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barbie (2653)

barbie
  reversethis-{ku. ... m} {ta} {eibrab}
http://barbie.missbarbell.co.uk/

Leader of Birmingham.pm [pm.org] and a CPAN author [cpan.org]. Co-organised YAPC::Europe in 2006 and the 2009 QA Hackathon, responsible for the YAPC Conference Surveys [yapc-surveys.org] and the QA Hackathon [qa-hackathon.org] websites. Also the current caretaker for the CPAN Testers websites and data stores.

If you really want to find out more, buy me a Guinness ;)

Links:
Memoirs of a Roadie [missbarbell.co.uk]
[pm.org]
CPAN Testers Reports [cpantesters.org]
YAPC Conference Surveys [yapc-surveys.org]
QA Hackathon [qa-hackathon.org]

Journal of barbie (2653)

Wednesday March 16, 2005
08:31 AM

Ubuntu Trials

[ #23678 ]
At the weekend, I bit the bullet, backed up my laptop and started an upgrade. I've been running RedHat9 for about 2 years quite successfully, and have got used it. However, due to it not having full support for my wireless cards, and a few other items that really needed upgrading, I decided to go for Ubuntu. I've had the install disk for a couple of months and its been bugging me that I haven't tried it yet. A number of the Wolves and South Birmingham LUG guys have very impressed, so I thought I ought to at least give it a whirl.

However, my initial expereince hasn't been the best. The basic install went fairly smoothly. Mind you it was a default install, so there is very little user interaction. Unfortunately that default install is a little wierd. No C compiler ... at all. And no sshd. But it does configure and instigate an SMTP server for you! The laptop is not to be used for either mail or printing, but yet again I've got tons of apps and libraries sitting around doing nothing. Hopefully it'll be easier to uninstall them this time around, but I don't hold out much hope. I've never used apt-get before, but was disappointed that there isn't a clear way to just be notified of the packages that have an upgrade available. It took a while of searching before I discovered apt-show-versions (but I even had to apt-get install that first).

Setting up the networking hasn't been easy either. I have to have 3 separate network profiles, to use my home, work and wireless networks. RH9 managed to do that automatically, and I could setup it all up, including the nameservers, via the commandline. Ubuntu seems to have everything setup to only allow access via the GUI interface. So now I have to click through half a dozen screens before I can select my network. THEN I can insert the network card! And if I change networks, dhclient isn't enough, I still have to click through the GUI to change the profile.

I also don't like the desktop menuing. I'm used to having a simple taskbar with my most used apps and moniters. So far I have yet to figure out how I can change, if at all, the default setup. There must be a way, but it isn't obvious. It certainly isn't via drag and drop or a simple GUI. Or if it is the latter, I've yet to find it.

On a good note I now notice that my Infrared port appears to be configured now. My phone has an I/R port too, so at some point I'm going to have to learn how to set that up. Might be useful when I finally get a GPRS/3G contract. I also have a 2.6 kernel at last too, which was one of the main reasons for the distro upgrade anyway.

I'm going to stick with it for now, and see how I get on. However, seeing as Fedora Core 4 has now released for testing, if I don't iron out my differences with Ubuntu, I think I'll be switching once FC4 is released as stable.

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  • I use apt-get from the command line when I know exactly what I want, but Synaptic is a very good GTK-based package manager which I use for my regular updates. The 'status' view allows you to see packages that have an upgrade available. You can drill down into them to see full descriptions and file listings. And of course you can choose which ones you want to upgrade. Synaptic rocks.
    • Cool. Thanks for the tip. Synaptic [nongnu.org] sounds exactly the kind of thing I want :)
      • You didn't get Synaptic installed by default ? It's already in a stock Ubuntu install and they sorta recommend it.

        The SMTP (Postfix) is because Debian requires some sort of MTA to send error messages and so on. But it doesn't listen to anything other than 127.0.0.1 (Ubuntu has a no open ports by default policy, which is also why you didn't get a sshd, most likely)

        I migrated from Redhat myself. It's been nice so far and apt-get/dpkg take a lot of the pain away (yum and rpm had a few problems for me). Is FC

        • As it happens Synaptic was installed by default, it was just that I'd never heard of it, so didn't know to look for it ;)

          Thanks for the update about Postfix and sshd. At least I know why now. Alas I can't uninstall Postfix and several other things without uninstalling Ubuntu because of the way they have created their dependancies, which is a shame.

          To be honest, I only tried FC1 briefly and I didn't find it too bad. But then I was used to the file structure. I'm getting used to Ubuntu, and one good thing

          • I haven't tried ubuntu yet (hope to soon) but I've been using Debian for ages, so I have an idea. I expect you should be able to rid yourself of postfix by installing a "lite" or "dummy" package that provides mail-transport-agent, and still keep the things you care about. If you want to try it but have questions or problems, give me a shout and I'd be glad to look more closely at it. (The ssmtp and nullmailer packages might interest you, though they might not be on the ubuntu CDROM.)
  • I don't understand why people put up with this crapness from Linux boxes.

    Just get a mac already. You'll be so much happier there.
    • I don't know why anybody would put up with a limited and user-hostile UI, weird upgrading problems, the lack of decent and easily installable free software, and the poor hardware support, but that's why I don't run Mac OS X. (Hey, everyone chooses his own levels of acceptable pain.)

    • Oh gawd, I've started OS Wars again!

      Matt, if I could afford a Mac, then I'd be very happy. However, I've already been told I have too many computers ;)