not all change is progress
September 1, 2014
Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg
AUSTRUMI Linux – Blackbox, Fluxbox, Hackedbox, Openbox – Sanos editor0:05:23 News
Ten years of OpenStreetMap and GParted
Debian’s 21st birthday
Linux on the desktop
Munich to ditch Linux, return to Microsoft?
Ditching Linux for Windows? The truth isn’t that simple, says Munich
Five big names that use Linux on the desktop
Linux Founder Linus Torvalds ‘Still Wants the Desktop’
OS Battle – Porn by the Platform (caution: content safe for work, but visiting domain may not be!)
Can we please stop talking about the Linux desktop?
Linux Has Run Out of Time
Linux Foundation announcements
Linux kernel source code repositories get better security with two-factor authentication
Linux Foundation introduces new Linux certifications (2 minute video pitch)
Operating System U on Kickstarter
The future of SolydXK (later clarification via a Q&A)
Seen Elsewhere (aka the speculative hardware
lowRISC open-source SoC
Simplenote want developers to make a GNU/Linux implementation
0:39:31 First Impressions
Joe looked at AUSTRUMI Linux, and Jesse was handed Slackel for next time.
Thanks to johanv, perlist, mikaelinscius and defascat for the Flattrs, and to our current PayPal Monthly Supporters – you guys are keeping the lights on.
At the request of Campbell Barton, we’ve also signed up with Gratipay (the recently renamed Gittip); and thanks to Campbell for funding us that way.
Thanks to Charlie in Oklahoma, Iain McKeand, Rob Mackenzie, Esteban Martinez and Brendan Perrine for their mails, tweets and comments.
Danny Knestaut, apache9, Campbell Barton and Russell Dickenson all got in touch following our interview with Jonathan Nadeau last time. As Paddy explained, we’re hoping to hear back from Jonathan to better understand his desire to rewrite the speech server for Sonar.
Our new CAPTCHA system has caused problems for a few folks; we’ll keep an eye on the situation. We’ll also have a look at podcast chapter marks following Cathryne’s remarks, but no promises from Joe on that score. And thanks to Torin Doyle, SirTomate and Dale Visser, all of whom got in touch about podcasting-related matters.
Arold told us that he’d discovered the Xfce terminal’s ability to act in drop-down mode, and Andrew Turner pointed us towards Ubuntu’s Startup Disk Creator as a possible UNetbootin replacement.
Thanks to apache9 for the link to an interesting CCC presentation on hardening hardware. And staying on the security theme, Secret Squirrel wondered if the media are more harsh on FOSS projects than proprietary ones when reporting vulnerabilities?
A comment from Gregor prompted a brief discussion around Amazon affiliate links.
Daniel got in touch to share his (decidedly lukewarm) impressions of the Linux Foundation’s ‘Introduction to Linux’ course. We’d love to report back other people’s opinions, and also of the new certification exams that we talked about in the News segment this show, so do get in touch if you’ve been through the process.
Pariah and Steven Rosenberg got in touch regarding the Mint team’s plans to move to Debian Stable as a base for LMDE.
Wrapping up, Nathan D. Smith’s challenge for Joe to run GNOME Shell for a month received the response we probably all expected. Worth a shot, though, Nathan ;)
1:15:29 Boxing Clever?
They may be perennial favourites with lightweight distro users, but how practical are Blackbox, Fluxbox, Hackedbox and Openbox as standalone Window Managers?
1:46:35 Off the Beaten Path
Risking the wrath of traditionalists, Paddy introduced a simple console text editor that doesn’t require you to memorise a bunch of arcane and finger-contorting keystrokes to be useful. We talked about the Sanos editor, and mentioned Tilde in passing. And to get stared on configuring xterm into something more usable, you could do a lot worse than reading these three posts, which should give you the confidence to delve into the actual man page itself.
It was right to point out that desktop users are creators. However you fail to understand vim is also for creators. Vim is a full IDE that is used on practically all platforms. Press a key over a function and you are taken to its documentation, definition, method, class, etc.. Even if it is in another file. There are vim plugins to handle specific work environments. Basically you have one editor that is configured to do the job of many IDEs. Much nicer and better than say Eclipse.
You were also right to point out many linux distros, such as mint and manjaro, are as simple as clicking a few options to install and use. You could tell your grandmother it was windows 9.1 and she would be delighted. Though perhaps in a few years she might wonder why she hasn’t had to call tech support to remove the viruses. Yes if she ever had to open vim you would have a hard time explaining things. However with manjaro or mint she will never have to. Vim is for creators and not your grandma. Some silly project being worked on by a google guy does not warrant coverage. For all we know he uses this project to justify his creative time, paid for by google, that he really spent doing something else he can’t justify.
And finally I do not like the tone of this last few podcasts. Much too nice and apologetic. Maybe you guys should just get some rocking chairs and sing songs. I’m not getting the critical commentary I love this show for.
“If gnome 3 hadn’t come along, Unity would have never
been invented. Unity was Canonical’s answer to Gnome
So,,,,,,,,,, are we saying they could have achieved “TOTAL CONVERGENCE” with the likes of Gnome 2????
Or have we just detected that Mark Shuttleworth’s “VISION” was
really just a horrible case of “last minute gas”…..
Very interesting guys..
I’m not saying that had Gnome3 not happened Ubuntu would never have moved away and made something that resembles what Unity is today (okay, so that does slightly contradict my statement on the show) but I wanted to convey that at the time their hand was forced /because/ of the emergence of Gnome3. Would they have moved when they did? [Probably not]. Did Unity get made, and then the convergence fad was after, and it happened to fit? [Seems Unlikely]. Did Unity get made with the seeds for convergence already sewn? [probably]. Who knows the answers for sure, but I feel the attitude “they deserted Gnome2 and made a monstrosity” is wrong. In my opinion the statement is “they chose to avoid Gnome3 and made a monstrosity”.
Bah humbug. Mark started Unity because he wanted to make money. He figured there was an untapped phone and tablet market waiting for somebody like him to make new standards in. Those were the days smart phones were just coming out.
I think it’s just one more case Jesse where the “Linux Luddites” have proven Mark Shuttleworth really doesn’t have a vision any further than the pushes of RedHat Inc.
That Mark Shuttleworth is a reactionary. He’s
even made jestures that RedHat is his competitor
in some sense with Gnome 3.
Even though it is blatantly obvious that Google Android has already dominated the market and Firefox OS has already taken his slot in the mobile market.
Still, I give Mark Shuttleworth credit for his
love of Linux.
I just wish he tried to actually polish up a desktop under Wayland rather than what he’s trying to do right now. He’s going to loose his ass.
Good deal Jesse
bashing about UNITY … well M. Shuttleworth’s answer for a desktop that can accommodate to different display size. But when did UNITY start?? I think long before GNOME3, the original Unity was made for Netbooks also known as: Ubuntu Netbook Remix – UNE was available starting with Ubuntu release 8.04 (“Hardy Heron”). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_Netbook_Edition
in this respect, I think UBUNTU was much more ahead of time than GNOME3. I hope you consider that in your next chat.
The folks over at OpenBSD got a GSOC project for systemd replacements . They were the first BSD to get Gnome 3 working AND they’re the creators of OpenSSH so I expect a reasonable implementation of stuff needed for a systemd-depending desktop.
And “or SUSE if your german”? LOL
In 8 years of my sysadmin job here in Berlin I came across like 5 SUSE installations. Just my department got almost 10 times more workstations running & running with Ubuntu right now ^^
Nice show (so far) ;)
Sanos editor looks OK but I highly recommend you also try ne, “the nice editor”, available at http://ne.di.unimi.it/. No matter what the Linux distribution, I use it in preference to nano, mainly for its familiar key bindings.
What makes ne attractive includes:
* compiles without effort everywhere (or almost everywhere), is packaged for all Linux distributions, and ported to other operating systems (such as Mac OS X);
* is fast, small, powerful and simple to use;
* has standard keystrokes (e.g., copy is CTRL-C);
* uses little bandwidth, so it is ideal for email, editing through phone line (or slow GSM/GPRS/UMTS) connections;
* has a very compact internal text representation, so you can easily load and modify very large files…
Features-wise, it includes:
* three user interfaces: control keystrokes, command line, and menus; keystrokes and menus are completely configurable;
* syntax highlighting;
* unlimited undo/redo capability (can be disabled with a command);
* automatic preferences system based on the extension of the file name being edited;
* automatic completion of prefixes using words in your documents as dictionary.
Hi Russell – unless I’m missing something, I can’t see how to use <Shift> and the cursor (or <Home>, <End>, <PgUp>, <PgDn>) keys for block marking in ne. Is that possible with some configuration changes?
[edited as WP ate my < and > symbols…]
Paddy – You’re right in that there is no option for selecting text with [Shift] and the various navigation keys. Instead you must first use the “Mark Block” function, activated by [Control][B], then use Copy, Paste or Cut. To see all these options, open a file in ‘ne’, then press [Esc] twice and the menu will appear. Being able to bring up a menu, as well as using keyboard shortcuts, is very handy when you need a function but have forgotten how to activate it.
I haven’t used Sanos at all yet (:O) but will do, so that I can compare it with ‘ne’. Thanks for mentioning it on the show as almost everyone needs to edit a file while at the command line, and firing up a GUI editor for the purpose is overkill.
Listening to you agonize about Linux on the desktop, not having de-facto standard apps.
Remember episode 11, where I talked about mainframe->minicomputer->microcomputer->smartphone? The bit about smartphones kicking microcomputers up into the server space, and this being one of the few times where you can get _new_ standards established?
Eric Raymond and I wrote a paper about such windows of opportunity back in 2006, and how transitions _don’t_ happen between them:
(That was about the 32->64 bit transition, which wound up being sustaining instead of disruptive. I explained the biggest thing I missed in that paper’s analysis in a blog entry in 2011, ala http://landley.net/notes-2011.html#26-06-2011 )
There _is_ existing analysis in this area, which is why I consider extending Android to be more open interesting, and am less worried about what systemd does as long as it remains confined to the server space (excluded from Android due to the “no gpl in userspace” policy).
Listening to the bit about lack of backwards compatibility.
Last I checked, the Linux kernel still runs a.out binaries from 0.0.1. (Alan Cox actually regression tests these from time to time.) The compatibility problems are all in userspace, specifically the giant pile of shared libraries.
Windows has its own “dll hell” issues, what they do is bundle all the libraries each package uses in with that package. This is a packaging decision, not really a matter of userspace API stability. Last I checked, you can still run some of the old loki games from 15 years ago that were statically linked.
Joel Spolsky (who used to work for Microsoft) wrote an excellent article about this a decade ago: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/APIWar.html
(You’re now talking about Fedora. Otherwise known as “Red Hat Enterprise Rawhide”. It’s not an open source project, it’s a corporate version of tom sawyer convincing passersby to paint his fence for him. The community is welcome to push it along in the direction Red Hat wants it to go, but has no say in steering the thing.)
Hi Rob – yes, Linus has always made a big deal about not breaking user space and maintaining backwards compatibility. In fact, I heard him say it whilst I was watching his entertaining Q&A  at DebConf 14 just this morning (and there’s much else we’d probably both agree with there, including his comments about the FSF ;)
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned on a previous show that my 20+ year old Stevens and Nye (for systems and Xlib programming respectively) are still useful books. It’s really the layers surrounding these bits that I was referring to when talking about the goalposts moving; the GUI toolkits on top of X, and – as you point out – various shared libraries and (more recently) systemd below X, but above the kernel. And we’ll no doubt be mentioning our friend Lennart on the next show, following his most recent missive …
Microsoft is still ticking off developers: http://robertoconcerto.blogspot.com/2014/08/how-to-fix-windows-8-development.html
And there’s plenty of people who respond to systemd with “death first”, we’re just not focused on PR and recruitment, we’re busy making systems work:
Here’s somebody working on a non-crazy replacement:
You should really interview Rich Felker, the guy who wrote musl-libc.org (and the one behind the ewontfix blog above). Ask _him_ about systemd. :)
I’m really glad you found the Torvalds QA frow DebConf14. I was there in the audience for it. It is really telling that Torvalds himself doesn’t ship Linux binaries for Subsurface due to the complexity. In the midst of the inflammatory comments about the FSF, Linus had some good criticisms of the GPLv3 process. Most interesting to me was the assertion that v3 was so different from v2, it should have been a new license or flavor, not a follow-on version.
I gave a whole talk about “the rise and fall of copyleft” at ohio linuxfest last year. I ran out of time and the audio-only recording makes a lot less sense without the slides, but if you’re curious it’s at:
The problem with GPLv3 is there’s no such thing as “The GPL” anymore; Linux and Samba can’t share code even though they implement two ends of the same protocol and are both GPL. This has a giant pile of bad side effects that the talk goes into, but it’s mostly historical context for what the GPL was actually good for and what’s likely to happen now.
(Alas, Joe and Paddy have _not_ edited this talk into something coherent like they did with my interview in episode 11. There’s bits where the VGA cable falls out of the laptop and so on that just make no sense in the audio. I tried to redo it at Texas Linuxfest and gave myself heatstroke the day before the talk, end result was not an improvement…)
If you want linkbombs to primary sources, I participated in a long lwn.net discussion thread attached to the musl 1.0 release announcement where somebody expressed dismay at a new libc being bsd licensed rather than GPL, and I went into full http://xkcd.com/386 mode. The specific “here, argue with primary sources” posts are:
And each has a “parent article” link if you want to see the full context.
#include Thoreau’s apology for writing a long letter because he didn’t have time to write a short one,
Bundling the libraries and other needed files is also precisely the strategy used on OS X, and it is incredibly successful. What easier form of application installation is there than drag and drop? It’s the most user-friendly, and the least likely to break with system upgrades. Yes, staticly linked binaries and/or bundled libs are space hogs. But disk is cheap.
Nathan – You raise some good points.
The package deployment method used by OSX and experimented with by several Linux distributions is certainly simple for all the reasons you mentioned. One major disadvantage is that if a common library – e.g. SSL – is affected by a security fault, you have to upgrade all affected applications, not a single library or set of libraries.
“Disk is cheap” is a subjective statement. It may be cheap to you, but to someone who’s managed to obtain a computer only through some else’s generosity, they may not be in a position to purchase more disk space.
Disk is cheap, but complexity has its own cost.
I keep hearing you guys complain about WINE being pretty
much pointless, and you are saying “just dual-boot
There are several important reasons that will never be possible for me, and many others. The major ones for me are:
* No Windows license for that machine. (VMs are out for this reason as well.)
* Dual-booting means dropping all services the machine provides (web server, media server, file server, backup server, etc).
* Dual-booting doesn’t allow me copy/pasting between native apps and WINE wrapped apps.
* Windows doesn’t run many of the apps I want without running a Linux system inside it. This is even worse than WINE since Windows would be in control of the hardware.
* Rebooting sucks! I usually have an uptime of months, simply because my Linux system can handle that without throwing a fit every time an update comes around.
WINE is the only (free) solution to the issues above, and since it even performs well enough to run the games I play, why even bother with running Windows on a machine which runs Windows apps fine anyway?
Sure there are problems with WINE, but those are minor compared to the problems I have with Windows.
My new laptop runs Windows 8.1 because couldn’t get it without an OS. I loathe it and the first thing I did was to install VirtualBox just to get something with a proper shell. I will most likely dual-boot it after reading up on UEFI a bit more so I don’t mess it up. In this case though, I will actually dual-boot simply because I already have a license for Windows, and it gives me the ability to debug web stuff in IE. But I would still run WINE for any Windows application I would need while inside Linux. Having to reboot to run a specific program reminds me of the limits of my old Amiga…
Some fair comments there – I guess I’m in a pompous position of never needing windows software so happily scorn WINE and users thereof. However you’re right – if some Win only program came along that I HAD to use, WINE would be my only option as I don’t have a licence or disk to install windows with. I could use my work PC for some things, or a mates laptop to get round the hopefully temporary issue of needing windows, but ultimately I’d look at not needing windows software. Yes I understand there are programs you have to have and are only on Win, but that doesn’t affect me, so I’m alright jack :P
As for games, I’m putting all my eggs in the steam basket – if you excuse the random mix of metaphor and company name!
Thanks very much for an interesting podcast, I found it following it’s recommendation from the Linux Voice podcast, which I find a bit to “Beavis and Butthead” for my liking (too much teenage-like sniggering) sorry!
First I think you’ll find Slackel being based on Slackware uses tar-gz packages, and not source compilation by default, although obviously source compilation should be pretty straightforward on anything Slackware based!
My second comment was regarding the discussion for recommending MINT to newbies, I know that one or more of you is slightly “biased ;)”, but the problem it seems to me is that new OS versions are available every six months, and require rip and replace? I know there are LTS versions, but I don’t believe they reliably get all the client software updates (I know Ubuntu LTS certainly doesn’t without special repositories), so after a couple of years the user is running out dated, and old fashioned software, and missing out on the latest features. Your “average” Windows user, will usually still be able to upgrade their copy of Office / Firefox / IE etc, and have the latest client software (even if at a cost). While a MINT user, has to re-install their whole machine to get the very latest Libre Office or Firefox, which is way out of the abilities of lots of users, (or PCWorld Techs they might ask). Before I jumped ship from Ubuntu, I had upgraded through six or seven versions, without re-building once, I then chose Mint Debian Edition because it was “rolling”, only to find after eighteen months that the update mechanism is broken, and I’m not getting even security fixes…! Never mind the reports of it’s “downgraded” status within the MINT cannon. So I’m now thinking of going back to XUbuntu, LUbuntu, or Ubuntu-MATE (once it’s stable), just to get a reliable, updating installation, with a decent desktop interface! So I’d probably recommend one of these for an average user, despite MINT’s slightly easier interface.
Be interesting to know if the MINT LTS situation is radically different from the Ubuntu one?
Open alternative to Streetview basing on OSM: Check mapillary.com!
While I used an Android phone, I will stick to my opinion
that a proper
Luddite is one who uses Slackware..
I’m posting this for Joe, so he can read it and get this information out on his shows… Joe is our big tablet and cellphone talker..
Frankly, I can’t see how you could be a luddite if you
use Android as you don’t have any ability to control your
situation at all.
It’s taken as read that to be a Luddite you must be able to reject change and you can’t really do that in an Android market.
Further,,, tablets and cellphones have such embedded devices that even software wipes with other Android like OS’s, independently maintained would do absolutely no good. They’ve already fed your carcass to the dogs…
Thanks for the Hugin recommendation (actually from
episode 22). I was excited to try it out, but I am afraid
I might need to continue dual-booting for image
stitching. Sadly, in my experience, Microsoft’s offering
is the best *gasp* free (as in beer) solution at the
Anyway, thought I’d share since you folks said you weren’t aware of other options out there.
Love the show, and just wanted to say that the latest episode is possibly the best yet! Jessie is a welcome addition to the gang.
It’s really good to hear a variety of voices discussing things knowledgeably and in depth. The feature on lightweight window managers is a fine example of this done – the pace is just right, in contrast to the rather breathless manner of certain podcasts with exclamation marks in their title…
Just one thing regarding those lightweight WMs: I’m often frustrated by the ‘vanilla’ instance of OpenBox et el when they are first installed by any distro. I wonder if more could be done by distros or upstream themselves to make them a bit more friendly by having some example easy-to-install beginner-friendly example configurations?
Just finished listening to your discussion about *box and wanted to pitch in. I used to use Open Box as my daily driver but recently found my new love: i3wm (http://i3wm.org/). It’s light and it’s great. Some tweaking is required but I’ve used it for a month now and I’m stuck.
Give it a chance and thanks for a great show!
The response to my Gnome shell challenge was priceless. Keep up the good work. :-)
Perhaps you’ve discussed in on a previous show, but I don’t recall. Why is it that you guys don’t like the Whisker Menu?
It seems to me to be a nice blend of UI/UX elements. It has categories so that you can navigate that way if you prefer, it has favorites that you can customize, and it has instant search so you can just type what you want. All of this in a nice, simple package.
I don’t see what there is to dislike about it, and I certainly don’t understand why you seem to hate it so much.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts/insights on it. Thanks.
I too prefer terminal emulators which don’t intercept keystrokes. Instead of xterm, you may want to look at rxvt-unicode (or urxvt in some distributions). It can be customized to look nicer (search for tutorials), and has full unicode support, as well as some other features.
About chapter marks (again): It is probably a slightly German thing, tidiness and order and all ;-) Few English-language podcast do it, but then again, those tend to include ads. No skipping desired, of course :-/ Chapter marks are IMHO only and clearly a service to the listeners.
Please, don’t spend the effort as long as only very few request it! My 2ct are simply: your current RSS feed includes only a “skeleton” paragraph without the time-stamps you put into the full notes on the website. Either putting the latter into the feed (not sure if Feedburner can do it, sorry), or chaptermarks into the .ogg would improve intra-show navigation. Linux Lounge for example does it: http://rec.theradio.cc/feeds/linuxlounge/ogg/ ;-)
Hi Cathryne – as we’ve already recorded the next show, I’ll answer you here.
I’m a little loathe to push the extra work for chapter marks onto Joe unless – as you say – lots of folks request it. There’s a reason we don’t do the show live, and he has plenty of editing to get through anyway ;)
The show notes thing is slightly annoying. When we first started, I used to push out the full show notes in each of the RSS feeds (then, without timestamps, but that’s not the point). But, somewhere along the line, WordPress decided to start including any media linked within the show notes in the actual feed, meaning that copies of videos etc. would automatically be downloaded by podcatchers. This was a very bad thing, and no matter what I did by way of removing the auto-enclosures within WP itself, it insisted on adding them back in. Now, if anyone reading has a fool-proof way of preventing this behaviour, I’d love to hear about it; we could then return to full notes in the feeds (albeit that this would impact those using odd podcatchers – and there are some – that only display the first few lines of the notes…)
In the absence of getting the above sorted, I’m a little resistant to putting timestamps into the abbreviated notes we currently have in the feeds, simply because outside of the context of the full notes, the reader would have no idea what they were actually missing by skipping ahead. But I’m always open to persuasion.
Hm, OK, sorry. I’m not sure how to solve such problems :-( Only started podcasting myself after Podlove and Auphonic were published, which I guess prevented run-ins with the deeper horrors of WordPress.
Hey, no apology called for. We’re always open to ideas about how to produce a better show, and that includes all the non-audio material too. I just wanted to explain some of the constraints that we are working within, and why we’ve taken various decisions. Always happy to hear people express why they may not have been the right decisions :)
And speaking of Android..
Currently if you publish a DRM exploit you will be sent
And Lawmakers are now considering putting you in prison if you publish “ANY’ exploit…
Really surprised you guys missed PekWM, it’s basically just the best of OpenBox and FluxBox mashed together. I have to disagree that the *box are a base. When I switched away from the “traditional model” I moved to fluxbox and it wasn’t a base, it was my interface to the computer. Naturally you configure the mouse and keyboard behaviour on the system but I’d hardly say that makes it just a base. Of course I didn’t end up staying there, moving from Flux to Open then to PekWM before seeing the light and landing on i3 as I am now.
One drawback with being able to completely define your interface touches on your other discussion on editors too I feel. I have the same issue described but the other way around. I use ‘set -o vi’ mode in bash, vim as my only editor, mutt for mail and pentadactyl in Firefox. This means that EVERY interface I use has vi keybindings and any time I can’t press j to move down, throws me greatly. I can’t STAND using other systems now that require a mouse or arrow keys and the like. This is unfortunately the price you pay for the ecstasy of having YOUR computer work EXACTLY as you want it to. The most interesting part of it all is when you see how much different your ideal interface is, once you realise you’re no longer restricted by the “traditional” configuration.
PS: I’ll try to remember to put your promo in when we do the next episode of /dev/random, whenever that is :P
Hi Krayon – thanks for your comment, especially the
P.S. I hadn’t checked the site in a text mode browser
for a while, and so hadn’t realised some pages were
showing in the menu that shouldn’t have been there
(the menu is hidden altogether with CSS for GUI
browsers). I’ve now fixed, so if you need a link to
the promo at some future date, just give me a
I just downloaded and compiled the Sanos text editor. Using the commands we all know from a thousand other GUI programs? Extremely refreshing. As Paddy said, that muscle memory we have from everything else we do is something that a smart developer should leverage rather than make us learn a whole new raft of key combinations.
I look forward to giving Sanos a try.
Except in the Xfce terminal, types the letter “v.” Works just fine in a standard Xterm. (I believe Paddy mentioned this during the show.)
BACKSPACE types the letter “v.”
@Steven – Try changing the Xfce Terminal compatibility settings. In GNOME Terminal I generally change ‘Backspace generates…’ to “Control-H”.
I’m sorry to say that your comments about Linux desktop being new user friendly is totally biased by your inability to see through the eyes of novice or “everyday” computer users. I almost gave up on Linux after two years of struggling with four versions of Ubuntu. If one does nothing but surf the web, the headaches will be minimal. But as soon as one tries to branch out into the treasure trove of free-of-charge software things begin to break. I eventually had blue-screen-of-death equivalent problems. My solution was to go to CrunchBang, which delivered as promised customizability and perfect stability (after nine months in). I was fortunately not afraid of learning a bit of the command line and config file stuff, so it works. Most people won’t do that. I only recommend Linux for the bravest of computer users.
Hi Andy – interesting comment, particularly as trying to look at things through the eyes of a new user is something that I frequently strive for. Of course, that approach has to be context-specific; if talking about something at a nuts and bolts level, it’s plainly an inappropriate stance to take. But for distro reviews and suchlike…? Care to expand on your thoughts? Thanks.
I’d be happy to elaborate (to the best of my memory) but could you restate what exactly you wanted to know? It started with a bug here and there, which I assumed to be related to specific applications. But it wasn’t long before I had multiple system-wide, productivity inhibiting glitches: windows automatically resizing themselves off-screen; multiple applications closing suddenly, in a similar manner that didn’t seem to be application specific; indicators disappearing and coming back days later without my doing anything to my knoweldge; complete system-halt; windows minimizing when I move my cursor to a certain place; and many other absurdities that I can’t recall. It was two years of this business, with a constant evolution of bugs building up until reinstall, followed by a similar evolution new bugs.
From 12.04 through 13.04, I scoured forums and tried to find out what the system-deep problems were. Despite finding many accounts similar to mine, the experts’ answers were all the same: there are no system-wide problems; my problems were application specific; or they were due to my tweaking the settings. My tweaking of settings was _extremely_ minimal compared to what I used to do with XP without trouble.
I realize that you can’t make too much of my account because I didn’t document the details. Nonetheless, this is my honest summary, a vague anecdote to consider.
One also needs to consider if the user is new to computers, or new to Linux. The hardest people to convert are those that have experience on other OS’ as they may get a different experience. The more experienced, the harder really. The people I’ve put on Linux who had little to no experience with other OS’ find Windows much to difficult for example. It’s about what you know, and what you’re willing to learn I guess.
I could believe this. There are many users like the one’s you describe. But I’m not an advanced user by any means. I like to collect PDFs, audio and video files, manage them, compose in a word processor, surf the web, and do similarly common tasks. I do like to tweak my GUI, but not much. My current GUI is not very different from the default CrunchBang setup. And, I don’t believe the majority of my problems were related to that. I think that once you start downloading applications, Ubuntu is finicky. It doesn’t tolerate as many applications as Debian, apparently.
I’m having trouble with keyboard shortcuts in the Sanos editor under GNOME. I opened the edit.c file and tried navigating to the top of the file ([Ctrl][Home]) and the end of the file ([Ctrl][End]) and neither did anything.[F1] is bound to the GNOME ‘Help’ but I’m sure I could change that to a different keyboard shortcut.
[Ctrl][Home] instead of moving the cursor to the start of the file instead moves it to the start of the *line*. Similarly, [Ctrl][End] moves the cursor to the end of *line*, not the end of the file.
Has anyone else tried these keyboard shortcuts?
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