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Mark Shuttleworth on Ubuntu Long Term Support

By Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier on June 01, 2006 (8:00:00 AM)

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The Ubuntu project has officially announced the release of Ubuntu 6.06 Long Term Support (LTS) today. Ubuntu 6.06, better known by its code name "Dapper Drake," is the first Ubuntu release to offer an extended lifecycle, a GUI installer for desktop systems, and support for Sun SPARC systems. In a press conference yesterday, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth talked about the Dapper release, and how the project plans to address enterprise needs.

This release introduces separate desktop and server versions of Ubuntu. The desktop release will be supported by the Ubuntu project through 2009, while the server release will be supported through 2011. Typical Ubuntu releases are supported for 18 months.

Ubuntu was originally offered as an easy-to-use desktop version of Linux, but Shuttleworth says that the project decided to offer a server version after noticing that a number of Ubuntu users were deploying the distribution as a server platform.

Don't expect Ubuntu to displace Red Hat, Novell, or Microsoft in the data center just yet. As Linux has matured, other vendors have invested in providing management tools for Linux servers, which Ubuntu lacks. Shuttleworth acknowledged that Ubuntu doesn't have "a complete answer" yet regarding management tools. He said that the Ubuntu project is working on a Web-based management framework, and that they're "in discussion with providers of traditional management tools."

Instead of the data center, Shuttleworth says that he expects to see Ubuntu deployed at the "edge" of corporate networks to begin with -- which is pretty much how Linux got started in enterprise environments.

According to Shuttleworth, the project has about 20 full-time developers and about 150 community volunteers. He says that he is aware that, with the addition of long term support, the project will need additional paid developers to provide backports and bug fixes that will be necessary as packages in the Dapper repository age. He says it's also possible that the project will release updates for the install CDs as Dapper matures, as the Debian project does with its releases, to avoid having to do a massive update after an install when Dapper has been in support for a year or two.

Canonical, Shuttleworth's company that provides commercial support for Ubuntu, is putting together a support operation in Montreal. Shuttleworth says they now have seven or eight employees to provide support, and that they're ramping up to provide 24x7 support in English and French. This is considerably more modest than the support operations behind other commercial distributions. Shuttleworth says that he hopes they will be able to avoid being understaffed, but that it's "difficult to predict" how many people will be needed.

Supporting stacks

The Ubuntu server release supports a LAMP "stack," so that an admin can set up a LAMP server with a single command rather than installing and configuring the Apache, MySQL, and PHP software separately. In effect, this allows Ubuntu to be used almost as a software appliance.

Shuttleworth says that this is just the first software stack, and that the Ubuntu project plans to add other stacks, such as a mail server stack and Asterisk stack.

Ubuntu on UltraSPARC

Sun's SPARC platform is being added to Ubuntu's supported platforms for Dapper's server release. Shuttleworth pointed out that, while the company is releasing only server install CDs for SPARC hardware, it's still possible to have a workstation configuration on UltraSPARC by adding packages from the repositories.

Dapper was originally slated to be released in April, but Shuttleworth said that the delay was not related to the decision to port Ubuntu to Sun hardware. Instead, Shuttleworth says that the plan was originally to port Ubuntu to Sun hardware and then release it after the official release of Dapper. However, when the developers delayed Dapper to polish the distro for long term support, and to finalize the GUI installer for the Dapper desktop live CD, it became possible to finish the UltraSPARC port in time for the official Dapper release. On his blog, Shuttleworth wrote that the SPARC port "progressed far faster than we expected."

The Dapper release also brings Xubuntu, an Xfce-based version of Ubuntu, into main. This brings the tally to four official flavors of Ubuntu -- the original GNOME-based Ubuntu distro, the KDE-based Kubuntu offering, the Edubuntu offering which is customized for schools, and Xubuntu.

Dapper is available for download. For users who lack the bandwidth, or want to get a number of Ubuntu CDs to distribute, the Ubuntu project also offers a ShipIt program, which provides pressed CDs of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and Edubuntu.

Edgy Eft, the next release of Ubuntu, is scheduled for October of this year. Shuttleworth says that this release will have a normal 18-month support cycle, and the focus will be on adding new technology to Ubuntu rather than long-term stability.

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hmm...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 02, 2006 01:55 AM
Let us see whether dappy rocks or not~!

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Re:hmm...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 02, 2006 02:17 AM
When it comes to printing, Dapper currently sucks. Just see this posting here from today: <a href="http://dot.kde.org/1149158725/1149176458/" title="kde.org">http://dot.kde.org/1149158725/1149176458/</a kde.org> ("Why didn't Dapper fix its CUPS printing problems??")

.

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Re:hmm...

Posted by: mt_nixnut on June 02, 2006 02:48 AM
In my experiences with it so far I would say printing is this distros weakest link as well. I tried to get BrightQ working on it with no luck. And without drivers for large expensive copier/printers good luck in the corporate world.


That said I think it is currently my favorite distro anyway. It just seems I am having a lot more problems printing than I am used to with Linux.

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Re:hmm...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 05, 2006 01:19 PM
I tried Dapper Drake Xubuntu yesterday and discovered that CUPS browse is disabled (Browse off). If you enable it (Browse on) then CUPS seems to work (for me, anyway). I forget which file but just grep for Browse in<nobr> <wbr></nobr>/etc/cups.

What a noise me about *ubuntu is the 'sudo' thing. Why don't they let you just 'su -'?

Anyhow, back to XFCE on Slackware for me.

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This is fantastic

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 02, 2006 07:39 AM
As a long-time Suse/RedHat/Mandrake user, I switched to Ubuntu last year and never looked back. The Breezy version of Ubuntu was a GREAT distribution, and easily replaced Windows on the desktop.

I am so looking forward to installing Dapper, and using it for three years knowing that it will be fully maintained with the easily downloadable security fixes and the like which Breezy has had. Ubuntu is so much better than Windows.

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sparc. omg? wtf!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 02, 2006 04:37 PM
I don't see where to download the SPARC discs from. I've checked about 8 of the mirrors and I only found: iAMD64, i386 and PPC versions in desktop, server and alternate flavors.

Also, I booted the i386 "desktop" (live) CD on a PC and was very underwhelmed. In Ubuntu's favor, though, there was one awesome feature: painless 3D acceleration. I started the crippled screensaver chooser thing and noticed the GL previews were awfully smooth. I started one fullscreen... and X froze. Yep, that's the r300 driver I know! I can't believe they decided it was stable. Next, I tried adding a printer. Seems easy enough, there's an inviting Printer button in the System menu -- except, it doesn't work. Next, I try the CUPS web interface: it's totally broken, too. I started the underfeatured "services" control panel thing to turn off the HP printer/scanner service. There's a simple "Printing" service. What is that? Is it CUPS? HP printing? Aha, here's syslogd and klogd! I think the kind of user that would be confused by all those nasty buttons and runlevels and stuff doesn't need to see those. Worst of all, the documentation rarely matches the actual programs! I click "Help" on the services window and get the documentation for the old GNOME services thing, which is totally different! It's easy to turn on VNC with a checkbox in preferences. However, it doesn't turn off if you uncheck it! I can click Places->Computer and get a nice window with my disk partitions. Clicking on them lets me view and manipulate their contents. Just kidding! It results in an entirely useless error. Of course hda isn't removeable! I know that! Why is this a problem? Arrgh!

The menus are well organized. If the things in the menus actually worked, that would be great. A non-technical user would be almost, but not quite, completely screwed with Dapper Drake. Small things matter!

Well, that turned into quite the mini-review/angsty rant.

Better luck with the newt!

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Ubuntu's Gwenview vs SuSE's Gwenview &amp; plugins

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 02, 2006 09:37 PM
The Ubuntu Gwenview install lacks all the needed plugins to work properly, period! While Novell's install of SuSE has the plugins as part of Gwenview where the user does not have to hunt down and install the complicated to understand how to install GwenView Plugins?

This is why I use SuSE... the security updates are solid and dependable, and they do the stack right! Little things like plugins for Gwenview are just that extra level of detail that SuSE delivers on all the time!

Ubuntu is a little ragged around the edges still regarding such little things such as Gwenview Plugins (just as an example)! Ubuntu can catch up maybe... but, due to the missing details like Plugins for Gwenview... I also question their ability to follow thru in a consistant pattern when it comes to the needed little details that business need, like "timely security updates"?

I would hold off on saying that Ubuntu is Enterprise quality right now...! They gotta prove that they are... not just say that they are!

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Re:Ubuntu's Gwenview vs SuSE's Gwenview &amp; plug

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 02, 2006 11:24 PM
Uhmm... so your entire post comes down to one thing: Gwenview. But you try to paint it as if it was several things. Mentioning Gwenview 5 times does not constitute 5 examples of missing functionality. Personally I've never heard of Gwenview, so I can't imagine it's such a critical package. I just looked it up and apparently it's an image viewer. What's so special about that? Ubuntu comes with an image viewer. Just because Ubuntu doesn't come with your pet program by default that doesn't make it "rough around the edges".

Daniel.

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Ubuntu 6.06 has Gwenview (half done = no plugins)

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 03, 2006 02:39 AM
1- Gwenview does come with Ubuntu 6.06. But, it has no plug-ins... since you are so smart why don't you post how to get plugins into Gwenview to work. It's a pain in the ass... and Newbies are not going to get it going. Period.

There is no way and no help to fix this either!

Gwenview, with Plugins allows for a user to select a bunch of photos direct from a camera, and it will compress the images to about 50k or less, all in batch, then it auto sends them to Evolution or Thunderbird, auto opens an email message, puts the photos as attachments to the message, easy just address the email and off go your pictures to your friends.

What other Photo tools do this (that Ubuntu or Kubuntu, or Xubuntu, or Edubuntu have installed by default), so a user just finds it and can use it just as soon as the OS is installed and the email client is set up? Do you know?

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Re:Ubuntu 6.06 has Gwenview (half done = no plugin

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 03, 2006 06:34 PM
You're still complaining that Ubuntu doesn't have your pet program (Gwenview plugins). I've never had a need to use Gwenview or its plugins (I had never even heard of the program) and I can extract photos from a digital camera just fine. I think the software is gPhoto or maybe a descendant of. I can plugin a digital camera and a window opens with all the pictures, and I can do some basic image manipulation on them. It works.

Daniel.

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But, you can't batch send photos to grandma.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 03, 2006 07:20 PM
I am following your point. However, just putting pictures on your computer is not the issue.

I am interested in going to friends and relative computers and installing Ubuntu. My friends and relatives all like to send emails with their photos as attachments. I need a tool that is supported for 3 years by Ubuntu that will make sending photos by email an easy and painless process for these folks to be trained to do.

The issue is emailing those photos with Ubuntu in the most easy and painless way possible!

Those 10 fishing photos to your fishing buddies, etc. Most cameras today have photos that are about 1.5 MB in size (that if sent as they are will exceed SOME ISP's allowed email storage limit (or for file email size rules for that ISP) for POP3, or whatever, after only 5 photos. SO - you need to get these photos down to about 50k apiece (or smaller)! Your options are to do this one at a time with many of the Ubuntu photo tools (takes about half an hour to do this to 10 pictures by manual picture by picture editing and saving. Then you have to send them by dragging them into your evolution or thunderbird email. You then send.

Gwenview (with KIPI plugins installed) has a bunch of short cuts for this process. With Gwenview (installed with Plugins by defalut with SuSE, where the Free to use Plugins are not installed by default with any U*buntu), with Gwenview with Kipi Plugins there is a selection of a plugin that will take any ones of the 10 1.5MB pictures you choose to send out of the hundred that you took, auto reduce them to about 50k, put them in either your choice of thunderbird or evolution or k-mail whatever and OPEN the email you will send for you so that you don't even have to open your email by hand..., then you just address your email and send.

Using Gwenview with this plugin you have taken about 30 minutes of by hand photo editing and email by hand opening, and reduced this process to only 2 steps and about 10 seconds.

The only reason why Ubuntu developer have ignored this feature to add by default, is that they, like you seem to be not like the average user with a modern digital camera with friends or family that they enjoy sending photos to. So - as like you, they also, can't relate to this desire to send a bunch of photos that are reduced to 20k or whatever in 2 clicks taking 10 seconds.

This is what folks do with digital cameras.

None of Ubuntu's photo tools do this 2 click and 10 second send choice of photos thing at all because they have ignored having the free to use KIPI plugins be part of the default Gwenview install and the process to get those KIPI plugins into Gwenview is not easy... and there is no easy apt-get solution to this problem. So - if you include Gwenview in your distro, you gotta give the users the plugins to use too!

Got it now!

I have not seen a photo tool in Ubuntu that can send a bunch of pictures like the Kipi Plugin for Gwenview does. If you know of a way to do this without Gwenview, say with another photo tool that is supported now for 3 years by Ubuntu... well, then please advise. Thank-you.

Oh - by the way, I can't figure out why Gnome does not allow the right click on a file and then "copy to" or "move to" option like SuSE KDE does?

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Re:But, you can't batch send photos to grandma.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 19, 2006 05:45 PM
you can easily install the kipi plugins via apt-get install kipi-plugins or via one of the graphical tools.
I also agree that not havinf one program is not a reason to say that the whole system in rough on the edges<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:-s

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Where is FireFox browser in Kubuntu?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 02, 2006 09:45 PM
I would think that Kubuntu would install with FireFox as the default browsers. The Kubuntu Live CD and install version I just tested didn't have FireFox as a browser at all... and while running the Live Kubuntu CD, when I went to look for FireFox to add it, in the internet software options, there was no option to install it? GO Figure? Why?

Is it by design that Kubuntu, an enterprise ready disto, seems to ignor that FireFox even exists?

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Re:Where is FireFox browser in Kubuntu?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 03, 2006 12:46 AM
Like it or not the design philosophy for ubuntu and kubuntu is one application per function such as web browsing. On ubuntu it is firefox (a gnome app) and on kububuntu it is konqueror (a kde app). Ubuntu tends to perfere gtk based apps and Kubuntu qt based apps to give a more smooth desktop experience.

You should be able to add firefox

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FireFox is not even listed as a supported Browser!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 03, 2006 02:46 AM
Re: "You should be able to add firefox"

I just tried with the Live CD and FireFox was not listed as an application that could be installed (as a supported application supported by the Kubuntu listed internet options... instead it seems you have to get FireFox via a more confusing and maybe unsupported repository!

Not having FireFox on the default install just does not make business sense. To a high school hacker it might be cool to ignor FireFox, but hey it's one of the apps that is winning folks away from Microsoft... it should be part of the default install (and at least listed in the level of apps to be installed that is supported by Kubuntu development, today it is not on the list even)!

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Try "apt-cache search firefox"

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 03, 2006 07:43 AM
That's ridiculous. I use the KDE file manager on my Gnome desktop on Ubuntu. Want to change the appearance of all the KDE apps on your Gnome desktop? Fire up the KDE Control Center and there you go.

Oh, by the way, here's how to install Firefox:
sudo apt-get install mozilla-firefox

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Grandma does not do Apt-get... got it?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 03, 2006 07:31 PM
Let us focus now... say "ease of use" 100 times fast.

1st you need to be aware of the FACT... that, you will lose a percentage of the population with this apt-get thing. I can do it, but a percentage of the population will be apt not to ever/never get it (no pun intended). So - What is being said is that certain extremely popular applications need to be on the desktop by default, period.

FireFox in the FOSS world is one of those apps. Hey, would you leave your star hitter off the starting line up in any baseball game. No. What Kubuntu has done is benched one of FOSS's star hitters by only having a "pet" KDE browser be the default install. Sounds a bit strange to me. Do the Kubuntu folks think this way... if so, then they are out of the main stream and they will limit Kubuntu to being out of the mainstream if they persist in this way of thinking.

And - universe repository additions are outside of the Ubuntu 3 year desktop support deal. Not supported, so - for the 3 years of support we are limited to the listed apps for the version of the distro in order to get support for the 3 years.

Firefox needs to be on that list of security supported updating applications... and it needs to be on the desktop, with the install, by default. Simple.

The Red Sox would never put Manny on the bench for any game. Why Kubuntu decided to bench FireFox is a very strange bit of decision making? I don't get it.

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The point is, Firefox is there

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 03, 2006 09:10 PM
Granny can use synaptic.

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But is it Kubuntu 3 years supported?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 03, 2006 10:23 PM
I looked for it... and it was not listed yesterday as installable at all? Have you checked it yourself?

Even if it is there, is it supported by Kubuntu?

FYI - I don't know how much desktop support experience you have, but in most cases, Granny can't do synaptic either.

When you sit down at a meal, one does not usually have to ask for something to drink. Kubuntu has left the "water" off the table with their new distro.

We friends and relatives don't want to spend any time supporting boxes of Kubuntu or Ubuntu installs for FREE... it is a pain in the ass.

The stuff should just install, and work. Seamlessly Easy is the way that it should be.

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Xubuntu Live lacks resource use indicator tools!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 02, 2006 10:49 PM
One thing you gotta love about distros like Damn Small Linux (DSL) is that when you boot it live you can see the entire story of the use of the system resources that DSL is using on any system.

Xubuntu - it is a mystery when using this what resources that the Xubuntu Live CD is using? I conider this a must have on default install for any distro looking to qualify as a "lite" distro to run on older hardware with less RAM and Hard Drive space!

Yep - A system resouce examination tool sure would be handy to help determine if the low powered machine has enough RAM and Drive space to install properly to the system. Maybe in a "lite" distro I have got used to expecting the little extras that someone paid attention to,<nobr> <wbr></nobr>...that seem to be left out of Xubuntu, that we get with a distro like DSL and Puppy.

If I missed something in this observation then please advise, thank-you!

Is this also supported for 3 years with security updates? Hmmmm? The timing and quality of these updates will be what exactly?

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LTS Edubuntu supports only PXE (it's proprietary)!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 03, 2006 03:02 AM
The brand new for poor schools of the world who want to still use old cheap or free PCs by using the FREE OS Edubuntu distro will discover that Edubuntu uses PXE as a default!

Ouch, because to use a LTS PXE client you need a license.

Double bee sting OUCH.

On the other side of the coin... the free to use Etherboot LTSP client does not need a license. It seems that the head strong, *buntu folks, by doing their own LTS stuff, and deviating from what the LTSP folks are doing... weel, they have made a big mistake by making PXE as the default install meaning that in order to run the free etherboot LTSP client stuff you have to go and run all this commmand line stuff to get the Edubuntu LTSP to see etherboot clients! It is not FREE PLUG AND PLAY BECAUSE of their choice of PXE.

A quote from LTSP related support is as follows:
"We do not provide network cards with PXE only Etherboot. PXE is proprietary and requires a license to sell".

Triple OUCH - go back and read it again. The use of proprietary is supposed to be against the grain of what *buntu stands for... any thing else proprietary you gotta go out and install yourself?

Hey - The same LTSP expert when responding to my email about whole PXE issue as a problem noted:

"The method describing how to create a
Etherboot'able kernel would be run every time there is a Ubuntu kernelupdate to keep the kernel current.

Quadrupppple support OUCH Batman...
So if I read that correctly, then with every kernel support update that shows up when the little lite turns red to update your Edubuntu, well that means that you have to run the conversion from PXE to Etherboot command line process again (creating a kernel with mknbi that allows an Etherboot client to be able to load), to make sure that the clients will keep running.

THAT is not a better solutions. THAT is not ready for Enterprise use. And THAT is NOT good for newbie level LTSP school admins to have to pay attention to all the time when updates come in from Edubuntu that might blow up the Etherboot mknbi stuff you have done to disable PXE and enable the FREE TO USE ETHERBOOT.

They should have made Etherboot the default install and PXE as a option that the user could change to!

I got other issues as well... 6.06 in other areas is half baked (I wrote emails to key people there that were ignored it seems over 3 months ago and the same mistakes in judgement and construction were not fixed), what they got done works... but, it needed another 4 months in the oven... and with the Edubuntu folks ignoring the LTSP folks, and other folks, suggestions and going their own way on things... well, you got something that is a big question mark.

So - with this in mind how much can we trust the security update promise to actually work?

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Re:LTS Edubuntu supports only PXE (it's proprietar

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 08, 2006 10:15 AM
funny I just installed edubuntu and use pentium ones and etherboot and my thin client systems come up. there are a couple of gotcha's though. edubuntu ltsp seems to be more particular about which machines it will work with, I did have to swap out one machine that only partly booted. since I had a extra machine with different hardware, used it instead. I also had to boot each system one at a time or the hardware detection gets foobared. I never had any problenm with k12ltsp (redhat) or safedesk (suse) running ltsp.

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M$oft FUD trolls, your tactics are getting obvious

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 03, 2006 08:47 AM
It's been interesting to watch the MS FUD trolls who hit websites like this one and Slashdot. The tactics and patterns in their postings are so often consistently obvious.

Here is a typical one. Using "research" from Microsoft's Linux lab, or wherever the heck they get their obscure information from, they are ready to pounce once Linux gets any new good news.

Ubuntu rocks, and is about to release an even better distro version? Here come the trolls, with their obscure focus on some minor point to make it seem like the Linux distro is problematic.

"Ummmm, I couldn't read the comma in Line 46,842 of Open Office Org's source code. It looked more like a period or semi-colon to me. This obviously means that Ubuntu's automatic security downloads cannot be expected to ever work properly and proves that Ubuntu is not ready for the desktop. Users should be very afraid of leaving behind the warm fuzzy comfort of exalted MS Windows security for such an unknown quantity as Linux."

Ummm, yeah, right. Whatever, trolls. Deal with it - Windows sucks, and Linux more than blows it away.

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Hey -Attack the messenger (vs attack the message)!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 03, 2006 12:09 PM
When you can't attack the message, the rule is to attack the messenger. I believe that is what you have done.

If,
you are calling the posts MS trolls, because you can't think of anything else to counter the observations...
Then,
put away the attacks. Let me tell you a growed up adult story of how success is done! I once observed a company called GE work! At this company they are trained to work in a way where all ideas and proposals and product quality was agressively challenged, by all employees, all the time... the weak gets fixed or thrown out, quickly... and that is how you get the best product... not by thinking ever, oh wow, we are so good, or the product is so good, etc. No go along to get along, office or workplace politics, or being nice to each other for being nice's sake... ever leds to rapid improvement of a company or a product... Because improvement is due to positive and critical analysis that is OPENLY exposed and dealt with asap.

I do have to say that Ubuntu does rock, but it still has some geek-thinking style hold over issues that inhibit the "ease of use" that my grandmother really wants, not many places, but one is enough to ruin a really newbie USER's experience.

To date - SuSE is the only major desktop that I will install on my friend's desktops because their security updates show up every few days (so someone is working on this for real) and they got the stack with everything done that my friends and grandmother can use out of the box. It's done!

Ubuntu, like I said, needs some more cleaning up with just a few finer details... it is not perfect , yet!

Hey - for business users why not just nail down a finished distro, over time clean up any bugs, and offer support for 20 years? Hey - if there are no improvements then there are no new bugs that can cause security problems... over time they are exposed and the number decreaases as long a no new extreme code is introduced. That is what business wants... a finished and secure product that does not change for 20 years of use. I know of very successfull companies that are still using black and white text terminals and the employees don't mind they know the software like the back of their hands... it is quick and gets the job done! This software has been in use now for 20 years and will be in use for another 20 years for such companies.
IT might be boring because there are no new toys to play with... but, IT's job is not to introduce change, it is to serve instead the bottom line at the company in the best way possible.

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I just upgraded

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 04, 2006 03:32 PM
I just upgraded my Breezy install to Dapper. So far, everything rocks.

One impressive thing, sound is working perfectly right off the bat - the first time ever for me using any Linux distro with this particular troublesome sound hardware I've got.

Breezy was excellent. So far, Dapper is looking even better.

Windows, sorry but you're toast.

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