Ubuntu desktop

Story: The Biggest Blunder: Or why Red Hat and Novell just left the door wide open to UbuntuTotal Replies: 17
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Apr 21, 2008
4:47 AM EDT
Yes sir. I am and will continue to deploy Ubuntu Server in my workplace because Ubuntu has the best Linux desktop out there. Since in the future I will want good integration between desktop and server, I see no reason to deploy RedHat or SUSE servers.


Apr 21, 2008
6:15 AM EDT
In my data center we run Red Hat (and a lot of CentOS) but all of our desktops and laptops are Ubuntu. The integration level is just fine, since it's all Linux. No big deal. The benefit of consolidation onto a single Linux distribution would primarily be in IT staff training (why is it apt on one and yum on the other, /etc/rc.d/rc.local on one and /etc/rc.local on the other, etc.).

In the end, though, Red Hat is one of those companies that a lot of people dislike simply because they are successful and a leader. I think they've earned their place in the industry and, similar to Google, do not deserve to be treated as "the next Microsoft." We'll see what happens. If Ubuntu takes the market share lead, will people other than helios begin to hate Canonical too?

Apr 21, 2008
7:20 AM EDT
> Red Hat is one of those companies that a lot of people dislike simply because they are successful and a leader.

Personally, I love Red Hat as a company. I even own Red Hat stock (though only 15 shares).

That said, I believe their abandoning the desktop market was a serious long term mistake (long term being 10-20 years). In the short term (5-10 years), it was a sound business decision, and I don't plan on selling my Red Hat shares any time soon; but a market is not only measured by profits, it's also measured by market and mind share, and those tend to show the way profits will go in the future. By dropping the desktop from their plans, Red Hat has cost themselves market penetration and mind share, and given Canonical an opening they've been more than willing to use.

Apr 21, 2008
8:02 AM EDT

As a counterpoint to that, the Linux/Unix desktop will progress, with or without Red Hat. They could leave the desktop market in the short term, and enter it later, like five years from now.

And five years from now, who knows what kind of shake-out will have happened in Linux?

Apr 21, 2008
8:18 AM EDT
> They could leave the desktop market in the short term, and enter it later, like five years from now.

I believe that's exactly what they're thinking. I'm just not sure they'll be successful at doing so.

Apr 21, 2008
10:17 AM EDT
It wouldn't kill Red Hat to release their "Global Desktop" product. They don't have to spend much; they can just put it out there. A Red Hat-branded product with the ability to play all the multimedia out there would generate a lot of interest. It would be great -- and cheap -- PR for Red Hat.

Apr 22, 2008
8:23 AM EDT
> They could leave the desktop market in the short term, and enter it later, like five years from now.

The real question is whether there is much of a desktop market. SuSE is doing all right with SLED, so there's something there, but how much?

Let us remember:

A market is determined by how many people are willing to pay, not by how many people are willing to take you up on a freebie.

Apr 22, 2008
8:58 AM EDT
> ...so there's something there, but how much?

And is it cost effective to pursue it, or would the money be better used elsewhere within the company?

As previously noted, there are tradeoffs either way.

Apr 23, 2008
4:29 AM EDT
Foobar - I want you to specifically site anywhere I've stated that I hate Ubuntu or it's mothership. I do not personally care for Ubuntu. I do believe it is over-hyped...I think there are better distros for the New Linux User. However, If the buntu's are the road to mainstream Linux adaptation, I can hang with that and be supportive of it. I've recently stated just that. I simply find it interesting that with the largest community in all LinuxLand, they haven't responded to the LINdependence invitations, however I do believe the local LoCo may get involved. Hate is a strong word my friend...use it only when you believe it is representative of a tool or motive for destruction. I am far from feeling any such negativity toward Ubuntu.

Don't publish things as a matter of permanent record that cannot be substantiated. If you want to say that you perceive me as hating Ubuntu et al, that's fine...there is a thin line between semantic opinion and a complete untruth.


Apr 23, 2008
5:54 AM EDT
Helios, this is where you are wrong, isn't it obvious that you have to have a love or hate relationship with ubuntu, so if you don't sing it's praises then you obviously hate it. We live in a binary world, there can only be two options.[/irony]


Apr 23, 2008
7:34 AM EDT
I'm interested in where IgT gets the idea the h is a PCLOS zealot (posted on h's blog)...we all know he's now a Mandriva zealot!! ;0)

Quoting: Red Hat and Novell are not the nascent desktop Linux industry. Canonical is. The Linux desktop belongs to Ubuntu. I know you are a PCLinuxOS zealot and therefore you hate Ubuntu, but pretending they do not exist only works within this blog article; it doesn't work in the real world.

What will it take for you to realize this? Do we have to put the Ubuntu logo on the side panel of a race car?

That's from a comment here: http://linuxlock.blogspot.com/2008/04/linux-users-will-rescu...

WTF? Oy...Ubuntu zealots!! ;-p

h, you make some interesting enemies.

Apr 23, 2008
1:42 PM EDT
I use Mandriva Linux on all my desktops and Mandriva on my server. I do so because I'm most familiar with the tools Mandriva supply that make my life easier.

Apr 23, 2008
6:36 PM EDT
Let me give you a case in point, and to the betterment of all, I will strive to keep it short. Yeah, like that's gonna friggin' happen.

A friend of mine needed a new computer, I mentioned that zareason had some reasonable machines and she purchased one. Being more of a KDE guy than gnome, I had them install KDE instead of the default gnome.

Nightmare begins. Now I support many, many users by phone, email and in person. Of course, the first thing I did was have her update her computer. She also mentioned that she could only find konqueror as a browser. Note to 'buntus...break down and install firefox as default...it was not installed.

I neglected to recall that Kubuntu doesn't use Synaptic but adept. Fine. I had her open Adept and type in firefox in the search box. It showed up as installed...this is by phone so I could not see. I had her open a console (she uses a dos prompt as part of her job) and we tried to open it. Command not found. Cool. We did apt-get update. One word appeared: Done. I had her do kwrite /etc/apt/sources.list and hit enter.

Folks, there was some stupid BS to the tune of "Installer commented source out due to failure to authenticate...bla bla bla on every friggin' repository line. she had never booted her computer. Why would they all be commented out?

So, I had her go back to adept and open it in hopes of finding a GUI in order to update/add/remove repositories. She looked for 5 minutes and we could not find it. Fine again. I had her reopen sources.list and we began removing and uncommenting repository lines. Now this is not a stupid person, she's just in uncharted waters. she did and repeated back to me just exactly like I told her. sudo apt-get update gave error lines on several repositories.

Now you want to chide me for not genuflecting at the alter of Ubuntu/Kubuntu? In the first place, Adept is a good tool but way too complex for a new user. Prior to ANY work on sources.list, every time she would try to install a piece of software via apt-get it would say something to the effect of: "firefox does not have an install candidate It is mentioned elsewhere in teh...bla bla bla."

So, I told her I would research it and call her back. Big surprise here...this has been a complained about issue since 2005. . There is absolutely no reason at all that a new user should have to alter her sources.list before she even knows how to spell Linux. This is ridiculous. I am bringing her an install disk for Mandriva tomorrow and we can go from there. I use Mepis and have had Kubuntu on a few machines and I personally had no issues with it, but obviously she did as did a few dozen others. This problem has been reported as recently as 7.10. It is inexcusable that a new user should have to jump through these hoops to install Firefox and Synaptic. Two programs that in my opinion, should be there when the doors open. Ya think?

Anyway...for those that mistake my angry rant for "hatred", that would be your problem, not mine. All I am doing here is illustrating my earlier comment that Ubuntu is far from a new user friendly distro.


Apr 24, 2008
5:54 AM EDT
Ubuntu sometimes reminds me of a poorly trained dog. Sometimes it's the sweetest, cutest thing in the whole world, and other times it tries to rip your arms off.

Ubuntu will be better after it has graduated from obedience school.

I am saying this as an ubuntu user.

My favorite thing is that randomly when I wake up my laptop it gets lost on login. I type in my password and it just sits there waiting for....I don't know what, but it never logs in, I can't restart x windows, I can't login to another terminal, my only choice is a hard shutdown.

I think I am going to try Mandriva this summer to see how that works with my laptop.

Apr 24, 2008
6:20 AM EDT

It sounds like your main issue was Kubuntu (kde) not Ubuntu (gnome). As a matter of policy I install Ubuntu first and then install the kubuntu-desktop package which draws in all the basic kde stuff. This way I have both kde and gnome. I find it easier to administer from gnome (Ubuntu) because all the easy to use default apps you were mentioning are there.

The basic structural problem is that Canonical only employs one kde deve (Riddell) while they have several gnome focussed devs. Thus the gnome desktop is most always better polished and free of irritating bugs.

I have upgraded 4 machines now to 8.04 over the last week. Problem free in the main except my main box which has two soundcards one of which doesn't work and takes first slot in alsa. 8.04 has switched to the pulseaudio sever and it is still rough around the edges. It took me a day or so to figure out all the sound issues.....

Apr 24, 2008
3:08 PM EDT
Montezuma - that is a superb idea, and as a Linux User, I sincerely want to use and recommend the buntu's. Illustrations such as above are indicative of the enormously frustrating problems we have. And yes...I am going to take the lick for this. I should have gotten it done via gnome and included the kde libs as I went, but would that have solved the hell we went through in getting her at least a firefox browser installed? We couldn't update/install software by any means. Now I will be the first to admit that if I was hands-on that machine, I could have figured out what was wrong and more than likely, being she was a brand new user, it was probably a problem BKAC. Still, I administrate 90 percent of my support via phone and if I can't get the main browser of Mainstream Linux to install, well Houston, we have a problem.

This is a good idea though and I had done this in the past with other distros such as Dream Linux. With the enormous and hugely talented pool of Buntu Users, it sure would make it handy to be able to recommend it without a second thought...Unfortunately, until "little" things like this are fixed, I cannot do it.


Apr 24, 2008
3:14 PM EDT
boomer. Now you know that I try the past few years to remain fairly agnostic when it comes to distros...I do try and I actually run two different ones on my production machines. I do have to say though that since the first 2008 release, this distro has improved by large numbers. I especially enjoy the fact that I can send a new user to easyurpmi.org and walk them through a repository update/upgrade with a few mouse clicks. That in itself is worth the price of any admission. What I find fascinating is that the offshoots of Mandriva all seem to corrupt or weaken as the system ages, causing some fairly serious problems. Not so with the 2008 release(s) and I am obviously impressed...however when I look at the progress of some other distros I watch such as Elive...Dude...you really have to check out what they've done with the thing. It's E17 and it sparkles with a brilliance I've yet seen in any distro.

but then again, I have done far from try them all.


Apr 25, 2008
12:21 PM EDT
It's more like they left the door open to Mint in my opinion. ;)

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