[ubuntu-uk] Ubuntu/Linux is still not an OS for the masses - discuss

Melv Bailey melvbailey at googlemail.com
Wed Oct 13 10:28:38 BST 2010


My first post and its only as a result of frustration with Ubuntu.

I would like to post here a post I posted in the Ubuntu forums which got 
no repsonse other than "load the NVidia driver" (not the point of the 
original post, and how since I had a totally black screen with a mouse 

Sorry if this seems a bit of a rant but there is now another new version 
Of Ubuntu that STILL does not address the fundamentals of running on a 
range of hardware that is fine for Windows.

This has caused me a problem since 8.04 (7.10 is the last version I have 
run sort of successfully without having to jump through VGA driver hoops 
but I did have to jump through wireless drivers hoops and didnt solve them).

I know VGA drivers seem to be a massive problem for Linux, but there 
does not seem to be a way to solve it. How do you install other drivers 
when the default drivers dont work - why is there no VGA mode option at 
boot time like (dare I say it) Windows. Why does it load with VGA 
drivers it knows wont work (and if it does not know, why does it not 
know, Windows does). I have tried the live CD on a laptop (old ATI 
mobile graphics) and a PC with NVidia 6800 both give me black screens 
with a mouse pointer. Earlier versions of Ubuntu give me various results 
from tiny images multiple times to psycodelic stripes. The laptop runs 
WinXP fine, and Win7 in VGA mode. The PC runs WinXP and Win7 perfectly 
with Aero (incidentally Win7 is faster).

I am a Windows programmer/customer support technician with 22 years of 
PC experience (started as a hardware technician) all of it enduser 
facing so know their capabilities (or lack of). I keep trying to dabble 
in Linux but dont get very far in the little time I have (family) so I 
dont have hours of spare time to solve problems that should not exist). 
I know I can google and can find various commandline ways to force other 
drivers on (but only after I have installed it - and the live CD is 
meant to be a trial), what hope is there for the novice you are trying 
to encourage. It seems from the many blogs and forums my experiences are 
far from rare.

Maybe I am missing some startup option but Ubuntu has done its best to 
hide them. The funny little icon at the bottom meaning to press a key to 
get some startup options, and noapci, nomodeset, etc are of course terms 
that even the most novice of users would understand arent they!

Maybe if you have the latest dogs bo**ocks hardware Ubuntu will work (I 
and most of the people I know dont, especially not our business users) 
but Linux is "advertised" as being better than Windows because it is 
able to run on older and less able hardware, however I cant even get it 
to run on Harware that is more than able to run Windows 7. I have never 
yet failed to get a picture when installing Windows - any version, any 
PC of minimum spec for the version. It may only be 640*480 4 colour but 
at least I can see to sort it out, with Ubuntu you're truely "in the dark".

My years of enduser experience tells me that the CD will of hit the 
bottom of the bin before Windows has got back to the desktop, for people 
who fail to see a working (even if limited) desktop when trying the live CD.

Tell me I am doing it all wrong and simple by doing .... it will work on 
Remember Ubuntu is aimed at the masses who have little computer 
experience. I know lots of people who could install any version of 
Windows and end up with a working desktop (maybe not optimum but 
working). Very few of those people could solve this one, and would not 
even install Ubuntu if the Live CD didnt "work".
End of Quotes

I have now tried the live CD on a Phenom X2 PC with integrated AMD 785G 
graphics and I did get to the desktop, so I installed.  However after 
the successful install when I restarted the monitor just showed "out of 
range" and that was that.  This is a current chipset, not an old machine.
I then tried the live CD on a NEC Powermate PC with SIS integrated 
graphics and just get "out of range" on the monitor.

This gives a 4 out of 4 failure rate.  Why does Ubuntu try the be clever 
and set some weird video mode - what wrong with 1024*768 16bit colour 
that all these machines can run.  Or if it insists on doing this why is 
there no boot option to force VGA mode like Windows for times when 
things go wrong.

In view of the amount of posts regarding problems installing and getting 
working, and with more than 90% of solutions requiring the commandline 
and editing files (with vi they have no chance!) Ubuntu and Linux will 
never reach the masses.  Also remember only very few will seek an 
answer, most will bin and forget.

I am not trolling here, I keep telling my bosses that any development 
changes with our software (small commercial EPOS systems) must keep the 
door open to produce a Linux version in the future, but I am beginning 
to think that Linux will never be ready for the masses.

I would like other peoples opinions on this.

Rant over, it did turn out as one didnt it.

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