KC KDE #43 is Up

KC KDE issue #43 is out
featuring everything from KDE 3.1's new look, the future of multimedia in KDE, a refitted Konqi, math app news, mouse news, and much more.
Get it here.

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by Andrew (not verified)

When you install the system you have to click on advanced or custom setup to install KDE. Gnome is very much the default. It takes a special effort to get KDE installed. So they provide OPTIONS for those few that want them. No confusion.

Also it is really is supported for those who want KDE. They have not just thrown it in there as kind of a half hearted gesture like SuSE does with GNOME.

by ac (not verified)

Then why did they cripple KDE anyway?

by Spark (not verified)

They didn't. Why don't you just try it? Testers say so far that KDE integration is fine. Don't tell me that removing the help->about box will cripple the desktop. And all other changes can be reverted with a click of the mouse (by switching themes and/or placing launchers to the panel).

by OI (not verified)

Usually the support for a standard is better. This will of course be the case for gnome/kde in RedHat as well.

by antialias (not verified)

Ian Geiser: It has been whispered in the trees...

Navindra Umanee: What, what?

Ian Geiser: RedHat's new beta includes a KDE version that is made to look like GNOME. Icons, widget-style and kicker apps have been replaced...

Navindra Umanee: Oh dear god, that's horrible.

Ian Geiser: Whats even cooler is they removed the about KDE, so you dont know you are running KDE...

Roberto Alsina: It is like Stalin removing his dead enemies from official pictures.

Ian Geiser: They are destroying KDE...

Roberto Alsina: It is a violation of section 6 of the LGPL !

Ian Geiser: It time to take a more agressive stance on packageing so we can keep some control how KDE looks.

Navindra Umanee: Can you give me full details on the changes? Have you tried this beta?

Ian Geiser: Mostly off of what I have heard on IRC. I was planning on downloading this weekend...

Ac: Cripping the KDE DESKTOP is not okay.

Ian Geiser: It's pretty obvious they are looking to shut down KDE for good here.

Roberto Alsina: As for the reason... I don't care about the reason all that much, in abstract.

Ian Geiser: Our liberal packageing policy has allowed them to fork KDE and trash it for the world to see.

Ac: RedHat has turned KDE into a cheap and broken rip-off of GNOME

Roberto Alsina: Until they explain, I am pissed.

Navindra Umanee: This is bad. Why are they doing this? They seem to be actively trying to destroy us by making us look bad. What is the point of all these stupid changes to cripple KDE and make us look like (or worse than) GNOME?

Roberto Alsina: Red Hat puts Red Hat icons on the desntop, that take you to the Red Hat site, a Red Hat icon from where you start all apps, and generally puts that silly guy with the hat everywhere. Branding.

Ac: RedHat has replaced Konqueror and KMail by Mozilla and Evolution in the default KDE desktop. Who will *want* to use KDE after this?

Dr_lha: Hey - I've done that myself. Personally I believe that Mozilla and Evolution are better than Konquerer and KMail for their allotted tasks. I'm still a staunch KDE user - does using the best tools for the job make me a bad person?

Jordy Potman: So Konquerer does not have an About KDE dialog, KDevelop does have an About KDE dialog.

Janne: Red Hat has done the same thing to Gnome as it has to KDE, i.e. replaced the default look'n'feel, menu system and so on with their own designs. If you're worried that KDE now looks like Gnome, rest assured that it doesn't. Indeed, the most common complaint among Gnomers is that it makes Gnome look far too much like KDE. :)


by Josh (not verified)

Well done!! The silliness and hysteria is a hoot! This reminds me of the Charles Samuels fret about RedHat at a tradeshow a couple of weeks ago (http://www.ofb.biz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=148). It took the intervention of Kurt Granroth to sort that mess out. Perhaps Kurt will be called on to sort this one out as well.

It's probably just the inexperience and limited worldview of the younger KDE developers that gets them into such a spin. I'm 100% certain that RedHat wants to give credit where credit is due. Start a frickin' dialogue instead of wetting your pants everytime that a distro does something. The beauty of open source development is that we can see everything, but we may not understand the motivations of what everyone else is doing in their derivative works from our original work. But that's OK...that's why dialogue closes potential gaps in unfinished open source products.

We are co-dependents -- the distros need good products like KDE just as much as KDE depends on the distros to continue to get onto hardware. The distros bear the cost of support -- so the RedHat move to provide similarity between its Gnome desktop and its KDE desktop will cut into its overall support costs. As this Linux phenomenon grows, even the KDE developers have returned to focusing on the apps and being selective with how they interact with the KDE users (i.e., support). Linux and KDE are growing exponentially and the support costs will grow that way too.

I see this RedHat effort as a good step. Redhat will provide credit/attribution, but the KDE developers need to provide some give and take in how that is most practical given the support issue I mentioned above. Most developers are focused on a single app rather than the overall desktop solution and may feel overly strongly about the "About ..." dialog box. Perhaps some negotiation ending up with a documented solution through the KDE style guide will provide a common means for distros to provide support information as well as providing the attribution that the KDE developers 100% do need.

by Charles Samuels (not verified)

> This reminds me of the Charles Samuels fret about RedHat at a tradeshow a couple of weeks ago...

Excuse you, I didn't make any decisions in that event minus asking my fellow KDE developers. I replied with the collective the decision of those developers.

by Spark (not verified)

Maybe he meant the webpage you created ("Linux for idiots") if this was you.

by Josh (not verified)

I didn't make any decisions in that event minus asking my fellow KDE developers. I replied with the collective the decision of those developers.

Hey, thanks for the update Charles - "I didn't do it, they made the decision for me". It is always a challenge as a leader to set the example. If you f*** up, take responsibility. People respect you more when you're humble and a contributor than when you blame others.

You're a star programmer in the Noatun project -- but in dealing with business folks, you're at square one. Learn from it, profit by the experience. Take a quiet off-line moment and think about where you could have stopped the train. Kurt saved the day, but you could have too.

by Anonymous (not verified)

> It's probably just the inexperience and limited worldview of the younger KDE developers that gets them into such a spin.

You should make a list who holds such view and then look who is actually a KDE developer. You won't find more than two or three, far away from being representative for whole KDE team.

by Brett Foster (not verified)

If you develop open source software (depending on the license, in this case LGPL) of course some people are going to do things with it that you don't like. I think this is one of those little things that people don't (and should) consider before choosing a license for their products.

The above poster, Josh, is right when he says that KDE should talk to RedHat and address their concerns.

by anonymous (not verified)

It would be very silly (and reminiscent of Microsoft) for KDE developers to clench up and try to stop Redhat from doing what is needed by changing licenses.

by Ben (not verified)

You all seem really pissed, but what for? You want KDE to look a certain way, then YOU make it that way. Don't like Red Hat's pre-packaged version? Don't buy Red Hat then; it's as simple as that. There's billions of linux distros out there (as well as other operating systems), and you're more than welcome to get off your lazy arses and find one that you like better.

by John (not verified)

"get off your lazy asses" I'm not concerned about the productivity of my ass other than making me full of stuff. I'm concerned about lazy minds. It would appear that everyone is operating from just two views 1)this is horrible 2)this is OK get used to it. How does one show support or lack of support about a program? One buys and uses or doesn't buy and use it. If this is horrible, the distribution will reflect it, if it is a pretty good deal the same will apply. But I would stand with those who feel that expressing concern before a release is more appropriate than complaining after the release.

by Chris Parker (not verified)

If you are REALLY concerned with people changing around the look of KDE, make it a proprietary desktop. Until then, people can do what they want to it.

Yea, RH should put back the About KDE box, but other thatn that, I really do not see anything wrong.

by Anonymous (not verified)

Not to nitpick, but if I'm running WindowMaker, Enlightenment, or any other
environment than KDE, what is the advantage of the "About KDE" dialog being
available from KMail?

by zoyd (not verified)

Why do the KDE folks have to get hysterical every now and then.
Those who think RedHat's KDE mod looks like GNOME, are out of
their mind. Both, KDE and GNOME have very distinct looks.
And this RedHat thing looks like neither.
Now, Ximian Inc. has their own GNOME distribution with their
own Rupert logo, icons and themes everywhere. No one seem to
bother, because they're done very well. I love Ximian GNOME.
Unfortunately KDE doesn't have anything like that. I think
The Kompany could do something about that.
As far as RedHat's mods go, I bet no GNOME/KDE user is going
to like that. I hope RedHat wakes up and makes sure that the
default look is available as an option. RedHat is entitled to
make such changes, there's nothing wrong with that.
Remember, In the Free Software world the developers and users
are King.

by Spark (not verified)

"I bet no GNOME/KDE user is going
to like that. I hope RedHat wakes up and makes sure that the
default look is available as an option."

It _is_ optional!
Besides, I'm using most of RedHat's themes right now as they are simply excellent (on a Gentoo system, I'm not a RedHat user). Not the icons though. I like the default GNOME icons better but the RedHat ones aren't _that_ terrible either.

by Florian W. (not verified)

Well, I like this ... I don't care about KDE and GNOME stuff, I want to get my stuff done ... I like evolution more than ... what was the name ... yes KMail and so I want to use that. But I don't like it, that starting KDE brings a complete different desktop than GNOME ... that's bullshit. I want to have a common configuration dialog, where I can configure my web-browser, my file-manager, my email, etc.
I like having a choice, but I hate if I have to reconfigure my hole stuff after changing. Why have I to configure Evolution and KMail ? Why doesn't get KMail it´s data from an central place, common to KDE & GNOME ?

Regards Florian

At least in GNOME, the default look is supposed to
still be available by chaning a GConf key. I'm not as
familiar with KDE, but presumably there should be
something similar. Whether or not it will be available
from a menu or gui configuration dialog that typical
users are likely to find is another question.

by Jeremy Martin (not verified)

I really dont like gnome and it looks like my favorite distro is pushing gnome. I have been checking kdes ftp site for a while now and i have noticed that there is not any kde rpms for red hat. I know that red hat does make the rpms for its distro and is supposed to ftp them to the kde ftp server but perhaps kde employees could do this instead seeing red hats view on the issue. I would love to continue using kde and i wish red hat would keep the kde rpms current. I could use another distro but the sad thing is Red Hat is the north american choice for a gnu/linux distro. I really dont like mandrake much for many reasons. That pretty much leaves me with SuSE. (im basing my distro choices on the availablity of current updates and applications that you dont have to work with much to get to work with the distro) I never really had any problems with SuSE other than its outragous pricing. I dont want to pay nearly 80 dollars for a linux distro.

I was basicly wondering if it would be possible for someone to keep us Red Hat users current on kde rpms since Red Hat has no intention on doing so.

by Imaginative Pyt... (not verified)

SuSE is made in Germany; Germany has high wages and a strong currency. Notice that many other German products (which are of quite high quality mind you - but *still* vastly overpriced) are outrageously expensive: BMW, Hugo Boss, Mercedes-Benz, etc.

Just be glad SuSE is not made in Geneva - it costs 5$ for a glass of orange juice there! A Swiss Linux distro would likely cost 200$ ...

by Living in Geneva (not verified)

OOpppsss stop !!!

I live in geneva, and if you have had a orange juice for 5$, you have been in the wrong place, like the Noga Hilton or something like that! The price is more 2-3$.

And I HATE to hear that Geneva is expensive, because other city are more expensive (London for exemple...).

so don't begin to move out of the discussion. All the people here are talking about kde/gnome/redhat stuff.

And next time you are going to drink a bottle water in geneva for 10$, tell us please that you were in a 5 star hotel...

A geneva's advocat :-D

by David Pastern (not verified)

Suse 8 pro is crap. Total crap. Their service and support is what I strongly consider pathetic and i'm less than impressed with the product - to the point where I strongly considered taking it back to the Australian Fair trading tribunal. In the end I said *uck it, I just won't ever buy an Suse product again - and I will NOT recommend their products to friends/family/relatives. If anyone wants to query my problems with Suse 8 pro, feel free to email me at [email protected] and I'll fill you in.


by Denis B (not verified)

I strongly disagree with you.

I have tried the following distros so far :

- RedHat (5.2 -> 7.3)
- Mandrake (7.x -> 8.x)
- Gentoo (1.1)
- Debian (2.2 & 3.0 / Potato & Woody)
- Slackware (8.0)
- SuSE 8.0

Currently I find Debian the best suited production server distro by far.
Nothing beats the stability and thoroughness of debian when it comes to a server. The extensive package base is a great boon, and well.. apt / dselect are just great !

For my working desktops however I am currently running SuSE 8.0 and RedHat 7.3. The latter is simply around still because I havent got myself to replace it with SuSE.. The SuSE 8.0 Pro package is possibly the best software purchase deal I ever did. Highly polished installation, but gives you flexibility anyhow.
Great KDE packages, great rate of updates for KDE, nice update tool (apt would've been even better though ;-)

I liked the bleeding edgeness of Gentoo, but it's not for my everyday desktop.. SuSE is better suited to that, because it works just like it should, as a great _tool_ ..


by jmk (not verified)

> nice update tool (apt would've been even better though ;-)


It works.

by David Pastern (not verified)

This is for John, who emailed myself privately but I wasn't able to reply to him via email, as his address was showing as [email protected] as well let the rest of the forum see it - *warning* excuse my language - this was originally intended as a private email to John and i'm too lazy to edit it.



1. RPM is broken. All the major distributions make RPMS now, none of them cross compatible with each other. Depencies are regularly failing now as well with RPM based distrobutions, which is why source based (ie Gentoo linux - http://www.gentoo.org ) and APT based distributions (ie debian - http://www.debian.org/ ) are becoming so popular. As for software applications missing, i'm surprised. Redhat usually offer a reasonable number of software apps with their distrubion from my experiences.

2. a. Onto my problems with Suse. Firstly I found their online registration site a joke - i'd entered in my registration key found in the Suse packaging incorrectly and accidently pressed enter. No chance to confirm that key was right, it accepted it outright. Result? I wasn't able to properly register my product straight away. I had to email Suse and wait 36 hours for a reply. Although this is minor, it got me off to a bad start with Suse as far as i'm concerned.
b. I wanted to test Suse 8 pro on my laptop, a compaq Armada 1750 before moving from Redhat to Suse on my desktop PC. I was not able to get the install process to work past a certain point - I was getting an APM interface error message. Now i'm no linux geek, but i'm a not a newbie either. Firstly Suse has been touting this version of Suse as a "answer 3 questions and it'll do it all for you" install for some time now (with YAST2). For those totally new to linux (which will be a lot of Suse buyers) they'd be fucked. I read thru the manuals - absolutely nothing on this issue. I went thru Suse online database - nothing. I did google searches...nothing of relevance. So after a week and a half of trying to solve the issue myself I emailed Suse for help. I got a very cryptic one line reply, no explanation on how to solve issue, just an answer. I was even less impressed. I work on the principle if I can't get quality service, then a product isn't worth my money. I work on a helpdesk, and if I gave that sort of answers to my end users i'd be sacked. Yet - I still persevered. Now *please take note*. I've ran Redhat 7, 7.1 and 7.2 on this same laptop without a SINGLE installation issue. It appears that Suse do not enable the APM support as standard in their linux kernel. I'm even less impressed. Considering they advertise pictures of laptops running Suse on their packaging, that's misleading as it denotes that it is easy to install Suse onto a laptop. Well let's just say that as far as i'm aware, no laptop install will work out of the box with this linux kernel. Correct me if i'm wrong (as I said i'm not a linux geek).
c. Sound on aforementioned laptop. Like most linux distributions, sound is practically ignored. If you aren't using a soundblaster live (or clone thereof), then you're fucked. Well not really. I tried to install the onboard soundcard (which has *always* been installable via Redhat) - no go. *great*. NOT. It wouldn't auto detect settings. Hell it wouldn't even auto detect my onboard soundcard chipset (which Redhat does without any issues) - I had to manually select it (it's an ESS chipset and has been supported by the linux kernel for some time now). So, being the good boy that I am, I went to Suse database site and searched for the problem. Eureka! They had a text file for install tips for my very laptop. I rubbed my hands in glee, forgave Suse for all previous sins and went to work. Mmmmm, I knew it was too good to be true. The settings that they had specifically indicated for my laptop/soundcard combination did NOT work. I fiddled, did some google searching, no luck. So, I emailed Suse support...again...this is 3 times now and I still haven't got the damn thing working properly (something that I got working perfectly with Redhat in like 45 mins without having to get support involved). Now I wasn't exactly kind to Suse in this email, by this time i'd had enough. I let rip. Well, it took them 5 or 6 working days to reply to me (I honestly can't be bothered to go find my emails to be totally accurate on this) and when they did reply it was "sorry can't help, sound is not covered by installation support - If you want that, pay us more dollars for extra support" (with no guarantee we'll fix problem)! Well fuck me. Imagine Microsoft saying that. Microsoft might offer shit products, but fuck they have excellent support. That is why I will NOT recommend Suse products. I have a long memory, and a dislike for poor service. Suse 8 pro is double the price of Redhat 7.3, for a lot less as far as i'm concerned (I haven't used 7.3 yet and I don't intend to for different reasons).

There's a reason why Redhat is the #1 linux distribution - unparallelled support for their products (and I can vouch for this first hand) and their softwork works. Installs go thru without a glitch. Now, i've played with Slackware, Suse, Redhat, Mandrake and Debian and Redhat is the easiest, most idiot proof distribution to install. By far in my honest opinion. Mind you i've moved my desktop PC from Redhat to Debian. Several reasons (APT packaging system shits on RPM, Debian is more stable and secure out of the box, sheer amount of packages available for Debian), *most* serious users of Linux use Debian as their distribution of choice. I can see why now. Still, i'm not impressed with Debian' install method - 4 hours (3 of them sorting through dselect, selecting packages and dependencies) to find that X is not working. No explanation of how to fix it. Great. NOT. Since i'd installed the nvidia packages, and xfree86, as well as KDE and Gnome I wasn't happy. These things should work out of the box. Personally, even though i'm an avid supporter of open source and GPL licensing, I think linux will fail. It's too geeky, and is not user friendly. Worse, the top dogs that develop linux realise this but don't seem to give a fuck - they have the mentality of it "if you can't learn how to use it then go back to Microsoft products". MAN pages are pathetic, and if I have another linux geek tell me to RTFM i'll have a major dummy spit. I've been using linux since redhat 5.2 on and off, so...i'm not dumb. Examples of non ease of use - ever tried setting up a network printer? Setting up shared network drives (ie mapping them)? That's about it.


PS sorry if my aussie (australian) mannerisms or sayings confuse you - if you're not sure what a phrase means ask me and i'll give you a lesson on aussie slang lol.

by Stof (not verified)

> RPM is broken.

This isn't a problem with RPM, it's a problem with distributions. They provide different library versions and different compilers, and have different directory structures. That's why a lot of RPMs for OtherDistribution causes so many (dependency) problems on YetAnotherDistribution.
If there are 5 distributions using Deb, and they all have a slightly different directory structure/libraries/compiler/etc. then Deb would have the same problem too.

The directory structure problem can be solved if all distributions conform to the LSB. C++ linking problems can be solved if everybody upgrades to GCC 3.2 (which, hopefully, has no more C++ ABI bugs left). Not sure about how to resolve library dependency problems...

Oh, and APT is available for RPM too. http://apt4rpm.sourceforge.net/
APT != Deb!

> c. Sound on aforementioned laptop. Like most linux distributions, sound is
> practically ignored. If you aren't using a soundblaster live (or clone
> thereof), then you're fucked.

Try ALSA. No autodetection yet, but luckily ALSA will be integrated into the 2.6 kernel, so I believe that distributions will provide an autodetection tool which supports all ALSA drivers.

by David Pastern (not verified)

the onboard soundcard was auto detected by rh 7, 7.1 and 7.2 via sndconfig utility. As to RPM you are totally right, my apologies if my previous post was innacurate in its content regarding RPMs. As yes I know that apt is available for redhat. But why run apt on redhat when you can run it on Debian? :-) now all I need is someone to help me get X running on Debian lol (hey I said I wasn't a linux geek :P)


by Chad Kitching (not verified)

Well, getting X to run on Debian depends on if you think you answered a question wrong during installation of xserver-xfree86, or if you just don't know what your configuration needs to be. It's a good idea to install read-edid (to read monitor timings), discover (to autodetect devices), and mdetect (to autodetect mouse type) before installing the xserver, as these utils will help answer some questions the configuration script may ask. If you need to re-run the xfree86 configuration, you can use 'dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86'. Unfortunately without the XFree86 log (from /var/log), it's hard to say what the problem might be.

by David Pastern (not verified)

Thanks Chad,

I've had a horrible time with getting X to run on Debian - I did have another user/poster from the KDE forums say read-edid, discover and mdetect but he only mentioned them, not what they were etc. I tried emailing him back but my mails bounced on his email address :( . I've since been working hard at trying to get it to work and I suspect it is because of the video card (geforce 4 ti4200). I've looked at the Debian forums (4 entries) [yes to others that have read my previous posts I DO check out forums thank you, despite what has been said). I've tried the 'dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86'. I've also d/l both the glx and kernel src from nvidia' website and ran them. kernel src has an error, and i'm not sure what to make of it (when ran). Module NVdriver isn't being loaded as a module when I check via lsmod either (something a mate on irc told me to check). I've manually edited the xfree86config file in /var/log with what is on the README from nvidia, and it seems to get a somewhere, but still fails. I also had to apt-get install x-window-system (despite telling tasksel to do this). Somehow I think tasksel was screwed on my system (even after a reinstall). I would scan all the Debian CDs (all 7), it would say, "insert disk 1 to install file", which i'd do. Then it would go open failed. Please insert disk 1. Most stuff installed off the CDs fine. It was only when trying to select the X system, desktop environments, games, scientific stuff, languages and latex from tasksel that it would fail. I ended up reconfiguring apt-get to just retrieve from http (which initially did not remove the CD entries from the sources.list file - I ended up deleting it and letting apt-get reconfiguration make a new one correctly).

The guy on irc who's helping me (and has debian 3 running on his system and is experienced with debian and linux) has said that it should be working, and shouldn't have caused me this much problems. And he feels i've done everything right. Pity he lives in Brisbane and i'm in Sydney. I'm very disappointed in Debians' install manual - nothing on this of any relevance. Also - bash won't recongise xfree86Setup or anXious (X setup programs). Apt won't get them either (I read about them in a debian user file linked from the debian help webpage). XF86config doesn't work either from bash. I find that all very odd. At least I got a crash course in vim lol, when editing the sources.list file the other day (i'd never used it before).

For all those that made those comments about my comments about Suse *bite me*. And for those that made comments about my intelligence/perseverence you can *double bite me*. I spent a full day working on X yesterday (7 hours or so), and that doesn't include the numerous hours doing 2 installs of Debian, plus other time spent working on getting X working. I 100% stand by my comments on Suse and their services. Unreservedly.

Anyways, Chad thank you for having the time to reply. Might be best if I email you the various logs/errors etc privately (I shall do so shortly) for your perusal. If you don't mind that is. I'm getting somewhere, the log file is doing more things now lol.

many thanks,


by Kym McGain (not verified)

Hi, I am 15 and using the same geforce 4 ti4200 as you and the first time i installed debian i had the x server problem.. but a recent worm has had me format my computer and start again, but this time it worked straight away.
I would suggest re-installing and when it gets to the video section use the default options. Choose the Generic SVGA compatible card. My debian works fine now.
I hoope this works for me, because I had tried all the things you did the first time and it had caused me a considerable amount of time. It seems that the worm I got was a help rather than a hinder lol.

by Tet (not verified)

"RPM is broken [...] Depencies are regularly failing now as well with RPM based distrobutions, which is why source based (ie Gentoo linux - http://www.gentoo.org ) and APT based distributions (ie debian - http://www.debian.org/ ) are becoming so popular."

Nope. If you think apt is a cure for the problems of RPM, then you're sorely
mistaken. Aside from the fact that you should be comparing RPM and dpkg,
the main problem with RPM is that it's so widespread, and everyone uses
different naming conventions. If dpkg was as popular, then it too would
suffer from exactly the same problems as RPM.

by David Pastern (not verified)

mmm funny, but a lot of people are moving away from redhat, suse and mandrake and going to either gentoo or Debian. And yes I know it's dpkg, but it's commonly referred to as apt by end users, and I used its common name. :-) In fact nearly all of the users in my local linux user group use Debian for those reasons (as well as security and stability). Redhat etc are good, don't get me wrong. I like Redhat. They have done a lot of good for linux (despite the people out there that are bitching about them being the Microsoft of Linux).

Yes the RPM naming conventions are troublesome. I realise that. But, seriously, have you ever tried to resolve dependency issues with RPM recently? It's a bloody nightmare. You need to install this package...oops can't do that, you need that package to install this package...you cannot deny that the dependencies are not being resolved as they should be.


by David Walser (not verified)

No, you're not getting it. dpkg and apt are two different things. RPM is actually better than dpkg, but when you don't add something like urpmi or apt on top of it, you get frustrated users (like yourself).

by Chad Kitching (not verified)

Okay, how do you come to the conclusion that RPM is better than dpkg? From my perspective, each has it's own share of problems based on how each tried to approach the problem of installing software. DPKG package-based dependancies make it a lot easier to figure out what packages you need to fulfill the dependancies of a package, but has created some areas where boneheaded packagers specify that their package needs libwhatzitdo (=1.0.2-3), and when package libwhatzitdo gets updated to 1.0.2-4, the previous package becomes useless. RPMs, on the other hand, sometimes have a tendancy to install on systems that don't have proper dependancies, because the library requirements LOOK correct. RPM lacks an interactive configuration process, so packages that have configuration files that must be customized before the program can be run are installed in a broken state until the initial configuration can take place. Dpkg, on the other hand, supports a number of interactive configuration options. You have debconf, which is the standard and most popular. Take the X server, for instance. It's installed in a broken state on RedHat, unless you install it during the intial install. Debian packages, on the other hand, are capable of configuring it during installation, even after the initial OS install.

IMO, the biggest drawback to RPMs is the fact they can't be assembled and disassembled using standard UNIX tools. Debian packages are just ar archives of two tarballs, one containing control data, the other containing the program. If I have a problem with a brain-damaged Debian package depending on a wrong version of a library, I can usually fix it myself without resorting to rebuilding the package from source if I don't want to.

by Maarten (not verified)

Re: your point about APM. I don't know why your particular laptop doesn't cooperate but your generalizations are just BS. SuSE 8.0 prof installs out of the box on, for example, an IBM thinkpad 600X and it sure as hell supports APM and will standby, suspend and wake again without a hitch.

Re: your point about sound. Sorry to say but this is more of the same BS. In my experience, SuSE 8 recognizes and auto-configures a LOT of cards. My two laptops have _real_ obscure cards, they are recognized. Throw an old ISA pnp card at it (your worst nightmare), flopp, it gets recognized. Hell, it's no soundcard but SuSE (to my astonishment) even recognized a pre-historic IBM ISA token-ring card.

So you bought a laptop that is perhaps less than optimally supported ? Big deal, that don't give you the right to publicly diss SuSE. Maybe, just maybe, when you installed SuSE on dozens of different hardware, like I did, ranging from state ot the art dual P4 2GB, 6disk raid systems to old P75 laptops that you can truely give a non-biased view on how bad or how good SuSE is. Until then, if your review is based on just one laptop (for all we know you might have f*cked-up some BIOS settings yourself!) and a self-mistyped number, why don't you try to be quiet.

by David Pastern (not verified)

I beg your pardon wanker? I didn't diss anyone publicly idiot. And for your matter, that particularly soundcard has been recognised by the linux kernel since the 2.2 series - idiot. If you'd bothered to read my 2nd post you'll see that I named the soundcard chipset (ESS) and if you had half a brain you'd have done some background to check that it is supported by the linux kernel). And for that matter Redhat 7, 7.1 and 7.2 installed on that laptop perfectly, first go, no problems. Sound installed and worked fine as well.

And no - Suse actually advised me in an email that APM is not turned on for installs via yast2 (I did a manual install instead in the end run). I'll diss Suse if I like thank you very much - I found their product and service less than desirable. And no it wasn't some mistyped number either mate. So go fuck yourself. Idiot.

I'm not going to let Suse 8 near my desktop system at all. I am NOT recommending it to my friends, nor family either. It simply does not deserve it. You decided to take my post personal and flame me, so i'm going to return the favour.

by Moritz Moeller-... (not verified)

People like you are not needed here. I don't care about the problems you inflicted on yourself with linux. You are rude and impolite and blame others for your own stupidity. I have installed SuSE on ~10 systems now and have hardly ever had problems (including an ancient cheap laptop).

Please consider posting somewhere else. If you are happy using Redhat - great, keep using it.

by David Pastern (not verified)

No - people like me aren't needed here because you don't want to hear about situations where your fave distribution has been shite. If you like Suse fine, use it. I don't. And i'm under no obligation to like it, or recommend it, based on my experiences with it. I'm also under no obligation to leave the forums.

As to your line "I don't care about the problems you inflicted on yourself with linux" what a load of rubbish. Read my post carefully. I did everything possible to try and get Suse working. I did not inflict them on myself, but rather the poor quality of Suse did not allow it to work.

I'll consider posting elsewhere when I goddamn feel like it and if you don't like it tough shit. Ever use IRC? Ignore me. You don't have to read my posts, or threads related to my posts.


by Moritz Moeller-... (not verified)

This is about KDE and maybe about linux distribution's KDE support. This site is not for distribution wars, especially for unfounded attacks.

Please go somewhere else.

by David Pastern (not verified)

Firstly, I didn't make any personal attacks on anyone else. Someone did me the discourtesy of that first. I'm merely defending my statements as I have every right to do so. And if you don't like my comments here, tough shit. Whilst they are not KDE based per se, they are linux based, and KDE wouldn't be anywhere if it wasn't for linux.

On that note, i've noted that the default install for desktop for Suse 8 pro is KDE, rather than most other Linux distributions which give you the choice of installing both KDE and Gnome and then switching between the 2 to suit your needs. Judging by what i've seen, having seen a fair amount of what appears to be "loyal" Suse supporters here maybe Suse and KDE have a *insert paranoid gasp here* deal going. At least Redhat allows you to choose between installing either, or both desktops during the install process (i'm talking YAST2 here).

Maybe Suse is a good distribution and i've just had a bad run. If the support had been better, i'd have been more forgiving of them. But...God help the German parliament (which has recently done a deal with Suse). I sincerely hope they get better support than I did.


by Maarten (not verified)

Another reply from me with more info.


Take a look at that link, because by the look of it SuSE supports the exact brand and type of laptop you have quite nicely, thank you. It _claims_ to recognize the soundcard, for instance... So, back to you then...

by David Pastern (not verified)

Did IQs just drop??? Read my posts idiot - I mentioned this in my 2nd post (I didn't quote the link of the page as it was irrelevant - I stated that I found a reference in the Suse database for my laptop and the settings. FFS, don't some of you idiots read posts???


So, being the good boy that I am, I went to Suse database site and searched for the problem. Eureka! They had a text file for install tips for my very laptop. I rubbed my hands in glee, forgave Suse for all previous sins and went to work.


by Maarten (not verified)

Name-calling, are we ? Respected be, you will not.

First off, you created this whole mess yourself by stating 'there was nothing in the SDB'. Now if you retract that statement in less than 12 hours there is something wrong with your memory, not my reading skillz. Either you didn't bother to look until after your first posting (when people disagreed with you) or your memory works very weird indeed. So what is it ?

Now I read your 'second post' up to the very end this time (sorry, it was just too boring on first read so I stopped about one paragraph shy...) and it strikes me that you A) blew your chances at suse support yourself by virtue of your attitude and B) you might want to try sending an insulting email to microsoft demanding support and see what happens then.

I'm not interested in flamewars with newbies who proclaim themselves NOT to be newbies. As a matter of fact I lack time to start a flamewar with anyone. However, your attitude just begs and screams for a reciprocation, so here goes:

Quoting you directly here: "...and Redhat is the easiest, most idiot proof distribution to install" Well... maybe that is not a coincidence in your case.

Have a good day, Sir.
(note that I call you "Sir" here, despite the overwhelming desire to call you a wanker and an idiot too, which you are.)

by David Pastern (not verified)

whatever - read my posts *right*. There was nothing on the suse database about the apm error message - that is what i stated. I indicated that I found a reference page referring to my laptop model, but that the details on that page were wrong and did not work. My reading skills are fine thank you, english is my native tongue, i'm semi fluent in a second language and learning a 3rd language to boot. There is indeed nothing wrong with my memory, but I suggest maybe you *read* properly.

I don't need to send a rude email to Microsoft as their support is vastly superior to Suse'. I don't get Microsoft telling me "oh sorry we don't support that [getting a soundcard to work]". Computers are multimedia devices, and sound is an integral part of that experience. Considering that Redhat managed to auto find and configure said soundcard without *any* issues makes me wonder what Suse is doing. If redhat can do it, why can't Suse?

For that matter also, I proclaimed myself to be a newbie, but not a total newbie:


"Now i'm no linux geek, but i'm a not a newbie either."

As for my email(s) to Suse, I, as a consumer am well within my rights to be disgusted in their pathetic attempts at support. I have a perfect right to start to get pissed off with the supposéd service that is practically non existant.

And I think it'll will be pretty plain for other readers to see, that my original posts were showing my extreme disappointment with Suse and their service (in fact, my 2nd post was originally intended as a private reply to someone who emailed me in reference to my original post - I clearly state that). It was yourself you decided to take personal offence at that 2nd post and flame me in your original post. So then I thought "well fuck you then, i'll let rip" and you copped what you deserved. A good what for.

As to service, I just happen to live with someone who's been in the IT industry for nearly 20 years and his comment about linux and Suse in particular was along the lines of "this is why the linux project is so poor - it lacks quality service". I don't totally agree with that statement, i've had wonderful support from the Australian Redhat support team.

And finally, as to your line in reference to Redhat, and inferring that I am an idiot, and therefore can only install Redhat, funny...most people that use Linux got into it via Redhat. As i've stated previously, Linux would be fuck all if it wasn't for Redhat. Sure slackware was around, but it wasn't mainstream. It wasn't touted as being mainstream. It was an odd thing, that as someone I knew put it "a cunt to get working, as its hardware supported is totally fucked". Redhat dominates the current linux scenario because it had foresight and it made it more user friendly. Please note that i've installed Slackware and Debian with less trouble than Suse. Both are not noted for their ease of installation. So that sadly negates your argument I feel.

Oh and please don't call me sir. I haven't been knighted by her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. I might be a wanker, and an idiot, but jesus, I can at least read. I suggest you read my original and 2nd post again. Oh...and I don't have anyone else flaming me about my posts or getting upset about my *rightly* bagging Suse. Sure a few have posted about my RPM/Apt comments, fair enough. I smell a rat here, and it wouldn't surprise me if you actually *work* for Suse, hence your strong support/defense for them.


by Maarten (not verified)

First off, regardless of the fact whether you need or don't need to send rude emails to microsoft, can you please just try to imagine what WOULD happen if you did ??

Secondly, you made a general statement about the quality of SuSE 8 based on your limited experiences with one piece of hardware, and their support. The quality of the SuSE 8 DVD is not dependant on your experiences neither the support they give. Most of SuSE buyers never even use their support. Granted, maybe because it sucks indeed, but then again maybe they do not need it because they have no problems.

In either case, I can guarantee you there are many, many very happy SuSE users, as there exist undoubtedly also happy redhat users, albeit not in my vicinity. SuSE 8 is a rock stable distribution, and young as it may be (a few months) I used it to build more than a dozen boxen with it, including one running on linux software-raid which I previously had to build by hand. Suse 8 does it automagically. Name me one distribution that can do that ?? Name me one distribution that offers crypto filesystems in its installer ?

In conclusion though, it may well be that SuSE support sucks, but the SuSE 8 distribution itself is amongst the very best (and definitely better than redhat)

Re: support; You also tend to forget that the extent to which microsoft's commitment goes is way less than that of SuSE. Try to get support from microsoft for their OS, they refer you to the dealer (Yes, it's OEM, remember?)
Try to get support for your SB audigy, they refer you to Creative Labs. Try to get support for Office (you didn't buy the OEM version, did you ?) they will tell you to call a phonenumber that is more expensive than my own consultants fee and keep you on hold for an hour.

In other words, name one software distributor that has to try to support ALL hardware currently known to mankind and do that free of charge as an after-sales service. Yeah, Redhat does, and so does SuSE, but definitely not Microsoft.

No, I don't work for SuSE, I just use it. I started with slack, went on to Redhat (4.2 / 5.0) and that(5.0) was such a disaster that, had you started using redhat a few months earlier than 5.2 you would surely have suffered the same fate (redhat 5.0 has been proclaimed worst distribution EVER) and sworn you would never use Redhat again. I did. Well, Sorry if that bothers you.
I have used SuSE ever since, and it just works beautifully.

I think you just lack some perseverance linux users really need. Because, be it soon or be it late, be it redhat or debian, be it a simple soundcard or an immensely complex firewallscript, there WILL come a time that 'the wizard' won't be able to do it for you and you'll be on your own. At that point you can call support and whine and curse, or you can go googling and lessing howtos and stracing PIDs. We do divide the two groups of linux users; the latter ones being called the users with a future in linux, and the others that do not.

by David Pastern (not verified)

Firstly, how do you know that I sent Suse a rude email? You are making a presumption there, based on NO evidence whatsoever. Yes I have made my decisions on the Suse distribution based on one piece of hardware (i'm not letting it near my desktop and if I had a business I surely would NEVER allow it near my business machines). Ever heard the saying "first impressions count"?

Just revolve back to my point - why did I not have a single installation issue of said laptop with Redhat 7, 7.1 and 7.2 (remember 7 uses an older 2.2 kernel with poorer hardware support than the 2.4 stream). Why did I not have any problems setting up soundcard on said Redhat software?

For that matter, I remember reading one post prior to purchasing Suse where a person had immense problems installing Suse on a laptop (including APM issues if memory serves me correctly). Yes I could go and try and find the review, but that takes time and I don't particularly feel like fart assing around.

As to support from Microsoft, let's see....Suse 8 pro was counted as supporting around 4000 hardware devices, Windows XP around 11,000 devices (windows ME around 9,000; Windows 2000 around 7,000). I think that says it all. I should not have to pay a premium price for service to get a soundcard working. Let's be realistic here. Take into account that Suse 8 pro is approximately au $160 - that's a lot of money as far as i'm concerned, and I expect better service than "sorry we don't support soundcards". You either offer support, or you don't, you don't offer some half cocked up halfway point form of support. As stated earlier, PCs are multimedia, that means sound is an integral part of them. If Redhat can install said soundcard without an issue, then I surely have a reasonable right to expect Suse 8 to do it (especially since hardware support is built into the kernel - that means it shouldn't make a difference on what distribution it is, if they're all running the same kernel and one detects it, then all should).

I've used Redhat 5.2 to a smallish extent and yes it was a nightmare. Linux is getting better.

You've touched on one subject in your last paragraph - howtos etc. Linux help is extensive yes. Howtos and MAN pages ARE pathetic however. Ask any newbie. Go on. They'll tell you blatantly what they think of it. I can see here there are some old linux users here, people that are used to manually tinkering with config files, and through years of usage of man pages etc are used to their format. I'm telling you straight (and i've had at least 5 fellow linux users all at novice-intermediate stages) that it is poor. I'd considered re writing the MAN pages they were that bad, but to do so requires extensive knowledge of said topic.

As to you disliking Redhat, that's fine. I don't have a problem with that. If a product is sub standard, then fine, bitch about it. Don't use it. I don't have a problem with you not using Redhat, or disliking it. Hell, I don't have a problem with you liking/promoting Suse either. All i've done is express my opinion on that product and the service/support that I received. No matter what your opinion/liking, you cannot change the problems that I had with Suse, nor the absolutely pathetic service that I received. They are FACT. Yes it might be in this one instant, and everything else works fine. That MAY be the case. But I cannot justify a recommendation of Suse 8 pro to anyone based on my experiences.

I'm a pretty thorough person, and I double checked details before applying them. I'd skimmed thru the manuals, then read them thorougly, and yes I did look at the Suse dbase. I even went to the trouble of spending an hour google searching. That's above and beyond the requirements as far as i'm concerned. You should NOT have to go to that extent.

Fine I can understand non supported hardware - ie my Diamond MX300 soundcard on my desktop (hell it even won't work in a VIA motherboard on Win2k)due to manufacturers not providing drivers or details on drivers etc to Linux developers. That actually really pisses me off.

For those that think i'm a Microsoft person, no, I'm not. Like a lot of linux users I use Microsoft as it is so prevalent these days, it is a necessity to do so. I personally don't mind the software, it is incredibly buggy and unreliable. Support from Microsoft is top notch (personal experiences here). Pricing is outrageous. And they are monopolistic bastards.

As to your last sentence, I might not have a future in Linux as a user, but neither do I have that sense of geekism either. Do you realise at how many newbies are sick of the line "RTFM". Let me tell you nearly all of them. Whilst elitists like yourself have that attitude you will turn more and more people away from using linux. This idealism is prevalent right to the top of the linux developers as far as i'm concerned and it is bad for linux as a whole. Keep this up, and you will turn that many people away from it, that linux will be totally dead on the desktop and only used in server applications by IT professionals. The only reason why IBM is interested in linux is because it has implications as a high performance, cheap server o/s. Nothing more. IBM has no intent of using/selling linux as a desktop o/s. Why? Go figure it out.

I like linux, it has many good things. It has many bad things. I just speak my mind on them, and if that makes me unpopular then so be it. Microsoft is only lightly putting the squeeze on linux now, if mac os, unix, os/2 warp can be pushed over by microsoft (and remember these had large corporations behind them) then so can linux. I hope not, but whilst experienced linux users have such bad attitudes towards newbies and ridicule them, rather than help, then linux will shoot itself in the foot. Don't like what i've said? Tough. It's true. Maybe you are so experienced you forget what it is like to be a newbie. It's just not me that has noticed this, most of my friends actually work in the IT industry, all of them have had exposure to linux, and all of them have independently came to the same conclusion. But all of that is beyond the point...I tried Suse, had a bad experience with it and cannot endorse it. Plain and simple.


by Maarten (not verified)

Note: This is my last contribution to this discussion that is going nowhere.
Also I note that we are starting to bug the other users here...

"Firstly, how do you know that I sent Suse a rude email? You are making a presumption there, based on NO evidence whatsoever."

I quote you: "Now I wasn't exactly kind to Suse in this email, by this time i'd had enough. I LET RIP." (emphasis mine)

This is enough evidence. Coupled with the manner in which you write here, even more so.

"I've used Redhat 5.2 to a smallish extent and yes it was a nightmare."

You missed the point completely. RH 5.2 was really okay (maybe not for nitwits though). The 5.x versions before suffered not from unrecognized-soundcards or some other trivial issue, but were really BROKEN since redhat tried to implement the so-called Glibc a bit to soon. As a result, it was VERY unstable, everything seemed to break, from RPM through the compiler to the desktop and to -by definition- the libc (which is the building-block of everything else save the kernel). It crashed on me several times weekly. Mind you, that was a PRODUCTION server. If you think 5.2 was bad you really have no idea what 5.0 was like...

"MAN pages ARE pathetic"

No, manpages are not pathetic. They tell you what a program does (NOT how 'linux' works mind you) and do that in a standardized, easy to browse manner.
Windows' help by comparison, is pityful. I have NEVER ever been able to find a solution to any problem in the windows help. What is wrong with you guys ? Nowadays if your text is not in a nice graphical browser window it's not useful ?? It's still the content that matters, not how flashy it looks. I rather have a manpage where I can easily see what the "-f" switch does than wade though endless troubleshooting wizards that couldn't shoot a Trouble if it was 10 feet wide and sitting in a corridor at 4 yards. Fuckin' windows wizards...

"Maybe you are so experienced you forget what it is like to be a newbie."

Yeah well, you'd like to believe that. It is true that I learned while you bitched because yeah, most of the time when I had a problem (believe me I've had my share!) I dug into it and tried to fix it myself instead of mailing the manufacturer. Because like it or not, THAT is how you learn things. Even on windows. Don't even dare telling me that windows always works, cause it don't.
I still remember my very first month, sifting through the inn / news-Howto, and even bursting out in tears over it because it was all gibberish to me (that'll teach you not to aim too high...) but my boss wanted me to setup a local newsserver. Satisfied ?

I've come a long way from there, sure. Maybe that is why I am so appreciative of SuSE's new 8.0 baby since everything I had to do the hard way over the years is now integrated into the distribution and the installer. That is just beautiful. Maybe there is some truth to the fact that you can only _really_ appreciate what an athlete or sportsman does until you have tried it yourself (with less success of course, but that ain't the point).

Indeed, I can almost do a blind setup, no matter what hardware, I'll have it running. Mostly in half an hour (pop DVD in, click 6 times and...) sometimes in 3 or 4 hours if the piece of trash is particularly stubborn with having noncooperative hardware. Yeah. Shit happens. Give me an OS and I'll give you a piece of hardware it won't recognize. And RedHat neither Windows is an exeption.

Nevertheless, I don't get bugged if I have to tail -f messages or play around with modules.conf. Or build a new kernel, if necessary. Or even patch a kernel, and so on. But the truth is, I haven't had any reason to build a kernel myself since suse 7.x, so things are starting to look up for newbies. In any case, newbies let themselves scare way too easily since building a kernel is just trivial. Just try and type 'make clean dep bzImage modules' and there is not much more to it. The rest is in one of those docs you seem to hate so much. Read it or don't, I couldn't care less.

Use linux or not, but if you DO, don't bitch about it so hard. And if you don't, think back to that decision when you have another issue with the DRM in the new windows media player that invalidated all your mp3s in one go.
You know, as in real life, freedom comes at a price. The price for freedom (in this case we're meaning Linux) is that you are eager to learn, that you do not _demand_ that someone else fix it for you (you can _ask_ though) and that you are willing to put in some effort and time.
Unwilling / unable ? Then good bye 'till next year when windows DRM comes out...

That's all Folks.

by c. (not verified)

You say about Debian: "I can see why now. Still, i'm not impressed with Debian' install method - 4 hours (3 of them sorting through dselect, selecting packages and dependencies) to find that X is not working. No explanation of how to fix it."

There's is a faster and better way to install it: Choose minimail install (do not use deselect), type tasksel (in case not install "apt-get install tasksel"), install. When you need something just apt-get it. Minimalist, less crap, and fast.
If you just want to install X without tasksel: install discover, read-edid, mdetect before xserver-xfree86. Your mouse, videocard and monitor will be automaticly detected.

Yes, I know, this shoud have been detected on the install and we're working on a newbie friendly distro. However, what most people blame debian for isn't really an issue: all the autodetect software is on the distro, e.g.:
apt-get install discover
apt-get install kudzo