Ubuntu Linux First Impressions

I recently managed to successfully install Ubuntu Linux. Here’s a couple of impressions:

  • Wow, the CD boots directly into the operating system! A Live CD!
  • Cool, a link to an installer on the desktop. Feels much easier than I thought it’d be.
  • Hmm. It needs a partition… and another one for swap memory. Do I trust the built-in partitioner to resize my Windows partition? I think I’ll skip the swapdisk partition for now.
  • Ugh, why can’t they write “Drive C” instead of cryptic series of numbers and slashes. That’s what Windows does when I install that.
  • Ouch, the partitioner made an error! I hope my data isn’t wiped. Phew, nothing chkdsk couldn’t repair.
  • Finally, installed Ubuntu. This looks nice.
  • Gah, it crashes every time I log out. According to Google it’s a conflict with the ATI driver and AMD64 processors.
  • Why do I have to start the ATI driver installation from the commandline?
  • Okay, it works now. Very nice, it already set up Internet for me! Firefox too! Not bad.
  • Impressive, there’s a built-in update mechanism, seems to work great.
  • Hmm. The “back” button on my Logitech mouse doesn’t work, neither does scrollwheel click.
  • Ugh, how do I install Java, and what’s apt-get?
  • Christ I didn’t think it was this hard to install Flash Player!?
  • I guess I should set Windows to be the default option in the boot menu. Too bad.
    Point of note: I haven’t given up on Ubuntu yet. It’s just become clear to me already that there are some things they need to fix before Ubuntu can ever be an alternative to Windows or OSX.

29 thoughts on “Ubuntu Linux First Impressions”

  1. Chris says:

    🙂 Brings back memories.

    I haven’t used linux in ages but I know each of your frustrations. I assure you, it was once far worse. I started out with Debian when it hadn’t hit 1.0 yet. You think things are hard now? Took me weeks to figure out how to get a mouse to work.

    Ye Gods! I suddenly remember why I abandoned Linux. Whew. Thanks. I almost wanted to install Ubuntu to see what the fuss was about.

  2. Joen says:

    I should point out that while these experiences are pretty bad, I haven’t given up on Ubuntu just yet. I plan to try and pull through this dead-water and see if I can get it to work. It’ll take some time, sure, but it’s free, and it’s neither Windows or OSX, and those are three points that REALLY speak to me.

  3. Hmmm…sounds like not much has changed since my last days using Linux over 16 months ago.

    That said though, I’ve been dying to try Ubuntu, but don’t want the hassle of the PPC distributions. I’ll just wait for my Intel Mac. Best of luck though, you’re in for an interesting experience.

  4. Gareth says:

    Its only free if you dont value your time.

  5. Xmion says:

    Hehe i know what you mean!..

    Everybody has been there, but there is a point with everything here in life and speciality with operation systems like linux/unix, my first time with linux aka slackware back in 1994 oh my! i had a hard time to make anything out of it totaly noobie. I did’t wanna waste my liftetime on it but after a while and alot of noobie questions a world open up :).

    I must say i love pc and have allways done but OSX nowadays is a beautifulcation of dreams what BeOS once had a time to be for graphic junkies. But for now!, i guess if someone just gonna spend some time on linux/unix and get some knowledge about it at all i should go with the best systems out there to start with and for me it’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 and OSX-x86. I use Windows 100% of my working time, my free time 90% but i hope SUSE someday gonna make a change on that, it’s really has the big future for it self out there and i mean it!, look at it your self.

    If adobe/corel made there programs for linux/unix i should never had used windows i hope but you never know. If you are a 3D artist you have the power in linux/unix that you never can get in windows and the program has allways been there and for television but some of them cost like 1million bucks not easy for normal people to get there hands on it and make something out of it then :/ crap some will says but hey thats life it’s there for holleywood makers but there is still some really good free aps to.. But as for the future i tipping out that adobe gonna go out there once again and make photoshop for ala unix, as they did for 6 years ago as some friends just run that on there cgi cray comps, maybe it’s gonna be easy now when they rebuilding photoshop for osx-x86.

    The future really is linux/unix/osx there is power in codes that never can be done with windows now, they brain storming into something that just takes times and going to be junk code all along to bad but thing allways has a bad ending in the end and it really shouldn’t be windows “yeah i like it, even if i hate it sometimes oh alot, yeah i’m like an american moralizing sermon when it comes to that issue”, but look at the size of it all oh my god is it really good coders that makeing this windows os for the future :/ damn right they aint the future. They building layers of layers and layers over that, sometime it’s gonna hit its self and brake down.

    Dreams and dreams!

    If you look at Windows Vista they make it more and more and even more like OSX, yeah i know Microsoft owns a number of stocks in Apple alot% of apple. But maybe there is something up here that no body knows is osx gonna have a bigger role in the future as windows maybe gonna take a step down and be gates past and the baby has allready been born but the world doesn’t knows about it yeah they call it X but!, no im X = Xmion hehe it aint gonna happen but some can dream :). i don’t know muth about the future 🙂 time tells but the fact is that linux/unix will allways be here!.

    So try it out it worth the time!.

  6. khaled says:

    Seriously dude, the rewards are sooo much greater if you give it a little time. It’s a bit annoying at first to set everything up, I appreciate that COMPLETELY, hell since I was in your position exactly. In terms of adding stuff, dude, should have asked first :), go to http://easyubuntu.freecontrib.org/, installs EVERYTHING you want in the click of a mouse. All the drivers you want, java, flash, quicktime, nearly everything in about a minute. Hell it would take you a minute to find the download button for java lol. The problem is that in many respects you can do EVERYTHING on linux, it’s just a matter of finding out which is the easiest option available. Once you’ve done that it’s smooth sailing after that :).

  7. billg says:

    As an OS X user who dabbles in Linux, I find it a lot easier to defend Ubuntu that Windows. That said:

    1. Skipping the creation of a swap disk was probably a mistake. Linux, and every other flavor of Unix in existence, depends on using swap as virtual memory. Windows uses virtual memory, too, they just don’t call it “swap”.

    2. The “Drive C” nomenclature is peculiar to Microsoft, and is a legacy of the primitve design of DOS. Microsoft ties the drive designation to a particular physical hard disk. If you add another drive, it’s gotta be called ‘Drive D’. In Unix-bases systems like Linux, everything is a single filesystem off the Root directory, no matter how many physical drives are present. It’s all the same filesystem, even if you add dozens of drives. I have two drives in my Ubuntu machine, but I never need to think about what drive to use.

    3. ATI only very recently released specs for some of their cards. It’s impossible for open source developers to write drivers for hardware when the vendor keeps the specs locked up.

    4. I don’t know why, or if, you need to install the ATI driver from the command line. I’d guess it’s because that’s how ATI wants to do it, and that other folks, like Ubuntu, are forbidden to repackage the installer in a friendlier version.

    5. You’re mouse’s “back” button doesn’t work becaus it depends on a proprietary LogiTech driver. There’s a good chance that there’s another way to get this done in Linux.

    6. apt-get is the command line program used to install and delete programs in Ubuntu. It really is rather good. Various GUI front ends to it are available, and there’s one hanging off your Ubuntu menu.

    7. If you want the Sun version of Java, you need to get it from Sun. Java isn’t open source.

    8. Flash: it isn’t open source.

    The business about not being open source means copyright and other restrictions get in the way of treating the code as just another Linux program.

  8. Joen says:

    khaled said:

    Seriously dude, the rewards are sooo much greater if you give it a little time. It?s a bit annoying at first to set everything up, I appreciate that COMPLETELY, hell since I was in your position exactly. In terms of adding stuff, dude, should have asked first :), go to http://easyubuntu.freecontrib.org/, installs EVERYTHING you want in the click of a mouse. All the drivers you want, java, flash, quicktime, nearly everything in about a minute. Hell it would take you a minute to find the download button for java lol. The problem is that in many respects you can do EVERYTHING on linux, it?s just a matter of finding out which is the easiest option available. Once you?ve done that it?s smooth sailing after that :).

    I haven’t given up on Ubuntu yet 🙂

    And thanks for the link.

    The purpose of the above article is, rather, to possibly illustrate to the developers of Ubuntu how someone who never used Ubuntu before, but is a power user on Windows, experienced the process.

    billg said:

    1. Skipping the creation of a swap disk was probably a mistake. Linux, and every other flavor of Unix in existence, depends on using swap as virtual memory. Windows uses virtual memory, too, they just don?t call it ?swap?.

    Consider that mistake rectified. I just reinstalled Ubuntu, with a swapdisk.

    2. The ?Drive C? nomenclature is peculiar to Microsoft, and is a legacy of the primitve design of DOS. Microsoft ties the drive designation to a particular physical hard disk. If you add another drive, it?s gotta be called ?Drive D?. In Unix-bases systems like Linux, everything is a single filesystem off the Root directory, no matter how many physical drives are present. It?s all the same filesystem, even if you add dozens of drives. I have two drives in my Ubuntu machine, but I never need to think about what drive to use.

    I guess that’s smart, and something I can get used to. However, I’d still like a more human name than /dev/media/sda1 and /dev/media/sdb1 (IIRC).

    3. ATI only very recently released specs for some of their cards. It?s impossible for open source developers to write drivers for hardware when the vendor keeps the specs locked up.

    Indeed — and I understand ATI hasn’t released their own Linux drivers until recently?

    4. I don?t know why, or if, you need to install the ATI driver from the command line. I?d guess it?s because that?s how ATI wants to do it, and that other folks, like Ubuntu, are forbidden to repackage the installer in a friendlier version.

    I’d like drivers to be in the “Update” menu. There might actually have BEEN one there. Point is, the default ATI driver crashed on me on every logout, so I had to manually find another one.

    5. You?re mouse?s ?back? button doesn?t work becaus it depends on a proprietary LogiTech driver. There?s a good chance that there?s another way to get this done in Linux.

    Yep, I found a rather lengthy article on this, but unfortunately it required editing a long hardware configuration document and manually adding the back button, rather than just installing a driver which would be the easiest, I think. Even worse, I never succeeded in making this work.

    6. apt-get is the command line program used to install and delete programs in Ubuntu. It really is rather good. Various GUI front ends to it are available, and there?s one hanging off your Ubuntu menu.

    I’ll have to look at that GUI frontend… now that’s interesting.

    7. If you want the Sun version of Java, you need to get it from Sun. Java isn?t open source.

    8. Flash: it isn?t open source.

    The business about not being open source means copyright and other restrictions get in the way of treating the code as just another Linux program.

    Indeed, but that’s another thing: I could (currently, I might change my mind) care less if Sun Java or Flash Player was open source — I just want to quickly and painlessly install it if there’s a Linux version. I understand there might not be a Java VM for Linux, (though I thought crossplatform was the whole point of Java). But open source has gone too far in Ubuntu. I would honestly rather have the commercial Firefox with the pretty logo, than an Ubuntu branded one with only the globe. I understand that in the specific Firefox case it’s probably because they have to, in order to be able to bundle Firefox with Ubuntu, but to me it feels like there’s some anti-proprietary movement against closed-source in the Linux movement that means “if it’s closed-source, it’s not welcome in Ubuntu”.

    I might be wrong, so I’d like your opinion.

  9. khaled says:

    Well Canonical (the people behind Ubuntu) and Mark Shuttleworth are planning a multimedia edition of Ubuntu (currently there are like 3 different kinds) which would hold all the proprietary elements in there as standard, for people just like us :), who don’t really care about certain things. Having said that I am more inclined with the ideas behind everything being free to be honest with you simply because it’s such a liberating feeling. It’s obviously harder for you because you’re a flash man, but with Novell trying to get Adobe to port over photoshop as a native programme to Linux, by actually actively supporting them in a programming sense, the future is bright that all the other elements will become an integral part of the whole. It’s just going to take a little bit of time, watch it develop :).

  10. Joen says:

    Rather than a multimedia edition of Ubuntu, I’d like to see something like EasyUbuntu integrated, updated and so on.

    Did I mention I tried EasyUbuntu? The name is apt.

    I know billg mentioned a GUI frontend for apt-get — I didn’t find any. What’s its title?

    Long story short: it seems Linux does things way differently than Windows, when installing apps, and this is something I can get used to. But it’s also something that I’d like to recommend some improvements on. Basically, you’re right Khaled, things are starting to dawn for me about Linux, but I’m also becoming increasingly aware of the “comfort factor” of Windows, which is mainly hardware and software compatability. I can’t wait to setup Wine to see how it works.

    Anyway, to elaborate. Installing software works like this on windows:

    1. First, you find a source for the software. This could be a download site, or a CD or whatever.
    2. Upon insertion or download of the media, you double click the installer file, and you’re guided through a wizard. Now the software is installed.

    On Ubuntu, I’ve learned there are several ways to install software, but generally it is this:

    1. You write a command in the terminal to download the software.
    2. You write an administrative command to start the installation. Seconds later, voila, it’s installed.

    What I would like to see on Ubuntu was this:

    1. A software directory, if you will, of Linux software.
    2. One click install. No administrative hassles (or at least a GUI interface for typing the password). No terminal. Visual icons and clean GUI to explain what’s going on.
    3. A common Linux install script system that allows for easy installer creation if necessary.
  11. Ian says:

    Hey Joen, I too have just started out with Ubuntu. When you talk of a GUI front end for installing packages, isn’t there already an one click GUI installation method, in the form of the Synaptic Package Manager? That also has a catalogue of all the available packages, catagorised by type?

    There’s also Automatix, which a friend recommended, but I have yet to try!

    At least with Ubuntu it sticks a fine copy of Grub on your system which makes managing your boot order a breeze.

  12. Chris says:

    Need I go over the common procedure for installing apps on OS X?

    1. Unzip App
    2. Use App

    As for the way Linux does things, there are actually about 6 billion ways to do the same thing. Most of them are esoteric and steeped in deep magic. Consider yourself lucky. There was a time when there were no fancy installers to set up the X11 Windowing System. I can remember being brought near to tears trying to get a mouse or a soundcard to operate.

    Linux, and all Unixen for that matter, are completely different beasts compared to Windows. The odd thing is that Unix is considered the anomaly and not the other way around.

    An earlier comment mentioned getting certain Adobe tools on Linux. The potential for that is, I think for the near future, nil. It has been for some time and I think it comes down to a simple numbers game. While Linux may be prevalent in the server and geek world its market share is but an iota compared even to OS X.

    This is not to say that I’m a nay-sayer where Linux is concerned. I love Linux and for many years it was my only OS. It really has a long way to go still.

  13. Ian says:

    I can remember being brought near to tears trying to get a mouse or a soundcard to operate.

    Ha! Chris, I can rember when Windows brought me to that state back in the day of my 386!

  14. Joen says:

    Ian said:

    Hey Joen, I too have just started out with Ubuntu. When you talk of a GUI front end for installing packages, isn?t there already an one click GUI installation method, in the form of the Synaptic Package Manager? That also has a catalogue of all the available packages, catagorised by type?

    billg told me of such a GUI… I’ll look at Synaptic Package Manager.

    There?s also Automatix, which a friend recommended, but I have yet to try!

    I’ll look into this as well 🙂

    At least with Ubuntu it sticks a fine copy of Grub on your system which makes managing your boot order a breeze.

    Indeed, but what’s with the sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst ? Why isn’t there a frontend? Remember, while personally I’m not scared of the terminal, casual users will immediately back away if they are told to use the terminal to start an app or edit something. I realize editing the boot menu might not be for casual users, but my point still stands due to the fact that the terminal seems to permeate all that is Linux, and that even casual things will require users to use the terminal.

    Ideally, you should be able to run Ubuntu — with ALL that it as to offer — without ever entering the terminal. In my opinion of course.

    As for Photoshop (I know Chris mentioned this too), while I would very much love it on Linux, I am beginning to be slightly more interested in getting a version of GIMP that can actually compete with Photoshop. To me, GIMP needs to fix a few issues before this can happen, but it’s not that far stil:

    • Rename GIMP to something other than GIMP. Even “Paint” is better.
    • Fix the GUI. The Photoshop GUI works, GIMP doesn’t.
    • Have the tools work as well ast they do in Photoshop and / or Painter.

    Filters are unimportant, as long as Gaussian Blur works.

  15. Ian says:

    Joen, I think you are spot on with regards to the use of terminal, and of course this is where OSX excels as a Unix based platform. The only time I used the terminal on a mac at uni was to gain admin access to web server settings etc which were locked out on the GUI by the admin. (I did this with the admin’s permission of course!)

    I hadn’t used Linux before I installed Ubuntu, apart from using SSH to control my server now and then. and I picked up the basics of bash quick enough, but that’s because I’m interested to do so.

    You are of course right in saying that Ubuntu, or any similar Linux distro really needs to nail using the GUI for all core features before we see any kind of mass adoption. Of course, the nature of Linux is the actual OS, and the GUI front end, are two very separate components, and only now are we starting to see the sort of focused development process that will marry the two together in an effective way. And don’t get me wrong, I am not in anyway disputing the quality of the work or the contribution made by the Linux community, I merely mean that only recently people have started to see Linux as a true alternative, and thus only recently has the development of distros like Ubuntu made this shift towards a totally GUI controlled environment.

    As far as the Photoshop discussion goes, that would be great, but as you say, unlikely. However I can’t really say too much about the GIMP, as I haven’t really got round to playing with it, but I know a few people who have a good command of it, and use it to produce impressive work.

  16. Daniel P says:

    Joen said:

    billg told me of such a GUI… I?ll look at Synaptic Package Manager.

    Well, Synaptic is great if you need the full universe packages.. The Add Applications program, which I’m sure you’ve noticed.. Is also a frontend to apt-get.. Just not quite as obvious as Synaptic is.

    As for Photoshop (I know Chris mentioned this too), while I would very much love it on Linux, I am beginning to be slightly more interested in getting a version of GIMP that can actually compete with Photoshop. To me, GIMP needs to fix a few issues before this can happen, but it?s not that far stil:

    Rename GIMP to something other than GIMP. Eveb ?Paint? is better.

    Fix the GUI. The Photoshop GUI works, GIMP doesn?t.

    Have the tools work as well ast they do in Photoshop and / or Painter.

    I’ve yet to take GIMP seriously.. Because of the awful GUI it has. I’m sure it could be a fine program, it just doesn’t feel like it.. Ofcourse I haven’t tried it for quite a while.. I just don’t see how I could take anything over Photoshop after the amount of years put into learning everything about it.

    Filters are unimportant, as long as Gaussian Blur works.

    And difference clouds! Can’t forget about difference clouds.

  17. Joen says:

    Ian said:

    Of course, the nature of Linux is the actual OS, and the GUI front end, are two very separate components, and only now are we starting to see the sort of focused development process that will marry the two together in an effective way. And don?t get me wrong, I am not in anyway disputing the quality of the work or the contribution made by the Linux community, I merely mean that only recently people have started to see Linux as a true alternative, and thus only recently has the development of distros like Ubuntu made this shift towards a totally GUI controlled environment.

    All these things are slowly dawning upon me. What remains is the impression that if Ubuntu kan keep and improve the momentum it has, it could possibly do a “Firefox”, i.e. gather enough interest that it’ll end up becoming what we want it to be. I sure as hell hope that happens.

    Daniel P said:

    The Add Applications program, which I?m sure you?ve noticed.. Is also a frontend to apt-get.

    Aah. I have seen that — but I think subconsciously I dismissed it because Windows has something similar which is utterly useless.

    I just don?t see how I could take anything over Photoshop after the amount of years put into learning everything about it.

    In my experience, it’s not so much the actual coding work that takes time, it’s mentally developing how an app is supposed to work that takes time. The GIMP has the benefit that it can learn from how things work in Photoshop and improve upon them, whereas Photoshop has had to start from a completely blank slate. A concept such as “channels”, or “layers” takes time to discuss, implement and finetune.

    Let’s make a mental game: what if Adobe lost ALL source code to all versions of Photoshop from version 1 to CS2. Let’s say they wanted to rebuild it from scratch. I’m sure they’d aim to rebuild CS2 (or CS3) instead of going through all the older builds. In other words, even though they had to rebuild from scratch, they wouldn’t be starting with a clean slate — they would know how to build things for them to work, usability-wise.

  18. Ian says:

    Joen said:

    All these things are slowly dawning upon me. What remains is the impression that if Ubuntu kan keep and improve the momentum it has, it could possibly do a ?Firefox?, i.e. gather enough interest that it?ll end up becoming what we want it to be. I sure as hell hope that happens.

    Spot on there Joen, and I think there is evidence of that happening right now. I installed Ubuntu after hearing the Cory Doctorow & Mark Pilgrim had made the move, so I thought there must have been something in it. If you haven’t come across it yet, Mark has covered the transition on his blog, and covered a lot of useful software. Definitely worth a look.

  19. khaled says:

    Ah, you see Joen, you missed out on Synaptic Manager. Basically you edit a single text file, by adding more links into the repository, which effectively increases the number of programmes that you can install. The great thing about this is that when a package has been updated and cleared by the ubuntu team, guess what? You have a little star icon that updates everything for you, automatically.

    In my mind that is a hell of a lot more powerful than the standard windows format. It’s also not closed in anyway, in contrast to all these other OSs. I’m going to be writing about this in more detail in the coming weeks (I started writing a post but it got far too long so I’m going to have to break it up a bit), which should hopefully shed some light on the whole thing. There is power in this and Shuttleworth has spent ?15 million on this already and invested another ?10 in case anything happens to him in the future, or whatever. It’s still early days as far as I’m concerned, but it’s going in the right direction, hopefully it does a firefox.

    I’ve been using Gimp for a couple of things lately. It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s definitely getting there with the latest release coming hopefully by the end of the year (different GUI, at least the icons which seriously makes it a lot more enjoyable to work with).

  20. Chris says:

    Joen, considering the UI of GIMP there is an alternative you might like, GIMPShop.

    As for the name, you’re just gonna have to remember that everything in Linux is done by high order geeks with no aesthetic sensibilities. GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is just a funny joke that stuck. The same for Apache, GNU, GAIM, etc.

    Something to think about as far as dropping into the terminal to do something, don’t think of it as, “I have to edit X to do Y”. Think of it as editing the registry in Windows. You’re a mortal, you’re not supposed to be editing the registry. You’re also, not supposed to be editing that .conf file.

    The difference with Linux is that by editing that .conf file you can achieve some pretty powerful results. Editing the registry, however, rarely results in anything significantly interesting and so, you don’t. In Linux doing so can actually mean something.

    I’ve not used Ubuntu so I don’t know much about how it works. I do know, though, that everyone knows “Linux is all about the command line and editing .conf files”. That was true. I don’t think, from what I’ve heard of Ubuntu, that it’s true now.

    Perhaps you just entered into a situation with preconceived notions and expectations and in so doing missed things like that add programs package manager. You thought you had to use the command line to achieve certain goals and so that’s what you looked for first because that’s the old myth of Linux.

    Take your grub editing scenario. Editing grub, which is easy enough once you know what you’re doing, is similar to editing AUTOEXEC.bat and CONFIG.sys. But, with Linux, the result is far more compelling. Mere mortals don’t edit AUTOEXEC.bat, they ask their geek friend to do it. At least, they did, back in the day, when I didn’t have gray hairs in my beard.

    Oh, and to add my longevity, the last time I was using Linux, Grub was still majorly beta and you had to compile your own.

    Finally, (it never ends) if you want to “know” Linux then build an LFS (Linux From Scratch, you compile and install everything from scratch). You’d know the ins and outs of a Linux system cold. But, if you want to just use it, then stop trying to use the terminal and expecting things to “just work”. In Linux things just don’t “just work”, that’s OS X.

  21. Joen says:

    Chris said:

    Joen, considering the UI of GIMP there is an alternative you might like, GIMPShop.

    Looks promising. Why is it an addon, and not part of GIMP ?

    As for the name, you?re just gonna have to remember that everything in Linux is done by high order geeks with no aesthetic sensibilities. GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is just a funny joke that stuck. The same for Apache, GNU, GAIM, etc.

    I won’t accept that as any kind of apology for such a braindead name. If it hopes to turn just a single Photoshop user that uses other filters than “Fire”, “Fur”, “Glow” and “Drop Shadow” they have to change the name.

    I?ve not used Ubuntu so I don?t know much about how it works. I do know, though, that everyone knows ?Linux is all about the command line and editing .conf files?. That was true. I don?t think, from what I?ve heard of Ubuntu, that it?s true now.

    Unfortunately, I can assure you this IS still true. I don’t think it’s a power user thing to want to get the third mouse button to work, or just to install a software package that happens to not be in the Ubuntu repositories.

    Perhaps you just entered into a situation with preconceived notions and expectations and in so doing missed things like that add programs package manager. You thought you had to use the command line to achieve certain goals and so that?s what you looked for first because that?s the old myth of Linux.

    I think, maybe both of your above paragraphs. I’ve certainly learned a thing or two where I had preconceived notions of how things should work and then learning things were smarter on Linux. But I’ve most definitely experienced the opposite as well.

    Take your grub editing scenario. Editing grub, which is easy enough once you know what you?re doing, is similar to editing AUTOEXEC.bat and CONFIG.sys. But, with Linux, the result is far more compelling. Mere mortals don?t edit AUTOEXEC.bat, they ask their geek friend to do it. At least, they did, back in the day, when I didn?t have gray hairs in my beard.

    Those files are no longer part of Windows. (I know, they can be, but they aren’t by default).

    Finally, (it never ends) if you want to ?know? Linux then build an LFS (Linux From Scratch, you compile and install everything from scratch). You?d know the ins and outs of a Linux system cold. But, if you want to just use it, then stop trying to use the terminal and expecting things to ?just work?. In Linux things just don?t ?just work?, that?s OS X.

    The day I stop expecting things to work (and hence stop whining about it) is the day I quit Linux and never look back, or the day the Ubuntu people deal with my gripes.

  22. Chris says:

    Joen said:

    The day I stop expecting things to work (and hence stop whining about it) is the day I quit Linux and never look back, or the day the Ubuntu people deal with my gripes.

    That’s the thing, the problems you’re having are the same problems, for the most part, that everyone has had with Linux since day 1.

    As for why GIMP doesn’t use GIMPShop by default? It’s an UI fork. Welcome to Open Source, enjoy your time at the bazaar, don’t forget your t-shirt.

  23. Joen says:

    That?s the thing, the problems you?re having are the same problems, for the most part, that everyone has had with Linux since day 1.

    Maybe you’re right… then again… something feels different. Maybe it’s a smell in the air like that of fresh rain. Maybe it’s the silence before the storm. Maybe it’s nothing.

    As for why GIMP doesn?t use GIMPShop by default? It?s an UI fork. Welcome to Open Source, enjoy your time at the bazaar, don?t forget your t-shirt.

    • I tried Open Source and all I got were these ten slightly different T-shirts based on the same basic design
    • I tried Open Source and all I got was this T-shirt. Then it crashed.
    • I tried Open Source and all I got was this needle and thread and instructions on how to compile a T-shirt myself.
  24. khaled says:

    Chris said:

    Joen said:

    The day I stop expecting things to work (and hence stop whining about it) is the day I quit Linux and never look back, or the day the Ubuntu people deal with my gripes.

    That?s the thing, the problems you?re having are the same problems, for the most part, that everyone has had with Linux since day 1.

    As for why GIMP doesn?t use GIMPShop by default? It?s an UI fork. Welcome to Open Source, enjoy your time at the bazaar, don?t forget your t-shirt.

    No ways dude :). It’s a completely different kettle of fish. Why is Ubuntu making waves? Because it’s being done in a completely different way. It’s taken a multi millionaire to go ahead and invest his time and money into an open source project for the open source community. It’s not a big massive company (Novell Sun, Red Hat), it’s a guy investing and leading by example. Making a system that is more usable. It’s a pendillum, watch it swing past the proprietary users :). I’m sick of feeling so closed, ubuntu definitely feels like I’m free, free as in freedom.

  25. adam says:

    as a relative scale of broken-ness, i don’t think GIMP vs Photoshop is that bad.

    3ds Max vs Softimage/Maya/Anything is far worse (just one example in a sea of millions).

    everything else is a problem i’ve had myself with linux. i learned it because i wanted to. because i wanted a Free OS for my office server. self sufficiency is the price of real independence.

    there are linux distibutions out there cough*SUSE*cough that include flash, java, proprietary ATI drivers right off the bat. but they aren’t free (because they have to pay licensing fees). blaming ubuntu (or the greater community of linux devs) for the process being difficult is like blaming wp-plugins for not supporting non-GPL plugins. you’re barking up the wrong tree.

  26. Joen says:

    you?re barking up the wrong tree

    I know now that that’s right. However, since learning about “easyubuntu” from Khaled, I no longer have huge gripes with those plugins not being part of the default distro. Do you think it would be possible to include easyubuntu in the default distro, and have a huge shortcut be placed right on the desktop, as in “EasyUbuntu: Install Flash, Java, Etc.”? That would be good enough for me.

  27. adam says:

    definately. something like the windows tour, only for linux. shows you where to find basic stuff, and points you to some online resources like easyubuntu, kde-look.org, etc.

  28. Joen says:

    adam said:

    definately. something like the windows tour, only for linux. shows you where to find basic stuff, and points you to some online resources like easyubuntu, kde-look.org, etc.

    Exactly. Some things are so foreign and strange for a Windows switcher that the most basic introduciton would help heaps.

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