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Old 07-13-2005, 07:17 PM   #1
w3ld
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Sarge equivalent of Mandrake's Harddrake


Is there a program in Debian Sarge similar to Mandrake's
Harddrake for managing hardware devices?
Any help appreciated.
Richard Haire
 
Old 07-14-2005, 10:55 AM   #2
vees
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yes and no :-))

Seriously, there is not one single app which does the same stuff as Mandrake's Control Center (including hard drake). However, there are plenty of specialized apps which do at least as good a job.

You want to detect hardware? Try hwinfo or hardinfo. You need to configure sound? Alsaconf. And there are many more.

Looks to me like Debian developers are not interested in re-inventing the wheel by creating such all-encompassing applications, they are more interested in making sure that all the high-end apps available in Debian work smoothly. This makes sense to me.

After being a faithful Mandrake user (all versions between 7.2 and 10) I switched to Debian and I can sincerely say that while things are, indeed, a little different, they are certainly no worse, and often better. And Synaptic is at least as good as Mandrake's package manager while apt-get is as good or better than urpmi.

What I would do if I were you is start Synaptic and then look for the keywords (hardware, sound, video, graphics, usb, whatever) in both "name and description" and then look at what packages are available (there will be plenty, including Mandrake or Suse or RH packages BTW), and install the needed one and, voila!, all is fixed.

Enjoy!
 
Old 07-14-2005, 11:01 AM   #3
m_yates
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Its not free, but Libranet's adminmenu is similar and works very well. The latest version of Libranet is basically Sarge with some add-ons like adminmenu and xorg instead of xfree86.
 
Old 07-14-2005, 04:22 PM   #4
vees
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why would *anyone* who understands GNU/Linux want to ever use a non-free product?!?!?

(in particular when there are equivalent or better free alternatives)
 
Old 07-15-2005, 08:35 AM   #5
m_yates
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Keep free dreaming .....

If commercial software offers an easier way to do something, that has value. There is no free equivalent in Debian to the Mandrake Control Center (not that I know of anyhow). That was the question posted above. I know from personal experience that Libranet is a great product that offers several advantages over Debain for desktop/workstation use. You can do everything in Debian that Libranet does, but it will take you a longer time, require you to read many man pages and documentation, require you to learn obscure commands such as "alsaconf" and "dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86", and require you to manually edit configuration files. However, I don't sell Libranet, so don't buy it if you want to do everything free. If you goal is to tinker and learn, Debian is better. If you goal is to have an easy to configure system, commercial products like Xandros or Libranet offer advantages. By the way, Xandros and Libranet offer some free version as well.

I know that Morphix has ported some GUI configuration tools from Fedora/Redhat to Debian. That may be a free alternative, but I do not know what all is available. I have only used the "xconf" package from Morphix to graphically configure the display on a Debian system. It worked pretty well though.

I do not know how Linux can ever be commercially successful when the user base refuses to pay for anything on principle. There is nothing wrong with paying for a good product. I have purchased Libranet, Codeweavers Crossover Office, Win4Lin, and other Linux-related products. Many of these companies make great products that offer significant advantages over completely free alternatives. In addition, many of these companies are competing against Micro$oft, so not supporting these alternatives financially indirectly supports Windows.
 
Old 07-15-2005, 02:01 PM   #6
vees
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keep corporate nightmaring...

It is harder to fly an F-15E than a Cessna. It takes more reading, more understanding and more time. But you get a much more advanced flying platform (unless crop dusting is your goal, I suppose). Same for computers. If you want to get more out of them and go beyond word processing you will need to understand them and that means reading. If you do not read you will never use a computer to its full potential, no matter what the ads say: there is no substitution for intelligence and education.

Debian is not much harder than Mandrake. But if "alsaconf" sounds obscure to you, you should stick to Mandriva, no doubt. Or live-CDs.

But where you wholly miss the point is the issue of free software. First, nobody objects to paying for software, in my case I was a Mandrake Club Silver Member for a long whil, and now I send my money to the Free Software Foundation. I have no bones with giving money to those who make free software possible either directly, by coding, or legally, by protecting it from corporate attempts to strangle it via lawsuits. What I do NOT want to do is use non-free software whether it is made available gratis or not. I refuse to do this on the following grounds:

1) I do not want to be "locked in" and depend on the support of some board of directors, or anyone else.
2) having coded win32 proprietary software myself, I know how louzy and bloated it is since *nobody* outside the developers ever sees or understands it. Even inside the company the "suits" never look at the code since they cannot understand it anyway. Free software code is available for all to see and if you code is sloppy, the reputation for poor coding follows you for the rest of your life
3) I do not trust proprietary code (backdoors, lack of enough "eyes" to check for bugs or vulnerabilities, etc.)
4) I want to really *own* my software, not just lease it which is what all proprietary code offers you
5) I find the corporate software model totally immoral and I refuse to give up my freedoms

I would add here that if I had to choose between a mediocre but free product and a fantastic but non-free one I would choose the former with no hesitation whatsoever. I never had to face that choice though - I have been 100% GNU/Linux for 4 years now and I never missed win32 products.

GNU/Linux is commercially a fantastic success, and when you write "I do not know how Linux can ever be commercially successful when the user base refuses to pay for anything on principle" I would respectfully suggest that you inform yourself on what is going on in the GNU/Linux world, from Europe, to South America, from Asia to Africa and even, amazingly, the the USA, although the TV does not report on that pretty much...

Read articles on newsforge or slashdot and you will soon come to see that it is *already* a stunning commercial success!

As for your fallacy that not supporting vendors of proprietary software actually helps Microsoft it is too obviously silly to refute here other than to say that you are assuming that there is a fundamental difference between MS and other vendors of proprietary software when, of course, there is none - its just a matter of size.

Frankly, all your arguments are nothing but a rationalization for using non-free software and none of them hold up to even superficial scrutiny. Get rid of your proprietary products and you will not need such gymnastics to justify using them!

Cheers
 
Old 07-15-2005, 03:39 PM   #7
towjamb
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Quote:
There is no free equivalent in Debian to the Mandrake Control Center (not that I know of anyhow).
Practically ... no, not yet.

Yast2 from SUSE is licenced GPL, and there is an active project, aka yast4debian, to bring the graphical administration tool to Sarge:

http://yast4debian.alioth.debian.org/
 
Old 07-15-2005, 03:43 PM   #8
ctkroeker
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fdisk, cfdisk.
LOL.
 
Old 07-15-2005, 04:22 PM   #9
makuyl
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This guy packaged harddrake for woody: http://torsion.org/witten/debian/
Probably works with sarge, haven't tried. Not going too either
 
Old 07-15-2005, 05:35 PM   #10
m_yates
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Quote:
Get rid of your proprietary products and you will not need such gymnastics to justify using them!
I have (for some time now). I started using Redhat 4 years ago, then Mandrake, then Libranet, and finally Debian. What I use every day is Debian Sarge/Etch (that is what I am writing on now). However, I also have Crossover Office installed to collaborate in writing with others on Word and to generally handle the compatiability issues between Openoffice and Word/Powerpoint. Could I install MS Office using Wine? Yes, but I think Codeweavers is a great product that makes installing software easier and it is worth my time to pay $40. It also helps a small company that has to pay developers who largely donate code back to wine.
Quote:
GNU/Linux is commercially a fantastic success.
Libranet is a company of a handful of people. I do not know their finances, but I can't imagine they are getting rich. Mandrake was in bankruptcy not that long ago. Lycoris has gone under. Ubuntu is a money loser by design. Even with the ridiculous fees that Linspire charges for accessing free software, I can't imagine they are getting wealthy either. All these companies are trying to make desktop OS's that compete with Windows. Redhat makes money on servers. All I am saying is that there shouldn't be a stigma for someone who pays for software. If the company makes Linux easier to use, that has value for some people.

I agree with your list of reasons for choosing free software, and I aim to use free software as well not solely for cost. However, I have no problem buying and installing non-free software. It doesn't taint my whole system. Back to Libranet for example. What you get with Libranet is Debian Sarge with a graphical installer and adminmenu for system configuration. The system is 100% compatible with Debian Sarge and in fact in configured with Debian repositories for updates, plus one Libranet specific repository. Once you install it, you can install/configure anything using the tools available from Debian, but you have the option of the easier to use adminmenu. Is that convenience worth $90? If you are a Linux-geek, probably not. If you are not a Linux-geek and want a working Debian desktop with access to lots of free software, maybe it is.

Here are some examples of the differences between Libranet and Debian Sarge:

Nvidia driver: In Libranet, this driver is included during installation. In Debian, I had to get the Nvidia installer from nvidia.com, but then it failed because my kernel source wasn't installed. To get the nvidia installer to run, I had to install kernel sources uses apt, use tar to unpack the source, symbolically link the source to /usr/src/linux, then the nvidia installer still failed. The only way I figured out to get it to work is to recompile my kernel, requiring me to learn make-kpg, and manually edit /etc/grub/menu.lst for the new kernel. After rebooting into the new kernel, I had to run the Nvidia installer and finally manually edit /etc/X11/XF86Config-4.

Java: In Libranet java is included during installation. In Debian, java must be dowloaded from Sun, installed from the command line, then the java plugin for the web browser must be symbolically linked manually.

Laptop display at 1400x1050: In Libranet the display is recognized and configured automatically. In Debian, manually editing /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 is the only way I found to get that resolution.

Wireless access using ndiswrapper: In Libranet, the ndiswrapper module is included in the kernel. In Debian, it requires compiling the ndiswrapper module from source, using "modprobe" to insert it, then manually editing /etc/modules. Oh, but the compile from source would not work until I had first recompiled my kernel.

I could go on with other examples. My point is Debian is NOT as easy to use for someone who doesn't know much about linux. A commercial product that does some hand holding has value to those people. I think if people want to pay for a commercial distribution, it is a win for open source in the end.

Last edited by m_yates; 07-15-2005 at 05:37 PM.
 
Old 07-16-2005, 09:45 AM   #11
vees
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I understand what you are saying and I think our disagreement boils down to the following issues:

1) paying for non-free software:

We both agree to pay for software. The difference is that I refuse to pay for non-free software while you have no problems with that.

2) using non-free software:

Whether it is gratis or not I would never use non-free software while you would.

3) convenience vs. freedom:

You prefer whatever software is most convenient while I always will prefer the harder-to-use but free application.

4) is GNU/Linux a commercial success or not:

You think that the examples of RH, Mdk, Lycoris or Ubuntu show that GNU/Linux has yet to be a commercial success. I believe that these examples illustrate the corporate difficulites of specific vendors, not the success, or lack thereof, of an OS.

I submit to you that paying for non-free software encourages a commercial model which prohibits sharing amoung people, which never allows you to own the software that you use, which makes you dependent on other, usually commercial entities and which usually provides a shot-term convenience at a long-term cost. Exactly the same goes for non-free software distributed free of charge. Of course, initially it sometimes *appears* more convenient to use non-free products, but you always pay a price for that. Having seen with my own eyes the chaos and costs overrun in a major company told by MS to switch from SQL7 to SQL2000 because the former would not be supported I know first hand the really painful price one pays for depending on a commercial entity.

Allow me a small anecdote here:

A friend of mine was a Apple fan for years. He endlessly talked about how fantastic Apple products were, how awesome their processors were and how bad x86 are, how much better Mac OS was, how great Steve Jobs was, etc. And his software was *convenient* to use for sure. Then, Apple's board of directors suddenly decided to drop Mac OS for OSX, to use x86 processors and use some elements of BSD and KDE. My friend was shattered. He absolutely h-a-t-e-d OSX but, as they say, tough luck! Since the Apple management decided that OSX and x86 was the way to go that is how it would be. I told him - well pal, if your OSX had been GPLed you could easily create further versions of your beloved MAC OS, you could improve it, you could compete with OSX and you could even keep it on Motorola processors. But since you are using a non-free system - what your gurus decide is what you will do, period. While in our case, of Linus Torvalds, RMS, ESR and all the rest of the GNU/Linux icons are hired by MS (unlikely, of course, but just to make a point) we would not care as they do not own or control the products which they created.

My point is that there is ALWAYS hell to pay for using non-free software.

Lastly, on the point of commercial success. The companies that you are listing are corporate entites. I switched from Mandrake to Debian precisely because Debian does not exist as Debian, Inc. It has no CEO, no board of directors, no shareholders and does not even have a "Debian budget" to speak off. I liked Mandrake for years, but I noticed that they suddenly went into a spree of merger and aquisitions instead of writing good code (the fact that Mandriva 2005 LE crashed on install on a computer on which I had just installed Debian-Sarge without any problems was just the straw that broke this camel's back).

But as a *technology* Linux (the kernel) and/or GNU (the OS) is adopted by such corporations as IBM, Oracle, Google, countries such as China or Brazil, and platforms ragning from cell phone to 4 of the 5 most powerful computers in the world, including the first one. According to some figures, GNU/Linux already has passed Apple in desktop use. I can assure you that all this would not have happened, and would not be sustainable, if GNU/Linux was not brining money in. Compare with another free OS: *BSD. While it did, indeed, become popular for networking, it was soon overcome by the meteoritic growth of GNU/Linux and is gradually becoming irrelevant. The reason? *BSD is not a very profitable product due to inherent limitations in its design, while GNU/Linux is (not many cell phone or PDAs out there using BSD, no top500 computers either).

But even if GNU/Linux was a total commercial failure, I would not care at all. For me, after switching from win32 to Linux (as I called it then) for purely technical reasons (I held the latter to be a superior product technologically) I gradually came to love GNU/Linux for non-technical reasons. Today for me Debian embodies the ultimate expression of what GNU/Linux should be and since Debian does not even have a corporate/commercial expression (at least not directly) what hapens in the corporate/commercial world has become largely irrelevant to me. I am still concerned at attempts by SCO, MS, or others to crush GNU/Linux legally, but even if they succeeded, I am fully ready to continue to use it illegally if need be.

Does that make me a free-software/GNU/GPL/FSF/RMS "zealot"? You bet!

cheers!
 
Old 07-18-2005, 08:34 PM   #12
w3ld
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Thank you for all the replies

Thanks for all the replys. This is a great forum and I
get good answers to every question I ask.
Thanks again.
Richard Haire
 
  


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