Some of my Kubuntu-Hoary tweaks

Jonathan Byrne jbyrne at
Sat Apr 16 01:00:03 UTC 2005

On Friday 15 April 2005 13:31, Abdullah Ramazanoglu wrote:

> I believe this is addressing *the* most strategical, even vital,
> decision Kubuntu will have to take. Namely, "Exactly for whom is
> Kubuntu?" We, established Linux user base, can do well and be happy
> (from pragmatical POV) with just about any Linux distro. I don't
> *need* Kubuntu for myself, and I guess neither you do. There are
> already a boatload of Linux distros out there, which I could use
> equally well. So what am I doing here in Kubuntu? What's so special
> about it?

For me, what's so special about (K)ubuntu is the technical elegance, you 
just pour it in and it works (well, except on Dell Optiplex boxes, in 
which case you'll have to hack xorg.conf if you want X to work, I've 
seen this on several different models from SX260 through SX280). 

I don't mind the standard Debian installer (not even the old one), but 
the way Ubuntu does it is just so cool I have to use it :)

> For me, it's the potential promise of Kubuntu becoming the ultimate
> "casual desktop end-user" distro.

Yeah, I think that's great, and it's one of the things I like about it, 
too.   APT is what makes Debian really special, it blows away urpmi and 
anything else I've seen. However, it's not nearly as widely used as RPM 
because the only distros that have made it easy to get Debian on your 
system have (mostly) been ones you have to buy because they include 
proprietary bits.  They are excellent distros, but the price does 
really limit market penetration.

Ubuntu is Debian Made Easy (not just [Ff]ree), and its explosive 
popularity is a testament to how much this was needed. 

A key to Ubuntu's success, besides it's quality, is that it appeals to 
both the novice and the seasoned Linux user.  *Lots* of people have 
dumped Debian Sid or Sarge either wholly or in part, to run Ubuntu 
instead.  Like any free distro, (K)ubuntu is community supported, and 
that means we need experienced users around to help the newcomers.

I've been using Linux since 1997, and I've seen excellent forums nearly 
destroyed when they became so newbie-focused that they drove away most 
of the people who had been helping the newbies.  Tilting totally toward 
beginners isn't the way Ubuntu will continue its rapid advance; it will 
continue it the same way it has gotten this far: by being accessible to 
both newcomers and old hands.

Therefore, things like this:

> their part. For example I'm a considerable vi user, but I promote vi
> (along with emacs and all) excluded from the CD in favor of nano

Are just Wrong (TM).  Go ahead and exclude emacs if you must, though ;)
(Just kidding.) Seriously, though, you should always have vi because 
it's just what anyone experienced with *nix expects to find on any 
system, and if things are really borked and you can't get to the 
Internet and  you need to fix things, it's way more comfortable to fix 
them in vi. I can use Nano (it's a Pico clone), but it's pretty painful 
compared to vi.

Pretty much all development packages are excluded from the CD, which 
while I support that, it is a bit of a PITA.

If vi were to be kept out too, I'd like to see it as part of a 
meta-package called developer-tools (actually, this is a great idea 
anyway, IMO), which would in a single apt-get install give you the 
development kitchen sink: all the languages, gcc et al, IDEs, 
development libs, the works.  This would be along the lines of what you 
got with the old Red Hat (I've never installed Fedora, but I imagine it 
does that, too) Development Workstation installer option.

Or, put different profiles in the installer: Default (what we get now), 
Development Workstation, Server (already available), maybe one or two 

> While we're at it, (fasten your seat belt, don't fall down :) I also
> promote any and all console tools totally excluded from the CD except
> the ones cruicial for system maintenance for which there's no GUI

Better to have two CDs and throw in the kitchen sink :)

OK, we probably don't really need that, but no matter what we put on top 
(for example, I think the KDE menus could be pared down even further), 
the under the hood stuff that experienced users expect in any distro 
should stay.  If I had to apt-get install everything, I (and probably 
others) would probably go elsewhere.



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