Why I hate Ubuntu (even though it's awesome!)


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Thread: Why I hate Ubuntu (even though it's awesome!)

  1. #1
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    Why I hate Ubuntu (even though it's awesome!)

    Ubuntu pisses me off.

    A new release of Ubuntu means another attempt for me to come to terms with Debian's Celebrity Wild Child. I have installed every Ubuntu release since Warty. Each time, I start out being impressed and enthusiastic, become angry when something ridiculous happens, uninstall it in a fit of pique, and then post something on the internet about why I hate it. This time, I am resolved not to uninstall it. I have a second computer, so that living with Ubuntu doesn't mean living with all the time. I want to come to terms with Ubuntu, which is now the most popular Linux distro that ever was, and for good reasons. It's also the most despised distro among the established Linux community... also with good reason. In the past few days, I've read blogposts mocking Ubuntu users as "sheeple" and accusing Ubuntu haters of pettiness and jealousy. Frankly, I think both groups understand the software better than they understand each other.

    My vague ambivalence toward the Ubuntu Humanity Juggernaut sharpened into dislike when I spent a good part of a frustrating afternoon trying to find KDE in the Butnut repositories. I repeated the experiment last night, with my latest install, and this problem still hasn't been fixed. There is no "kde-desktop" in the Ubuntu repositories. An apt-cache search finds a whole gaggle of KDE applications, but not the desktop itself.

    The reason? Because Ubuntu has renamed KDE "Kubuntu-desktop".

    Now, at first I was annoyed by the rechristening. I thought it was a pointless inconvenience, but I came to see that this kubuntu-fluxbuntu-xbuntu thing is a great idea for making the major desktop environments comprehensible to new converts to Linux. Looking back to my early days, it was a long time, more than a year, before I understood that Knoppix looked one way because it ran with KDE,and the reason why Red Hat 9 looked so different was because it used Gnome as a default, and that Red Hat 9 could easily be made to run KDE and look more like knoppix. Ubuntu's approach will make this a lot easier for a new user to take in.

    This is why Ubuntu deserves its success, because it takes Debian-- one of the most reliable distros, and certainly the one with the richest arsenal of software applications, and makes it available to the Windows-afflicted with some very slick engineeering, engineering that is beyond intuitive. It's actually empathetic. Ubuntu is designed with some real insight into the thought processing of the beginning user.

    So why am I pissed off? Because of a lack of empathy for me, the experienced linux user. In reeenginnering Debian, Ubuntu creates detours in the familiar highway of GNU-Linux administration, and then doesn't bother to put up a sign. And so, before I know it, I'm off the road.

    The description of "kubuntu-desktop" in the repositories goes like this:

    kubuntu-desktop - Kubuntu desktop system.

    Redundant, isn't it? The desktop so nice, they named it twice.

    Now, here's the thing that bugs me. Suppose they had put it in the repositories like this.

    kubuntu-desktop - The KDE desktop for Ubuntu.

    That's actually a better explanation, and I also believe that it would have put "kde" and "desktop" where apt-cache search would have found them. That's all that it would have taken for me not to spend an afternoon trying to find the KDE desktop, trying to visually scan all of the hundreds of listing generated by "apt-cache search kde", trying to find something that wasn't there.

    I'd love for somebody to explain to me why I shouldn't be angry about this. A huge amount of time, effort, ingenuity and money has gone into adding very slick and intuitive interfaces and features so that the "everyday (i.e., Windows) users" can easily use Ubuntu. But it really looks like not one thought was wasted on me, the demographically insignificant Linux user, trying to find KDE the way he always has, after they've made their changes. It would have taken no time,no money, no ingenuity, to anticipate and solve this problem, and it wouldn't have interfered one iota with their grand design. All it would have required is for them to care. But why should they care about us? We're just the ones who gave them the software.

    This is one particularly blatant example of how Ubuntu seems to punish me again and again for being a Debian user. You can grumble about Ubuntu being a mediocre product, but it's not. It's the most important Linux distro in years. In many ways, and, it's the breakthrough we're all waiting for, but I feel like those of us who have worked so hard for so long for Linux to succeed are not being considered at all. I'd just like to be invited to the party, that's all.

    Another example, somewhat less blatant, and more geeky: I've often complained about the fact that Ubuntu has no /etc/inittab file, which I am used to editing to change the runlevel (to disable the X server and run from the plain console), and sometimes to add additional console screens. For a number of reasons, I prefer to run X from the console, rather than a desktop manager like kdm or gdm. For the first time in any Linux distro in my experience, the file isn't there in Ubuntu. So how about a text file, telling me what the hell is going on? It could be called "inittab-removed.READ_ME or something. Just a little sign post? Maybe some suggestions of what to look for, so I'm not just left standing in the middle of nowhere with my dick in my hand? If the runlevel can be changed, tell me how. If the runlevel can't be changed, tell me so I'm not wasting any more time on it. What would it cost for you to to show us that much respect for the veteran Linux user, since you've gone so far out of your way to do everything for the Windows user short of wiping his nose for him?

    The Ubuntu Code of Conduct says that when there are disputes, consult the community... and that's what I have done here. If anybody has another point of view, I'd like to hear it.
    Last edited by blackbelt_jones; 11-06-2007 at 06:59 PM.

  2. #2
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    May be it is me. I either put up or shut up. There are so many other distros willing to go to bed with me so why should I insist using a KDE desktop on a Gnome-based Ubuntu when Kubuntu has been ready-made for such a purpose.

    On any distro we can always run as many terminal screens as we want. Since Ubuntu does not set up a root user account in a normal installation and a regular user does not have the root privilege I would have thought that would have been little security risk in using terminal mode in the graphic desktop. May be that could be the reason why its inittab has been arranged differently.

    The bottom line is one selects a distros for its certain characteristics and an ideal distro for one can be a rubbish to another. Perhaps it is unfair to expect a distro to do something it has never been designed for such a purpose.
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  3. #3
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    I didn't really want KDE, justa buncha KDE applications, but at the time, being a linux user, the idea of choosing a "distro" for the desktop was foreign to me.

    I don't buy it. I'm not asking for a grand working. I sqay if it's "Linux for human beings", I should be get the consideration of being able to find things.

    typed in a rush... someone is waiting for me.

  4. #4
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    kde-base

    Would installing kde-base have worked?

  5. #5
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    Well, you know, I haven't experienced this on the desktop side but on the server side, I had similar annoyances. In 7.10, they have buried the LAMP install way deep into the setup. Oh well, the price of being Babe Ruth is that no matter how good you are, you can't hit them all out of the park.
    Last edited by klackenfus; 11-06-2007 at 10:29 PM.
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  6. #6
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    For years I've been saying SuSe is the next Microsoft, and I was almost proven right with the almost flat out purchase of Novell by MS earlier.

    However, ubuntu has beaten them to it.

    Whether or not this is good or bad is up to you, but that is just the way it is.

    I will say, however, that I am typing this on my Ubuntu installed Thinkpad. It simply worked right from the start...video...wireless...mp3s and dvds...just works after a simple double click of an icon.

    I have said and will continue to say, use the right tool for the job, be it Windows, OS2/warp, ubuntu or BSD...these are all just tools...

    choose wisely

  7. #7
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    I'm not sure that the nuances of my position are clear, so let me spell it out.

    Ubuntu does not suck. Ubuntu is not a fad. If you care about FOSS, Ubuntu is important. I'm keeping it installed on one of my partitions for the same reason I've got Slackware inwstalled on one of my partitions, because I think it's an important distro to learn.

    I want Ubuntu to succeed, but it is very much in the interest of Ubuntu's success that Linux users are able to use it as if it were Linux, and it really looks to me like no one is giving that a single thought. There are other examples of me trying to use Ubuntu as if it were Debian, and just wiping out. For example there's the problems that I had keeping my nVidia drivers installed. I had to run the installer to rebuild the kernel module everytime I restarted X. Turns out all I had to do was install the driver with a spimple apt-get command. Now that's pretty awesome, and I'm not sure what could have been done to give me a heads up on that one..

    But this kubuntu desktop apt-get business seems incredible to me. How could they not anticipate that someone was going to look for the kde desktop? And how long has it been since Warty Warthog? It could be fixed in five minutes. It's not really a bug, so I guess no one has reported it. (I posted something on the wiki "idea page" last night. )

    Now, there may have been things I could have done when I was staring at my apt-cache search results.. Maybe installing kde-base would have worked. Maybe I should have tried synaptic... but I just couldn't believe that kde wasn't there. (I'm not sure I had really heard of Kubuntu at the time, and I certainly hadn't given it much thought. I think that I had assumed that Kubuntu was just somebody's hack of Ubuntu, the way Kanotix is somebody's hack of Knoppix. ) There may have been things that I could have done. Maybe I should have tried synaptic, but I just couldn't believe that there was no kde desktop. Besides, that's not really the point. The point is that someone should be looking at Ubuntu from a Linux user's point of view, and it's beginning to look like literally zero consideration is going into that angle.

    I think that's a horrible mistake. It's bad for Ubuntu, and considering how popular Ubuntu has become (and it hasn't stopped yet) I think it's bad for all of us. We do not need a two-tiered Linux community.
    Last edited by blackbelt_jones; 11-07-2007 at 12:21 AM.

  8. #8
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    It's really not that bad...

    First, let me say that Ubuntu 7.10 totally puked on my Thinkpad T60p.
    As an update from 7.04 it left me with no wifi or sound, as a fresh install it died loading the restricted driver for my ATI x1300 video card.
    Back to 7.04, which like 7.10 failed on the video driver, but unlike 7.10 it dropped me back to a text console from which I installed the ati driver and proceeded.
    In all fairness, Slackware 12 installed flawlessly on this same T60p, with one command needed to install the madwifi driver for wifi...but i digress...the point is, I've been using Ubuntu as my only desktop for a year now and although it has a few quirks, overall it suits me. With the exception of VMWare, everything works, and the speed and stability, though not up to Slack standards, are light years ahead of Windows.

    Oh, and for KDE apps, (I run krdc) you don't need to install KDE per se, just use apt-get or synaptic, install your package, and the necessary KDE libs will be retrieved automagically.
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    Maybe some suggestions of what to look for, so I'm not just left standing in the middle of nowhere with my dick in my hand?
    As compared to Slackware....where you know exactly where you and your dick are at any given moment. Of course I'm partial to mine.....Slackware that is!!!
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    As compared to Slackware....where you know exactly where you and your dick are at any given moment. Of course I'm partial to mine.....Slackware that is!!!
    ...once you go Slack, you never go back...
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  12. #12
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    Thumbs down

    Ok, that's it.

    I swore that this time I wouldn't lose my cool and uninstall Ubuntu, but I can't take it any more. For me, running Ubuntu is like running Debian in fireglass long johns. Tiny inconveniences and inconsequential annoyances have a way of making my blood boil. The problem isn't the distro; it's me... but the distro is the one who has got to go!
    Last edited by blackbelt_jones; 11-07-2007 at 10:36 PM. Reason: That all for you!

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    Talking

    Heh, that didn't take long! Course, not that I would have lasted half as long.

    Welcome back.


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  14. #14
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    (Sigh)

    To sum up, Ubuntu is a great idea for a popular distribution, but it can drive a Debian user (at least one Debian user I know) stark screaming insane, because of superfical similarities leading into profound differences that only come to light through use, and catch me completely by surprise. The last straw this time around had to do with trying to use sudo to run visudo to edit the sudoers file. Just typing that last sentence makes my body tense up! What drove me crazy was that it seemed to work when I was editing the file, but after the file was closed, it hadn't

    There's a paradox here. I think it would be really easy and worthwhile for Ubuntu to address these concerns, but since at this moment, I'd almost rather drive nails into my skull (or worse, use Windows) than run Ubuntu, I guess it's really none of my business.

    For the benefit of anyone who may care about this, I've tried to give a couple of examples of how it worked for me.

    See you when "horny hedgehog" comes out!
    Last edited by blackbelt_jones; 11-08-2007 at 12:58 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackbelt_jones
    (Sigh)
    ...it can drive a Debian user (at least one Debian user I know) stark screaming insane
    Was it really a such a long drive to begin with?
    The last straw this time around had to do with trying to use sudo to run visudo to edit the sudoers file.
    So, you're saying that gksu gedit /etc/sudoers didn't work?
    Or for a cli-only approach, sudo vi /etc/sudoers
    Or if you have a bunch of stuff to do as root, sudo -s <enter> Then proceed as root...
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