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Old 09-08-2003, 12:43 PM   #16
LSD
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robojerk does make a very valid point even if it lost in what is, by and large, a useless rant. That point is that, of all the Linuces, Debian and its community (thank you so much all for highlighting that bit) are the most arrogant of the lot. You're all so absorbed in the belief that you're running the best Linux that you never stop to think that parts of it can and should be improved for the greater growth of the distro and it's community. Acting like a bunch of grumpy old men isn't the way to attract new users, it's a sure fire way to scare them away and tarnish the nature of the community.

Yes, Linux has taken many steps forward in terms of user-friendliness over at least the five years or so I've been using it but with each of these steps that other distros take, Debian seems to be either not taking them at all or even stepping backward. Debian users want people to drop other distros that they consider inferior but don't stop to consider the reason that many of them aren't is because Debian places too many roadblocks in their way. The users may argue that this is what Linux is all about and they should know what they're doing before they start but how are they supposed to learn when the only distros that teach these skills are so difficult to approach?
 
Old 09-08-2003, 03:01 PM   #17
BlckJck
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I don't know that robojerks rant was to go after Debian. I saw more of a rant on Linux as a whole, with complaints towards documentation and forums for users to figure things out.

I think a better point of view is it's origin's and developemnt in comparison to Windoze.

Windoze is developed by programmers paid by Microsoft to have software behave the way they want it to. Linux is developed by people on their own time to make an opersting system that programers developed for no profit, to behave the way the user wants it to.

Linux developed through forums and discussions, so naturaly new people looking for help will go to those same forums. Have you ever tried to have Windoze changed by Microsoft to do what you want, or have an application behave the way you want it to. Have you have gotten a fix for a problem with Microsoft, or did you have to wait until enough people have a problem with it for them to release a patch. Where as with Linux, you can work with forums, and sometimes individuals that wrote the application, and point out your problems and get an answere.

I'm not even going to get into a security and stability discusion.

I can see how config files and man docs can be alittle lacking, but have you tried getting info for all the switches on the Win/DOS fdisk command, and the un-listed switch /mbr that fixes the boot record when an NT install goes south and you have to install your CD-ROM drivers so you can make new NT boot floppys, but you can't because now you can't boot DOS on your HDD.

Both operating systems have there problems, to resolve the problem, IMO, is easier with Linux because of the support network.
 
Old 09-17-2003, 02:13 AM   #18
robojerk
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Docs

I was just attempting to bring up the fact that when a novice like myself attempts to try the linux OS, it's a bit daunting and overwhelming. My hardware is pretty new so no purchased distro will see it right out of the box without some configuring so I figured just to configure the whole OS so I could at least gain some knowledge about the working of the LinuxOS. I went to irc.debian.org and asked for help and asked my questions, the response from the channel was not welcoming. However I did have some free time on my hands so I surfed the net, read several forums about the hardware I had to be prepared for the setup process.
I figured since I had a Geforce FX card, the nvidia forums suggest I compile a kernel in order to get the nvidia drivers to install. So I did the bf2.4 base install. downloaded packages like discover, hotplug, etc., and packages necessary to compile a kernel. selected the 2.4.20 kernel followed the directions i found at www.linmagau.org for compiling a kernel. I can get the nvidia installer to work now, but my NIC no longer works so I can't install x-window-system with the new kernel running. I searched the internet for any info on my integrated NIC on my P4X400 mainboard. I feel like I'm so close to getting this thing to work but just need a little help but documentation is a bit weak on configuring a kernel.
If I weren't so stubborn I'd give up. I'm almost at the point that IF there were any places around me that offered an affordable crash course to linux I'd probably pay to take a week off to learn.
 
Old 09-17-2003, 03:02 AM   #19
buttersoft
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I agree that it is daunting. However when I moved from DR-DOS to Windows 3.1, I found that was daunting also until I had everything up and running.

Books. That also helps a lot.

The Linux Cookbook, is an EXCELLENT starting place.

I plan not to touch the kernel, even if something I would like to use and does not work yet, could be solved by messing with the kernel. The reason I do not know enough. I plan to learn Linux slowly but surely and only touch what I am confident to touch.

It already handles most of my needs SuSE 8.2. out of the box, the pleasure is now in learning all the very neat tools, that be run on a command line seperated by a semi-colon and piped together to make extremely useful things. Example backup. Creating an ISO of my home directory and bunging it onto a CD-ROM or CD/RW or on the desktop to a DVD is a one-liner. After having everything GUI in Windows, this is a refreshing change.

Linux is an eye-opener for someone like myself a newbie, who left DOS with the herd for Windows, and I am glad I decided to give Linux a try again.

Previously I bought Caldera Linux, which did not work at all on my system and I gave up with it.
 
Old 09-17-2003, 03:30 AM   #20
pe2338
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LSD : good point, I agree!
 
Old 09-17-2003, 07:22 PM   #21
KneeLess
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I am a Linux Newbie.

I installed Slackware 9 without any problems.

I installed Gentoo 1.4rc2 without any problems.

I installed Debian 3.0r1 without any problems.

And it wasn't hard either. Gentoo was the hardest, and still, you have to read and then type what they tell to to type. Not exactly the hardest thing.

Debian 3 has a menu driven install. It really doesn't get much easier than that.
 
Old 09-17-2003, 11:30 PM   #22
OmegaBlac
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Quote:
Originally posted by KneeLess
I am a Linux Newbie.

I installed Slackware 9 without any problems.

I installed Gentoo 1.4rc2 without any problems.

I installed Debian 3.0r1 without any problems.

And it wasn't hard either. Gentoo was the hardest, and still, you have to read and then type what they tell to to type. Not exactly the hardest thing.

Debian 3 has a menu driven install. It really doesn't get much easier than that.
Same here. And many consider those distros to be advanced needing a considerable amount of Linux knowlege to install & configure. I'd say if someone takes the time to actually sit down with an open mind and is deterimened to get a certain distro installed it can be done.
 
Old 09-17-2003, 11:36 PM   #23
buttersoft
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I agree with that in fact SuSE 8.2 is easier than Windows to install on either my laptop or the desktop. V8.0 was not, that took many installs and I was never happy with it. So that shows the pace of improvement with SuSE and Linux in general.
 
Old 09-18-2003, 03:54 AM   #24
Goladus
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After installing red hat 5.1 several years ago, switching back to windows, and coming back to linux again.. I chose to try debian. I found that the secret trick to installing it was reading the prompts that appeared and usually accepting whatever the default option was. Finding and downloading a driver for my video took about 15 minutes (of all the s3 savage cards, the only one not supported by the initial install was my version).

And installing software is a piece of cake. I don't even need the command line if I don't want it. Just run dselect, pick what I want, and it automatically figures out dependencies and installs them.

My main issue with debian so far is the lack of a "back" button anywhere. If you accidentally hit enter twice in succession it's like "oh s--- what did I just do?"

Anyway, as someone with lots of experience with windows, experience as an end user of Solaris and AIX, and knowledge of some basic operating system concepts, but otherwise minimal experience installing and administering any Unix clone OS, debian was not difficult to install at all. After one weekend of partitioning/repartitioning/installing I was running telnet X sessions from external workstations and was browsing the web with mozilla. And the partitioning was mostly OS-independant, it wasn't difficult so much as time consuming-- and didn't really consume any more time than it would have to accomplish the same thing on a Windows machine.

The only real problems are that my sound (AC97 onboard) isn't working, which seems to be an issue with other distros too, and I didn't bother to configure Exim for email. Email I don't care about yet, and my sound problems have led me here!
 
Old 09-18-2003, 05:08 AM   #25
hw-tph
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LSD, despite having a few valid points you get lost in quite an ignorant rant on how ignorant Debian users are. I will address some of your claims, and I will try to do so in a decent manner.

First off, I would like to say that Debian is generally not used by complete Linux newcomers. Many (most?) current Debian users started out with another distribution but after a while they switched to Debian, usually for the easy of administrating and upgrading systems running this distribution. You might think this is a moot point as I feel you're focused on Linux as a desktop OS for newbies but it *is* really important, whether you're looking to upgrade those 400 PC's in the computer labs at school or making sure the server is up to date with the latest security patches. This has always bee, and will probably always be, one of Debian's strongest points.

Quote:
Linux has taken many steps forward in terms of user-friendliness over at least the five years or so I've been using it but with each of these steps that other distros take, Debian seems to be either not taking them at all or even stepping backward
You're talking about X-based installers, right?
The current installation system, while non-graphical, does it job very well and works on all architectures. One of the goals of the Debian project is to keep the OS the same on all platforms, and making an X-based installer that will work both on a StrongARM CPU, an Intel Pentium and a Motorola PowerPC isn't easy - but work is underway. The new, alterative installation system is available with the current unstable (SID) release and it's based on GTK.
You are showing the same ignorance you claim Debian users show everywhere they go when you say we're stepping backwards.

Quote:
Debian users want people to drop other distros that they consider inferior but don't stop to consider the reason that many of them aren't is because Debian places too many roadblocks in their way.
I don't know what to make of this really... What are these roadblocks? The lack of wizards for everything? There is a manual and lots of documentation - but this doesn't count as help according to you, right?
Personally, I don't think the only way to help people is to provide anti-aliased X-based wizards. In order to learn you need to want to learn, and I don't see why actually *reading* some when you need help is so bad.

The less "user-friendly" (which is a load of horse - "less newbie-friendly" might be more correct though) distributions, including Debian, are all "hard to approach" because they require a bit of thinking, reading and - once again - *wanting* to learn. The learning curve of Linux as an OS is quite steep, but does this make it that bad? There are alternatives if you don't like it - that's what I like about Linux and the community in general. Now that last comment might be considered arrogant that's how I feel about it. I don't put down people for not running Debian, I don't hype Debian. It works for me, I love it, so I use it. If some other distribution works for someone else - then great for them! But what you're doing is basically coming in here saying "You're doing everything the wrong way", and that my friend is arrogance at its best (or worse!).


hw
 
Old 09-18-2003, 01:15 PM   #26
Big Al
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I've found Debian to be MUCH harder to install than Slackware. It asks a whole bunch of stupid questions that can leave a newbie scratching his head. I never HAVE gotten X working on my current machine, and I did on both Slackware 9 and FreeBSD 5.1. It's not a text vs graphics problem. Debian just seems to go out of it's way to be a PITA.
 
Old 09-18-2003, 08:17 PM   #27
opus
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Hi -

I'm new to this board and definately a linux noob. I have only installed mandrake 8.1, mandrake 9.0, and just recently redhat 9. Not too difficult, although there are always little problems that need fixing. I know those 2 distros are probably some of the easiest to install.

I have been seeing some cheap "pre-installed linux" machines for sale recently - not just the ones at wal-mart - I'm talking about the ones at Sam's Club in the US. They start at only around $260 or so. What are your "experienced" opinions of this trend...?

Personally, I like putting together my own boxes, but hell, a copy of win xp costs $200... So a halfway decent box with linux pre-installed for $260 or $300 isn't bad. Only thing is that Sam's doesn't say what kind of linux it is...
 
Old 09-18-2003, 08:59 PM   #28
footfrisbee
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robojerk, a quick way to find out what driver your bf2.4 kernel is using for your onboard NIC is to thumb through the /var/log/kern.log files. In my kern.log I can see the following:
Code:
Aug 26 02:36:50 Qbert kernel: 8139too Fast Ethernet driver 0.9.26
Aug 26 02:36:50 Qbert kernel: PCI: Found IRQ 11 for device 00:0c.0
Aug 26 02:36:50 Qbert kernel: PCI: Sharing IRQ 11 with 01:05.0
Aug 26 02:36:50 Qbert kernel: eth0: RealTek RTL8139 Fast Ethernet at 0xf2086000, 00:50:fc:54:af:c6, IRQ 11
Aug 26 02:36:50 Qbert kernel: eth0:  Identified 8139 chip type 'RTL-8139C
Here the module is called "8139too". This is of course along with a bunch of other stuff. But you get the idea. You could also boot into that kernel and look at the output of dmesg. It will be in there somewhere.
 
Old 09-18-2003, 10:57 PM   #29
OmegaBlac
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Quote:
Originally posted by Big Al
I've found Debian to be MUCH harder to install than Slackware. It asks a whole bunch of stupid questions that can leave a newbie scratching his head. I never HAVE gotten X working on my current machine, and I did on both Slackware 9 and FreeBSD 5.1. It's not a text vs graphics problem. Debian just seems to go out of it's way to be a PITA.
Hmm...you should take a look at this article then "The Very Verbose Debian 3.0 Installation Walkthrough". That article made the installation process of Debian a breeze after I dealt with some misc. issues I was having with my PC. On subsequent installations of Debian I am able to install it in about 30 minutes with no hassle.

Also check out these two articles from distrowatch:

http://www.distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=review-debian2

http://www.distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=review-debian
 
Old 09-22-2003, 01:14 PM   #30
pe2338
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Quote:
Originally posted by opus
Hi -

I'm new to this board and definately a linux noob. I have only installed mandrake 8.1, mandrake 9.0, and just recently redhat 9. Not too difficult, although there are always little problems that need fixing. I know those 2 distros are probably some of the easiest to install.

I have been seeing some cheap "pre-installed linux" machines for sale recently - not just the ones at wal-mart - I'm talking about the ones at Sam's Club in the US. They start at only around $260 or so. What are your "experienced" opinions of this trend...?

Personally, I like putting together my own boxes, but hell, a copy of win xp costs $200... So a halfway decent box with linux pre-installed for $260 or $300 isn't bad. Only thing is that Sam's doesn't say what kind of linux it is...
The only type of linux I've seen here (Romania) is RedHat.Don't know about anything there in the US. Couldn't you ask somebody there?
 
  


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