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Examining gOS With Its Ubuntu Origins In Mind 110

Posted by timothy
from the mostly-walks-like-a-heron dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The history of computing is that of giants being toppled. Right now, Ubuntu is the giant of the Linux world but some have been suggesting that gOS' latest release — 3.0 "Gadgets" Beta — might be a serious challenger. Can this be true? The truth is a little more complicated, as the Ubuntu Kung Fu blog explains in its review of the new release."
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Examining gOS With Its Ubuntu Origins In Mind

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  • by Mistshadow2k4 (748958) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @06:35PM (#24591393) Journal
    Any other distro could be as long as the devs put enough work into it, listen to their user base and -- especially -- get a little marketing. The real question is, will they?
    • by Bandman (86149) <bandman@NOsPAm.gmail.com> on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @07:04PM (#24591705) Homepage

      Probably not?

      Seriously, the reason Ubuntu has been as successful as it has is because Shuttleworth can pay people to work on it.

      Free open-source developers who are volunteering their time work on problems that are fun, or are hard.

      Paid developers work on what someone tells them to.

      In the minds of most programmers I know, there's no glory or bragging rights in building a unified user experience. .

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pembo13 (770295)
        Does their marketting team have anything to do with their success?
        • by Bandman (86149)

          Shuttleworth paid their marketing team, I imagine.

          Other successful software companies use marketing to increase revenue, there's no reason Canonical shouldn't.

          • by xenocide2 (231786)

            Shuttleworth paid for ShipIt, which got them a lot of press and users. I can't say how much it really cost -- AOL gives out CDs all the time, so it's gotta be fairly cheap.

            Just as important though is that he recognized that Debian was broke, and that a lot of people agreed. Paying people to fix the problems probably earned him a lot of free marketing team members. I'm not sure he ever anticipated Canonical would get significant revenue selling support and engineering.

            • "Debian was broke" well this Debian user would like to respectfully disagree. The only thing I have found broken is linux video editing and I'm 90% thats my own fault for not been good enough at fault finding to get through the compile errors.
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by xenocide2 (231786)

                Debian the community was broke in 2004. I know because I was there watching them. In 2004, they seemed to be holding a competition with XP for longest running stable release. Except XP got SP2, essentially making Debian the winner. They hid from users, they had no focus on the desktop. They did have a lot of great stuff that was just going nowhere, because they were paralyzed by vote. #debian was nearly a cess pool of wrath from people who felt they earned the right to it. They refused to integrate new tech

                • by columbus (444812)

                  Ubuntu is like one of those elven rings of power.
                  Debian is the One Ring to rule them all.

        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Does their marketting team have anything to do with their success?

          nope, everyone i know that uses ubuntu uses it because its easier to install/use and/or its nicely integrated.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by KillerBob (217953)

          Does their marketting team have anything to do with their success?

          Certainly. In my mind, Zenwalk [zenwalk.org] is, hands-down, a better distro. Faster, lighter, equally compatible, large library of pre-built software, easy to maintain. Running Zenwalk makes Ubuntu feel like Windows... it really *is* that much zippier. And there's probably other distros that are of the same calibre, but I simply haven't felt any need or desire to go looking.

          But Zenwalk doesn't have nearly as large a marketting weight, nor does it have the

          • by KWTm (808824) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @09:45PM (#24593379) Journal

            In my mind, Zenwalk is, hands-down, a better distro. Faster, lighter, equally compatible, large library of pre-built software, easy to maintain. Running Zenwalk makes Ubuntu feel like Windows... it really *is* that much zippier. And there's probably other distros that are of the same calibre, but I simply haven't felt any need or desire to go looking.

            Without thinking any less of Zenwalk, I would say that the reason I chose Ubuntu, and the reason I hope most people choose Ubuntu, is for the critical mass effect. Although it's perfectly alright for there to be an unlimited number of Linux distributions, I hope that one can emerge to be the flagship distribution, the de facto standard, so that the non-Linux world --vendors of Other Operating Systems, hardware manufacturers, and the lay public-- can have a standard distribution to see, experience and understand. If a hardware manufacturer decides that it can't possibly support all Linux distributions, at least it can say "we support Ubuntu Linux" and the other distro's can take it from there. If some noob-to-Linux goes crying for help, at least s/he there's a chance that some not-quite-geek has heard of the distro and can offer some help and support --including emotional support, where appropriate.

            Red Hat had the chance to be that one flagship distro. They decided to cut it loose and focus just on big companies. Debian never really focused on the end-user experience. Mandrake (now Mandriva) came the closest to Ubuntu, in my opinion, but I guess they were missing a millionaire benefactor.

            So, I hear you, and I don't think Zenwalk is any less because everyone's talking about Ubuntu. But I think Ubuntu has its place, and I think all the Linux distros benefit from Ubuntu's standing.

            Having said that, can you tell me a bit more about Zenwalk and how easy it is to maintain? I briefly checked out the web page and couldn't tell if it was based on the Debian system, like Ubuntu. If it's not too far off from Ubuntu and it's able to benefit from ports to Ubuntu, then I might check it out. Because I find that one necessity in a Linux distro is the existence of a strong package maintenance institution, so that I can be confident that new software will be packaged and made available for (and compatible with) my distro.

            • by KillerBob (217953) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @10:53PM (#24594015)

              Having said that, can you tell me a bit more about Zenwalk and how easy it is to maintain? I briefly checked out the web page and couldn't tell if it was based on the Debian system, like Ubuntu. If it's not too far off from Ubuntu and it's able to benefit from ports to Ubuntu, then I might check it out. Because I find that one necessity in a Linux distro is the existence of a strong package maintenance institution, so that I can be confident that new software will be packaged and made available for (and compatible with) my distro.

              It's Slack-based. But unlike Slack, it has a package-management system with dependency checking, and uses a modern 2.6 kernel. It still uses the same .tgz package format as Slack, meaning it's essentially a tarball and you can install Slack packages, as well as coming with utilities that let you convert rpm and deb packages to tgz so they can be installed, and installs packages very quickly. I can't fault apt... it is a very good tool for system management. But Zenwalk's netpkg brings all of that functionality to a Slack-based system. Like Ubuntu, Zen has restricted packages for drivers like NVidia and ATi, as well as DVD playback and MP3 encoding (which aren't actually needed most of the time). I have not yet run into a software that I use which isn't in the repo, but unlike Ubuntu, I didn't have to configure *anything* on my laptop. Everything worked out of the box (well, for performance reasons I did choose to install the NVidia binary blob driver: I play games). Even MP3 and DVD playback, and the wireless card (Intel 8945g) worked out of the box without any need to be installed or configured.

              That did mean that I had to accept a non-GPL license at install time (if you decline, the non-GPL blobs and software are uninstalled), but the idea is simplicity for end users. It's designed around a one-app per task, zero configuration philosophy, and it achieves that *very* well, choosing apps that are both stable, and lightweight, and coming with driver functionality out of the box that you simply don't see on any other distro. And it's got software out of the box for everything the average user does with their computer. Finally, it's a smaller ISO, so a faster download, as well as being faster to run in general.

              Bottom line: It's better for desktop linux than Ubuntu. :)

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by LingNoi (1066278)

            Faster, lighter, equally compatible, large library of pre-built software, easy to maintain.

            Yet judging from the screenshots it's running the exact same apps that Ubuntu uses (ghex, gcalc, etc).

            This seems like a case of you just wanting to be different from the "norm" and I very much doubt Zenwalk is any better then any other Linux OS that uses the exact same software.

            • by KillerBob (217953) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @11:23PM (#24594275)

              The difference is in the compilation options. Just because it's the same software doesn't mean it's the same build, and anybody who's compared performance/benchmarks under Gentoo as opposed to Ubuntu can tell you what a huge difference it can make.

              Gentoo can be faster than Zenwalk (though in some benchmarks isn't), but Zenwalk is much easier to install and maintain, and they're both *hugely* faster than Ubuntu.

          • In my mind, Zenwalk is, hands-down, a better distro. ... Running Zenwalk makes Ubuntu feel like Windows... it really *is* that much zippier.

            For a fairer comparison, I suppose you could give Xubuntu a try.

        • Does their marketting team have anything to do with their success?

          It's not entirely fair to say the success of Ubuntu is due entirely to marketing and paid developers... What about Suse, RH, Linspire etc. Many have tried before.

          It think - for once - the often overused word 'vision' is appropriate

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        In the minds of most programmers I know, there's no glory or bragging rights in building a unified user experience.

        Fortunately, there are a few of us around who believe in getting the little things just right.

        • by Bandman (86149)

          And $deity bless you for it, because the world needs more people like you

          Any chance you feel like telling a few hundred thousand unpaid programmers what to do?

  • Marketing (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215)

    Shuttleworth does a great job marketing and pushing Ubuntu. He signs deals with the right vendors. People who know nothing about Linux have heard of Ubuntu.

    Yet, it is my least favorite distro I've ever tried. Popularity does not necessarily equate to quality.

    That being said, I'm glad people are starting to realize that alternatives exist, and Ubuntu might be a gateway to other (better) distros. I hope Ubuntu doesn't turn people off though. I wish there was more of a coordinated effort to market other d

    • by NemosomeN (670035)
      The problem with that is that, in general, excluding Knoppix, Linux is a much larger commitment than Firefox. Even Knoppix is a slightly larger commitment. (I've never had as much luck with other Live CDs, Ubuntu's crashed my system on boot, DSL is great, but not generally full-OS, and DragonFlySBIE [I think? I'ts been a long time], though not Linux, didn't have such great hardware support)
      • It is harder to change your OS than your browser. That being said, Linux could still benefit from marketing, as Ubuntu has demonstrated. The problem is that Linux isn't one big, unified community.

        I'd like to see something like GetKde.org as a grassroots campaign. KDE apps can be installed on Windows and Mac OS X as a gateway, to allow people to try out OSS before making a big commitment. Pushing a desktop like KDE could be a unified project supported by several major distro communities. Many distros ea

    • by QuantumG (50515) *

      umm, dare I ask, what exactly don't you like about it?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Enderandrew (866215)

        1 - Gnome only
        2 - Fairly vanilla packages
        3 - Really ugly themeing
        4 - Basically zero options in the install process. I get the default packages, and that is it.
        5 - I could never get the ATI drivers to work well with Ubuntu on my wife's laptop, but they worked great with Sabayon and openSUSE.
        6 - I compiled a custom kernel by hand, but then I couldn't get the ATI driver to load at all, because Ubuntu demands that there be a restricted module package for the kernel, and I couldn't make one for a custom kernel.

        • by QuantumG (50515) *

          1 - Gnome only

          No, Kubuntu.

          2 - Fairly vanilla packages

          I have no idea what you're on about here.

          3 - Really ugly themeing

          It's a theme, you can change it.

          4 - Basically zero options in the install process. I get the default packages, and that is it.

          You get what is needed and you can do your customization after the install process. This is the best decision ever made by the Ubuntu community.

          5 - I could never get the ATI drivers to work well with Ubuntu on my wife's laptop, but they worked great with Sabayon and openSUSE.

          Thousands of others have no problem. Can you install these drivers by clicking "yes" to an option on these other distros?

          6 - I compiled a custom kernel by hand, but then I couldn't get the ATI driver to load at all, because Ubuntu demands that there be a restricted module package for the kernel, and I couldn't make one for a custom kernel.

          If you do advanced things you're expected to know what you are doing. This is the same for any linux distro.

          7 - Never could get madwifi to work on Ubuntu well, when it worked out of the box with openSUSE and Sabayon.

          When was this?

          8 - When I asked for support in the forums I was repeatedly flamed in PMs, and on the IRC support channel. I was told that I needed to install the 32-bit version, even when I asked for help the in the 64-bit forums. I was repeatedly told the 64-bit version is unsupported, even though Cannonical sells commercial support for it.

          Again, when was this? Ubuntu has one

          • Re:Marketing (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gmai l . com> on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @08:32PM (#24592697) Homepage Journal

            I've done this about five times on Slashdot. Someone asks me what I don't like about Ubuntu, I get modded down troll for answering a question, etc. I don't really feel like arguing, but if you really want to go point-by-point:

            No, Kubuntu.

            Kubuntu is a separate project worked on by seperate devs. It doesn't get the baseline Ubuntu features for precisely that reason.

            I have no idea what you're on about here.

            Fire up a Knoppix CD, or Kubuntu and you'll basically see a vanilla KDE desktop. They don't customize the packages, install addition patches, or do anything. Now fire up Mandriva, or openSUSE, or PCLinuxOS, or Arch's KDEMod, or Sabayon, etc. You'll see they've added other patches to expand functionality, fix bugs, backport features, etc. What is the point of 20 million distros if they all ship the same packages?

            Many Ubuntu packages are largely the vanilla, upstream package with no changes. (Ubuntu has a decent number of kernel patches and toolchain patches, like many other distros, but they largely inherit these from Debian). openSUSE (my most common example recently, because it is my new favorite of all the major distros I've tried recently) hires devs to backport features, and make the best possible packages they can. Again, many Gnome users praise openSUSE for putting out a bettter Gnome desktop than Ubuntu, because they don't ship vanilla packages.

            You get what is needed and you can do your customization after the install process. This is the best decision ever made by the Ubuntu community.

            I'm not saying Ubuntu is wrong. I'm saying I don't like it. I want options in my install process to customize it. Ubuntu is targeted at a certain audience. I'm not a member of it. I used to recommend Kubuntu to people who weren't computer savvy and wanted something very simple, and yet I discovered that other distros were just as simple to use, while providing better packages to boot.

            It's a theme, you can change it.

            I always change the theme on any desktop, but you asked what I don't like. I really don't like Ubuntu brown and orange. A recent poll on the openSUSE forums showed most responders saying they never bother changing the default theme. I don't understand that. Why wouldn't you customize your desktop?

            Thousands of others have no problem. Can you install these drivers by clicking "yes" to an option on these other distros?

            openSUSE offers a 1-click installer. Sabayon includes them by default. Heck, Mint (a nicer fork of Ubuntu) includes them by default. I followed the instructions on Ubuntu's wiki, yet they never worked. I asked for help and was repeatedly attacked for attempting to use ATI. Mind you, on the exact same laptop (my wife's old laptop) I ran Gentoo with the ATI drivers (custom kernel, -viper release), Sabayon with the ATI drivers, and openSUSE 10.1 with the ATI drivers. The only distro I had problems with was Ubuntu.

            If you do advanced things you're expected to know what you are doing. This is the same for any linux distro.

            You're not seeing what I'm getting at. I know how to compile my own kernel. I've been doing it for years. Since I'm impatient, even on binary distros I compile my own kernel and manually patch in drivers rather than wait for distros to releasing updated packages. On Ubuntu and Kubuntu, after I made my own kernel, it would not load the ATI module at all. It gave me an error about how it could not load the module because it was missing a restricted modules .deb package. They've gone out of their way to patch into their kernel sources a measure to stop you from using proprietary modules. I've never seen another distro do this. For the stock Ubuntu kernels, this package exists. For custom kernels (I downloaded a -mm kernel and then patched in the Ubuntu diff. I normally always patch in that distro's patches to the kernel in case they are important). If I never patched in the Ubuntu patches, the ATI driver would

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by QuantumG (50515) *

              I've done this about five times on Slashdot. Someone asks me what I don't like about Ubuntu, I get modded down troll for answering a question, etc.

              I can see why. You're wrong and you seem to be uninterested in learning this.

              Kubuntu is a separate project worked on by seperate devs. It doesn't get the baseline Ubuntu features for precisely that reason.

              No it isn't. What gave you that idea?

              Fire up a Knoppix CD, or Kubuntu and you'll basically see a vanilla KDE desktop. They don't customize the packages, install addition patches, or do anything. Now fire up Mandriva, or openSUSE, or PCLinuxOS, or Arch's KDEMod, or Sabayon, etc. You'll see they've added other patches to expand functionality, fix bugs, backport features, etc. What is the point of 20 million distros if they all ship the same packages?

              Many Ubuntu packages are largely the vanilla, upstream package with no changes. (Ubuntu has a decent number of kernel patches and toolchain patches, like many other distros, but they largely inherit these from Debian). openSUSE (my most common example recently, because it is my new favorite of all the major distros I've tried recently) hires devs to backport features, and make the best possible packages they can. Again, many Gnome users praise openSUSE for putting out a bettter Gnome desktop than Ubuntu, because they don't ship vanilla packages.

              Oh, so "vanilla" means "like debian".. that's ok, I like debian. Sounds like you have a different personal preference. This is probably the most legitimate thing you have said in this thread.

              I'm not saying Ubuntu is wrong. I'm saying I don't like it. I want options in my install process to customize it. Ubuntu is targeted at a certain audience. I'm not a member of it. I used to recommend Kubuntu to people who weren't computer savvy and wanted something very simple, and yet I discovered that other distros were just as simple to use, while providing better packages to boot.

              Again, personal preference, good for you.

              I always change the theme on any desktop, but you asked what I don't like. I really don't like Ubuntu brown and orange. A recent poll on the openSUSE forums showed most responders saying they never bother changing the default theme. I don't understand that. Why wouldn't you customize your desktop?

              I like the default theme, personally. I also don't really care too much about it. You obviously do and that's your preference.

              openSUSE offers a 1-click installer. Sabayon includes them by default. Heck, Mint (a nicer fork of Ubuntu) includes them by default. I followed the instructions on Ubuntu's wiki, yet they never worked. I asked for help and was repeatedly attacked for attempting to use ATI. Mind you, on the exact same laptop (my wife's old laptop) I ran Gentoo with the ATI drivers (custom kernel, -viper release), Sabayon with the ATI drivers, and openSUSE 10.1 with the ATI drivers. The only distro I had problems with was Ubuntu.

              When was this? I have a machine w

              • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

                by Enderandrew (866215)

                I can see why. You're wrong and you seem to be uninterested in learning this.

                I was civil and asked the same of you. You've failed in that regard.

                No it isn't. What gave you that idea?

                Talking to the devs and hearing them complain about how few people work on the project, and how they don't have communication with the Ubuntu project enough to include the major Ubuntu features in their releases. The facts are pretty clear here. Fedora, Debain, openSUSE, and every major distro pretty much includes both major

                • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

                  by QuantumG (50515) *

                  Why can't you use <quote>? When you did your Google search for Shuttleworth comments did you happen to get the date of the comment? People change their opinions over time you know.. Actually install a the latest version of Ubuntu on a machine with a 3d graphics card.. watch as it automatically installs the restricted drivers.

                  • by sir fer (1232128)
                    what does his ability to use the quote tag have to do with the substance of his argument? I agree with a lot of what he says because it has happened to me also. I use ubuntu and am happy with it but it sure as hell ain't perfect.
              • openSUSE offers a 1-click installer. Sabayon includes them by default. Heck, Mint (a nicer fork of Ubuntu) includes them by default. I followed the instructions on Ubuntu's wiki, yet they never worked. I asked for help and was repeatedly attacked for attempting to use ATI. Mind you, on the exact same laptop (my wife's old laptop) I ran Gentoo with the ATI drivers (custom kernel, -viper release), Sabayon with the ATI drivers, and openSUSE 10.1 with the ATI drivers. The only distro I had problems with was Ubuntu.

                When was this? I have a machine with ATI drivers, Ubuntu installed them by default and alerted me that it had done it.

                Then you probably have a desktop with a post 9600 ATI. I have three laptops with ATIs in them. They work with Fiesty but will not work with Gutsy or Hardy due to ATI dropping support in the binary. It is true however that Sabayon ships a nicer KDE and configures graphics cards properly that Ubuntu will not, I usually run a partition of both on each machine (my two favourite distros) and I have seen this many times.

                • openSUSE offers a 1-click installer. Sabayon includes them by default. Heck, Mint (a nicer fork of Ubuntu) includes them by default. I followed the instructions on Ubuntu's wiki, yet they never worked. I asked for help and was repeatedly attacked for attempting to use ATI. Mind you, on the exact same laptop (my wife's old laptop) I ran Gentoo with the ATI drivers (custom kernel, -viper release), Sabayon with the ATI drivers, and openSUSE 10.1 with the ATI drivers. The only distro I had problems with was Ubuntu.

                  When was this? I have a machine with ATI drivers, Ubuntu installed them by default and alerted me that it had done it.

                  Then you probably have a desktop with a post 9600 ATI. I have three laptops with ATIs in them. They work with Fiesty but will not work with Gutsy or Hardy due to ATI dropping support in the binary. It is true however that Sabayon ships a nicer KDE and configures graphics cards properly that Ubuntu will not, I usually run a partition of both on each machine (my two favourite distros) and I have seen this many times.

                  If you need ATI binary support on Ubuntu and don't want to do any of that stuff manually, may I suggest EnvyNG [launchpad.net]? (Homepage is here [albertomilone.com].)

                  • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

                    Unfortunately that won't work with envy:

                    https://answers.launchpad.net/envy/+question/23594

                    The only way to get a working binary for the older cards is to install an ATI blob from version 8.28.8 http://ati.amd.com/support/drivers/linux/radeonprevious-linux.html [amd.com] or before. A lot of laptops use 9100s, they were dropped along with a heap of other models after this release.

                    You just have to give up in the end and lose most of your acceleration, or install a old distro from cd and not update it.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              Since I'm impatient, even on binary distros I compile my own kernel and manually patch in drivers rather than wait for distros to releasing updated packages.

              You are not the target market for Ubuntu, why would you expect it to conform to your expectations (which frankly are pretty extreme)? Most of the things which you quote as disadvantages for you, are advantages for someone who just comes fresh to Linux, and has no idea what a kernel is, and doesn't want to read distro forums and linuxtoday every day, they just want things to work with no tinkering.

              I hope Ubuntu doesn't turn people off though.

              I seriously doubt it will turn people new to Linux off in any way. The only people it will turn off are those l

              • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

                by Enderandrew (866215)

                You are not the target market for Ubuntu,

                Funny, that is exactly what I said. I didn't blast Ubuntu. I didn't say Ubuntu was wrong. I was asked what I didn't like about Ubuntu, which is a matter of opinion, and then QuantumG busts out personal attacks, calling me a liar and such.

                Repeatedly I said there is a market for Ubuntu, and I'm not it.

                I can't help it if he can't read.

          • BTW, I should have added. You said thousands of people have no problems with the ATI drivers. That laptop (my wife's old one) had the ATI 200M chipset. When I Googled, I found several people have problems with the drivers and that card/chipset. What I didn't find were any answers. I tried both the OSS and proprietary drivers, and never got either working fully. Search for Ubuntu, ATI 200M and you'll likely find that was the case.

    • Re:Marketing (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bandman (86149) <bandman@NOsPAm.gmail.com> on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @07:15PM (#24591821) Homepage

      You know, Robert Kiyosake, who is 99% full of crap, had a gem of wisdom in one of his books.

      He told the story about how he met with a reporter who wanted to become an author, and she asked him for advice, since he had been published numerable times. His advice to her was to learn marketing. "You'll notice", he said, "that the cover of the book says 'best selling author', it doesn't say 'best writing author'".

      There's a lot of truth in that statement.

      Best is such a subjective term, but Ubuntu is the most successful distro in recent memory, in terms of users, name recognition, and having a unified interface.

      It's certainly not perfect, but for usability and bringing Linux to the masses, it's a damn bit better than everything else out there

      Sorry to all the Mepis, RedHat, Mandrake, Gentoo, Slack, and other distro fans.

      • I'd say openSUSE should be a serious contender.

        * Novell will sell support.
        * Novell is preinstalled on major OEM computers. * openSUSE will start an installer in Windows, resize your Windows partition automatically, and set-up a dual boot environment.
        * Out of the box, it will install ntfs-3g and offer write access to your Windows partitions from within Linux.
        * The installer is simple, yet powerful. The installer is fast.
        * Package management in openSUSE 11 is now as good as in Ubuntu. Previous to openSUSE

        • by Bandman (86149)

          To be honest, I haven't tried open or closed SuSE since 8. I decided when they signed the pact with Microsoft that I wasn't going to use them.

          I suppose I could install it in a VM and see what it's like.

          • I think 11 was a really good release for them. Their KDE 4.0.4 packages had a bunch of KDE 4.1 features back-ported, but KDE 4.0.4 still wasn't something I'd recommend to anyone.

            If you do decide to try out KDE 4, upgrade to the 4.1 packages right away.

        • by xenocide2 (231786)

          I don't want to put you on the spot, but you can blame Miguel for this:

          * There's a difference between Suse and openSuSe. Having to pay for it is crappy.
          * Ubuntu has ntfs-3g as well, for quite some time (maybe a bit too long, I donno)
          * Ubuntu has wubi, which will install directly to your Windows partition and set up dual boot. That said, this is like competing on which bike comes with better training wheels.
          * Debconf is great, has a number of frontends, and doesn't need to push patches into linuxwacom etc. I

          • The real test of SUSE's new package management is going to be upgrades. Can I upgrade from 10 to 11 or from 11 to 12?

            Well, upgrading from 10 to 11 can be done, but isn't necessarily easy because the RPM structure changed significantly (for the better). Going from 11 to 11.1, or to 12 shouldn't present the same problems.

            but my general opinion is that if I have to configure something, there's a bug somewhere

            You so nicely cemented what I was saying about Ubuntu. There is an audience for it, and that audience

            • by xenocide2 (231786)

              I'm not asking for immutable defaults, simply sane ones that don't ask me questions on dist-upgrade. When I want to change something, I'm glad I can. When I don't have to, I'm also glad ;)

          • by armanox (826486)
            And Slackware (since the 90's) could install on a DOS based system and boot by typing loadlin.exe from the DOS prompt (DOS Mode for Win9x required though)

            On a side note, does anyone remember linuxconf that used to handle virtually all configurations?
          • by Cato (8296)

            Wubi is great - it recently let me install Ubuntu on a friend's PC to give him an option for secure web browsing (he doesn't want to do online banking on a Windows setup that has had lots of viruses). In fact, I just left Wubi running while we left the house, having kicked off the first screen - when he came back Ubuntu was working fine. Since Wubi only touches c:\boot.ini, not the boot sector, this is quite a low risk thing to do, unlike most Linux installs. Wubi still has some bugs that prevent it work

        • by Cato (8296)

          The only distros I won't use are those from vendors who have signed patent deals with Microsoft. I don't see why I should help Microsoft make money from Linux, and there are plenty of other distros to choose from if you don't like Ubuntu - for example, I believe PCLinuxOS and Mandriva are also good for desktop users.

          Personally I use Ubuntu everywhere that I can and am about to try Ubuntulite on a 96 MB Pentium 233 laptop, where it should work pretty well - it uses LXDE and has low resource requirements, ye

        • Actually, in my experience the package management in OpenSuse 11 has been much faster than in Ubuntu. Haven't had problems either, at least since the end of the beta (when the update-checker always reported a lock on the database and was unable to do anything). Now, unlike Ubuntu (or at least Kubuntu), the update-checker actually updates the local repositories and you don't have to re-check them when upgrading your system; it even runs the upgrade itself, resting on the system tray. People who complain abou
  • gOS has a place, much like Puppy Linux, DSL, etc. But gOS is heading to as much proprietary-ness as you can get with Free Software. Compare the gOS homepage with Ubuntu's, http://www.thinkgos.com/new/ [thinkgos.com] and http://www.ubuntu.com/ [ubuntu.com] . gOS has no obvious place for developer participation on the home page, while Ubuntu clearly advertises it. The main page for gOS nowhere mentions Ubuntu or even Debain, heck, Linux isn't even mentioned! The main page for Ubuntu clearly states that it is A) Linux and B) made from D
    • by iamhigh (1252742) *
      Maybe that is a good thing? Maybe non-techies don't need to know it is linux. Really for Linux to win they just need to know it isn't Windows.
      • by vux984 (928602)

        Really for Linux to win they just need to know it isn't Windows.

        It might actually be in linux's favor if users don't even know that.

        • It might actually be in linux's favor if users don't even know that.

          Ok, but search for gOS tutorials online and you won't find very many. Search for Ubuntu and you will find a ton (and most work for gOS), search for Linux tutorials and you will find more than you ever could need. If someone can't get something working in gOS, chances are someone on the super-active Ubuntu forums has had the same issue and fixed it, but the typical user finding nothing on the home page that said it was even Linux would not even think of searching Ubuntu's site.

          Walk into any book store

      • Ok, think of it this way. The non-geek wants to know more about the OS they use. Now had it been branded as Linux, Ubuntu or even Debian they could find a multitude of books. But since it is gOS they find nothing and think of it more as a "toy" OS.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) *

      The main page for gOS nowhere mentions Ubuntu or even Debain, heck, Linux isn't even mentioned! The main page for Ubuntu clearly states that it is A) Linux and B) made from Debian, as of now it even has a banner celebrating Debian.

      You mean like Apple's homepage talks about Darwin and BSD, or Microsoft's homepage talks about NTOSKRNL? Or Motorola sells its linux phones [motorola.com] with strong LiMo branding? (game: count the number of times the work 'Microsoft' appears on that page)

      Ubuntu may garner some geek cred there

    • Re:gOS.... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Narpak (961733) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @07:28PM (#24591993)
      Though if you press the "gOS" button at the top bar you come to http://thinkgos.com/new/gos.php [thinkgos.com] which states:

      gOS 3 Gadgets BETA is based on the solid Linux distribution base of Ubuntu 8.04.1.

      and also

      Designed for NetBooks & NetTops

      • Yes, if that was the main page, a lot of my complaints would disappear, but the fact remains that it isn't the main page and most people think that that button goes back to the main page.
        • by Narpak (961733)
          If you press the big Picture link in the middle of the main page you come to the gOS page I linked; which is the main download page. Big black letters "Linux for the rest of us".

          Not mentioning Linux on their Intro Page seems like a pretty insignificant downside to their OS. And I reckon everyone actively thinking of installing a new OS should and would do the necessary research to at least know what it is they are installing.

          Regarding the article itself: Seeing as gOS openly announces it is Designed for
  • The article concludes that you should try it out, but why bother? It sounds shit, and I don't have the time to fuck around with a shitty distro focused on Google crap that I don't even use.

    It sounds half put together (take the dock, which just relaunches programs rather then displays already running programs), the problems with Compiz, and to quote the article:

    In summing-up on a practical level, Iâ(TM)d say that if gOS has a fault itâ(TM)s that itâ(TM)s a little rough-and-ready. It feels clum

    • It sounds half put together (take the dock, which just relaunches programs rather then displays already running programs)

      It's just Avant, a poor clone of the OS X dock. It is in beta and nowhere ready for production use in my opinion. You'd think they could at least wait till it worked before adding it to their product.

      Oh yeah, and the review didn't mention a word processor besides the Google Docs (which the reviewer could get to work off line in any case), I'll be sure not to load this distro up for the next twenty four hour plane ride I take (about one or two ever year recently).

      From the article, "OpenOffice Writer, Calc and Impress". Also three colored OpenOffice icons are shown in the dock in the screenshots.

      • My mistake, they replaced Avaunt in this version with some other dock clone, which, reportedly, does not require Compiz, but has even more functionality problems.

    • As much as I agree with you (after installing and playing around with gOS before) there are a few things wrong

      Oh yeah, and the review didn't mention a word processor besides the Google Docs (which the reviewer could get to work off line in any case), I'll be sure not to load this distro up for the next twenty four hour plane ride I take (about one or two ever year recently).

      But apt-get install is easy to install things that it doesn't have included. The same complaint would be relevant to MS because Windows doesn't have a word processor either.

  • Blogspam? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HeavensBlade23 (946140) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @06:51PM (#24591545)
    Is this blogspam? Such a sensational summary for an article that basically says 'Meh, I guess it's kinda cool'
  • It looks like they've designed a version of linux to run web apps, which are by their design, supposed to work on virtually every existing PC with a browser already, seems kinda pointless- they've just added widgets, which could have been a single application. Just for reference of how well ubuntu can be adapted, have a look at mint- much more user friendly (for customizations), that's where I'd go for an ubuntu-like distro.

    • Well, basically it was made to run on the gPC that Wal-Mart sold for $200, so a lot of the stuff was chosen to make up for low RAM and a slow CPU, and a web app sure loads a lot faster than OOo. Plus the WM is light to help combat slowdowns.
  • This is the state of OEM gOS at Walmart.com: Everex TC2502 Green gPC w/ Via C7-D Processor [walmart.com]
    .

    The $150 clearance special, in store only.

    "Step up to the Everex Vista Basic system with 1 GB RAM for only $68 more."

    In the states - the OEM Linux system with bottom-feeder specs and the shelf life of a housefly remains the reality in big box retail.

  • I think the latest version of gOS looks a lot like an updated version of Microsoft BOB, or whatever Packard Bell called their stinker version of it. Way too cluttered with crap on the desktop and none of it is really all that interesting.
  • For many a lot of traction OSs get is because they are looking for something better. I don't know about many of you but so far there hasn't been anything compelling my to go past Ubuntu, it just works, is well updated and the community is great. Then again same goes for KDE 3.x for me right now.

    What got me to Ubuntu was dissatisfaction with one element or another form different distributions, like package management, hardware support, proprietary can rattling, etc.

    What could gOS do? Look at what people w

  • I was intrigued when they first started selling the green PCs, because gOS [wikipedia.org] was running e17 [enlightenment.org]. I thought that was pretty cool since that was the first distro. I knew of besides e-live that was based on e17. Since they've switched to gnome they've lost some of that uniqueness and I haven't kept up. I still think it's pretty cool that everex selling their PCs with gOS on it at a major retailer (walmart) though.
  • If those are the programs you want installed on your computers by default, by all means use this distro, and I'm not completely knocking distros here because they do provide this easy pre-installed software bundle feature, but I think they should be put on the backburner.

    Computer users just want to use the programs they like. Focus should be on new and great Linux software and on improving it, not on some group who packaged certain software together. You like the "dock" program they are using? Cool, sho

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