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Awesome Distro - Ubuntu

Started by Jarod Neuner, 2005-09-19T22:33:26-05:00 (Monday)

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Jarod Neuner

Even though I have used linux extensively for several years now, I have always avoided trying to convince people to use it on desktop machines. There were a miriad of reasons for this: mainstream familiarity with Windows, infamiliarity with command-line interaction, and long setup times. I have been biding my time until someone produced a distribution of linux that I felt was 'stupid-proof' enough that I could give it to my grandmother.

Here it is: http://www.ubuntulinux.org/

The learning curve for this OS is about an inch tall. I dare you write a comparison between any Microsoft product and an Ubuntu platform. Plus, they have plainspeak documentation in a wiki.

Ubuntu Docs: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UserDocumentation

Try it! You will love it!

William Grim

Eh, I don't know.  I actually think Fedora is better suited to ease-of-use than Ubuntu is.  While Fedora is based on bleeding-edge packages, I think more time is put into the testing of Fedora packages than Ubuntu packages because of the smaller package base.
William Grim
IT Associate, Morgan Stanley

Ross Mead

Oddly enough, I was in a ECE282 lab today working with the Sun machines and having some trouble.  This guy named Jarod was in there helpin' people out and preaching Ubuntu.  Might this be the same guy? ;-)  If so, thanks for the help.  If not,... it's creepy that the situation is so similar... to the point where the two of you should combine and become one... not reproduce... you sick-minded people... **blink blink**

Ehh, anyways, looks pretty cool.  I'll have to download it and install it.  Thanx! :-D

Jarod Neuner

It is more coincidence than irony. Yeah, that was me. That old SUN machine is the bane of many students. Including me.

As a side note, I don't recommend Ubuntu because it has the newest packages. Rather, it throws away Those Crazy Windows Things(tm) yet it still Just Works(tm).

Read some of the documentation! It is plainspeak!


I gave Ubuntu a try recently, and I am impressed.  It is very nice indeed.  As for "bleeding-edge," who cares?  You can have a perfectly stable/secure DESKTOP (as in non-mission critical server) system with all the newest packages.  I have yet to have any problems with my "bleeding-edge" Linux installations (including Gentoo).

I don't really care for Fedora, either, but for different reasons (obviously, since I don't care about the "bleeding-edge" factor).  I have never been able to create a working installation of any version of Redhat or Fedora.  No idea why.  None.  Slackware has always been kind to me, and so have Gentoo and Ubuntu (what's with the "oo" sound?).  Fedora (and Redhat) just seems to outsmart me every time.

William Grim

QuoteStrife wrote:

As for "bleeding-edge," who cares?

I think any IT personnel that are installing on lots of workstations would care.  I understand that your distros work for you, and that is fine.  It's just that in some sort of environment where mass roll-out is going to happen, it's better to use a more stable base (even if Fedora's stable base is based on bleeding edge).

Granted that in your situation, you are not doing a mass rollout, but I still like Fedora's configuration tools over any of the other desktop-oriented distros.

I'm personally a huge fan of Debian for critical GNU/Linux systems, and my girlfriend has Xandros on her system.  Xandros is based on Debian but aimed towards the desktop.  I looked forward to giving it a shot, but it's mainly basic Debian (which is for more experienced users) with a cheap try at making it friendly.  IMHO, Fedora/Red Hat goes a lot further in the user-friendliness area.
William Grim
IT Associate, Morgan Stanley

Jarod Neuner

Quotegrimw: I think any IT personnel that are installing on lots of workstations would care.
Is there an Linux Lab on campus somewhere that I don't know about? I live in the SCAD lab, so I would totally miss it if there is one now.

It is my novice opinion that bleeding edge should never be placed in userland computer labs. Even stable bleeding edge gets bugs, and your users probably dont know how to use it productively anyhow.

Lastly, I agree Fedora/Redhat has some pretty nifty configuration tools. That is the reason I am against recommending Fedora for new users. For an intro system, there shouldn't be any configuration. If there are five steps required to set up an OS, there are 5 ways that the end user can break their install and not figure out how to fix it. It should Just Work(tm) out of the box.


William Grim

There isn't really a linux lab, but the CS senior project room does have a few systems currently running Fedora Core 4 for a particular CS course.

As for not recommending Fedora because of it's ease-of-use, that's unfortunately an elitist attitude that end-users don't like (and complain about on various forums).  I don't mind recommending Fedora if they don't seem to want to learn Linux much and just want to use it for class.  In fact, my roommate is rather knowledgable in Linux, and I recommended him off of Gentoo and onto Fedora after his consistent moaning about some things in Gentoo.  Though, he didn't take that offer, because Gentoo was already working for him (I think he just wanted to vent).

For ambitious learners or people I think could really use the flexibility of having a lot more tested, stable packages, I do try to pursuade them to use Debian instead.

It's only in the actual mission-critical server area that I get anal about what is used.  I don't like being called in at weird hours because some unstable packages broke, and Debian's apt-get is just hands down better, IMHO (and creating packages for it is WAY easy).  However, for a desktop, as long as it can be reasonably maintained without much interference from IT personnel, I don't really care what is used.
William Grim
IT Associate, Morgan Stanley


I'll agree that anyone not wanting to use something because it's too easy to use is having an elitist attitude, but there's something to be said for that.  My school of thought in..well..school has always been "if you can learn the hardest, the easy just falls into place."  Which is why I wetn with Slackware.  It just seemed that it was done "the right way" as a linux distribution.  Learn that, and the others just kind of fall into place.

I'm by no means a linux nut and most of my time is spent in windows, but there is something to be said for doing it the hard way at times.
Bryan Grubaugh
Quickly aging alumni with too much time on his hands
Business Systems Analyst, Scripps Networks.

Ross Mead

Guys, I don't think he was not recommending Fedora because of its ease of use, but rather the fact that the configuration utilities may make it not so easy to use.

QuoteIt should Just Work(tm) out of the box.

I think he is implying that if you are a new user to Linux, then you shouldn't have to worry about configuration.  You want to install the operating system, and be able to use it without having to go "What's the difference between these configurations?"  I think this tends to be the draw that many people have to Windows, because it does "Just Work(tm) out of the box" (well, that can be debatable, but I think you know what I'm getting at... ;-) ).  The common complaint that we have with Windows is that it has all the "extra features" that aren't really features, but rather annoyances.

Quote[Ubuntu] throws away Those Crazy Windows Things(tm) yet it still Just Works(tm)

I think Jarod is recommending Ubuntu because it's easy to install and work with for a Linux-newcomer.  It gives the "friendliness" of Windows without all the crap, plus the power of Linux at the core of the system (kinda' starting to sound like OSX... :-P ).  Thus, it's an easy recommendation over Fedora due to Ubuntu's simplicity.  Fedora may be simple, but I think Jarod is saying it's not simple enough!  I don't think this is an elitist attitude, but rather a realistic one towards the at home end-user.

I think you guys read something different into what he was saying...

Then again... I could have read something different into what he was saying...

**shrugz** :-D

Jarod Neuner


Cody Rose

Ubuntu 5.10 is a amazing distro. I have actually set it up for my family on their main pc and they love it. none of them have had a problem with it nd i supplied all the apps to do their daily windows chores.
HighSchool Senior Student with no direction.

Promote the Archlinux. http://www.archlinux.org