1 (edited by themacmeister 2006-04-05 04:30:34)

Topic: Linux will NEVER "Just Work"

After trying at least 20 OS alternatives, I have come to the conclusion that Linux will never have a mainstream user base, and will therefore never be accepted as an alternate OS (as compared to WinXP, OSX). Although much progress has been made since 1994, that is now 12 years, and there is still no plug-and-play variation of Linux that 'just works'.

Even the most simple task of installing your 3D card's drivers is complex, convoluted and downright flakey.

HAL and UDEV are at best quirky, and no-one has attempted to compile a worthwhile database of vendor/product IDs so it can work properly.

The closest I have come to a perfect OS was FC3 and/or Ubuntu Dapper 6.04. A kernel recompile was required for FC3 for modem/graphics card support (and possibly other things). Dapper worked out of the box, except printer drivers were not available for my MFC printer/scanner/copier.

It is most certainly the peripheral support that is lacking with modern distros, and the fact that there is no time to fix peripheral support between major releases of kernel/Gnome/KDE etc. etc. means that these are never fixed and incorporated into a final release of the distro.

VLOS is very close to being perfect too, except for XGL. It is Gentoo based (Portage) but with Anaconda graphical installer, ala Fedora Core.

Backward compatibility is an issue for me, and most of my software relies on libstdc++6.05.blah blah... which is impossible to install, and even if it could, would be beyond the reach of the average to advanced user.

Anyways, there are some reasons why I have dumped Linux, maybe only until FC5.02 comes out, but even then - probably the same old problems will continue occurring. Maybe my brother was correct, maybe a console CLI based linux is the way to go... he can still play movies and mp3s... heck, he can even use Groff etc to design newsletters etc.

Here's to WinXP and OSX - Operating systems that "just work" !!

Currently Playing:
Celeste and Electronic Super Joy

2

Re: Linux will NEVER "Just Work"

don't say "never",  I hope it will works in the next years.  it will be so pleasant to have to the chance for the beguinner between M$ and a free OS that can drive all your hardware easy..

comment trouver le temps de travailler maintenant?

3

Re: Linux will NEVER "Just Work"

I have no qualms about the hardware working - you can get almost ANY hardware working, even hardware incompatible with Win98/XP/NT, but what I am worried about is Linux (at least for the next 2 or 3 years) will be only available for Geeks and Sysadmins (is there a difference?) smile

I think Gnome has reached a high level of beginner usability, slightly ahead of KDE, and some of the software is very mature, and ready for mass consumption (OpenOffice.org, xmms, firefox, thunderbird, etc. etc.).

I look back with great fondness to Mac OS 7,8 & 9, where you could drop system files on the System Folder, and the System would put them where they needed to go (with feedback too). This level of user friendliness I fear has passed, and even OSX is more complex than Linux under the gorgeous hood...

I used to do Macintosh support, and I realise that no OS is foolproof, but the legacy MacOS (7-9) was about as close as humanly possible.

For a Desktop OS, Linux is only realising <0.1% of it's potential, which makes me sad...

Currently Playing:
Celeste and Electronic Super Joy

4

Re: Linux will NEVER "Just Work"

Flamebait! smile I'll avoid trying to prove you wrong, but this sentence cought my attention.

themacmeister wrote:

Backward compatibility is an issue for me, and most of my software relies on libstdc++6.05.blah blah... which is impossible to install, and even if it could, would be beyond the reach of the average to advanced user.

If it's a binary-only proprietary something, of course it won't install, which is just as much an issue with this kind of software in any other environment. If it's free software, then frankly I'm not sure what you're talking about.

5

Re: Linux will NEVER "Just Work"

Yes, flamebait.

themacmeister wrote:

VLOS is very close to being perfect too, except for XGL.

You seem to be basing your opinion of the OS in general on the state of an alpha-level component.  Keep in mind that every single feature of every OS sucks early on, you just don't get to see it.  You should feel privaliged that you're even allowed to test a feature like XGL at such an early phase in it's development.

6

Re: Linux will NEVER "Just Work"

udev and Hal are recent technologies too, as rlk said xgl is alpha, Dapper is a developpement version of Ubuntu, FC3 is also known to be quite "bleding edge"... If you want a working try a distribution that "just works", andriva based maybe, or Debian/stable. If you try latest developpement version with very recent hardware, that's normal you meet problems, it's also the case with windows... (I don't know mac OS X enough to speak about it....)

That's just my opinion about it wink I like using developpement version of everything too, but if it doesn't work I don't blame linux to be a unmature system ^^

7

Re: Linux will NEVER "Just Work"

parasti wrote:

If it's a binary-only proprietary something, of course it won't install, which is just as much an issue with this kind of software in any other environment. If it's free software, then frankly I'm not sure what you're talking about.

I recently installed Slave Zero and V-Rally2 on my latest PC running WinXP Pro SP2. These were the best games of their day back in 1997/8, and they both run beautifully on todays OS, sound card and 3D Card. This can be said for 99+% of DOS, Windows software. The same can be said for MacOS 7,8,9 software under OSX (OK, so Apple have discontinued the Classic environment with the current OS release).

With Linux software, if the source code is more than 2 years old, it won't even compile. And what's with the sharedobject.so.1.3.9, 1.3.10, 1.4.1 etc etc? The whole idea was to have a single shared object (eg. libGL.so.3.7). Sometimes a symbolic link needs to be created for compatibility sake, but where do these multiple files come from?
Why are programs dynamically linked to them? I guess if all apps were statically linked, they would work for much longer. I know the PC and Mac apps I was just talking about are mostly statically linked, and it never ever bothered PC users. In this day of 500GB hard drives <drool>, the reasons for dynamically linked libraries has been lessened, don't you think?

Anyways, I am saving my pennies for a new Intel Dual-Core Mac. I guess my printer driver CD which came with the printer may work under WinXP/OSX - it says so on the case! Apart from the LeeT geeks and sysadmins, and of course tinkerers like me, I cannot see any other users joining the Linux ranks at present. The numbers may look statistically promising, but in 2 weeks, 99 percent of these people would have removed the EXT3 partition, and be back with comfortable old Win/Mac OS.

Please do not misunderstand, there is no-one wants to see Linux succeed more than I, that is why the current state of distros irks me so.

Currently Playing:
Celeste and Electronic Super Joy

8

Re: Linux will NEVER "Just Work"

shinobufan wrote:

udev and Hal are recent technologies too, ... ..., FC3 is also known to be quite "bleding edge"... If you want a working try a distribution that "just works", Mandriva based maybe, or Debian/stable. ...

I think calling FC3 bleeding edge is pushing it a bit... FC5 has just been released, so FC3 is at least a year old now. UDEV and HAL could barely be seen as recent technologies, as the entire OS relies on these systems to operate (correctly). Admittedly, UDEV and HAL have come a long way to making Linux "just work". I don't believe I have had to type mknod since kernel 2.6 appeared.

I have steered clear of Mandriva due to bad reviews in computer mags here, but I have tried Debian/stable, and it is like returning to the stone age - how old is THAT OS???!!!

Like most things Linux, nothing reaches a 'mature' state, as new technologies and software are constantly introduced, and the LSB has turned into a running joke!

PS. My printer is supported by the CVS release of HPLIP, but that is not quite for Linux n00bs either. Why Dapper has such an outdated HPLIP installed is anyones guess, as everything else in the system is cutting edge.

Currently Playing:
Celeste and Electronic Super Joy

9

Re: Linux will NEVER "Just Work"

rlk wrote:

You seem to be basing your opinion of the OS in general on the state of an alpha-level component.  Keep in mind that every single feature of every OS sucks early on, you just don't get to see it.  You should feel priviliged that you're even allowed to test a feature like XGL at such an early phase in it's development.

You are correct, although my very negative experiences with XGL is merely the straw that broke the camel's back.

There needs to be some sort of cohesive structure behind the release of distros, and hardware detection and driver installation needs to be more predictable. For example, I have 2 video and sound cards in my machine (built-in and add-ons) but Dapper detected and installed drivers/modules for the 2 built-in cards which I am not using at all... VLOS and FC3 both detected and configured the add-ons, as I would have expected.

Ubuntu and Fedora Core (RHE) are both the most popular distros in use at the moment, and even they are struggling with scheduled releases, and compatibility problems (FC5 breaking binary compat.). Even the delivery of these distros leaves something to be desired - I have downloaded multiple corrupt .iso's from mirrors that hadn't been refreshed. Only now is bittorrent making a difference (for some distros).

My rant is almost over... I don't really need cutting edge features, I only require my hardware to work, with printer/scanner support, and my 3D card supported too. This is like the 8th HP PSC multi-function printer in the series, and my Radeon 9800SE is not what I would call cutting-edge either. My SB-Live 5.1 was probably new about 4 years ago, and even now OSS compatibility is an afterthought on most distros, meaning sound support in older software is sketchy at best.

OK, current rant over for the time being... need to do some checking on FC5, and see if anything improves smile

Currently Playing:
Celeste and Electronic Super Joy

10

Re: Linux will NEVER "Just Work"

themacmeister wrote:

I guess if all apps were statically linked, they would work for much longer. I know the PC and Mac apps I was just talking about are mostly statically linked, and it never ever bothered PC users. In this day of 500GB hard drives <drool>, the reasons for dynamically linked libraries has been lessened, don't you think?

I'm not a programmer, and have little idea of the dynamic / static linking stuff. However, I would have thought saving disk space is a mere side effect to dynamic linking, and not one of its reasons. Though it's very useful in the case of, for example, building a CD image for distribution where every byte matters or if the user often updates software from the net (like, uhh, Debian...). I think the main reason is plain and simple--reusability.

Apart from the LeeT geeks and sysadmins, and of course tinkerers like me, I cannot see any other users joining the Linux ranks at present.

On the other hand, you're not "joining the ranks" either, are you?

Please do not misunderstand, there is no-one wants to see Linux succeed more than I, that is why the current state of distros irks me so.

Erm. That was exactly what I thought when I read your post. Way to go! smile

11

Re: Linux will NEVER "Just Work"

OK, so I am downloading Bordeaux (FC5) DVD, so that just shows I am a man of principles smile

On a side note, I just got PearPC 0.40 JITC up and running, and I am very impressed.
It is nowhere near Basilisk's speed and operability, but it is definitely a usable speed, and should be considered by those who may need a Mac OSX browser or whatever for testing purposes, instead of forking out for a full setup.

Sidenote2: BootCamp from Apple just released in Beta - 80MB d/l
Let's Intel Mac users install and dual boot WindowsXP, including *EVERY* driver for graphics, network, wifi, etc. etc. - for MacBook Pro users too smile

Currently Playing:
Celeste and Electronic Super Joy

12

Re: Linux will NEVER "Just Work"

12 Years later... he replies with a retraction...

Installed Ubuntu 16.04 on my i7-2600 with GTX 670 and 16GB DDR3 1600 RAM.

"JUST WORKED!!!"

Updated many many times, still "just works". I cannot say the same for 17.04 and 17.10 as they both refused to boot after first updates :-/

Booting via UEFI too, which is cool.

Currently Playing:
Celeste and Electronic Super Joy

13 (edited by Challenge Space Yard 2018-06-09 00:04:30)

Re: Linux will NEVER "Just Work"

Speaking of Ubuntu, I have tried Ubuntu 18.04 on my Ryzen 5 (1600)/GTX 1050. It was a nice attempt, but Overload (a commercial 6DOF FPS) lagged horribly, and I have not yet figured out how to correct the issues.

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