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sparhawk

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I was using Suse for some time a few years ago (Suse Prof. 7/8). It was easy to install, but what it lacked was a good system to install packages. If you tried to install packages you had to hunt down dependencies for yourself. So I was looking for something else and found gentoo. While gentoo does exactly that, it is a nightmare to maintain for a desktop. Almost everytime I try to upgrade some major packages it requires some additional configuration and a lot of work because something is inevitable to break.

 

So what I would be looking for is som distribution that is easy to install and easy to maintain as well. The problem with Suse was that, when a new major version came out, you had to reinstall almost everything. I can stay with Windows to achieve that. Gentoo did not require this, but the constant maintaining is quite annoying. So which alternatives can you recommend?

 

I know enough of Linux to configure it, but I don't want to do this everytime I have to upgrade something. I want to use it, not maintain it as a primary task.


Gerhard

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I gave Ubuntu a shot last week and the installation was very easy. The look and feel is fine and the installation of new packages is also quite easy (as long as you don't need any exotic packages, but if you actually need them you are probably able to figure out where to find on your own...). And even then it's a matter of some mouse-clicks.

 

I'm not very impressed by the multitasking performance though, it runs quite lame on my system - my linux installation seems to eat more memory than my Windows XP. During DarkRadiant compilation and especially during linking it's a pain to use Firefox for surfing the web.

If I had more experience in configuring a Linux system I would probably find a way to improve the performance, but I'm somehow not very motivated to dig into the OS, as I have to use my spare time wisely these days (for posts like this for example :P).

 

I also have to say, that inspite of being easy to install, there is still some work to do before ubuntu can really claim to be the linux distro of choice for Windows-fugitives - there are still too many console commands to copy out of ubuntu forum threads hidden on the web if you dare to leave the predefined path of using the preinstalled Openoffice.org apps.

 

(I remembered my first Linux installation in the year 1993 or 1994, which was definitely a challenge those days. Take the huge amount of 20 3.5" floppy disks and nearly NO documentation and try to compile this piece. Anyways, it was kind of pointless for me, as I couldn't use it for anything back then. Ha, things have changed I guess)

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You've already got my vote for Ubuntu. The automatic upgrades are excellent - you get a little icon in the task bar that tells you upgrades are ready, and you can install them just by clicking. You can also upgrade the entire distribution online in this way, I did this from 5.10 to 6.06 without ever downloading the 6.06 CD image.

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What happens when you upgrade? Are the old packages really removed? I had this problem with Suse, that it just packed on new things and eventually my hardrive was full and I didn't know what I could safely remove. That was really an advantage with gentoo, because it does this mostly automatically. Maybe not perfect but good enough.


Gerhard

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I also have to say, that inspite of being easy to install, there is still some work to do before ubuntu can really claim to be the linux distro of choice for Windows-fugitives - there are still too many console commands to copy out of ubuntu forum threads hidden on the web if you dare to leave the predefined path of using the preinstalled Openoffice.org apps.

 

Do you mean to get newer versions of OO.o directly from their website? I agree, it can be more involved if you want to upgrade something beyond the version currently in the repository, but I have almost never had to do this (my version of Mplayer is compiled from source because the repository version had some problems, but this is not an official Ubuntu application anyway).

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(as long as you don't need any exotic packages, but if you actually need them you are probably able to figure out where to find on your own...). And even then it's a matter of some mouse-clicks.

 

Yeah, that's the annoyance I had with Suse. I can download and install such packages, but most of the time I simply don't want to, because it takes a lot of time to figure out what you need and which packages depend on it. That's what gentoo is pretty good at.


Gerhard

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What happens when you upgrade? Are the old packages really removed? I had this problem with Suse, that it just packed on new things and eventually my hardrive was full and I didn't know what I could safely remove. That was really an advantage with gentoo, because it does this mostly automatically. Maybe not perfect but good enough.

 

Yes, when you upgrade to package-2.0 it removes package-1.0 for you automatically. Packages can also obselete other packages, so that installing combined-package-2.0 can remove package-a-1.0, package-b-1.0, package-c-1.0 automatically.

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Eww. I don't like Fedora. :( We use it at work and we're forever having to build stuff from source; not because the yum stuff is out of date, but because the yum stuff always messes with the default configuration. The version of PHP on there has the "core" XML library disabled, for example. (This library: http://www.php.net/manual/en/ref.dom.php)

 

Note that it says: "There is no installation needed to use these functions; they are part of the PHP core." So you can safely use it on every PHP installation in the world, right? Right? Right, guys? Yep, indeed you can - unless you use Fedora Core, because they've friggin' REMOVED IT. :wacko: You have to go and download some obscure RPM from a dodgy-looking website to restore this core functionality. And it's the same for other things too; MySQL, Apache...

 

Stick with Ubuntu, I say!


My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.

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I used RedHat, slack, and Debian for a few years, and even though I tried around 30 different minor distros for one purpose or another my rule of thumb is the following: install debian unless you need graphics and/or sound in which case use ubuntu. My ftp/torrent/ssh server uses debian, my music server uses ubuntu without X, ssh client debian, solid-state laptop ubuntu. Ubuntu is the easiest and nicest with auto-detection and zero-maintenance, however, it has some quirks which debian lacks. Unlike debian, version upgrades are, um, bumpy, and as far as I noticed, the recent version, 6.06 is much buggier than 5.10. Here's a short paragraph of my struggles with it past summer: http://giantdisc.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t...&highlight=

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I bruned kubuntu to CD and booted it today, but there seem to be some errors on the disc. Pretty strange, since the cd itself looks ok. No scratches or such. Unfortunately I only have on CD left, so I wonder wether I should download the image again from another source, and try it again. With these errors, the booting process takes at least 20 minutes. :(


Gerhard

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I recommend downloading xubuntu or plain ubuntu and trying it again just to have something different. You can switch to kde from the inside. Why do you prefer kde?

 

Because I like it. :)

 

Well, I guess I will try ubunt then. xubuntu is not for my desktop. :)


Gerhard

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KDE versus Gnome is a personal preference (and the subject of many a flame war). It may be the case that Ubuntu is more polished than Kubuntu, because the focus of Ubuntu has always been on GNOME, but I am not certain either way.

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Hmmm... So when I install Ubuntu I get GNOME by default? I'd rather have KDE though.

Gnome is the default, but you can easily choose KDE.


My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.

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Today I installed my ubunto on the hard drive, before I went to work. Actually I wanted to do this yesterday already, but I spent the whol evening to figure out how to set my desktop resolution. The live CD properly determined my monitor but didn't set the refresh rates, so I had to do this manually. The hard part was to find out that this simple issue was the problem.

Also I have a seperate boot partition, but Ubuntu doesn't realize this and so the installation didn't boot. I did a backup of my previous installation of gentoo, so I can look at the config files to see what must be changed, so I hope that this will work when I get home.

the good news is that ubuntu installed grub in such a way that at least my Windows partitions are still properly booting, so I can use this at least. :)

And then comes the issue of configuring everything...

 

I have an ATI Radeon 9800XT. Which driver uses KUbuntu by default? If I want to run Doom 3 on it, do I have to change the driver or is it already supported? Guess I will see it soon. :) And also I have to configure my soundcard. I wonder what a mess this will be until it properly works...


Gerhard

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I have an ATI Radeon 9800XT. Which driver uses KUbuntu by default? If I want to run Doom 3 on it, do I have to change the driver or is it already supported?

 

You will have to install the proprietary ATI driver from the ATI website. Get ready for some major hassle when you do this - there are several different sets of instructions on the Internet for Ubuntu + ATI, and I can never figure out which one works most reliably.

 

My next GFX card will be from nVidia.

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