distrowatch comment: "Ubuntu Breezy Badger - is it too dumbed down? "

Cefiar cef at optus.net
Tue Dec 20 09:55:59 GMT 2005

On Tuesday 20 December 2005 20:19, Scott wrote:
> The "build essential" package is a tad bewildering to a number of users
> new to Ubuntu, but not to Linux.  Why?  Because they've not used a Linux
> distribution that didn't include GCC or make in the default installation.
> I was chatting with a Fedora Core 4 user recently and he said something
> to the effect that it was "lame and inexcusable" that Ubuntu didn't
> include these in the default installation.
> That came up when I was raving about how awesome U/Kubuntu is.  That was
> practically the first thing out of his mouth.  He said he "refused" to
> give a distro a glance that didn't come with GCC and make.

For some of these things, it would be nice to have some sort of notification 
that a program has been called that isn't installed. Basically a stub 
executable that logs what it was called as (eg: via a symlink) and does 
something with the details. This could be handled either as an auditable log, 
or that sends something to a user process that can announce the fact that 
something tried to call that executable, and what packages need to be 
installed to provide that executable (eg: gcc), plus any "suggested" packages 
(eg: build-essential).

The auditable log is a great additional boon on a server when someone gets in 
and tries to figure out what is installed on a machine. You find out what 
common stuff they're looking for without having it installed.

> I thought it was a bit over the top, but he does make (no pun intended)
> a good point.  To the best of my knowledge, we're not even talking about
> 10 mb worth of files here. I would "build-essential" could easily be
> included in the default installation.

Yeah but first it's gcc, then it's something else and then something else 
again, and then suddenly we've got the same problem Fedora has, which is that 
it's too damn big. I like having an installer that fits on a CD and also 
having lots of free disk space on my machine when all I want is a 

 Stuart Young - aka Cefiar - cef at optus.net

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