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"Linux for Human Beings" - whatever

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OK, so I've been experimenting with Ubuntu "Breezy Badger" Linux. It was pretty good, for about the 4 hours it worked out of the 4 days I've had it installed. I'm writing this from Windows.

If Ubuntu is so magi-tastic, why have I had to reinstall it 3 times in 48 hours, only for it to corrupt again overnight without any settings being changed?

The first two times, I saw the logo, and "Loading modules" and all that, except it got to "Mounting root filesystem" and told me the drive Linux was installed on didn't exist. My my, that's interesting.

I reinstalled, it happened again after booting and working beautifully for a few hours. And again.

After my latest reinstall (about 9 hours ago) - it boots, but neither KDE or GNOME work for more than 10 seconds before I'm thrown back to the login screen. X is running, I know that for a fact because all the fancy graphics appear. This time, on boot, I got a textual bootup and not the graphical one with the logo.

Oh, and in the brief period it worked and booted properly every time, I had weird issues such as applications loading forever, and eventually not starting at all.

These random corruptions are exactly that - random, I have done nothing that I know of which would cause it. And also, the sound wouldn't work at all - even following several massive tutorials on the subject, nothing bloody worked.

I've had enough. I'm going back to the Evil Redmond Empire for now (because it actually works reliably and everytime, been using it since 3.11 without any problems), I'm not touching Ubuntu again, the only reason I'm using at all is because I can't be bothered burning 5+ CDs of rubbish I'm never going to use. Seriously, the Ubuntu forums are buzzing with threads reporting similar problems, but nobody seems to care, and important questions go unanswered - all too often I've seen burning important user issue questions with 100+ views and no replies.

I'm appalled that something so blatantly poor made it through testing and got so much hype. What a bloody joke. Linux is seen to be better than Windows (especially Ubuntu, apparently), but if you can't rely on it to boot everytime you power on your system, what's the point?

Yep, "Linux for Human Beings" - "Human Beings" who enjoy having to reformat every 2 days just to make their system bootable. Be warned kiddies.

If anybody can think of a different distro which would suit my needs (relatively noobish, not too bloated, and free), then please let me know. I'm willing to give it another chance, just not Ubuntu. I'm waiting on Fedora 5 final release as well.
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Even my adventures with pre-release/beta Windows sounds less painful than that [lol]

"Linux for Human Beings"
That's a bit of a contradiction isn't it? I thought you had to be l33t h4x0r before you could use Linux?


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Sounds like a driver problem - some driver is messing things up. Linux doesn't like a lot of hardware (or was it the other way round?), and so you really can't use it happily unless you have the magic hardware.

I've tried RedHat9, Fedora Core 3, Mepis 3.1, Suse 9.1, BeOS (this not linux, mind you, but it's still an 'alternative'), Ubuntu Hoary Hedgehog, Ubuntu Warty Warthog, and Ubuntu Breezy Badger.

Neither of the above liked my old PC (2GHz Athlon, Radeon 8500, Serial mouse, PS/2 Keyboard, Onboard sound). Almost all of them mis-detected my mouse as PS/2. One of them, Mepis, wouldn't display anything properly in normal mode - it chose an incompatible video mode. What's even funnier was that its SAFE MODE got the video mode right, but neither the keyboard nor the mouse worked in it - guess that's for the sake of 'safety'. After all, if you can't use it you can't break it [lol].

All of them, with the exception of FC3, either had trouble identifying my network card and/or my DSL connection. Ubuntu did it but with some manual configuration file fiddling.

Now, all that applies to the old machine. Enter the new one - A 3GHz Athlon64 with an nVidia motherboard. Everything works perfectly (that is, if we forget a moment about the lack of 3D acceleration for ATi cards), everything was auto-detected.

So really, stability is mostly a hardware and/or driver issue. Back in the day, when I was trying RH9 (and of course with an ATi card, there's no 3D acceleration) running any OpenGL game locked up the system. From similar scenarios, the drivers don't look very robust, IMO.

Today, on Ubuntu Breezy, I can't hibernate - doing so goes into an infinite loop of linux trying to hibernate, spitting a console error message continuously (because X has been closed), and not allowing me to cancel the hibernation command (though I didn't dig around for a solution to that problem, admittedly).

In short: Keep a small partition, and try distributions on it every now and then. Or use Live CDs. Or better, try CoLinux. It allows you to run a linux distribution from INSIDE Windows. And that's a really good thing, because for a lot of people Linux doesn't deserve to be run on its own.

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I have been using both Fedora Core 4 and Debian along side my Windows and Mac computers. If you don't want to use fedora, I highly recommend Debian. If you don't like downloading and burning the 11 CD's, Debian offers a network install where you can pick only the stuff you need and get none of the fluff. The great news is that the mirrors are all usually super fast (like MIT's ftp) and your install shouldn't take too horrendously long. Hope this helps.

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I'd recommend trying Arch Linux.

Download their base install iso which is about 150MB.

It will install all the bare essentials.

Once you're logged in, you can then download and install whatever packages, and their dependancies, you want.

e.g. When I did my installation I wanted all the applications most people would want:
Firefox, Opera, X, fluxbox, Open Office, aMSN, vim, screen, XMMS, Mplayer.

I type:
pacman -S firefox opera fluxbox openoffice amsn vim screen xmms mplayer

and then pacman, Arch Linux's package manager, downloads the packages from a server online and install them for you... very easy to do.

NOTE: The packages might not be called what I said they was called just, e.g. openoffice might be called openoffice-base.

To find out their real names just run:
pacman -Ss openoffice

This will search for all packages with the term openoffice in either their name or description.. this is also easy :P

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