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Ubuntu: the new universal OS?

Also da befinden sich die Mitarbeiter der Telekom nun im Streik, weil Herr Obermann die Service-Qualität für die Kunden verbessern möchte, da diese ihm scharenweise davonlaufen. Dazu sollen die Telekom-Mitarbeiter nun länger zu einem niedrigen Lohn arbeiten. Diese sind verständlicherweise davon weniger begeistert, daß sie die schwerwiegenden Managementfehler der letzten Jahre ausbaden sollen.

Wir hier wollen hingegen zurück in den Schoß von Mutter ·T···, obwohl wir bei der vielgelobten Konkurrenz mit unserem DSL sind - aber eben auch nur mit dem DSL und nicht mit dem gesamten Anschluß, denn das Telefon kommt immer noch von der Telekom.
Nun ist es aber so, daß Telekom und in unserem Fall Alice sich bei Störungen den Ball gegenseitig zuspielen. Nicht, daß wir übermaäßig viele Störungen gehabt hätten, aber wenn alles aus einer Hand geliefert wird, ist das halt unproblematischer.

Na, jedenfalls hatten wir letztens unser Reseller-DSL bei Alice gekündigt. Lustigerweise können wir aber nur einen T-DSL Anschluß bestellen, wenn wir die Kündigungsbestätigung von Alice haben. Die ist aber noch immer nicht eingetroffen. Eine telefonische Nachfrage hat letztens ergeben, daß die Kündigungsbestätigung 6 Tage vor Vertragsende zugeschickt wird. Warum? Das weiß wohl niemand so recht. Es ist aber davon auszugehen, daß die Telekom auch nicht soooo schnell sein wird, um das DSL innerhalb von 2-4 Tagen zu liefern - nicht vor dem Streik, nicht während des Streiks und nicht nach dem Streik.

Also wollte ich nun bei der Alice Hotline erfragen, ob es möglich wäre, die Kündigung wegen des Telekom-Streiks aufzuschieben. Nachdem ich mir nun all die tollen Ansagen angehört und mich mühsam durch das computergesteuerte Telefonmenü gehangelt habe, kommt die lapidare Ansage, daß derzeit der Anruf nicht entgegen genommen werden kann, weil alle Plätze belegt seien. Toll! Dafür verschwendet Alice meine wertvolle Zeit?! Wieso geht denn dann überhaupt der Computer ran und meldet nicht einfach, daß besetzt ist?
Immerhin hat die Alice-Hotline eine 0800-Nummer... *sigh*

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Its important to note that Ubuntu is not competing with Debian the way Coke competes with Pepsi.

Ubuntu is based on Debian and makes its changes available to Debian albeit in a format not all Debian developers like. While it may be competition, there's still an awful lot of cooperation.

I'm a happy Debian user, and while I have Ubuntu on one laptop, I don't see why so many Debian developers fear and loathe Ubuntu. Its all open source (except those pesky non-free drivers). And in the cases of Ubuntu and Debian the differences are slim to the naked eye. (branding and release schedule mostly)

It's not a competition like Pepsi/Coke - yet! But Ubuntu becomes more and more a replacement of Debian - even as a base for other distributions. And the importance of Ubuntu will raise in the same amount as the one of Debian will lower, because the project can't cope with its own problems.

I think Mark was always pretty open about the fact that Ubuntu wasn't meant to be a "better desktop Debian"; it was supposed to be a "better Debian", full stop. Witness the rate at which new "variants" such as the LTSP Edubuntu have been grafted onto the mothership. Ubuntu's scope is widening as fast as its user base.

The big hope, of course, is that there will eventually be a merge (of some sort). Both projects have identical goals, spreading freedom to every computing device and person on Earth. The vitality of Ubuntu combined with the sheer technical excellence of Debian is what everyone really wants in the end.

- Chris

I keep installing Ubuntu on new hardware, and after a few weeks, wiping it out and putting Debian on instead, because Debian has fewer bugs. And when I say bugs, I mean entire-system-is-rendered-useless bugs, like "a point release of the kernel package broke all the relevant network drivers for this laptop." No joke! Actually happened to me! I'm not going to consider Ubuntu serious competition for Debian until they stop doing this.

So why don't I just start with Debian? Well, it's the shiny, you see. An Ubuntu initial install *appears* more functional than a Debian initial install, because they've done a better job of making the default installation include everything a typical desktop user needs, and none of the bugs have reared their ugly heads yet. I've been tracking Debian unstable since 1998 and I know how to get almost all of the same shiny installed (I still can't get any suspend mode working and have chronic issues with printers), but it is definitely more work.

As an extreme example of the above, my girlfriend, who is no n00b, uses Ubuntu because she could not persuade the Debian installer to install any sort of GUI. I have no idea how that could have happened (my memory is that you have to work at it to get it *not* to) but clearly there's something wrong there.

I think it was always clear that Mark was poaching reputation and talent from Debian to build himself a business. That's exactly what he did with Apache and Thawte. Proprietary display drivers provide the exact situation that encyption patents provided before. Eventually, much to Mark's benefit, Thawte disappeared.

Free Software started as a reaction against the concept that you must have a centralized for-profit organization to control the process of building software. In the end the "weakness" of Debian (concensus via discussion, lack of heirarchy and lack of profit motive) is exactly what makes it important and technically excellent.

Unfortunately it doesn't make it shiny.

I don't see how the differences can be merely called "slim to the naked eye. (branding and release schedule mostly)". For example, with Ubuntu if you double-click on an unsupported audio or video format file it offers to install the necessary package to play that file. Where as Debian would refuse to play it, not even at least suggest a package to install to be able to play it.

Universal OS ? Perhaps, but they're lacking a few archs...

As uno says they are lacking archs that debian supports and that makes the debian release cycle longer .
I find debian's approach suits both corporates and power users. A stable, less bugs branch and an unstable one. But Ubuntu cannot make the claim about bugs since they rush through releases.

About Sam Hocevar the new DPL :
If you can read french, here is the transcript of an interview given to a french lug (rotomalug)
http://possinium.free.fr/samdpl.html

Summary:
- Debian must become sexy
- attract new users who don't like austerity
- but don't sacrifice our technical excellence
- he wants DD and Debian users to stop saying "We don't need to transform thoses parts of to Debian to make them simple, because people must learn by themselves, because if we (people) are competent, we know how it works"
- Linux is no more for "tweakers" only but for ordinary people too.

(my translation is not perfect)

If Ubuntu should be seen as competition for Debian, then Debian should remove Ubuntu Developers at least from crucial parts of Debian infrastructure.

Even the example you gave above is partly in the hands of people that have to divide their time between those two projects.

Well said, Chris! However, the more I ponder it, I think that if this were to happen, Debian As We Know It(TM) would be no more.

You'd just have a more solid Ubuntu, that's all. Ubuntu is more or less a superset of Debian (Policy creation/adherence the one notable exception, IMHO).

I personally perfer and use Debian (the distro I've clocked-up the most GNU/Linux hours on). However, I suspect that -- like myself -- many Debian users are secretly (or openly!) jealous of the coolness and ease of Ubuntu.

It's not so much the code -- it's the organisation. Ubuntu is too much of a closed-shop for Debian, and I don't really see this changing.

They're also lacking a few kernels... :)

There are several projects to support kernel others than linux in Debian.

I really can't wait to see kFreeBSD(*) as an official architecture for lenny.

Minix3 and L4 are some _very_ interesting projects too (although they are far from offical).

(*) well kFreeBSD should have been official in etch but contrast arose between the port developer and the FTP masters.

No, I do not think Ubuntu is the Universal OS, nor that it is a Debian competitor.

It's not the Univeral OS because it lacks support for many arch and kernels (I mean other than linux).

It's not a Debian competitor because they have different goals (extreme user-frienliness vs. technical excellence and stability) and different userbases.

I am an enthusiast Debian user but I usually recommend Ubuntu to my less technical friends.
That's 'cause I want a distro that lets me understand what happens under the hood and I want to tailor it to my needs while they just want some eye-candy and a tool to get their job done.

As much as I do not like it and wouldnot use it myself I really wish Ubuntu success and I hope Debian and Ubuntu will profit from their collaboration.

[i]Ubuntu is more or less a superset of Debian (Policy creation/adherence the one notable exception, IMHO).[/i]

But that's just it. Policy is IMO the most important thing Debian's got going for it. It's what makes it possible to have - what is it, now, 21,000 packages? and still be the most reliable Linux distribution around. Ubuntu's sloppy habits are what cause the problems I was complaining about downthread.

Agreed!

Please disregard my previous comment and just re-read muzzle's instead!

I think ubuntu offers a real chance for a mass adoption of Linux. It needs some thing like automatix to allow users to play windows based games out of the box. Once that is done the true mass adoption begins.

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