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First-time Linux experience

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
This post comes a bit late, several months after I uninstalled Ubuntu from my second hard drive. I'm just here to explain how things went.

I started Ubuntu from the CD and got a bunch of gobbledygook on my monitor. I try to restart it, and 2nd time it comes up correctly. I try out a few things, but decide if I want to try anything out, I need it on the hard drive. I hit the install shortcut, and am guided to a very friendly installation guide...up until I see the term "hda0".
If Ubuntu is the attempt to make Linux friendly to even your grandma, they now have a LONG way to go if they're still using terms like 'hda0'.
There is almost no indication of which hard drive is which, how I can format one, whether it will be erased. Thankfully, I know the size of my secondary hard drive, so I use that for reference. The rest of the installation pretty much goes smoothly.

So now I have Ubuntu!...Now what? Well, I know a free game that I'd like to try, that I remember seeing a linux version of. I get the installer for Wolfenstein Enemy Territory off Filefront, and try to install. Um...how do I? No simple EXE launchers or anything. So I decide to do a google search on how to install it. Turns out someone out there wrote a little file that I have to execute in command prompt as root with a special script that for some reason can't be copy-pasted. I have some trouble making the script executable, then finally get it installed. I run the game.

First off, it asks me to get new drivers. I smack my head; I never bothered looking for those. So I walk up to Mr. Nvidia and say "Hello, can I please have some Linux drivers?" The area goes dead quiet and everyone turns to stare...Mr. Nvidia, boggled, tosses me a tar.gz and runs off, yelling, "You're on your own with that thing, buddy! Don't ask me how it works!"

Once again I have to search through two pages of google results to find out how to install nvidia drivers with another long command console script. Apparently these "special" (I forget the exact term) drivers aren't even supported by Nvidia. And wonder of wonders, I cannot change my screen resolution beyond 1024, even with the new drivers.

So I run ET, and there's no sound. Good. I didn't expect anything to work at this point...why start now? So I do yet another search and I forget how many days it took me to find this one. But yes, I do eventually get it working through frustrating attempts and root logging in, etc. Framerates are worse than in XP though.

Meanwhile, I need to set XP as the default boot; all of my stuff is on there, homework, mail, contacts, games, etc. In order to do this, I have to go into a root directory, find a boot file, make a backup (in my home directory, because I can't put any files in there) then manually edit the file. (no right-click file thing here, so I must back up and retrace my steps in the command prompt) Unfortunately, the bootloader hasn't really been cleaning up after itself with the installation of the latest versions.

Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn
Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn Debug
Ubuntu 6.02 Mandrake
Ubuntu 6.02 Mandrake Debug
Ubuntu 6.01 with a little typo fix in a help file somewhere
Ubuntu 6.01 with a little typo fix in a help file somewhere Debug
Memory Test
Test Memory
MUS (Corrected typo of previous version of More Useless Stuff)
MSU (More Useless Stuff)
Some M$ operating system, which shallforth be inferior to the penguin.

So I need to comment out most of these, and figure out what it means by the default. (it says 2...but knowing programming terms, isn't 0 usually the first one?)

After trial and error with it, I FINALLY get it to set XP as the default operating system. Man, that took a lot of effort.

I was also unable to access my XP drive, even after trying to install various tools. I was unable to access my linux drive using an XP tool because of some bug. The only way I had of transferring files was onto a thumb drive, and back.


I think you can see now why I completely gave up on Linux. I've been a geek for years now, no advanced programming, but some, and I assumed that once I went Linux, I would never go back, like all the others. Now that I have tried it, I am sorry to offer up my verdict.
LINUX
NEEDS
WORK
Most of what I needed to do involved messing with the command prompt, going through unsupported google pages and forum posts, editing system files that could completely corrupt my computer, and, more than any of the others, giving up on it and switching back to XP to play CS.

If I were completely new to computers, I would have had NO idea what to do. In order for Ubuntu to become any sort of user-friendly operating system, these are the sort of things I'm looking for.
- Almost COMPLETELY eliminate all use of the command line whatsoever.
- Make it easier to do things as root (without having to enter the password each time, etc)
- Make WINE easier to use, let people double-click EXEs to run them.

I'm dual-booting Vista and XP now.
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post #2 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katana View Post
First off, it asks me to get new drivers. I smack my head; I never bothered looking for those. So I walk up to Mr. Nvidia and say "Hello, can I please have some Linux drivers?" The area goes dead quiet and everyone turns to stare...Mr. Nvidia, boggled, tosses me a tar.gz and runs off, yelling, "You're on your own with that thing, buddy! Don't ask me how it works!"

Once again I have to search through two pages of google results to find out how to install nvidia drivers with another long command console script. Apparently these "special" (I forget the exact term) drivers aren't even supported by Nvidia. And wonder of wonders, I cannot change my screen resolution beyond 1024, even with the new drivers.
Yeah, there's bugs. Add in your resolution to /etc/X11/xorg.conf, and it's fixed.

To install the nVidia drivers, all you have to do is check the box in the "Restricted Drivers Manager"...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Katana View Post
Meanwhile, I need to set XP as the default boot; all of my stuff is on there, homework, mail, contacts, games, etc. In order to do this, I have to go into a root directory, find a boot file, make a backup (in my home directory, because I can't put any files in there) then manually edit the file. (no right-click file thing here, so I must back up and retrace my steps in the command prompt) Unfortunately, the bootloader hasn't really been cleaning up after itself with the installation of the latest versions.
You could have easily done this when setting up your installation...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katana View Post
I was also unable to access my XP drive, even after trying to install various tools. I was unable to access my linux drive using an XP tool because of some bug. The only way I had of transferring files was onto a thumb drive, and back.
What filesystem were you using?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Katana View Post
I think you can see now why I completely gave up on Linux. I've been a geek for years now, no advanced programming, but some, and I assumed that once I went Linux, I would never go back, like all the others. Now that I have tried it, I am sorry to offer up my verdict.
LINUX
NEEDS
WORK
Most of what I needed to do involved messing with the command prompt, going through unsupported google pages and forum posts, editing system files that could completely corrupt my computer, and, more than any of the others, giving up on it and switching back to XP to play CS.

If I were completely new to computers, I would have had NO idea what to do. In order for Ubuntu to become any sort of user-friendly operating system, these are the sort of things I'm looking for.
- Almost COMPLETELY eliminate all use of the command line whatsoever.
- Make it easier to do things as root (without having to enter the password each time, etc)
- Make WINE easier to use, let people double-click EXEs to run them.
I'm dual-booting Vista and XP now.
Wine sometimes needs special treatment to open a program, and leaving things open for manually tweaking with the command line makes life easier for the types to actually make a worthy attempt at using a Linux distribution. What are you complaining about though? It didn't cost you anything other than time...
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post #3 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katana View Post
If I were completely new to computers, I would have had NO idea what to do. In order for Ubuntu to become any sort of user-friendly operating system, these are the sort of things I'm looking for.
- Almost COMPLETELY eliminate all use of the command line whatsoever.
- Make it easier to do things as root (without having to enter the password each time, etc)
- Make WINE easier to use, let people double-click EXEs to run them.

I'm dual-booting Vista and XP now.
That would make it Windows. I dread the day that happens.

1. Ubuntu (and a few others like Fedora and Suse) have a bunch of graphical utilities now that COMPLETELY eliminate the need for command lines. Kinda sad, if you think about it, and one of the main arguments Linux elitists use to discredit distros such as Ubuntu. You can still use it, which is a good thing since it's actually much easier and more fail safe than using graphical interfaces (if something breaks or doesn't work, the terminal thing will tell you exactly what went wrong, for example).

2. Having a 24/7 root account is what Windows has, and you definitely don't want that. Ubuntu is a bit different in that it does not have a dedicated root account like most distros, therefore the need to type sudo everytime you need root access; not that bad once you get use to it. Most distros have you set up your own dedicated root account, although you can still become root on a normal session.
The reason behind the separate root user is mostly for security, but also as a safeguard against possible errors and corruption of critical files.

3. There are ways to make an .exe file run under Wine when you double click it. You just have to specify that Wine should run when you try to open that sort of file (much like you would in Windows).

Remember that it's not Windows, just like OSX is not Windows. It takes some practice to learn, but it's not impossible.
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post #4 of 30
While it is true that Linux has a learning curve for windows users, that is not proof that Linux is an inferior product. Aside from the advantages (both social and practical) of open-source software, one should consider the matter of security. Linux offers a nearly unlimited array of features to customize security for online use. Add to this, the very real issue that most viruses are designed to run in one place - Windows. Simply not using it for any kind of online application carries a significant benefit.

Simply because you don't like the need for command prompts does not make Linux somehow deficient. In fact, as I write this, I am recompiling my kernel...let's see windows recompile the kernel while you surf the web.

And of course, there is the matter of the penguin.
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post #5 of 30
the penguin sucks

i'm gonna kill that damned penguin when i find him
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katana View Post
If Ubuntu is the attempt to make Linux friendly to even your grandma, they now have a LONG way to go if they're still using terms like 'hda0'.
There is almost no indication of which hard drive is which, how I can format one, whether it will be erased. Thankfully, I know the size of my secondary hard drive, so I use that for reference. The rest of the installation pretty much goes smoothly.
Terms like that are very ingrained into linux and will not leave any time soon - not that there is any real reason to change them. How is C:\\ any more user friendly? At least hda0 gives you information - if you have multiple partitions you can instantly recognize which are on which drives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katana View Post
First off, it asks me to get new drivers. I smack my head; I never bothered looking for those. So I walk up to Mr. Nvidia and say "Hello, can I please have some Linux drivers?" The area goes dead quiet and everyone turns to stare...Mr. Nvidia, boggled, tosses me a tar.gz and runs off, yelling, "You're on your own with that thing, buddy! Don't ask me how it works!"
The reason that you got that rather than whatever it is that you were expecting (an executable file perhaps?) is that you downloaded the source rather than an install file - which is kinda the point of linux. Dunno what kind of instructions you were looking for with that tarball - .zip files don't come with a separate file saying Extract Me! The whole source thing is not much less user friendly than window's equivalent - just different. If you had never used windows a .exe file would be just as perplexing although it is equally simple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katana View Post
Meanwhile, I need to set XP as the default boot; all of my stuff is on there, homework, mail, contacts, games, etc. In order to do this, I have to go into a root directory, find a boot file, make a backup (in my home directory, because I can't put any files in there) then manually edit the file. (no right-click file thing here, so I must back up and retrace my steps in the command prompt) Unfortunately, the bootloader hasn't really been cleaning up after itself with the installation of the latest versions.
It may be a little work in linux (and by little I mean little - editing grub is about the simplest customization you can do) it can't be done in windows. And it isn't clean because you didn't clean it - dunno who you want to do that or how it's supposed to know what you want to keep.

And for future reference (if there is a future) "sudo cp /boot/grub/menu.list /boot/grub/menu.list.back" - and you could have done that using the GUI and filesystem explorer if you had wanted to.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Katana View Post
I was also unable to access my XP drive, even after trying to install various tools. I was unable to access my linux drive using an XP tool because of some bug. The only way I had of transferring files was onto a thumb drive, and back.
What did you use? ntfs-3g can do it in a single command

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katana View Post
I think you can see now why I completely gave up on Linux. I've been a geek for years now, no advanced programming, but some, and I assumed that once I went Linux, I would never go back, like all the others. Now that I have tried it, I am sorry to offer up my verdict.
LINUX
NEEDS
WORK
Most of what I needed to do involved messing with the command prompt, going through unsupported google pages and forum posts, editing system files that could completely corrupt my computer, and, more than any of the others, giving up on it and switching back to XP to play CS.

If I were completely new to computers, I would have had NO idea what to do. In order for Ubuntu to become any sort of user-friendly operating system, these are the sort of things I'm looking for.
- Almost COMPLETELY eliminate all use of the command line whatsoever.
- Make it easier to do things as root (without having to enter the password each time, etc)
- Make WINE easier to use, let people double-click EXEs to run them.

I'm dual-booting Vista and XP now.
As melcar said - if that's what you want in an OS you want windows. If you can't get past editing a file or two then linux just isn't for you. The reasons that you dislike linux are the very reasons that linux is superior. It has security (note that I didn't say better security), a powerful command line, and the option to change whatever you want to whatever you want it to be.

I like to use a toy car analogy. Linux is like a lego car. Anything that you want to take out/add/change you can. If you want to follow the instructions and make the car the way everybody else does you have that option. If you want to make a truck you have that option. If you want to make something completely unrelated, you have that option. When something breaks you can fix it because you can see how everything connects and you were involved in connecting it in the first place. If all you want is a toy car to play with, get a matchbox
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post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariogreymist View Post
While it is true that Linux has a learning curve for windows users, that is not proof that Linux is an inferior product. Aside from the advantages (both social and practical) of open-source software, one should consider the matter of security. Linux offers a nearly unlimited array of features to customize security for online use. Add to this, the very real issue that most viruses are designed to run in one place - Windows. Simply not using it for any kind of online application carries a significant benefit.

Simply because you don't like the need for command prompts does not make Linux somehow deficient. In fact, as I write this, I am recompiling my kernel...let's see windows recompile the kernel while you surf the web.

And of course, there is the matter of the penguin.
Ummmm... lets see you recompile the windows kernel at all....
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post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 
I'd just like to clarify...the reason I gave that NVidia metaphor was because it barely gave any instructions on how to compile/install the drivers. (basically assuming I was a geek)
I'm really thinking there should be SOME Linux distribution that tries to make big moves to provide more familiarity with Windows users; fact is, most people won't want to switch if it isn't easy.
The toy car analogy is good, and proves Linux is great for anyone who knows what they're doing. Unfortunately...I don't know what I'm doing.
Windows Vista let me change the boot sequence in a simple graphical interface. Maybe there's not a way to do it in XP, but you have to consider dual-boot options if you're trying to get people to switch to your operating system.
Additionally, if Linux people have that mentality about security, I won't make any negative comments; I will only expect them to NEVER make any sort of jabs towards Vista's User Account Control (which can, by the way, be turned off at the user's own risk)
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post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katana View Post
I'd just like to clarify...the reason I gave that NVidia metaphor was because it barely gave any instructions on how to compile/install the drivers. (basically assuming I was a geek)
I'm really thinking there should be SOME Linux distribution that tries to make big moves to provide more familiarity with Windows users; fact is, most people won't want to switch if it isn't easy.
The toy car analogy is good, and proves Linux is great for anyone who knows what they're doing. Unfortunately...I don't know what I'm doing.
Windows Vista let me change the boot sequence in a simple graphical interface. Maybe there's not a way to do it in XP, but you have to consider dual-boot options if you're trying to get people to switch to your operating system.
Additionally, if Linux people have that mentality about security, I won't make any negative comments; I will only expect them to NEVER make any sort of jabs towards Vista's User Account Control (which can, by the way, be turned off at the user's own risk)
I like the Linux security features MUCH better than UAC. UAC nags you about stupid things, even logged in as Administrator.
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post #10 of 30
well to be quite honest with you it doesnt sound like linux is for you. There is alot of manual configuration required to use specific applications, and to do some configuration. This is why most people dont use it, because they dont either know how or dont want to learn. Research is the key. If one site doesnt have the information you are looking for ask someone. There are tons of things that linux does better than windows however most of these are for server use. For everyday desktop use for the novice user windows will be the way to go.

As far as the command line goes, I use it just as much in windows as I do in linux, I use it every day all day, no matter if I am working on a unix based server or an XP desktop. So taking that away would be stupid. On top of that windows will be using it more in their server OS's for example Windows Server 2008, if you log in as Administrator, thats all you have is a command line. NO GUI at all. I think if you had more experience and more knowledge with the operating system you would have a different point of view. good luck next time. Also this is a good place to ask questions now. There are more and more people moving to linux for various things, so more people here are working problems out and helping each other.
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