Reading Linux

Oct 28, 2007 18:02 # 45174

Aynjell *** smiles...

Why I switched!

92% | 2

I'm a huge fan of Linux, and more specifically Gentoo Linux but recently, I've come to realize that Gentoo amd64 wasn't meeting my needs. With all the duplicated programs and libraries for the occasional application that just couldn't hack it as a 64 bit application (Firefox comes to mind, since all the BEST plug-ins for it are 32 bit, I mean, come on, gotta have a 32 bit media player to watch wmv and mms porn, now don't we?) the integration fell to the way side. The whizzbang didn't whiz or bang whatsoever. It was unpolished, and things that worked in 32 bit operating systems still just didn't work.

So, I decided to switch to 32 bit Gentoo, and ran square faced into an issue I knew all too well: for one reason or another, a custom configured kernel never works for me on 32 bit Gentoo. For some reason, there was always a MASSIVE clock skew and EVERY operation would display this. After 10 hours of rebuilding Gentoo, I broke down, grabbed my Ubuntu 7.10 disk, and 45 minutes later, I've got a fully featured GNOME desktop with all the whizzbang trappings of a fully integrated environment. Snazzy. I had had enough of the pain in the ass Gentoo stuff.

I can fire up Pandora in Firefox with NO issues whatsoever, it doesn't crash every ten minutes, and I can watch Youtube videos. What is more, wine actually works. I've got steam running downloading all my steam games right now, and most of the games are reported to work rather well in Ubuntu with wine, and the ones I've tested actually run with few issues! Also, I fired up a game I was rather familiar with up to that point, only to be greeted by easily another 20 frames per second(Enemy Territory: Quake Wars), though I contribute this to the 32 bit OS rather than being Ubuntu. So basically, 32 bit Ubuntu just works, and unlike Gentoo, no time investment is necessary!

Here's my perspective on issues that matter most when using a distribution.

---Magic or Do it yourself?---

There are two popular approaches in the Linux world that I've run across:

First and foremost, we have what the average windows user is not prepared for, DIY. Apart from Linux from Scratch, Gentoo embodies this more than any other Linux-based operating system I've heard of or used. Gentoo had just enough "Magic", or things that just work, to make it usable (all related to package management). Things that needed to be fixed, could be with enough training, but the key factor was you weren't fighting some automated system (Magic). What I've found with most Magic distributions is that they don't give you such capacity. It's the * way or the high way.

Then there's the Magic concept. Ubuntu installed with a fancy menu, asked me a few questions, and then threw me into a beautiful brownish desktop, only to be greeted by a few one time pop ups (that were tastefully non-intrusive). Everything worked first startup but my SLI array of 7600GT's, but one pop up changed that. I click yes, reboot, and boom. I have 3D acceleration and compiz? I didn't expect compiz. But it was nice! Then it all went away. I had Firefox, a package manager with a boat load of open source software, and the usual GNOME applications.

Distributions that do things for me normally piss me off, but with Ubuntu I was like "What do you mean you want to automate things I'd normally spend an hour doing? FUCK YES, do it!" I know how, that's enough for me. The challenge of doing is no longer that, it's menial, it's trivial. It's a waste of my damn time.

So, Gentoo lets me do it my way. Ubuntu does it it's own way, but doesn't get in my way. In fact, everything it did made me smile, and made my day easier.

Winner: Ubuntu, all the things Gentoo does are useful and make doing your own thing VERY easy. In the end, I realized I didn't want to do my own thing, I just wanted a non Microsoft desktop that just works.

---Package Repository---

Packaging systems make or break a distribution. Let's face it, the one or two things that differentiate a distribution typically are built upon package maintenance and release structures.

In Gentoo, you installed your system, and provided a bug free life, you could continue that system on forever without reinstalling to the newest version of the operating system. Just upgrade your system profile, and update your packages. In Ubuntu, it seems that there is a release system, and right now, I'm using 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon), which apparently will last me until 2009, but I'll most likely upgrade to thier next release system when it becomes stable.

The package maintenance system should accept one or two key responsibilities: The first of which, is to install the application the user wants, get all needed resources including libraries and other applications it depends on, and just let the user know it did it. Gentoo and Ubuntu both do this.

Gentoo offers configurability. Ubuntu offers no bullshit. Two different approaches, and with the struggles I've undergone with Gentoo, I'm finally landed on no bullshit. I've gone through the trouble with Gentoo, and realized there's no incentive to do so, and now just want a system that works. Configurability caused problems for me. In Ubuntu, there's a set system, static, consistent, and all the apps are developed against it. Something gentoo opposes believing in modularity of packages and release structure (a good concept, but one that cuased a lot of complication for me). I want an application installed, it installs it.

Winner: Tie. Gentoo's main strength is configurability, and MASSIVE package database. Ubuntu has a smaller main repository, but has a lot of user maintained addable repository, but I've yet to test them out. Ubuntu is easiest to work with, and keeps me away from the terminal the most.

To be continued...

I should be ashamed of myself.

Oct 30, 2007 09:20 # 45186

oKtosiTe * replies...

Re: Why I switched!

Excellent post!
Having used Debian and Gentoo for years (baby steps taken on Slackware), I'm now quite content running Ubuntu on the desktop.
I can tell you I wasn't at all happy when Gentoo marked Apache 2.2 stable and most of the configuration files changed extensively. Will probably move my server back to Debian soon.

Or is it?

This post was edited by oKtosiTe on Oct 30, 2007.

Dec 13, 2007 01:45 # 45289

zane * replies...

Re: Why I switched!

60% | 3

It's been a long time my friend. As I happen to log out and not reappear for a year or so...



I have Ubuntu 7.10. This was after test driving Vista Ultimate for a year. Well first in beta, and now full fledged production. After a year of Vista's bullshit, I dropped it for linux, again. My cruel mistress is not so cruel anymore.

Ubuntu works well. Very impressed with it. I have used, Red Hate, Mandrake (Mandriva), Slackware, and many other distros. What Aynjell post says is very true.

While I think everyone at one point in their life should do a full stage 1 install of Gentoo as a badge of honor. I mean it is the most complete linux experience. The guide printed out on size 8 font 5 years ago, was 40 pages long.

I normally like hard and tedious things.

But I can't put the time into it anymore like I have in the past.

So for everyone, enjoy Ubuntu. 7.10 works like dream and is my shinning star.

The only issue is FireFox, which freezes because of mplayer. Logging out and back in fixes it, but still annoying. If I installed the xine version, I might have better luck, but am lazy.

<I am the most complex person alive to my knowledge, save me>

Dec 13, 2007 14:46 # 45290

ginsterbusch *** replies...

Re: Why I switched!

?% | 1

The only issue is FireFox, which freezes because of mplayer. Logging out and back in fixes it, but still annoying. If I installed the xine version, I might have better luck, but am lazy.

well, I aint got this problems, as I normally DO NOT LIKE my browsers pestered and bloated with some media player-plugins. Thus, flash player is the only vice on my currently used browsers ;)

cu, w0lf.

beards are cool. every villain has one!

Dec 22, 2007 20:49 # 45325

oKtosiTe * laughs about...

Re: Why I switched!

?% | 1

Red Hate


The only issue is FireFox, which freezes because of mplayer. Logging out and back in fixes it, but still annoying. If I installed the xine version, I might have better luck, but am lazy.

Might I suggest using the MediaPlayerConnectivity addon instead? With it you can view media files with an external player of your choice; works well with VLC in most cases for me.

Or is it?

Dec 22, 2007 21:58 # 45326

zane * replies...


?% | 1


I will look into this when I get home!

I love VLC, works well. This will be a big help if it works.

<I am the most complex person alive to my knowledge, save me>

Dec 23, 2007 15:38 # 45328

oKtosiTe * wants to note...

Re: Thanks

You may, of course, have to take out mplayerplug-in.

Or is it?

Small text Large text

Netalive Amp (Skin for Winamp)