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Old 11-17-2005, 03:24 AM   #1
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: Missouri, USA
Distribution: Gentoo
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My Gripe with Ubuntu

This is not a troll thread or an attempt at trolling. I am a pure linux newbie and will accept the fact that I could be making an error or misconception before blaming a distro. I have tried a few different distro's from RedHat (7+), Fedora C4, Mandrake (7 I think), Knoppix, and Suse. Ubuntu thus far is my favorite by far so I am not 'bad-mouthing' it. Thus said, my post is just me "venting"

I like Ubuntu, alot. It so far has kept me in the linux world but I cannot understand why a few development tools wasn't considered to be included with the installation. I know there is apt-get and synaptic but let's face it, there are things we may come across that isnt included in a repository and we will have to compile it on our own.....

BUT I am facing a *different* type of "dependancy hell". Instead of me searching for lib's due to a failed ./configure, I am having to apt-get actual programs to simply run ./configure. I have done alot of reading and research about how compiling for source is the best method because the end-result is a program tailored for your hardware. I have no problems with compiling from source, I dont even have a big issue with dependancy problems (I dont have a problem with reading "FAILED: PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE XXXXXXX > #.#" then go out and find that program). But IMHO, if compiling from source is the *best* and more *optimal* method of installing software, then shouldn't distro's install with the utilities to do that rather than you having to download the interpreters and compilers?

Again, this is basically just a rant.......just me venting, no offense intended toward anyone and I am CERTAINLY not bashing Ubuntu...Shuttleworth ROCKS!!!
Old 11-17-2005, 03:50 AM   #2
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Depending on the software you're trying to install, you're always going to get dependency problems that aren't going to be resolved by your distro installing all the tools during install. There's so simply too many graphics libraries, handling components, shared libs, etc. that are only required by minor programs to include them all in an install without it becoming seriously bloated. If you install something via apt, you'll find it's downloading 2/3 dependencies that it needs, but it does this automatically, something you can't get installing source by hand. Gentoo manages this, as portage builds everything from source, but also does the dependencies for you, which is nice Would you rather have a distro that took 5 hours to install and used 10Gb of diskspace just to make sure you didn't have to get a minor dependency resolved? I know I wouldn't, but I can see your frustrations. Generally, most things should be available in pre-compiled packages, especially if you add additional repositories to your sources.list, reducing the amount of hand-compiled software you need to handle.
Old 11-17-2005, 04:00 AM   #3
Registered: Aug 2005
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I like your points but my problem is that Ubuntu (and I'm sure there are other distro's) doesnt come with software by default to 'make'

For instance, thus recently I tried to install wesnoth. It doesnt come pre-compiled so I had to install from source......I tried to run ./configure but was told I didnt had an interpretor installed (c, gcc? can't remember) so I had to synaptic development libraries. then I am told I am missing certain dependant libraries (libdsl), I install those then told I am missing some freetype libraries.

The later is a classic case of dependancy hell, I am not griping about that, my gripe is that Ubuntu doesnt install an interpretor or compiler by default when (from my understanding) the linux rule of thumb is it is best to compile software from source for best optimization. (I even had to synaptic 'make')
Old 11-17-2005, 05:04 AM   #4
Mega Man X
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To tell you the truth... compiling from source not always give you any boost in the performance. A few applications are noticeable, as mplayer, but in general, it's all the same. Also, you are already downloading packages optimized to a given architecture (586, 686, x64, sparc)

If Ubuntu starts to include too much stuff, it would also turn into a multiple disk distro. How many disks are the new distributions today? 4 disks? 5 disks?. 5 disks of software is a bunch of software which most likely you will never use anyway.

Also, development tools are for developers (compiler, debuggers) not for end-user and Ubuntu was made with end-user in mind. It's pretty much like installing Java SDK when all you need is to run Java applications. You then download a whole lot of things that you don't need (javac, javadoc), waste space, disks, time and bandwidth.

If you want to compile things, then you are better off either installing the dev tools (which are painless with apt-get) or get another distro. Trying to fit in development tools to the default installation (once again, aimed at end-users/desktop usage) that are beyond Ubuntu's scope is pretty much pointless IMHO.

Last edited by Mega Man X; 11-17-2005 at 05:06 AM.
Old 11-17-2005, 07:35 AM   #5
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Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Central Florida
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Dependancy hell, 0h!

This discussion thread is one that has always been prevalent in these models:

1. authorship - the distribution builder(s) get a release together, and the next day or week, some of the mjor libraries are either: a. updated, b. renamed, c. replaced with totally different ones.

2. Size of release is always a huge compromise between what the creators think is very necessary, and what the users envision as necessary to meet their needs. Thus, there are some 388 IEEE POSIX distros
(BSD and GNU/Linux) monitored by while is monitoring some
280 versions of 155 distros!

3. User competency: We are all, at one time or another, confused and frustrated to download, install,
some application, only to find that one necessary library is not in our repertoire. Sometimes, recently,
we have updated only to discover that our favorite GUI session manager (KDE, for example), won't come up, and we can only use Fluxbox, IceWM, etc.

So, now, we are seeing quite a few DVD install versions being offered. But, my experience remains similar to those noted above. Upon the update, things sometimes go awry.

I come here, after a search of the forums for those distros. Don't give up, as, many others are experiencing the same things, and someone has a solution! There are hundreds of millions of Open Source users, and the synergy is great!

"Remember, we are all in this together, just keep yer stick on the ice", to quote Mr. Red/Green, of the
Possum Lodge, on the Red/Green show (check your schedules for PBS).
Old 11-17-2005, 12:50 PM   #6
Registered: Mar 2005
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Originally posted by justanothersteve
recently I tried to install wesnoth. It doesnt come pre-compiled so I had to install from source
This wesnoth...?

apt-cache search wesnoth
wesnoth - fantasy turn-based strategy game
wesnoth-data - data files for Wesnoth
wesnoth-editor - map editor for Wesnoth
wesnoth-ei - Eastern Invasion official campaign for Wesnoth
wesnoth-httt - Heir to the Throne official campaign for Wesnoth
wesnoth-music - music files for Wesnoth
wesnoth-server - multiplayer network server for Wesnoth
wesnoth-sotbe - Son of the Black Eye official campaign for Wesnoth
wesnoth-trow - The Rise of Wesnoth official campaign for Wesnoth
To everyone his own, I hardly ever compile a program from source on an apt-based distro. If you prefer compiling progs I'd suggest Gentoo or Slack or something.

I don't know why Ubuntu decided not to include build-essential etc on the install disk but I think they made a choice directed to newbies and they prefer a one disk distribution, so they're bound to have to make choices. If you've got an internet connection it is not too much trouble to just apt-get install the needed compilers. If you don't have access to the internet one would like these packages included I imagine.

ps. Read to add the Universe repos for some extra programs if you haven't done so already.

Last edited by angkor; 11-17-2005 at 12:54 PM.
Old 11-17-2005, 01:30 PM   #7
Registered: Nov 2002
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I believe that Ubuntu are focusing on the desktop/laptop user - the sort of person who won't need 'make' or things like that. As posted above, they do have clear instructions on adding them. It's all down to differing business models.


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