bit-tech.net

Canonical to halve Ubuntu support lifetime

Canonical to halve Ubuntu support lifetime

Canonical is to halve the support lifespan of each non-LTS Ubuntu release and switch to a hybrid release schedule that will automatically upgrade users to future versions.

Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution, is planning a change to how it supports its operating system that will see each major release updated for just nine months after release.

Founded as a fork of the Debian distribution following dissatisfaction with the length of time between releases, Ubuntu has stuck to a rigid six-month release cycle since it was founded. When released, each six-monthly version - given a release number of the year plus the month of release, along with an alliterative animal-themed codename - was guaranteed to receive software updates for eighteen months, or three full version releases. The exception was the Long Term Support (LTS) releases, designed for corporate and enterprise use, which enjoyed a full three years of guaranteed updates.

The company is now shifting away from its traditional release and support schedules, however, with the news that all standard releases will now receive only nine months of updates - taking each release into the support window of the next Ubuntu version plus an additional three months. For those who recommended Ubuntu based on Canonical's well-publicised support timescales, it's a blow - but one that disguises a potential benefit for the software's users.

The shortening of support cycles for non-LTS releases comes with the news that the company will look to transition to a hybrid system that combines its regular six-monthly major releases with a 'rolling release schedule that will see users automatically migrated to the next major release when it becomes available. While this isn't a true rolling release system, in which the very latest updates are always made available to each user and there is no true 'version' of the operating system, it's considerably more flexible than Canonical's previous approach.

According to Phoronix, which 'attended' the virtual meeting of Canonical's Ubuntu Technical Board yesterday via IRC, the details of how the hybrid release system will work have yet to be ironed out, but the new support schedule will be in place from Ubuntu 13.04 'Raring Ringtail' onwards. Those who are running a previous release, including the most recent Ubuntu 12.10 'Quantal Quetzal,' will retain their existing guarantee of eighteen months of updates.

For those in the open source and free software communities who have taken a dislike to Canonical, the decision to shorten support lifetimes and all-but 'force' users to upgrade to each version of the operating system as soon as it is released regardless of potentially unwelcome changes - like the introduction of the divisive Unity as the default user interface in Ubuntu 11.04 - will do little to reassure them that Ubuntu is a distribution to recommend. For its existing users, however, the change is unlikely to cause too much heartache.

100 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
proxess 20th March 2013, 10:52 Quote
IMHO Canonical is doing a good job with Ubuntu. They've got a plan and they're sticking to it. It may not be the most popular distro amongs your regular linux posse, but it's definitely the most popular distro in total.

This hybrid system is definitely the way to go. It's the best of both worlds, rolling and stable, though the previous system was quite good in itself.
Gareth Halfacree 20th March 2013, 10:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
[Ubuntu] may not be the most popular distro amongs your regular linux posse, but it's definitely the most popular distro in total.
It used to be, but that's no longer the case. The most popular distribution around, as ranked by DistroWatch, is Linux Mint (an Ubuntu spin-off created when people got ticked off with Canonical) followed by Mageia (a former Mandriva fork) and then Ubuntu. While DistroWatch rankings aren't always the best, it's echoed by other metrics as well: Ubuntu is losing its hold on the Linux market. Whether its recent moves into smartphones and tablets will put it back on top or accelerate that decline remains to be seen.
Snips 20th March 2013, 11:13 Quote
With it being "World Happiness Day" I really don't want to sound all negative about Linux as I usually do.
However, with all the Linux brigade trying to get as many WinOS users to switch at every turn or topic, wouldn't this just put people off doing just that?
Gareth Halfacree 20th March 2013, 11:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
However, with all the Linux brigade trying to get as many WinOS users to switch at every turn or topic, wouldn't this just put people off doing just that?
Ignoring the strawman for a moment, the answer's no: for your average Windows user switching to Ubuntu, the move is nothing but positive. Without having to do anything awkward like actually upgrade, you'll be guaranteed to always be on the most recent version of Ubuntu - something Windows can't offer. It's only the techie Linux types who are going to complain: they don't *want* to automatically be shifted to the very latest version, until they know what the changes are and are damn sure it's not going to break anything with which they've been tinkering.
badders 20th March 2013, 11:57 Quote
I am disliking more and more the wayt he main Ubuntu distribution is headed.
Since Unity, and then the clustersmudge that was the 12.10 Amazon kerfuffle, I have tended to either use an ubuntu server image with whichever DE takes my fancy, or stick with one of the more lightweight community-spun flavours - Xubuntu and Lubuntu mostly.
I've never been a fan of KDE, but I've not tried it in a while, and with Blue systems now sponsoring, I might take a look to see if I can get on with it.
Nexxo 20th March 2013, 12:29 Quote
I am following Ubuntu Touch with real interest. If Windows RT does not come off (although I think it will, eventually), then I could always install it on my Surface RT. Seems ideal for such a platform.
Gareth Halfacree 20th March 2013, 12:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
I am following Ubuntu Touch with real interest. If Windows RT does not come off (although I think it will, eventually), then I could always install it on my Surface RT. Seems ideal for such a platform.
Has anybody been able to actually boot a third-party OS on the Surface RT yet? Last I checked, you couldn't disable Secure Boot in the BIOS, and nor could you install custom certificates - meaning nothing but Windows RT will boot on the Surface RT hardware.
jrs77 20th March 2013, 13:37 Quote
I can't actually say anything bad about Ubuntu since I've started using it for my HTPC some three to four years back in time. It works like a charm once setup correctly with XBMC ontop and I don't see any reason ahy I actually should use anything else then the LTEs anyways.

Limiting the support for the non-LTE versions to nine month is totally sufficient imho aswell.
Phil Rhodes 20th March 2013, 14:40 Quote
Outstanding, let's make make even more changes even more frequently and make Linux even less consistent and dependable.

But let's examine the fanboy response:
Quote:
for your average Windows user switching to Ubuntu, the move is nothing but positive.

Except for: some of his hardware will stop working, he won't be able to use practically any of his favourite software, and he'll be required to go through a complex, time-consuming upgrade procedure once every - what is it - nine months, after which he'll spend a happy week adding repositories, recompiling kernels, and typing "sudo" 1.984*10^14 times to get back to almost where he started, give or take all the features that the linux world has decided aren't fashionable this week (regardless of how useful they actually are).
Quote:
It's only the techie Linux types who are going to complain: they don't *want* to automatically be shifted to the very latest version

And neither does anyone else, because it will break everything.

P
schmidtbag 20th March 2013, 14:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Outstanding, let's make make even more changes even more frequently and make Linux even less consistent and dependable.

But let's examine the fanboy response:



Except for: some of his hardware will stop working, he won't be able to use practically any of his favourite software, and he'll be required to go through a complex, time-consuming upgrade procedure once every - what is it - nine months, after which he'll spend a happy week adding repositories, recompiling kernels, and typing "sudo" 1.984*10^14 times to get back to almost where he started, give or take all the features that the linux world has decided aren't fashionable this week (regardless of how useful they actually are).



And neither does anyone else, because it will break everything.

P

You apparently don't understand how linux, or Ubuntu for that matter, operate. First of all, Canonical doesn't maintain every program of linux, so just because Ubuntu changes their course it doesn't mean they bring down everyone else with them. I personally use Arch, which is a rolling-release (it has no versions or release dates - it just chronically updates). I've found Arch to be pretty dependable and it uses newer software than Ubuntu.

Considering the recent decisions Canonical is making (such as with Unity or Mir), frequent changes on the user end are inevitable, but since they intend to take their own route that doesn't involve anyone else, it should calm down eventually. Besides, Ubuntu has been using half-year releases since it started, and you are able to upgrade from those without having to re-install your entire setup.

BTW, if you don't want to type sudo all the time, just type "su" and keep the window open.
Nexxo 20th March 2013, 15:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Has anybody been able to actually boot a third-party OS on the Surface RT yet? Last I checked, you couldn't disable Secure Boot in the BIOS, and nor could you install custom certificates - meaning nothing but Windows RT will boot on the Surface RT hardware.

Where there's a will, there's a hack. :)
Gareth Halfacree 20th March 2013, 15:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
But let's examine the fanboy response:
Oh, look, it's Phil. Hi, Phil. Still working on those ulcers, I see? Attaboy.
Phil Rhodes 20th March 2013, 17:36 Quote
Ulcers now in remission following three of my friends moving away from Linux on netbooks.
SexyHyde 21st March 2013, 00:49 Quote
Hi Phil. I love your Linux opinion. Please regale us with the tale of how you used it once, 10 years ago and think its just exactly the same and regurgitate the same opinion ad infinitum.

Back on topic
I'm happy with this. Most, if not all, people taking their tentative first steps into Linux will most likely try Ubuntu's LTS version which remains untouched. It will help people focus on moving forward rather than patching back.
Blackshark 21st March 2013, 06:30 Quote
Its all well and good mentioning Unity in this article, but we are past that. What Ubuntu are doing goes beyound Microsoft or Apple or any of the other Linux Distros. A universal cross device OS, with a standard interface and usage model, that makes sense and works with the normal input methods. Forgetting the Linux tekki girls and boys - who will use what they want and flit and change as often as they choose. For normal users, Ubuntu promises a great computing experience across all your gadgets.

I am happy with the arrangement. I think most users that Ubuntu are going after, will be too. I am glad there is Linux Mint and all the other groups and distros. There should be diversity so that those (Phil) who feel that needing to upgrade (shiver) their OS more than once a decade is too much - can find something less..... progressive!?
Gareth Halfacree 21st March 2013, 07:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SexyHyde
I'm happy with this. Most, if not all, people taking their tentative first steps into Linux will most likely try Ubuntu's LTS version which remains untouched.
I'm not so sure: most, if not all, people taking their tentative first steps into Linux will most likely have no idea what "LTS" means and will simply download whatever Ubuntu's website offers them - which is, at present, the 32-bit Desktop non-LTS ISO. (Admittedly, that page does encourage people with more modern computers to download the 64-bit version instead, and also briefly explains why the LTS version might be desirable, but in my experience most 'casual' users will skim over the text and look for the very first button that says "Download" or anything even close to it.)
Nexxo 21st March 2013, 09:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackshark
Its all well and good mentioning Unity in this article, but we are past that. What Ubuntu are doing goes beyound Microsoft or Apple or any of the other Linux Distros. A universal cross device OS, with a standard interface and usage model, that makes sense and works with the normal input methods.

Yeah well, Microsoft is doing the same and is keelhauled for just removing the Start Button. Ubuntu Unity caused spasms of paroxysm for similar reasons. Me thinks that many users don't do "progressive".
aoakley 21st March 2013, 09:15 Quote
If you have a look at the IRC log for that meeting, you can see that only 3 people voted for the change to a 9-month "interim" release cycle. That's tiny compared to the number of people eligible to vote.
faugusztin 21st March 2013, 09:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
BTW, if you don't want to type sudo all the time, just type "su" and keep the window open.

Or
Code:
sudo -s
Phil Rhodes 21st March 2013, 10:09 Quote
The Ubuntu download page is hilarious. More or less the first bit of guidance talks about "using UEFI firmware" and links to a page which states:
Quote:
UEFI (~EFI) is a firmware interface that is widespread on recent computers, especially those more recent than 2010. It is intended to replace the traditional BIOS firmware interface that is prevalent on earlier machines.

This is on the user-oriented download pages which may be the first exposure anyone gets to the product.

You just don't get it, Linux.

You don't get it, do you?
Gareth Halfacree 21st March 2013, 10:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
The Ubuntu download page is hilarious. More or less the first bit of guidance talks about "using UEFI firmware"
"More or less the first?" There's a reason you said "more or less," isn't there, Phil? Because the section you've quoted half of actually reads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canonical
Have a new PC with the Windows 8 logo or using UEFI firmware? Please use a 64-bit flavour of Ubuntu desktop.
There's even a picture of the Windows 8 logo, just in case you don't know what it looks like. Are you honestly telling me that someone who wants to try Linux wouldn't understand the instruction that they should choose the 64-bit version if their computer has a Windows 8 logo?

Let's see what the Microsoft download page says about it, shall we? Oh, wait. There isn't one. You can buy it, but be warned: Microsoft has hidden this little message at the bottom of the page.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Microsoft
Demonstrated video sequences require a touch-enabled device. To install Windows 8 Pro, customers must be running Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 Consumer Preview, or Windows 8 Release Preview. Pricing varies by region and reseller, and depends on a variety of factors including exchange rate, local taxes, duties, fees, local market conditions, and other pricing considerations. The actual price you pay may be more than the advertised price. After purchase, you will be prompted to run the Windows 8 setup, which walks you through the steps to download and install. Learn more about privacy and the Upgrade Assistant.
Yes, that's so much clearer than Canonical's Ubuntu download page, isn't it?

Any other strawmen you'd like demolishing, Phil? Hmm?
Phil Rhodes 21st March 2013, 10:38 Quote
Quote:
Are you honestly telling me that someone who wants to try Linux wouldn't understand the instruction that they should choose the 64-bit version if their computer has a Windows 8 logo?

That's exactly, precisely the point I'm trying to make.

They're aiming it at "someone who wants to try Linux", which is a sort of person that they're already assuming is reasonably technical. It's a vicious circle. You would be forgiven for thinking that Linux is doing absolutely everything it can to keep its userbase limited to technical people. It's insane. And you cannot reasonably do that, and then in the next breath claim that Linux is easy to use, suitable for the average desktop computer, and in general ready for the bigtime.

Frankly, if they're having to ask questions which require you to know what UEFI is and what "firmware" means, I'd say they haven't actually, er, finished writing their operating system yet. But if you do have to ask that question, just asking a potential layperson whether they're using a PC with UEFI firmware is obviously (very, very obviously) not the way to do it.

P
faugusztin 21st March 2013, 10:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
...

That is why they said the "Windows 8 logo". And there is no software solution for a problem when you simply cannot have some settings enabled (UEFI Secure Boot) for a software released before such hardware became commonplace. Once Ubuntu releases a version with the required Microsoft signatures, they won't have to worry about Secure Boot. But for now, there is no solution.

I guess a Windows 7 way is much better. Not telling you that if you want to install Windows 7 on a Windows 8 computer with Secure boot enabled, you have to disable it. Or as you would say, Microsoft haven't actually, er, finished writing their Windows 7 operating system yet.
Gareth Halfacree 21st March 2013, 10:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
They're aiming it at "someone who wants to try Linux"
They should aim at people who *don't* want to try Linux, perhaps? Wouldn't that be rather like Angus Steakhouse aiming at vegans?
SexyHyde 21st March 2013, 11:34 Quote
That's the thing though, to try Linux you have to install it. The reason it's more complex than before? Microsoft making it more complex to try a different OS.

I'm sure when I downloaded Ubuntu it had the LTS version in a box on the right hand side along side the current release. But I was not really paying attention if I'm honest. I know I managed to download, install and get steam running and play tf2 without any trouble. Which impressed me greatly. Just got to finish my windows games then it'll be a permanent switch. Linux upgrades are fine once you set up your files up. If your going to try Linux you must expect to do a little research and I mean little, there's not a great deal to learn to make the switch for the average Joe.
faugusztin 21st March 2013, 11:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SexyHyde
Linux upgrades are fine once you set up your files up.

In case of Ubuntu, i would compare it to Windows - it nags you once in a while that you have new updates (installing them via GUI of course), it nags you once in a while when there is a new major release of Ubuntu (and upgrades itself if asked to do so)... Sure, there are still things you need to do in command line, but it is less and less over the time.
Phil Rhodes 21st March 2013, 12:49 Quote
Quote:
Linux upgrades are fine once you set up your files up.

Everything in Linux is fine once you "set your files up".

Of course the process of doing so...
Snips 21st March 2013, 12:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
However, with all the Linux brigade trying to get as many WinOS users to switch at every turn or topic, wouldn't this just put people off doing just that?
Ignoring the strawman for a moment, the answer's no: for your average Windows user switching to Ubuntu, the move is nothing but positive. Without having to do anything awkward like actually upgrade, you'll be guaranteed to always be on the most recent version of Ubuntu - something Windows can't offer. It's only the techie Linux types who are going to complain: they don't *want* to automatically be shifted to the very latest version, until they know what the changes are and are damn sure it's not going to break anything with which they've been tinkering.

Strawman?
Gareth Halfacree 21st March 2013, 12:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
Strawman?
You constructed a strawman argument: that the "Linux brigade," whatever that is, is "trying to get as many WinOS users to switch at every turn or topic." Sadly, there is no Linux brigade, and nobody is trying to get Windows users to switch. I'm probably one of the biggest Linux 'fanboys' on this 'ere forum - I use it on all my systems every day, and haven't booted Windows on anything other than a VM for screenshot purposes in years - and yet I once said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Everyone should, within reason, be permitted to try every operating system. Linux is not for scientists any more - hell, my mother uses it. Windows isn't the clunky Mac OS rip-off it used to be. OS X has long since dropped its image as the Fisher Price My First Operating System.
[...]
In short: sit down, shut up, and let people use whatever operating system lets them get their tasks done the fastest and with the least fuss.
Does that sound like I'm trying to get Windows users to switch to Linux?
Snips 21st March 2013, 14:24 Quote
Maybe you took the comment personally but unfortunately there is a collective brigade whispering, passing notes in dark corners acting as if they are resistance revolutionists, proclaiming the good of Linux against the tyranny of the fascist Microsoft and all it's evil offerings.

Of course, I could just be paranoid?
Gareth Halfacree 21st March 2013, 14:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
Maybe you took the comment personally but unfortunately there is a collective brigade whispering, passing notes in dark corners acting as if they are resistance revolutionists, proclaiming the good of Linux against the tyranny of the fascist Microsoft and all it's evil offerings.
Not half as much as there's a hive-mind that has to jump in to every single Linux-related thread with hobnail boots proclaiming how it will never take off, and Windows will always be the victor. Just look at this 'ere thread. (Okay, I mean "just look at Phil.")
law99 21st March 2013, 15:17 Quote
I like Linux but it has been a bit of a bugger gaming. So switching to Windows was a must. Sort of the opposite of what most do. My school used a nix like system when I was there, then I didn't have a computer for years(and I wasn't interested in them, neither at home or at school). Finally I built one and Linux did everything I needed for years. Probably still could.

But it's a bit hard to stick with Linux when work is so MS focused. And now I have a dependency on Photoshop and such, I wouldn't really want to switch back. Much happier with using a couple of VMs I reckon instead over Windows nowadays. And of course, Linux makes a lovely lightweight webserver, which is never going to change.

Not really sure what you are on about Phil. TBH I think a set up Linux machine was way easier for people to use - installation process is simple also. And I'm no sys admin, but I found it v.easy to set it all up for multiple users. Especially using a distro such as Linux Mint, which lets you start straight of the bat without having to ad media repositories or anything that you seem to think you'd need. Very little tinkering is needed normally.

When I moved house last, my pc illiterate friend was in need of a pc. With cheap and cheerful equipment I found lying about, I was able to build a pc that would play all the flash pron stutter free, spotify, all the usual web, word processing, printing, bla bla bla without the worry of a moron just clicking and breaking things. And he was the sort of person that breaks things. Was trouble free for 1 year till he moved out. And I've not heard anything since so I assume all is well. It's quite the advantage not being able to just willy nilly install .exe files for the uninitiated.

It's horses for courses though and i did build my mum a windows pc recently.
Phil Rhodes 21st March 2013, 16:16 Quote
Quote:
Not half as much as there's a hive-mind that has to jump in to every single Linux-related thread with hobnail boots proclaiming how it will never take off, and Windows will always be the victor. Just look at this 'ere thread. (Okay, I mean "just look at Phil.")

Well, that's rather unfair.

I've never claimed that Linux will never take off (it already has, to some extent) and that there is any particular victory for anyone, windows or otherwise to claim.

Linux is inconsistent because nobody is in charge, changeable for no good reason, poorly documented because writing documentation is boring, technically difficult to use because there is no financial imperative to make it otherwise, and quite blindingly unreliable.

I should probably expand on the "unreliable". Linux is very good at doing one job for a very long time - set it up to do one thing and it will happily do that thing for months. Try to use it in a situation where things change a lot - as on a desktop - and the situation is somewhat different. For instance, grab a piece of software that's "available for linux" and try to use it on your machine that "runs linux" and you will quickly find out how many varieties of "linux" they are and how software written for one variety can actively break another. That's what I mean by unreliable. In this sort of regard, and others, Linux is appallingly unreliable.

Ultimately, my position is that Linux is a pain and encouraging other people to put it on desktop PCs for naive users is irresponsible. There's a lot of politics and fashion going on here, and I don't think you should encourage people to use Linux on desktop computers becase you happen to think that using it makes you special. If that's your thing, go get a hair shirt, but unless you are willing to spend the many, many hours it will take in order to be properly responsible for that advice, don't give it.

And I bet you aren't.
Gareth Halfacree 21st March 2013, 16:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Ultimately, my position is that Linux is a pain and encouraging other people to put it on desktop PCs for naive users is irresponsible. There's a lot of politics and fashion going on here, and I don't think you should encourage people to use Linux on desktop computers becase you happen to think that using it makes you special. If that's your thing, go get a hair shirt, but unless you are willing to spend the many, many hours it will take in order to be properly responsible for that advice, don't give it.

And I bet you aren't.
Now who's being unfair, eh Phil? Have you skipped the part where I specifically don't encourage people to put Linux on their desktop, or where I explicitly explain that using Linux does not make one a special little snowflake? Or the part where my mother - she's 60 this year, by the way - uses Linux on both her desktop and laptop without issue? Now, when she was running *Windows*, I was constantly having to go around and get rid of this toolbar or that DLL error. These days, it just works. Wonderful.

Take the blinkers off, and stop getting all het-up every time somebody on a site aimed at technology enthusiasts dares to mention the dreaded L-word. You don't like Linux. We get it, Phil, we really do. Other people do like Linux. At the end of the day, everybody should be free to use whatever operating system they want without getting a load of aggro over it - and that includes you, Phil.
RedFlames 21st March 2013, 16:27 Quote
on PCs: Linux / OSX / Windows

on Phones: Android / iOS / Windows [Phone]

they all do pretty much the same thing, in pretty similar ways, reducing the choice down to app support and person al preference... no one is 'better' than the other, though they may each have their strengths and weaknesses...

as for canonical dropping non-LTS support to 9 months... ffs just move to a rolling ditsro for non LTS versions already, we all know you're thinking about it... if only to save use from half-arsed rush jobs like unity has been at times...
Phil Rhodes 21st March 2013, 16:27 Quote
Quote:
for your average Windows user switching to Ubuntu, the move is nothing but positive.

Er?
Gareth Halfacree 21st March 2013, 16:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Er?
Yes? Is there something about that which is unclear?

Let me try again: for your average Windows user who has chosen to try Linux, the switch to a semi-rolling release schedule for Ubuntu is nothing but positive news. It means it's much more likely that they'll keep their system up-to-date, because upgrades just happen.
RedFlames 21st March 2013, 16:31 Quote
ffs guys, give it a rest... agree to disagree and move on...
fdbh96 21st March 2013, 17:40 Quote
I don't use linux personally but I can see why Canonical are doing this. One of the main things linux types waffle on about is the choice and openness of it, so surely they can just switch to mint for example. Also, I think there are very few non techy people even know that ubuntu exists. Most people know linux exists but a lot of people who use it make it out to be only for the computer elite, which companies like canonical have tried to combat.

On topic: I dont see how this is, generally for most people a bad thing. Automatic updates are much simpler and ensures that the majority of your user base are using the latest version.
faugusztin 21st March 2013, 17:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fdbh96
On topic: I dont see how this is, generally for most people a bad thing. Automatic updates are much simpler and ensures that the majority of your user base are using the latest version.

Automatic updates are already there for years. What is different is that for example if KDE5 comes out in middle of the Ubuntu lifecycle, the rolling update version will get KDE5 as soon as possible, unlike the current non-LTS versions where you will see that software only in next Ubuntu version. Or kernel, which in case of Ubuntu 12.04 it is still at 3.2.something, while the official kernel website lists 3.8.something as current version.
fdbh96 21st March 2013, 18:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
Automatic updates are already there for years. What is different is that for example if KDE5 comes out in middle of the Ubuntu lifecycle, the rolling update version will get KDE5 as soon as possible, unlike the current non-LTS versions where you will see that software only in next Ubuntu version. Or kernel, which in case of Ubuntu 12.04 it is still at 3.2.something, while the official kernel website lists 3.8.something as current version.

I forgot that linux uses changeable desktops, I suppose it would be a bit of a shock if your desktop changed overnight :D
Andre_B 21st March 2013, 18:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag


BTW, if you don't want to type sudo all the time, just type "su" and keep the window open.
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
Or
Code:
sudo -s

Thanks for the tip guys. ;)
ssj12 22nd March 2013, 16:53 Quote
Im waiting for the day when i dont have to use command line in Linux or just have a a file like a .exe installer that handles every piece of installation. I understand how to program in Linux, I had YDL on my PS3, I just hate doing it.
schmidtbag 22nd March 2013, 17:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssj12
Im waiting for the day when i dont have to use command line in Linux or just have a a file like a .exe installer that handles every piece of installation. I understand how to program in Linux, I had YDL on my PS3, I just hate doing it.

YDL sucked, I'm an experienced linux user and I thought that was a pretty terrible experience. I got it to work but it was surprisingly slow and pointlessly difficult to use.

The command line is a good thing to get used to. If you get comfortable with it, you'll find it annoying when an OS *cough*Windows*cough doesn't support it. CLIs are amazing for repair, diagnostics, and getting a weird task done quicker than you could do in a GUI.

As for wanting an .exe installer, you apparently haven't been exposed to programs such as Synaptic Package Manager (for debian or RPM based systems) or Pacman Express (for Arch systems). It takes maybe 5 minutes to really learn how the program works and you'll find it's a hell of a lot more convenient than how you install programs in Windows or Mac. With the right repositories, you can install pretty much anything you want and update EVERYTHING from 1 program.
Aracos 22nd March 2013, 21:28 Quote
While I'm glad you stick up for the truth Gareth I wish you wouldn't create sensationalised headings and sub-headings. As a LTS only user being told things like "Nine month maximum for each release." when LTS releases are an exception is a bit of foul play imo. I know you want people to read articles before commenting but you even held off saying that LTS releases were an exception until the fourth paragraph which was said in a way that insinuates that you expect the reader to know that it wouldn't be included. I don't expect sensationalism from places like Bit-Tech and certainly not journalists like you :-(
Gareth Halfacree 22nd March 2013, 21:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aracos
While I'm glad you stick up for the truth Gareth I wish you wouldn't create sensationalised headings and sub-headings. As a LTS only user being told things like "Nine month maximum for each release." when LTS releases are an exception is a bit of foul play imo. I know you want people to read articles before commenting but you even held off saying that LTS releases were an exception until the fourth paragraph which was said in a way that insinuates that you expect the reader to know that it wouldn't be included. I don't expect sensationalism from places like Bit-Tech and certainly not journalists like you :-(
I apologise if you feel the headline is misleading; that wasn't my intention. "Canonical to halve Ubuntu support lifetime except Long Term Support versions" simply doesn't fit in the CMS, and people unfamiliar with Ubuntu won't know what "Canonical to halve Ubuntu support lifetime except LTS version" means - and it still is unlikely to fit. It's also the case that Canonical is planning to halve the support lifetime on the majority of releases: LTS versions arrive once every two years, standard versions every six months. Thus, three support-reduced versions will be released for every fully-supported version - an overwhelming majority that, I feel, justifies the generalised headline.

As for the sub-heading, on the News page it reads "Nine month maximum for standard releases," which I feel is clear. The version on the Main page, however, does read "Nine month maximum for each release" - which I accept is unclear. Unfortunately, the CMS enforces a character limit on sub-heads published on the front page which means the clearer "Nine month maximum for standard releases" sub-head wouldn't fit - but I should have put more effort into making a shorter version that retained the clarity of the original.

Finally, the article itself: I didn't "hold off" mentioning LTS until the fourth paragraph, that's simply where the layout of the story placed it. The first paragraph is a short introduction, as always; the second, historical or background detail for people who don't know about Ubuntu's history; the third, the fact of the reduction in what is described as "standard releases" (but could perhaps have been better phrased as "non-LTS releases.") Thus it's the flow of the story that places the detail of LTS being excluded from the reduction in the fourth paragraph, not any desire to mislead. Take a look at any other story I've written and you'll see the same flow, by and large: intro, background, primary detail, supplementary detail, conclusion.

I hope that goes some way to explain things!
Aracos 22nd March 2013, 21:53 Quote
TBH my complaint was hugely weighted towards the sub-heading not the main heading. I only saw the sub-heading on the main page so you can imagine why I saw sensationalism. The main heading just made me think support was getting cut to 2 and a half years instead of 5 which wouldn't bother me much.

"Nine month maximum for standard releases," is perfectly clear but most people will likely only see the front page if they're looking for recent news like me so I only saw the unclear "Nine month maximum for each release."
Gareth Halfacree 22nd March 2013, 21:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aracos
"Nine month maximum for standard releases," is perfectly clear but most people will likely only see the front page if they're looking for recent news like me so I only saw the unclear "Nine month maximum for each release."
Reading it back, I completely agree - and I'll happily change it right now. Well, as soon as I can think of something that fits in the stupidly small character limit the CMS gives me for these things...

EDIT: "LTS releases not affected" fits fine, and helps make things a lot clearer. Yes, it might be a little late now - but it's feedback like this that will help me to avoid doing the same thing in future, so thanks for taking the time to bring it up!
Aracos 22nd March 2013, 21:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Reading it back, I completely agree - and I'll happily change it right now. Well, as soon as I can think of something that fits in the stupidly small character limit the CMS gives me for these things...

"Nine Months Support for Standard Releases"? Is there not a way to increase the limit on the CMS or is it designed that way to make sure all of the elements on the site flow correctly?
Gareth Halfacree 22nd March 2013, 22:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aracos
"Nine Months Support for Standard Releases"? Is there not a way to increase the limit on the CMS or is it designed that way to make sure all of the elements on the site flow correctly?
It's a hard-coded limit to prevent the elements overflowing - and "Nine Months Support for Standard Releases" is sadly a few characters too long. Thankfully, I've found a much better solution - see my edited post!
Aracos 22nd March 2013, 22:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
It's a hard-coded limit to prevent the elements overflowing - and "Nine Months Support for Standard Releases" is sadly a few characters too long. Thankfully, I've found a much better solution - see my edited post!

Yes that works well but now I'll just have to live with my guilt of having you completely rewrite the sub-heading haha
Gareth Halfacree 22nd March 2013, 22:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aracos
Yes that works well but now I'll just have to live with my guilt of having you completely rewrite the sub-heading haha
And at ten o'clock on a Friday, too. How can you sleep at night, you MONSTER?
Aracos 22nd March 2013, 22:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aracos
Yes that works well but now I'll just have to live with my guilt of having you completely rewrite the sub-heading haha
And at ten o'clock on a Friday, too. How can you sleep at night, you MONSTER?

I don't know, I'll just have to get out the cheesecake.
Nexxo 22nd March 2013, 22:38 Quote
Make sure it's strawberry. Cherry just doesn't quite hit the spot.
Aracos 22nd March 2013, 22:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Make sure it's strawberry. Cherry just doesn't quite hit the spot.

Cherry is disgusting, strawberry is king cheesecake!
SexyHyde 22nd March 2013, 23:21 Quote
CHEESECAKE is king cheesecake!
RedFlames 22nd March 2013, 23:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aracos
Cherry is disgusting, strawberry is king cheesecake!

QFT

Cherries are evil...

... i want cheesecake now :(
Nexxo 23rd March 2013, 11:06 Quote
Hospital catering usually is pretty crap. But one of the four Hospitals where I work is an exception: excellent (and cheap!) coffee, a wide range of good, affordable foods (I mean, it makes omelette to order. It does pancakes!), and, above all, small slices of cheesecake which you can tuck into a little wedge-shaped box and take back to the ward office with you. Heaven. :)

Er... what were we talking about again?
Phil Rhodes 23rd March 2013, 14:20 Quote
I really am going to have to keep you honest forever, aren't I?
Quote:
As for wanting an .exe installer, you apparently haven't been exposed to programs such as Synaptic Package Manager

You've got to be *&#$ing joking.

As far as I understand it, Synaptic is a front-end for apt. Apt is reliant on lists of places from which it can obtain software. The default settings in this regard are invariably incredibly limited, offering not much more than came with the Linux installation in question. For reasons connected to opensource politics which I don't care about, this invariably means incredibly limited and deliberately-crippled software which doesn't do common tasks (my personal experience of this is ffmpeg). Also, if you're using hardware that's in any way unusual (such as a laptop), you will usually require software that isn't in the "default repos."

This means adding new things to the lists of places it can get software, which will not have been approved by the people who wrote the operating system. To cut a long story short, this will break everything, and everyone will criticise you for adding these new things, because they weren't approved.

This, as you will find out if you use Linux for a while, is a bait-and-switch tactic that's common to the OS. They'll tell you that you can have certain things, you will try to get them, and you'll find that the only way to get those things is to make changes to the system that everyone will immediately disown when they break the OS. And they will break the OS.

So yes, please, please, give me some sort of installation package.

Well, OK, I know that's impossible under Linux for the same reason that Apt and Synaptic are so hideously, inexcusably unreliable. Linux is so inconsistent, so riven with distro-specific idiosyncrasies, that there's no real surprise that software distribution on the platform is a nightmare.
RedFlames 23rd March 2013, 16:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
As far as I understand it, Synaptic is a front-end for apt. Apt is reliant on lists of places from which it can obtain software. The default settings in this regard are invariably incredibly limited, offering not much more than came with the Linux installation in question. For reasons connected to opensource politics which I don't care about, this invariably means incredibly limited and deliberately-crippled software which doesn't do common tasks (my personal experience of this is ffmpeg). Also, if you're using hardware that's in any way unusual (such as a laptop), you will usually require software that isn't in the "default repos."

Windows has a list of available drivers, lets call it a repository, when you install a new piece of kit it searches the list for a compatible driver. If there isn't one you need to get one from a 3rd party source [typically the manufacturer]. Likewise if the software you want isn't included with the O/S you have to download and install it separately.

OSX likewise.

Linux too has a list of available drivers/software. If there's an available driver it'll tell you and offer to install it. If not, you'll have to source one from a 3rd party like every other OS.
Quote:
This means adding new things to the lists of places it can get software, which will not have been approved by the people who wrote the operating system. To cut a long story short, this will break everything, and everyone will criticise you for adding these new things, because they weren't approved.

Apple and Microsoft's stance on 3rd party software is identical. If you install a non-WHQL driver or an app that's not from the Mac/Windows App store [even if you do, if it's not made by the OS maker] and it ****s your system up you're on your own.
Quote:

So yes, please, please, give me some sort of installation package.

They already exist, on *buntu at least, can't comment on other distros... yes, technically it is still a front for dpkg/apt but many apps, Chrome and Steam being two that immediately spring to mind, download the package, double click the package, it'll offer to install it. What's more, if that software has it's own repository [for updates or bet aversions]... it'll add that to the system's list for you... isn't that nice...
Aracos 23rd March 2013, 19:26 Quote
It almost seems like Phils experience of Linux is from alpha versions of the first release of Linux distros.....
Phil you keep arguing these points which get refuted by those who actually use Linux-based operating systems so how can you STILL argue what isn't true?

Also as someone who actually has a copy of Xubuntu on my USB flash drive which I take into college, boot up on the college laptops and use as a programming environment the idea that " if you're using hardware that's in any way unusual (such as a laptop), you will usually require software that isn't in the "default repos."" is really a problem which doesn't exactly exist anymore and hasn't for years with the most popular distros.....
Phil Rhodes 23rd March 2013, 21:27 Quote
Quote:
if the software you want isn't included with the O/S you have to download and install it separately.

Yes, but if you get a piece of software "for Windows 7", it will work on Windows 7. Find a piece of software that's "for linux," and it might work if you have the same distro, library versions, header files, dev packages, environment variables, blonde/brunette preference and shoe size as the person who wrote it.

Please don't simply deny this is the case as anyone who uses linux regularly knows that all of this is completely normal.

The problem is not having to install stuff, that's inevitable. The problem is the relative convenience and reliability of that process. Some of it is down to expectations, where Windows people don't expect to hack makefiles every time they install something and that's a daily task on linux, but a lot of it is just down to the fact that you can't package software very easily for an OS that's as all over the place as Linux is.
SexyHyde 25th March 2013, 08:39 Quote
On all the laptops I've installed Windows on, I normally have to hunt round for drivers often with various possible drivers some that don't install correctly and some where the driver just doesn't seem to exist. Then I put Linux on and it all works. If you put Ubuntu on go to the Ubuntu store pick the software you want and it all just works. Ok if you want some more specific applications you may be out of luck but for 99% of people all that works just fine. I've had some complaints of windows crashing on a system which appears to be software related, on Linux you very rarely get a system crash due to a faulty program, the program falls over and gets back up all with Linux running normally. See I can point out Linux better than windows scenarios Phil.
Phil Rhodes 25th March 2013, 09:27 Quote
Well, I guess if linux doesn't have drivers for a particular bit of hardware, you can't spend time looking for them!
SexyHyde 25th March 2013, 10:07 Quote
Well I never have that problem. Everything just works lately. The problem with windows is a lot of companies don't make drivers for later versions of Windows so you buy their new hardware. So you end up stuck with an old version of windows or hardware that doesn't work.
Like I said, with Linux things just work now.
faugusztin 25th March 2013, 10:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Well, I guess if linux doesn't have drivers for a particular bit of hardware, you can't spend time looking for them!

To be honest, it is increasingly harder and harder find hardware without drivers for Linux. Sure, it happens, but the common hardware is covered pretty much completely. An obscure DVB-C card ? Sure, it has drivers. A Wi-Fi card from TP-Link ? Indeed it does have Linux drivers. My only recent issue was with a combo of Intel IGP driver (maintained by Intel), in combination of a Z77 board and a Sandy Bridge CPU, where an aggressive power saving feature would hang the computer (fixed by disabling that power saving feature using i915.i915_enable_rc6=0 kernel boot parameter).

Now let's look at the other side of the fence. I recently bought a DVB-T USB stick (with official support for Windows 7 & 8). Installed the drivers, plugged it in, installed the supplied software (later tried with Media Portal and Windows Media Center as well), started scanning for channels and bang, a BSOD in Windows 8 due buggy drivers. Put the same stick in the Linux machine, works at first try.
Gareth Halfacree 25th March 2013, 10:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
To be honest, it is increasingly harder and harder find hardware without drivers for Linux.
Depends on the device. Sure, common hardware - graphics cards, storage devices, network cards - tend to work fine, but peripherals is definitely a mixed bag. A lot of pro-audio stuff, for example, just doesn't work under Linux.

In my case, my bugbear is a Dell 1250c colour laser printer I picked up cheap. It uses the good-old GDI engine, and drivers are available for Windows and OS X - but not Linux. The print engine itself is Xerox-made, and there *is* a Linux driver available for a Phaser 6000B that uses the same engine - but it's only available for 32-bit platforms, not 64-bit like wot my desktop is. I got it working eventually, with a lot of fiddling and the installation of the ia-32 libraries, but it's far from perfect: it has a tendency to send the printer to sleep after each print job, so I need to flick the switch off and back on again between them. It's a good job I don't print much!

These cases are getting rarer and rarer, however, and typically only affect cheap low-end printers. My Canon scanner? Plugged it in, told The Gimp to scan an image, there it was. Didn't installl any drivers, didn't have a "Found New Hardware What The Hell Do I Do OMGWTFBBQ" pop-up appear like I would on Windows. It. Just. Worked.

If we can get to the point where all hardware Just Works on Linux, I'll be a happy chappy - but we're not there yet.
faugusztin 25th March 2013, 11:13 Quote
That is why i said "harder and harder" and not impossible :). Sure, there are cases where you find a way too old/obscure/too new hardware which is not supported (correctly), or some strange combination.
Gareth Halfacree 25th March 2013, 11:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
That is why i said "harder and harder" and not impossible :). Sure, there are cases where you find a way too old/obscure/too new hardware which is not supported (correctly), or some strange combination.
But my point is that GDI printers are not too old, not too new and not too obscure: they're massively common in the sub-£100 printer market, and none of the buggers work properly under Linux. That's not Linux's fault, of course, but that of the printer manufacturers - but I'm not going to pretend it's not a massive problem. My mother's in the market for a new printer 'cos her old one's gone mammaries-skyward, and I'm having to tell her to wait until I can have a look for one that's known to be compatible with Ubuntu - 'cos otherwise she's going to come home from Asda with some £50 inkjet or £100 laser that we'll never get working.
Phil Rhodes 25th March 2013, 12:34 Quote
Quote:
"Found New Hardware What The Hell Do I Do OMGWTFBBQ" pop-up

Which is better, by far, than plugging in a bit of hardware and having absolutely nothing happen at all, and just being expected to know which obscure files to put which obscure strings into:
Quote:
i915.i915_enable_rc6=0 kernel boot parameter

Well, quite.
Gareth Halfacree 25th March 2013, 12:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Quote:
i915.i915_enable_rc6=0 kernel boot parameter
Well, quite.
Ooh, bad example. That's for toggling a non-standard function as a tweak, and is absolutely not required for day-to-day use. Shall we look for examples where you have to edit some random string hidden away in the Windows Registry to do the same? Hmm?

In fact, let's do exactly that. Microsoft's official fix for when power-saving on a network adapter prevents it from working properly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Microsoft
Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.
Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002bE10318}\DeviceNumber
Note DeviceNumber is the network adapter number. If a single network adapter is installed on the computer, the DeviceNumber is 0001.
Click PnPCapabilities.
On the Edit menu, click Modify.
In the Value data box, type 24, and then click OK.

Note By default, a value of 0 indicates that power management of the network adapter is enabled. A value of 24 will prevent Windows 7 from turning off the network adapter or let the network adapter wake the computer from standby.
On the File menu, click Exit.
My, how user-friendly. I would have been able to guess that within seconds, especially the 4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002bE10318 control class identifier. You have opened my eyes, Phil. I now see Linux for the unfriendly mess it is, and cannot wait to embrace Windows and its completely intuitive hexadecimal strings. I especially like the part where a value of '0' enables a given feature.

At this point, your continued deception is either malicious or brain-dead. I'll let you choose which.
Nexxo 25th March 2013, 13:08 Quote
Commodore BASIC, anyone? :D


Hey, at least you knew where you stood with PEEK and POKE commands...
Margon 25th March 2013, 13:09 Quote
This is another one, when you need to clear the upper or lower filters from the registry or your computer won't recognise your dvd drive, even when it did yesterday
Quote:

Click Start button, and then click All Programs.
Click Accessories, and then click Run.
Type regedit, and then click OK.
User Access Control permission
If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Allow.
In the navigation pane, locate and then click the following registry subkey:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
In the right pane, click UpperFilters.
On the Edit menu, click Delete.
When you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click Yes.
In the right pane, click LowerFilters.
On the Edit menu, click Delete.
When you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click Yes.
Exit Registry Editor.
Restart the computer.

And that just happens sometimes for no reason.

I like linux alot, but I mainly use server editions.
will_123 25th March 2013, 13:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Yes, but if you get a piece of software "for Windows 7", it will work on Windows 7. Find a piece of software that's "for linux," and it might work if you have the same distro, library versions, header files, dev packages, environment variables, blonde/brunette preference and shoe size as the person who wrote it.

Please don't simply deny this is the case as anyone who uses linux regularly knows that all of this is completely normal.

The reason we have package managers is so that this doesn’t happen! The things you were so opening criticising before. They will download and fetch any relevant dependencies for the piece of software. Your exe will come with lots of stuff that your program needs to run. Apt, yum, pacman, zypper whatever you use does this for you and very well I might add!
Phil Rhodes 25th March 2013, 13:55 Quote
Quote:
My, how user-friendly.

Disaster, of course. But it is at least:

- Documented, by the people who made the OS/.
- Consistent; notice the two examples given here use the same procedure.

Linux documentation for this sort of thing tends to end up being nobody's problem because documentation is boring and there are so many disparate groups of people involved, with zero management, that everyone has a good excuse not to bother.

The windows registry has always been a better approach than the Linux (or even unix) one, which is to have literally many thousands of text files distributed in effectively random locations, with random names, in random formats, with absolutely no documentation whatsoever. Or if there is any, seven versions out of date and badly translated from Latvian, or some damn thing.

At least the registry is all in one place with one syntax and one approach to editing it, which is light years ahead.
Quote:
package managers ... will download and fetch any relevant dependencies for the piece of software

Hollow laughter.
Gareth Halfacree 25th March 2013, 14:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Disaster, of course. But it is at least:
- Documented, by the people who made the OS/.
After the fact, of course. If a *new* problem occurs and Microsoft hasn't published a knowledge base article about it, you'll be left flailing around the Registry looking at random hexadecimal strings desperately trying to figure out which ones relate to your graphics card.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
- Consistent; notice the two examples given here use the same procedure.
Genuine question: do the current versions of Windows still have directories filled with INF files? Win.ini? System.ini? They certainly did in my day, and there was no guarantee that the setting you were trying to change would be found in the Registry.

That doesn't even cover programs that *don't* store their settings in the Registry. Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't most games hide their settings in INI files? Oh, look, a tweak guide for Bioshock:
Quote:
Originally Posted by http://www.tweakguides.com/Bioshock_7.html
To access these settings, go to your \Documents and Settings\[Username]\Application Data\Bioshock directory (in Windows XP) or \Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Bioshock (in Windows Vista). Note that to see these directories you need to go to Control Panel>Folder Options>View and select 'Show hidden files and folders'. Now look for the files Bioshock.ini and User.ini - these are the main files we will be editing.
Oh, yes. Consistent. One location. Not random files hidden in inexplicable directories that you can't even see by default. No, that's not the Windows way at all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
The windows registry has always been a better approach than the Linux (or even unix) one, which is to have literally many thousands of text files distributed in effectively random locations, with random names, in random formats, with absolutely no documentation whatsoever.
Oh, it is to laugh. Ever had the Windows Registry get corrupt? I have. Bye-bye, operating system. If a single configuration file gets hosed on Linux, it takes out whatever program it controlled - and nothing else. That is, if the software isn't clever enough to automatically generate a new file, or use default settings - which many packages do if the configuration file is missing or corrupt.

Also, you're arguing from a position of ignorance again. You think the Registry is great because you're used to the Windows Registry; I think the POSIX way of doing things is great because I'm used to the POSIX way of doing things. I could put my hands on the configuration file for any given package in seconds, because I know where these things are stored. You could (I'm guessing) find the Registry hive for any given package in seconds, because you know where these things are stored. Put me in front of Windows and ask me to do the same thing, you'll be in for a wait; and vice-versa with you and Linux.

Difference between us though, Phil, is I'm man enough to admit that - whereas you just blame Linux like a broken record. I'm willing to be you don't know how to play the dulcimer, either; is that the dulcimer's fault for not being as good an instrument as a harp?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
At least the registry is all in one place with one syntax and one approach to editing it, which is light years ahead.
One syntax? Hah. Everything is buried in random locations with random hexadecimal identifiers that nobody could possibly guess. How is it better to have to find something in /HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/ControlSet/CurrentControlSet/DaftHexIdentifier/RandomNumber/UnhelpfulName.dword compared to /etc/default/ntpupdate?

All you're doing in this 'ere thread is exposing your ignorance of operating systems outside Windows.
will_123 25th March 2013, 14:18 Quote
Quote:
Hollow laughter.

Ah no logical response so you instead put nothing of value into your post.. I see what you did there ;)
Quote:
At least the registry is all in one place with one syntax and one approach to editing it, which is light years ahead.

Configuration files are located in the /etc folder with a minority of applications that store a couple of files outside of that.
Quote:
Linux documentation for this sort of thing tends to end up being nobody's problem because documentation is boring and there are so many disparate groups of people involved, with zero management, that everyone has a good excuse not to bother.

OpenSUSE, Arch Linux and Ubuntu all have excellent documentation.
Margon 25th March 2013, 14:27 Quote
Having learnt microsoft server admin before moving over to linux server admin (which I am still learning) - when you learn something in linux it does make you think that the way that microsoft has gone about things is backwards.

I personally don't really like the registry, even though I am very apt with it, can navigate it and sort alot of problems with it, I much prefer all the configuration files. Working always in terminal you kind of just get used to where everything is, and if you can't remember exactly you can normally look it up. I have always been impressed with the amount of info that there is for linux and problems I have faced in it. There are really decent communities out there with lots of good information.

Linux to me is just a different way of thinking - normally it turns out to be a more logical thought process. So even though I know more about microsoft products, I think linux is easier.

Plus the package managers ARE amazing - as long as you give it the correct command. I use aptitude and I can't fault it.
Phil Rhodes 25th March 2013, 14:47 Quote
Quote:
If a *new* problem occurs and Microsoft hasn't published a knowledge base article about it, you'll be left flailing around the Registry looking at random hexadecimal strings desperately trying to figure out which ones relate to your graphics card.

Well, you wouldn't, because the registry is not in any sense designed to be a user interface (we expect people to provide a user interface to settings under windows, I am aware that linux projects usually can't be arsed.)

Under linux, of course, that collection of randomly-named, randomly-distributed, randomly-formatted text files is not only the one and only UI, it's also assumed that all users know where all the settings are. This is impossible because there are so many of them, undesirable because we should not expect possibly nontechnical users to know that sort of thing, and frankly so fatuous it makes me weep.

The windows interface is also intrinsically more discoverable. Regedit is a UI to the registry that uses common Windows UI conventions; tell someone to modify a key name, and with only small amounts of nouse they'll be able to do it. The descriptions of editing reg keys given above are comprehensive blow-by-blow accounts of how to do it which are necessary for lay users, a group that Linux appears determined not to assist. I appreciate that the concept of actually explaining how to do something including all the necessary steps is foreign to linux people because, for a start, it's usually impossible to be that complete on such an inconsistent platform, but mainly because it's just normal to you people that every task involves a huge amount of problem-solving that's simply assumed to be normal.
Quote:
do the current versions of Windows still have directories filled with INF files? Win.ini? System.ini?

Very rarely, mainly for things that will be accessed at times when the APIs for retrieving registry values will be unavailable. Last time I looked, .net didn't even include features for reading and writing ini-formatted files. Rarely, I've seen people use them to create portable settings files, especially where there's a need to create cross-platform transferability; otherwise, it's better done as a .reg file.

The other reason they sometimes exist is to provide backward compatibility; the win.ini on this Windows 7 machine begins "; for 16-bit app support." I appreciate linux doesn't really bother with tedious things like backward compatibility, but to be honest the chances of most nontrivial 16 bit apps working on this box are probably just as slim.

Finding settings outside the registry on a modern windows box, especially with regard to core windows features, is exceptionally rare.
Quote:
Oh, it is to laugh. Ever had the Windows Registry get corrupt?

No. I've been a Windows user ever since I was finally forced to dump Amigas (see, I'd be a good candidate for linux if it wasn't so feeble) in the late 90s, and it just isn't a problem I've hit, or had anyone I know hit. Same with the phrase "dll hell", which in my experience is an attempt by Linux people to take a very typical Linux problem of library versioning and pretend it happens on windows. Which in my experience, it doesn't. I have not once encountered either problem, first or second hand, in the best part of 20 years.
Quote:
If a single configuration file gets hosed on Linux, it takes out whatever program it controlled - and nothing else.

That may be, but if it takes three hours to figure out how to fix it, you've already burned more time than Windows costs to buy and install. And that's three hours you'll spend poring over outdated, incomplete documentation and being called an idiot by people on IRC.
Quote:
You think the Registry is great because you're used to the Windows Registry;

No, I don't; I think it's a horrible, brutally user-hostile pile of settings. But the point is that the average user will almost never encounter it. I never encounter it, and I'm a very experienced windows user who regularly does oddball things. A unified registry is obviously a far better way to store settings than a set of text files of effectively random naming, format and distribution, that's so self-evident it barely needs to be stated. But you're missing the main issue, which is that properly-written software will not have to ask its users to get involved at that low a level. I know it's almost impossible to achieve that in linux because the documentation, level of consistency, understanding of proper user experience and frankly the expectations of the people involved are not good enough, but that's what you should be aiming for.
Quote:
You could (I'm guessing) find the Registry hive for any given package in seconds, because you know where these things are stored.

Well, possibly could, but only by using the regedit search function, or by googling. Couldn't be sure, because, and this is the operative point, I never have to do it.
Gareth Halfacree 25th March 2013, 14:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Well, you wouldn't, because the registry is not in any sense designed to be a user interface (we expect people to provide a user interface to settings under windows, I am aware that linux projects usually can't be arsed.)
Oh, it's not designed to be a user interface? That's why Microsoft tells people who just want their DVD drive to start working again to Start -> Run -> Regedit, is it?

Oh, Phil. You really seem so incredibly desperate to prove that Linux is bad. I'm not sure why; I have no desire in proving A. N. Other operating system is bad, except in refutation of your claims. Why does it offend you so that people use, and enjoy using, Linux? What personal hurt does it do to you?

Tell you what, if it'll make you feel better: I'll install Windows 8 on my mother's currently Ubuntu-based desktop and laptop. That is, if and only if you are personally willing to talk her through fixing any problems she may have. Don't worry, I've only had to do that once under Ubuntu when the wireless card in the laptop stopped working; I'm sure you won't get dozens of phone calls a week like I used to when she ran Windows.

Deal?

Also, just to prove how incredibly misleading your claims are, here's a picture of how my mother changes settings on her computer:
http://gareth.halfacree.co.uk/pubimages/system-settings.jpg
(The screenshot is from my installation: some entries, including Unsettings and Ubuntu Tweak, are aftermarket add-ons I've installed and don't appear on her computer.)

The sooner you admit you have a problem, Phil, the sooner you can get help.
Phil Rhodes 25th March 2013, 15:04 Quote
Sure you weren't aiming for this?

http://i.stack.imgur.com/FeBDo.png
Margon 25th March 2013, 15:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Sure you weren't aiming for this?

http://i.stack.imgur.com/FeBDo.png

I think you are very confused between the desktop versions and the server versions.

Desktop versions have a nice gui - meaning, you never have to do any of the config file diving etc. Server versions have no gui and is all text. I LOVE TERMINAL, I think, it's extremely accessible - and I think you dislike it on the grounds that you don't understand it or aren't bothered to figure it out/learn it. Which is fine, ultimately that is entirely your choice, but it doesn't by that regard make it "bad".

There are quite a few things that in windows you have to open the command line in order to achieve something - like how do you edit your hosts file without opening it from an elevated command prompt?
Gareth Halfacree 25th March 2013, 15:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Sure you weren't aiming for this? http://i.stack.imgur.com/FeBDo.png
Yup, pretty sure. What with my having taken the screenshot just now on my desktop, rather than resorting to Google Image Search'ing for a picture that supports my argument.

Also, that's Terminator: a multi-pane terminal. It's not default software on any version of Linux I've ever seen. Similar packages are available for Windows. From left to right: Mutt mail client, top system monitor, dmesg kernel messages, Terminator manual page (you know - the documentation you say doesn't exist), IRC client, IPTraf traffic monitor, source code for some kind of terminal emulator, 'more' (or possibly 'less') outputting some long list of details.

Not a single one of those is anything to do with changing any settings. It's certainly not how a non-technical user would see Linux: that person has *chosen* to make his experience look like that, and gone to quite some effort to make it happen. You can do the same on Windows. Go ahead: open a dozen command prompt windows. Oh, look, it's the same. Amazing.

EDIT: In fact, here's PowerCmd for Windows, a multi-pane Terminator-like command prompt. Strangely enough, I found it from a link where a Windows user is asking for something akin to Terminator for Windows because it's just that good - using the exact same picture with which you hoped to prove Linux useless. That's right, folks: Linux is so useless that people ask how to make Windows do the same thing.

Any other comforting lies you're still clinging to, Phil?
schmidtbag 25th March 2013, 15:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Sure you weren't aiming for this?

http://i.stack.imgur.com/FeBDo.png

That right there is EXACTLY proving the point Gareth is trying to make about you. Like it's mind blowing how ironic this is and yet you're still not getting it. I hope you realize that every post you're creating is making you seem more and more ignorant on how OSes work, linux in particular.
Phil Rhodes 25th March 2013, 15:31 Quote
Sorry, I was distracted by trying not to spray my coffee all over the place with amusement at the line "device eth0 has entered promiscuous mode."
Quote:
Also, that's Terminator: a multi-pane terminal.

Maybe, but it's also a fairly typical example of how a linux machine's desktop ends up looking after you've actually tried to achieve anything with it. Three different ways to quit things, and massive quantities of repetitive, spurious precision, because of course that helps.
Gareth Halfacree 25th March 2013, 15:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Sorry, I was distracted by trying not to spray my coffee all over the place with amusement at the line "device eth0 has entered promiscuous mode."
You've never heard the term before? Haven't done much networking, have you. Oh, and it's not a Linux term: it's very much a part of the Ethernet RFCs, which means it's the same terminology regardless of operating system. Yes, that's right, Phil: Windows understands promiscuous mode as well. Without laughing, even.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Maybe, but it's also a fairly typical example of how a linux machine's desktop ends up looking after you've actually tried to achieve anything with it. Three different ways to quit things, and massive quantities of repetitive, spurious precision, because of course that helps.
I can honestly say that none of my Linux machines have ever looked like that - and I achieve plenty with 'em. Heck, I work every single day on this desktop - I wrote a best-selling book on it. About, in a large part, Linux, in fact - another wonderful example of the documentation that you say doesn't exist. I can say without fear of inaccuracy that I know a lot better than you what a 'typical' Linux desktop looks like.

A 'typical' Linux desktop looks a lot more like mine than the Terminator-running image you showed. Hell, a Google Image Search proves that - and I know how much you love Google Image Searches.

EDIT: Three ways to quit things? It's a good job Windows isn't like that. Oh, wait, my mistake. It's totally like that.

Now, fancy dropping the ad hominems and strawmen, or have you realised that without those you don't actually have an argument?
Phil Rhodes 25th March 2013, 16:09 Quote
I would be the first to accept that windows 8's new UI looks like absolute arse. Quite how one is supposed to run any productivity application within a UI made up entirely of two-inch squares is anyone's guess.

Anyway, your attitude is ridiculous; I haven't attacked you personally at all. I know you may feel attacked, but I'm fairly used to that reaction from linux people. I'm not criticising you; I'm criticising the OS. I know people get religious about it a lot but please do try to maintain that separation. Conversely, you've already directly called me a liar, among other things.

But OK, if that's your style, let's do it that way. Why am I vocal about this?

Because I'm fed up with being the target of this sort of conversation. I think I'm a reasonably advanced windows user, which means that I quite frequently end up using software that brings me into contact with the open source world. I am frequently told, as are many experienced windows people, that I should use linux. Obviously, I have to then explain that this is impossible, and this being linux people, that's taken as a personal insult.

For the record, my interaction with computers is mainly as a video editor. I use Adobe's After Effects several days a week. There is nothing, no application, absolutely nothing whatsoever on Linux which comes even remotely close to what AE does at the same price (or free). Usually, I'm told that Kino is really good, or that Cinelerra is really good. Anyone who knows either of these projects is sorely aware that Kino is basically Windows Movie Maker, and Cinelerra is a proper opensource project - that is, forever incomplete and unreliable, and at this rate, decades from feature completion and usability.

So yeah, Linux people, if my refusal to drop AE for Kino makes me an idiot, then I am a very considerable idiot.

So maybe I get a particularly negative impression because I work in the media and even its greatest supporters tend to admit that Linux's media-fu is not strong. But what's really sad is that the app support isn't really the big problem. The linux attitude is just crushing. It is expected that everything is difficult to use. It is expected that documentation is halfhearted or absent. It is expected to be inconsistent and unreliable. I've done jobs where I was required to use linux, and I existed in a constant state of fear that I would appear to be incompetent because everything was taking so long compared to similar tasks on Windows. And in that job, eventually, having voiced these fears, I was gently led aside, hyperventilating mightily at the anticipation of an imminent letting-go, and told (I quote directly):

"This is just normal ****. Don't worry about it."

It wasn't about linux being slower than windows, or more difficult than windows. It was about linux being slow, and difficult, on its own terms.

So, if you want to take something positive from this conversation, be aware that what I'm doing is actually giving you a list of instructions in how to stop linux sucking. It's usually impossible to do this because - as you have - people start shrieking ad-hominem and defending the status quo, as if the status quo is somehow good or acceptable.
Gareth Halfacree 25th March 2013, 16:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Anyway, your attitude is ridiculous; I haven't attacked you personally at all. I know you may feel attacked, but I'm fairly used to that reaction from linux people. I'm not criticising you; I'm criticising the OS. I know people get religious about it a lot but please do try to maintain that separation. Conversely, you've already directly called me a liar, among other things.
But you have: I'm a Linux person, and you're vocal in your dislike of Linux people. After all, all Linux people are all alike, aren't they, Phil? You're 'used to that reaction from linux people.' We're a homogenous mass that simply shouts "DURR, HURR, USE LUNIX" at people. You know, exactly like I haven't done throughout this thread.

Also, you are a liar, Phil. I've proven that several times in this thread alone. You claim that a 'typical' Linux desktop looks like Terminator; I have proven that it does not. You claimed that everything you could need in Windows can be found in the registry; I have proven that it cannot, that applications have a tendency to store their own settings in INI files located in hidden directories. You have claimed that Linux does not have any documentation; you proved that incorrect yourself, by posting an image that included the manual page for the running application clearly visible. You have claimed that you cannot achieve anything with Linux without getting your hands dirty at the terminal; my mother has proven that you can, quite easily.

Shall I go on?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
For the record, my interaction with computers is mainly as a video editor. I use Adobe's After Effects several days a week. There is nothing, no application, absolutely nothing whatsoever on Linux which comes even remotely close to what AE does at the same price (or free).
That's a very good reason for you not to use Linux. For you, Linux would be useless. Shame you didn't just use that perfectly justified reason, instead of going off on one of your trademark rants about how Linux is clearly completely useless for everyone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
The linux attitude is just crushing. It is expected that everything is difficult to use. It is expected that documentation is halfhearted or absent. It is expected to be inconsistent and unreliable.
Aaaand we're back to the lies. I can provide you with my mother's email address, if you'd like. Ask her if she finds Linux difficult to use.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
So, if you want to take something positive from this conversation, be aware that what I'm doing is actually giving you a list of instructions in how to stop linux sucking. It's usually impossible to do this because - as you have - people start shrieking ad-hominem and defending the status quo, as if the status quo is somehow good or acceptable.
No, you have not given me a list of how to stop Linux sucking. Linux doesn't suck. Every point you've made, bar "there is no video editor for Linux as good as Adobe After Effects," has been proven invalid.

If you genuinely find Linux difficult to use, post details about your personal experiences. You made a start above, then went back to your usual tactics. Your point about not having a good video editor is excellent: with luck, the state of one of the Linux video editing tools will improve to the point where it's suitable for professional use; even better, perhaps Adobe will port After Effects across to Linux. For now, though, it's clear: After Effects users should not use Linux. This 'Linux person' will not argue with that.
faugusztin 25th March 2013, 16:28 Quote
@Phil: Let's see my Linux computer (HTPC/Server/desktop for 24/7 applications).

Right now there is XBMC running locally and JDownloader, Chromium and X-Chat IRC client throught remote desktop (yes, using the Windows remote desktop client).
A Windows equivalent would be... XBMC running locally and JDownloader, Chrome and X-Chat (yes, the same GUI IRC client, just compiled for Windows) running through Remote desktop.

I guess my Linux desktop(s) are just not enough "Linux"-like.
Phil Rhodes 25th March 2013, 16:31 Quote
Quote:
We're a homogenous mass that simply shouts "DURR, HURR, USE LUNIX" at people

Well, it's a bit of a generalisation, but if the hat fits!
schmidtbag 25th March 2013, 16:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Anyway, your attitude is ridiculous; I haven't attacked you personally at all. I know you may feel attacked, but I'm fairly used to that reaction from linux people. I'm not criticising you; I'm criticising the OS. I know people get religious about it a lot but please do try to maintain that separation. Conversely, you've already directly called me a liar, among other things.
The attitude isn't as bad as you think it is, but it is necessary nonetheless. Everything you claim was true... 7 years ago. It's not about being religious, it's about you making negative and false claims about something. The irony is religious people are exactly the type who refuse to look the other way regardless of being shown hard facts.
Quote:
Because I'm fed up with being the target of this sort of conversation. I think I'm a reasonably advanced windows user, which means that I quite frequently end up using software that brings me into contact with the open source world.
If you're targeted this often, how have you not realized that maybe, just maybe, you're not right? I know how you feel, there have been times where I've had people gang up on me even if it was just an opinion, but what you're saying here is more oudated facts than opinionated.
Quote:
I am frequently told, as are many experienced windows people, that I should use linux. Obviously, I have to then explain that this is impossible, and this being linux people, that's taken as a personal insult.
This I don't disagree with. I'm not sure what people recommended you to use linux for, but considering the way you prefer your system to run (which is fine) is not something linux is known to cooperate with. Treat linux like Windows and you'll hate it. Expect it to do things the way Windows does and you'll hate it.
Quote:
So yeah, Linux people, if my refusal to drop AE for Kino makes me an idiot, then I am a very considerable idiot.
There is 1 professional program that will be released for Linux, I believe called Lightworks, but I'm sure it doesn't compete with Premier. But see, your situation with video editing is a reason why you shouldn't use Linux. This comes back to my point about how you can't treat linux like Windows - it won't play your games, it won't run your creative programs, and it won't have a "double click to install" solution. Every OS has it's place, and I think it is very narrow minded to expect 1 to be good at all tasks; I state this in general, not targeting you. I personally feel linux happens to be better than Windows in nearly every way in a kernel perspective. But in userland, Windows is probably more ideal if you just want something that will run.
Quote:
The linux attitude is just crushing. It is expected that everything is difficult to use. It is expected that documentation is halfhearted or absent. It is expected to be inconsistent and unreliable. I've done jobs where I was required to use linux, and I existed in a constant state of fear that I would appear to be incompetent because everything was taking so long compared to similar tasks on Windows. And in that job, eventually, having voiced these fears, I was gently led aside, hyperventilating mightily at the anticipation of an imminent letting-go, and told (I quote directly):
I wouldn't say linux being difficult to use is expected. Linux is a power user's OS, Windows is for the general public. If you want the ability to do almost anything you can imagine with a computer, it will get complicated. As of right now, I don't think linux is suitable for the average person. People who install it and dread opening a terminal even once are going to have a bad time (even if they never need to open one). People who install it and expect fancy desktop effects are also going to hate it. People who expect it to replace Windows entirely will hate it the most.
Quote:
It wasn't about linux being slower than windows, or more difficult than windows. It was about linux being slow, and difficult, on its own terms.
What in particular was so slow? Today, GPU drivers are the only thing that's slower compared to Windows AFAIK. Everything else tends to be faster on average.
Gareth Halfacree 25th March 2013, 16:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Well, it's a bit of a generalisation, but if the hat fits!
Really? That's your response to my post? Wow, Phil. Just: wow. Not going to cover anything else brought up therein?

Congratulations: you've ended this discussion exactly as you started it, on a bare-faced and insulting lie. Bravo, sir, bravo.
Nexxo 25th March 2013, 19:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
here's PowerCmd for Windows, a multi-pane Terminator-like command prompt.

Oooh! I'm getting all tingly seeing that!

/hits download button.
Margon 26th March 2013, 09:04 Quote
I'm all over powercmd - downloading it now!
will_123 27th March 2013, 09:19 Quote
While on the topic of terminals, anybody have a good terminal app for KDE? Something like iTerm or Terminator? Yakuake really doesn’t appeal to me and it seems to be the suggested one after normal konsole?
faugusztin 27th March 2013, 09:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by will_123
While on the topic of terminals, anybody have a good terminal app for KDE? Something like iTerm or Terminator? Yakuake really doesn’t appeal to me and it seems to be the suggested one after normal konsole?

Huh ? http://software.jessies.org/terminator/
Quote:
Terminator will run on any modern OS with Java 6 or later. It replaces xterm, rxvt, xwsh and friends on X11 systems, GNOME Terminal, KDE's Konsole, Apple's Terminal.app, and PuTTY on MS Windows.
will_123 27th March 2013, 10:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
Huh ? http://software.jessies.org/terminator/

Yes but its desinged in GTK3 and looks out of place on KDE which is Qt based. Its actually fine anyway it would appear im just an idiot and you can do split view in konsole! this makes me happy :)
Gareth Halfacree 27th March 2013, 10:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
Huh ? http://software.jessies.org/terminator/
There are two terminal apps called Terminator. The one you have linked to is written in Java, cross-platform and does not have the paned view; this one, which is the one 99% of people will be talking about in a Linux context, is exclusive to GNOME on Linux. It's perfectly possible to install it under KDE (or A. N. Other desktop,) but it'll pull in the rest of GNOME with it, making it a pretty hefty install.

Yes, it's confusing. Blame whichever of the two Terminators came second.
schmidtbag 27th March 2013, 12:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by will_123
While on the topic of terminals, anybody have a good terminal app for KDE? Something like iTerm or Terminator? Yakuake really doesn’t appeal to me and it seems to be the suggested one after normal konsole?

What's wrong with konsole? It does everything I need it to. If you want something over the top fancy, you could go for Terminology
Aracos 27th March 2013, 22:45 Quote
I'm not sure I like your.....terminology......I'll get my coat.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums