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View Full Version : Transitioning from Windows to Linux. Woohoo!



baabits
17-09-2011, 06:26 PM
We've just completed our transition project at work, moving 200 XP & 2000 desktops to Ubuntu 11.04.

What sparked it? Well, the biggest moving factor was the cost of upgrading to Windows 7- Thanks to most of our systems being P4's/Celeron Machines, the costs to upgrade to Windows 7 were huge when new hardware was taken into account. This route, plus upgrading every machine to a minimum of 2GB RAM + new LCD monitors has meant that we can now phase out the other pieces of hardware over time without having to worry about getting everything done in budget before 2014. We've had feedback coming in that they all feel like new machines. I'm still absolutley rapt with the speed difference.

We're now a 200 Linux Happy Box Company + 10 Macs for the design department :D

Went absolutely swimmingly and we (the IT department at least) are delighted with the results.

I'm wondering though, have any other businesses faced with a similar challenge considered making the switch? And what limitation factors have you found if you have?

The biggest one I expected was Software Compatibility, though it turns out that this concern turned out to be the easiest part of the switch thanks to co-ordinated training sessions with OpenOffice before we began the transition. Since we never upgraded to Office 2007, most of our users had no problems adapting to it.

However, we're yet to discover the biggest problem- Lets hope that we don't!

(It was such a great feeling when we finished the last box yesterday that I just had to write about it somewhere :P)

Have a great weekend guys

Jen
17-09-2011, 06:31 PM
That would be a busy job installing a new OS on the machines.

How did the users cope with a new OS (apart from OpenOffice)? Did you have to provide training on where to save files etc and use email? Were they open to change?

Gobe1
17-09-2011, 06:42 PM
Well done baabits :thumbs:

baabits
17-09-2011, 06:46 PM
Yes it was, fitting in with everyone's schedules was the most difficult part

So far we haven't had too many complaints- We gave department-by-department tutorials and the majority of people seemed to catch on pretty quickly. The most popular question was "is copy still called copy" and so far the only question I've had is where is the create shortcut button (It's a link in ubuntu).

Most people have began to utilise the sidebar, dragging in their favourite folders. A lot actually prefer it over what XP offered (the standard, uneditable sidebar) as they have almost instant access to their favourite folders. We've transitioned Exchange to Zimbra and the majority of users found their way around Evolution with no problems after being given a quick tour. It's very, very similar to Outlook 2003. Thankfully we were able to do most of the training within one session per department in a lecture style and most people were quite grateful for this.

I think people have really appreciated the speed difference over Windows and this has led to a 'get used to it attitude' for most staff. Before, XP boxes had P4 2.4GHz + 1GB RAM and they now have 2GB, which would have made a big difference on any machine. But hey, going to a 25sec boot time and nearly instantaneous application startup times would probably convince most average users anyway.

johcar
17-09-2011, 07:27 PM
Well done on the migration!

Those startup times are impressive - where I am contracting at the moment, my client is running an XP environment for everyone and there is a 'hotdesk' arrangement where most people can sit anywhere (in practice people tend to sit in the same place every day), but this means that laptops must be put away in a locker (or taken home) each day - a clear desk policy.

Which means everyone shutting down their laptops between 4:50 and 5:05 every day, swamping the server that stores that roaming profiles (don't get me started - why would you need a roaming profile with a laptop!??) and causing shutdown times of around ten minutes (20MB profiles). The same thing happens at the start of each day (to a lesser extent).

I have amended my profile on my laptop so that its a local one (HDD failure be damned! How often does that happen?!) so my startup/shutdown times are reduced somewhat, and have taken to putting the laptop to sleep, rather than shutting it down anyway. Even so, just setting up my workstation every day and packing up every night, sucks about 30+ minutes of productivity out of each day. Madness! And multiply that by the (large) number of people having to do the same thing!!!!

Someone in HR who made the decision, needs to be given a rocket!

ubergeek85
17-09-2011, 09:50 PM
Nice going! I dumped Vista for Ubuntu (10.10 at the time but now running 11.04), and haven't looked back. I've fired up Vista maybe a handful of times, now it's about as pleasant as being beaten over the head. Did you go for Unity or GNOME?

fred_fish
17-09-2011, 10:39 PM
Hmmm, non-LTS release ...

6 monthly upgrades planned for?

milkster1976
17-09-2011, 10:51 PM
oh my god let me know how cost effective this ends up being ( have to excuse me but 200 users moving to lyniux who knows how to use lyniux i can build a system from scratch including stripping and building a Microsoft operating system faster than i can install flash player in ubuntu and i am not a stupid person.) p.s. just using up my post woohoo post 10 may be i can edit my profile... p.p.s being a Microsoft techie there is a reason lyniux is a free os hehehehe sorry but really

fred_fish
17-09-2011, 11:35 PM
There is also a reason why MS support is such a huge industry ;)

milkster1976
17-09-2011, 11:47 PM
yeah its called having the largest customer base in the world, I guess that would require one or two people lol ( i just think its funny that most new zealand industry find it a better option to hide there problems rather than pay to have them fixed properly ) personally i believe lyniux should be left to pro users the guys hiding at home under a blankets ) the only time i ever use lyniux is in a emergency data recovery scenario or password reset, i am sorry i have just been warned that the cost of installation ends up being overwhelmed by cost of time in user training and lack of application or driver support

nedkelly
17-09-2011, 11:49 PM
well there are some applications that work so much better on linux than on windows

ubergeek85
17-09-2011, 11:50 PM
i have just been warned that the cost of installation ends up being overwhelmed by cost of time in user training and lack of application or driver support

Many moons ago, this was the case. Nowadays mainstream distros are great, so much so that I would say that, for day-to-day activities, the biggest problem would be ignorant users who just hate change, rather than the distro itself.

milkster1976
18-09-2011, 12:01 AM
many moons ago ??? i couldn't even get ubuntu to play a dvd only two months ago before i finally took the iso and burnt it out the back never to use again it is a powerful tool for the repair kit but i am still skeptical about using it in a office environment sure a server or media streamer absolutely. can it support automated application or update rollouts i am really interested in this as it would be interesting to know how it works out, ( just because i cant use it dose not make it a bad idea just gives me a better understanding when it comes time to recommend options to others. )

icow
18-09-2011, 12:19 AM
As far as I'm concerned the only reason for using windows now is because X program (there is very few of them now) isn't available another OS. It's large following is the only thing that makes it good (for lack of a better word).

fred_fish
18-09-2011, 12:36 AM
yeah its called having the largest customer base in the world...so McDonalds are the best burgers in the world?
( i just think its funny that most new zealand industry find it a better option to hide there problems rather than pay to have them fixed properly )??
personally i believe lyniux next someone will be spelling Microsoft with a $ :rolleyes:
should be left to pro users the guys hiding at home under a blankets ) the only time i ever use lyniux is in a emergency data recovery scenario or password reset,let me guess, at home under your blanket ...
i am sorry i have just been warned that the cost of installation ends up being overwhelmed by cost of time in user training and lack of application or driver supportor have you just now started your first job since "Microsoft techie" school?

Whatever software you put in front of your users, it should be fit for purpose. The OP seems to have determined an OS & software mix that suits their environment, provided some familiarisation training and is monitoring user feedback. Sounds pretty much like a Windows upgrade rollout to me, except for the truck that turns up to deliver all the new hardware and the one to cart off all the money ... :illogical

Agent_24
18-09-2011, 12:39 AM
i can build a system from scratch including stripping and building a Microsoft operating system faster than i can install flash player in ubuntu and i am not a stupid person

Really? You must be doing something very wrong. Even I can install Flash on Ubuntu a lot faster than it would take anyone to build a system from scratch, and I wouldn't consider myself a Linux expert at all.

icow
18-09-2011, 12:41 AM
I would also have Linux pinned as the easier to use OS when compared to micro$oft window$.

Agent_24
18-09-2011, 12:56 AM
Oh, I wouldn't say it's easier than Windows - in fact, buggering around with config files etc that change locations just about every damn release etc pisses me off, but maybe I am more used to Windows (hurrah for the registry so most stuff is actually in the same place!) - however, Ubuntu, for one, makes installing Flash very simple, so if one takes the time to read the manual and all that, they'll find it's a pretty easy thing to do...

Hint: "open Ubuntu Software Center and search for “adobe flash” and install it in a single click"

(http://blog.sudobits.com/2011/04/22/how-to-install-adobe-flash-player-in-ubuntu-11-04/)

dugimodo
18-09-2011, 12:59 AM
I think it's a great Idea. I've tried to go linux myself a couple of times but found the learning curve too steep and the software compatibility a big issue for home use, mainly though I like to play games and it's a lot easier to do with windows.
In an office enviroment with a small group of programs though I can see how it could work well. I was impressed last time with the installation detecting all the hardware etc, it's come a long way. That said where linux always let itself down for me was the difficulty installing new software when compared to windows. I tried to get myth TV working and it took me several days of playing with dependencies to get a screen full of static. I think the tuner was working but I could never get it to tune in anything.

Something that I've always wondered about is why companies upgrade the likes of microsoft office when new versions come out, seems like most people don't need anything added in the last few versions.

fred_fish
18-09-2011, 01:11 AM
I think it's a great Idea. I've tried to go linux myself a couple of times but found the learning curve too steep and the software compatibility a big issue for home use, mainly though I like to play games and it's a lot easier to do with windows.
In an office enviroment with a small group of programs though I can see how it could work well. I was impressed last time with the installation detecting all the hardware etc, it's come a long way. That said where linux always let itself down for me was the difficulty installing new software when compared to windows. I tried to get myth TV working and it took me several days of playing with dependencies to get a screen full of static. I think the tuner was working but I could never get it to tune in anything.Well MythTV is a thing unto itself, your struggles with that don't really have much to do with the OS :)


Something that I've always wondered about is why companies upgrade the likes of microsoft office when new versions come out, seems like most people don't need anything added in the last few versions.Usually the path of least resistance to deal with the new file format people keep sending them ...

Gobe1
18-09-2011, 10:48 AM
Whatever software you put in front of your users, it should be fit for purpose.

100% the business is there to make money not make users happy (to a certain extent) We use Zimbra at work and it works very well, but the fellas who cant get away from outlook use the connector and it works but i wish i never showed it to them.

Agent_24
18-09-2011, 11:40 AM
Maybe, but if you try to make them use something they hate, you're probably not going to make much money.

Chilling_Silence
18-09-2011, 12:19 PM
The biggest problem would be ignorant users who just hate change, rather than the distro itself.
Milkster1976 seems determined to prove you are correct there too ;-) I presume you're fully against the change I look and feel going to Win7 from XP then milkster?

Granted a business is there to make money, but if staff put up too much of a fuss, and then undereperform, sack their asses. They're there to work for the company, not the company work for them. There are many others who would take a job if somebody else didn't want it.

We've been rolling out a lot of Linux servers since I joined. It doesn't take a lot of experience, and its easy to see the massive benefits. A basic web server VM uses less than 1/4 a gig of rAM, and cost nothing to get up and running for utilization as a documentation wiki. Same thing in windows requires a license and 4x the resources.

We've even investigated the possibility of rolling out Linux desktops, considering IBM provide Lotus Notes for Linux, that would work fine. Aside from that we've been giving technicians a combination of iPads and Android honeycomb tablets, the learning curve was literally zero. Yet using a Linux desktop has this "stigma" associated with it thanks to ignorant people like milkster.

fred_fish
18-09-2011, 12:29 PM
Well if that "hate" is based on the issue of them not being able to play flash games on the net or infect all their friends/co-workers with the latest joke/trojan going round, then maybe you weren't making much money anyway ;)

baabits
18-09-2011, 01:01 PM
Really? You must be doing something very wrong. Even I can install Flash on Ubuntu a lot faster than it would take anyone to build a system from scratch, and I wouldn't consider myself a Linux expert at all.


How did you struggle? 10 and 11 have given the option to install all the restricted packages as long as you're connected during the installation

baabits
18-09-2011, 01:05 PM
Hmmm, non-LTS release ...

6 monthly upgrades planned for?

Yes, thank god upgrading our entire pc stack is only one command now rather than performing upgrades and worry about things breaking... I'm actually a huge fan of the regular six month release cycles and believe it's pushing innovation.

One note though, we've turned Unity off in favour of the Classic Ubuntu desktop- Using the computer is no longer a skill as far as we can see, if you can understand English and learn how to click and hover over icons to read what they do then you're well on your way click Applications then click Office then click LibreOffice Writer.. well done!

baabits
18-09-2011, 01:13 PM
oh my god let me know how cost effective this ends up being ( have to excuse me but 200 users moving to lyniux who knows how to use lyniux i can build a system from scratch including stripping and building a Microsoft operating system faster than i can install flash player in ubuntu and i am not a stupid person.) p.s. just using up my post woohoo post 10 may be i can edit my profile... p.p.s being a Microsoft techie there is a reason lyniux is a free os hehehehe sorry but really

Well we have a team of four (Manager, Administrator (myself) and two support guys (one of them is a guru programmer)) and everyone bar the manager is a confessed unix junkie. We're probably going to be cutting about 90% of our software budget, as our database is MySQL. In fact, what we are left paying for is PaperCut (which is included thanks to Ricoh anyway and runs swimmingly on linux and mac), Adobe products + Final Cut for the design department and nothing else. The budget cuts have meant that we can now get the RUCKUS units throughout the office that we've always wanted and we're also looking at taking another full time staff member on board and investing in HD Video Conferencing.

We've added another server into the mix as a terminal server (weehoo, no licensing costs) and turned all of the Celeron PC's into thin clients (there were only about 20 or so if I remember correctly) but it sure beats having to replace all PC's in the building in three years.

It raises another interesting question- Everyone except for myself has MCSE/MCP and Cisco training (I did a BCS), but we're not actually taking that into consideration this round. We're looking for a uni grad who is talented in programming, as we've got access to the source code of everything now and can make our own changes to tweak the OS, tailoring it for our users. As far as we could see from the Beta builds, Windows 8 is going to represent an even bigger learning curve for the majority of our users. If there is any appropriate time to make the switch, now would be it :)

baabits
18-09-2011, 01:23 PM
Granted a business is there to make money, but if staff put up too much of a fuss, and then undereperform, sack their asses. They're there to work for the company, not the company work for them. There are many others who would take a job if somebody else didn't want it.

We've been rolling out a lot of Linux servers since I joined. It doesn't take a lot of experience, and its easy to see the massive benefits. A basic web server VM uses less than 1/4 a gig of rAM, and cost nothing to get up and running for utilization as a documentation wiki. Same thing in windows requires a license and 4x the resources.

We've even investigated the possibility of rolling out Linux desktops, considering IBM provide Lotus Notes for Linux, that would work fine. Aside from that we've been giving technicians a combination of iPads and Android honeycomb tablets, the learning curve was literally zero. Yet using a Linux desktop has this "stigma" associated with it thanks to ignorant people like milkster.

Exactly- We're not telling the staff that they have to learn everything that they know again, it's just a cosmetic change. The inner guts of using the machine doesn't change. A word processor is still a word processor, just things are in different places. By presenting it to the staff this way, they've managed to find their way around it with little to no problems.

Our virtual server is utilizing KVM technology and not costing us a cent. Take that to VMWare and tell them where to shove it.

fred_fish
18-09-2011, 01:43 PM
Yes, thank god upgrading our entire pc stack is only one command now rather than performing upgrades and worry about things breaking... I wouldn't give up worrying just yet ... :)
I'm actually a huge fan of the regular six month release cycles and believe it's pushing innovation.Fair enough, although Canonical has history of unilaterally introducing some fairly radical and not particularly well tested changes in it's regular releases. I would have thought something a bit more conservative and predictable (i.e. slower moving :lol) like 10.04 LTS or Debian Stable might be a better fit for an enterprise rollout. But then, it's you doing it not me :) so good luck.

One note though, we've turned Unity off in favour of the Classic Ubuntu desktop- Using the computer is no longer a skill as far as we can see, if you can understand English and learn how to click and hover over icons to read what they do then you're well on your way click Applications then click Office then click LibreOffice Writer.. well done!Agreed, anyone that can't drive a Gnome desktop within 5 mins of sitting down in front of it should not be employed in a job that requires using a computer anyway...

baabits
18-09-2011, 01:55 PM
I wouldn't give up worrying just yet ... :)Fair enough, although Canonical has history of unilaterally introducing some fairly radical and not particularly well tested changes in it's regular releases. I would have thought something a bit more conservative and predictable (i.e. slower moving :lol) like 10.04 LTS or Debian Stable might be a better fit for an enterprise rollout. But then, it's you doing it not me :) so good luck.Agreed, anyone that can't drive a Gnome desktop within 5 mins of sitting down in front of it should not be employed in a job that requires using a computer anyway...

Well actually we did begin by installing 10.10- but the upgrade was so painless within our testing environment that we decided to go ahead with it anyway. Debain was a consideration but going from XP -> Linux meant that we wanted the experience to be as polished as possible and Ubuntu was the best fit.

So far, I have to say I'm happy with the results looking at the stats- We've had 35% less calls over the last two weeks than normal and the itsupport email address is never backed up anymore.

EDIT: One thing that I would add is that while canonical do usually introduce some radical changes within the OS (Unity, Social Networking Integration etc) there is always a way to go back and it's usually pretty easy as well. In this case, it was just choosing the correct envrionment at login :)

fred_fish
18-09-2011, 02:22 PM
So far, I have to say I'm happy with the results looking at the stats- We've had 35% less calls over the last two weeks than normal and the itsupport email address is never backed up anymore.
That's impressive. Two weeks with a new OS and substantially less issues than with the Windows systems that they have been used to for 10 years!

mikebartnz
18-09-2011, 02:51 PM
oh my god let me know how cost effective this ends up being ( have to excuse me but 200 users moving to lyniux who knows how to use lyniux i can build a system from scratch including stripping and building a Microsoft operating system faster than i can install flash player in ubuntu and i am not a stupid person.) p.s. just using up my post woohoo post 10 may be i can edit my profile... p.p.s being a Microsoft techie there is a reason lyniux is a free os hehehehe sorry but really
You are showing your age.:groan::groan:

mikebartnz
18-09-2011, 03:09 PM
Well done baabits. It is good to hear.

Agent_24
18-09-2011, 03:40 PM
So far, I have to say I'm happy with the results looking at the stats- We've had 35% less calls over the last two weeks than normal and the itsupport email address is never backed up anymore.

They're probably just not familiar enough with the new system to know how to screw it up yet :lol:

baabits
18-09-2011, 03:41 PM
Just had a call from a manager.. let the compatibility problems begin. He couldn't get his vodafone usb 3g modem (huawei) to work

SSH in > run the apt-get command > fixed

Hmmm... I could get used to this :)

plod
18-09-2011, 05:01 PM
Well we have a team of four (Manager, Administrator (myself) and two support guys (one of them is a guru programmer)) and everyone bar the manager is a confessed unix junkie. We're probably going to be cutting about 90% of our software budget, as our database is MySQL. In fact, what we are left paying for is PaperCut (which is included thanks to Ricoh anyway and runs swimmingly on linux and mac), Adobe products + Final Cut for the design department and nothing else. The budget cuts have meant that we can now get the RUCKUS units throughout the office that we've always wanted and we're also looking at taking another full time staff member on board and investing in HD Video Conferencing.

We've added another server into the mix as a terminal server (weehoo, no licensing costs) and turned all of the Celeron PC's into thin clients (there were only about 20 or so if I remember correctly) but it sure beats having to replace all PC's in the building in three years.

It raises another interesting question- Everyone except for myself has MCSE/MCP and Cisco training (I did a BCS), but we're not actually taking that into consideration this round. We're looking for a uni grad who is talented in programming, as we've got access to the source code of everything now and can make our own changes to tweak the OS, tailoring it for our users. As far as we could see from the Beta builds, Windows 8 is going to represent an even bigger learning curve for the majority of our users. If there is any appropriate time to make the switch, now would be it :) May I ask what sort of industry your company is in?

wainuitech
18-09-2011, 05:36 PM
Just courious , how long did it take you to change over 200 Computers ??

Once a long time ago, I was part of a group ( 4 of us and one other Tech that was with the company), we had to reload /upgrade 150 PC's with XP - took us a day 8am-5.30pm, boot from a CD, and loaded teh images from their server - once running, move onto the next one. And the boss even shouted lunch :)

Only two problems with changing completely to linux is 1.Users getting used to the different OS.

2. The biggest one - Support. Seen it many times where one person knows what to do, but as soon as that person leaves for what ever reason, the support to fix things is non existent.

I can see a downside to having less service calls -- when things start getting tough for a business, the first thing to go is unnecessary staff, so if you have a place thats got 5 support staff, and the work is not there, guess who gets the chop/redundancy -- It happens all the time.

Just as a bit of a stir -- if the users dont like Ubuntu try whats attached. :D

baabits
18-09-2011, 06:08 PM
May I ask what sort of industry your company is in?
We work as a medium size Insurance Broker- All of our databases are managed through a web client, so no compatibility issues there after Jeff worked on exports into OpenOffice.

mikebartnz
18-09-2011, 06:13 PM
hurrah for the registry so most stuff is actually in the same place!)
In my view that is one of Windows biggest handicaps. If anything happens to one of the registry files your whole system can go t!ts up whereas with Linux it can be just an easy edit of a text file to repair.

milkster1976
18-09-2011, 06:16 PM
this has led to a 'get used to it attitude' for most staff.
hmmm cardinal sin there i am sure lol
best of luck and congratulations on your successful change over

milkster1976
18-09-2011, 06:18 PM
oh wow less service calls
maybe users just don't know its broken yet hehehe just kidding
good luck guys

Chilling_Silence
18-09-2011, 06:41 PM
Either way, regardless of the reason, less support calls means less support calls, that's a good thing :-D

icow
18-09-2011, 07:32 PM
Linux cant be "broken" as it's based on UNIX. Unlike windows which still pushes its rubbish ntfs filesystem.

Agent_24
18-09-2011, 07:42 PM
In my view that is one of Windows biggest handicaps. If anything happens to one of the registry files your whole system can go t!ts up whereas with Linux it can be just an easy edit of a text file to repair.

Well that's a good point, but as I said, I'm probably biased as I'm more used to Windows. I wouldn't have a clue where to find the damn config files to fix Linux :( - but a full registry restore is pretty easy.

Funny though, Ubuntu now comes with a 'configuration editor' which looks suspiciously like regedit. I have no idea what it actually edits, config files or something else... knowing Ubuntu it will probably be their own weird proprietary thing.

Cato
18-09-2011, 07:55 PM
Linux cant be "broken" as it's based on UNIX. Unlike windows which still pushes its rubbish ntfs filesystem.

About 10 years ago a power failure would most likely destroy an ext2 partition, NTFS and FAT32 took so much crap more and survived :p

OSX FTW!!! :D

Jen
18-09-2011, 08:04 PM
Funny though, Ubuntu now comes with a 'configuration editor' which looks suspiciously like regedit. I have no idea what it actually edits, config files or something else... knowing Ubuntu it will probably be their own weird proprietary thing.Looks like it has an XML backend. Unusual concept. Wikipedia is a bit harsh about it:
Traditional CLI (Command Line Interface) power users of GNOME have criticized it as an excuse to over-simplify the user interface and design for the lowest common denominator. - source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gconf-editor)

Mind you, CLI power users probably never go any higher than run level 3. :p

mikebartnz
18-09-2011, 08:04 PM
Either way, regardless of the reason, less support calls means less support calls, that's a good thing :-D
Just ignore him Chill it is obvious from his nickname that he is still sucking on the MS t!t.

Jen
18-09-2011, 08:07 PM
Just ignore him Chill it is obvious from his nickname that he is still sucking on the MS t!t.Keep it nice please ...

wainuitech
18-09-2011, 08:07 PM
Linux cant be "broken" as it's based on UNIX. Unlike windows which still pushes its rubbish ntfs filesystem. I managed to break 11.04 today while doing nothing more than installing a theme. :badpc:

QW.
18-09-2011, 08:13 PM
How long did it take to upgrade each PC to Ubuntu?

fred_fish
18-09-2011, 08:26 PM
I managed to break 11.04 today while doing nothing more than installing a theme. :badpc:
Hmmm, running as root, installing random stuff downloaded from somewhere ... what could possibly go wrong?

wainuitech
18-09-2011, 08:34 PM
Hmmm, running as root, installing random stuff downloaded from somewhere ... what could possibly go wrong? The comment was made it cant be broken, when it can.

I was installing a theme, following instructions from a well known legit site. So it had to run as instructed.

So basically maybe the comment should have been - "Linux cant be broken as long as you don't run as root, and only use it as a basic user with no permissions to actually change anything". :D

baabits
18-09-2011, 08:59 PM
How long did it take to upgrade each PC to Ubuntu?

About 15-20 minutes per PC. The longer part was sitting down with each person and taking them through it afterwards- most people had niggling questions that they didn't want to ask in front of others :p

baabits
18-09-2011, 09:01 PM
I managed to break 11.04 today while doing nothing more than installing a theme. :badpc:

A Broken Theme? did you log in with the default safe environment selected?

fred_fish
18-09-2011, 09:01 PM
Yes of course it can be broken.
Nothing is foolproof, as fools are ingenious and persistent :p

One of the issues I have with Ubuntu is the encouragement of "Windows type behaviour" with it's abuse of 'sudo' for root privs anytime for any reason & carefree attitude to unaudited code from 'wherever'.

While this probably makes it easier to assimilate windows users (and their expectations) it also dilutes the security model that is one of the big advantages of linux and a primary driver of it's 'robustness'.

ubergeek85
18-09-2011, 09:16 PM
That said where linux always let itself down for me was the difficulty installing new software when compared to windows. I tried to get myth TV working and it took me several days of playing with dependencies to get a screen full of static. I think the tuner was working but I could never get it to tune in anything.


Sounds a little off, nowadays dependencies are resolved automatically through repositories. Sounds more like a driver issue, that's the one thing I'm still trying to get my head around...

Agent_24
18-09-2011, 09:52 PM
TV tuner cards (especially analog ones) are a pain to get working.

The problem is they typically all use one chipset (Say, BT878) but use totally different tuners and EEPROM configs.

The default setup that the drivers use will not work for most cards. You have to manually tell it which tuner etc you've actually got.

MythTV is also a bit weird, which doesn't help :lol:

wainuitech
18-09-2011, 09:58 PM
A Broken Theme? did you log in with the default safe environment selected? I was playing silly buggers to pass time before a job this afternoon -- past post was a screen shot of Ubuntu looking like W7. (only a theme) Followed these instructions here (http://www.howtogeek.com/55985/how-to-make-ubuntu-linux-look-like-windows-7/).

It went through as described in the article, then on the reboot which it had to do, thats when it wouldn't start again - it looked like it was trying but going round in circles - I went out to a customers place to do a job, approx 1 hour later still in same locked out stage.

The "interesting thing" it was Ubuntu 11.04, which I have had problems with previously not working as a rescue bootable CD. I downloaded a fresh copy of 11.04, and the same thing happened on a different Computer. BUT when doing the same thing using 10.10, it worked perfectly, then I upgraded the 10.10 to 11.04, and now its working fine.


All that aside, its good to get a big job completed - hopefully without to many problems in the future. Simply changing a companies OS requirement is only half the job.
As long as the support is available when the people need it, alls well. :)

Agent_24
18-09-2011, 10:17 PM
The "interesting thing" it was Ubuntu 11.04, which I have had problems with previously not working as a rescue bootable CD. I downloaded a fresh copy of 11.04, and the same thing happened on a different Computer. BUT when doing the same thing using 10.10, it worked perfectly, then I upgraded the 10.10 to 11.04, and now its working fine.

Going by the date of that article, it was written before 11.04 came out, so it makes sense that it didn't work.

But don't feel bad, the Ubuntu devs always manage to break more things than they should anyway.

I would never install anything on Ubuntu unless it specifically tells you which version it's for either (because of the way Ubuntu changes all the damn time)

Cato
19-09-2011, 01:52 AM
I was playing silly buggers to pass time before a job this afternoon -- past post was a screen shot of Ubuntu looking like W7. (only a theme) Followed these instructions here (http://www.howtogeek.com/55985/how-to-make-ubuntu-linux-look-like-windows-7/).

It went through as described in the article, then on the reboot which it had to do, thats when it wouldn't start again - it looked like it was trying but going round in circles - I went out to a customers place to do a job, approx 1 hour later still in same locked out stage.

Maybe it has something to do with this??


## Install Gnomenu
sudo apt-get --yes --force-yes remove gnomenu
sudo dpkg -i $HOME/win7/debs/gnomenu_all.deb

However, most interesting of all is:

sudo wget http://web.lib.sun.ac.za/ubuntu/files/help/theme/gnome/win7-setup.sh

Erayd
19-09-2011, 08:01 AM
Funny though, Ubuntu now comes with a 'configuration editor' which looks suspiciously like regedit. I have no idea what it actually edits, config files or something else... knowing Ubuntu it will probably be their own weird proprietary thing.If you're referring to what I think, it's the gconf editor - Gnome apps have used this config database for years.


About 10 years ago a power failure would most likely destroy an ext2 partition, NTFS and FAT32 took so much crap more and survived :pEven ten years ago, there were much better options available than ext2. That's even more true today - a modern Linux filesystem is generally a lot more resilient than NTFS, and pretty much anything can top FAT.


Looks like it has an XML backend. Unusual concept. Wikipedia is a bit harsh about it:
Traditional CLI (Command Line Interface) power users of GNOME have criticized it as an excuse to over-simplify the user interface and design for the lowest common denominator. - source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gconf-editor)

Mind you, CLI power users probably never go any higher than run level 3. :pPower users just don't tend to run Gnome (in most cases, there are always exceptions), unelss they're happy to live with the defaults.

Note that runlevels have nothing to do with the GUI... and on Debian-based systems, which Ubuntu is, the standard multiuser runlevel is 2.

Regarding the comments above about things breaking - in my experience Ubuntu is one of the most easily-broken distros available, and is not very well maintained - stability generally suffers for the sake of features and release times. Unless you intend to do image-based upgrades every time, prepare for some pain along the way.

Jen
19-09-2011, 08:57 AM
Note that runlevels have nothing to do with the GUI... and on Debian-based systems, which Ubuntu is, the standard multiuser runlevel is 2.Guess I am showing my Red Hat background and lack of familiarity with Debian based distros. :p

Red Hat/Fedora has runlevel 3 as text based only - no GUI.

wainuitech
19-09-2011, 09:17 AM
However, most interesting of all is:

sudo wget http://web.lib.sun.ac.za/ubuntu/files/help/theme/gnome/win7-setup.sh

Why say its interesting ?? ( serious) its only the location of the files on a site / their server http://web.lib.sun.ac.za/ubuntu/files/help/theme/gnome/

The last date it was modified according to the site was 07-Aug-2011

wainuitech
19-09-2011, 09:23 AM
But don't feel bad, the Ubuntu devs always manage to break more things than they should anyway.

I would never install anything on Ubuntu unless it specifically tells you which version it's for either (because of the way Ubuntu changes all the damn time) Thems the breaks :D -- I was only playing about killing time. Nothing wrong with ubuntu, although with the regular changes its not surprising things get broken.

wainuitech
19-09-2011, 10:00 AM
Why say its interesting ?? ( serious) its only the location of the files on a site / their server http://web.lib.sun.ac.za/ubuntu/files/help/theme/gnome/

The last date it was modified according to the site was 07-Aug-2011 Ok now I'm more confused by catos answer of { Interesting --sudo wget http://web.lib.sun.ac.za/ubuntu/files/help/theme/gnome/win7-setup.sh} :confused:

Seems pretty straight forward to me - I confess I'm no Linux expert, far from it, but breaking down the commands
after looking them up on google:

sudo =is a Linux command used to execute programs as the root, or "super user." sudo is a shortening of "super user do."

wget = is a free utility for non-interactive download of files from the Web. It supports HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP protocols, as well as retrieval through HTTP proxies.

and the address is where its getting the file(s) from

So the command is being told to work as a super user, with wget obtaining the file from that site.

Why is that "interesting" please :confused:

Chilling_Silence
19-09-2011, 10:03 AM
Themes the breaks :D

Fixed that for ya ;)

Chilling_Silence
19-09-2011, 10:06 AM
Because a .sh is usually a bash script file.

First of all, why does it need to download the file as root. It should download it as a local user, then run it as root if it needs the escalated privileges.

To see what its doing, just open the .sh file in notepad / wordpad.

wainuitech
19-09-2011, 10:18 AM
Thnaks for the answer chill, why it does it like it does -- I dunno, as mentioned I dont know a lot about linux. when you run the other commands

sudo chmod 0755 ~/win7-setup.sh

~/win7-setup.sh


It then downloads the package, a window opens asking advising to press OK, you see a whole lot of activity in the terminal window, then finally you type in

setup-win7-theme

And it does the rest. ( on 10.10 it worked, 11.04 hung)

It actually does a very good job of making ubuntu look like W7, including the start /search function, the control panel is laid out very easy to follow, nothing like the ubuntu original.

So basically its the interface of Windows with the functions of Ubuntu. Anyone changing from Windows to Ubuntu wouldn't hardly notice.

Cato
19-09-2011, 11:44 AM
First of all, why does it need to download the file as root.

Exactly.

wainuitech: It didn't work in 11.04 because gnomenu is not compatible with 11.04.

Erayd
19-09-2011, 05:58 PM
Guess I am showing my Red Hat background and lack of familiarity with Debian based distros. :p Yup :D. Fedora's a pretty good distro though, so nothing wrong with that decision.


Red Hat/Fedora has runlevel 3 as text based only - no GUI.By default yes, but if you want to have runlevel 3 start a GUI, there's nothing stopping you - a runlevel is just a collection of services that init will start / stop when the runlevel is entered. If you want, you can even run a completely runlevel-less system, although you'll need to replace the default init for that.

wainuitech
19-09-2011, 06:26 PM
Exactly.

wainuitech: It didn't work in 11.04 because gnomenu is not compatible with 11.04. Thanks for the information Cato :thumbs:

Agent_24
19-09-2011, 06:32 PM
If you're referring to what I think, it's the gconf editor - Gnome apps have used this config database for years.

Yes that name does sound familiar. I didn't know it was an older program, as I don't believe I've seen it in Ubuntu before 10.04 (but maybe I just didn't look\know!)

Erayd
19-09-2011, 06:58 PM
Yes that name does sound familiar. I didn't know it was an older program, as I don't believe I've seen it in Ubuntu before 10.04 (but maybe I just didn't look\know!)It was definitely there - it's been around for ages - but it hasn't exactly been made obvious.

I personally hate the damn thing - thankfully it's very rare for me to use anything that depends on it; I'm largely a KDE guy.

Agent_24
19-09-2011, 07:25 PM
I liked KDE3 but KDE4 (or at least Kubuntu's implementation of it) was buggy and horrible and slow so I switched to Gnome.

Now with that Unity thing I might not be long before I switch back, apparently Ubuntu 11.10 will not support classic Gnome.

Erayd
19-09-2011, 07:33 PM
I liked KDE3 but KDE4 (or at least Kubuntu's implementation of it) was buggy and horrible...Kubuntu's implementation of it is most likely your problem - KDE has always been very much an afterthought on that platform.

If you want to see a distro that does KDE4 well, take a look at Fedora, openSUSE, or Gentoo.

Note that 4.0 and 4.1 were also complete train-wrecks - they were effectively alpha & beta releases, rather than the final releases that the version numbers would seem to indicate. The first release of KDE4 that could really be considered usable was 4.2.

These days, KDE is at 4.7, and is an extremely stable and fully-featured desktop environment.

mikebartnz
19-09-2011, 08:22 PM
If you want to see a distro that does KDE4 well, take a look at Fedora, openSUSE, or Gentoo.
PCLinuxOS also do a good job of KDE.

Agent_24
19-09-2011, 10:30 PM
I just remembered one weird thing I don't like about KDE4: the thick borders around things... such as when you select a menu item:

3164

The selection area doesn't go all the way to the edges of the item's... area, nor to the edges of the menu itself. Unlike Gnome, or Windows, where the highlighted section encompasses the entire item to the edges of it etc.

I know it makes absolutely no difference to the actual size of things, but for some reason it just makes the interface feel weird and bloated for me in some way, and gives the impression of wasted space.

Do you know what I'm saying, or do I just sound completely crazy? :lol:

Erayd
19-09-2011, 11:35 PM
That's configurable - if it annoys you, just change it :).

Unlike Gnome, KDE doesn't try to dictate what you should use by removing all the options!

Agent_24
20-09-2011, 12:34 AM
But the Kubuntu team probably took away all the options in the spirit of being "user friendly" :rolleyes:

How does one change such an option? I will have to try it out!

Erayd
20-09-2011, 03:05 PM
But the Kubuntu team probably took away all the options in the spirit of being "user friendly" :rolleyes:

How does one change such an option? I will have to try it out!It's part of the Oxygen theme.

If you're talking about the window border size, it can be changed via System Settings >> Workspace Appearance and Behavior >> Workspace Appearance >> Window Decorations >> Oxygen >> Configure Decoration >> General >> Border Size.

If you're talking about the interior menu padding, that's part of the Oxygen theme's default widget style - if this is the issue, the solution is to switch to a widget style that lacks this padding. This can be done via System Settings >> Application Appearance >> Style >> Applications >> Widget Style.

Agent_24
21-09-2011, 01:10 PM
Thanks, I'll download the latest Kubuntu and give that a try!

Cato
21-09-2011, 02:21 PM
Thanks, I'll download the latest Kubuntu and give that a try!

If you want the best KDE implementation, go for OpenSUSE. Kubuntu is fairly lacking, last I looked.

No doubt, you would also like YaST...

Agent_24
21-09-2011, 02:41 PM
No doubt, you would also like YaST...

Hmm, the screen-shots of it do look better than the last time I used Kubuntu's package manager. Can't remember what it was called but it was quite trashy.

Erayd
21-09-2011, 02:51 PM
If you want the best KDE implementation, go for OpenSUSE. Kubuntu is fairly lacking, last I looked.Agreed, Kubuntu is terrible.

I wouldn't consider openSUSE to have the best implementation, but they're definitely one of the top choices if you want a distro that does KDE well. I personally can't stand openSUSE for other reasons, but there's no denying that they do an excellent job with KDE.

Cato
21-09-2011, 02:56 PM
I personally can't stand openSUSE for other reasons

Can I ask why?

Erayd
21-09-2011, 03:56 PM
Can I ask why?Sure - my reasons can be summed up, in a nutshell, as YaST. It doesn't provide options for everything I want to configure, and it can't be relied on not to nuke stuff if I configure it manually.

It also doesn't play nicely with config versioning.