Is Ubuntu ready for prime-time? A test.

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by steve161, May 4, 2008.

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  1. steve161

    steve161 Registered Member

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  2. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    So far Linux writers seem to be in a world of their own. If they really wanted to open Linux for the masses they could have made linux a lot more user friendly years ago. But that would remove their little elite linux user geek "club" Mystic and then they would have "Linux Windows" They have a very long way to go to get Linux in the main stream OS market unless they make some major changes. I am very computer literate and I won't put up with the Linux frustration, I have tried most Distros available and am not impressed with the advances they have made to make Linux more user friendly. I don't see how they expect the average computer user to put up with it. :thumbd:
     
  3. Franklin

    Franklin Registered Member

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    Couldn't agree more!
     
  4. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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    I was and still am an Ubuntu noob, but have found Gutsy Gibbon very
    user friendly, bar a few nuisances eg. Opera and flash. Most of what
    I can do in Windows XP, I can also do with Linux Ubuntu and there is
    always the forum if one gets stuck. My better half, who knows absolutely
    nothing about Linux, is a happy camper with Ubuntu GG. Ok she mainly
    browses and emails and makes cd's etc., but is happy to have patches
    and updates delivered in an easy peasy way. She's also happy that
    with firestarter (firewall) there is nothing to do. Same with Avast AV -
    I update it about once a week when I also do a scan. Once setup I find
    it so much less time consuming than Windows XP (although I like XP
    as well). GG was (is) my very first Linux. The new Hardy H. release
    does seem to be laden with problems and I will wait a while before
    installing.
     
  5. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hi,

    My only question is:

    Why do people expect to be experts in a completely new OS within 10 minutes? I don't think anyone here or anywhere mastered Windows within 10 minutes. When Windows 3.11 came out, how many people simply powered it up like a good ole friend and started using it? How many did that when XP came out?

    I take myself for a very quick learner and I think it took me several months before I could call myself XP literate.

    Why on EARTH anyone thinks Linux should be copy paste of Windows and masterable within 10 minutes?

    BTW, what happens when someone equally inept in Windows tries this on his friendly OS? The same thing. He searches for answers. Or gets lost.

    Give IrfanView and Thunderbird to anyone used to MsPaint and Outlook. Let's see how quickly they'll adapt.

    Now, extrapolate to a WHOLE OS.

    Mrk
     
  6. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    Most people here at wilders are computer literate or at least help is close at hand. But of the hundreds of millions of users out there that aren't really comp literate and really don't care to be as long as they can just click a couple of boxes and do what they want when they want. These are the majority of users and they are the ones that linux is going to have a hard time converting if they ever can considering that the majority opinion is that Linux is not user friendly. It seems that The Linux coders are addressing their programing towards the more literate of the computer users. It is going to be next to impossible to convince windows users that have grown up with a very friendly user OS to convert to an OS that requires you to be part programer just to get most of the apps to work in linux and I am sure that they wouldn't used to having to install programs just to make installed programs work. Linux would be much easier to teach a person that had never used a computer at all. As I stated in my previous post, Linux has a very long way to go.

    I am not saying Linux is not a good OS, I am just saying it is not very user friendly and most people won't put up with the frustration it will surely cause. Not when Windows is so much easier to us.
     
  7. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    i have been using windows since 95 and if i messed stuff up i fixed it myself.
    the other day i downloaded Kubuntu 8.4 and tryed it out as a live dvd.
    i double clicked on the connection icon typed in my wpa2 key and then opened Konqueror
    i typed www.youtube.com and searched for a video.
    as noted on the article of this thread it took me to the adobe site and i hadent got a clue on which file to download and what to do with it.
    if you use windows or OSX it will take you to the correct version and tell you what to do. but with linux it doesnt.
    partly adobe's fault.

    at that point most users would give up and go back to windows.

    if installing flash was as easy as installing skype then users would have no issues.

    if at this point the main stream started using linux most of the ICT support calls wouldnt be why is my computer slow or why is it crashing but simply how do i install flash or java.
    i find linux annoying and quite hard to use and i have always loved messing around and trying operating systems and utilities.

    the other problem that i have found when i have tryed linux is that there is to much choice.
    that is tons and tons of distros and i dont know which one to use. choice is good but sometimes there is to much choice.

    as stated before most people use linux because its different and they find commandline fun
    if linux hit the mainstream the people who really like linux would simply find something else.
    i completely agree with BigC:thumb:
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2008
  8. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    I'm always surprised with your reaction towards "linux" Bigc.
    You speak of "it" as "it" was a collective mind, borg like, and things happened exactly because they/it meant it.

    I mean, there were guys who had more on their mind than making it "user-friendly" for the masses. Others of course, didn't even care. So what.
    Do you want to force them to lead their lives as you want?
    People who are already sharing the source code... throughout out their lives...
    Think about this.

    It's the ones who aim it for the masses like Ubuntu (who give it away, source code and everything..) that could be criticized for job well done or not. Not all the "linux geeks".
    I can't count how many they are, not even how many OS's, can you o_O
     
  9. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    First, the Java installation is an absolute piece of cake using Hardy Heron as long as Firefox 3 beta is installed I suspect the fellow did an upgrade, so it left the older version installed. Even opening a video in youtube, I had Java installed inside 60 seconds after the prompt. I tested this mere minutes by removing Java then going to Youtube to open a video.

    Second, I don't know about the majority of the distros, but I would say the latest Ubuntu is is user-friendly. I have not had to use a single Terminal command yet to get anything done. Excellent help is also available using Google. Also, I had a whirl with PCLinux2007 the other night and also found it user-friendly - an excellent distro.

    All I can say is Ubuntu serves my needs extremely well and I encounter far fewer nagging problems with it such as freeze ups and overall slow performance. Clearly it has outperformed even the newest install of XP, at least on my machine.

    I'm in agreement with Mrk and Ocky on all their points.
     
  10. bktII

    bktII Registered Member

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    Thanks Benny. I love to read articles about Linux and Linux fanbois.

    Another dimension: Wireless

    Wireless setup is a rite-of-passage on Linux. Great angst. Google these two words: "ubuntu" and "wireless".

    I recently set up wireless ( initially wpa-tkip, then changed to wpa2-aes ), on my laptop which I dual-boot: Windows XP Professional SP2 and Debian Etch.

    For Windows XP, I needed to do the following:

    (1) search for MS update KB893357, which adds wpa2 support to XP, as it was not available under optional updates when I went to the MS update site
    (2) download KB893357 from http://www.microsoft.com/Downloads/...4D-E7C1-48D6-95EE-1459234F4483&displaylang=en
    (3) install KB893357 by running WindowsXP-KB893357-v2-x86-ENU.exe
    (4) reboot
    (5) finally; setup wpa2 in the Windows networking GUI ( graphical user interface )

    For Debian Etch, I needed to do the following:

    (1) add non-free ( temporarily as it turned out ) to /etc/apt/sources.list
    (2) via Synaptic, download and install a fw ( read firmware ) cutter package for my wireless NIC. However, it was not able to download a driver from the web sites referenced in the Debian package. This created recurring errors whenever I updated Debian or installed new packages. I finally had to remove the fw cutter package via Synaptic and remove non-free from /etc/apt/sources.list. The Debian firmware, however, was left in place.
    (3) copy the wireless NIC *.sys driver file from Windows XP drivers folder and place it on my Debian system
    (4) run the command-line fw cutter to to extract firmware for Debian from the Windows XP driver
    (5) modify /etc/network/interfaces to enable wpa2 ( after some searching to determine the appropriate settings )
    (6) disable the existing wired network interface via the Networking GUI ( not necessary for Windows )
    (7) disable/enable the wireless interface via ifdown and ifup command-line ( I could have used the Networking GUI for this )

    I now have wpa2-aes wireless on both Windows XP and Debian Etch.

    For wpa-tkip, steps (1) thru (4) were not needed for Windows XP. I went directly to step (5). All steps were still necessary for Debian, although the content of /etc/network/interfaces was different.

    My conclusions:
    o wpa-tkip was MUCH easier on Windows XP than Debian. With a good password, long and random, wpa-tkip security is good enough.
    o wpa2-aes was easier on Windows XP than Debian; however, probably beyond what many Windows users would want to do. Perhaps Windows XP SP3 will include KB893357? If so, different story.

    Debian is most definitely not aimed at the masses and I like it just the way it is. How much easier would this be on Ubuntu 7.10 or 8.04? As I only run Ubuntu virtualized I don't know, but would love to see a post on this. Hopefully, they are making progress.
     
  11. InfinityAz

    InfinityAz Registered Member

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    I'm very impressed with Ubuntu 8.04 (in fact I converted one notebook over to it). It is a little frustrating to feel lost at times but that's how I'll learn my way around. v8 automatically configured everything for me, thank god.

    When Linux works it works well but when there are issues, it can be a major pain.

    If a system was already set up and the person's needs are simple, I think the new version of Ubuntu is close to prime-time. However, as soon as the person wants to stray far from their comfort zone or do some things they take for granted in Windows or Mac, they can run into major problems (i.e., Linux does not come close to passing the mom or grandma test).
     
  12. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Sorry, I beg to differ. How hard is it to open up Firefox, Evolution email, Word processor, spreadsheet, listen to music off cds or mp3s, or even burn a cd for that matter, using Ubuntu? it's all under Applications and it's very easy to place their launchers on the panel for even easier access. There's even an excellent assortment of pre-installed games included.
     
  13. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    i didnt think mp3 was bulti in due to the free nature of the distro?
    plus it will be hard to watch youtube videos and view other content that needs plugins.
     
  14. midway40

    midway40 Registered Member

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    Most distros will not come with the proprietary codecs and drivers because of the GPL license. There are some distros that does include these codecs, such as Linux Mint, that does however (some Linux "purists" objects to this practice).
     
  15. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Yes, true, the codecs for compressed audio and video need to be installed, as does the Java for browsing, but it is very easy in the latest Ubuntu release just by following the prompts. It's no more difficult than similar installs using Windows.
     
  16. 19monty64

    19monty64 Registered Member

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    Partitioning is also a breeze in Ubuntu and PCLOS. I just wish they had an English-translator in their help-forums for us Windows-users that don't understand the geek-speak :D :D :D .
     
  17. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    A few questions:

    How many noobs can download the right codecs for their player in Windows and not get infected? Choose the right codec pack? Bundled?

    How many Windows users can partition?

    How many Windows users keep all their software up to date - and how much effort it takes to do it? Download Secunia PS (or whatever it's called), then run a scan and get some 43 results. Then, download each and every update by hand, one after another. Ubuntu, two clicks, done.

    How many Windows users can solve problems that do not have an .exe ready to do it for them. Personal example, I still have a few weird issues here and there with Windows drivers, PartMgr etc - I'm unable to solve them. In Ubuntu I may have sweated more, true, but everything is configurable and eventually I solved all problems.

    How many Windows are capable of troubleshooting a service or startup item etc?

    Food for thought.

    Mrk
     
  18. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Well said, Mrk :thumb:
     
  19. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    1. the real answer is there is almost no need for a codec pack in windows
    2.partitioning in windows is easy once you know how. i have taught my best friend how to do it when he needed to reinstall windows. so he can store his data away from windows. granted for ages i didnt know partitioning was possible but it was easy to learn and i now use it to my advantage alot.
    3.most applications have there own updator which with a default install checks for updates every so often.
    4.quick google search finds out what program its related to,uninstall program and install lastest version. thats 9 times out of 10
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2008
  20. 19monty64

    19monty64 Registered Member

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    How many Windows-users can boot into safe-mode, let alone dLo and burn an ISOo_O
     
  21. midway40

    midway40 Registered Member

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    Vista has a basic partition resizer that is nondestructive. I used to have to use a third party app to do this in past Windows versions.

    Anyway the thread was referring to normal computer users and most of them wouldn't know what this was.
     

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  22. Riverrun

    Riverrun Registered Member

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    I don't know if you've ever tried PCLOS, but it's just about the easiest OS I've ever seen. It provides all the advantages of Linux: Speed, Security and Stability. It's easily the most user friendly Distro around.
     
  23. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    Pedro, I really don't care what OS people use. I post my Opinion and experiences. I have never told anyone that they should run "a"or"b" os. You make it sound as if I am telling everyone to use windows which is not true. But in rebutal, What irratates me is the people that do use linux are trying to say it is as easy as windows or at least close. And that is very far from the truth. It should be made very clear to people that are told to try linux of the pit falls that are not present in windows that they will encounter in Linux. Most people that listen to the rheortic about linux and give it a try (which is not an easy task for a non techie) are left with an installed OS that they usually can't understand or use. The Linux developers could spend a little more time in the information they give to the uninitated Linux users that would give them a heads up on what to at least expect when they install A distro.
     
  24. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    You see the thing is you are insinuating that I don't have speed, security and stability with windows. Which with Vista I do have. I just don't want an operating system that will give me what I already have but would have to work three times as hard to get what I already have. That Is my personal opinion. Others will have their opinions also I am sure.:thumb: That is what is nice about having the choice to choose what we like.
     
  25. HURST

    HURST Registered Member

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    Personally, what I dislike the most is the endless "crusade" of most hardcore linux users I know (not all of them), trying to (convert) convince everyone about the benefits of linux and how "MS is evil" and all that stuff.

    I remember the first time I installed Ubuntu on my PC a few years ago, I had a lot of trouble to get it to work properly, and at that time I had no time to spend hours and hours in forums and googling for answers that MAY solve problems. So I asked the IT guy at my university for help to uninstall it, and his answer was "and why would you wanna do that?"

    The "open source is good-windows is bad" philosofy annoys me.


    With time and 3 more attempts, I finally could actually use linux with (almost) no problems. It was Kubuntu 7.10. I still use it sometimes, but in windows i'm much more productive, and I can't run some software under linux. (I know, VM's, but I don't like them so much).

    I DO like Linux. I DO would like that it had a bigger market share. I DO have learned to appreciate OpenSource, and try to use it as much as I can.

    But I would really like that Linux distros where much more user friendly. Some have done a great job (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, PCLinuxOS, Sabayon, etc), but I feel there's still a long path ahead before "mom and grandma" can use it.

    --------------

    BTW, the guy in the article should have tried with Kubuntu, KDE is more similar to Windows than Gnome.
     
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