Barbara Hudson Leaves GNU/Linux

Barbara Hudson has been using GNU/Linux for ages but is ticked off by a failed migration.
“Linux has been Hudson’s primary desktop “since before the turn of the century, and I’ve done my share of distro-hopping, and yet today I find myself in the process of removing Linux permanently,” she said.”
That can be frustrating but the problem would be virtually eliminated using longterm support from suppliers. Plenty of migrations fail or are difficult with that other OS… Often the hardware has to be scrapped altogether. That’s the extreme in failures, I think.

I recently did a migration from Debian GNU/Linux Squeeze to Wheezy which worked very smoothly, but then shortly developed networking problems. It turns out that Debian has moved more firmware for Ethernet drivers to “non-free” and because my Beast did not have the package firmware-realtek installed, the thing could not connect. I ended up having to move the package over by USB drive. I did not have to hunt for the driver or package, it was in the Wheezy repository but Beast had the Squeeze repository on board. I guess that’s a residual effect of pulling all the firmware out of the default kernel in Debian GNU/Linux. Strangely, the Squeeze verion of the package does not have my revision level firmware whereas the Wheezy package does…
lspci|grep Eth
02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller (rev 03)

I guess the old firmware was left in the device during my reboot. A later power-off cycle left the NIC with nowhere to run.

Well, one glitch in an otherwise complex migration is not going to kill my interest in Debian GNU/Linux. It’s just too useful to leave. I used to have thousands of problems with that other OS.

I think Barbara Hudson is making the wrong choice. I find my life is far simpler and productive using GNU/Linux than that other OS and FreeBSD, while solid on familiar hardware, does not have the coverage of GNU/Linux. see FreeBSD Hardware Support

For the contortions required to install FreeBSD on a Lenovo notebook see FreeBSD 7.2 on the Lenovo Thinkpad X60s

That other OS is no better

I think Barbara Hudson should calm down and reflect. Even OEMs are fed up with M$ and branching out. Eventually she will have hardware and software supplied by OEMs with GNU/Linux working smoothly. Ubuntu/Dell will eventually bear fruit. Android/Linux is still young but certainly is being taken up by OEMs. One or a chain of glitched migrations is not reason to drop out of GNU/Linux but reason to fix what’s broken and move on. Think of what works instead of what doesn’t. GNU/Linux is huge and amazing, not fragmented and fragile. I had a problem with one package out of more than 1500, one file missing out of 3 million, in a migration to a pre-release version of Debian GNU/Linux.

dpkg --get-selections|wc
1792 3584 45512
cat /etc/debian_version
wheezy/sid

Out of 3 million files installed from Debian repositories, I was missing one little file. I’d say Debian GNU/Linux was pretty well perfect with Wheezy but they are still polishing the thing before release. I just don’t see any reason to leave GNU/Linux at this point.
apt-file search e|wc
3335735 6681561 252972424

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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4 Responses to Barbara Hudson Leaves GNU/Linux

  1. Ivan says:

    So it’s not a problem with the software, it’s that she was just doing it wrong with the wrong product. Thanks for the insight, Bob, it was… insightful… especially as you failed to address the underlying problems she experienced.

  2. Matias says:

    I’ve tried to remember what kind of terrible problems i have had during those 14 years using only Windows. So far there is personally only one big minus with Linux – i can’t update my TomTom navigator. And even that ain’t because Linux but because patent trolls.

    Besides nobody has ever claimed that Linux is 100% perfect OS. There ain’t any perfect OS. Windows is far from stabile, it sucks, you have to pay for it and it’s unsecure. Apple is most expensive, most locked. FreeBSD is one of the most difficult (many have said so). So Linux could be actually the best choice for average user.

  3. oiaohm says:

    Does not matter Barbara Hudson most likely has forgotten how bad freebsd and windows really are.

  4. Kozmcrae says:

    This is a bad day for GNU/Linux. With Barbara Hudson, I think this now makes two defections.

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