good-bye Dapper

by Carla Schroder

I'd like to say "good-bye and thanks for the fun,", but it wasn't fun.


Caitlyn Martin
2006-07-01 15:02:39
Carla, I can't blame you one little bit. I've been living in Xubuntu for the past couple of months. Oh, my printer is well supported and happy, but my multimedia apps don't work nearly as well as they did in Fedora Core 5. I need my daily fix of Israeli news without stuttering, stopping, and long term buffering. It doesn't do that with Fedora and my 3MBps DSL connection is just fine, thankyouverymuch. Even playing CDs doesn't always work right.

For me everything else has been happy and Dapper is the first distro that handles Toshiba ACPI correctly straight out of the box -- a major plus. It also recognized my Atheros based WiFi card and installed madwifi drivers, something I had to do by hand under Fedora.

When push comes to shove there is a lot about Dapper in general and Xubuntu in particular that I like but in Fedora everything works. I may putter some more with Dapper as I do have most everything working and I like the functional ACPI a lot.

Don't get me started about plain old Debian, which I do not like one little bit.

Carla Schroder
2006-07-01 17:53:26
heh, raw Debian on the desktop is less than fun in some ways, I'll grant. Etch has this mysterious inability to handle ALSA correctly- it eats up 70-90% CPU, and it's unkillable- kill it, it restarts. Try to uninstall it, it wants to take kde-core with it. All I know to do is fix it so it won't start at boot, but then I have no sound. (I'm a multimedia dunce anyway.) Font anti-aliasing takes a fair bit of tweaking, and other cosmetic touches.

But I like Debian a lot, and once everything is futzed to my satisfaction, it stays that way, and upgrades and dist-upgrades work right. I can get my work done, which I have not been able to do very well in my Buntu adventures.

Sooo...what don't you like about Debian?

2006-07-02 08:11:08
So, if I may ask you to take sides... what is your favorite distribution? FC5 wouldn't run for me at all because my system is pure SATA and it seems to have issues with that.
2006-07-02 09:54:28
FC5 for no doubt. Its wide spread, huge community, compatible rpms everywhere. better out-of-the box experience that *buntu. OpenSuse has even better out-of-the-box experience, yet small (sure smaller than fedora) community and rpm repos. cheers.

- Keefo

2006-07-02 10:55:53
Don't feel like the Lone Ranger. I tried Ubuntu about a year ago, and was sitting there scratching my head going, "What's the hype about?" It seems to be a fairly servicable over-simplified mini-distro, neither better nor worse than about ten other distros I could name, but don't see where the frenzy is coming from.

But then, my two box installs are Slackware for me and Mandriva for the family, and I've tried everything from OliveBSD and Hikarunix to Knoppix and Red Hat derivatives, and Slackware's my fave - so that explains my attitude towards Ubuntu. I have deliberately avoided reviewing it on my blog, just because it's not for me and I'd have to say so, but I don't want to rain on everybody else's parade especially if they're discovering Linux for the first time.

Also, Ubuntuites were getting quite rabid there, but they seem to have settled a little.

2006-07-02 10:59:50
Not all distro's work for all people. Dapper works wonderfully for me and I like it, but it doesn't for you... I tried plaind Debian and didn't like it. People have different tastes and you have to respect that. Give them a choice. That's what Open Source is all about, right?
2006-07-02 11:33:28
Hi Carla,

I read a lot of your stuff, and normally agree with most of it. Not so sure about this though.

I agree with "Me | July 2, 2006 10:59 AM"

I do a lot of hacking around on this Dell I6000. I currently have XP, Vista, a version of Unix (that I will leave nameless), Dapper, FC5, and Novell SLED.

Of all the Linux's, I would say that Novell's SLED is probably the most stable and polished, however it is a commercial distro. For non-commercial distro's, I would say that for everyday use, Ubuntu is still my distro of choice. Easy setup, great hardware detection, easy package management, and then get to work with the least amount of fuss.

I upgraded mine from Breezy as well, with very few issues. About the only problems on this end have to do with occasional instability with XGL and Compiz (most people probably don't mess with this though), and a few issues with Beagle (which is not ready for prime time in my opinion). Other than that, it's rock stable.

The safest way to upgrade would be to keep /home on a separate partition and do a fresh install, although I am sure I don't have to tell you this. Unless you have some really funky hardware (and a Thinkpad shouldn't be), then I can't see how you'd run into many problems on a fresh install of Dapper. I've done a number of them now on many different machines, including post-install customizations, adding codecs, fonts, etc., and had no problems at all.

I am not so sure I'd too quick to be blaming it on Ubuntu. Yes, I know that there are people out there who installed Debian years ago and have been apt-getting there way along through many upgrades. On the other hand, one could do a fresh install of Dapper, and apt-get all of their favorite apps in a fraction of the time it would take to upgrade Gentoo with emerge (yes, now a bunch of Gentoo geeks will flame me!)

If you're like me, you may have added many non-supported repositories. That might cause issues. In fact, it could be many things unrelated to Ubuntu itself.

Just a thought.

Hope you're up and running again soon.


2006-07-02 11:41:34
i'em writing this from my ubuntu installation, and it's all working fine maybe i was lucky, i tried other distros and ubuntu was the one that worked for me....its all about taste

bye ( sorry for my poor english)

2006-07-02 12:05:09
I switched to Ubuntu from CentOS when Dapper final came out. Overall, it's been a good move for me. But I have to say, Ubuntu has a few bugs in it that I didn't see before. My hardware was setup with my 2 CD burners, one on the primary & one on the secondary HDD controller. My hard drive was on the RAID controller. I had reasons for it when I built the pc. Fedora/CentOS/SUSE never had problems with it. Ubuntu couldn't handle it. The installation would complete, but when it tried to boot, it would lock up every time when it got to GRUB.

I've rewired the drives, HDD on IDE1, both CD burners on IDE2, and it finally worked. To be fair, a few years back with WinXP, it wouldn't recognize my hard disk without providing a driver disk from the manufacturer either.

Now the biggest annoyance with Ubuntu is that it won't reboot my system. Everything shuts down, and the monitor loses it's signal from the video card, but the system won't reboot. I've got to press the reset button. Regular shutdowns work. My processor is an Athon XP 2100+, and this problem was there with the i386 kernel, and still there with the k7 kernel installed.

Overall, Ubuntu is a great distro, but it's got it's little bugs. I'm going to keep using it on my desktop, and I'm going to push friends to start trying the live CD's when I get them. But I'm used to CentOS, which was the absolute most stable distro I have ever run. It's got it's RedHat quirks, and they don't update packages enough, but it's stable, and runs very well.

Ubuntu's got a little ways to go before it hits that same level of quality.

Benjamin Huot
2006-07-02 12:39:00
I have had good success with Ubuntu overall. The two issues I had were that VMware stopped working when they issued an upgrade for the kernel and XFCE lost its menu. Thew first was easily resolved and the second didn't matter much as I mostly use KDE. I like Gnome for a while, but it just doesn't let me have all programs in the menus like I like to. I like Ubuntu because 1) it has a good community for support 2) it is stable and secure 3) there is a wide variety of software you can install easily without causing any problems 4) it freely distibutable and doesn't cost anything which is a big advantage with introducing it to other people. I don't have any hardware problems at all as I got my computer pre-installed with Linspire so it is completely Linux compatible (it is a Celeron D with 512 MB RAM and DVD Burner). I also tried out Fedora Core 5 in a virtual machine and I like it a lot too (for similar reasons). Suse 10 gave no end to trouble with trying to download other programs - Yast kept up throwing up error messages when I added other Yast repositories and the latest version updating is almost impossible as they screwed up the new updating program. I was a real pain hunting down RPM dependencies. And yes I followed all the directions properly. I also couldn't get VMWare to work on Suse 10.
2006-07-02 16:54:56
Helios: Sun God of Greek Myth, many wives reported, very few supported with the exeption of perseis. She could kick his @$$ any time of the day. See also, Helios: He Who Dispises Ubuntu and anll that circle the wagons when one little thing is criticised...

Devnet spent weeks on this a bit less than a year ago and his wonderful wife volunteered to be the "dumb Windoze User" who would test the various distros. If one looks closely, she can still see wisps of smoke arising from the nuclear flames of that "experiment"...she said the same thing about Ubuntu a year ago that we are saying now...wait, aren't "we" paid to do this....? At any rate, see the link and it will fairly 'splain several points made in the past.

Personally, I didn't care for Ubuntu a bit myself....

Until Yesterday. I get a tap on the shoulder when Steven Nicholes Vaugn, (is that right? I get all the names mixed up) did a mini review on Ubuntu with the Mepis makeover. I won't rehash it. I installed the beta, rebooted and MAANNNNN I gotta tell ya, this ain't Your Daddie's Ubuntu.

Check it out and see if you don't agree. Warren incorporating the two distros may have just solidified the NEXT BIG NOISE in the community. Carla, lemmee know what you think. BTW, I am back from DC now, LOL

Jackie Brown
2006-07-02 17:09:04
"try to uninstall it, it wants to take kde-core with it"

did you mean arts? I don't even have alsa installed on my kde debian machine.

RE: Rick
2006-07-02 19:01:49
"Of all the Linux's, I would say that Novell's SLED is probably the most stable and polished, however it is a commercial distro. For non-commercial distro's, I would say that for everyday use, Ubuntu is still my distro of choice."

I wish you so-called knowledgable people would stop misrepresenting UBUNTU's distribution status. "UBUNTU AND ALL OF IT'S DERIVATIVES ARE COMMERCIAL DISTRO's!!!" Owned by Cononical. As a result they could be sold to the highest bidder at any time. Debian is community owned and cannot be sold.

2006-07-02 19:54:27
This is from the Ubuntu website:

"Ubuntu is Free Software, and available to you free of charge. It's also Free in the sense of giving you rights of Software Freedom, but you probably knew that already! Unlike many of the other commercial distributions in the free and open source world (Libranet, Lindows, Xandros, Red Hat) the Ubuntu team really does believe that Free software should be free of software licencing charges"

What part of that message do you not understand? Or do you believe in conspiracy theories?

Carla Schroder
2006-07-02 20:22:25
Thanks everyone for good comments. I want Ubuntu to succeed, because as far as I know it is the only major Free Debian derivative, and they have an excellent default installation. All the others bolt on a lot of non-free proprietary blobs, like Linspire, Mepis, and Xandros. I like the emphasis on a friendly, helpful community. I like that they're making Debian easier to use out of the box. Tweaking a fresh Debian installation for a desktop machine takes some doing, it's a bit of work.

I'm keeping the AMD64 Kubuntu Dapper box alive- it's working pretty well as a digital photo management & printing workstation. I blew away the original installation and installed a fresh new Dapper- I think most of the problems were the result of dist-upgrading. Debian is designed to never ever need a re-installation, so hopefully Ubuntu will get there too.

2006-07-02 20:39:10
Just one more short note to the fellow who rants about us "so-called knowledgable people", and tries to suggest that "UBUNTU AND ALL OF IT'S DERIVATIVES ARE COMMERCIAL DISTRO's!!!"

If you'd done a little bit of homework first my friend, you could have found this ...


It's also important to distinguish between Canonical, which is a for-profit services operation, and the Ubuntu Foundation, which has capital from Mark Shuttleworth, on a non-profit basis, to continue Ubuntu's work.

Will Ubuntu ever demand licence fees or royalties?

Mark Shuttleworth: "No. Never. I have no interest in taking Ubuntu to join the proprietary software industry. I don't think any of the core Ubuntu developers, or much of the community, would stick around if I went loony and decided to try the latter, anyhow"

If that isn't enough for you, then you will be happy to know that Canonical has signed public undertakings with government offices to the extent that it will never introduce a "commercial" version of Ubuntu. There will never be a difference between the "commercial" product and the "free" product, as there is with Red Hat (RHEL and Fedora). Ubuntu releases will always be free.


With all due respect, put that in your pipe and smoke it!

(sorry Carla, had to get that in)


Carla Schroder
2006-07-02 21:26:13
Rick, if you have something better than tobacco in that pipe I want some.


M. David Peterson
2006-07-03 01:14:27
Huh... Never seemed to have any of these problems with ANY of my Windows "Distro's" since Windows 98 Second Edition. Of course I specifically chose NOT to install Windows ME, holding "strong" until XP shipped, using 2000 as my DevServer, and 98SE and my media machine.

I'm not attempting by ANY stretch of the imagination to downplay Linux. Linux has a TON of strengths, many of which I have much longed for on my WinXP Pro, now Vista dev box. Of course quite a few of those "wish list" items were delivered as part of Monad Microsoft Shell Windows Power Shell, but there are still quite a few that haven't been delivered, and as such I will continue to run various flavors of GNU/Linux inside of Virtual Server...

... Running Vista as my primary OS of choice.

Sorry folks... But there *IS* a reason Windows owns the Desktop Market now, and for the foreseeable future.

That said, there *IS* a reason there will ALWAYS be two or three or four GNU/Linux distros running inside of Virtual Server. While I simply *HAVE* to have the reliability that WinXP Pro Vista provides, I'm a hacker at heart, and GNU/Linux is simply too much fun to play with. :)

2006-07-03 02:23:05
I hope everyone who had problems filed bug reports about them? ;-)

Carla, currently Ubuntu needs either its (k/x/ed)ubuntu-desktop meta-package to be installed to do problemless upgrades or you have to take care yourself about installing and removing the correct packages. This should get better with the new "Breaks" header that will be added to apt.

2006-07-03 06:26:01
I must confess, some of the statements here found me a little bewildered. I'm new to linux, apart from an experimentation phase back in '00 with some Red Hat thing, not the sticky fumble I wish to recall. Ok, new to linux, brand new. I tried quite a few recently, suse (10.1), xandros (3.0), linspire (5.0), ubuntu (dapper) and I must say that ubuntu left the least mess and no wet spots. Xandros, I didn't like, too much fiddle to get the wireless working, same with linspire and suse took forever to install and took it's ball home when hitting the video card drivers. In fact, they all stopped at that point and some worked when I tabbed through the outputs back to the LCD display. I was getting a bit miffed and not willing to take the chance on formatting the main lappy.

Back in the forums this name appeared again and again, ubuntu. What the hell, download, burn and install on my old test machine, toshiba satelite 25somethingorother dvd. Now all the others didn't like the trident 95wotsit card, ubuntu did. No frigging about with refresh rates and the megahurts of the korean screen assemblers tight underpants in X config files, it just worked. Next came the wireless card (netgear), my xandros ndiswrapper experience to hand (getting into this linux thing now!) and didn't need it. Connect it said and connect I did. Ok, now what? Why can't I play mp3's? A few google minutes later and voila, automatix installed and every codec I needed on it's way. Everything working and not a new grey hair in sight (although it is hard to guarantee that one).

After 3 days of ubuntu on the old laptop, I took the plunge, backed up (!!!!) the presario, read the last rights and installed it on my main laptop. The one my wife and I fight over... er share. Installed, everything working in less than an hour. Not one problem. Automatix and Synaptic clicks later and everything I need is on there. Ok, sometimes it's down to the prompt for a quick sudo, but I was like that in windows, wife likes the UI and hails the russian tv she watches online, XP media player st-st-st-stutted when it played, totem? Nope, plays fine. Only gripe my wife has is the keyboard switcher, she translates, russian and english and swaps between the two. Ubuntu/gnome is a bit fiddly and doesn't quite work properly with layouts, I'll look at that later. I'm sure half an hour poking around will have the answer. As for hardware, scanners, printers, cameras, webcameras, not one complaint.

So now Ubuntu is on two laptops and I ubuntu'd the server last weekend. That took a bit more fiddling/flattening/fiddling, being new to php, apache and mysql, remote desktop sessions, ftp and linux permissions but forums are friendly places and the answers are very forthcoming.

The "why move from windows" reason? I actually had to learn something that was on my CV for a contract! Learn it quick too! So now developing on linux, perl, tcl, python with apache and php. Plodding along.

I still need the last remaining windows pc in the house for MS dev, but momo is looking interesting and I am keeping my eyes fixed on that one, and the fact that the russian input works better (for now).

So why bewildered? Well if a complete linux newbie (getting into the lingo too now) can be a happy chappy with the install of desktop and server, I can't see why the complaints. Although I have used little else. Each to their own gripes.

Freddie Montana
2006-07-03 08:51:24
I have a compaq 2100 series laptop; fairly decent laptop with the previous version of Ubuntu on it. I asked it on several times to upgrade (automatic process?) and it returned a bug!!!

What's up with that?

There is no need to file the report because the damm thing does accept cookies; fortunately, that laptop is only my playtoy. I am still looking for a better distro.

Meantime: It is the only game in town. I am not satisfied but...

2006-07-03 09:57:05
I've been RPM based for a long time, running RH 3.03-> 9 and Mandrake 6.1->9 and Fedora 2-5. I tried Debian a few times and didn't like it. I decided to tru Ubuntu 5.10 on my laptop. It worked pretty well except never got past firefox 1.08. I tried doing a CD boot update to 6.06. Bzzt. Ok, dist-update. Bzzt. *sigh* so I wiped / and installed 6.06 on that. Well, it works but I'm disappointed I had to go that route. Ubuntu does the suspend on the toshiba latop better then FC4 did. Other then that and the debian vs redhat/mandrake/fc administation/packages issues, well, they're all pretty much the same. It's an interesting way to learn Debian.
Caitlyn Martin
2006-07-03 14:18:32
Carla, I'm just corporate enough to like a distro with release schedules and predictable development patterns. That doesn't sound like Debian, does it? I've run into all sorts of interesting bugs playing with Debian at times, the ALSA one definitely rings a bell or two. The whole attitude I've found around Debian development just didn't suit me.

Overall I still prefer rpms and yum for package management, probably because I started with Red Hat and Slackware around 11 years ago. Slack, of course, lacks sane package management. I'm comfy with rpm because I know it inside, outside, and upside down. I've played with dpkg building a little and I'm sure I could get the hang of it just fine but... Most of my customers do the Red Hat thing so that probably is the world I belong in.

I want to like Ubuntu. I want it to succeed. I think competition is healthy. Xubuntu has the nicest XFCE-based desktop I've seen and I think XFCE is very promising. Having said that...if I can strip Fedora down and build back up the pieces I need so that it runs as fast as Xubuntu does on my older machines I'd go back to FC5 in about half a heartbeat.

2006-07-04 03:21:26
Maybe no distro is for the new user, especially with newer hardware. BTW, has anyone tried to install WinXP from an original CD, NOT the preinstallation your laptop is coming with? You should have a lot of pain with some drivers too.

What people liking distros that release twice a year don't take into account is just that: managing upgrades without breaking the system. I broke my GNOME twice while updating my SuSE 10.0, and I broke it severely while upgrading from 10.0 to 10.1. (I'm not using SuSE anymore.)

Ubuntu was very stable in 4.10 and 5.04. Since then, its quality, from a corporate point of view, has deteriorated.

For people that want to keep themselves safe from having an update breaking the system, I can only recommend:
1. Debian stable (currently 3.1r2 Sarge)
2. RHEL or CentOS (currently 4.3)

For people able to fix things:
3. Debian testing/unstable
4. FC5

I don't think MEPIS or Slackware or whatever "one-man show" distrow are out there can be trusted to be dependable enough to fit a business environment, for usage on desktops or laptops.

As for Ubuntu 6.06, nobody could prove it's certified by IBM for DB2 and by MySQL AB, as Canonical claims. The only DB2 certification granted by IBM was for the version 5.04. So I wouldn't trust a distro maker that is cheating.

2006-07-09 08:34:41
Step 1: Stop buying crappy b class hardware.
Step 2: You just got rid of 99% of the hardware problems. Smile.
Ian Soutar
2006-07-19 12:17:19
You need to do a fresh install. I did the slow development route along with my daughter and ran Dapper beta for 6 months before the release. When it was finally released we did a fresh install. WHAT A DIFFERENCE. It was completely stable, never needs fixing ... a great distro.

I would recommend that you do a fresh install and then review it again.


Carla Schroder
2006-07-19 16:26:36
Ian, one of Debian's great strengths is never needing to do a Winduhs-style wipe-n-reinstall. A properly-maintained Debian system can be upgraded forever and forever. My main workstation is Debian Unstable, going on three years old now from the original installation. Ubuntu should not break this. I think they'll get these kinds of kinks worked out. But for now- meh, it is what it is.
2006-07-28 03:35:26
Ubuntu is made for newbies to learn but also to use the "latest and greatest" that linux has to offer in an easy to use, polished way.

Distros such as CentOS, Slackware, Arch Linux, Debian Stable and Gentoo are all slightly more "stable" distros that use well tested versions of their packages whereas Fedora, SuSE, Ubuntu and Debian Unstable use cutting-edge and less tested packages and are thus more prone to bugs.

I personally recommend CentOS to the slightly more "noob" of a linux user because it provides the stability and quality of RHEL with the strong community support found in Fedora. It provides quite sane defaults and the tools to configure what you need (e.g. daemons/services, firewall etc.) without the hassle of opening up intimidating conf files or reading annoyingly huge man pages. The trend towards stability and only using the well tested parts of what the fedora project produces means one ends up with a stable system that won't throw up any major wildcards making it probably the most suitable distro for a newbie.

The more experienced user i'd recommend Slackware or Arch Linux to because they use pure, unpatched, stable packages and underneath one can see the quality of the software. It requires more configuration but provides an extremely stable system which can meet most needs - whether it be highly technical, multimedia, web browsing, gaming etc.

Ubuntu Dapper is a good distro when it the correct place, if you are a newbie wanting to learn but with the support of a truly massive userbase then it is perfect, if you are a user looking for a stable linux with minimum hassle then give CentOS a try as it is designed to be exactly that - easy to use and stable. Debian might be stable but it isn't hassle-free, Ubuntu might be easy to use but it isn't stable.

- NthDegree

2006-09-16 13:19:09
If you have a Thinkpad and want a hassel free Linux install SUSE 10.X is what you need. Give it a try, the lastest release is great!
Ian Miller
2006-10-27 05:01:00
I upgraded from breezy to dapper and now to edge on my thinkpad and by the way, I have a printer, scanner, ext dvdrw drive and an ext hard drive all connected and working fine. I had no problem with my SATA hdd inside. I am guessing you didn't upgrade properly.
Carla Schroder
2006-10-29 16:42:12
My dear Mr. Miller, on what do you base your conclusion of "I am guessing you didn't upgrade properly"? Telepathy? I don't recall seeing you here when I was performing the upgrade. Oh I know, it's the proven technique of extrapolating from your own experiences. After all, if everything works right for you, then everyone who reports problems must be doing something wrong. Brilliant!