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Old 06-09-2015, 10:58 PM   #1
mreff555
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Stop telling noobs to only use Ubuntu!


As this post is hardly constructive and nothing but angry, inane rantings with a possible silver lining of wisdom I post here, rather than cluttering up one of the other forums.

I've been working with linux since 1995 and using it exclusively on my home machines since 2005. The majority of the time I have been running Gentoo. Like every other person that runs Gentoo, I have this hatred for things I don't need to be sitting around taking up space and waiting to break on my computer. Gentoo satisfied My OCD by keeping my system nice and trim, 3mb kernel, lean and mean. My entire OS, aside from my home partition was under 5gb. Everything worked great until a developer dropped the ball and I get a week of down time trying to figure out a work around or wait for a patch. Originally I didn't care, I loved tinkering with my computer. However, as time went on, I got older and did the family thing. Kids tend to chew up a lot of time, and all of a sudden I find myself wanting to spend my daily 15 minutes of free time on something other than fixing a cyclic dependency.

Unfortunately the Gentoo fan base has decreased over the past decade and with it, its functionality. With a heavy heart and a lump in my throat I reformat my partitions and take a shot at what I hope are more STABLE distros.

I limited my selections to distros with a cult following. My theory was that for the most part software is software. It will work until it doesnít and the only thing thatís going to solve the problem is dedicated users and developers. I skipped Slackware. While I like the idea of their package management and have a very high regard for the creator Patrick Volkerding, I don't quite agree with the implementation. The prebuilt packages add a lot of bloat, and if you don't install all of them, half the slackbuilds don't work. Perhaps I'm being over critical but what do you expect from a Gentoo user.

Next I tried Arch. I gotta say, I like arch. Yeah, it doesn't compile on the fly like Gentoo, which may result in slightly slower software. However, if you know what you are doing you can build a fairly complete OS in 2 hours instead of 2 days. Also, the fan base is friggin' huge. I was pretty sold on the Arch for about 3 months until I started getting some really odd errors. Errors that I would later discover were due to bad sectors on my hard drive (another downside to Gentoo). So... what was I going to do, that is, after buying a new hard drive?
I was running out of distro's to try with a serious following. Of course there was always Ubuntu, but just the thought of it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Gnome 3 is pretty, but sooooo dysfunctional I'm not a huge fan of the package manager and systemd is fast, but I'm still not sold on it. init is so much more transparent and easy to use. I finally decided to try Ubuntu. Solely for the reason that my daughter installed it on her computer and I figured that the only way I was going to be able to troubleshoot this pig of an operating system was to run it myself.

I liked the Gnome 3 interface for almost 5 minutes, and then realized that I would rather be using Windows. I ended up installing dwm. dwm has always been one of my two personal favourite WM's, the other being openbox. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for a "pretty" interface, as long as it works. I was running KDE with arch and actually didn't mind it. However, there is a delicate balance between pretty and functional that has to be preserved, KDE manages that, Gnome 3 fails miserably. WM's like dwm are fairly plain and have a steep learning curve. However, once you know what you are doing, they are so damn responsive and logically simple that you quickly stop caring what your OS looks like and are just happy that you can get to your "pretty" and fully functional program really fast.

Of course, this wasn't the end of my struggles with Ubuntu. The next problem I had was dependency conflicts. Now, this isn't good. The whole reason I installed this ridiculously irritating operating system, was that in theory, everything should just work..... Nope.
I mean yeah, I know developers have a fairly different profile of software than your typical 14 year old trying Ubuntu out, but I was a bit disappointed in how disappointed I was. At first I thought I would hate Ubuntu on principal alone. In actuality, I really friggin' hate it! When something doesn't work on Slack or Gentoo, you have to cowboy up and make it work. The move convoluted the OS is, the more inherent danger in doing this. for gentoo, it is a friggin' nightmare. You really want to avoid doing anything outside of what the package manager is supposed to do, but it's inevitable.

I'm thinking an appropriate analogy would be to compare a 1970 Hemi Cuda to a modern sports car. If all I want to do is go fast, the Cuda is fine. If I want something for everyday use, I'd prefer the fancy sports car. However, with enough time everything will inevitably break. At this point I would much prefer to be driving something easy to fix, like a Cuda.

I guess, my long and drawn out point is this. I have found that I have to exert an equal amount of effort into keeping Ubuntu running as gentoo. The only difference is that I'm not learning jack about linux. I think we should avoid telling people that switch to linux for the purpose of actually learning linux to start with Ubuntu. Any-more, Ubuntu has just as many problems as windows. They would be much better off installing something like Arch.

Indecently. I think I'm going to do the same. F*** Ubuntu.
 
Old 06-10-2015, 02:21 AM   #2
ugjka
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Ubuntu uses Unity not Gnome 3. But they are eaqually bad...
 
Old 06-10-2015, 02:51 AM   #3
ardvark71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mreff555 View Post
I guess, my long and drawn out point is this. I have found that I have to exert an equal amount of effort into keeping Ubuntu running as gentoo. The only difference is that I'm not learning jack about linux. I think we should avoid telling people that switch to linux for the purpose of actually learning linux to start with Ubuntu. Any-more, Ubuntu has just as many problems as windows. They would be much better off installing something like Arch.
Hi..

I'll have to admit that I've shied away from Ubuntu ever since the switch to Unity but I would have to disagree with you as far as not recommending it because of your experiences with it. I thought 10.04 was an excellent version and I used it as my sole OS for about three years until my hard drive went out. Although now Ubuntu probably wouldn't be my first choice in recommending a Linux distribution to someone, I think it would depend on what the person's needs are and their interests and preferences. Quite a bit of software is available to the 'buntu family that is easily installed.

Regards...
 
Old 06-10-2015, 03:43 AM   #4
fatmac
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I wouldn't use Ubuntu personally, but it is a way for ex MSWindows users to enter into the Linux world.
I recommend AntiX & MX because they work on older hardware, a perfect upgrade from XP.
 
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Old 06-10-2015, 04:25 AM   #5
zhjim
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Ubuntu is a testing distro. Came of it will always be.

I as well had me share of distro trials I nearly came to the same conclusion as you. Finally settled with debian. The only real trouble it gave me either as a desktop or server OS was the leap second bug in the kernel. Everything else went as planned. If I did not do something serious stupid thing like mixing up of and if on the dd command.
For people to just use Linux I always recommend debian. Its stable and working. Ubuntu failed on me three times during updates. Would not boot, mixed up uuids of partitions and disks. But for people to learn linux or OS behaviour in general I would recommend Slackware. Mostly due to its "low" approach. All basic and easy steps to be taken from the slackware book. Learned a _LOT_ from it. Arch would be to heavy for a total beginner but has the best documentation I have ever seen. And especially frustating as rolling distros can be sometime. And as a beginner you might be easily set back that a update just breaks stuff from time to time.

The whole desktop/window manager thing is a total different story there are so many now a days. Just try some and see which one you like. Although I don't know if Ubuntu gives a choice here but debian lets you have 3 at the least. Arch shoots the sky here as always but with this documentation you are hard to fail if you really try.
 
Old 06-10-2015, 06:43 AM   #6
rtmistler
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Personally I don't tell them only to use Ubuntu. However I will tell them to "try" Ubuntu. I also suggest that they try live distros and see what they prefer.

I like, and do use MINT Debian, however the install for it, last time I did so, required that someone understand how they wish to partition. There was not an automatic option. For a complete newbie that may be too much.

I don't assume that a newbie research and be prepared to do stuff like build LFS, day #1. On one hand it's not all rocket science, but on the other hand, new users would prefer to have things installed with little fuss so they can go and play with it.

I also feel that there are tons and tons of users who just want to be users and never have to use a command line for anything. They are welcome too.

You've used Linux since '95, I can't say my exact start year ... somewhere in the 90's or maybe as early as the late 80's.

Either case, after 20+ years of Linux (1) things have improved a great deal with Linux and compatibility of hardware (2) with such extensive Linux experience, you have this very nasty rant all bottled up? And then really all you have to say is a huge lash out at Ubuntu, as well as tout the fact that no matter what you've tried over the years, Gentoo is your goto distribution past, present, and future.

And are you AWARE that there's a distribution type icon on your profile/signature which SHOWS YOU AS USING LINUXUBUNTU?!?!?!?!?!?
 
Old 06-10-2015, 07:40 AM   #7
mreff555
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtmistler View Post
You've used Linux since '95, I can't say my exact start year ... somewhere in the 90's or maybe as early as the late 80's.

Either case, after 20+ years of Linux (1) things have improved a great deal with Linux and compatibility of hardware (2) with such extensive Linux experience, you have this very nasty rant all bottled up? And then really all you have to say is a huge lash out at Ubuntu, as well as tout the fact that no matter what you've tried over the years, Gentoo is your goto distribution past, present, and future.
Did you read what I wrote, or after reading the subject line just kinda assume you know what I was talking about? Let me rephrase

I'd say that there are three factors that go in to the overall health of an operating system.

1. The tenacity of the user: I say tenacity as opposed to experience and intelligence because even an experienced user may not want to deal with fixing an issue while a new user tackles the problem with the assistance of others on forums

2. The user base: The more people debugging, the more people to answer questions, the faster things get fixed.

3. The complexity and transparency of the distro methodology: Gentoo, for example is a difficult concept at first because you are forced to understand certain things about your environment. However, once you know these things, It's very easy to maintain control of exactly whats happening. A distro such as Ubuntu (The opposite extreme) is a veil of simplicity over a complex interconnection of software. When something does go wrong it's significantly harder to fix.

I'm not saying I would tell a newbie to use Gentoo. I started on Slack, but back then I didn't have that many options. What I am saying is that the only way I would recommend ubuntu is if someone said, "I want windows, only I don't want to pay for it." Now that Windows 10 is practically being given away for free, someone who wants to run linux without looking under the hood is probably better off sticking with windows. In the past I would have recommended Crunchbang for someone who wanted to learn, as it was an easy to use system, no extra bulk, and it doesn't hide all of it's inter workings, just the more difficult ones. Alas, it is no longer supported. I heard Linux mint might be a good option, but I've never tried it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by rtmistler View Post
And are you AWARE that there's a distribution type icon on your profile/signature which SHOWS YOU AS USING LINUXUBUNTU?!?!?!?!?!?
Those distrobution icons are dynamic. I never noticed them before. Now it says I'm running windows 7, because I'm on my work computer. In the previous post it said Ubuntu, because I was running Ubuntu. If you would have read my post you would already know that.

Last edited by mreff555; 06-10-2015 at 07:46 AM. Reason: clarification and biting my tongue
 
Old 06-10-2015, 08:09 AM   #8
rtmistler
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Yes, I did read what you wrote and just about every paragraph contained "gentoo". And not trying to be all attacking and such, virtual offering of handshake and/or fistbump. You are correct, anything I used in the 80s was Unix, and in fact not real Unix but HP's variation of Unix. As I said, I wasn't sure the exact date I started playing with Linux.

In summary: You say you're OCD, you say you only like distros with cult followings, you say your tried arch but then used a gentoo example, you talked about trying Ubuntu due to your daughter and the first complaint was the window manager but kudos you didn't include gentoo in that paragraph, and you talked about package management which confused me because it was a complaint that they did something wrong my confusion was the defense of slack and gentoo was that one has to "cowboy up" to make them work, so they don't sound like any picnic either. At that point you actually used the phrase "for gentoo, it is a friggin' nightmare", I was rather agog/confused at that point.

I get it, you don't like Ubuntu and you do like Gentoo. I have to say that it's rather refreshing that you're not attacking Canonical and their intentions, etc, but rather you saying that you think Ubuntu is a mess of an OS. You're saying it's a resource hog, and too large.

What I've seen is that many toolkits validate their installations using Ubuntu Linux and so they say this when they say they're supported under Linux. I also see that Ubuntu has been ported and is run on some of the embedded hobbyist boards such as the Beagle and the Pi. There are also, of course, other distributions in use on embedded boards. I use a number of these boards, including the Hummingboard, and other commercial off the shelf systems on modules. Lately Yocto has been a big OS in use, and Debian is a mainstay - noting that these are all ARM based boards. Either case, I haven't had the pleasure to run into Gentoo as either the default OS or an OS where someone has started a design and asked me to resolve for them. Perhaps someday I will, or perhaps someday I'll boot a live distribution and see why you see it as so great. And I'm sure there are embedded boards which run Gentoo where I haven't run into them.

Not defending Ubuntu like crazy, but I do use it everyday as my development host and it works pretty much as well as any other form of desktop Linux I've used over the years. Also, when I stage programs and scripts to research and respond to questions in the Non-Nix-Programming forum, I have never run into a situation where my toolset has been varied by the creators of Ubuntu so the result is my analysis, re-creation, and answers are "off" due to that. Like in the old days of BusyBox, the binary didn't contain all commands or commands were limited and didn't contain certain features? I don't run into stuff like that where my system and/or results vary at all so that someone has to note "The reason you do or don't see that is because you're likely running Ubuntu and they ... did something to bash, or rewrote gcc, or something oddball like that."
 
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Old 06-10-2015, 08:24 AM   #9
TobiSGD
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I will always recommend to people asking the distribution that fits their needs. If this is Ubuntu then I recommend Ubuntu. From my experience, if you stick to the LTS versions and don't use the development versions (reading that you have a version with systemd I assume that you used 15.04, which is such a development version) then Ubuntu is pretty stable.
 
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:36 AM   #10
DavidMcCann
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It's a few months since I did any distro testing, but it seemed to me that Ubuntu Gnome was one of the best installations defaulting to that desktop. Personally, I don't like Debian-based distros and hate Gnome 3, but I'd certainly recommend Ubuntu Gnome to anyone whom I thought would be happy with both. As Tobi said, you recommend what you think will be suited to the enquirer.

As for "learning about Linux", (1) you can learn about Linux using any distro, and (2) most people don't buy a computer to learn about its operating system, but to run applications.
 
Old 06-10-2015, 10:39 AM   #11
suicidaleggroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardvark71 View Post
I thought 10.04 was an excellent version and I used it as my sole OS for about three years until my hard drive went out.
10.04 was fine, but they dropped off of a cliff after that. 12.04 was bad, and 14.04 is practically unusable IMO.

Coincidentally that was right around the same time that Fedora went to hell too...just after version 12/13 around 2010/2011.

Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 06-10-2015 at 10:44 AM.
 
Old 06-10-2015, 10:44 AM   #12
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suicidaleggroll View Post
10.04 was fine, but they dropped off of a cliff after that. 12.04 was bad, and 14.04 is practically unusable IMO.

Ironically that was right around the same time that Fedora went to hell too...just after version 12/13 around 2010/2011.
Just out of interest, what exactly is it that makes Ubuntu so bad in your opinion? Is it the default DE, the underlying system, ...?
 
Old 06-10-2015, 10:46 AM   #13
suicidaleggroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
Just out of interest, what exactly is it that makes Ubuntu so bad in your opinion? Is it the default DE, the underlying system, ...?
Stability mainly, even the LTS versions have a hell of a time trying to keep themselves from barfing every few days in my experience. Unity is pretty terrible too, but that can be avoided.

Ironically, Ubuntu, the "desktop-oriented" "user-friendly" distro - at least as it's marketed - is the only one that can't seem to use a wireless card with any modicum of stability on my machines. Mint, Debian, even CentOS has no issues using the built-in Intel wireless on my laptops, but Ubuntu recognizes it, sees the available networks, connects, and then randomly disconnects and has to be manually cycled and reconnected for no reason every few minutes. That was on 12.04 and 14.04, haven't touched it since.

Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 06-10-2015 at 10:49 AM.
 
Old 06-10-2015, 02:00 PM   #14
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IF you are experienced using Gentoo, then I suggest Slackware which you skipped because Slackware assumes a complete install.
And it has a cult following! Rock solid. Too bad you "don't agree with the implementation."
LTS has never failed me on any server, ever.

Honestly. I think this is just another "bitch session" about all the stuff that's gone wrong.
Just my opinion. Nothing personal.

Last edited by Habitual; 06-10-2015 at 02:32 PM.
 
Old 06-10-2015, 02:16 PM   #15
dugan
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I tell noobs to use Mint. The reason is that I genuinely think that Mint is a great distro.
 
  


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