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Journal CleverNickName's Journal: So, About Dapper . . . 24

For the last year or so, I've been happily using Debian, with a mixture of sources so I was stable, but current, just like nearly everyone who uses Debian.

Then I tried to upgrade or something insane like that, using aptitude, and the whole thing went tits up on me. No amount of cussing, kicking things, or actual tinkering with the software could save my machine.

I thought about asking for some advice in the Debian forums, or on one of the lists, until I ran out of fingers in my entire family tree to count the times someone said some variant of, "Shut up, noob! Your stoopid and not leet leik I am! Go back to Winblows! Ha! HA! HA!!!1"

Yeah. Guess I'm not venturing into those waters, so I figured I'd just have to grab my network install CD and start over (luckily, I set up /home on its own partition a long time ago, so if I fuck something up really bad, I don't lose all my porn very important data.

The day I planned to reinstall Debian, I read that Dapper Drake had been released, and everyone loved it so much, they totally wanted to marry it. A friend of mine, who is wise in the ways of science and the air speed velocity of unladen swallows has also been singing the praises of Ubuntu for a long, long time, so I grabbed a Live CD to see what all the fuss was about.

Holy shit. What an awesome bit of work it is! It's the first Linux distro to find every single bit of hardware on my old Sony Vaio desktop machine, including all the USB ports. It looked great, too, and was the most "Mac-like" Linux I've ever used.

I realize that a lot of you are mocking me right now, but listen for a second: I'm not interested in hacking on my kernel to make sure something is detected during boot, or modifying all sorts of settings in a text editor just so I can make the damn thing find my camera . . . and don't get me started about CUPS. I love technology, and I love and fully believe in "free" as in speech, and I'm grateful for free as in beer. But also really into "works," as in just does. And on my machine here, Dapper Drake just works, and it's awesome. This is the Linux distro that I can take to my parents, and to my friends who are drowning in a sea of FUD, and convince them that they don't really have to be part of the Borg if they don't want to.

And ultimately, I believe that has to be our goal if we're going to convince people to give Linux a real, serious try as an alternative to Windows. We need to be able to tell them, with confidence, "Put this CD in your machine, and give it a try. I think you'll like it, because it just works."

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So, About Dapper . . .

Comments Filter:
  • I'll have to take this up to my parents' house this weekend.
  • I've been using Linux since late 1993 or early 1994. I've contributed patches to the Linux kernel. I've tried Slackware, Redhat, Mandrake, LFS, Gentoo, Debian, and several other distributions.

    I'm now using Ubuntu on all my computers (well, Kubuntu on my main desktop). Why? I'm tired of messing around with my operating system. Ubuntu just works. Now I can get some real work done. Now I can spend my day programming instead of messing with Linux. That's not to say that Ubuntu isn't the only good distri
  • I just wanted to say thank you for sticking with it, even through all the kernel-tweaking, printer-smacking, and especially the "we're 1337 h4xor doods and ur n0t" crap on the mailing lists. It's always going to be a challenge running Linux in a Windows-dominated world, but I believe it's worth it. As I'm sure you know, resistance is NOT futile.
  • I downloaded Breezy Badger (I'm sick of broken Fedora/Red Hat installs) no more than 3 weeks ago and installed in on some questionable hardware, having many of the same opinions as you have on Drake. 5.1 installed like a dream.

    When badger was released, I didn't feel at all like downloading another ISO and starting over so soon; now seeing yet another glowing review maybe I'll do just that.
    • No ISOs to download to upgrade from breezy to dapper. I've done it on several systems already with no problems.

      Open (with root priveleges) the file /etc/apt/sources.list in your favorite text editor. Comment out (#) the CD line at the top, then replace every instance of "breezy" with "dapper".

      Then, at a command line run the following:

      1. youruser@yourhost ~ $ sudo apt-get update
      2. youruser@yourhost ~ $ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

      Logout and log back in to get the new version of GNOME/KDE, reboot to

  • Every year linux makes moves forward into being more usable by the general populace. Other commerical Unicies are falling behind the curve on this very point (even though Solaris now has Gnome built in). The key to making a successful Operating System is the user. No amount of nifty kernel hacks can replace a truly intuitive UI.
  • Obviously, what you must now do is get a stack of Unbuntu disks and a Sharpie, sign them, and give them out whenever you make a public appearence - think of it as sprinkling nanites throughout a Borg cube.

    (Borg are wimps anyway - just Cybermen without the AuAllergy. Let's see a Borg cube up against a Dalek cruser: "Assimilate!" "EXTERMINATE!")

    Hey, about 3 years ago you were saying you might take a run on Route 66 east, and I suggested a few stops along the way here in Kansas - last I checked your
    • <OT amount="very">
      Dunno about CleverNickName, but I'd like to visit Kansas again sometime, if for no other reason than to see the Kansas Cosmosphere again. (I've been very disappointed reading about the eBay scandal.) At various times I lived in Olathe, Overland Park, and Gardner (all suburbs of Kanasas City to the Southwest in Johnson County), and I went to Johnson County Community College for two years.
    • This is a fantastic idea, and I'm absolutely going to do it at a future appearance.

      Thank you!
  • I had been running Debian Sid on my workstation for a couple of years but I finally gave up and switched it to Ubuntu. I tried Debian on my laptop too and that was a mess. It's been running Ubuntu since Warty.

    I really like Ubuntu. It's Debian without the pain.

    Now that Dapper is out I may switch my server over. Sarge + Backports works but can be kind of a pain.
  • I'm going to wipe Debian and install Kbuntu on my laptop, soon as I get a chance. I really like Debian for server management but three years of cruft on the desktop is annoying.
  • Well I've done a couple new Linux installs in the last week... well more like 6 installs, but I'll get to that. One was SuSE 10.1 on my boss's new IBM cum Lenovo ThinkPad; this machine was a headache, but I now have everything but the fingerprint reader (having trouble with bioapi) and the SD card reader working.

    I was also handed an old 867MHz PIII with 128MB of ram, and told "linux it." Thinking I would be smart and put XFCE on it I grabbed the Xubuntu [] discs; 4 attempted installs later, I threw the CD out;
  • I had tried several distros before I wound up with Debian and none of them quite suited me although Suse came pretty close. I've since then also tried Lindows and Ubuntu (and Kubuntu) and the problem I have with all of them is that the more "user friendly" they are the slower they are on older hardware and the more things are out there running all the time that I don't even know what they are. When I dig into what a particular background task is my reaction is often of the form: "Oh I see, there is a PCMC
  • In the last decade, I've managed to poke my head in every couple of years to see how Linux is coming along. I ultimately end up sticking with Windows though, because I primarily play games and I seem to have less and less time these days to do the massive amount of research it seems to take to get individual things working in Linux. I have also been burned by outdated/nonexistant documentation and elitist/derisive user communities.

    However, I recently assembled a new computer and my old one is sitting around
  • I've always wondered what it is that unladen swallows are not laden with.
  • Hey, if you ever need help with Debian, just drop me an email. I've been running Debian since 1999, so if I don't know the answer, I at least know who or where to ask. :)

    Right now, the only unofficial Debian package source I use is But then, I use etch (testing), not sarge (stable).
  • I'm only going to mock you for not discovering ubuntu earlier, it's been good for a while, now.

Solutions are obvious if one only has the optical power to observe them over the horizon. -- K.A. Arsdall