After all my complaining, I have embraced Ubuntu


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Thread: After all my complaining, I have embraced Ubuntu

  1. #1
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    Red face After all my complaining, I have embraced Ubuntu

    I think my friends in here probably understand by now that it's a part of my personality to complain bitterly about something before totally getting with it. Back when I was using (and loving) SUSE, I was occasionally reminded (not as often as I deserved) about how I had posted a total rant about how "SUSE sucks sucks sucks suckity sucks". The bottom line is that I have been wrong in here so extravagantly, and so many times, that I have come to accept it as part of the learning process. When I was biatching about KDE4 in a recent thread, I knew the whole time that I was probably going to love KDE4 someday soon (or at least admire it, since nothing is likely to take the place of my beloved fluxbox), and I even said so several times, though I'm not there yet.

    In "real life", I pride myself on not being a complainer. But in here, I can't stop myself from whining when trying to grapple with a new DE or an unfamiliar distro, and don't even think that I should. The concerns that I raise when in biatch mode are often valid, even if they are not the final word. The point of view of someone who just doesn't get it is worth considering, though, obviously, the person who gets it is the real expert. Besides, my complaining has led to some good discussions, and I have learned a lot from the people who were trying to shut me up.

    But of all the things I ever complained about, oh how I complained about Ubuntu... repeatedly, over a couple of years. And complained and complained-- because all the time I was hating it, I was also drawn to it. So I would try it again and again, and it would piss me off again and again.

    And now, inevitably, Ubuntu seems to have become my distro of choice.

    Part of the reason for this happening now is that something seems to have changed in Debian. Having lost my tolerance for Debian stable, which always a little bit old, even when first released, I would install Debian Sid by installing the base system from the net install disc, editing the sources.list file, apt-get updating, apt-get dist-upgrading, and then using tasksel to install the desktop environment. Well, the last time I tried that, all of a sudden, the upgrade would somehow uninstall tasksel. And I couldn't reinstall it. I tried it several times.

    Another thing that happened was that I solved my problem with display resolution, which had made Ubuntu seem ungainly and uncomfortable, in the most unlikely way. This second-hand computer came with an added nvidia card. Some distros can detect it, but others (mostly debian-based distros) seem to detect the onboard card, which doesn't work, so I boot into blackness. I couldn't seem to fix this in the bios, though maybe someone else could. My way of fixing it with Debian has been to install the proprietary driver from the nvidia website (using my favorite text browser, elinks) and run the nvidia-xorgconfig application, which also came from the nvidia website. This would give me a display, but with Ubuntu, the resolution would be dreadful. I'd be looking at 800x600 on a 23 inch screen! The xorg.conf file would be filled with information from the onboard card, which made the file too confusing for me to figure out how to edit it, having no experience with that.

    How did I fix it? Well, it was the dumbest thing. I saved the xorg.conf file from a previous installation of openSUSE, copied it into my Ubuntu system, and that was that! I never expected that to work. I figured I was going to wind up studying the SUSE xorg.conf file for a clue as to how to edit the file in Ubuntu, but that never became necessary.

    By the way, the problem with openSUSE 10.3 on this computer was that, for some bizarre reason I couldn't launch cerain KDE applications from Fluxbox. What the hell was that about? I don't know, but running KDE from Fluxbox is sorta my thang. But the resolution was nice, so I saved the file.

    So now I'm running Ubuntu, I've got everything set up juuuuuuust so, and I've got high hopes. Of course, my thang being KDE apps on Fluxbox (sometimes, I call it Kickbox), you might say that I'm not running Ubuntu, I'm actually running Fluxbuntu. Whatever you call it, I love it. The packages are reasonably fresh and up to date, but so far there's been nothing crazy happening like with Sid, which would start out beautiful but seem to get a little more askew with each upgrade. And yet, it's essentially Debian. I can use apt-get, which is quick and direct, instead of SUSE's yast, which is a great comprehensive gui adminstration tool, but which is infamous for its glacier-like slowness.

    A lot of the stuff I complained about still seems valid to me. Ubuntu is set up with every thought for the clueless window user, and not a thought about the Debian user. If you come to Ubuntu from Debian, it will likely confuse and frustrate you. I'm convinced that some things could be done about that, without losing the newbie appeal. But now I've gone through all that. I understand how Ubuntu doesn't exactly work the same as Debian... but, on its own terms, it does work.
    Last edited by blackbelt_jones; 03-27-2008 at 06:43 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nifty, thanks for the post. I personally did not like Ubuntu last time I tried it either, but have recently installed Gutsy and I'm quite impressed now. I still think that I am a Fedora fan for a few various reasons:

    1. I learned Linux mainly on RHEL machines at work, and a Slackware box at home. I also had some SLES boxes at work, but I preferred RHEL. So some of it is just learning on RedHat based machines so I have a bias.

    2. Ubuntu loads the bare minimum, and I'm not sure how to select more packages during installation. I like being able to install the development tools and what not during a Fedora installation. So while many things just compile properly in Fedora immediately after installation, I find myself having to google libraries that I need to add to Ubuntu. It's just a matter of "sudo apt-get install <libname>" once I find the correct libraries, but it's a bit of a pain. Hard drives are large and inexpensive these days. I'd rather my OS be a bit bloated with what it lays down on disk during install. No big deal if it installs 4GB of data instead of 2GB...I still have hundred of gigs available anyway.

    3. Whether you think this is valid or not, I just think Fedora is prettier. The brown on brown on brown gets old in Ubuntu. I think Fedora's default theme with shades of blue is more aesthetically pleasing. Yes, I realize that I can change things in the gnome configuration.

    I do think Ubuntu does a better job at assisting with installation of "third party" software though. By this I mean copyrighted material such as libraries to play mp3's, etc. In Fedora I was told I couldn't play mp3's by default and it offered some information on how to get it working, but the burden of installing such codecs is on the user. In Ubuntu it basically just said "You can't play this...yet. Click here to install the necessary codecs!" and I clicked the button and life was beautiful.

    So I guess I too am coming around. I wouldn't say Ubuntu is my favorite distro, but I am definitely impressed by 7.10 and use it somewhat regularly now. Whatever floats your boat though.
    Last edited by gamblor01; 03-27-2008 at 02:38 PM.
    "The author of that poem is either Homer or, if not Homer, somebody else of the same name."

  3. #3
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    Although I'm a Debian fanboy (Lenny), Ubuntu was the first distro in my many years of using Linux that really sold me on Linux. And for the most useless reasons - I like the Gnome DE. Not many available at the time. One had to install it and being the lazy bastard I was - am - I keep my eye out for the Gnome centric distros.

    Of course after installing and using Ubuntu from the very first release to 7.10, I knew it was the distro to watch. What a ground breaking and innovating distro!

    I've gotten more geeky in my older years and so Debian Testing is the one for me. Stable is just to long in the tooth for my taste and Sid is... well, Sid. So while my main go to box has Lenny/Testing on it and that is the OS I use 99% of the time, Ubuntu will still remain one of the top notch OSs to use. I'm thinking of playing with the beta release of their 8.04.

    So, OK, I'm a Debian fanboy, but damn, the Ubuntu team has done a fine job with it. So good that even my Win son has installed it on his machine. He uses Win (XP) for games only and Ubuntu of all the rest. Now how's that for an endorsement?

    And that's the way I feel. Don't try to change my mind.
    Thanks,
    Loopback48

    Debian fanboy. And only Debian.

    http://www.debiantutorials.org/

  4. #4
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    The correct answer

    After several months of messing around with different distros, and sort of solving my resolution problem by dumb luck. I had finally had a satisfactory Ubuntu system set up, I settled in to read a book about Ubuntu, which coinicidentally showed me the real solution to my Ubuntu resolution problem almost immediately. I didn't need to edit my xorg.conf file. I needed to run

    sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

    to redo the x.org configuration, and when prompted for the BUS ID, I needed to reply with the BUS ID for the nvidia video card I wanted to use and, not the onboard intel card, and I got that information by running


    sudo X :1 -scanpci


    and THAT'S why you need to read the fabulous manual. Cause it saves time.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamblor01
    2. Ubuntu loads the bare minimum, and I'm not sure how to select more packages during installation. I like being able to install the development tools and what not during a Fedora installation. So while many things just compile properly in Fedora immediately after installation, I find myself having to google libraries that I need to add to Ubuntu.
    I can relate to all of that. It's got a lot to do with why I chose SUSE for a couple of years, another distro that gives you the option of choosing to add all kinds of development packages during the install.

    For Debian-based distros, there's a very simple solution. But someone has to tell you about it in order for you to use it. Well today is your lucky day, cause that someone is me, and the simple solution is this:

    sudo apt-get install build-essential

    will load you up with just about all the major development packages, in one big sweeping command

    You're welcome!

    Incidentally, here's where I got that information, and lots of other great stuff. Remember when I said that I've learned a lot from people who were trying to shut me up? Here is the best example of that:

    Quote Originally Posted by psych-major
    So anyway, install Ubuntu Feisty, read this, and quit your whining!
    Thanks, Psych Major, that link (which I see has been updated for Gutsy) rocks!
    Last edited by blackbelt_jones; 03-27-2008 at 10:48 PM.

  6. #6
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    haha sell-out.
    Linux user #367409

  7. #7
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    Just kidding Black-belt, I use mainly Ubuntu and I love it.
    Few days ago I just started using 8.04 beta and its pretty sweet already.
    What have I been doing on my desktop these days for a laugh?
    My buddy lent me a MK-4902 MIDI controller. I plug it in via MIDI-to-USB patch chord and use Aconnectgui to get it working with stuff like Zynaddsubfx and Amsynth.
    I have some nice speakers on my rig and, yeah, I'm pretty sure my downstairs neighbor hates me now.
    Linux user #367409

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamblor01
    3. Whether you think this is valid or not, I just think Fedora is prettier. The brown on brown on brown gets old in Ubuntu. I think Fedora's default theme with shades of blue is more aesthetically pleasing. Yes, I realize that I can change things in the gnome configuration.
    The default background is pretty ugly. Those brown streaks remind me of "skid marks", but Gutsy comes with an alternative "cracked leather" background that is really quite stunning, in my opinion, at least if you've got a nice monitor.

    http://img180.imageshack.us/img180/4...eenshotkk2.png

  9. #9
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    Thanks, Psych Major, that link (which I see has been updated for Gutsy) rocks!
    Dude you're not joking! My parents are giving my brother's old computer to a friend. When I make it back to there place in about 2 months I was going to reformat and put Fedora on it. After seeing that guide I think I might put Gutsy on there and see how she does with it. Amazing guide and regardless of what I ultimately do...thanks for the link!

    P.S. I think I prefer the skidmarks background to the cracked leather.
    Last edited by gamblor01; 03-28-2008 at 03:26 PM.
    "The author of that poem is either Homer or, if not Homer, somebody else of the same name."

  10. #10
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    If you like Gutsy, you're gonna love Hardy! Although I try others, I always wind up using Debian and Ubuntu.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackbelt_jones
    After several months of messing around with different distros, and sort of solving my resolution problem by dumb luck. I had finally had a satisfactory Ubuntu system set up, I settled in to read a book about Ubuntu, which coinicidentally showed me the real solution to my Ubuntu resolution problem almost immediately. I didn't need to edit my xorg.conf file. I needed to run

    sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

    to redo the x.org configuration, and when prompted for the BUS ID, I needed to reply with the BUS ID for the nvidia video card I wanted to use and, not the onboard intel card, and I got that information by running


    sudo X :1 -scanpci


    and THAT'S why you need to read the fabulous manual. Cause it saves time.
    OK pretty please, what is the trick. Over the weekend my SIL installed Debian on my new system, Athlon 3500+, PCChips AG13+ MB with NVIDA MCP61 on board video. I am stuck with 1280 x 1024 resolution unreadable on my 17'' Gateway 2000 EV 700. i can go into the control center and change the resolution as root, but it doesn't change.

  12. #12
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    Red face Well, it's uh... complicated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Labman
    OK pretty please, what is the trick. Over the weekend my SIL installed Debian on my new system, Athlon 3500+, PCChips AG13+ MB with NVIDA MCP61 on board video. I am stuck with 1280 x 1024 resolution unreadable on my 17'' Gateway 2000 EV 700. i can go into the control center and change the resolution as root, but it doesn't change.
    Well, here is what I would do, in two parts. If you're new to Linux, this is kind of involved. You're going to want to print this, or write down the essentials for part2

    1. Disable gdm

    Open a terminal window and type:

    cd /etc/rc2.d


    that will put you in the right directory. Now type:

    ls *gdm*


    You'll get an output that looks something like this:

    S30gdm


    that's the name of your link file. This is the number for Ubuntu Linux, yours will be slightly different. "Link file" probably isn't the correct name, but knowing the correct name isn't what matters.

    now type: su

    you'll get prompted for the root password. Type it in and hit enter, and if you did it right you'll have root access

    You disable gdm by renaming the file. The way I learned to do it to change the "S" to a "K", and change the number to whatever you get when you subtract the original number from 100. The command for rename a file is "mv", (the same as the command for moving a file, don't ask me why)

    so , while logged on as root, you type something like this:

    mv S30gdm K70gdm

    And then you reboot...


    Part 2 reconfigure the X server
    ...and there is no xserver, no login gui. You have a black screen and a login prompt, and this is why I wanted you to print this before proceeding.

    you login as root, and then you type:

    dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg


    This will run a reconfiguration program. You'll be prompted to answer a series of questions. Like me, you may need to run this:

    X :1 -scanpci


    to get some of the needed information (e.g. the BUS ID # of your video card.)

    It will also help to know some things about your monitor, like the size, type, and horizontal refresh rate.

    This is when you'll be asked about your resolution preferences.

    When it's all over, you can log out of root by typing "exit" and log back into the console as a normal user.

    Start the desktop display by typing:

    startx

    There a lot of cool advantages to running your desktop from the console, but if you want gdm back, change the name of the link back to what it was:

    mv K70gdm S30gdm

  13. #13
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    Hey, I know this is a mouthful, so let me know if any of this isn't clear. Maybe you should get your SIL (sister in law?) to help you.

  14. #14
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    Instead of disabling GDM, does it work just as well to reboot, press "esc" when the grub menu appears, and boot into "recovery" mode or whatever they call it? If I remember correctly it presents you with a root prompt to make changes.
    "The author of that poem is either Homer or, if not Homer, somebody else of the same name."

  15. #15
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    I used Mandrake/Mandriva from late 1999 until a year or so ago. I liked the general personality of the distro, and probably still do. However, I started with the attitude of paying them for the distro, to support them.

    Even then I bought and paid for versions that simply did not work. They were poorly tested, and I did not have high speed Internet for support. So, I stopped paying for it. They obviously shipped the free version completely untested, and at one point publicly admitted it.

    I still use their Install CD for partition work, but last year I went to Kubuntu 6.xx and now am using Kubuntu 7.04 on multi-boot computers. I prefer Konqueror file browser, and could probably make it work on Kubuntu 7.10 but did not feel like bothering at the time, so I stuck with 7.04. I even got wireless working, except on my 2wire router in Texas; works great on D-link and Linksys, though.

    I use Kubuntu because Kalarm and Kstars are mandatory apps for me. I don't know if they could be run in Ubuntu, but saw no reason to find out.

    Before I tried Kubuntu I tried Debian. I had heard so many wonderful things about it from its fanatics. There was no driver for my NIC. The only way to install it was via floppy, and that computer, like most modern computers, had no floppy drive.

    I found a forum which covered debian, and the only response I got was a very insulting posting with the implication the fault was mine, because I had not "done adequate research."

    I had to think about that. To me, it seemed the failure was the debian's team failure to install a common NIC driver, or to fail to provide some other means of installing it besides floppy. After some thought, I realized these fanatics actually assumed that everyone bought or built a computer just so they could run the great and wonderful and superior debian. Sorry, sports fans, that is not the case. Most Linux users install Linux on an existing machine.

    I do not expect to ever try debian again, more because of the snotty attitude than the poor build. There are too many other superior distros, and the fact that many of them are derived from debian does not mean we might as well go to debian.

    Ubuntu forums are also much nicer and make one glad to have posted there. In most cases, a Google finds the answer already posted there.

    I tried when I was back in the States PCLinuxOs, but it would not control my touch pad mouse properly.

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