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Caldera OpenLinux 2.2 Review 194

Michael McPherson sent in a link to Nicholas Petreley's Glowing review of Caldera that appears in the current issue of LinuxWorld. Talks about the windows based install program and a lot more.
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Caldera OpenLinux 2.2 Review

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    (I forgot my password, so I'm posting this as AC)

    Looks like I was wrong about the issue - it is a feature of that was added at version 1.9.8. (Many thanks to the readers who alerted me to this). That means this potential trap is not unique to Caldera.

    -Nicholas Petreley
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Because people AREN'T trained monkies.

    But they are lazy. This is why they use Windows instead of Unix. Unix may be free, but Windows is easy. You're not going to change people.

    And you;'re a newbie for what? a few weeks, maybe a month? I am in favor of it being newbie-accessable, I am NOT, however, in favor of it being dumbed down soo much that the newbie effectively STAYS a newbie for the duration.

    You just try to teach an adult TECHNOPHOBE how to use Unix. Or windows for that matter. People aren't willing to change no matter how much money and how much effort they have to go through not to change. This is why diet pills and excercise gimmicks have been sold for 50 years.

    If you want to progress beyond newbie, that is YOUR choice, forcing a stubborn lazy person that doesn't give a rats ass to learn will make the user choose to stick with Windows. Try it. don't think people ARE idiots...and I believe those that call themselves idiots have some serious issues to work out.

    Some people are idiots. Other people are lazy. Others just see no reason they should change from something that works to something that is harder to use. They don't care if it costs them $100 bucks, they don't care if it makes Bill Gates richer, why should they. They just want to send and receive email and play video games. They don't care about perl scripts, piping, telnet capabilities, etc. Hey - maybe that's why none of that stuff is in Windows, ya think?

    A perfect system does nt, and WILL NOT exist. That is a plain and simple FACT.

    A blind assertion carries no weight.

    Why? Name a reason. The reason it will never exist with Windows is that there needs to be an artifical reason to upgrade all the time. The reason it can happen with Linux is the source code can be modified by anybody that sees a need to. Linux scales from a 386 all the way up to a Beowulf supercomputer, tell me this isn't closer to a perfect system than Windows 95 or NT.

    As for Windows, Linux isn't Windows.

    Who said it was? I'm just advocating that we should take the ideas that make Windows work and put them in Linux. This won't hurt Linux in any way whatsoever. The Not Invented Here syndrome is STUPID and has no place in making a technically complete system accessible to everyone.

    Drop the idealism. Work with what you've got, not what you wish you had. The people in this society are what you have to design for, not the people that you wish you had in society. We live in a nation where we couldn't convince people to change to the METRIC system for god sakes, you think we can change them from Windows to Linux without giving them a similar interface and making the install easy? You're delusional.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 17, 1999 @01:42PM (#1928840)
    I've had all of the following installed for at least a year each during my Linux career: Caldera OpenLinux, Red Hat Linux, Debian, and Slackware.

    Here's what I think:

    Slackware is the most fun. Instead of wasting time watching TV nights, you can come home, compile stuff, write all kinds of nifty scripts of your own to do system administration tasks, and so forth and so on. I had a blast for years running Slackware 2.0 all the way up through 3.0, learned something new about a Linux tool every night, and it made me feel as though I was working on one of those venerable old '80s Unix workstations. It was beautiful. Unfortunately, I got a job and school got more intense, and suddenly I didn't have the time to keep it up.

    So, I switched to Red Hat 5.0 for the package management and supposed "ease of maintenance". Red Hat's installer is niftier than Slackware's, but once I got going, I discovered that Red Hat has some serious problems and limitations: for some reason, their gcc setup won't compile anything out of the box; better to download and install your own gcc configuration. Red Hat also somehow manages to make it difficult to install anything other than a Red Hat RPM -- getting a downloaded copy of Netscape to run under Red Hat can be a challenge, where it was always easy to do such things with Slackware. In the end, I became frustrated with Red Hat and decided that it was fine for those that didn't want to bang on their systems at all, but for those that did, there was just too much "search and repair" to do.

    Then, I switched to Debian 1.x and later, 2.0. Debian was very like Slackware in some ways. During install, I could choose a large number of packages in a very specific way and the dependencies worked well. The package manager is the best, in my opinion, but is also a little harder to work with at first. There were no real problems, and on the whole, Debian is a solid (if slightly personality-less) distribution, and I was fine with it. The amount of software packaged for Debian is incredible, and I preferred the Debian tools to the graphic-based Red Hat tools. Still, Debian just isn't exciting for some reason; it's not shiny metal, more like concrete: strong but uninteresting. This is silly and personal, of course, but it's how I felt. I still used it, though, since I didn't want to go back to Red Hat and didn't feel that I had the time to use Slackware.

    Then, someone gave me a free copy of OpenLinux 1.3, and I thought "may as well" and backed up my Debian installation on 8mm and gave OpenLinux a shot. What a system! Install, especially when dealing with odd devices, is better than any of the others (including Red Hat), and is smooth and fast, without a single reboot from the time you insert the floppy to the time you start KDE, which is included and installed for you. It was the first time that a distribution installer had been able to figure out support for both of my printers using LPD and ghostscript, and install both a raw and a PostScript buffer for each, with a filter to automatically route most files to the correct spool. The KDE desktop was preconfigured and included icons for Netscape, BRU, and a bunch of other included applications. Experimenting has led me to believe that the gcc installation is the best of any of the distributions I've tried; nearly everything compiles out of the box. Even the installed threads implementation works, which is amazing for a libc5-based distro. All of the tools were the very latest; I found that I could install a 2.2 kernel, compile, and install it right away without breaking its "Changes" file dependencies or downloading other software.

    What am I saying?

    I've tried the big four, and of them, I prefer Slackware and OpenLinux. I'm still using OpenLinux 1.3 now, and am seriously considering buying 2.2, though I've also toyed with the idea of going back to Slackware with 4.0.

    I've heard lots of people just dismiss OpenLinux as a dying, boring distribution, not worth anybody's time, but I think that what people miss is that OpenLinux has taken the time to get the guts right and make the "unintersting" stuff work (as has Debian), and has then gone the extra distance by including KDE and so forth. In my opinion, it's the most corporate-safe of them all. OpenLinux is quality (which Red Hat sometimes lacks) coupled with intuitiveness (which Debian sometimes lacks) and correctness (which Slackware sometimes lacks). It's the only distribution in my opinion which is similar in quality to commercial Unixes.

    I am not a Caldera employee. No, I don't make my own distro. *sigh*
  • You can just plop the libc5 libraires in say /usr/i486-libc5, add that directory to /etc/, ldconfig, and voila, use all your old stuff as good as before.

    I did just this when manually upgrading Redhat 4.2. I did this and put glibc2 in /lib, even though everything on my system was libc5 still. Then I slowly recompiled and redid all my rpms. Oh, I can go on and on of the joy of that experience (much easier than the a.out/elf transition, if anyone remembers back that far)...
  • My understanding is that the Lite version will become available when the "full" version does: Monday.

    Alex Bischoff

  • by J4 ( 449 )
    The prob isn't the compatability libraries, SuSE, RedHat Debian etc all have them, the prob was the way NP went about upgrading the libraries. I did the same thing to a RedHat system about a year and a half ago. You can't replace the old libs, you have to add the new ones. If you replace the old libs that ldd is linked against you'll bust your system. Also the order of is important. Also if you pay attention you'll notice that /lib and /usr/lib aren't listed in

    Ah well, you live and you learn.
  • by J4 ( 449 )
    Being as MacOS has to be reinstalled on a regular basis it _better_ be a snap.
  • by J4 ( 449 )
    obsolete, thats what it is
  • by J4 ( 449 )
    You forgot Blender!
    • better package manager: apt is pretty damned amazing. apt-get install <package> and you're set. While ports might be as good as that, apt is not inferior in any way.
    • KDE: currently depends on a non-free Qt. Once Qt 2.0 goes gold, it can be included in main, because the QPL meets the requirements of the DFSG, but until then it stays in contrib and non-free.
    • more stable: I've never seen anyone show me any sort of evidence either way. When you're dealing with Linux and FreeBSD on PC-style hardware, it is sort of a function of the crap hardware (or not), now isn't it?
    FreeBSD may be good, but my pick is Debian. Try both.
  • You can have old libc5 run-time libraries as well as glibc2.1 installed on the same system; in fact it's pretty much suicide not to. The only thing that saying a distribution is "glibc2.1" does is tell you that all of the programs are, by default, linked with glibc2.1. The old libraries are still there, though, just not used by the majority of programs.
  • He's saying color ls with classify is NOT standard in a default RH install.

    I have to modify the /etc/profile and the /etc/bashrc EVERY TIME I install RH. How hard is this to fix?
  • Put a protected computer running Windows in a Chimpanzee cage with a Linux CD in it and see if the chimps can install Caldera.

    Would they have it done in an hour, a day, a week?
  • I don't think they install programs using the same directory layout, but ya, why shouldn't they be compatible? Grab the *.src.rpm and recompile that if you have too.
  • by gavinhall ( 33 )
    Posted by OGL:

    Changing the format of ldconfig and /etc/ Can you say incompatible? I hope this goes away once Caldera comepletely makes the transition to libc6. Everything else sounds fine's too bad we just completed our installfest at my school -- perhaps I'll pick up a copy anyway for any random newbie installations I have to perform.

  • Posted by jeremycrabtree:

    (This is in reaction to several earlier posts)

    I am very much annoyed now. Why does it seem like EVERYBODY equates

    User Friendly == Newbie Friendly


    Newbie == Idiot

    User Friendly is first, and foremost, a SUBJECTIVE term. It is NOT quantifiable, it CANNOT be measured.

    Second, newbie friendliness is only marginally valuable. You're only a newbie for so long, but you're a user forever. (well...if you use it that long ;)

    Third, these "user friendly" tools can become crutches that prevent real learning about the system.

    My point? Stop trying to make it so brain-dead a trained monkey could operate it! START trying to make it so simple a reasonably intelligent human being could operate it.

    There is a LOT more to human-computer interaction than just 'pretty pictures' and 'cute widgets'.

    Something to remember...

    If you tell somone s/he is an idiot over and over and over, s/he is likely to start believing you.
  • Posted by jeremycrabtree:

    My point? Stop trying to make it so brain-dead a trained monkey could operate it! START trying to make it so simple a reasonably intelligent human being could operate it.

    (bold used to separate my qords from yours)

    Because people AREN'T trained monkies.

    Your reasoning is spurious. There is NO reason not to make an interface simple to the "newbie".

    And you;'re a newbie for what? a few weeks, maybe a month? I am in favor of it being newbie-accessable, I am NOT, however, in favor of it being dumbed down soo much that the newbie effectively STAYS a newbie for the duration.

    There is NO reason not to make it accessible to the idiot. don't think people ARE idiots...and I believe those that call themselves idiots have some serious issues to work out.

    (YES, I /HATE/ those 'for dummies' and 'for idiots' books with a passion)

    As for the rest of your little rant...

    A perfect system does nt, and WILL NOT exist. That is a plain and simple FACT.

    As for Windows, Linux isn't Windows.
  • Posted by jeremycrabtree:

    I'll repeat, there is more to human-computer interaction than 'pretty pictures' and 'cute widgets'.

    Yes, to a POWER USER who is the traditional user to Unix.

    No, not so. In fact, that mentality is what bugged me enough to post in the first place. There is a LOT more it than icons and widgets.

    Here, from

    We begin with the system requirements and a few basic rules:

    Software must assist the user perform a task, not become a task in itself

    Software must not make the user feel stupid

    Software must not make the computer appear to be stupid

    I think that helps explain my stance.
    Before you say it, I am NOT anti-GUI.
    (I rather quite enjoy X, ad the assorted WMs available (I've tried almost every wm I could get my hands on))
  • I pre-ordered a copy via phone at 1-888-GOLINUX.

    AFAIK it will ship the week of April 26th.


  • According to what I've heard, Caldera replaced that lame 60-page Getting Started guide that came with COL 1.3 with a 212-page manual. Hopefully it will be as good as Red Hat's, which while not perfect, is still very good.


  • by C.Lee ( 1190 )
    Who care if you don't switch from Windows to Linux? Nobody really. One less script kiddie in the Linux userbase in IMHO...
  • Hmmm, they're shipping with glibc 2.1 and SO 5.0, eh? How did they get that to work? If it's a hacked version of SO, where can I get it?
  • *sigh*
    SO5.0 is libc6, not libc5. It is dynamically linked.
    The linker from libc2.1 will not load the libraries from 2.0
    Solution which came up on linux-kernel: if you have the linker somewhere else, you can execute it by:
    ld-whatever (binary name). I'm going to try that.
  • My dad was computer hopeless. Once my mom and dad shared a computer. After, oh so many situations where my mom left the computer in a working state, and later I would get a call from her about how dad had fowled it up(please come and repair, I will fix dinner for you) we finally broke down and bought him one of his own.

    He is getting better, I have not had a repair call in three weeks now...have not gotten one from mom since the split.

  • Absolutely nothing, but why should we restrict "friendliness" to idiots?
    Why shouldn't we have a system that is all of the following?
    • idiot-friendly
    • user-friendly
    • power-user-friendly
    • programmer-friendly
    • system-administrator-friendly
    • kernel-hacker-extraordinaire-friendly
    • just plain friendly

    It seems to me that Windows falls short of the mark on 4, maybe 5 of these criteria. When Linux is genuinely "any-user-friendly", it will have a much clearer and more noticeable advantage over Windows.

    As long as the system is easy to use at any level of experience, and allows, but does not require the user to learn anything (s)he might want to about the system, who can possibly have a problem with that? I, for one, don't.

  • Well, I'll give you point #1. Yes, there is a difference between idiot and newbie. And I was perhaps denigrating the newbie by calling him an idiot.

    However for point #2 - the incentive to progress from stage to stage comes from a thirst for knowledge. And that's exactly the way it should be.

    There will be people who don't want to know how their computer system works, they will just be glad that it does. There will be others that do want to know how their system works.

    As long as we're individuals that will always be the case.
    (sorry, couldn't resist :)

    If a particular user does not want to learn how some function of his system works, but is forced to do so by an inadequacy in the system, he may learn something, but he won't learn it willingly or well. He'll tinker with it and will almost certainly hit problems because of his lack of knowledge. Maybe he'll work it out, maybe he won't, but he won't enjoy the experience.
    (You can lead a horse to water...)

    OTOH, if he does not need to learn about that function, because the system can adequately handle it for him, he will leave it alone and it will continue to function properly.

    With Linux, it is always possible to get stuck into learning how the system hangs together. It is only useful (and fun) if you want to, otherwise it is downright annoying.

    And I don't believe that any-user-friendliness is some sort of unattainable Holy Grail. Linux is almost there already. With the vast diversity and configurability exhibited across different distributions, there should be at least one combination of distribution, apps, UI and configuration that a user will be able to work with easily.

  • The thing that bothers me most about reviews is the amount that a users background can show through. Maybe this is a good thing since people who use linux are guaranteed to have a background working with something else. We then judge a review by how closely the reviewers background matches our own. The problem with this is that a good review for one person is a bad review for another while everyone assumes that the reviews are one-size-fits-all.

    Yes, I belive this was a good review. But I'm a Debian user who hasn't tried any other disributions that is interested in how they compare. Will we ever see a good objective review without any bias from the reviewers background? I doubt it. Will it be of any use if it were made? Probably not. What's my point? I have no clue, except that it would be nice to see a fair review of linux or a linux distribution compared against all the other operating systems and distributions to know what should be fixed without the typical pro-linux or pro-ms or pro-bsd or pro-whatever bias.
  • If I remember correctly, 2.1 is compatible with 2.0 unless the program depends on specific symbols in the library (something I red on the gnu libc web page although I can't find it now).

    It should be on but ...

  • The RPM program is compatible, but each system's files are set differently, so the contents of the RPMs each system comes with are not compatible.
  • > KDE: KDE is _neither_ in contrib _nor_ non-free, and nor will it ever change. check to see why.

    Hmm, might be true. But does it matter? Debian don't want to distribute KDE because it would be illegal for them. (Even if it's no risk) But I ran KDE until GNOME 1.0, installed it from deb's in something like 1.5 minutes and it works just fine in Debian.

    So if anyone wants to run KDE in Debian there is no problem att all to do so.
  • What about the, as it seems, equally newbiefriendly (and "one size fits all, use KDE or get lost") " EasyLinux []" that was on /. a while ago?
  • by gas ( 2801 )
    I think Debian fixed this problem long ago. (With 2.0) I've had both libc5 and glibc2 a long time now and never ever had a problem with it.

    But here might be some problem I just have not encountered? I really don't know much about this and I've never had a reason to look into it. It has just always worked.
  • We live in a nation where we couldn't convince people to change to the METRIC system for god sakes,

    That's because the metric system is a tool of the devil....duh!
  • Caldera Open Administration System, that is. The article gave it a passing mention.

    It's been in quiet development for at least a year now, Linux Journal claims it's going to be modular, GUI based & vi-compatible, it looks like the only serious competitor to Linuxconf, and it fills the software hole (user friendly & newbie friendly system configuration) that Linux needs most desperately.

    Linux is currently at a state where any PC or Mac user could switch to and use it, as long as they had some guru to log in as root whenever mucking around in /etc is called for. I'm hoping we'll see enough improvement with Linuxconf or COAS that Joe Avg. Macuser will be able to handle those tasks as well.

    A couple more things I'd like to have cleared up:

    Is COAS under the GPL like they said it would be? What non-free software (if any) is on the Caldera 2.2 CDs?

    Petreley mentions having to muck about with /etc/ "when adding new libraries" - does he just mean new libc5 libraries, or would I really have to futz around pointlessly every time I make a semi-weekly upgrade to some bleeding edge libs? If it's the latter, count me out. Red Hat's been supporting libc6 & libc5 programs side by side for a year and a half now without that kind of kludge, and all the trouble I've ever had to take was run "ldd" on libc5 programs to make sure all the libraries they want are in /usr/i486-linux-libc5/lib

    The best solution, of course, would be if Corel recompiled WP8 (or hurried up on their 2000 product) so I could ditch libc5 compatibility entirely.
  • Wow... I had this idea a few years ago. I even
    messed around with Slackware's installation script
    to make it work, but I never did anything with it.
    I'm glad to see this happen in a released
    distribution though... it's SO much better than
    the annoying "Why Win9x is great" messages in
    certain other OS install programs.
  • by drix ( 4602 )
    That's a pathetically shortsighted statement. The day Linux can run the latest released games (Doom? Sweet! erm.. four years ago, anyways) at the same speed Windows does (multiplayer included) is the day I'll wipe Windows off my hard drive. Q3A is the first major game to be released simultaneously for Linux, and I can all but guarantee you that it'll run a good 25% slower than its Windows counterpart.

    As for the second half of the post... Windows.

  • i am seriously impressed. i use redhat, and don't really have plans to change, but i think n.p.'s description of caldera's install rocks.


    1. it installs from windows directly. smart move. i doubt they're as open with their install program as debian and redhat are (which is fine, it's their choice). be nice if the other distributions added a gpl workalike, but then hopefully win9x will go away...

    2. tetris. *brilliant* i can see hardware benchmarks now: this new pentium iii cthulu chip is so fast i ony got through 5 levels of tetris during a full caldera linux install. it doesn't just answer the "hard to install" complaint, it takes it out back and shoots it.

    3. in general it sounds very "innovative." while bill gates is making innovative a dirty word, caldera has shown it's alive and well in the linux world, and i hope the other distributions can show that innovation is constuctive - not something you use to whallop your cometitors with.

    please don't take this in a negative way, but caldera seems a little less open then redhat and debian wrt code they write. even so they've contributed a large amount to the community. i wish them luck and i hope the other distributions see openlinux 2.2 as a constructive challenge. maybe redhat can get xbill going for their distribution.
  • see if it can pass the PHB test! anyway, you can't say the test is passed until the PHB (or mom) can install linux, play around with it and change the graphics card (assume someone else opened the pc and inserted the card)
  • The last thing I need is someone telling me that I need to spend six months to get up to the level of knowledge that I have now with my _own_ operating system (OS/2, if you're wondering). If Caldera is willing to set up tools that allow me to use Linux occasionally without any appreciable downtime, BULLY FOR THEM. And if you really think I need to spend six months to a year so that I can run command line batchfiles, I have better things to do with my time. Get over it.
  • > Is COAS under the GPL like they said it would be?

    From []

    Q - What license will be used for the release of COAS?
    A - The whole work is released under the Gnu Public License (GPL), which makes its development and use available to everyone. It is intended that the development model, copyright use, and licensing be similar to that of the Linux kernel. Just as some drivers for Linux may be released in binary form only, not under the GPL, modules may be written for COAS which are released under a license of the author's choosing. However, the core system will always be available under GPL. Certain major library elements of COAS are released under the LGPL (Library Gnu Public License) to allow developers to write commercial programs on top of the COAS system without encumbering them with GPL restrictions.
  • I was wondering, how do they do bootup in a window? Once we get to the rc.sysinit stage
    (with reference to a RedHat box), some dinky X server could be started, but until that stage,
    what? Has anyone seen this beast? is it just a xterm with scrolling or some KDE app?
  • I know they refer to it as a tetris game, but I don't remember actually seeing a title on the screen. So they can get away with creating a game that doesn't have its own name because it's embedded in another program.

    I remember at LinuxWorld Expo when Caldera was demonstrating the GUI OpenLinux install, they got to the tetris game, and the audience exploded into applause louder than when the guy was handing out free software.

  • hehe, not to sounds chauvanist, but I don't think there's any decent OS out there that can pass the "Mom" test. Mine can browse the internet, email, and use Office apps, but I couldn't imagine her being able to install any OS.

    Hopefully, this will be user-friendly enough to attract people from the Windows world. The more user-friendly the install process becomes, the greater the mainstream acceptance for Linux...(and that's what we need for support from hardware manufacturers and software companies!

  • First:

    They also put the System Policy Editor, Windows Batch Setup, and other such goodies the Win95/98 cd. They don't except a user to use them. They expect an admin to use them.

  • by bbcat ( 8314 )
    Didn't you read RedHat 6.0?

    I've installed RedHat 5.9 last week (since
    then it has been removed because of the
    frequent core dumps)

    Hopefully they'll fix that before the release.

    As for colors on the console. The boot is the
    only place. They still forget to put colors
    or the listing of files. We still have to had
    it in a scripts.
  • by bbcat ( 8314 )
    Say what?

    You don't know what the heck you are talking
    I have been using just about every versions that
    came around of Netscape for posting and I could
    be on a newsgroup for hours and I don't recall
    it crashing. I had problem at one time with
    the ISP's fix IP which would send netscape
    in deep space (and NcFTP as well) but it wasn't
    due to Linux or Netscape or NcFTP.

    I've tried KDE's news program. It works well
    even though I prefer Netscape.

    Some people swear by GNU.

    There are lots of em.

    And at least under Linux it doesn't Melissa you.

  • "My car gets 40 furlongs to the cord and THAT'S THE WAY I LIKE IT!"
  • Linus has personally granted permission for proprietary kernel modules. As Linus is the copyright holder, he can override any provision in the GPL as he pleases.

    This should be a FAQ.
  • Speed is not really the issue with games on Linux. Operating system overheads are small enough not to matter. What does matter is the scheduling policy; "fair" schedulers like those used in Linux are not ideal; rate-based schedulers are much better for "multimedia" applications.

    On Windows, games can tell the operating system to get out of the way and not interrupt them while they are running. On a single-user system this is fine. On Windows NT, games can do a similar thing and, mostly, this works. There's no reason why this can't be implemented on Linux; several projects have already done so.

    Of course, the question then becomes "what happens when I want to run two or more of these applications at the same time"; a new design of operating system [] is required to support this.

  • I'm sure that they will when the official version comes out next week. We should all pressure them to set an iso image on the ftp site as well.

    There's always

  • by moeman ( 11668 )
    No joke. I already use linux, because I am a geek and Like networkig, but as soon as they get ride of this library crap, and K office comes out (lookin' good) I think I will be able to start telling my non-geek friends "Hay, you should install linux, it won't crash as often." Right now, i know that they wouldn't be able to do anything once they see a comand prompt. (so really it doesn't matter how good linux is. They still can't use it.)
  • The upcoming release of RH 6.0 looks just like how HPUX has started up for quite a long time. Certainly SuSE wasn't the innovator here.
  • You are right that the keybindings for dselect are
    horrible. With my first installation of Debian, I
    tried dselect for about a minute before deciding
    it was too hard. I then spent about a month
    manually installing packages by downloading them
    and using dpkg. I then installed Debian on another
    computer. I spent two minutes reading the dselect
    instructions and then have found dselect easy. The
    main problem is that I expected enter to select a
    package, and not go back. Apt fixes all this of course.
  • You are confused. Apt-get is the only part of apt
    that is currently 'stable'. Apt and gnome-apt are
    the newer equivalents of dselect.
  • It seems to me the reason that Linux hasn't already trounced MS is twofold.

    The first and possibly biggest reason is the lack of ANY decent installer or config tool (and no, I don't believe there is a SINGLE good one out there). Caldera's Windows based installer is a good attempt at widening Linux's appeal but runs the risk of alienating the diehard Linux-only crowd. GNOME is coming along nicely on the config front but it needs HELP.

    The second part of the problem just compounds everything. The almost total lack of support from the hardware front for Linux makes the job of writing an installer harder (can't autodetect hardware that doesn't work with Linux) and keeps our beloved OSS a good way behind what we are able to support. (There have been a few good signs recently, such as Intel's investment in Red Hat, etc., but we've still got a LONG way to go.)

    With a GOOD AND COMPLETE installer and config tool set and hardware support as wide as that of Windows, I see nothing but success in Linux's future. Until then...
  • They're both great products, but my point was that to woo the GENREAL popluace, you can't expect the "normal" user to ever edit a single .conf file if they don't want to. I know it's almost imposible, but for Linux to triumph, we have to find a way to keep Linux as powerful and configurable as ever (for you and me who know what /dev/cua0 is) but at the same time make it as easy (simple or dumb if you like) to those who like it that way. KDE and GNOME still have a long way to go to that end.
  • by Swano ( 12778 )
    >the forthcoming RedHat 6.0 is going to have >color-coded "OK" or "FAILED" for service startup

    You mean like S.u.S.E. 6.0 ??
    I'm so impressed!!

    "Keep working at it... you will either succeed, or become an expert."
  • These people don't do it by informed choice, they do it because they think they can't do the "more advanced" things. One of the rules of user-friendly interfaces - "Don't make users feel stupid".

    Unfortunately, windows does by not providing the scripting tools as a part of the OS (and therefore, obviously not easy enough for me). Linux distributions do this by not providing tools to build scripts for common tasks. I remember Windows 3.x had "Windows recorder" (I think it was called).

    I don't know exactly what would be appropriate for this, but a GUI app with modules for playing with files from various apps would be useful.
  • What is more important? Installation or Maintainability. I choose maintainability. How often do you need to install linux? Hopefully not very many. I'd rather have a system that runs, and let me upgrade without any problems. That's why I run Debian.
  • ok why do I say that I have seen the ditro and it looks good but has a few bugs but updates are a comeing

    first caldera is THE distro to Lure 9X users away from their over indulagance in hardware

    I managed to get my whole house to go over to it a DirectX programer and a VB (doodler not a programer) and that says something why because they wanted to use something to get work done and Caldera has this and thats it !

    it works it dosnt want you to recompile the kernal it dosnt want you to edit .conf files so it is perfect for the over 45's office still working in dos spreadsheets they are NEWBIE's and this is what they want !

    redhat if for performace and tweaks caldera is not ok thats my Veiw anyway

    HAVE FUN install it on the office machine and watch people gwap !!!

  • by choo ( 14599 )
    It's not really about ease of use for me. I don't have a problem with command prompts. Linux just doesn't have the apps that I want to run and need to use for my work.
  • by choo ( 14599 )
    Linux sounds very cool, but the thing is, I don't really have time nowadays to play with new OSes. I need a compelling reason to switch over, and there isn't really a compelling reason to switch to Linux, besides supposed greater stability, and NT seems stable enough for my needs. Linux doesn't even have the apps that I want, and since I'm really lazy, even if the same apps were available on Linux, I still might not switch because of the time and trouble involved -- I'd expect Linux to offer much much more before switching over (which it doesn't).

    MATLAB. What I really want to run now is MATLAB. I know there's MATLAB for Linux, but I don't have it (lame, I know), and I don't think there's a student version for Linux either.

    Decent web browser. I think Netscape is horrendous and I don't want to switch back to that. Changing from Netscape to IE improved my computing quality of life more than any other change I remember.

    MS Word. WPS8 for Linux still screws up the formating of word documents.

    Development environment with nice IDE i.e. something that compares with MS visual studio. In fact, when I was developing a program for unix-systems, I would develop it in Visual studio,then ftp it over and compile it with gcc.

    And of course games....
  • Yeh, but unlike SUSE, RedHat doesnt use propriety tools with hidden source code does it?
  • StarOffice handles MS Word files perfect.
    I've used SO5 a lot for compatiblity with people who used it (don't as me why they use it, i think its ugly and silly myself).

    but anyway, use SO5 for MS office compatibility.
  • I've used All (AFAIK) Distros of Linux, and Free, Open and NetBSD (thats why i have no life =) and i can say that the deb package format is better then the ports stuff. the ports stuff works fine, but its no where near apt.
    *BSD's hardware support is behind linux's.

    And you are generally correct, the BSD 4.4 light varients tend to be slightly more stable. You can really bag the fuck out of a BSD system.

    Can with linux to, but BSD handles it a little better.
  • I donno myself, but i have a friend who thinks he knows everything about linux and he says the LIBC5 is more stable.

    Ive been using linux longer then him, and I can say i've never had a problem with glibc2 stuff, cept compiling old libc5 code. He claims he has but lying. Essentially, for some things libc5 *might* be more stable.

    It is an open project just like any other OpenSource software. Other distributors are welcome to use it.

    If there is one thing holding other distributors like SuSE back, it is their proprietary administration programs (e.g. YaST in the case of SuSE).

  • by X-Type ( 15655 )
    Can we say KDE.
    I am installing it and I see KDE.
    It is installed and rebooting and I see KDE.
    LILO goes away and I see KDE.
    KDM instead of console and I did not want it nor
    select any options to have it run. Heck, I did
    not even get a list of packages to choose from.
    only three options: minimal, normal and a full install.
    I went back three times to see what the
    fourth, no-name, check box was, and to see if
    I could maybe have some control over what I got
    on my machine. Kinda sucks when you loose control
    just so that it can be easier to isntall for others.
    Oh, well though. I guess that is just the way it must be. Or not?

  • An excellent point. However, what does the user first see of Linux? They'll never see the great maintainance if they can't get past the install.

    Please no flames about "If they can't install we don't want them running Linux" since the point of this distribution is expanding Linux to more of a non-hacker audience.
  • Caldera's site only lists and mentions OpenLinux 1.2 and 1.3; where and what does the 2.2 moniker signify?

    Perhaps 2.2 isn't officially out yet? If I were to look for it, where and what should I look for?

    Curious, currently running WinNT, want to tinker more with Linux, Caldera's OpenLinux looks like an excellent place to start. Any clues, anyone?

  • Nice review...adding in Tetris to the install process was a bright idea...more installers ought to do that. (especially those 40 NT boxes I had to set up last summer)

    I've noticed that the distributions are starting to try to make the Linux startup a little more friendly...the forthcoming RedHat 6.0 is going to have color-coded "OK" or "FAILED" for service startup (although it's still in text mode), and from what I've heard, other distros are similar. The author does bring up a certain concern - newbies are going to react negatively when they see a "failed" message on their screen. Mine gripes when it tries to start NFS. No big deal, because I know I don't need NFS, but a newcomer to Linux might not know that.

    One thing I noticed is that the author mentions that RedHat went with glibc while the other vendors went with libc5. The thing is that RedHat does install libc5 compatibility libraries. I've got /usr/i486-linux-libc5/lib in my I don't know if Caldera tries the same thing...
  • RedHat also charges around $40-50 for cdrom version with manual, and you will also be able to download OpenLinux 2.2 for free just as you can currently download all previous versions of OpenLinux from their ftp site.

    What the $50 version (of any distrobution) gives you is a cdrom set which alot of people who's only access to the internet currently is a modem (downloading a 500 meg distro at those speeds is almost unfeasible), manual and usually some email or phone based installation tech support.

    Highly worth it for a new user or company just starting to check out Linux and doesn't know much more than what they've read about it in P.C. Magazine
  • I seem to have no trouble at all recompiling my kernel, upgrading programs, libraries, the kernel, etc and performance tweaking all versions of OpenLinux I've ran over the last 3 years.

    As far as OL 2.2's install I believe the expert mode is still CLI based, if not it should give you manual control over the setup and hardware if you dont want to use the autoconfiguration wizards.

    Plus just changing the runlevel should give you back your CLI on bootup instead of loading KDM.

    2.2 might be desinged to be easier for newbies but it will still be fully functional and powerful for the rest of us.
  • 2.2 is supposed to be officially released on Mon April 19th, at least according to a few articles on LinuxToday
  • I'm wondering what the whole point of this entire argument is.

    It's true Linux was formed by a community but not everyone in that community thinks alike. Instead it's formed by various groups that have a common demoninator (Linux) but somtimes very different agenda's.

    This is seen very easily in the different distributions, ranging from Debian or SUSE (I forget which one but they only want GNU compatible free software in it without any commercial code at all), to RedHat trying to make screaming easy to install leading edge distributions, to Caldera concentrating on ease of use, more applications to bring Linux into corporation use and dont care if its open source or closed binarys as long as it works to many other distro's.

    While one or two groups and/or distributions might try to make Linux easier to use for the newbie, others concentrate on being super configurable and making the user learn every little niche of the OS like Slackware does.

    My point here is that this argument along with most big arguments that happen in the Linux community like KDE vs Gnome etc, are pointless.

    While there will allways be people and groups who think differently, there will also be a version of Linux or a distribution that matches our agenda or needs.

    Making a "version" of Linux more user or newbie friendly doesn't change or hurt Linux itself in the overall sense, and for those newbies who do start out on an easy distribution allways have the choice to move to a different one later on if they decide they want to learn more about the system and have more control over than the current distro gives them.
  • It was a Simpson's take-off. Abner Simpson (or whoever -- Homer's dad) believes that the Metric System is the tool of the devil (or claims to believe such, anyway).
    - Sean
  • What I think Jeremy is saying is that you we've redefined "user-friendly" to "idiot-friendly." If a system forces a newbie to always remain a newbie, it's "idiot friendly."

    Everyone has a different definition of "user friendly." Talk to a tech reporter and he'll define it as being idiot proof. I would define it as being intuitive and having a consistant user interfaces. It has nothing to do with "pretty pictures" and "cute widgets."

    Not everyone in the world can be an expert. To expect them to is wrong. To expect to achieve world domination for experts only is stupid. I definitely see newbie distros as well as guru distros in the future. Just look at the audio market: you can buy "user-friendly" stereos with just volume and tuning knobs, or you can buy the audophile systems that let you control everything. Most people are in the middle.

    A friendly distribution that doesn't skimp on the power will allow a newbie to become an expert. But if the newbie is rudely dumped to the command line with no clue as what to do next, he'll dump Linux.

    Linux has the chance the be the OS for everyone, newbie and expert alike.
  • by sunking ( 19846 )
    Q3A is the first major game to be released simultaneously for Linux, and I can all but guarantee you that it'll run a good 25% slower than its Windows counterpart.

    Care to back up that claim? Maybe you have some inside info worth sharing.

    Aside from concerns about 3D hardware support I can't see how you could justify that. Carmack's comments have indicated that the ammount of platform specific code is quite small. If that's the case you can expect to see Q3 running faster on Linux than Windows simply as a result of lower OS overhead.

    3D Hardware support will certainly improve with the comercial sales of a Linux version of Q3. Looking for Windows-level driver support before a major 3D game has been sold for a platform is not realistic.


  • I do believe the correct word is P U H!
  • They probably include the glibc 2.0.6 runtime library with the system, and then set LD_LIBRARY_PATH before running SO.

    Just a guess, though, I haven't seen the distro.

  • Just have to try it to find out. Windows is going down. =)

  • is such a computer moron that I have had to restrict his access level on his computer to guest. And I have hidden every single directory other than the one that contains his files

    maybe that is one of the really good things about linux... by requiring people to log into the system, and hopefully keeping them from logging in as root this can cut down on the damage they can do. On the other hand that is how you learn... I was never all that competent with computers in college when 3 of my neighbors were CS majors (had a problem they just breezed in and fixed it) once I moved on and had to beging fixing my own problems then I really learned how to use my system. Of course now I have started over again at the moron level in linux (I hope this will be the system for a long time).
  • My 60-year-old mother successfully installed MacOS 8.5 on her iMac, but since that's not a "real" OS, I guess it doesn't count.

    It's good to see a company address the installation issue, though. We're getting close to the newbie/one-button click Linux installation.

  • I have been using KDE 1.1 on my desktop for the past couple months and I think it is a very good product for a version 1. If the develpoment team continues to do quality work I think KDE will mature into an excellent , user friendly GUI. A GUI that any computer user will be able to pick up on with very little effort.

    My problem with these Linux-on-the-desktop discussions are that the Linux community has just recently begun to make a *real* effort to compete with commercial products for the desktop. The goal of the Linux development team was to make an OS that WORKS, the GUI's and ease-of-install has to come next. I wouldn't expect any Linux distribution to be as easy to use as a Mac or a Windows workstation, or as easy to install. Linux needs a little time to mature. Articles like this lead me to believe that it won't be very long. Lets have a little patience and not get carried away with all the media hype.
  • I can think of plenty of apps that don't have linux versions. True, I could use wine, but I can't even get linux to detect my SCSI card, so I can't even get it installed.
  • I'd like to know if this could pass the mom test. Someone should give it to their mom and get her to install and use it without any help...=)

  • pj said hi.
  • debian install was pretty easy for me and i basically knew nothing at the time, just spent an hour and a half reading howtos
  • As you said, Matlab is available for Linux. It runs very well, in fact. There might not be a student version...but Octave, a free matlab clone, works better than some stripped-down Student version with restrictions on the sizes of vectors, etc.

    And as for browsers and word processing. If you're not willing to change your browser or your word processor in exchange for the obvious long-term benefits of free software, then forget it. There are many IDEs floating around for Linux, too, but we all know coding is really about editing plain ascii text, and for that, emacs or vi are about as good as it gets.
  • It looks to me like you've got some hidden reason to dislike Caldera. If you've got a valid gripe, at least have the decency not to trash a product while hiding behind a cowardly AC posting. As pointed out, Linus has said non-GPL kernel modules are fine - that's kind of the point of a loadable kernel module, allowing kernel functionality to be wrapped up in a pluggable package that's not really the kernel. If you have another beef with Caldera fine, but you can drop that one. (I've tried most modern Linux distros, and I'd be slightly more likely to recommend Caldera than RedHat to an enterprise client.)

    I selected Caldera v1.1 because it was by far the most professional Linux distro on the market at that time. (Heck, it was arguably the *only* professional Linux distro on the market then - RH wasn't really a going concern yet in those days.)

    Although I've had minor problems, I have to say I'm impressed enough to seriously consider buying the new 2.2 release. I may also buy the RH 2.2 release when it comes out, but in general, I think Caldera adds a lot of value. (Even Linus admits to using a commercial distro CD to save time and effort when he builds a machine, so streamlined installation has plenty of value to everyone.) I have also recently tried RH5.2, but still prefer Caldera by a bit. I've seldom used Caldera's support, but got decent responses when I did.

    I do hope they've done something about their docs, which were deplorable (at least through 1.2) - A Linux manual that doesn't even mention administration, recompiling the kernel (or even bother to mention that you can avoid that in Caldera in most cases by using LISA) really is inadequate.

    Let face it folks, there's just not that much difference between modern Linux distros - there's no right or wrong choice here, just a selection of flavors from which to choose! I certainly prefer a Baskin-Robbins Linux OS selection of tasty flavors to the two MS flavors of "tar" and "old dirty socks"...
  • Traditionally, they've had a "Lite" version, which is their equivalent to the freely distributable RH version. This is the one that gets pasted inside book covers and the like.

    Like RH, they also bundle commercial, non-freely-distributable software into their boxed sets. (For instance, my understanding is that you cannot legally distribute the StarOffice or WP8 CD, even though both are available for "free" eval downloads on the net.)
  • by dublin ( 31215 )
    How about a Visio-like vector-drawing program with the automatic connectors and all, and a decent project manager that can at least read and write the Project 98 files that are the de-facto industry standard now?

    OpenSource replacements for these would fill about the last remaining gaps, and if they used open (XML?) file formats as their native formats, people would have a good reason to leave MS apps behind to avoid the upgrade treadmill...

    As soon as these gaps are plugged, I'm going to Linux full-time.
  • This raises an important question: How well will this handle (the admittedly pathological) case where the system on which the OS is *loaded* is not the same as the system on which it will *run*?

    Case in point: I want to load Linux on the Libretto - the only reasonable way to do this is to temporarily transplant the HDD into a desktop machine, do the install, and then reimplant the HDD in the Libretto.

    It would be *REALLY* slick if there were an installation option that would defer any hardware-specific mods until the first boot rather than trying to do them as part of the installation process. This is sort of the way Microsoft's OEM OS installs work (ever wonder why that "electronic break the seal" takes so long?), and one of the few things they've done right.
  • >You have absolutely NO FUCKING IDEA what they will do to protect their monopoly

    You're very right about MS vs.Linux being a war -- when the DoJ gig is up MS will begin spewing FUDdy crap about Linux to the six corners of the universe, buying off any and every Linux developer with big bucks and hitting with lawyers in every way possible. Marketing & PR comprise much of the battle ground in the "business as warfare" metaphor and the stakes in this war are very, very high.

    Combine with this the fact that a huge number of middle and upper IS/IT managers in this country have been socking away their retirement bucks in MS and MS-related stocks (whether they know it or not) and you'll begin to grok just how pervasive the resistance against Linux will be. Better check your own portfolio while you're at it, eh? You'd be surprised at the many ways MS and related stocks effect all sorts of markets.

    Linux is very strong in its foundations and can withstand "idiot proof" layers on top provided the foundation is not compromised. The biggest technological mistake MS made was to build their OS foundations on top of a GUI (i.e., they considered the GUI more important) and they ended up with a really crappy OS. Linux builds GUIs on top of an exceptionally strong foundation, which is the way to build anything really complex -- the facade is added after the main structure is built, not before.

    To sum up my points:
    -it's going to get really ugly if the feds and states wimp out and let MS off with a wrist slap for public consumption (while shaking one another's hand all the while -- if you think the feds are going to risk fscking up the economy, you're dreaming;)
    -Linux needs to bring into the fold every single living human body it can; this is best done by appealing to all levels of computer users, from newbies to gods, at their own level.

    Linux can win this war easily. Indeed, I think it's our war to lose at this point, so remember:

    No contribution is so small that anyone can't make one -- all players have effect.

  • by eyepeepackets ( 33477 ) on Saturday April 17, 1999 @01:22PM (#1928936)
    Hmmm, this library problem has been a pain in the proverbial butt for awhile now, perhaps it's time to make a big push and move to glibc6 ASAP. I most certainly would be happy not to have to deal with this library problem any longer and I surely don't want to have Microslug whackin' us on the head about it. My opinion is that the change-over has been put off and ignored for much too long, but for understandable reasons.

    The big problem is what to do with all the legacy programs which no one in their right mind wants to lose. Perhaps a community-wide Library Upgrade Festival would work, replete with sponsored prizes for those who convert the most code/programs from the old library to the new, etc.

    I've noticed that the Slackware folks are moving to make the glibc6 more inclusive in their new 4.0 distribution (3.6 had run-time support for glibc6 compiled programs -- was great as long as you didn't need to compile.) Most of the other distros have already made or seem to be making moves towards glibc6, so it's surely happening. I can't help feeling as though I'm moving from apartment A to apartment B and it's taking 2 years to make the move complete. Ugh.

    Another possible solution is to move to dual library cross-compilers as standard issue. There is a fella who put up a website talking about how to do this -- no mean feat, I assure you. This or something similar seems to be Caldera's solution to the problem and it is a viable solution, although there are some nasty traps and pitfalls for the unwary.

    Anyway, something has to be done and do I admire Caldera's attempt at a solution, even if it's only a temporary fix to a lasting problem.

  • Forget Mom test. How about Dad test. My dad is such a computer moron that I have had to restrict his access level on his computer to guest. And I have hidden every single directory other than the one that contains his files. He can use office, netscape (only if the proper profile is already up) and his CAD. He cannot even figure out how to shut down properly or log onto the net. I have to automate everything. If he can install an OS, then I will be impressed!
  • by ??? ( 35971 )
    What do you want to run and need to use fo work?

    Games? - Quake, Doom, Descent, CTK not 'nuff? High end relational DBMS? Oracle Server 8 not enough? Office Suites? SO5, WPS8, AW not enough? 3d rendering - Povray not enough (it kicks Bryce and 3dSMAX)? Development tools? gcc (incl. cross compiler for m68k, palm pilot, etc), gas, gdb, perl, compilers for Fortran, Modula-2, Modula-3, Interpretors for Lisp, Prolog - not enough? Connectivity - server? Apache, inetd, telnetd, mountd, nfsd... - not enough? Connectivity - client? Netscape, ftp, Real Audio, Shockwave, Shockwave Flash, tin, slrn, elm, pine, emacs,...

    What apps do you need that are not on Linux?
  • by ??? ( 35971 )

    MATLAB - Looks like you're looking for "free beer", not "free speech."

    IE4, MS Word, Visual Studio - I use all of these tools at work, and they are inferior to the comparable tools that I have on Linux (Netscape, Emacs/LaTex or SO, emacs and ass'td compilers)

    But hey, if NT is stable enough for you, and you don't mind running on a proprietary system, and you don't mind coding to a nonstandard, poorly documented, inconsistent API - all the power to you. You have that choice.

    However, my original post was in response to your allegation that Linux did not have the tools that you wanted or needed.

    But let's see. Why switch to Linux
    Open-Source 'nuff said
    Basic servers (telnetd, mountd, apache) included
    with standard dist.
    Dev tools included with dist.
    Interoperability that NT doesn't even come close
    to. (Appletalk, Novell, NFS...)
    Faster, more stable implementation of MS's own
    SMB protocol than NT
    Available on a variety of h/w platforms.
    More stable - don't try to dispute this. You
    will lose.
    You're not supporting a company that uses
    unethical, illegal marketing strategies.

    Linux provides a better performance, more robust, more standard, and more open platform to use or to code on.
  • I'm not sure I understand what the big deal is -- that is, why the hostility? When I read this article, my jaw dropped. "It's really going to happen," I thought. "People all over the place are going to be opening their eyes." Is there a problem with that? Linux installation has never been hard, but now, all the guesswork is taken out for new users. And I don't think flexibility is much of an issue. I'd have to actually use this distribution to really know, but I doubt that the thing is going to cause a lot of problems. Someone raised on this system will know how to do this stuff. I think it all depends on how much the user likes computers -- if it's a lot, they'll catch on, and in a few years, we'll have a new crop of experts; if it's not a lot, they simply get more stability and satisfaction and we get world domination...
  • rtfGPL. However, almost all distributions include some commercial software -- Caldera includes a licensed version of Partition Magic, which could be trouble.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor