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Comment Re:What's The Easiest Linux Distro For A Newbie? (Score 1) 450

Many of the distros you mention (SUSE, Red Hat, etc.) tried pursuing the ease of use and "just works" philosophy starting a couple decades ago, but Ubuntu really pushed that forward significantly

I hate this piece of Ubuntu lore, especially.

Yes, Red Hat pursued ease of use. Ubuntu was released just as those efforts were coming to fruition, and to great fanfare, they introduced a GNU/Linux distribution that included Red Hat's ease-of-use work on top of a Debian base. Those same efforts were featured in Fedora releases at the time.

Early releases of Ubuntu were easier to use than a lot of distributions that had been released in the years prior, but they weren't easier to use than the Fedora releases that came out around the same time, with one exception: they made it easy to install binary drivers. Especially the NVidia drivers.

Literally the only thing that was easier on Ubuntu than on Fedora was installing the NVidia drivers. In lots of other tiny ways, Fedora worked better. And that remains true, today. I work at a university where we manage a lot of CentOS systems, and a handful of Ubuntu systems for special purposes. The CentOS systems are much easier to manage and to use.

For example, one lab uses embedded devices that present themselves as a USB network interface when connected to a workstation. On Ubuntu, the default route is assigned to the new USB interface. On CentOS, it is not. That means that we can't use NFS on the Ubuntu systems because when the default route changes, the system no longer has access to the NFS home directories, and the UI stops responding. Or, there's a GPU computing system on which students ran "apt-get update" and for some reason, apt removed gnome-shell. That meant that gdm couldn't run, and users couldn't log in. Or, we have one Ubuntu system with an NFS mounted home directory that works just fine if you log in to a local console or to GDM, but logging in over SSH prints MOTD and then hangs forever.

Certainly, some of those problems can be fixed (I haven't figured out the ssh login hang problem), but the fact remains that out of the box, Ubuntu has been FAR more problematic than any release of CentOS or Fedora that I've used any time since Ubuntu's earliest releases.

Comment Re: Who's Responsibility? (Score 1) 246

The CIA doesn't have a responsibility to Russia. If their officials have personal vulnerabilities, those vulnerabilities are exclusively Russian. Software vulnerabilities aren't exclusively Russian. These vulnerabilities affect American citizens. They affect American troops and officials. They affect American government agencies. The risk is not simply that the vulnerabilities will be discovered by foreign intelligence, but that any one of thousands of employees and contractors could sell the entire archive, instantly giving the buyer capabilities equal to or greater than the CIA itself.

Comment Re:Why pre-installed? (Score 1) 128

Are there really many people interested in using ubuntu on high powered laptops who can't install it on their own?

I don't know, but I, for one, am interested in buying a laptop without paying for software that I won't use, and in paying a vendor to either used Linux-supported components or developing Linux support for the components that they use. Dell puts significant effort into developing Linux support, and pushes the rest of hardware industry to maintain Linux support.

Comment Re:Great. (Score 1) 225

what exactly does Firefox offer over Chrome?

It's smaller, for one: smaller download, smaller installation, smaller memory footprint.

It supports extensions on the mobile version, for another. Chrome doesn't. It's true that they're changing the API, but that means that they're significantly decreasing the amount of effort that developers need to put in, to get an extension that works on both Firefox and Chrome. I'm cautiously optimistic. It'll probably be a painful transition, but you should consider that your premise is flawed. Firefox isn't going to be "without customization."

Comment I'm still enjoying computing (Score 4, Interesting) 449

This weekend I spent some time improving my personal installation of SOGo groupware, so that my wife and I can better share email, calendars, and contacts on a system that we personally own.

Certainly, big companies don't respect users, but it's still possible to provide all of the services that I need using only Free Software, so I do. Pretty much the only exception is navigation, for which I use Google Maps. Everything else we do with Free Software and the more I move my wife to our own services, the happier she is. Personally, I find that immensely gratifying. As long as that continues, I'll find computing as cool and fun as ever.

Comment Re:How does Fedora compare to Ubuntu? (Score 1) 154

Almost everything is better refined under Fedora. Most recent example: I support a lab that teaches embedded development. The ARM devices present themselves to a host as a USB network device with DHCP. If we attach those devices via USB to an Ubuntu host, it switches the default route to the embedded device, which means the host loses access to the NFS server and the whole desktop session hangs. On Fedora and CentOS, the hosts correctly get an address and a subnet route, but the default route is unmodified, so the system continues working.

Ubuntu and Fedora are mostly the same software, so it's hard to find "big" reasons to choose one over the other. Instead, it's the details that really make Fedora stand out.

The sad thing is that it's always been this way. Ubuntu made a splash in its initial releases, claiming that they'd made Linux "just work". The truth was that Red Hat, GNOME, and other groups had been making all the bits just work for a long time before Ubuntu was released, Canonical merely released a distribution just as those bits were getting finished. Fedora's release at that time was a major jump in usability from the previous release, and "just worked" as well.

Fedora has always been the more refined platform in a long list of ways.

Comment Re:WINE (Score 1) 202

is there ANY other company you can think of that gives up market share to help a competitor?

"They now fully-support a standalone Ubuntu (Linux) installation under Windows as either an integrated part of Windows, or a fully-supported guest OS under their hypervisor,"

So... Canonical, then?

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