My personal hopes for Intrepid

Paul Smith paul at
Mon Jul 14 14:02:12 UTC 2008

I realize that Intrepid is already well on its way and it's late for any
change in direction.  However, I still would just like to get my hopes
for Intrepid out there.  Maybe they'll have to wait for Jazzy Jackrabbit
but hopefully not.

My main goal: Enterprise Readiness.  I want a great desktop that I can
start to seriously convince people to migrate to at work, away from Red
Hat Enterprise.  RHEL is a fine distribution but as a desktop it's
simply too dated (even the Workstation versions).  On the other hand,
they really "get" the enterprise requirements and their systems are very
simple for IT departments to deploy.  For the most part they just work.
I don't want Ubuntu to copy RH etc.; I want us to go beyond them!

Note I don't care if I have to install a bunch of extra packages.  I
realize the CD has limited space and it needs to be geared towards a
wider audience; that's fine.  I can give people an "aptitude install"
line they can cut and paste, or whatever.  What I _don't_ want is a
bunch of "after-market" customizations made by editing config files by
hand, etc., which is what we have to do today.

1. Proper multilib
By "proper" I mean LSB compliant, so it's portable/interoperable with
all the other major distributions of Linux (RH, SuSE, etc.)  Only Debian
and, by extension, Ubuntu get this wrong.

2. Switch to autofs5
It's more than time to make this switch.  For Hardy, this version isn't
even packaged!

3. Fix NetworkManager
I've ranted about this elsewhere and I'm tired, but if we insist on
modifying every network-based application on the system to work with NM,
rather than fixing NM to work well with all the other applications, then
lets get on with it already!  For example, autofs is still utterly
unreliable with NM in Hardy if your maps are distributed via network

4. Fix DHCP client
The DHCP client in Hardy is missing a number of important DHCP options
for proper enterprise readiness.  Bugs are filed:

5. Fix NIS for DHCP
NIS currently can't be configured by DHCP.  More and more enterprises
are moving to DHCP-based configuration for all clients, and Ubuntu is
behind other Linux distros in this area.

Then there are a few other things which I'm sure are being worked on:
for example the fact that you can't browse Samba servers that require
login anymore in Hardy, like you could before (some deficiency in the
new Gnome vfs backend or something?).

Anyway that's my personal wishlist.  I'm willing to propose patches for
the bugs in #4 and #5, although for #5 I can only produce the hook
scripts, while the comments seem to imply that more detailed dpkg work
is needed for a complete solution.

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