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[personal profile] chebe
We have many different kinds of Operating Systems, each with its own pluses and minuses. I think this is a very good, and important, thing. It means you have the scope to find the one that suits you just right, to enable a kind of symbiosis between you and your machine. I remember the days when you had to use Windows. I, everyday, encounter people who tell me I have to use Mac. Multiple times a day I come across people who tell me why their *nix flavour is the best. It drives me nuts. In my personal sphere the worst offenders are the Debian and Ubuntu users. I've no problem with people talking about their OS, engaging in open discussion is healthy and enlightening. It's when that conversation happens to the exclusion of all other OSs that I get annoyed. And not simply because I'm a Fedora user.

Increasingly in college we're having Ubuntu forced upon us. It makes sense, there are people in my course unfamiliar with linux, and it is widely believed to be the easiest to get into. But, they say X works with linux, when they mean Ubuntu. They give instructions only for Ubuntu. Documentation is only written for Ubuntu. There is a massive dependency on "do this and it just works". Only, when you're on another flavour, and trying to figure out why it doesn't, there are no pointers, and the instructors can offer no help. It kinda defeats the purpose don't you think? To replace one ubiquitous system with another, with equally limited knowledge of how it actually works.

Okay, my little rant is over. Here's some things you might find helpful, if you're a Fedora user.
  • When you yum install python you mightn't get everything you need. I was told to get python-usb, what I needed was yum install pyusb.

  • If you're doing a forensics course and you're being told to grab things like vinetto and reglookup you'll notice they aren't in your repos. You need the CERT repo. Save the PGP key, and add it: rpm --import forensics.asc. Download the repo rpm for your version of Fedora, and install it: rpm -ivh cert-forensics-tools-release-13.rpm. (I realise I do this in a kooky way, and there are probably better ways, but I'm set in mine :) Now, updatedb to sync before you use yum. You can install everything: yum install CERT-Forensics-Tools, or just what you're looking for, e.g. yum install reglookup.

  • gvimdiff. I had vim installed, I'm pretty sure I had diff installed. But I couldn't get gvimdiff (or vimdiff) to work. It magically sorted itself out when I realised the g => yum install vim-X11.

  • There, now we can all get back to enjoying the diversity.

    Date: 2011-02-28 09:39 pm (UTC)
    From: [personal profile] tara_hanoi
    I've been disconcerted by the near-monopolisation of Ubuntu for a while now. It seems that people really latched onto it back when it was maturing, and were waiting for it to rule the world.

    Problem is, it's a self-perpetuating cycle. It's easy to use, so people recommend it more, see folk use it more and then tailor their content for it more, becuase more people are using it, because they recommended it. I think it's just hit that level of being relatively main stream.

    At that point, I think it turns all the others into niche markets. Fedora? That's just the scaled down version of the server edition of linux. ArchLinux? The rebranded version of the server edition of Linux. Debian? The aging grandfather of the golden child we know as Ubuntu. Slackware? Stoneage package management preserved in tarballs unearthed by archeologists.. Gentoo? Let's not go there.

    So when it comes to a lecture, you either point folk to installation instructions like "configure; make; make install" or just "apt-get package", and leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure it out for the other distros. Which one is easier? apt-get, given that you recommended it in the first place. Any others can just work for it.

    As for AIX, HPUX and Solaris? Who cares?

    Thing is, with Ubuntu hitting the main stream, they decide to make choices to either make it look more like a mac, or decide to rip out the windowing system for one that might not work with most modern graphics cards (oh how I love the idea of Natty Narwhal doing that one - bye-bye while they use a half-working prototype and try it out on the masses).

    So yeah, as you might guess from my slightly coherent ramblings, I'm not a big Ubuntu fan either. That said, I use an ubuntu derivative (mint), but most of their release cycle is un-Ubuntuing Ubuntu, meaning you get window buttons on the right-hand side, and you get more choices than just gnome defaults (although main mint is still a gnome distro), and it doesn't try to look like a goddamn mac.

    Date: 2011-02-28 10:35 pm (UTC)
    From: [personal profile] tara_hanoi
    I'm beginning to think that colleges need to provide a comparative OS class, or at least a single detailed lecture.

    Yeah, I'm good with that idea.

    Actually, I keep thinking of things I'd love to do as a lecture. One that I'd love to do for 2nd/3rd years would be a "Learn things fast" course.

    I don't mean to quite the scale of what Joe K did (I think he dropped too much on a lot of people), but just enough to get people looking at unfamiliar code and getting a general idea of what's going wrong. Maybe even writing something with a bit of a bug and seeing who could slap a fix together. I'd probably encourage team work so long as I knew who the team was.

    The lecture would generally be a light crash-course in a language, and then get them to either document the general shape of the program or functions, or write up how they debugged a problem. Did they use a debugger, or analyse the code, or a combination of both? How did they make a start? That sort of thing. I know it's something you pick up after a while anyway, but I'd love to see people leave college with that skill.

    Maybe give them VMs with various OSs and distros containing the faulty program. Oooh, I'm getting ideas now. :)

    Date: 2011-03-02 10:11 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] tdr112 []
    I guess I could be named as one of the ubuntu fans you mention above. In ways its sad to see Ubuntu being forced on people as the only *nix. One of the worse things to happen with the Ubuntu project is the tribalism of ubuntu fans.In the old days we would have LUG meet ups. All *nix people would come together and have a chat. But not we have ubuntu hours, ubuntu bug jams. It sad to see ubuntu fans going away from the *nix wider community
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