Sunday, March 20, 2005

Today I installed Ubuntu Linux on my mother's laptop and on my brother's PC. This distribution really rocks! It is based on debian, but contrary to debian it does not suck... It comes with kernel 2.6.10, Gnome 2.10, Openoffice 1.2 and lots of other nifty software. What makes it really good is, there is no choice. Linuxes traditionally are proud of their choice. With XYZ Linux you can choose between 5 gazillion editors! So what. I need exactly one. And I need one I can use. I do not want editors where there is absolutely no sign what to do, you have to read don't know how many pages of the manual to find out, that to just leave the editor you have to type ESC : w q ENTER. I don't bother if it's KDE, Gnome, Windowmaker or whatever, I just want something I can use without reading the manual...

Ubuntu helps with that. During installation it asked only a few easy questions, like which language I want, which Timezone I live in, whicht partition to use. 25 Minutes later I had a system which just worked (TM). Graphical interface, simple easy desktop, Office Suite, Mail, Browser, everything I need. If I want more, there is an easy to use package manager, I could even install CERN-lib (which is physics-analysis-software for hardcore particle physicists) by just two mouse clicks (one to select the package, on on Apply). It has all the nifty features of Gnome 2.10, like automounting of CDs and USB Sticks etc. (now I do not have to issue cryptic commands, I just insert the CD and can read it). It detected the soundcard and just worked. It started the graphical user interface without painful configurations (even on Windows I had to manually install a driver I had to download from the internet on a very hidden place and it really sucked...) The wireless card of my mother's laptop, which was a real pain in Debian and Windows, just worked. The Nvidia Graphics card of my brothers PC, just worked. Installing the printer, two mouse clicks...

And I don't even have to bother for a root account. You never set the password for it, you cannot access the root account... Everything is done via sudo. The accounts you create can be "Administrators" and end up as sudoers. Which I like, because it's simple and understandable.

It just works, that's what software should be. Even my brother thought it was simple to install, and he is allergic to anything non-windows. Linux for humans. If you want to give it a go there is a Live CD you can test it without installing it on your hard disk.

1 comment:

Christian Vogel said...

Yes, Linux is about choice! And it does not stop with the desktop. There are about 2**32 ways to write a simple character device driver, and not a simple one which is recommended (or even documented)... No wonder all the device drivers I have seen so far suck, it's just not possible to write a sane one without spending 100 Years digging through all that crap until you figure out the right way (TM).

On related news: blogger's comment system does not allow <sup> tags, which also sucks.