Not as satisfied...

Story: Ubuntu Linux Desktop ReviewedTotal Replies: 13
Author Content

Jul 09, 2005
5:50 PM EDT
I don't know how so many people claim such good experiences with Ubuntu. I had lots of trouble mounting different media, even more so than Debian Sarge. The LiveCD froze on me and I had to hold the power button to exit it. Some packeges wont install at all and you have to edit list files to even download your first package. You wont know that unless you visit the wiki. The "support" from the community leaves much to be desired. There isnt much in the way of 'official" documentation and the forum is not sposered by the company behind Ubuntu. All in all it ain't bad, but it ain't great compared to what's out there like Mandriva, Mepis, Suse, Fedora. It sure ain't *nix for dummies and I wouldn't give LiveCD's to many people unless they are already using a different Linux distro and want to experiment.

Jul 10, 2005
5:24 AM EDT
Yes, it ain't Mandriva, Mepis, Suse, Fodora or PCLinuxOS, but it is unfair to knock its great potenntial. If you had all these problems it does not mean everyone else did or would. I for sure didn't have any of them and I am sure many others didn't either. May be you should have specified your hardware for others to be aware and learn about it.

No, it isn't any off the others but think about how long it has been in existence. Think about the resources and commitment of its backers. I think it has the best chance of becoming the best Free and commercial distro.

Jul 10, 2005
8:14 AM EDT
KaldEn - I think my son is on his third cycle with Ubuntu and this time he is always calling me and rushing into my office to tell me of the great features in Ubuntu (I am on Debian testing/unstable and Fedora Core 3). Regarding support he contrasts the harsh responses he has gotten at the Debian support forums vs. Ubuntu, in the latter, where they are more tolerant of less experienced users he has found it more accepting. Moreover, he was writing instructions overnight to clarify the documentation Ubuntu Wiki How-To. That is, he gained administrator rights yesterday with the support group. [Regarding his writeup, a very inexperienced user should find his instruction very clear with step-by-step procedures illustrated by either images (gui) or explicit commands for those using command line option.]

Addressing the problems with the media players, the experiences you describe are more akin to mine on Debian vs. the much smoother, trouble free playing on my son's desktop with Ubuntu. I could not play Spirited Away using a damaged dvd whereas a random choice from our personal dvd collection played well. Moreover, the same disc (S.A.) played well using mplayer on his desktop accessed remotely from his server/workstation (I sort of lose track of the permutations of his usage :-) ). One further note, he created both a live and core distribution Ubuntu discs for my daughter's use on her XP machine - the live cd worked flawlessly.

To be fair, I have seen some wild things happen on various permutations of hardware and software under Linux, but I tend to think it's either my fault or hardware related.

Jul 11, 2005
10:24 AM EDT
I agree with Abe. Ubuntu is HUGE, and is going to be a dominant force in Linux...almost like the leading edge of a paradigm shift. I like it a lot...for servers. Not that its desktop is at all bad, I just personally I perfer KDE much more than I do Gnome. I never had ANY hardware issues with Ubuntu: old boxes, new boxes, High-end, low-end, SATA Raid, Multimedia, USB problems whatsoever. This has been my experience.

I have tried Kubuntu. After searching and searching, I have found that MEPIS provides me with the desktop I like the just made me SMILE when I first ran the live-cd: so polished, so fast, so many apps, tweaked, easy to infinitum.

I have been TRYING to like and respect sarge, and most certainly have mountains of respect for debian and its team...AS A BASE DISTRO. However, I am frustrated by it as end-use distro to a point that I am turning to derived distros, both for server and desktop installations. I consider sarge a low-level base distro (I am sure I will get flamed for this). Not literally, of course, but practically. Building a bare server, I can be productive and secure MUCH quicker with Ubuntu. For a desktop, MEPIS simply takes a religious commitment to get something that cool going with sarge, and by the time you are done you have another desktop distro.

Although I have been using linux for almost 8 years now, both personally and professionally, I still find the little things and polishes sarge lacks annoying and time consuming. It seems that a lot of the debian communiity are puritan and haughty in their outlook, almost with an attitude of "Screw you if you don't like it the way it is, we have a religion to attend to here!". Dogma. I want to get done what I want to get done. I want my keyboard to react the way I want it to in a terminal. I want X set up to work to full advantage with my hardware without having to constantly tweak the config. I want modern packages that are already tweaked...for the most part. Life is short...I already gave up on RPM-based distros (my alma maters)...too much time f**king with the non-compatible packages to get something reasonable happening.

I want to compute, not worship.

My $.02...and I am wearing a fire-proof suit.


Jul 11, 2005
12:10 PM EDT
In the past, I've spent so much time having to tweak every distro just to get something usable that it didn't even bother me anymore. I began to think of it as "normal". When I tried Ubuntu, I had been using it for about a week before I realized that it was doing everything that I wanted it to do without any real tweaking.

And, yes, the community is the biggest difference. Not only is everybody willing to help, people are helping the right way. Joe-user knows how to configure this one wireless card easily, he writes up a HOWTO. Jane-user knows how to set up tweak a particular app to work seamlessly with Fluxbox, she helps out there. Everybody adds their little piece to the puzzle and every time one person helps a new person, that new person gets the desire to help somebody out down the road. Community - just like we've been told it's supposed to be.

Jul 13, 2005
10:17 AM EDT
OK...just so I do not misuse the thread...ONCE TWEAKED (read 1-2 hours) Ubuntu is an acceptable distro. Kubuntu the same...once tweaked.

Now, I have an ulterior motive, this statement:

.I already gave up on RPM-based distros (my alma maters)...too much time f**king with the non-compatible packages to get something reasonable happening.

Previous to that, my esteemed associate (no really...I like this guy) mentioned the polish and smoothness of Mepis. Besides the fact that Warren has some problems working within the guidelines of the GPL, I do not find his work near as polished as PCLinuxOS. AHA! Here is his motive!!! Yes. Although PCLinuxOS is 'RPM" based, it is packaged with the apt/synaptic system that insures the earlier dependency hell is relegated to, well...hell. I just could not let the old "RPM=sux" wives tale continue. Maybe with suse and red hat, but not only is PCLinuxOS Smoother than even Mepis...and FULLY respects the GPL, it's package management easily equals debian...after all, it's apt-get apt-update apt-upgrade all the way.

Anyone who claims that PCLinuxOS "Fits" the old RPM dogma just doesn't know what he or she is talking about. Ive used it for two years and have yet to enter dependency hell.


Jul 13, 2005
5:31 PM EDT
Another voice in support of Ubuntu. I swapped from Fedora because I hated all the fixes and also being the testing guinea-pig for RHEL. The tweak time on Ubuntu was about 50% of Fedora and the community forum (of which I am an active participant) saves a lot of stressful googling. The only cloud on the horizon I can see is the relationship with Debian. There is some serious ill-will there at present and yet strong (co-?)dependency as well. There are a number of joint projects but the differing release timetables and differing cultures will make co-operation a severe challenge I suspect. Hope they can work it out......

Jul 13, 2005
6:02 PM EDT
richo123, how can you tell the difference between "ill-will" and the standard set of idiot trolls and psychopaths that infest the Debian community? There aren't many of them, but man are they vocal, and apparently don't need jobs since they spend all their time online annoying other people. And no one is ever willing to kickban these parasites because they believe in "freedom." :P

helios, one of the things that makes Debian so strong and reliable is the quality control of the official package archives. You need more than just a dependency-resolving front end like apt or yum, you also need a strictly-enforced packaging policy. This is one of the reasons RPM can be so poo- anyone and everyone can and does release crap RPMs.

Jul 13, 2005
6:55 PM EDT
tuxchick, Yeah you are right some of the crap is coming from psycho trolls etc but some rather strong words IMHO are also coming from Ian Murdock: (there have been others recently eg on Newsforge)

There was also a rather heavy and heated exchange between Murdock and Matt Zimmerman (a major Ubuntu dev) on the Ubuntu developers list a couple of weeks back concerning package compatibility.


Jul 14, 2005
6:54 PM EDT
Tuxchick, when you have 1 man,,,1 single man rolling, inspecting and releasing the rpms, I don't know how much quality control you want. Texstar and PCLinuxOS has not put out a dukky rpm in the years I've been using it. Yes, other distros have their problems with rpms...PCLOS has it down to a science. Some Call Tex Anal...I call him a consumate professional. It's his name on the distro. If Tex has produced a crap rpm, it hasn't been in the three years me or my company have been using PCLinuxOS


Jul 14, 2005
8:08 PM EDT
Helios, I want boatloads of quality control. Not ten million different half-baked distributions. :)

Jul 16, 2005
1:56 PM EDT
OK...that's simple. The standard for linux application delivery and installation is java. This way, devoted, hardworking, linux professionals can take a break from producing their half-baked distro's and check out Cancun

case closed, problems solved, everybody happy. Java IS Linux!

there is no other solution.


Jul 16, 2005
10:45 PM EDT
...but what will happen to the reverse-engineered linux port of MSI written in COBOL that I have been working 17 hour days on for the past 9 1/2 years?!?! You new-fanglers and your Java...LONG LIVE GOTO!!!

Jul 17, 2005
6:57 AM EDT
Hey --

Java is great.

Stopped by Starbucks this morning to get some with my wife.

Oh wait --

You mean that other java, don't you?

Never mind. Can't stand the stuff.

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