Took the Ubuntu plunge

This is a discussion on Took the Ubuntu plunge within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; OK, things haven't been as rosey as of late. I've been installing all recommended updates, and things would stop working, ...

  1. #31
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    890
    OK, things haven't been as rosey as of late. I've been installing all recommended updates, and things would stop working, like printing, for instance. Remove, re-install printer, things back again. Today things went south in a hurry as upon reboot, I was kicked to a root shell with DRDY ERR messages complaining of bad sectors. I mounted a USB flash drive, backed up all of my data, and ran fsck, which prompted to rewrite bad blocks. After that finished I'm back in business, but I think I'll back up more frequently now.

    :-/

  2. #32
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    segmentation fault
    Posts
    8,300
    Quote Originally Posted by medievalelks View Post
    OK, things haven't been as rosey as of late. I've been installing all recommended updates, and things would stop working, like printing, for instance. Remove, re-install printer, things back again.
    :-/
    I've been a linux user since about 1998, but I've actually had a computer less than half the time during that period. Right now, I have a stock install of debian 5, that seems very nice to me but I mostly use it for getting a perspective on how a stock install of a contemporary linux works, because I have a public open source project that is intended primarily for that environment. I sometimes feel guilty for not using it more because I should be taking more of an interest if I want to continue programming for that environment.

    BUT the one I use 98% of the time is a totally stripped down and customized Fedora Core 10-64. By "stripped down", I mean even after a bare minimum install, there was still a ton of tish I had to force uninstall. I've been using fedora since before RedHat existed (or is it the other way around? I don't remember) and I still haven't gotten use to using anything than CLI "rpm" to deal with packages (and also mc -- altho mc isn't even in the fedora distro anymore!). I use the stock X windows, but I build the GUI on top of that using gtk and fvwm2 from the original source. There's a lot of configuration that gets done for you by the distro that you don't realize what it is until you configure using source. This is especially true of the kernel. ALL the sources are available. I also had to modify a lot of stuff in the /etc/rc.d directories, and for that I guess I had to rely on my knowledge of how redhat used to work, eg. without all the complex services that have been added like SELinux and DBus. I think these complicate the UI and have made it more opaque and difficult to comprehend it's essential structure.

    When I started using linux, you did not boot into a GUI unless you made that happen yourself. I think the way it is now is great if the intention is to serve general users who are not interested in programming and will be at a total loss for anything to say when confronted by a command line, but if you are comfortable programming, you should really consider gaining a deeper understanding by, for example, creating a simple system to run off a floppy or cdrom.

    I installed in January and I haven't had any problems at all (I totally love it), but like I said I try to keep a fairly tight grip on it. I build most software from source and I only check about fedora updates if I suspect there's something that is buggy. Having a distribution, eg, a gigantic collection of precompiled software is great, if I suddenly find I need some library, boom, there's the package on a dvd. But the whole bell whistle general purpose desktop shebang is kind of a more experimental place, methinks, than it is in (eg) microsoft windows. Remember, Ubuntu and RedHat are giving that tish away. They make their money doing more specialized, industrial and commercial things.

    ps. bad sectors are bad sectors. find an independent way to verify they are there, because they probably are. That's nothing to do with Ubuntu, it's bad luck and your hard drive.
    Last edited by MK27; 06-20-2009 at 07:27 AM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  3. #33
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,145
    I build most software from source and I only check about fedora updates if I suspect there's something that is buggy
    I only build things from source if 1) they are not in the repository, 2) I need/want a newer version than the one in the repository, or 3) The distro built the package in a way I don't like (left out some features, etc, happens VERY rarely).

    There are just too many things to worry about when building your own software - dependencies (hell), weird compiler version requirements (for older packages), strange library paths, etc. They are harder to manage once installed, too.

    I used to always compile my own kernel, not anymore. What do I get from my hours of going through pages of kernel config options? A negligibly faster kernel for my hardware (debatable), a few MB of RAM. Not worth it IMHO. The stock Ubuntu kernel works pretty well, and Ubuntu even updates it for you through apt-get.

    I've always thought of package management systems (apt-get, yum, etc) as a big strong point of Linux compared to Windows or even Mac.

    "apt-get install firefox [enter]", and you have a configured, working firefox installation with an icon sitting in the menus somewhere
    "apt-get install pidgin", and you have an IM client
    "apt-get install gimp", "apt-get install openoffice.org", "apt-get install gcc"...
    With all dependencies automagically resolved, packages downloaded from a central server, installed, and default configurations applied. All without user intervention. And best of all, they are all automatically updated from the central server. You don't need to check hundreds of different websites to find newer versions of programs you use.

    That is user-friendliness. IMHO, user-friendliness doesn't have to be about pretty graphics (although it probably helps). It's about making things easier for the user. I don't think clicking through a bunch of pretty dialogues to remove a program on Windows is more user-friendly than typing "apt-get remove firefox".

    There is nothing like that for Windows.
    Last edited by cyberfish; 06-20-2009 at 09:00 AM.

  4. #34
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    8,892
    MK27, I think you should try Gentoo.
    All the buzzt!
    CornedBee

    "There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, any programming language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad code."
    - Flon's Law

  5. #35
    Making mistakes
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    476
    Gentoo is cool. At least it seems so. But I also like the simple "sudo aptitude search ...; sudo aptitude install ..." commands. They take less time since most things are prebuilt.

  6. #36
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    8,892
    Well, "qsearch ...; emerge ... (or paludis -i ...)" is just as easy, but it takes far, far longer.
    All the buzzt!
    CornedBee

    "There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, any programming language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad code."
    - Flon's Law

  7. #37
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    segmentation fault
    Posts
    8,300
    Part of the reason I do the things the way I do is because I do not want the DE's, either KDE or gnome, etc. I use fvwm2 because the mini WM's used by those DE's will not support this in an xorg.conf:

    Code:
            SubSection "Display"
                    Virtual 2560 1600
                    Viewport   0 0
    The virtual viewport works like this
    Code:
    +=============================+
    |                                         
    |      Screen                         
    |                                          
    |                                           
    +==================+ 
    |                                             
    |                 Desktop               
    +=============================+
    You can pan around in it.

    My actual screen (the viewport) is 1680x1050, less than half the surface area of each desktop pane. That means I can have (eg), firefox open at 1680 x 1300 -- the extra 250 are the menubars up top, so I just slide down to see a page "full screen". With a normal 1680x1050 app, there's still room for a (500px high) terminal underneath and some large monitors and viewers, etc, to the right.

    Also, fvwm's uses scripts for configuration which are about 10000% more versatile than the point and click things with DE's:
    Code:
    use 1 R       A       Menu MainMenu Nop
    Mouse 3 R       A       Menu Window-Ops Nop
    Mouse 2 R       A       WindowList
    Mouse 1 T       A       WindowShade
    Mouse 1 FS      A       Resize
    Mouse 1 I       A       Iconify
    Mouse 2 TSF     A       Iconify
    Mouse 3 TS      A       Move    
    
    ## Windows ##
    #DestroyDecore BlueGreenShoe
    #AddToDecore BlueGreenShoe
    TitleStyle ActiveUp DGradient 66 #20EC00 #0eaaec
    ButtonStyle 4 \
            ActiveUp (Pixmap X.png) \
            ActiveDown (Pixmap Xx.png) \
            Inactive (Pixmap X.png) 
    ButtonStyle All -- UseTitleStyle
    BorderStyle TiledPixmap coolpool.xpm -- HiddenHandles
    #Style *        UseDecor BlueGreenShoe
    Style * HilightFore purple4, HilightBack #fa0f33
    Style * Color grey/black, NoButton 1, NoButton 2 
    Style * BorderWidth 8, HandleWidth 8
    Style * StickyIcon, Icon unknown.xpm, NoIconTitle
    The only thing I can't have is the compiz eye candy, but to me the choice between that and these two things (the virtual viewport and scripting) is a no contest.

    I also don't like the lame GUI file browsers. Anyone who has used Midnight Commander (ncurses) for any period of time will understand why. But while there are posts everyday on the fvwm2 and mc mail lists, they have been dropped from most major distros. I am sure this is not neglect, so much as awareness on the part of the package managers: people who want that will build from source, but new users will *not* want to go do down that road initially.

    As for building the kernel, that's a must IMO, esp. if you dabble in kernel programming. I agree, the optimized speed/size thing is not such a big deal, but there are a lot of "non-standard" options in there that have nothing to do with that. That said, no doubt there are still commercial servers around that just run on a stock kernel.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    I only build things from source if 1) they are not in the repository, 2) I need/want a newer version than the one in the repository, or 3) The distro built the package in a way I don't like (left out some features, etc, happens VERY rarely).
    I don't find it a hassle to build stuff from source at all + I'm bound to learn more by doing it. I don't really have a hard and fast rule about it tho, like I said I do appreciate the repository, to me that's the whole point of the distro. Maybe not using it "as is" or "in the way god intended", but using it none the less. Also, I would say *most* of the software I like needs reconfiguring. I have not seen a stock vim yet that was even half decent. Every time I install a linux, the first thing I notice is that my .vimrc won't work and I need to build vim from source...

    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    That is user-friendliness. IMHO, user-friendliness doesn't have to be about pretty graphics
    [...]
    There is nothing like that for Windows.
    And pretty graphics doesn't have to be about user-friendliness. I don't really care about user friendliness on this level, and actually find it (ironically) a hassle. At one point I was running a system where *all* of the init scripts were written from scratch by me; that would be harder today because of all the "user-friendliness" that got built into the distros. I'm not recommending my setup to anyone, I'm just pointing at a vast, albeit more dimly lit exterior. Different users will find different things "friendly", sometimes in opposite ways (no doubt!). Distro packagers are not gearing their product to me and I don't blame them. I can gear their product to me myself, whereas most people could not. I did not just open the box. I turned the parent of the box inside out and ate it before the box was even born

    I don't think that contrasting linux with windows in this way will benefit linux in the end, unless the purpose is to create an OS more palatable to windows users -- why bother doing that? Linux does not have to $ell units. I have friends with computers who are not programmers; they use windows. I would never suggest they do otherwise. I would actually feel like a jerk if I did that and they took me up on it. Linux is not for the mainstream. AFAICT, if you do a CS degree, you will have to deal with it eventually anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by CornedBee View Post
    MK27, I think you should try Gentoo.
    Why? If I didn't make it clear, I don't "heavily mod" fedora core because I think there is something wrong with fedora contrasted to any other distro. I did it because this is *exactly* what I want. If I used some other distro, I would just do exactly the same thing with that. I don't want someone else's vision of the OS. I am very happy with mine; it literally took me years to get there.

    Also I'd rather pick up FreeBSD or Haiku Project than bother with umpteen different linux flavours. I love linux, but I think what I appreciate is the unixness, the kernel, and GNU. The rest is just complicated packaging.

    If you go here and click screenshots, the first one is debian 5, which I figure is like a normative linux desktop. The second one is mine, with mc in pink/purple. My normal view is the size of the mc window.
    Last edited by MK27; 06-20-2009 at 12:11 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  8. #38
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    8,892
    Why?
    Gentoo is extremely minimal in its core installation, consisting basically of a build environment on the console. You don't strip anything out to get there, you just don't install packages.
    Gentoo builds from source, and its package management system allows convenient access to build-time configuration options via use flags. For example, if I ask about the installation of fvwm (which is in the repository, as well as mc), I get something like this:

    * x11-wm/fvwm [N 2.5.26] <target>
    -bidi -debug -doc -gtk -gtk2-perl -imlib -netpbm nls perl png readline -rplay -stroke svg -tk truetype -vanilla xinerama build_options: -optional_tests split strip

    So, it wants to install fvwm at version 2.5.26 (I skipped the dependencies), with various options, like supporting svg and png, but not bidirectional scripts.

    So basically, Gentoo better supports your particular way of using Linux than Fedora (the heavy customization). You very rarely need to build something from source, since the package tree is incredibly large and supports using compile-time configuration options. At the same time, though, it manages dependencies, which in my experience is the most annoying thing about building things from source.
    All the buzzt!
    CornedBee

    "There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, any programming language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad code."
    - Flon's Law

  9. #39
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    segmentation fault
    Posts
    8,300
    Quote Originally Posted by CornedBee View Post
    Gentoo is extremely minimal in its core installation, consisting basically of a build environment on the console. You don't strip anything out to get there, you just don't install packages.

    So basically, Gentoo better supports your particular way of using Linux
    Sheesh CornedBee you could have told me that in January. Anyway, thanks, I will file this away for later. Gentoo is one of the myriad flavours that appeared during my "travelling years"; before that there was just debian, redhat, SUSE, and I think slackware had just arrived.

    But for now I will not "look a gift horse in the mouth".
    Last edited by MK27; 06-21-2009 at 12:52 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  10. #40
    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    3,459
    Erm, why not just have the best of both worlds with Arch linux? :-)

    Sure ABS isn't mature as Gentoo's emerge, but it is just a port of BSD 'Port'.
    Last edited by zacs7; 06-21-2009 at 07:29 PM.

  11. #41
    int x = *((int *) NULL); Cactus_Hugger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Banks of the River Styx
    Posts
    902
    I've always thought of package management systems (apt-get, yum, etc) as a big strong point of Linux compared to Windows or even Mac.
    ...
    All without user intervention. And best of all, they are all automatically updated from the central server. You don't need to check hundreds of different websites to find newer versions of programs you use.

    That is user-friendliness. IMHO, user-friendliness doesn't have to be about pretty graphics (although it probably helps). It's about making things easier for the user. I don't think clicking through a bunch of pretty dialogues to remove a program on Windows is more user-friendly than typing "apt-get remove firefox".

    There is nothing like that for Windows.
    I completely agree on this point - Windows is in the stone age in this respect. Every installer is different, some are buggy to varying degrees from annoying to break-your-system, etc. I'm currently dealing with an issue at work that involves a rouge installer that overwrites a core system DLL in XP with the same DLL... from '98.
    Not only is it ridiculously easy to get software, but the standard installs of Gnome, etc., comes with software.

    [emerge, paludis] is just as easy, but it takes far, far longer.
    Yes, but this is to be expected in compiling software as opposed to just copying files. It's generally not too bad on modern hardware though. Except for a few obvious packages like Qt/KDE, most things compile fairly quickly.
    long time; /* know C? */
    Unprecedented performance: Nothing ever ran this slow before.
    Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature.
    Real Programmers confuse Halloween and Christmas, because dec 25 == oct 31.
    The best way to accelerate an IBM is at 9.8 m/s/s.
    recursion (re - cur' - zhun) n. 1. (see recursion)

  12. #42
    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    3,459
    Speaking of Gentoo, I'm sure you've all seen: Welcome to Gentoo is Rice, the Volume goes to 11 here. . Because it's so true

Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Popular pages Recent additions subscribe to a feed

Similar Threads

  1. strange ubuntu problem
    By Stonehambey in forum Tech Board
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-21-2009, 11:03 AM
  2. Removing Ubuntu and getting its space back
    By Akkernight in forum Tech Board
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 04-04-2009, 03:02 AM
  3. Replies: 9
    Last Post: 02-03-2009, 04:40 PM
  4. 32 bit to 64 bit Ubuntu
    By Akkernight in forum Tech Board
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 11-17-2008, 02:14 AM
  5. Ubuntu fan noise
    By Stonehambey in forum Tech Board
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 09-06-2008, 12:28 PM

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21