Fundamental Mistake

Story: Reviewer finds Ubuntu good, but not good enoughTotal Replies: 2
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Jan 05, 2006
4:28 AM EDT
"First, the good news: although they go by different names, there's really no fundamental difference between the Ubuntu brothers. "

Although his review is much more even-handed than most reviews of Ubuntu (they tend to run towards fanboy adoration or distrowar ignition), the above statement makes it clear that he is missing something.

In my experiences, Kubuntu is still falling short of Ubuntu. Not because the KDE or Gnome interfaces are better but because there are still some things that Kubuntu isn't doing well. The desktop resolution problem that he mentioned comes to mind. I had that problem twice with Kubuntu but have yet to experience it in Ubuntu. (BTW, the notion that it's a common problem because there's a HOWTO about it is nonsense. There are Ubuntu HOWTOs for a gigantic number of things, both common and uncommon.)

I don't think this is a failing of the Kubuntu project. One needs to keep in mind that Kubuntu was something that somebody came up with after Ubuntu was already established. They are running behind Ubuntu but I'm sure they will catch up as time goes on.

From there, the review spirals a bit. He says this about sudo,

"When you're putting the Drupal CMS (content management system) together, for instance, and I have to enter my password every single time I want to work on MySQL, Apache, Drupal, or PHP configuration files, it gets a little old."

I've heard this many times and it's simply not true. You enter your password the first time. From that point on, you don't enter your password unless you are inactive for 15 minutes. So the only way he would need to enter his password "every single time" is if he waited 15 minutes between each command.

I suppose that the 15 minutes time limit could be different in Kubuntu. Maybe it's gone completely. In Ubuntu though, the 15 minute limit is alive and well.

This is not a knock on Mr. Vaughan-Nichols. I generally find his articles to be informative and well thought out. I just think his initial premise of Kubuntu and Ubuntu being identical save for the interface is misguided.

Lastly, there's this,

"One of my gripes about Kubuntu is when you want to get your hands on the command-line controls. Maybe everyone doesn't want a Linux distribution that has a default terminal window at the top interface, but I do."

Perhaps I'm just missing his point. Is he saying that he wants the terminal to be sitting on top of the desktop at all times? If that's what he means, I haven't seen a distro that does that by default yet (except, of course, for a distro that doesn't use an X server at all). If he means he wants to be able to access the terminal easily, can he not do that in KDE? If he doesn't mean either of those things, what exactly is he talking about?

Jan 05, 2006
7:21 AM EDT
Right click "Open Terminal" as top option in the resultant menu?

I was miffed to say the least when they took that out of Gnome 2.12 (yes I know you can add it back, but you shouldn't have to - the command line is a fundamental part of Linux and making getting at it harder is NOT helping new users in the long run).

Ubuntu has little traits that annoy me. Why is it that I point the gnome-cups-manager at a networked printer and yet it will NOT print to it? Yet, if I install the base part of KDE and use kcontrol to add the printer it works perfectly, or if I install Kubuntu it works perfectly. Why is browsing the Windows network at work so damned hard on Ubuntu and so easy on Kubuntu. Why is setting up nfs so hard on Ubuntu? (Haven't looked into this one since 4.10).

I could think of a couple of distros that actually fit the description of "easy for new users", but, Ubuntu isn't one of them.

Lovely name though, and an underlying philosophy that's hard to beat.


Jan 05, 2006
12:23 PM EDT
"Why is it that I point the gnome-cups-manager at a networked printer and yet it will NOT print to it?"

Really? I don't have that problem. Just for reference purposes that's using a LaserJet 4100 with a JetDirect card in it. Now, if we're talking about a printer shared from a computer, I couldn't speak to that.

"Why is browsing the Windows network at work so damned hard on Ubuntu and so easy on Kubuntu."

I don't have this problem either. It just works for me.

I know answers like that are completely frustrating. We all know that somewhere, there's some difference in configuration that makes it work for me and not you. Were we to be talking about some other distro - let's say Mandriva - the tables could be turned and everything could for flawlessly for you and not me.

It might be interesting to have some sort of board dedicated to this kind of problem. "ThingX doesn't work for me at all now matter how hard I try" vs. "ThingX worked right out of the box without issues".

Picture a grid for each problem. Each row in the grid would have a place to identify a piece of one's hardware/software/infrastructure. i.e:

Processor: Athlon 2800 Memory: 512MB DDR Hard Drive: 80GB Maxtor NIC: 3COM OfficeConnect Network: 100 MB Ethernet Distro: Ubuntu 5.10 Desktop Environment: Gnome

and on and on and on.

The last row in that grid would be, for example, "Networked Printer setup via gnome-cups-manager Prints (Y/N)".

Have a well thought out grid and enough people filling it out that grid and answers should appear before our eyes.

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