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posted by cmn32480 on Sunday July 16, @09:22AM   Printer-friendly
from the for-the-Linux-noobs dept.

Datamation examines the Debian and Ubuntu distros in detail by starting with the question, what is the difference between Debian and Ubuntu? Neither GNU/Linux distro has been out of Distrowatch's top six since 2005, and for the last four years neither has been out of the top three. There are good reasons for that. Though if systemd is not your cup of tea, there is also a Debian fork, Devuan, which is basically Debian GNU/Linux minus systemd.


[Ed Note: For many in the community who are Linux experts, this article may have no appeal. For those of us that are new to it and trying to learn, something this basic is a nice read and contains good information.]

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by kaszz on Sunday July 16, @09:45AM (13 children)

    by kaszz (4211) on Sunday July 16, @09:45AM (#539852) Journal

    Ubuvutu - The Ubuntu without Poettering. ;-)

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by bart9h on Sunday July 16, @04:52PM (12 children)

      by bart9h (767) on Sunday July 16, @04:52PM (#539934)

      To be Poettering free, one would also have to remove the dreaded pulseaudio system.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @08:32PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @08:32PM (#540013)

        Does Ubuntu still include avahi by default? [google.com]

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday July 20, @01:21AM

          by kaszz (4211) on Thursday July 20, @01:21AM (#541733) Journal

          Why do you point to a un-encrypted google search link instead of say a wikipedia [wikipedia.org] page that explains it all in 16 words?

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by KiloByte on Sunday July 16, @11:59PM (8 children)

        by KiloByte (375) on Sunday July 16, @11:59PM (#540083)

        I can't quite fathom why anyone would still keep PulseAudio as the default sound system. It's only upside left is that some environments have GUI configurators aimed towards PulseAudio only, but that's self-inflicted damage.

        It used to be the case that ALSA allowed "cheap" cards to be used by only one program at once, but ALSA can do its own mixing since a decade ago. And it does that far better than PulseAudio (the latter used to take 7% of a core even with no sound playing — nowadays, with Moore's law, it has been optimized to take 12%. And wakeups kill battery much faster than the percentage CPU use would suggest.).

        To have working sound, PulseAudio needs working ALSA. The converse is not true. Thus, the set of machines where sound works with PulseAudio is a strict subset of those with working ALSA.

        Out of 4 machines with a screen permanently attached I own, PulseAudio works and works adequately on exactly 0. One has a quiet but infuriating noise when no nothing is playing + total corruption after suspend. Second does a kernel OOPS (not strictly speaking PulseAudio's fault but ALSA works ok, and I can fix that — yay sourceless vendor kernels (Omega OAN133 arm laptop)). Third has silence with Pulse, I did not waste much time debugging. Fourth: compare yourself [angband.pl].

        --
        Ceterum censeo systemd esse delendam.
        • (Score: 2) by KiloByte on Monday July 17, @12:14AM

          by KiloByte (375) on Monday July 17, @12:14AM (#540085)

          s/can fix/can't fix/, d'oh.

          --
          Ceterum censeo systemd esse delendam.
        • (Score: 2) by cubancigar11 on Monday July 17, @06:30AM (2 children)

          by cubancigar11 (330) on Monday July 17, @06:30AM (#540200) Homepage Journal

          I used pulseaudio once and I liked it. Otherwise I don't care as long as my default installation takes care of playing the damn music.

          Anywayyyyyy.... the reason I used pulseaudio was because I was working on a machine that didn't had any music playing apps and I didn't had root access nor the SuSE repository had required packages (this is back in 2006-2007). And I mean nothing! I mean, I fixed all the LD_PRELOAD and LD_LIBRARY_PATH and installed every single library source code with PREFIX=$HOME of 50MB and the carefully deleted all the unnecessary header files and libraries and proceeded to install mplayer, but mplayer at that time had a hard dependency on nasm (afair), and nasm you couldn't install without root access. So I got stuck. Fortunately, another machine on the other end of my desk had ample storage in /tmp as well as nasm, but it didn't have a speaker attached to it, it being a server and all (which is why I could rely on /tmp not being cleared every damn time the machine rebooted). Also, I wasn't allowed to do anything on that machine (why is too complicated).

          And I want to listen to music.

          Long story short, I installed mplayer in /tmp of the server, installed pulseaudio (also in /tmp), directed mplayer to use pulseaudio and directed pulseaudio to use MY machine's hardware. AFAIK pulseaudio was the only software that had that functionality (in Linux, that is. Windows had that for a long time).

          Good times, my friend.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 18, @11:11PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 18, @11:11PM (#541220)

          Some people have more than one sound card (a common example being if you're using a TV as a monitor, as you end up with both the native sound card and the hdmi output), and may want some audio being played on one device while other audio is simultaneously playing on another device (say, so you can do your voice calls over your headset while playing music via the TV's output). To the best of my knowledge, this can only be done with pulseaudio or jack, and pulseaudio generally tends to be less painful to set up (TERRIBLY PACKAGED DEFAULTS notwithstanding...besides, these have mostly been fixed over the last few years).

          It's still not that pulseaudio is great in this situation, but it does occasionally show up as the lesser of available evils.

          • (Score: 2) by KiloByte on Thursday July 20, @01:16AM (1 child)

            by KiloByte (375) on Thursday July 20, @01:16AM (#541727)

            may want some audio being played on one device while other audio is simultaneously playing on another device (say, so you can do your voice calls over your headset while playing music via the TV's output). To the best of my knowledge, this can only be done with pulseaudio or jack

            I have music playing via speakers, while headphones are the default sound device that I use for voice calls, games and such. Both work at the same time with plain ALSA just fine -- what's your problem? In fact, it would be impossible for PulseAudio to support simultaneous sound had ALSA not allow it.

            --
            Ceterum censeo systemd esse delendam.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 23, @04:00PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 23, @04:00PM (#543383)

              Likely their "headphones" is a USB soundcard with headphones soldered directly to the audio pins.

              Thus whenever they plug in, Alsa has to deal with the appearance of a whole new sound device.

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday July 20, @12:51AM

          by kaszz (4211) on Thursday July 20, @12:51AM (#541714) Journal

          Do you have any suggestion for a setup where machine-A have a big nice screen connected but no sound. Machine-B have a small desktop screen and good sound output. So sometimes video in the webbrowser (html5) plays on machine-B and everything is alright because it got video+audio hardwired. Other times it would be desirable to play video in the webbrowser on machine-A but somehow.. redirect audio to machine-B to use sound output there.

          Alternatives thought of so far but not tested:
            (0) A USB-soundcard on each machine with digital mixing on the optical S/PDIF side. Either with a digital boolean OR mixer if it works or some selection dongle, but how to control it smoothly from the OS is a question.
            (1) USB-switch to one sound card which will make the default soundcard setting to be lost on every switch and have control issues.
            (2) PulseAudio.. Poettering.. network latency etc. And how does one direct the webbrowser to PulseAudio? even making it use ALSA is a pain. The webbrowser have no log or any debug console.

          Solution (0) feels tempting. But another one would be neat.

      • (Score: 2) by jasassin on Tuesday July 18, @04:51AM

        by jasassin (3566) <jasassin@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 18, @04:51AM (#540783) Journal

        To be Poettering free, one would also have to remove the dreaded pulseaudio system.

        Pulse audio really sucked some balls when it first came out, I'm curious what problems you are having with it now? I have no problems with it. It's actually cool that you can have multiple input streams so you can have sound notifications while watching a video etc. I honestly believe systemd will prove to be the same. In my opinion it's kind of a clusterfuck to have OSS, ALSA, JACK, PULSE etc., but I do appreciate some qualities of each. I have no reason to use JACK or ALSA because I don't do multi channel sound recording. Speaking of that, does pulse work well/at all for studio recording? Last I heard it didn't, but that was a long time ago.

        --
        jasassin@gmail.com Key fingerprint = 0644 173D 8EED AB73 C2A6 B363 8A70 579B B6A7 02CA
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Sunday July 16, @01:55PM (24 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 16, @01:55PM (#539890) Journal

    For years, Ubuntu was all about people. While I agreed with some of their initiatives, and disagreed with others, Ubuntu's main concern was making Linux usable by common people with varying degrees of education, and even no education. Debian, on the other hand, had little problem with usability, but their goal was to supply the tools needed by experts.

    The two goals aren't mutually exclusive, but they don't really support each other strongly either.

    --
    This broadcast is intended for mature audiences.
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @02:47PM (15 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @02:47PM (#539899)

      Debian, on the other hand, had little problem with usability, but their goal was to supply the tools needed by experts.

      No.

      https://www.debian.org/social_contract [debian.org]

      Our priorities are our users and free software

      We will be guided by the needs of our users and the free software community. We will place their interests first in our priorities. We will support the needs of our users for operation in many different kinds of computing environments. We will not object to non-free works that are intended to be used on Debian systems, or attempt to charge a fee to people who create or use such works. We will allow others to create distributions containing both the Debian system and other works, without any fee from us. In furtherance of these goals, we will provide an integrated system of high-quality materials with no legal restrictions that would prevent such uses of the system.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @03:03PM (6 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @03:03PM (#539903)

        Then why do they support systemd?

        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @03:29PM (5 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @03:29PM (#539908)

          Because it's what their users want & need based on the social contract they have. instead of what purists think it should be or what was good tens of years ago. Needs change and what used to work doesn't always keep working ad infinitum. Sometimes you really do have to throw shit out and begin anew.
          That being said, I fall in the purist category, but I see their point and don't go all Holy War & Crusade on it. I'm a pragmatic purist, if you will.

          • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday July 16, @03:38PM

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 16, @03:38PM (#539909) Journal

            Nonsense. There has been no outcry from users that the distros move to systemd. The users need and want an init system - and few of them cared much about which one to use. Those few have always been free to choose which one to use, of course.

            --
            This broadcast is intended for mature audiences.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @04:02PM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @04:02PM (#539918)

            Systemd was never designed for users or to meet their needs. It was designed solely for the people that make distros and do the packaging of software for the distros.

            • (Score: 5, Interesting) by VLM on Sunday July 16, @04:56PM (2 children)

              by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 16, @04:56PM (#539936)

              It was designed solely for the people that make distros and do the packaging of software for the distros.

              Those people don't want it either. Hey guys, instead of something small simple and has its bugs fixed, here's an enormous cancerous monolith that hasn't been debugged yet, its not exactly a better mousetrap. Its the oldest marketing game in the book, manufacture a need while coincidentally providing the only solution.

              I had to move to freebsd, and its working great. Best conspiracy theory ever is the *BSD people are supporting and financing systemd to destroy linux and force *BSD adoption. Its more likely Microsoft has some submarine patent preparing to launch. Embrace extend extinguish. Become the monopoly provider of init, dns resolution, sound, ssh, who knows what else, then whoops a daisy some MS patent is being violated and you can either roll back technology half a decade to pre-monopoly era, or just pay a cheap $5/host licensing fee to microsoft, or accept this generous $10 off coupon to upgrade to Windows Server 2016 or whatever they're calling it.

              • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Monday July 17, @02:07AM

                by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Monday July 17, @02:07AM (#540125)

                We need more of this sort of post from you. Modded up. Stick to technical stuff and lay off the politics, huh? This is where your strength lies.

              • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday July 20, @12:58AM

                by kaszz (4211) on Thursday July 20, @12:58AM (#541717) Journal

                The manufactured solution but not the submarine patent is right asfaik. It's all about Redhat etc being able to sell consulting services and whatnot which requires *drumroll* special knowledge of systemd which only they can provide. They even have the crystal ball for the next "feature"..

                And then it exposes Linux to new bugs in case anyone tries to defend their privacy.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Sunday July 16, @03:46PM (7 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 16, @03:46PM (#539912) Journal

        "We will be guided by the needs of our users and the free software community."

        And - who are Debian's users? Or, more to the point, who were Debian's users when the contract was written? Even today, the real rookies aren't drawn especially to Debian. The less experienced, less sophisticated users are magnetically drawn to Ubuntu sub-distros, including Linux Mint. As they gain experience and sophistication, SOME of those users move on to Debian and other distros.

        --
        This broadcast is intended for mature audiences.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @03:55PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @03:55PM (#539913)

          Ah, yes... the "noobs will be noobs" defense.
          Pray, continue to tell us how much you are better than everyone else for using a 'hardcore' distro and how all these noobs are fucking up your life.

          • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday July 16, @05:03PM

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 16, @05:03PM (#539941) Journal

            The "noobs" thing is what it is. Ubuntu strives to be easy to work with. It seemed to many of us that it was trying to be Linux' version of Windows, especially with that whole Unity/Metro thing. People who have never opened a CLI in their lives could be comfortable on Ubuntu. My own wife fits into that crowd, or very nearly so. She has actually used DOS a little bit, and can open a Command prompt on Windows. She, at least, recognizes a terminal for what it is. Many people don't.

            And, those of us who consider ourselves to be "real" Linux users can't imagine computers without a terminal.

            It is what it is, and none of your objections will change the facts of life. Maybe I fail to express it properly, and/or maybe you fail to understand it properly, but it remains what it is, and there are very separate target audiences addressed by the two distros.

            Ubuntu worked hard to capture the Windows crowd, while Debian went on with what they have always done. By definition, that contract caters to Debian Linux users, not to Windows users.

            --
            This broadcast is intended for mature audiences.
          • (Score: 2) by ragequit on Monday July 17, @03:13AM (1 child)

            by ragequit (44) on Monday July 17, @03:13AM (#540145) Journal

            I use Slackware. Migrated all the servers from Suse to Ubuntu in 2013 (service contract expired); all servers to Slackware in 2014. Never regretted the decision. No Ubuntu, I do not want to reboot to apply your updates.

            --
            The above views are fabricated for your reading pleasure.
            • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday July 20, @01:03AM

              by kaszz (4211) on Thursday July 20, @01:03AM (#541721) Journal

              How do you handle new kernel fixes without reboot? I think I read something about a such feature.

        • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday July 16, @03:59PM (1 child)

          by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 16, @03:59PM (#539916) Homepage Journal

          Mint sucks shit. I have explained why many times on this website. I wish the muh Linux Mint meme would fucking go away already.

          Ubuntu sucks. But you can configure it to be as perfect as you like.

          • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday July 16, @05:06PM

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 16, @05:06PM (#539942) Journal

            Linux Mint isn't bad. LMDE, or, Linux Mint Debian Edition is better, IMHO, but Mint is alright. I ran Mint for awhile, then I ran LMDE. I was happy with them, until I hopped to a different distro. For that matter, the only reason I broke with Ubuntu was the Unity thing. My wife would still be running Ubuntu, if not for Unity.

            --
            This broadcast is intended for mature audiences.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @10:34PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @10:34PM (#540061)

          And - who are Debian's users?

          Well, my mom... seriously...

          and no, she's the opposite of a geeky user.

    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday July 16, @03:57PM (2 children)

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 16, @03:57PM (#539915) Homepage Journal

      " Debian, on the other hand, had little problem with usability, "

      Hahahahah, what?! You can run a server on it but not much else. Nigbuntu Linux is the king of usable distros. Even if Shuttleworth wanted to be Steve Jobs and shitted up the UI.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Sunday July 16, @05:14PM (1 child)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 16, @05:14PM (#539943) Journal

        More nonsense. Damned near half of the distros in existence are derived from Debian, directly or indirectly. Anything that runs on Linux of any flavor, will run on Debian. Or, maybe more to the point, anything that won't run on Debian probably won't run on any *nix-like OS. Whatever it is, it can almost certainly be ported to Debian. For myself, I've loved the Enlightenment desktop since I first saw it on the Elive livecd. http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=elive [distrowatch.com]

        I'm not real great at installing and configuring a desktop environment, but other people are great at it. For that reason, I've hopped around between a few distros that have made E available, preconfigured, for dummies like myself.

        inxi -F
        System: Host: expansive Kernel: 4.11.0-9.1-liquorix-amd64 x86_64 (64 bit)
                              Desktop: Enlightenment 0.19.99.20573 Distro: SparkyLinux 5 (Nibiru)

        True, it may not be "pure Debian", but it's Debian with my favorite DE on it. It all depends on how you define "pure".

        --
        This broadcast is intended for mature audiences.
        • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @09:13PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @09:13PM (#540030)

          Bodhi Linux used that by default for years.

          The Bodhi devs became disenchanted with E18 and forked E17 to produce the Moksha Desktop.

          Elive

          Years back, the chief dev was having a hard time paying his bills and turned that distro into payware, making only old binaries/code available--and you had to jump through a bunch of hoops to get that. 8-(

          The community took over the project and undid that.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Sunday July 16, @05:00PM (2 children)

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 16, @05:00PM (#539938)

      Debian, on the other hand, had little problem with usability, but their goal was to supply the tools needed by experts.

      Some of this is "blind men talking about the elephant" analogy but when I was doing Debian stuff the motto was "Universal Operating System".

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @08:48PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @08:48PM (#540021)

        "Linux is user-friendly. It's just picky about who its friends are."

        s/Linux/Debian   8-)

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @08:58PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @08:58PM (#540026)

        You'll be glad to hear they've kept the motto, and redifined the meaning of the word 'universal'

        The difference between. debian and ubuntu is now 'no so very much' they're both redhat derivatives sharing a common package management program different fron redhats.

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday July 20, @01:01AM (1 child)

      by kaszz (4211) on Thursday July 20, @01:01AM (#541720) Journal

      Where would you put Slackware?

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday July 20, @02:28PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 20, @02:28PM (#541915) Journal

        Slack seems to be somewhere close to Debian, in this regard. But, I've never once succeeded in installing Slack. I tried a couple times in my early Linux days, and failed. Somehow, I've never made the effort to try again. Consequently, I only know what I've read about Slack.

        I *think* that Slack may be a little more user-friendly than Debian, but Slack has never made a name for itself as doing stupid-crazy shit to be user-friendly. Note the lack of Unity. ;^)

        --
        This broadcast is intended for mature audiences.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bart9h on Sunday July 16, @05:02PM (12 children)

    by bart9h (767) on Sunday July 16, @05:02PM (#539939)

    Yes, today I despise Ubuntu as many of you do. But I used it for a few years around about a decade ago, and I recognize it's historical importance of bringing Linux to the common user. It was the first distro to "just work". In fact, it was easier to install and operate than Windows. That was some major achievement. Today, I'm a happy Devuan user.

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday July 16, @05:20PM (5 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 16, @05:20PM (#539945) Journal

      I find your post to be a little humorous. No, Ubuntu wasn't the first to "just work". My first working installation of Linux was Suse Linux, on an early AMD Sledgehammer build. I had already tried to install Windows XP 64-bit, and failed. I tried installing a few Linux distros, and failed. I downloaded the then-current Suse, and magically, everything "just worked". I found out later that Suse had an early, inside track on some of the 64 bit data that was necessary to make everything work correctly. Every single driver I needed was packaged with the distro, and it wasn't necessary for me to do ANYTHING more than give it a name, password, and time to write to disk.

      --
      This broadcast is intended for mature audiences.
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by AthanasiusKircher on Sunday July 16, @10:17PM (3 children)

        by AthanasiusKircher (5291) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 16, @10:17PM (#540055) Journal

        I knew the parent post here would engender a bunch of "no, X already was 'just works'..." comments, and lo and behold, here they are.

        It depends on one's definition of "just works" as well as one's personal experience and how many different types of systems one tried to install things on.

        I think for many people "just works" means something like a stereotypical Windows or Mac OS installation experience post year 2000 or so. (And before we hear the flood of nightmare stories about how hard it was to install Windows on some machine... yeah, that happened too. Hopefully all of us here know that, so most of us also know that Windows and Mac OS was deployed on millions of computers around the world with standardized installations that usually worked well with little fuss.)

        "Just works" for most former Windows etc. users = you install the OS without having to resort to command line hacks. If a driver is missing or something, a few clicks and download or two will generally fix it. Done.

        While Suse, Red Hat, and various other Linux distros over the years simplified the installation process and provided better support out of the box, it was undoubtedly part of Ubuntu's philosophy to be a "just works" distro for the VAST MAJORITY of standard PC hardware configurations, thereby allowing a more widespread adoption of Linux.

        Unfortunately, I don't think Ubuntu actually succeeded at that initially. I've been using Linux for ~20 years (and Unix derivatives for years before that), but around a decade ago I finally got a bit fed up and wanted a "just works" distro myself that didn't require me to spend a few hours after install or upgrades sorting things out.

        At that time (ca. 2007) Ubuntu still wasn't "just works" for someone like the common Windows user who didn't want to deal with CLI for basic stuff during installation. I first tried installing Ubuntu on a standard Dell business desktop (one of the most popular models of the time, with a standard Dell monitor), and was stuck in Xorg config hell to even get a GUI on booting up after install with Ubuntu. That or some other random thing broke on various installs of newer versions over the next few years, causing me to abandon Ubuntu and go back to Debian for a while.

        For me (and I do not claim my experience to be universal), the first "just works" Linux distro was probably Mint ca. 2011. At that time, I tried installing Mint not only on several of my own machines, but several belonging to my family, and recommended it to several friends who had not used Linux before. Every install went down without a hitch or need to resort to command line config files to fix something, or tweaking obscure settings just to get basic audio codecs going, etc.

        So yeah, I'm sure you (and many others) have had "just works" experiences before then. But Ubuntu really tried to make that experience even easier and more widespread. I think Mint finally accomplished it earlier, and Ubuntu and some others have since caught up in terms of hardware compatibility and ease of install.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @12:30AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @12:30AM (#540094)

          I don't think Ubuntu actually succeeded at ["just works"] initially

          They knew that their first release (Ubuntu 4.10, October 2004) still had lots of rough spots, so they called it Warty Warthog.

          The June 2006[1] release (6.06, Dapper Drake) was clean enough that there was a serious uptick in folks trying Linux.
          (It didn't hurt that they would mail you a CD, gratis, anywhere on the planet.)

          [1] They missed their release date, projected for April; that has since become standardized (x.04).
          Dapper was the point at which they started the alphabetical order thing with release names.

          .
          Yeah, when Mint hit its stride, that was a notable inflection point for average folks who wanted to try Linux.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 2) by el_oscuro on Monday July 17, @01:08AM

          by el_oscuro (1711) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 17, @01:08AM (#540104)

          In the 90s, I had played around with various early distros and found doing even trivial stuff extremely hard. So I always went back to Windows. But in 2002/2003 I got a new motherboard/case/HD, and wanted to have a real legal install of Windows on it. So I headed over to the O/S section and Windows 2000 Workstation was listed at $199, while Red Hat workstation 7 was $49 and came with a manual. So I decide to try Linux again. A few hours and 5 CDs later, I had a fully operational system with every application installed. Getting up on the internet was a simple as providing the dial up number in the GUI and with Mozzila's built-in popup blocker, life on the Internet was like 1996. There were definitely challenges such as games and installing software that wasn't on the extensive CD repository. But mostly, I could immediately do everything I needed to. Thus Linux became the O/S of my primary workstation.

          I never went back to Windows. I did eventually install SUSE a few years later. My kids were out playing in the leaves and I had just got a digital USB camera. I needed to transfer the pictures to a computer quickly so I could take some more. There are only so many times you will get good pictures of your kids playing in leaves. :) I didn't want to dick with on Linux so I plugged the USB in to a Windows machine I still had and....

          Nothing. No recognition of the device, no new drive letter, nothing. Finally, I figured out you had do download 100mb of crapware from Kodak to get drivers to recognize the camera. It took an hour. I was trying to avoid shit like this by using the "it just works" for Windows. And USB is supposed to
          be plug in play.

          After all of that, I tried plugging in the camera to my SUSE machine. Once I plugged it in, a dialog box popped up:
          "A USB camera has been detected. Would you like to import photos into F-spot?" And the shit just worked. At that point, Windows was done. I later replaced that SUSE machine with a sweet Dell Ubuntu and never looked back. Now you can find pretty much anything you need in the repositories, Wine runs lots of Windows only stuff (sometimes better than current version of Windows) and Steam/GOG provides more Linux games than I can possibly play.

             

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          SoylentNews is Bacon! [nueskes.com]
        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday July 17, @04:30AM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 17, @04:30AM (#540175) Journal

          Ya know, I think you pretty well nailed it. Along with Reziac's "it's that no two user experiences are alike!!" sums everything up very nicely.

          --
          This broadcast is intended for mature audiences.
      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Monday July 17, @02:38AM

        by Reziac (2489) on Monday July 17, @02:38AM (#540132) Homepage

        Huh. Back in the 32bit era (before live ISOs), SuSE would *never* install for me. In the 64bit world, it's still the most likely to fail to load from a live ISO.

        Well, if there's one thing you can always say about linux, it's that no two user experiences are alike!!

    • (Score: 2, Disagree) by VLM on Sunday July 16, @05:49PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 16, @05:49PM (#539950)

      It was the first distro to "just work"

      That was SLS "softlanding linux solutions" circa 1993, 1994 ish timeframe. Distributed as a set of floppy disks which were split tar files. Like set A booted and didn't do much else, set B came with usable base commands to do stuff, set C came with the compiler, set K was the kernel source (0.99 or something?) and set X was very old but working Xwindow. Possibly set E was emacs. Everything worked assuming your floppy disks held up. I seem to remember it took two boxes of floppy disks if you wanted an entire set, but if you were industrious yet cheap, the largest set was only 7 or so disks, so you'd install A B and C and then optionally reuse the disks for K or X if you wanted that kind of thing.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by pTamok on Sunday July 16, @06:48PM (2 children)

      by pTamok (3042) on Sunday July 16, @06:48PM (#539967)

      I would like to be a happy Devuan user, but it doesn't quite meet my wishes, which is a shame. That said, neither does Debian. In both cases, the standard installers don't have the capability of building the environment I want. I might be forced into doing some heavy hacking.

      However, what I will say is that I support the Devuan philosophy of choice of init system - that is "Init Freedom"

      Init Freedom is about restoring a sane approach to PID1, one that respects diversity and freedom of choice.

      ( from https://www.devuan.org/os/init-freedom/ [devuan.org] )

      While I'm trying to make the move from Kubuntu, I'm also trying to work out what is easiest to use as a supportable system for my relatives, and am currently leaning towards Lubuntu, for practical reasons. While I'm not thrilled at having to uses proprietary blobs to support their hardware and Pulseaudio (because of Firefox), the advantages of having a relatively sane mainstream system are clear. Skype was a deal-breaker: if Skype for Linux did not exist, none would move off Windows. I managed to move them from Windows Live Mail to Thunderbird, and from IE/Edge to Firefox, but Skype...

      I've been reading an interesting blog of someone trying to use a Fedora Linux system for work, instead of iOS. In a business context, the calendar issues he has are indeed a problem. ( http://blog.scottlowe.org//2017/07/10/linux-migration-july-2017-progress-report/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+slowe%2Fcontent%2Ffeed+%28blog.scottlowe.org+Content+Feed%29 [scottlowe.org] ) I think it illustrates that Linux is not ready to take over the generic corporate desktop. Yet. Which is a shame, but unsurprising.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @09:50PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @09:50PM (#540043)

        > However, what I will say is that I support the Devuan philosophy of choice of init system - that is "Init Freedom"

        Well, except that Devuan does not offer "init freedom" at all: you get to choose between sysvinit and sysvinit.
        In Debian proper at least two different choices are supported.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @11:57PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @11:57PM (#540082)

        60 percent of that URL is noise.
        Next time, chop it off before the question mark and see if it still works.
        (It almost always will.)

        Better still: Also use proper link text.

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 2) by tibman on Sunday July 16, @08:16PM (1 child)

      by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 16, @08:16PM (#540001)

      Mandrake was probably the first distro to "just work".

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      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Reziac on Monday July 17, @02:44AM

        by Reziac (2489) on Monday July 17, @02:44AM (#540135) Homepage

        Back when we were still installing from CDs, that was indeed my experience -- Mandrake 7.x was the first one I tried where most stuff Just Worked, or at least it did better at it than any other distro I'd tried (of dozens, starting in 1998).

        Funny thing, when I've had distro-testing spasms since then... the ones that work best out of the box (and suit me best) always seem to be Mandrake descendants.

  • (Score: 2) by https on Sunday July 16, @08:39PM (3 children)

    by https (5248) on Sunday July 16, @08:39PM (#540017)

    Ubuntu has a slick installer, and they deserve some kudos for it and the not-completely-daft default settings. However, what it installs is based on debian's testing branch instead of their stable branch. In practical terms, Ubuntu's foundation is something that the Debian project has explicitly said is not ready for prime time use.

    Admittedly, it's not based on debian's experimental branch, which is guaranteed broken in particular ways. But still.

    --
    Offended and laughing about it.
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @08:58PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @08:58PM (#540025)

      That would lead you to antiX. [google.com]
      N.B. systemd-free by default.
      Same for pulseaudio.

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @11:02PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @11:02PM (#540070)

        Antix16 was very good

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @04:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 17, @04:13PM (#540363)

      the software is already years behind upstream as it is. if they used debian stable you would need an archaeologist to start your os for you...

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