backports'. Maybe you want development version pulled directly from a cvs or svn repository. Or even *gasp* compile your own programs.
48 • RE: How Ubuntu deviated from Debian? (by Anonymous on 2005-12-20 05:35:55 GMT from United States)
I think that I can explain this. Parts of the story are this page.
I am just covering the three main branches of Debian, Stable (Sarge), testing (Etch) and unstable (Sid). Etch and Sid are for development and are meant to change. The three have their own sets of repositories and are not compatible with each other. If you use Sid packages with Sarge you will break it. This goes with any distro based on Sarge like Progeny or GenieOS. Sarge took a long time to get released and most people think it is too outdated for desktop use. I left a Sarge based distro about a year and half ago for this reason. If you base your distro on Etch or Sid and use Debian's repos, breakage will also happen because the repos change after the distro is released.
From the above you can see that making a up-to-date Debian distro is a hard thing to do. What Ubuntu does is take a snapshot of all Sid's repos to make new ones for Ubuntu. Then they build on that. The users have access to new packages and the repos are not changing away from the release. The six month release cycle lets everyone have fresh software. The solution is a good one, but not perfect. Breezy got caught without enough time to get the kernel up to the gcc 4 series. Ubuntu's solution has made a lot of people happy, but not everyone is going to agree with them.
I hope this helps.
49 • nexenta page is broken (by email@example.com on 2005-12-20 05:38:47 GMT from Philippines)
50 • mandriva release schedule (by agendelman on 2005-12-20 06:07:26 GMT from United States)
Here's a release schedule for the next Mandriva, 2006. It will be released in Sept 2006.
Until then, you can install the freely downloadable 3 cd 2006 official version and stay up to date by going to plf here:
and pointing your mirrors to the community edition, really the devel branch. Valiant hackers contribute apps here, often before they find their way into the official version. Also don't forget to include the plf free and non free mirrors, because they contain all the neat multimedia stuff, mplayer, vlc, win32-codecs, libdvdcss etc etc.
You can participate in the ongoing development process by pointing to the cooker mirrors, also at the plf site.
51 • RE: Ubuntu Mania (by Uncle Peng on 2005-12-20 06:21:02 GMT from Germany)
>>The answer seems to be that while Ubuntu is Debian based, it has changed enough to be very different. He didn't know that and I imagine many don't. It does not call for attacks better suited in the newsgroups. Wouldn't it have been better to simply state "that while Ubuntu is a Debian based distro, changes are being made to better suit the users. One such change is the easy to install Build-Essentilas, which would have saved you the troubles you had. Please feel free to try it the next time you wish to install the GCC compilers.">>
Ubuntu is not that different from Debian proper, not really. It's just that many new Ubuntu users are convinced that Debian is very conservative and difficult to use while Ubuntu is easy and has added lots of cool innovations to Debian. But mostly this is just Ubuntu propaganda. The build-essentials package, for instance, is a genuine Debian feature, not an Ubuntu innovation. I'm a bit surprised that Robert Storey didn't know of its existence. Or maybe he just didn't know that it exists also in Ubuntu, and not only in Debian. ;-)
52 • Ubuntu gcc (by joel Wagler on 2005-12-20 08:08:24 GMT from Canada)
I'm wondering what version of breezy you're using wheter it was the stable version. When I did an apt-get install gcc and apt-get install g++ it downloaded version 4.0 of gcc and g++ and made the symbolic links for those programs.
Granted it would be nice if there was a meta package like c development or c++ development that also installed make tools but I didn't find it to hard go get those programs installed and the symlinks were created for me. I noticed you picked gcc 3.4 which is an odd choice for this distro since most if not all of the packages have been compiled with gcc 4.0. I haven't tried compiling things yet but I can use the gcc and g++ commands. (I haven't downloaded the makefile program yet.)
I don't know how many people need to compile programs. I used to compile more programs on linux to get them working but I find I need to do it less. So I'm not sure how important it is to have development tools on the cd so long as you can easily apt-get them.
53 • ubuntu (by Stefan on 2005-12-20 08:58:27 GMT from Netherlands)
with the package build-essential, i could compile various software... just do:
sudo apt-get install build-essential
(you could look in the documentation of ubuntu, just click the icon on the taskbar)
54 • More comments about Ubuntu and compilers (by John Dong on 2005-12-20 12:39:57 GMT from United States)
(1) build-essential is well documented. First off, this is same as in Debian. Secondly, most HOWTO's or other articles on forums/mailing lists will tell you to install build-essential. The Ubuntu documentation and FAQ also instruct you to use build-essential.
(2) Let's not be hostile against Mr. Storey. It's understandably human to make a mistake reviewing a distro... I know, I've done it a lot :) (i.e. Suse doesn't have foo)... It's important to make sure that false statements get corrected though, because so many people read Distrowatch and it's not good to have false negative press against ANY Linux distribution.
(3) Ubuntu is not purposefully dumbed down, though we do make an effort to make Linux accessible to all. One of these efforts is the UDN and other articles designed to raise awareness of cool Linux stuff :). Ubuntu still is debian at core, and in no way was any advanced function removed from Ubuntu for the purpose of "dumbing" the distribution.
55 • KDE vs. Gnome (by Ariszló on 2005-12-20 13:08:38 GMT from Hungary)
Here's a good summary:
56 • ubuntu easy to install build environment (by Zoun on 2005-12-20 13:59:16 GMT from France)
I see your article saying it is very hard to install gcc...
WRONG do apt-get build-essential and all is working.
When you don't know something don't speak please. I's a good advice (Smart People Proverb)
57 • Sick of the FUD over each Linux distro (by Scott Wilson on 2005-12-20 15:04:53 GMT from United States)
I am really growing tired of the "(insert Flavor here)" Linux is awful. KDE or Gnome, who cares its all about the freedom to choose! I really like Enlightenment but, I guess that doesnt count. Blackbox is also good.
I have used Fedora, SUSE, Debian and Ubuntu, please other lesser known types. They all have their good points and bad. So far Ubuntu is the best "out of the box experience" that I have used followed by SUSE.
So after, what two years? finally some one has found an actual complaint with Ubuntu, besides the color and naming scheme. I have found that all of the flavors are missing something, a little research or googleing I can find how to do get things done.
Between the in fighting with Linux and the OS X guys thinking that Linux will be killed after the X86 Intel Macs come out, is enough to want to make me want to drink and use Windows and leave this stupid infighting behind.
Start the flames here ------>
58 • 57 • Sick of the FUD over each Linux distro (by sillyme on 2005-12-20 16:20:18 GMT from Australia)
Hay Scott - don't you remeber the biggest problem with Linux users ?
QUOTE - my distro is better than your distro - END QUOTE
Another point I'd like to make is some thing many authors do is TALK IT UP
and this goes on all the time - Even if it is not good - usually the have not even tried the Distro but they still TALK IT UP
IMHO this is actually a dis-service and they are not doing end users faviours
This sort of thing has been going on for many many years - I like others are fed up with it _ BUT _ will it ever stop ? alas I think not
BTW - my opinioum is far better than yours ( sic ) and so it will go on - bummer
59 • ubuntu & gcc (by Rick on 2005-12-20 16:24:04 GMT from United States)
I had the same experience with the symbolic links not being setup properly,
and I don't think it is unreasonable to expect them to be done right out-of-the-box. Mepis & Mandriva do it fine, heck every other Linux distro that I've used got it right. And people who say just use "build-essential" are
forgetting that they already know how to fix it. If you are tackling a problem with gcc, then build-essential is not an obvious name to fix it. Finally the problem with build-essential (and lots of other Linux stuff) is that it is NOT standard, it is something that someone thought up and you have to search the faq or forum to get the answer. I liked the forums for ubuntu, but I don't like the differences how sudo/root account is setup, AND THE TEXT INSTALLER IS AWFUL.
The installer for (k)ubuntu is just plain awful. Go back a few years and look at the installer for Mandrake 9.1, it is easy & graphical, and blows away the installer for ubuntu today. Why does everyone re-invent the wheel when it comes to installers????
Finally, my basic wish for linux is for it to grow up a bit. Sure, it's fun to see a new linux distro and play with it, but if every linux distro is going to come up with non-standard fixes (e.g. build-essential), then it just makes it harder than
it really needs to be. LINUX DOESN'T NEED 600 HALF-ASSED DISTROS. LINUX
NEEDS 6 POLISHED DISTROS, WITH A COMMON SOFTWARE PACKAGE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM SO PEOPLE DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT TARBALLS, RPMS, OR APT-GET. There I said it, Linux needs to grow up and weed out the
half-way done distros and get behind one standard for software distribution.
My real wish: Google releases a Linux distro done right and standardizes the
entire linux universe.
60 • Re: 57 • Sick of the FUD over each Linux distro (by Leo on 2005-12-20 16:47:50 GMT from United States)
Please mod comment #57 by Scott Wilson +1 (genious)
Guys, Gals, we have a great world of free software. If anything needs to be improved, let's say it politely. No need to flame.
Robert has always written excellent articles. This time he did not. And his post looks more like a request for help in a Forum than anything else. Not good, but that's it. He deserves a lot of respect for all his great contributions to this site.
61 • Re: 59 • ubuntu & gcc (by Ariszló on 2005-12-20 16:50:42 GMT from Hungary)
Rick wrote: And the text installer is awful.
What's wrong with text? Are cartoon booklets superior to real books with only text? I don't think graphical installers are worth the disc space they take away from useful applications.
My real wish: Google releases a Linux distro done right and standardizes the entire linux universe.
I prefer freedom of choice to world domination.
62 • errata (by Leo on 2005-12-20 16:52:37 GMT from United States)
In my previous post, the sentence "And his post looks more like ..." should read "And his last article looks more like ..."
63 • re: 57 AND recommendation for next donation (by ray carter at 2005-12-20 16:56:00 GMT from United States)
I've used enlightenment via the Elive CD over the past few months, and find a lot to like. Elive is particularly useful on 'low resource' computers, but it's also nice to have a change of pace, and see some options to the regular desktops. I've also used XFCE from time to time, and see it as a useful alternative.
I'd like to make a pitch for the next regular donation to go to either Elive or Enlightenment (or possibly split between the two). They are a bit off the beaten path, but are useful, interesting - to me exciting developments.
64 • Text Installer (by John Dong on 2005-12-20 16:58:58 GMT from United States)
Debian-Installer (also used by Ubuntu) is indeed getting a graphical overlay soon. That was in the functionality originally intended and the installer framework has been designed from the ground up to be extensible.
65 • KDE vs. Gnome - other? for programming (by Bill Savoie at 2005-12-20 17:46:09 GMT from United States)
Thanks Arizio (#55) for the info on Gnome vs KDE. If you are a programmer, what is your preferred setup? language? Can you work on complex programs, maybe 100,000 lines of code?
- Thanks in adavance.. Maybe Xfce or some other desktop solution would serve the programmer best?
66 • tolong (by yana at 2005-12-21 00:45:09 GMT from Indonesia)
tolong kasih informasi tentang linux xandros,debian versi terakhir,suse versi terakhir,slackware versi terakhir(versi 10).fedora core 4.
67 • Number & quality (by spill on 2005-12-21 03:20:28 GMT from Singapore)
"LINUX DOESN'T NEED 600 HALF-ASSED DISTROS. LINUX
NEEDS 6 POLISHED DISTROS, WITH A COMMON SOFTWARE PACKAGE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM SO PEOPLE DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT TARBALLS, RPMS, OR APT-GET. There I said it, Linux needs to grow up and weed out the
half-way done distros and get behind one standard for software distribution."
You need 600 Half-Assed distros to bring 6 polished distros. Remember, how ideal idea like yours followed by the BSD didn't grow better than Linux.
Even the renowned apt-get cannot lack some features or not simple enough for developers to release packages.
Thanks for the guy who explained the Ubuntu deviation from Debian.
68 • #59 (by Anonymous on 2005-12-21 05:34:12 GMT from United States)
The efforts to provide a graphical front-end to the Debian installer used and modified by Ubuntu are probably worthwhile for those who are intimidated or otherwise put off by an ncurses interface, but really: if you're intimidated by that, you should focus less on trying a new distro each week and more on learning GNU/Linux with the one you're using. Besides, not only does the Debian installer support more architectures than any other for GNU/Linux, but it's modular design makes it easy for customization. It's the most flexible installer out there. Sorry, but people who endlessly rag on it for not being pretty and praise installers that aren't nearly as powerful really irritate me.
69 • #48 (by Anonymous on 2005-12-21 05:35:57 GMT from United States)
How was Sarge outdated a year and a half ago as you put it? That's not only before it was released, but before the freeze. It was pretty current at the time.
70 • Love Linux (by Scott Wilson on 2005-12-21 05:52:50 GMT from United States)
Roberts article has a valid point. An average Desktop user may not ever need a compiler. Its all of the Dumping on Ubuntu bandwagon that resulted from his article. That is driving me crazy, the same happens with what ever distro that is featured.
Folks if you don't like "Flavor X" Linux. Go ahead and try the next one, but why not embrace the Linux community and offer to help improve "Flavor X" Linux. I admire(?) creators of every one of the 600(?) flavors, That takes a lot of effort and time, I am willing to bet they will accept the help.
As for one Linux, one distro thinking, STOP! Trying to think of that Linux in the context of Microsoft Windows is where a lot of people just don't get it. With Linux its the kernel, the core of an Operating System, everything else is just a add on, no matter which flavor you use. MS Windows is an all encompassing Operating System with a hidden kernel.
Simple theory, (perhaps) So it doesn't matter which “Flavor X” Linux you use its all the same , except for the packaging!
Well, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, or Happy Holidays!
71 • develop a pro Linux not a pro distro community (by agendelman on 2005-12-21 06:35:36 GMT from United States)
Thank you Scott, for injecting a little sanity into this partisan flaming.
The various Linux distros have much more in common than most partisans care to admit. They all have both strengths and weaknesses, and they all need the support and cooperation of a devoted community.
The anti-Linux crowd has to be laughing gleefully at all of this.
72 • #59 responds, lengthy rant follows :) (by Rick on 2005-12-21 18:40:41 GMT from United States)
Look, I've used the installer for (k)ubuntu twice - the first time it refused to
boot on my computer (first time & only time a linux install has failed for me,
and I'm not the only one who had problems), and the second time the fugly
text installer INSISTED that I had parity errors or some such on my hard
drive partitions that it wasn't even installing onto. Why on earth would the
installer access partitions that it is not installing onto? NO EXPLANATION was
given, and the "flow" through the text menus was awful. PERIOD. Look, before
you tell me how great the installer is for ubuntu, try the installer from
Mandrake/Mandriva, any version. I still have Mandrake 9.1 on CD because
it's the best installer I've ever seen, the disk partitioning is done right, and
there's no nonsense I see in other installers. Saved me on a couple of occasions.
If you respond, please include whether or not you've used the Mandriva or
even the Mepis install CDs. If you haven't, and you are defending ubuntu,
you simply don't know what you are talking about. But I don't really care
about install flame wars, it is a waste of time. The point behind my post
is that Linux needs to grow up & mature. We don't need 600 distros, each
using a different installer. Let's do one solid GUI installer, and if you like,
one solid text installer. Squash the bugs once, NOT OVER & OVER. And no,
#68, I'm not a newbie, I can figure out the text installers just fine.
THAT'S NOT THE POINT. LINUX NEEDS TO GROW UP OR IT WILL NEVER GET
BETTER. The installer is the *first* point of contact that a new user has with
Linux. If the install doesn't work, you just lost a new convert to Linux.
Linux doesn't necessarily need GOOGLE to release a distro. I picked that name
at random. But it does need someone to take it further and to inject some
common sense. Look at freshmeat.net sometime, most of the projects there
are half-assed amateur crap. I say this as a programmer who also writes
code, so don't get offended. The names of projects are immature (go & have
a look, most linux software is poorly named), documentation is often missing
(ubuntu shines here, but I've never seen Kdevelop have COMPLETE docs, and
if you look at the xmame website, it tells you to look at the source code for
the docs, because they were removed from the website! Apparently they are
updating the docs, but c'mon, telling users to look at the source code is
awful. I know how to use common line parameters to get help with usage,
so don't flame me on xmame, I got it working just fine)
I've been using Linux for about 5 years and have a comp sci degree. I love
linux, but it needs to change. To be honest, I don't love linux, as that is the
kernel that I don't really use directly. I love KDE which is my preferred
interface. That's not the point, I could switch to Gnome & probably be happy.
BUT THE CURRENT SITUATION WITH RPMS, DEB, AND TARBALLS NEEDS TO
BE FIXED. It is a dead-weight around linux's neck and helps no one. And yes,
I said that linux doesn't need 600 half-assed distros, each doing things
differently. It needs fewer distros that are higher quality. Some suggest that
linux is about choice. That's an obvious remark to make, but it shows total
lack of understanding about how UNIX totally lost their chance against windows
because there was NO STANDARD in UNIX. Each vendor did things their own
damn way, and the UNIX market never got as big as it could have. I don't want
that to happen to Linux. But people need to compromise for the greater good
and geeks don't like to compromise, they will fork a new project instead.
INSTALLING SOFTWARE ON LINUX CAN & SHOULD BE BETTER THAN IT IS NOW.
Forget how it is, I don't care. Most of the stupid hoops we jump through now
are arbitrary. One software package format would do wonders for linux.
Ubuntu is wrong to deviate from debian. It is duplication of effort for no
real gain. Just like rolling your own installer, just duplication of effort.
How many times have you read a distro review where he criticizes the fact
that there are 6 editors installed, or 3 web browsers? Who cares? The dumb
reviewer forgets to consider the custom one-off installer that is full of
bugs and an ugly interface. Let's be smart about freedom of choice.
Linux doesn't need a custom installer for every distro. Get a high quality
installer with scripting that can easily be used for most distros out there,
and the bugs & complaints will vastly decrease.
I'm all for choice folks, let's get 10 different window managers, but we don't
need 100 different install programs, each with it's own quirks. It's dumb!
So to wrap up my rant, linux needs to grow up and get some common sense
standards. One software package format would change Linux tremendously!
Just think about what it could be like, not the way it is now! Linux needs
to eliminate the problem with software repositories being "in-flux". Your
system shouldn't get borked because you updated your software at the
wrong time. That's just poor admin by the people running the repository.
Take the repository down, update the files, and then let people upgrade.
If you've used linux much at all, you've probably tried to update your system
over the internet (and not using cd's you burned). You have probably had
less than perfect success rate updating your linux system, right? It doesn't
have to be like this, folks. Linux could be better if people standardize JUST
A LITTLE BIT, and we work together for a solid installer that just works,
a common software package format (I know it won't be easy...), and software
repositories that don't have days when they bork your system because files
aren't correct. Maybe Xen will help people by doing net upgrades in a
sandbox so you can safely back out...
This post really isn't designed to start a flame war, but to encourage people
to ASK QUESTIONS. Take a step back and re-think Linux. What needs fixing?
What annoys you & isn't getting better? That is a discussion that is worth
having, not Gnome vs KDE or ubuntu vs debian. Ideally you wouldn't have to
know much about which version of linux you are running, you could click
on a link & install software without a million nightmares that we have now.
I have used rpm & uprmi as well as deb/apt-get, and I don't think either
are the total answer (both have borked me). Hell pick one and I'll happily
standardize on it, but it's time to eliminate some of the duplication of effort
I see everywhere in Linux. Most of the duplication is a waste of developer
talent that could really push Linux forward. How many people are software maintainers/packagers? We could free up so many people just by
reducing that duplication of effort by itself!
73 • #72 (by Anonymous on 2005-12-21 22:29:17 GMT from United States)
I'm not defending Ubuntu, but the value of the Debian installer upon wich Ubuntu's is based. Haven't used Mandriva. Used the Mepis installer and found it an inflexible piece of shite and a memory hog since you need to boot kde to use it. Will the Mandriva installer work on my Mac? What about my Sun Microsystems box? If not then I don't think Debian has wasted effort by not just using Mandriva's installer as you seem to suggest.
74 • Firefox 1.5 (by Distrowatch reader on 2005-12-22 02:40:42 GMT from United States)
Automatix 40 will install firefox 1.5 on Umbunto. I finally installed XFCE in my Umbunto partition.
I still prefer PCLinuxOS it has many of the goodies built in NO FUSS just use Synaptic
75 • Dear Rick #59 - helping you focus (by Bill Savoie at 2005-12-22 03:54:52 GMT from United States)
You have been with linux for 5 years. It is time for you to grow up. What do you want from linux? I have been at this for 10 years, and I have found an answer. Actually two answers, SuSE from Amazon, and Debian from Kanotix. But the real solution is to drop out of the culture wars, and to make peace. Linux is just a tool for programming! You find something you want to create, and you create it. This way you give and stop worrying about how much you get. You post is all about your loss, how little you get from such and such programmer. It is full of little self.
You have a bigger self that is waiting to come out. Your anger is your effort to wake out of that little self. Programming is the most fun outside of sex you can have in this lifetime. Well maybe that was a little strong. But programming is fun. Drop out of the culture wars and make peace! Give, and Give. It is better than take and take.
76 • UNIX fragmented because of different CPU arch (by hobbitland on 2005-12-22 09:42:23 GMT from United Kingdom)
#72 just a note that the reason for the fragmenttaion of UNIX was
because each vendor wanted to add their bit/modify for their own
AIX for Power
IRIX for MIPS
Tru64 (formally OSF1) for Alpha
Solaris (fromaally SunOS) for UltraSPARC
UNICOS for Cray Vector processors
UXP for Fujitsu Vector processors
As you can see they all have different CPU archs and cannot
run each other code anyway. So they were destined to fragment.
For Linux there are only three important CPU archs:
AMD64 (Opteron and EM64T)
x86 (Athlon and Pentium)
While we can think of x86 and AMD64 as teh same arch as AMD64
is a 64bit version of x86. Linux will not fragment in the same was
as UNIX as mots people run on just trhee different CPU archs.
The x86 will gone soon and the Itanic is for severs only.
77 • 76 fragmentation (by Anonymous on 2005-12-22 10:22:45 GMT from United States)
THANK you. I was going to say that as well but kept it pithy because responding to all the early post it would take too long.
Note also that keeping the source closed prevented apps for one from compiling on the others. So that also contributed to fragmentation. GNU/Linux binaries can and do compile (with some mods to the kernel) on most of the old UNIX platforms. As of course does NetBSD (without modificatiom!)
Two minor disagreements: x86 will be with us for some time, thanks to the ability of Linux and the BSDs to breathe new life into old hardware. And perhaps it would be better to say that x86, x86-64, and PPC are the "important" arches for DESKTOP use.
78 • correction (by Anonymous on 2005-12-22 10:24:30 GMT from United States)
Of course I meant "GNU/Linux sources can and do compile..."
79 • GCC on Ubuntu Breezy Badger (by David Meier on 2005-12-22 22:56:34 GMT from Taiwan)
Uhhhh, well if you've been using Ubuntu, reading any of the forums, documentation, or the Ubuntu guides you'd know that if you simply 'apt-get build-essential', you would not have had the problems getting GCC that you did. RTFM? ;)
80 • Will SuSE rise above Mandriva? The "SWAMP" says yes! (by Bill Savoie on 2005-12-22 23:28:42 GMT from United States)
After watching DistroWatch for several years, I think we all may be seeing something completely new - SuSE is rising on the 'Page Hit Rankings'. For the past several weeks SuSE has been making it’s move up. Mandriva is now less than 40 points ahead. Mandrake has been a major Distro for many years. When SuSE was bought by Novel, I was worried about my pet Distro. What a nice end to 2005 to see this SuSE energy.
SuSE is doing a lot of things right. On Freshmeat.net this week they introduced "SWAMP". It is a very cool Web platform configured by XML files with nice documentation. This new move by SuSE will help us all. Innovation, when integrated with business workflow, moves Microsoft out of it's death grip (In my job I am forced to use Microsoft for almost everything.). This web innovation can out adapt Microsoft with Php, Mysql, Apache Tomcat.
As in a good chess game, to win you must open more than one front in the battle. It is a battle, and this new dimension of innovation helps all Open Source solutions. Happy End to Microsoft Domination, new year with a new approach! Well done SuSE, well done Novel!
81 • OT: Happy Holidays (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-12-24 16:11:02 GMT from Italy)
Happy Holidays to everybody!
82 • holiday greetings (by gnobian_ken00bie on 2005-12-24 22:10:49 GMT from United States)
Merry Christmas, Happy Channukah, et al, Penguin Italiano Anonimo, Ariszlo, William Roddy (please come back), Ladislav, Rovert, JDong, and everyone else at Distrowatch, even trolls who get coal.
83 • RE: #82 • holiday greetings (by Anonymous Penguin on 2005-12-25 02:24:28 GMT from Italy)
Nice greetings, gnobian_ken00bie. Merry Christmas to you :-)
84 • Re: #59 responds, lengthy rant follows :) (by Misty on 2005-12-25 04:24:17 GMT from United States)
I must agree with many of this poster's points. If we already have a really good installer why does every distro need it's own? Why not just take the best one out there already and adjust the code as needed for your Such-n-Such distro? Likewise with a package management system; so far, Debian's apt is about the best, with Gentoo's being very different. So why don't we just have apt and emerge?
In short, why not just take the best and make it a standard? That way, people could come up with improvements. There's little need to reinvent the wheel with every distro unless you specifically want to try to do soemthing new. With that we could have a standard and a few various experimental whatevers.
Note that I'm NOT saying that we should have a standard and stick to it religiously. It's by experimenting we could eventually make the standards better or come up with something completely different that's better.
One thing that does bug me is people complaining about how many distros there are that are in active development. Well, this is how things improve to a great extent and you get better variants. As far as I'm concerned GenieOS is what Debian could be but itsn't. It's basically Debian with a much-improved installer. Now, the guys at Debian could incorporate the installer into Debian but they've made it apparent they're not going to do that - as long as they have Debian trademarked, anything THEY didn't come up with themselves isn't Debian (even if it really is). Yeah, I don't like their attitude much. This is a helluva lot of the problem; others come up with great improvements and the developers of the original distro refuse to add those imrpovments. People talk about the sense of community in the Linux world, but among the distro-develoeprs, it's all too often an invite-only community. So the only option you have is to make a new distro. Yes, many are lousy, but there are a number that are good. As an old example, remember how good Mandrake was? Didn't it start out as a Red Hat variant?
And then there are the many, many variant language distros; what else can you do when you want develop, say, a Spanish language version of a distro that's only available in English? Because of trademarks you can't publish it as ThisDistro Espanol or they can sue you. You have to make it a different distro. 'Course, many take the opportunity to also fix whatever they feel is wrong with ThisDistro as well; unfortunately, the developers of ThisDistro are not all that likely to incorporate the changes into the parent distro because of, well, attitude mostly (as in the above paragraph).
To summarize, some standards would be very helpful to have among both users and develoeprs. But as to the number of distros out there, you shouldn't immediately pin the blame on the developer of a new distro; many, many distros are variants of other distros, so take a look at how the devkopers of the original distros respond to other developers who make imrpovements on their trademarked distro. A great deal of the time you'll find they've refused to consider adding these imrpovements and won't even acknowledge them at all.
85 • ubuntu not dumb enough (by grover on 2005-12-25 08:54:59 GMT from United States)
i had planned on walking my mother through installing ubuntu on her laptop while visiting this weekend. turns out the live cd can't see the built in wifi or battery... i did a quick search to see what might be involved in setting it up myself... long story short, i decided it's still going to easier for me to clean up the xp install for her while i'm here.
i'm sick of fixing my mothers computer.. for crying out loud... this disto is so close to perfect for mom it's not funny..
that sim link bug will be fixed, and is easy enough for us (the geeky readers of this site) to deal with.. i'm far more concered with getting windows of my mothers computer in such a way that i won't have to be on the phone with her every other day with a whole new set of problems created by a linux distro that needs work done to it, as often as work is done on it
sooooooo close.... so so very close
86 • #85 (by Anonymous on 2005-12-26 02:06:31 GMT from United States)
Trademarks must be protected against all violations or they risk forfeiture. Debian can't pick and choose which violations to accept even if they may support the project in question.
The GenieOS installer is just preseeding the sarge installer with some defaults and adding some scripts based on some assumptions about the use to which the system will be put. This sort of extensibility is precisely why the Debian installer was designed as it was. But Debian is maintaining a more general purpose installer, equally adaptable to other uses, so there's no good reason for them to incorporate the GenieOS mods by default.
87 • Quick Response (by Poofyhairguy on 2005-12-27 04:49:28 GMT from United States)
Rick, your rant is interesting if only because it points out the differences in philosophy between Linux and OSes like OSX and Windows.
You see a huge part of the culture of Linux (the fact that each can do its own thing) as bad in some ways. You rant how an OS that is used on 9 out of the top 10 super computers in the world (along with powering what I think is the best search engine) needs to "grow up."
The interesting part is I have seen your rant before. Not from you- from many former Windows users. I was at that phase too at one point. Why can't Linux have a single installer? Why can't Linux have more standards? Why can't the Linux community work together better and use its resources better?
Then (like all users who get past this stage) I figured it out. Linux is not a desktop OS. I mean...it is...but its not ONLY a desktop OS. So it does not make sense to sacrifice some things that would benefit the desktop side but hurt other sides (such as a binary driver interface) when the Desktop side is just really beginning its life- its basically a side effect of the strong Linux server market!
Once you deal with the community enough you get why standards don't exist- its easier to fork than play nice with others (all the Debian and RPM distros anyone?). Its easier to create your own thing than sacrifice your idea of what a project should be (why we have both KDE and Gnome). And no person "owns" Desktop Linux, so there can be no Bill Gates who ends the flamewars with a stroke of the pen.
I mean....the closest thing Linux has to a leader spoke out against Gnome and its not going away. In fact, its becoming the default for every high end "enterprise" distro (if I am wrong correct me). If even the "dictator" of Linux can't mend the divisions on the desktop, who can? The answer is no one can. A few try. A few smart minds have come far (like Mr. Hearn and Autopackage) and have done about as well as anyone could expect.
But in the end you pass the phase where you dream that Linux can unify on the Desktop (without intervention) and deal with that reality. Like many things in life you have to accept the community like it is- you can only dictate terms on your own computer.
Of course, in your rant you also pointed out the only way this will be fixed if it ever is- you just did not admit the reason why. If Google made a distro. Or AT&T made a distro. Or if General Motors made a distro. Or any huge company made a desktop distro by pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into making and marketing it so that it became THE Desktop Distro. Then all the others would have to copy its package manager/interface/etc. to survive as more than niche players. I see this as the only way standards will come. You do too, even if you do not say so. The reason is that this solution actually works within the current philosophy of Linux (if something is REALLY superior -aka Xorg and the Linux kernel- it will be a standard), instead of pretending that the Linux community can change to meet some goal all in it do not want.
And for the record, today a friend of mine who could not install XP if I walked him through it over the phone (I have tried) installed Ubuntu on his new computer without any help from me what so ever (besides giving him a install CD). Once installed I pointed him in the direction of Automatix on the phone and it did everything else he wanted with a GUI- in total he had to deal with two commands (which could be none if Automatix ever got into the Universe). In less than one hour this man who at one time could not beat back spyware to save his soul had his box set-up as much as many regular users will need it to be. I know that the Ubuntu installer does not work in all cases (like my sister's Vaio) and that Automatix is not perfect (two whole commands) but to me it shows that Ubuntu (or really Debian and Ubuntu) and Desktop Linux have come a long way considering the small resources each has (compared to the billions MS has).
If Desktop Linux can come that far without sacrificing its core philosophy of choice, then why should it unify just to make some in the community happy? Answer is that is won't and can't (at least until a player that makes Novell look like a small fry comes along).
But you use what you need- if the philosophy of Linux is not good for you then ditch it. In the world there exists many Desktop OSes, and even other free ones.
And of course, this is my own opinion so take it with a grain of salt (like all rants on Linux forums).
88 • Building / Compiling in Ubuntu (Re: (by Joshua Purcell on 2005-12-27 04:50:28 GMT from United States)
There is a catch-all package that will install the components you are looking for... build-essential. All you need to do is type the following command and you will get the packages you need to compile most applications in Ubuntu:
sudo apt-get install build-essential
I don't have experience with the release before 5.04 (which was called Warty), but the way this package works has not changed in the last two releases.
89 • lies (by Mr. Pink on 2005-12-27 05:49:49 GMT from United States)
And for the record, today a friend of mine who could not install XP if I walked him through it over the phone (I have tried) installed Ubuntu on his new computer without any help from me what so ever (besides giving him a install CD).
I don't believe you.
90 • RE: lies (by poofyhairguy on 2005-12-27 09:52:15 GMT from United States)
Well Mr. Pink, I didn't believe it either at first but my friend did it! Shocked me really. I did tell him once ( a few months ago) that I thought that "you could get through the Ubuntu install by just hitting enter or yes the whole time and it would work in the end" and maybe he took that to heart.
I will admit to you there is a part of this story that I neglected to mention- I personally picked out the parts for his new machine. I spent hours looking up which parts worked best in Linux out of the box (ATI 9250 card, VIA motherboard, best SATA controller, etc.) and then sent him to Fry's with a list to get himself a computer with those parts.I knew a person at Frys, so I was able to talk to that person and stress the importance of sticking to the list along with the importance of getting Frys to put it together well.
My friend payed the costs and took it home without me being there, but I picked out each part of his "made for Ubuntu" machine.
But my point was not that Ubuntu is ready for every computer. My point was the installer is easy enough. In fact, the only problems come when you are trying to dual boot with XP (or hardware problems) and he never bought a copy of that. After the bad experiance I mentioned with XP on his last computer, he wanted something new.
But he did install it himself. I was going to call and walk him through it today but when I called he was asking what to do after the install! He then installed and used Automatix himself (I helped a little over phone by giving him the link but that was it).
I was amazed. For me and my once luddite friend, the year of the Linux Desktop IS 2005!
Of course you can continue to not believe me...does not make it less true.
91 • Installers (by Anonymous on 2005-12-27 16:12:57 GMT from United States)
Ubuntu's installer may not be a pretty one or the easiest, but it gets the job done. The Windows installer isn't all that great either. I would put the Anaconda, YaST, PCLinuxOS, Mepis installers among those that are easier. Personally, I like the Mepis and PCLinuxOS installer. Just load up the livecd and install. It's nice having a rescue tool and installer all in one. It also gives you the opportunity to try out the hardware. In any case, I hope the Vista installer is improved from the XP installer. The XP installer is dated, but like the Ubuntu installer, it will get the job done.
92 • Not Ubuntu, but XP part (by Mr. Pink on 2005-12-29 02:44:33 GMT from United States)
It is conceivable that your friend installed Ubuntu without your help.
I doubt the part about his inability to install XP. That's where, I think, you bent the truth quite a bit.
93 • public "beta" release of Mandriva clarified (by agendelman on 2005-12-29 03:27:00 GMT from United States)
The developers of Mandriva Linux have quietly released what appears to be a public beta of Mandriva Linux 2006.1.
Actually this release is more alpha than beta. It's freely available to the public, but the public in mind are really developers geeks and people who want to get involved in the development process. It's on the "cooker" mirrors where the next release of Mandriva is "cooked".
The process starts with a cooker snapsot and proceeds over many months thru several alpha releases until it goes beta, then to rc, and finally "official". This cooker snapshot, which has been advertised on the development sites for some time is really the first release of Mandriva 2007. It won't be called that, however, until the end of the process.
It's definitely not for the production server, the enterprise desktop, or your aunt's browsing and shopping machine. It's for development and testing. If you want to get involved, download, burn, and test away. Remember though, it's alpa software, under heavy development, changing daily etc etc.
94 • The difference is in the partitioning (by poofyhairguy on 2005-12-29 10:28:07 GMT from United States)
Well Mr. Pink, as long as you don't object to my primary point I feel better.
I did not lie in this case- the partitioning part for XP is FAR harder than Ubuntus. No guided partitioning to tell yes, just tons of screens.
"Hit J(or some random letter) to delete partition."
"Hit P( or some random letter) to install on partition."
"Hit F8 (or some key you only use once) to continue."
My friend could not get past the first part of the XP install, even with me saying "look for the command that allows you to delete the partition."
95 • Re: #93 :: public "beta" release of Mandriva clarified (by Leo on 2005-12-29 12:42:31 GMT from United States)
Thanks agendelman for the clarification. But it looks to me that this release is an alpha for 2006.1 (not 2007). And I think 2006.1 will be released around March , as an update to 2006.0 - then, in October or so, they will release 2007.0
Look at the naming convention here:
Now they are alpha-releasing 2006.1-0.3 - it seems to be on the way to the final release 2006.1
They have been talking about a 1 year cycle (which sucks for home desktops, and is appropriate for corporate users). My strong feeling is that they will release 2006.1 as a CD or DVD simple update. And then do a full release of 2007.0 in late 2006
All in all I am feeling more and more left out in the cold as a user, but Mandriva still just works for me. 100%. Whenever kubuntu gets as functional (just adding a good control center, and maturing a bit more in general) I'll make the switch. It will probably be for the next wave of releases, in March 2006 ... and in the meantime, I'll follow the popular "don't fix it if it aint broke"
96 • Mandriva 2007 (by agendelman on 2005-12-29 15:59:37 GMT from United States)
The naming conventions for cooker, at this point, are a little confusiong. Even though it's called 2006xxx, its the cooker snapshot, and that's really the beginning of the development cycle for 2007. As the weeks and months roll by, it will diverge more and more from 2006 official. The odd naming convention for cooker is a topic of lively discussion on the club site.
From a desktop users point of view, a year-long development cycle does suck. If you look at the estimated release calendar, you'll see that 2007 will go official around September, about 9 months from now.
It will be a very usable distro, however, in beta and rc releases long before then.
If you're running 2006 official now, you can change your mirrors to the 2006 devel branch and get updates and contribs that haven't made it into official. There are also third party contributors (eg Thac and Ze's rpms) who backport stuff for the official version.
Or, if you're brave, you can watch the next distro unfold thru cooker.
97 • Re: Mandriva 2007 (by Leo on 2005-12-29 17:25:17 GMT from United States)
I'll try the 2006 devel branch tonight, great tip!
98 • It won't last (by Mr. Pink on 2005-12-29 21:09:43 GMT from United States)
Ten bucks says he'll revert to windows within next month.
My friend could not get past the first part of the XP install
This fraze strongly indicates he will not last.
Here's email from my friend who decided to try linux (again):
I finally got mandriva loaded. Now im trying to uninstall stuff... tedious.
Im looking in the package manager for GPSDrive... cannot locate it. Is this
something that I have to go to the site for?
My linksys wifi card doesnt seem to be recognized either. The PCMCIA slots are
recognized, but when i put the wifi card in nothing happens.
How long do you think he's gonna take it If such a simple thing cannot be handled by OS?
99 • Re: It won't last (by Mr. Pink on 2005-12-29 21:09:43 GMT from United States) (by KOSSLOWWSKI on 2006-01-01 09:25:22 GMT from Germany)
Simply tell your Friend, to try out Kanotix, Mr Pink. Its just out, and it works!
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