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What is wrong with Linux?

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Using the same text config file on all distros would be a good start, the argument about which is the best front-end would then mean more.

 

Manufacturers could then at least produce instructions on how to get something working via the conf files.

I agree with that. everything must be configurable with cli or editing the same .conf file.

At work it happens I have to do some hot line for software. I often work for complete newbies that at the beginning I had to tell them "hit enter" after you had entered "cd system", or often didn't know how to edit a text file.

With them, and for everybody it's easier to explain by phone or with a howto, how to do things in CLI or editing a text file than

"put the mouse on the Wizard icon, double click on it, select in the right windows the components you want to modify, keep the ctrl key pressed if there is more than one, right click still pressing the ctrl key, release the ctrl key and click on Configure, now click next, put the mouse on the text line at the bottom, click on it, Carefull do NOT change the line at the top, enter this number and this number, click on apply, then ..........."

you see what I mean.

Me I'm in an ISP that support Linux (Free.fr ;) )

The way they explain how to setup a connection is low level, cli, text file editing.

Ok that' not very sexy but that works ........ well should work for any distro. That would already be a good start.

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The "gnome system tools" are so designed that they work on all the distro's they haven an abstraction that let's them have plugin for each distro ... so that could help you ...

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Guest el_chupanegre

im speaking from the point of view of a complete newb here, bcos thats wot i am, so whether or not my views are valid are up to u.

 

ive been using mandrake for about a week now and i find it very easy to install, use and work on, which for me are the most important things in an operating system. pardon my french, but windows still beats linux in terms of ease of use for me, bcos of all the standards that usually have to be conformed to. i double click an .exe file, and it installs and works, no messing (hopefully). in linux i have to have an RPM depending on my OS (or .deb or compile the source code myself etc etc) and for a newb, this just isnt ne gud at all. i cant compile source code, thats too difficult for a newb. wot i want to do is say 'right ive downloaded my program, i double click it, it works'. i dont want dependency issues etc.

 

so from that point, i agree with you, standards are so incredibly necessary for the future of linux. im sure both newbs and pro's would much rather have things just work.

 

however, from the point of view of mandrake/SuSe killing linux, i have to say i completely disagree.

 

mandrake is the first linux i have used (xept knoppix but that doesnt really count) and why did i choose it? ease of use was my main point, and mandrake seemed to offer the best of it. so how can they be killing linux? they just brought me into the linux world, theyve provided me a base to learn. can u imagine a complete newb starting on a really advanced distro? if i wudve started on debian or gentoo or sumthing like that, i think i wudve deleted it and gone running back to windows in about an hour.

 

so basically, mandrake has done so much for linux in just bringing in new ppl. if those ppl stay relatively low-level, or if they decide to then go on and learn sum pro stuff and change distro, i think mandrake has done its job, namely, provide ppl with a better OS than the alternatives.

 

so from this authors point of view, standards are required, but mandrake is not to blame for the lack of standardisation

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The "gnome system tools" are so designed that they work on all the distro's they haven an abstraction that let's them have plugin for each distro ... so that could help you ...

yes, but why should it be that way? It's backwards. When I used gentoo, the Gnome System Tools didn't work. So much of linux devel time and effort is wasted on this kind of non-sense. Instead of devel being focused on improving things that really matter and can really improve the linux experience, they're bug fixing things that are broken because joeblow thinks his way of configing is better? :screwy:

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i cant compile source code, thats too difficult for a newb.

 

when I was new to the linux world, i learned to compile in 10 minutes. it is not so difficult to type in ./configure, make, make install in the console. and the best thing: when something goes wrong, you know, why. and this is a big advantage over m$.

 

I agree with that. everything must be configurable with cli or editing the same .conf file.

hmmm.. why don't we all switch to slackware then? ;)

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for each noob, I recommend setting ut the urpmi source first with

 

easyurpmi

 

I've set up some sources ona computer todaya and they seemed to work ... here are the commands (in commandline as root):

 

urpmi.addmedia plf ftp://ftp.club-internet.fr/pub/linux/plf/mandrake/10.0 with hdlist.cz

urpmi.addmedia --update updates ftp://ftp.belnet.be/linux/mandrake/offici...dates/10.0/RPMS with ../base/hdlist.cz

urpmi.addmedia main ftp://ftp.belnet.be/linux/mandrake/offici...6/Mandrake/RPMS with ../base/hdlist.cz

urpmi.addmedia contrib ftp://ftp.belnet.be/linux/mandrake/offici....0/contrib/i586 with ../../i586/Mandrake/base/hdlist2.cz

 

and for javaprograms: jpackage , add:

 

urpmi.addmedia jpackage-1.5-generic ftp://sunsite.informatik.rwth-aachen.de/p....5/generic/free with hdlist.cz

urpmi.addmedia jpackage-1.5-generic-non-free ftp://sunsite.informatik.rwth-aachen.de/p...eneric/non-free with hdlist.cz

 

I have to figure out where the gpg-key is for jpackage, but that is something for this weekend ...

 

I think you have quite some some software with these sources ... the more the better ofcourse ...

 

I haven't tried it, but adding the non-free-repository will allow you to install the different available java jre's/jdk's?, anyway, quite some ... I think

Edited by Michel

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I personally like having many different ways to doing things in Linux.

 

If everyone did it the same way we woould be just like M$ except with different eyecandy.

 

It also places one more level of difficulty for the hacker. He can't just assume I'm running things the same as everyone else. He has to actually get better than a typical script kiddie.

 

In the end the best shall remain and the stuff that doesn't get better falls away. How many distros are out there and exactly how many will be supported or updated in five years? very few compaired to how many there are.

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I personally like having many different ways to doing things in Linux.

 

If everyone did it the same way we woould be just like M$ except with different eyecandy.

 

It also places one more level of difficulty for the hacker. He can't just assume I'm running things the same as everyone else. He has to actually get better than a typical script kiddie.

 

In the end the best shall remain and the stuff that doesn't get better falls away. How many distros are out there and exactly how many will be supported or updated in five years? very few compaired to how many there are.

i agree pzatch.

 

all these "different" tools, really arent that different. all they are, are front end to the cli. in YAST network section or in MCC network section its just a front end to things like netconfig, ifconfig, and so on.

 

i started out on slackware (no linuxconf) then tried redhat. redhat ofcourse had the linuxconf, as did the earlier mandrakes, but while i found it usefull and effective, it was cumbersome. i could (and did) get lost in there. thats never happened in YAST or MCC.

 

webmin seems to be (at least for now) *the standard* config tool. its in virtually every distro. just the distro makers like to promote their tool. nothing wrong with that.

 

with YAST being gpl'd and intigrated into kde, mandrake would have to seriously alter kde to bypass that. i dont forsee that happening.

 

deps are probably one of the most annoying things for a newb. i see this as a critical area to resolve. this gui tools stuff, i dont. why? simple. no matter what distro, you can always use the same or similar commands in the cli or edit the same or similar files. /etc/resolv.conf is gonna always be in /etc/resolv.conf. ifconfig up is always gonna be ifconfig up.

 

look at nvidia. they dont make distro specific packages. they make it an executeable, a bin/sh/run. this package will run on any distro. how about limewire? its also a bin. it to runs on every distro as long as java is installed.

 

the gui tools i dont see as the problem. they are based on a standard. we could always go back to ncurses. that WAS the standard, and for some it still is. the gui tools just give us options. for firewalls we have, guarddog, firestarter, shorewall, to name but a few. they all are front end to iptables.

 

i think webmin should be the standard, and should stay the standard (at least for now). it has modules. it can be used from a browser. its in virtually every distro. there is only one problem with webmin, it doesnt do system installation, like yast or MCC does (talking boot disk here).

 

i run suse 9.0 pro, and i have webmin. i had to get it from apt-get, but i have it. it runs well. no conflicts.

 

to say that techs would need 200+ manuals though, is just plain wrong. linux is linux. the kernel operates the same in any distro. the commands are the same. where they start to differ on are the distro specific tools.

 

i can configure X manually with XFree86Setup (or whatever the command is now) or i can run SaX2 or XFdrake. or i can run xf86config, or even pull out my favorite editor and edit the config file that way.

 

all a tech needs to know is what way will work on every distro. period. end of story. of which, the examples i gave, work in every distro.

 

source or bin packages install where the coder wants them (most of the time). but then, this is one reason i suggested the package manager i did. in which most have told me "your crazy".

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well, we're not talking about doing things...we're talking about how the OS functions. How distros put the dm config files in diff places....or the network config files call diff config files that are in diff places.

 

It doesn't effect a novice hacker that is the slightest bit familiar with linux.

 

These days...for every one distro that falls away there are 2 new ones contributing to the problem with pkg managers with names like pacman :unsure: ....yes sir mister CEO, just type pacman bla bla bla ....and..... :lol: ....yeah right....move over for the big boys, already :D ...yeah, lets talk about business :rolleyes:

 

deps? what are those ---->urpmi ;)

 

nvidia? I've always said the 'kernel is the kernel' and that is exactly ALL you are dealing with as far as nvidia goes......they stop there and tell you to edit the correct files the correct way. If this is not true then why is there precompiled and not precompiled modules? Why do you need the kernel source if you are not on rh or suse? Kernel...not distro...big diff.

 

firewalls? YES! exactly what needs to happen accross the board.

 

No they are not the same......compare the scripts/files in /etc in manadrake, suse, debian, slack, and fedora.....all diff....in important areas. Not just the dir structure...compare the scripts/files.

all a tech needs to know is what way will work on every distro. period. end of story. of which, the examples i gave, work in every distro.
:o ....they have to read a cheat sheet to know that ipconfig /release even exist in win :o

Which is why this entire thread is kinda silly.......figure it out yourself....you ppl actually use tech support? I d/k anyone that does...they call me because tech support can't help. If you need tech support you should not have a pc....all you're doing is spreading the disease.

:bvc:

Edited by bvc

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I agree with that. everything must be configurable with cli or editing the same .conf file.

hmmm.. why don't we all switch to slackware then? ;)

If everything is configurable with standard low level command or config files (the back end), that doesn't prevent distro to include some wizards (the front end) to deal with the back end.

If there is a lot of different front ends, ISP or hardware manufacturers have trouble to make howtos for all of them. But they can bypass the front ends and deal directly with the back end witch should be standard.

So a lot of different wizards are not a problem if they respect the work done by hand on the back end.

I don't know YAST and used Linuxconf a while ago in RH 7.x so I don't know.

Concerning MCC the trouble is that it often don't read the change done by hand on .conf files, and worse, it has its own config files and Mandrake often overwrite the standard .cong files at startup.

That is the real problem IMO.

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You may be right, MCC, Yast, etc are frontends to ifconfig and other tools.

 

But they store their configuration in different ways. Just as an example, networking, Arch store's it's config in /etc/rc.conf mandrake in /etc/sysconfig/network or something like that and in totally different forms.

 

What linux needs, is those forms to be the same. The GUI can change, but the configuration files behind can stay the same.

 

It wouldnt be a huge job for the distro's maintainers to do either, if they have written their programs well.

 

~iphitus

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Concerning MCC the trouble is that it often don't read the change done by hand on .conf files, and worse, it has its own config files and Mandrake often overwrite the standard .cong files at startup.

That is the real problem IMO.

 

agreed.

 

But they store their configuration in different ways. Just as an example, networking, Arch store's it's config in /etc/rc.conf mandrake in /etc/sysconfig/network or something like that and in totally different forms.

 

What linux needs, is those forms to be the same. The GUI can change, but the configuration files behind can stay the same.

 

agreed.

 

Yupp, the problem seems to be an unwillingness to adjust to a standard. Is it personal pride that keeps us from having an always-usable foldertree concerning .conf files? I start to think so... Although every distro should have its freedom to do things in a different way, they should be aware that it is annoying to explore your distro over and over again, when you switch fom e.g. Suse to MDK to Fedora or ...

 

For me, I must admit, it was frustrating not to find the stuff I knew from Suse at the same place in MDK or Yoper. And the different behavior of the .conf files or the shell-scripts was also an irritating concern.

 

It would be wise, to agree to a certain standard and maybe, at the next Linux-conference, people manage to see that and agree on some sort uf unifying the distros.

 

It also places one more level of difficulty for the hacker. He can't just assume I'm running things the same as everyone else. He has to actually get better than a typical script kiddie.

 

Yeah, this makes it harder to hack a computer, but there must be another way to make an OS secure from hacking attacks instead of simply spreading files in a dozen parts and changing the contents of some .conf files. ;)

Edited by arctic

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I have to say something about linuxconf.

 

There was someone from the States who was helping my co-worker setting up the linux server after it was fried from an electrical storm (this was just before I joined the company). I talked to him about a lot of linux stuff. I remembered saying that the problem with linuxconf is that it is a one man operation, so it is very slow in adapting to changes in linux configurations. He tried to put a utility he created into linuxconf and even contacted the maker of linuxconf to integrate his utility to no avail.

 

So you see, it's not mandrake or suse that breaks linuxconf, it is linuxconf itself that doesn't keep up with the rest of linux world. It has outlived its usefulness.

 

And as far as Webmin.. I have used webmin to do most of my server administrations in mandrake, so I don't see what Mandrake does to break it. In fact, Mandrake 10 has a little known tool that integrates Webmin into MCC called mdkwebadmin. It creates a small stand alone browser that access webmin's access.

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well lots of interesting responses which is good!

 

However lets take points at a time:

 

First off I think LinuxConf has been expanded but if not it still illustrates that a multidistro conf is possible:

 

Secondly I dont think Suse and Mandrake accidentally break them its deliberate to make users rely on their tools and thus become dependent upon them.

 

If you want to see the difference try Webmin from source...

Mandrake specifically dont want it to work well in areas they have made wizards....

 

 

But they store their configuration in different ways. Just as an example, networking, Arch store's it's config in /etc/rc.conf mandrake in /etc/sysconfig/network or something like that and in totally different forms.

 

I think iphitus sums this up nicely::::

 

Yupp, the problem seems to be an unwillingness to adjust to a standard. Is it personal pride that keeps us from having an always-usable foldertree concerning .conf files? I start to think so... Although every distro should have its freedom to do things in a different way, they should be aware that it is annoying to explore your distro over and over again, when you switch fom e.g. Suse to MDK to Fedora or ...

 

exactly, its a lock in...

as are the parts of Webmin you dont know...

 

with YAST being gpl'd and intigrated into kde, mandrake would have to seriously alter kde to bypass that. i dont forsee that happening.

 

Mandrake alrerady screw up KDE... very heavily moving files and hacking the kcontol not to duplicate (or in fact do better than they can)

 

 

deps are probably one of the most annoying things for a newb. i see this as a critical area to resolve. this gui tools stuff, i dont. why? simple. no matter what distro, you can always use the same or similar commands in the cli or edit the same or similar files. /etc/resolv.conf is gonna always be in /etc/resolv.conf. ifconfig up is always gonna be ifconfig up.

 

nope thats the point of the thread... every year I see moire standards dissapearing and like bvc said because someone thinks they can do it better...

 

only /etc/init.D/networking in MDK is /etc/init.d/network in debian and the config files for it are in copmpletely different places...

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I don't see how someones util not being included in linuxconf means linuxconf breaks itself :unsure:

 

The point is that if mdk, and suse turned over their config tools to linuxconf to be unbiasly integrated, we'd have tools that actually work, and work on all linux's ;) Same with Webmin...it'd all be in one place....the way it should be.

 

....but then how could they justify charging you $60+ for it? :P ....

...back to the bottom line.

Edited by bvc

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