PcLinuxOS - best Linux desktop ever

This is a discussion on PcLinuxOS - best Linux desktop ever within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by Epy I was referring more to the time it takes to open the browser, find the exe, ...

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epy View Post
    I was referring more to the time it takes to open the browser, find the exe, download, run, jump through hoops. Granted there are many applications that take a while to build, the ones I have built lately (gtk-gnutella, DOSBox) have taken under a minute after the download.
    You assume that the user already has knowledge of how to install a program, but let's for a minute forget that assumption.
    Less than 4 hours ago i was trying to install Code::Blocks on OpenSUSE in a VM. I have _no_ knowledge of Linux other than knowing how to use the most basic CLI commands such as cd and mkdir.
    Fortunately for me there is a precompiled Code::Blocks binary for OpenSUSE: "Yay, double click, next next next finish" methinks.

    But i only got to the double click, before i get hit in the face with a missing dependency list with close to 100 entries. I manage to scrape in most of it with the package manager, took about half an hour, it was a 650MB download (Mostly due to my inability to sort what i needed and didn't need, i could probably have gotten away with 5 minutes download if i had taken the time.) Now i'm only left with one dependency: wx-gtk+ or something similar to that. The package manager can't help me, so i'm off to google.
    I find a mirror to a .tar with the source, so now i have to compile it myself. But how does one go about that? Google told me something about ./configure and make install, but to be honest i didn't get far, the guide i found wasn't accurate, and with zero knowledge on compiling applications in Linux, i was stuck.

    On Windows, there is also a precompiled Code::Blocks binary, it isn't even compressed like the OpenSUSE one. It is a mirror to an exe, you double click, press next when prompted, and it finishes up itself, no dependencies, no makefiles, no compiling, no package managing, it just sort of works...

    If i decide one day to learn Pascal, depending on which platform i'm on, i either install a compiler and start with the actual task of learning, or i spend 3˝ hours installing a compiler only to have lost interest when i finally succeed.

    To me, Linux is a hassle. I wish more work would be put into the usability of it because i honestly think it can be a great alternative to a proprietary platform like Windows and Mac, who doesn't love the idea of a free OS?
    But at the moment, it just doesn't cut it for everyday users imo, unless the user is well versed and experienced with Linux already.
    How I need a drink, alcoholic in nature, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics.

  2. #17
    Just a pushpin. bernt's Avatar
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    But i only got to the double click, before i get hit in the face with a missing dependency list with close to 100 entries.
    I don't think OpenSUSE has the best repositories - that's really Debian's (and its children's (read: Ubuntu)) forte. And missing dependencies are not a problem in Debian. You go in, you say "hey, I want Code::Blocks, version 8.02" and Debian gives it to you like the sweet little servant it is. That's my experience - and although I can't say the same for yours, it was a very pleasant experience at that.

    You assume that the user already has knowledge of how to install a program, but let's for a minute forget that assumption.
    Let's turn the tables for just a minute, though: you want a pascal compiler for Windows but you've been using linux all your life. We'll install freepascal since that's the first one that showed up on a google search.
    Code:
    We download the program...
    We install it to the standard directory: C:\Program Files\freepascal
    Ok, so far so good.
    So, like the linux user we are, we run the command line: cmd.exe
    We type: fpc hello
    error: fpc not found (or something like that)
    hmm... A good fifteen minutes looking around on the webs reveals that Windows uses environment variables. So how to change them? Simple enough, let's do it to it.
    We type: fpc hello
    error: gnu ld: file "C:\Documents" not found
    wtf? I don't have a file called Documents. And I didn't compile it either. Oh, maybe it's Documents and Settings?
    Fifteen minutes later... turns out command-line tools don't like spaces in the names.
    So we move our entire source folder to C:\Pascal.
    We type: fpc hello
    no errors, finally!
    Seems like a lot of hassle, and it is. And being unaccustomed to the Windows UI wouldn't help either. So maybe it's not necessarily the fact that linux isn't friendly, it's just that it's different. Obviously you're going to be more comfortable learning pascal in windows if that's what you always use. You'd probably have the same issues trying to install software on a Mac (where are the executables? how do I run the .dmg file? where's the command line? how do I cut/copy/paste?). Ok, that last question was silly but I do remember getting frustrated when I used a mac for the first time and realized that they actually used the super key (the one with a picture on it, usually).

    And excuse my parenthetical comments (of which there are many). I'm in a parenthetical mood today. Perhaps it would have been a good day to learn lisp (but I guess I'll never know now (because it's getting late (and I don't have time today))).
    Consider this post signed

  3. #18
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    WOOT! another Windows vs Linux frame war!! (I think we had... about 3 so far this year?)

    Linux DOES have programs that Windows don't have. Few, but they do exist, especially for development.

    Valgrind for one.

    And GCC is a lot better supported on anything but Windows. On Windows you can get a crippled VS Express (no 64-bit, no profiler, and deprecates half of standard library functions). On Linux you get everything for free.

    The scripting capabilities are also a lot better.

    Modern package managers are also a godsend. Can you imagine just typing "apt-get install openoffice" to install a whole office suite?

    More recently, I'm looking for a free electronic design automation (EDA) program (for drawing circuits, and transferring them to and design PCBs). Linux has gEDA (a state of art EDA comparable to many commercial EDAs that cost a lot of $$$). Only downside is there is no complete Windows port.

    When people asked me why I use Linux, I used to say because I like the customizability, speed, etc, etc. Now I just say because it's easier to use. I think it's true.
    Last edited by cyberfish; 05-17-2010 at 11:04 PM.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpaulgib View Post
    Task manager has a performance tab that allows you to check your CPU usage, and you can see what percent each program is taking up. Everything you're talking about can be done with that.

    Once again, back to my personal experience, when Redhat FIRST put out Fedora, I couldn't even get wifi support, while Windows ran it fine. Linux is just now catching up to Microsoft on compatibility. As I said, Linux has it's uses, but for the majority of users, it's not worth the effort. If you want to customize everything in your OS, I'd say go with Linux.

    I just don't really find too many programs out there that don't have a windows version, or a very similar comparable program. I don't know of any.
    I really don't know where to start....
    First of all...try out PCLOS then speak.
    This distro can completely replace Windows for tasks such as surfing, text editing, watching movies, music, programming....things that occupy 100% of my time.
    I moved to Linux long time ago and ever since...never had a need to go back to Windows, never!
    And you get all that for free. No damn licensing, no trial software, you don't have to google to find decent compiler, burning tools, pay license to use office tools, edit pictures in photoshop....

    Stability and safety is a huge reason to migrate to Linux. And I'm not saying that just because all the viruses are written for Win32, but because one would have to gain root privileges to do any damage on the system...and no damn registry. Nothing is hidden from the user. Registry is the biggest peace of crap in Windows...together with horribly made Windows share protocol. I remember when I tried to uninstall one anti-virus software on my friends computer....exactly that-> I TRIED. How dumm is that?
    GUI runs in user space, kernel is modular...I don't have to tell stories of how powerful shell is!?
    Programming enviroment(tools, documentation AND COMMUNITY) are incomparable!
    In fact, I am amazed to see that some business can relay on Windows as a platform!?
    They got FREE system and all tools available with community that can respond in an instance.
    The system is so portable that it runs from washing machines to super computers...with same code!
    In professional circles, academia circles...Linux is amazing learning tool. Windows cannot compete with. It's like a well documented lego blocks, from it's core to surface.

    What does all that mean to an average user?
    Better support, fast response, solvable problems, more money in the wallet.
    I think that Linux is on it's way to become the standard....just like TCP/IP is well defined standard for Internet...so will the Linux be in OS. Google has embraced it for its two operating systems. For desktop and notbooks ChromeOS and for mobile devices Andorid.
    Code contributions from different companies are growing. Nokia, despite that it owns Symbian also started to throw code in the Linux kernel.
    Linux is on it's course to be most widely used OS on mobile devices. Once that happens...people will want better sync. between their mobile device and desktop/notebook and Linux is already prepared. All it needs is better vendors support.

    Yeah, Linux is great. It's not perfect and there will never be such an operating system, but all its flaws can be forgiven because of the fact that you actually own that software and all its tools for free.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    When people asked me why I use Linux, I used to say because I like the customizability, speed, etc, etc.
    Yes, but you need not exaggerate. I too like linux, but:

    >> On Windows you can get a crippled VS Express (no 64-bit, no profiler, and deprecates half of standard library functions). On Linux you get everything for free.

    It doesn't deprecate anything. And the warning messages are dealt with the addition of a simple switch to the compiler. Meanwhile, the Express edition is fine for most uses of Visual Studio you'd expect of non commercial applications on the Windows platform, and even for commercial ones. I do agree however they should offer 64bit support. That's a glaring miss.

    >> The scripting capabilities are also a lot better.

    No idea what this means. Scripting is scripting is scripting.

    >> Modern package managers are also a godsend. Can you imagine just typing "apt-get install openoffice" to install a whole office suite?

    Really depends on the distro, doesn't it? I'm a critic of openSUSE ZYpp and particularly its YAST frontend. Neither I think linux users benefit from so many different package managers. Neither I think some users have a real idea of the responsibility of packaging for a repo (judging from the errors one often gets trying to install packages with wrong or missing dependencies).
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  6. #21
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Really depends on the distro, doesn't it? I'm a critic of openSUSE ZYpp and particularly its YAST frontend. Neither I think linux users benefit from so many different package managers. Neither I think some users have a real idea of the responsibility of packaging for a repo
    In fact there are only two package managers: fedora's yum/rpm, and the more widely used debian apt/dpkg. Thankfully, 100% of the package manager front-ends are build on those, so I guarantee every linux system has either yum & rpm or apt & dpkg on it. They are very simple to use, and there are tons and tons of documentation, online tutorials, etc, so there is no real need for anything else. However, if you are unaware of that you may waste your time with the distro specific additions, which mostly spring from a dunder-headed desire to dumb the UI down, as I've mentioned previously. In the old days you would be told to learn to use the proper tools, and not presented with yet another absurd point and click interface. I guess someone got sick of all the whining. Freedom is as freedom does! Sometimes by taking the apparently "easy" root you get what you asked for, in a certain sense.

    But I also have a low opinion of the automatic transmission and sliced bread. Though not nearly so low as my opinion of crude, superfluous abuse of the GUI.

    (judging from the errors one often gets trying to install packages with wrong or missing dependencies).
    Well, those are the distro's responsibility, clearly you have chosen the wrong one. If you are using a debian derived variant, you should change the repositories you are using in /etc/apt/sources.list.

    At home I use fedora and gnewsense, but all the installs I work on are debian or ubuntu. I've never once had this problem* on any of them and I end up using apt-get somewhere almost everyday.

    Vis. the heterogeneity, yes, that has created issues in various areas (altho if you understand the system, like I said -- package managers are not one of them). However, I think this (variety) is a good thing from an evolutionary perspective. So while there are standards that all of the distos conform to (POSIX, the LFS) and other "standard like" organizations that work with all of them (XDG), it would be a terrible mistake to extend this into a completely unified ideal.

    Since linux is not a corporation, it can afford to support this heterogeneity. As we all learned in Biology 101, evolution is not an efficient process. Apple and MS rely on each other for market driven evolutionary influence**. Within the various linux flavours, poor "mutations" are allowed whatever lifespan users give them.

    So basically I would say you have the wrong attitude: you have much more choice and control here than on any other platform and the intent is that you exercise it. Choose. If you choose wrong, don't turn around and blame the whole community for it. If this kind of responsibility is too much hassle for you, stop using linux and go back to a wysiwyg consumer ready corporate produced OS.

    The OP apparently made a choice and is happy with it. It may not be someone else's, but good for him/her.

    * thinking a little harder I think I have had it once -- apt came back saying something to the effect that the dependencies were not available in the repository. Which is a dumb oversight by someone. However, this was on a server were they insisted on a small specific whitelist of repositories. If you don't have that issue, this cannot, logically, be a problem. There are too many repositories around.
    ** it might be argued they have gotten inbred, but nevermind...
    Last edited by MK27; 05-18-2010 at 08:26 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

  7. #22
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    Maybe you should clean up some of that bull........ from your post.

    Happy UNIX and *BSD user here.

  8. #23
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fronty View Post
    Maybe you should clean up some of that bull........ from your post.
    You talkin' to ME?

    Happy UNIX and *BSD user here.
    Linux would have been nothing if not for these! Again, variation == evolutionary potential.
    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

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    You talkin' to ME?
    Totally.

    For a moment I was like wtf, why did you cencored ........, but then I saw that it was cencored from MY post. ;o

  10. #25
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Okay, I apologize for calling MS and Apple "inbred". They have a place in the world too.
    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

  11. #26
    Epy
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    To keep it short, I'll admit that installation on Linux can be quite a pain at times, but most of the time I can install something from a repository fairly quickly without hunting it down. It's mainly the convenience of being able to install 10+ programs with one simple command, no prompts, no buttons, it does everything for me.

    And I would say that Linux caught up with hardware support about a year ago.

  12. #27
    Epy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo1 View Post
    ... If i decide one day to learn Pascal ...
    Code::Blocks for Pascal? Lazarus: Lazarus - News RPMs available from the download page.

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    I have honestly never had any problem with APT (well, maybe not never, but less than 1% of the time I need to install something). Broken dependencies... I get them about once or twice a year.

    And by scripting, I meant the shell. Sorry about that.

    BTW, it's not about the price. I am a student and I can get 2 licenses of Windows 7 Pro for free (legally). Even when they are both free I chose Linux.

  14. #29
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    This might not add a whole lot, but I don't think you have to make Linux's interface more intuitive for the sake of someone else. Isn't Linux's crown jewel its user account system? If you're going to share a computer with a moron then just do what needs to be done. Including partitioning the hard drive if you're afraid of being contaminated.

    Then they can install rainmeter or whatever brain dead thing they want to use as an interface. There is no best.

  15. #30
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    As I watch all of you talk about the ease of doing command line installs.... I find it amazing you forget the idiot proof point and click GUI for every Microsoft program. It's usually only 3 or 4 mouse clicks and it's done.

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