Why I'm dumping Ubuntu

Forum: LinuxTotal Replies: 33
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Jul 07, 2007
10:47 AM EDT
Because their development process SUX ROX.

I have an HP laptop that I installed Ubuntu 5.10 Breezy Badger with no problem.

It recognised my PCMCIA WiFi just fine - a Belkin F5D6020 v.2 ...

When I went to do an update today (I wanted to install Wine so I could get see if the Lego Mindstorms NXT software would run on the Linux laptop) and because there is no longer any supported Breezy repositories I couldn't "just do it". So I went into the sources.list and changed Breezy for Edgy by hand - did an apt-get update - and got many updates, but not all, because a dist-upgrade was necessary. I rebooted and everything seemed to still work. So I changed the sources.list to Dapper and did the same thing. Same result. At that point, I decided to bite the bullet and do the "Upgrade Distribution" - with the sources.list pointing at Dapper, it wouldn't take because it couldn't find the Breezy repositories - No Sh*t Sherlock, that's why I was trying to upgrade. So I changed the sources.list to Edgy again, and attempted to do the "Upgrade Distribution" from the Update Manager, and it seemed to take ... until I rebooted. The dang thing F-d up my X configuration so that it couldn't even start GDM properly.

So I downloaded the 6.04 LiveCD and after a very long boot-up process, I find the latest and greatest Ubuntu distributions aren't configured to properly run my WiFi card - the same friggin' card that runs just fine under Breezy. This is a known problem. It's been a registered bug for over a year. Whatever happened to: If it ain't broke, don't fix it? Well, it's still BROKE.

The answers that I've read on all the forums, especially the ubuntu forums, indicate that the developers don't have a handle on the development process which includes TESTING. I don't have a frigging v3 card - it's a v2 card - and there was NO reason to frig up the configuration.

So now I have a laptop that is now basically a CLI doorstop that I'm going to have to spend the next couple of days at least putting back in working order for my son - all because some geniuses at Ubuntu don't have a clue about version differences with WiFi cards.

Ubuntu may well be GPL friendly but they certainly aren't USER friendly - and when it comes to getting people to adopt Linux, guess which one is more important?

Edited to add ::

Apt-get is crap ... it's nice when it works but it's too easy to break ... at least when a yum repository/RPM database gets a broken conflict, it's easy to force it to clean itself. But too often I've run into a situation where apt-get refuses to fix itself even when the -f switch is used. When I say FORCE IT, I mean it.

Now that Fedora has a LiveCD out in addition to the several RPM based distros with LiveCDs, it is time to dump Knoppix, Ubuntu, Mandriva and all the crappy Debian based distributions where they belong ... in the trash with MS-Windows CDs

Jul 07, 2007
3:49 PM EDT
Darren, I managed to hit the same frustration point last sunday with both Ubuntu and Debian Etch/Lenny/Sid.

While I still love Debian it has taken a back seat as a project of never ending frustration. My solution though was to go to a technically more advanced distro, Sabayon. Out of the whole process of installing it I only ran into one gotcha. The user accounts I created when installing from the mini LiveCD did not create home folders for the users. It would though allow root login with the GUI, so I just took the expedient of remaking the user accounts.

BTW, the 3.3 mini LiveCD correctly detected, configured, and brought up my bcm4306 wireless card in both my laptops. (talk about bad luck to get that card in two different laptops) As well as correctly detected my nVidia cards, including a 7950gx2, and asked if I wanted to set the system up to use Beryl.

All that from the mini LiveCD. I was impressed. Although going to a source based distro has put me back on the learning curve, overall I am happier with it than I ever was with debian or derivatives thereof.

Jul 07, 2007
4:58 PM EDT
I used to have upgrade issues with Mandrake/Mandriva back in the 8.2 to 10.2 days - I simply got used to reinstalling from scratch. But since 2006 - 2007.0 - 2007.1 the upgrade process has been completely reliable.

Jul 07, 2007
8:10 PM EDT
Darren, you managed to break your OS yourself by trying to upgrade two versions up while skipping the intermediate one. That's a definite no-no, been there, done that.

Now, I do agree that frequently the speed of updating and the freshness of the software available is lacking sometimes but that's a problem inherent to a community driven project with a huge software collection. Even the quintessential source-based OS (not Gentoo but FreeBSD ports) can be mustier due to lack of human resource. In the end one ends up learning to package in the ways of ones preferred distribution to keep your favorite applications current. Its fun anyway.

Jul 07, 2007
11:04 PM EDT
The -f switch in apt-get DOES NOT mean force it means "fix broken".

Apt-get is a country mile better than yum and at least as good as urpmi.

I do know what you mean about Ubuntu though. Network printing got me. In one version all that was required was changing one word in one file and restarting cups. The next version that came along the cups conf file had been split into two sections and renamed and it was a serious battle to get it to print. I think some of this comes from the gnome devs who seem to love to pull stuff apart and change it for no good reason at all. The saying "if it ain't broke - don't fix it" should be tattood on the forearm of every OSS Developer as a matter of course and punishment beatings handed out to anyone who takes perfectly good, easy to use code and screws it up.

Jul 08, 2007
2:44 AM EDT
Another big no-no is trying to upgrade Ubuntu by using APT. I don't know what those Ubuntu devs did but apt-get dist-upgrade is broken under Ubuntu. That's what I found out moving from dapper to edgy and it's why I moved from Ubuntu to Debian proper.

Jul 08, 2007
4:45 AM EDT
The apt package itself has been broken in Sid (which is somehow related to Ubuntu) for a few weeks now. I had to "pin" it when I saw the bug come down in apt-listbugs:


Explanation: Pinned by apt-listbugs at Sat Jun 30 11:30:03 -0500 2007 Explanation: #428752: Upgrade fails with "apt-key update" in the postinst script Explanation: #429171: dpkg fails to refresh package list due to mmap error Explanation: #429173: apt-get update fails with mmap error and leaves repository locked Package: apt Pin: version 0.7.2 Pin-Priority: 1000

One of my systems is really broke, and I think it may be related to this recent spate of apt bugs in the unstable.repository.

Jul 08, 2007
5:22 AM EDT
If 'apt-get -f install' means "Fix Broken" then why didn't it do that instead being stupid with the circular problem between two packages: volumeid and udev?

In the many years of using yum, I've never had so many issues with upgrades and installs. The biggest difficulty I've had with yum is finding repositories with packages I want.

@azerthth - thanks for the tip on Sabayon, I will definitely be giving it a look over this weekend.

As for those chastising me for "breaking it myself" - the shortsighted developers at Ubuntu forced me into that position by setting up an upgrade process that relies on the presence of a repository that may not be maintained or even present anymore.

Jul 08, 2007
7:19 AM EDT
Quoting:If 'apt-get -f install' means "Fix Broken" then why didn't it do that instead being stupid with the circular problem between two packages: volumeid and udev?

I am going to take a wild guess here: Because apt isn't capable of resolving circular dependencies?

Anyway, try apt-get -f dist-upgrade. A dist-upgrade is better at resolving circular dependencies than apt-get install/upgrade because the later two try not to remove any packages.

Jul 09, 2007
8:51 AM EDT

It was the execution of "apt-get dist-upgrade" that got me into this mess in the first place (after I changed the repositories in sources.list from "breezy" to "edgy").

I did get to the bottom of how to get to a working "edgy" distribution starting from a "breezy" distribution: After wiping my son's laptop (which didn't have anything that wasn't saved elsewhere) by replacing "breezy" with "dapper" in sources.list, I ran apt-get dist-upgrade. This left the WiFi configuration in place with working drivers - doing a re-install with Dapper left me with a non-working WiFi. Everything seemed in order at that point, so I did the same thing again, only replacing "dapper" with "edgy" - again, X, GNOME, and WiFi are still in working order so all is right with my son's laptop (so far.) Because the dist-upgrade from dapper to edgy wasn't yet complete at midnight, I'm going to continue with the same process, going from edgy to fiesty.

Downside of doing it this way? There weren't any instructions on the Ubuntu.com site (contrary to the warning box issued by the Update Manager about my distribution no longer being supported and checking for instructions at Ubuntu.com). Also, doing apt-get dist-upgrade from breezy to dapper, and then from dapper to edgy took FOREVER (okay so it was just 6 hours of time.) It also looks like whenever I want to do another dist-upgrade, I'll have to modify the sources.list by hand.

Since this process worked from breezy to dapper to edgy, I'm at a quandary as to why it screwed things up when I tried going from breezy directly to edgy. Once I forced the install of the volumeid package (which is where the dist-upgrade stopped dead,) using dpkg directly with the --force overwrite, I was able to get apt-get -f install to work properly, and then I was able to restart the dist-upgrade. It was at that point that my X settings got hosed, and I was left with a CLI doorstop, even after using "dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg".

Now, why did I bother with starting with Breezy again, since I was doing a re-install? Two reasons:

1. I have another laptop with a lot of data that I don't want to lose that is still running Breezy. 2. Installing Dapper (Ubuntu v6.06 LTS with support till 2009) from scratch doesn't recognise my Wifi card - a Belkin F5D6020 v.2 PCMCIA WiFi that runs fine under Breezy using the at_mel drivers. The fact that it's still recognized under the dist-upgrade path to Edgy tells me that the developers at Canonical fixed something that wasn't broke, and from the date of the bug reports, they've known about this for over a year.

Jul 09, 2007
1:02 PM EDT
Quoting:It was the execution of "apt-get dist-upgrade" that got me into this mess in the first place

Apologies. That comment of mine was meant for Debian, not Ubuntu. As my post before that indicated, apt-get dist-upgrade is pretty much broken on Ubuntu. The safest way to upgrade an Ubuntu machine is using the update manager.

Jul 10, 2007
8:43 AM EDT
As someone who has been tracking Debian Sid for more than a decade, I can tell you straight out that "this happens".

What Ubuntu did was take a collection of packages from Debian, from stable and unstable, at a particular time and try to make a reliable distribution out of that snapshot.

Then they came back 6 months later and did it again. But during that 6 months, Debian unstable had evolved. Things change dependencies, occasionally things are just plain broken. In Debian unstable, those breaks are eventually resolved, usually in not too long, but Ubuntu waits another 6 months before grabbing another snapshot of the repositories and who knows what is going to be broken then?

Out of this process comes Debian stable, which while some people complain about software getting "old", let's be real: if it works, who cares?

If you want "stable", if you are going to complain about Sid breaking his toys, then, blast it all, RUN STABLE!

Jul 10, 2007
1:08 PM EDT
>>If you want "stable", if you are going to complain about Sid breaking his toys, then, blast it all, RUN STABLE!


Etch (Debian Stable) won't have breakages of the sort that Ubuntu (aka Debian Sid/Unstable snapshots fixed for that snapshot only) can be prone to because of the snapshot method you mentioned.

In my experience with Sid/Unstable, packages can easily break, be fixed, and break again within that 6 month window.

The Sid snapshot method creates an inherent design flaw in Ubuntu, which this thread complains of. However, it cannot be said that Debian is not without its compromises as well. (Did I just mangle that syntax really badly?)

Jul 16, 2007
9:38 AM EDT
Yeah, yeah, same old story, same old mistakes.

Upgrading from Win2k to Vista? works? Muhahaha. Upgrading breezy to edgy is supposed to work magically though? Not to skip releases is explicitly mentioned on the ubuntu website byraway.

Upgrading a debian based distro, it's always a good idea to keep the old sources in sources.list and just add the new ones for the updated version. Might not be as in the manual but helps avoiding breakage.

Reading the instructions on upgrading, have you?

Fresh install doesn't hurt if someone sets up a separate /home partition. Copes well even when installing other distros. Did you?

Jul 16, 2007
9:58 AM EDT
Quoting:Fresh install doesn't hurt if someone sets up a separate /home partition.
That should be a standard procedure. I never update and always install on a newly formatted partition. It seems to be faster all the time.


Jul 16, 2007
2:00 PM EDT
Quoting:Fresh install doesn't hurt if someone sets up a separate /home partition. Copes well even when installing other distros. Did you?

When I first started using Linux I used to set up a single / partition, and because Mandrake never seemed to upgrade properly I was forced to reinstall, so I learned to back up my home directory, and rebuild it after reinstalling. Later I realised that a seperate home directory solved all those problems. But since them Mandriva seem to have fixed the Upgrade issues.

Jul 17, 2007
8:52 AM EDT
@Abe et al. - it seems reasonable NOW to put /homes in a separate partition, but what I'm talking about is starting with a Ubuntu 5.10 install (text based) where there's not a lot of info about creating partition sizes by hand. For instance, what size partition should I set up for a base install of Ubuntu, with the addition of all the Ubuntu-junior packages (Debian Jr. for Ubuntu.) With a new install and nothing put in the /home, the whole thing uses up close to 7G disk space. I plan on putting a bunch more stuff on there dealing with Legos Robotics and programming tools, like Java, Eclipse, Tomcat, PostgreSQL so there's not a whole lot of space left to play with regarding setting up separate partitions.

At this point, I'm wondering what Xubuntu requirements would be with all the apps I intend to set up for my son. 7G just for a starting install seems a bit excessive to me, and with the harddrive that size, it doesn't look like your idea will be very workable.

Jul 17, 2007
9:50 AM EDT
When I first installed Linux, it was on a 125M disk, one partition. It wasn't important at the time.

When I set up a server with what I thought was a big disk drive, it suggested creating a separate /var and / directory, so I did, and wasted about 500M of a 2G disk.

Now as Darren suggests, with a lot more knowledge, I would give / something like 10G, and /home all the rest.

My last Debian "everything and the kitchen sink" install took about 8G with a single partition before adding anything personal

Jul 17, 2007
11:46 PM EDT
Darren: Installing a truckload of software is going to cost some space an the harddrive, no matter what operating system you use. I'd still say GNU/Linux and *BSD systems use hard drive space rather economically compared to ms windows. The good thing about partitioning on those systms is, that you can easily split up partitions after the installation and/or simply migrate the data to a new disk. I haven't managed to this that in windows for a single time without doing a re-install. With Linux or BSD, creating a new /home or /usr partition and migrating the data there has always been a breeze. If you haven't thought about a separate /home partition at install-time, simply do it later. The steps are easy:

1. Run a livecd like Knoppix or grml 2. Resize, create, move partitions and migrate data as you see fit 3. Adjust /etc/fstab accordingly 4. Reboot from hard disk.

Jul 18, 2012
3:33 PM EDT
It looks like this thread hasn't been touched in five years yet it somehow has risen to the top of the queue. Weird.

OTOH, discussing dumping Ubuntu is fine by me :)

Jul 18, 2012
3:47 PM EDT
They were fed up with Ubuntu in 2007 ... funny. I still think 6.06 was one of the great releases of all time. That seemed like a pretty good patch for Ubuntu -- 6.06, 7.04 and 7.10.

Jul 18, 2012
4:08 PM EDT
Someone spammed it and I deleted the post instead of the whole thread.

Jul 18, 2012
4:08 PM EDT
YEAH, WTF happened? LOL. A 5 year old thread rises from the dead. Should be on Jerry Springer.

Jul 18, 2012
4:09 PM EDT
@ Steve....LOL. If they knew then what they know now, how many people would have starting using Ubuntu. Oh well....time to get the flux capacitor fired up.

Jul 18, 2012
8:22 PM EDT
I was all ready to ask "You do know you're using ancient releases, don't you?"

Jul 18, 2012
8:40 PM EDT
I agree with Steven. Edgy was the last release for me where everything "just worked," but Feisty really wasn't bad. I had significant problems with Network Manager in Gutsy. I don't think I gave up on Ubuntu until 8.10 or so. Hardy Heron was the last release I actually recommended.

@tuxchick: I had about the same reaction when I saw this up on the list of current threads. Then I saw the date, did a mental WTF? and posted what I did :)

@Scott: That explains it. I thought I was engaged in creative bug reporting :) No need to delete the thread now. We've revived it. LOL.

Jul 18, 2012
11:14 PM EDT
7.04 was the first Ubuntu I used for significant time. I bought a laptop with it pre-installed so it worked perfect. 7.10 was just as good.

The 8.x series had some issues with my intel graphics. 9.x corrected and was a good series. 10.x and 11.04 was OK.

12 and unity, I dumped it.

The laptop runs mint with Cinnamon now.

Jul 18, 2012
11:14 PM EDT
It LIVES!!!!!!!!!!

Jul 19, 2012
12:23 AM EDT
Let's see if I can recall all the Baboontu versins correctly going back 1/2 dozen yrs w/o messing up the spelling.

6.04=Dapper Drake, 6.10=Edgy Eft, 7.04=Feisty Fawn, 7.10=Gutsy Gibbon, 8.04=Hardy Heron, 8.10=Intrepid Ibex, 9.04=Jaunty Jackalope, 9.10=Karmic Koala, 10.04=Lucid Lynx, 10.10=Maverick Meerkat, 11.04=Natty Narwhal, 11.10=Oneiric Ocelot, 12.04=Precise Pangolin, 12.10=Quantal Quetal

@hellos and tuxchic

I think that the tide turned from Ubuntu going to ape-bad Baboontu sometime in 2009 ~Jaunity.


Jul 19, 2012
1:59 AM EDT
Is it just me or is the wordplay upon "Ubuntu" getting tiresome? Or better yet, the forum signatures that say "Ubuntu - an African word for (something hilarious)". Hate Ubuntu all you want (no huge fan myself), just spare us the "Baboontu" or "butnut" or whatever. It makes you sound like a (something hilarious). Believe it or not the linux world will probably even survive despite the existence of the dreaded Ubuntu. Or not.

BTW, it's quetzal...

Jul 19, 2012
6:34 AM EDT
> Is it just me or is the wordplay upon "Ubuntu" getting tiresome?

No more tiresome than the continual "Do this on Ubuntu, do that on Ubuntu, Ubuntu gets X, Ubuntu gets Y, Ubuntu Z alpa 192 released articles continually being released. Quite a bit less, actually.

> Or better yet, the forum signatures that say "Ubuntu - an African word for (something hilarious)...

Very few people here do that. Our id's are just to the right of our posts, so there's little need for signatures.

Of course, Ubuntu is an old African tribal word meaning "Slackware is too hard for me", isn't really intended to be hilarious.

> Hate Ubuntu all you want (no huge fan myself), just spare us the "Baboontu" or "butnut" or whatever.

And there you see why other people make fun of Ubuntu fans. Criticism, even derision, does not equate to hatred.

> Believe it or not the linux world will probably even survive despite the existence of the dreaded Ubuntu.

It survived for years without it, I'm sure it will manage somehow, with or without Ubuntu.

Jul 19, 2012
8:45 AM EDT
And there you see why other people make fun of Ubuntu fans.

You mean aside from the fact that they make it so easy?

Yeah, the articles that proclaim UBUNTU does this or UBUNTU does that do get tiresome in light of the fact that almost ANY Linux distro will do this or that. Some people are crusading to make sure UBUNTU takes the place of Linux in people's minds....one would figure anyway, given the amount of articles making such proclamations.

Jul 19, 2012
9:02 AM EDT
> Some people are crusading to make sure UBUNTU takes the place of Linux in people's minds...

What every would give you that idea? :)

Jul 19, 2012
2:17 PM EDT
Well, I do use my share of Ubuntu variations (though, perhaps tellingly, never Ubuntu itself). I do find it odd, though, that when I just refer to it as "Linux" some people seem to get confused because they either aren't familiar with the term "Linux" or aren't familiar with the fact that Ubuntu is Linux. I always refer to my operating system installations as "Linux" unless I have a specific reason to point out the distribution.

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