Please, something that just works!

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Please, something that just works!

Postby laofzu on Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:54 am

I have tried a lot of linux distributions over the last few years, and am still looking for one that just works out of the box. By that, I mean no command line fixes, updates, etc. with support for my hardware and applications I want to use. My current frustration is with Linux Mint where the Linux Mint 14 Mate 64 bit version just drops my panel and menu never to be found again and the LMDE version which no longer supports my video card and printer which it did before UP6. I realize that much of this is not the fault of the Linux Mint developers, but it still doesn't let me get my work done each day. I run into similar changes and problems with other distributions. It would be really nice if Linux developers could work together to make sure things work before they release it. Sure, I can use an earlier release like Linux Mint 13 if I can put up with the lack of support for new printers and other devices along with outdated versions of my applications.
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Re: Please, something that just works!

Postby viking777 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:31 pm

If you want something that just 'works out of the box' buy a box with linux already installed - it will work perfectly, if it doesn't you can send it back.

I don't know why this comes up so often, just think about it, if Windows bring out a new version, thousands of hardware manufacturers and tens of thousands of software writers run about like demented demons trying to make their hardware/software compatible with Msoft's new offering or they can't sell their wares. In Linux it is exactly the other way around, linux distro developers are expected to create an operating system that works perfectly with every single one of those thousands of pieces of vastly different hardware all of which has usually been hurriedly designed to work only with the latest version of Windows.

Who has the easiest job Msoft devs or Linux devs?

It is a bloody miracle they do as well as they do but still people complain if they have to work at something a bit to get it going, and you don't even have to pay for Linux.

Level playing field? That'll be right.
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Re: Please, something that just works!

Postby sagirfahmid3 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:30 pm

Something that just works? That would be Debian Squeeze (but Wheezy is stable enough for daily use now).

LMDE is not Debian--it's a mix of crap with snapshotted Debian packages resulting in a lot of breakages and issues.
If you want to use Debian, use plain ol' original Debian, not LMDE. I'm a full-time Debian user now actually, but come on Mint forums to help out anyways.
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Re: Please, something that just works!

Postby laofzu on Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:40 pm

If I purchased a computer with Linux preinstalled, that would only be good until the next round of updates is released. Then my hardware may no longer be supported, new equipment I purchase such as printers may not be supported, etc. Also, the selection of computers available with Linux is pretty limited with most based on Ubuntu which I detest as an option. Price is not an issue as I would gladly pay for a Linux distribution that worked in a reliable manner, and offered applications that were current and fully functional.
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Re: Please, something that just works!

Postby momist on Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:59 pm

@laofzu

I suggest you read our esteemed moderator's post again, and think about whether "price is not an issue". Not that I want to push you into the mainstream.
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Re: Please, something that just works!

Postby lexon on Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:19 pm

laofzu wrote:If I purchased a computer with Linux preinstalled, that would only be good until the next round of updates is released. Then my hardware may no longer be supported, new equipment I purchase such as printers may not be supported, etc. Also, the selection of computers available with Linux is pretty limited with most based on Ubuntu which I detest as an option. Price is not an issue as I would gladly pay for a Linux distribution that worked in a reliable manner, and offered applications that were current and fully functional.


Not a big deal. Dec. 2003 I purchased a desktop with pre-installed Linux from Walmart via online. Eventually I upgraded as I was learning more about Linux. Added Ram was about all I did. Running Mint 13 now. Back up in the back room.
In 2005 I ordered online another desktop with Linux. 3.2g CPU. Still using it now with Mint 14, Mate. Upgraded Ram to 2GB.
I use desktops and laptops as they come from the factory. No special video or audio. The laptops all came from Walmart with a W. OS. One, W2000, one, XP, One Vista. The newest, W7. They all run Mint just fine. I am not a techie type, either. I don't hardly ever use command line.
Both modified with a drive rack but right now all six drives are at my main box. A key to unlock and lock a drive in place. Two 20 Gig drives and four 80 Gig drives. Did this about 6 years ago. Drives were cheap.
External drive for backup.

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Re: Please, something that just works!

Postby laofzu on Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:48 pm

I am glad to hear some people have no issues using Linux. I have used Lycoris, Linspire, Freespire, Xandros, Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, Mageia, SolusOS and numerous other distributions on a dozen or more machines. They all have their good points, but sooner or later, the fatal flaw appears that makes them unsuitable for my purposes. Usually it is something simple like a new printer not supported, an update that means current devices are no longer supported, applications that used to work no longer do so, a radical change in desktop design, etc. The applications I run on a regular basis are as follows:

Firefox
Thunderbird
gFTP
Gimp
Gnucash
Kshisen
Freecol
Widelands
gedit
Rhythmbox

Sometimes, I experiment with Crossover or Playonlinux to run a windows game with mixed results as might be expected.

On my last attempt to find something that works, Linux Mint 14 Mate 64 lost my panel and menu, LMDE would no longer support my video card and had no sound, Fedora wouldn't complete running updates, SolusOS packages wouldn't launch after installation and were out of date, Ubuntu 12.10 worked decently after installing the Mate desktop (I have no tolerance for the Unity desktop) but with double entries for applications in the menus. Those are just the problems I can remember, I am sure there are some I overlooked.
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Re: Please, something that just works!

Postby lexon on Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:58 pm

I have never had any of this issue you have had but I do not try to break the OS either. I am wondering if it is something you are doing and not aware of it.
I do upgrade or switch if I find a OS is working better than what I have been using. Right now, Mint is working just fine, though a little slower as the OS gets larger. Both FF and LibreOfficeWriter are slower are the only issues I am seeing so far but then I am not in a hurry.
Today, change is a constant.

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Re: Please, something that just works!

Postby Hawkeye_52 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:08 pm

laofzu wrote:I have tried a lot of linux distributions over the last few years, and am still looking for one that just works out of the box. By that, I mean no command line fixes, updates, etc. with support for my hardware and applications I want to use. My current frustration is with Linux Mint where the Linux Mint 14 Mate 64 bit version just drops my panel and menu never to be found again and the LMDE version which no longer supports my video card and printer which it did before UP6. I realize that much of this is not the fault of the Linux Mint developers, but it still doesn't let me get my work done each day. I run into similar changes and problems with other distributions. It would be really nice if Linux developers could work together to make sure things work before they release it. Sure, I can use an earlier release like Linux Mint 13 if I can put up with the lack of support for new printers and other devices along with outdated versions of my applications.

Just as a point of interest, what non-linux operating system do you use that provides you with solutions to all your specified frustrations? I would be investigate such an OS for my personal use...

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Re: Please, something that just works!

Postby laofzu on Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:35 am

You are right!!! In retrospect, I have never found another OS that works perfectly out of the box. This goes all the way back to my first computer, a TI 99/4. The Commodore 128, IBM compatibles with DOS, and machines with successive versions of Windows starting with Windows 3.1 all had their frustrating little quirks too. I didn't really mean to pick on Linux, just express my overall frustration with the state of computing in general. If I had to use something other than Linux, right now it would be Windows 7. Not perfect, but less annoying than Windows 8. Right now, I am using LMDE and experimenting with the SolusOS 2 alpha 6 release. LMDE works fairly well once you figure out how to get your non-supported HP printer set up and get the ATI legacy driver installed. I still have to figure out why the sound just quits working at some point. The new ISOs certainly will help make reinstalling LMDE quicker.
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Re: Please, something that just works!

Postby bimsebasse on Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:42 am

Blatantly mis-directed frustration. The responsibility is purely the hardware manufacturer's who often neglect or simply disregard linux support as the market share is not big enough to warrant the extra expenses developing drivers for linux. This is, generally, not a problem Microsoft has - and if you don't understand and acknowledge this before you venture into linux...
Thank you for this thread. That’s all I can say. You most definitely have made this forum into something special. You clearly know what you are doing, you’ve covered so many bases. Thanks!
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Re: Please, something that just works!

Postby 3fRI on Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:16 am

bimsebasse wrote:Blatantly mis-directed frustration. The responsibility is purely the hardware manufacturer's who often neglect or simply disregard linux support as the market share is not big enough to warrant the extra expenses developing drivers for linux. This is, generally, not a problem Microsoft has - and if you don't understand and acknowledge this before you venture into linux...


This rings true. One thing I've noticed since I began using Linux is that what works for one user and his or her hardware may not necessarily work for another.

In the past, I've used both Windows and Apple/Mac OS in varying stages and never had significant problems, but disliked being dependent on the "control" both Windows and Apple had over hardware and apps. I also disliked the bloatware. Using Macs, I've had good luck installing and booting Ubuntu-based distros and everything has pretty much worked "out of the box," albeit sometimes with few tweaks: e.g., sound issues that were easily fixed and finding drivers (when needed) for a printer or other peripherals. On the other hand I've had boot/GRUB issues when trying to boot non-Ubuntu-base and Debian-based distros, but have since managed to find ways to boot (e.g., boot from CD, etc.).

Since any OS and PC is made by humans, I doubt if there's such a things as "perfect." Each person has different preferences and expectations of what works best for him or her. The beauty of Linux is that we have so many choices. Depending on our skill set, there is a distro for everyone (or nearly everyone since some folks aren't satisfied with anything). :roll:
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Re: Please, something that just works!

Postby Rudemeister on Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:28 am

laofzu wrote:If I purchased a computer with Linux preinstalled, that would only be good until the next round of updates is released. Then my hardware may no longer be supported, new equipment I purchase such as printers may not be supported, etc. Also, the selection of computers available with Linux is pretty limited with most based on Ubuntu which I detest as an option. Price is not an issue as I would gladly pay for a Linux distribution that worked in a reliable manner, and offered applications that were current and fully functional.


Linux is free. So complaining this much is like looking a gift horse in the mouth. You could try to persevere and learn how to fix it though. That I would respect. Then again, if this bothers you so much, then buy a PC with Windows on it like the rest of the world's sheep. You could even squander more money by purchasing a Mac. Just shutup and open your wallet.

All the lame complaints I hear from people that think they are entitled to a faultless computer at somebody else' expense are getting old.

Gimme a break.
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Re: Please, something that just works!

Postby laofzu on Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:35 pm

Rudemeister wrote:
laofzu wrote:If I purchased a computer with Linux preinstalled, that would only be good until the next round of updates is released. Then my hardware may no longer be supported, new equipment I purchase such as printers may not be supported, etc. Also, the selection of computers available with Linux is pretty limited with most based on Ubuntu which I detest as an option. Price is not an issue as I would gladly pay for a Linux distribution that worked in a reliable manner, and offered applications that were current and fully functional.


Linux is free. So complaining this much is like looking a gift horse in the mouth. You could try to persevere and learn how to fix it though. That I would respect. Then again, if this bothers you so much, then buy a PC with Windows on it like the rest of the world's sheep. You could even squander more money by purchasing a Mac. Just shutup and open your wallet.

All the lame complaints I hear from people that think they are entitled to a faultless computer at somebody else' expense are getting old.

Gimme a break.


Sounds like someone is having a bad day! No need to be rude.

I do have a computer that came with Windows 7 installed. Got it at a good price too. It is still there if I absolutely need to run a windows application. Linux works better for my business needs, namely web design and hosting. Better tools are installed by default for a hand coder like myself. I prefer LMDE when I can get it to run properly after updates are installed. When I figure out the sound problem, I will be good until the next batch of updates. I used to happily pay for my copy of Xandros which worked very well until the company decided to destroy itself. Liked Lycoris and Linspire too, but they are no longer around. They had many good ideas which unfortunately haven't been picked up by other distributions that I know of.
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Re: Please, something that just works!

Postby Hawkeye_52 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:28 pm

laofzu wrote:...I used to happily pay for my copy of Xandros which worked very well until the company decided to destroy itself. Liked Lycoris and Linspire too, but they are no longer around. They had many good ideas which unfortunately haven't been picked up by other distributions that I know of.

Come on, now! This is the 'those were the good old days' routine. I was around for the Xandros, Lycoris, and Linspire period of linux, and tried them all -- even paying a little for a couple of them. Although they were (occasionally) a welcome respite from Windows, they were far from trouble free. Each had significant difficulty one or more times during their existency. If they really so good, they would still be available. Each one self-destructed for a variety of reasons, all centered around eventual end-user apathy/antipathy. Thank goodness linux progressed in development to the point that there are now multiple distributions which offer excellent alternatives to MS Windows; I have a household that has been running linux exclusively for about seven years or so.

One of you earliest lamentations was for an OS that did not require updates. That would mean a state of static technology. Not a very enticing thought.

Come to think about it, I am ashamed of myself. I have gotten 'baited' into a pointless discussion with a poster who just wants an intellectual wrestling match -- most possibly out of boredom. Shame on me...

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Re: Please, something that just works!

Postby pluraldave on Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:19 pm

laofzu wrote: LMDE works fairly well once you figure out how to get your non-supported HP printer set up.


What's the model number? I've never head of support actually being withdrawn for an HP printer before.
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Re: Please, something that just works!

Postby mockturtl on Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:53 pm

sagirfahmid3 wrote:LMDE is not Debian--it's a mix of crap with snapshotted Debian packages resulting in a lot of breakages and issues.
Horsefeathers, codswallop and poppycock.
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Re: Please, something that just works!

Postby zeke on Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:36 am

Some of the attitudes exhibited here are ludicrous. Like it or not, linux is a product. Many of the people working on it and distributing it make money off it, either directly or indirectly. It is perfectly reasonable to want such a product to work reliably. laofzu is far from the only person to be frustrated by the "now it works, now it doesn't" behavior of linux. I spoke recently with a former unix person who now works with linux at my workplace and despises it for that reason. Every time an update comes out they have to spend a couple of weeks dealing with all the things that no longer work - and this is with an enterprise grade distribution.
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Re: Please, something that just works!

Postby bimsebasse on Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:47 am

If you have spent money on a Linux distro, that's your problem, and the issue is best taken up with those distros. Mint is free. I have issues with Mint great and small but you can't really moan about something that is offered to you for free, especially not hardware support which is almost entirely out of Mint's hands.
Thank you for this thread. That’s all I can say. You most definitely have made this forum into something special. You clearly know what you are doing, you’ve covered so many bases. Thanks!
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Re: Please, something that just works!

Postby zeke on Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:05 am

bimsebasse wrote:If you have spent money on a Linux distro, that's your problem, and the issue is best taken up with those distros. Mint is free. I have issues with Mint great and small but you can't really moan about something that is offered to you for free, especially not hardware support which is almost entirely out of Mint's hands.


Yes, nobody is obligated to pay directly for Mint or most others. On the other hand, users provide revenue to Mint (for example) either directly thru donations, or indirectly thru viewing ads and using Yahoo to search, so you could argue that users deserve a viable product, free or not. The Mint web site explicitly creates expectations that Mint "works out of the box, with full multimedia support and is extremely easy to use", so it shouldn't be surprising that users might be upset if those expectations aren't fulfilled. If nothing else, it's in the best interests of anybody trying to make a living from linux to produce something that is as attractive as possible. If the attitude of anybody in that position is "Well, it's free, so we don't care if it works - if it's broken and you don't want to fix it yourself then screw you", they're doomed to fail. If the various commercial linux concerns can't continue to make a go of it, then welcome to 1995, when it was orders of magnitude more difficult to work with.
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