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Guru Vs Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10

This is a log of my experience with installing and using Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 which I have only limited knowledge about (I last tried Linux when Redhat 6 was current). At any point I will compare various aspects of it to Windows XP (which I know a lot about) and make comment and assign points. I wonder who will win....Let's see if Linux is ready for mainstream users and a Guru with 30 years PC experience.. oh I tell a lie, it's more like 25 years. I'm not that old. I wasn't doing PCs when I was 5 ;-)
We'll see how it goes.  First one to 10 wins. First one to -10 loses.

Condition NUMERO UNO is when necessary I will attempt some quick/small typing to config options at the shell, or download a few other packages that may be needed, but I absolutely refuse to type 1000 lines of BS into the root shell and I will not compile anything unless it is absolutely necessary. It will not happen. nada, nich, nein, no way buddy! You can suck my left nut first before I will compile the OS kernel, it should just work or anything that is needed should be installable with an RPM that I can easily download from somewhere or another kind of self installing setup executable and it should include EVERYTHING that is required, or auto download it from somewhere on the net if it depends on something else. I can already see this is going to be fun.

Note that this only applies to Suse Linux Desktop 10, other distros may be better or even worse. Also note there are no tricks here. I don't know enough to be able to outsmart the system. I only have the installation DVD and it is dictating the terms that are put there by the devs who created it.

I also hope that some key Linux devs will notice this and fix some of the issues I'm having in the hope that it will promote the use of Linux by more people who want to get away from Windows, but can't due to the difficulties expressed on this page. Maybe someone will slashdot it and I'll get real exposure. Hmmm, that's probably not a good idea, then I'll have 1,000,000 Linux geeks telling me to type shit at the root shell and that I'm a braindead asshole.... Sorry guys, I already know that ;-)

Before you read the full text below, please note that this doc is very long and is being modified almost every minute while this experiment is being done. If you enjoyed an earlier revision, please re-read it again in full a bit later when there's more BS added or when one of the OS's lose and the experiment ends.

OK let's start.

I'm going to give Windows -5 straight away.
The stability of it really sucks. When being used, it will eventually become unusable and unstable and then requires a format and full re-install (-1)
It's firewall sucks because it's like fly-wire, it's only designed to keep out big bugs and flies (-1)
It's built in apps suck (-1)
It will take any ruthless code/virus/trojan/spyware up it's ass without complaining (-1)
And last but not least, off-topic slightly, but just like the colon rectal doctor, it will get you in the end..... -1 for Vista's built-in protection checking, anti-piracy measures and content protection BS.
My current XP box is limping along like a dog with 1 ball and 2 legs :-(
Now you know why I'm giving Linux a go.

Installing Linux.... Grabbed an unused Celeron 2GHz with 512M RAM and a blank 40GB HDD and inserted the DVD for Linux Open Suse 10.1 (got it from an APC magazine). It boots but doesn't install past a dos-like screen showing hardware probing. Reboot. Try the other options (Safe mode etc). None of them work. Tried the last option (test memory) and got some errors. Swapped out the 512M DIMM and the errors went away. Reboot. Now it keeps going. Hmmm, very good. RAM tester. Yeah, I seem to remember this PC had some trouble with Windows and I never did find out why. Linux +1, Windows -1.

Select full install and accepted all defaults at any screens where it's asking questions. Got to the network screen. Again accept defaults. Test for internet access. no go. Continue anyway and waited around 3-5 hours (from memory) to fully install everything. System boots up. Check the internet. No internet. Load Yast and look for config options. Tweak some things in the network settings. Still no internet. Test FTP'ing into my Windows PC (through my DSL router at and into for the XP PC). Yes that works, but no internet access in a browser. Add DNS server settings, default gateway and router settings with Yast, and now it will ping my ISP but still no internet access in a browser. In Windows as long as the network card is found and installed and working using the auto config wizard (probably 100% of them by now) the Windows networking will work and you have immediate internet access through the router (no extra drivers needed for a router on any OS AFAIK). Linux -1 Windows +1

Switch to XP PC and search for info in Google. Found info about installing Suse Linux from scratch step by step at a site called Looks good, but it's an install guide and it's already installed. Hmmm, decided to drop Open Suse and install the Novell version. I have no idea what version I want. The confusion created over the number of Linux distributions is very saddening.... I've seen a few different distributions and they are pretty much the same thing with minor customisations. Why bother, the customisations can be separated as add-on packages, there should be ONE fully compatible base system and that is it! And for programs for Linux, there should be just one download, not 50000 downloads for every individual distribution of Linux that exists. The lack of quality control over different distributions of Linux has severely damaged the reputation of Linux as a serious operating system of the future IMO. Pity Linus didn't step in and just say no and have just one OS that everyone works on. I guess that's what you get when you release source code without rules.... I can see the usefulness in Live distributions for hacking into Linux boxes and killing root passwords and then owning the system (did I say that?!) but sadly there's ALWAYS someone who thinks he can do it better when it comes to programming. Of course that doesn't include God and Jesus because they pretty much wrote the book on innovative programming, but for everyone else the answer is No buddy, you have made it much worse and seriously damaged the image of Linux. I think the most important point here is that many white ants (i.e. termites) could effectively eat a whole house, but one ant can not do anything alone. Think of the house as Microsoft and the ants as many developers united building one OS.
Linux -1

Reboot, start installation again with Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 (DVD is a release around October 2006 from a magazine). Start installation, following the guide at tweakhound and do full install. Get to same network screen again. Do some more reading.
root shell.
netstat -rn
hmm no I can't do that yet, I'm installing remember. I think I know the numbers anyway because I did those 2 commands in Open Suse from before. OK, this time added an IP address for the network card, plus the DNS server and Router/default gateway. Test internet access, works! yay! Linux +1
Continue installation, waiting about 3 hours. System boots, test internet in Firefox, works OK. Test FTP with gftp, works OK too.

Now need Samba working so I can access my XP PC. go to Yast, network settings, look for Samba Server icon. it's MISSING! But it's there in a tutorial I found on the net and according to xinetd the service is running. Linux -1

Find another guide... err WTF a bloody worm just popped up on my screen. click it, it says a word has been auto-corrected. hmmm, OK. fine.
Find another guide on tweakhound that deals with setting up Samba on Suse 9.2. Lets try it. It looks very good. Follow guide step by step. at page 3 or 4 it says open the samba server icon in Yast. it's not there! look to install it, but the install software section says Samba is already installed. Why isn't the icon there? Very very sloppy quality control there. Check and it appears to be running anyway, so skip that and go to next step. Set up shares and samba.conf with SWAT. No I'm not going to manually edit a damn conf file. Not ever! Go AWAY!
SWAT is a very nice app though. Punch hole in firewall as shown. finish guide. try to browse network. no go. it gets to the PC (my XP PC is called 'net' on workgroup 'workgroup') and finds 'net' but says it can't show any files because i don't have the required privileges. WTF! I'm logged in as root, give me my damn files now bitch! Try it the other way from XP. browse network. Linux box visible. click shared dir. all dirs visible and some files too! click a text file and open it. no access due to lack of privileges. Turn off both firewalls on XP and Linux. still no access. I give up! Linux -1

Search Google again. Find out lots of people have trouble with Samba. No buddy I will not edit the samba.conf manually with 1000 lines of text! Forget it! According to the guide, everything set up with SWAT was correct and complete. Find out that it's possible to access the XP PC using smb://. I try it.... smb://
no access to files. Hmmm, check D: drive share name. it's shared as 'd'. try this again....
yes! ok, this is good enough. hallelujah brother. my files have been resurrected. Praise the lord.

Load Firefox and do some browsing. Open up a few more windows. Hmmm, too much clutter in the task bar, I can't read any of the window bars to see which app is which because they're all crunched up to about 1 inch long. I wonder if I can make them smaller or the taskbar bigger? Right click task bar, select properties. not many options. Size is 23 pixels. Try increasing it so I get a double sized task bar and twice as many window bars in it. Hey the window bars expand too??? No no, I want 2X the number of window bars in that space buddy. Everything expands, even the icons in the notification section. Geez, go back to 23 pixels and leave it alone.
Maybe I can change the left menu a bit and it will auto-size it. Right click 'Computer', but no options. Hmm, select 'remove from panel'. oh oh, that was a big mistake, now I have nothing. ok ok, think think. there must be a way to add it back. right click task bar, click 'add to panel'. look for something remotely looking like a default task bar menu thingy. Find the default Main Menu. add it. good! phew! wipe sweat from brow. Still not able to set task bar at a bigger size and get windows bars to keep their size. must investigate further. I know it's possible because I've seen pics of other Linux desktops with large task bars and small window bars. Anyway, leave it for now.

OK, let's try watching some videos located on my XP box through the network. double click one, opens up in default app Kaffeine. video won't play, no codec but sound is ok. fine, as expected I need to get codecs. so download some stuff it tells me to get. still no go. search Google for the answer. download another codec. nope, no go still. find out an all-in-one codec package is available. get it, install it. video not working still! But the codec it's asking for IS installed. Linux -1

Try installing it again. 3rd time installing it, it takes it up the ass and now video is working, at least for this WMV I am viewing. Shoot the bloody worm that keeps popping up in Open Office Writer. Oh, it's a light bulb. hmm, maybe I'll need it later, better not kill it.... but I'M WATCHING YOU BUDDY!

Well well, now I know what's going to happen next, but we'll do it anyway. Pop in a DVD movie and play it with the default app (Totem). OF COURSE, it DOESN'T WORK! Get a message about playing DVD's is not legal or something and something about this version is crippled and will not play DVDs or some other BS. Like I really care about that???? Think again buddy. Geez, you'd think by now that Linux would just have DVD movie support built in and be done with it. I couldn't give a rats-arse about the legality of it, and what's the issue anyway?? DVD encryption doesn't exist any more. it's had it's arse hacked off. Who cares anymore about protected DVDs? CSS sucks, Macrovision sucks even harder. Answer, no one using Linux cares for it, that's for sure. I own this original DVD movie, I want to watch it, AND I WILL WATCH IT, DAMMIT!
Searching Google reveals that it is out there everywhere and everyone on the planet that has Linux can play DVDs using this extra piece of software. So why the hell isn't it included in Linux, or a common Linux DVD Player app? Oh no, we have to keep it separate to protect everyone and ourselves from being sued. This is as believable as telling me there is dog shit on a street in poor Asian countries (which of course you never will see because they eat dogs in poor countries so you never ever see a stray dog on the street. Well, not for long anyway! ;-)
It's so blatantly common now that even if someone did try to stop it they couldn't. As Nike says, just DO IT! Let's just try it with one of the f-ing useless distros like BSD. If they get sued and the disto dies, who cares?  But then the others will know.....
In Windows, installing any common DVD app bundled with the DVD drive gets DVD movies working in a few seconds. Linux -1, Windows +1.

OK, now let's play 'download more shit' again. Search for info in Google about playing DVD movies in Linux. Find a bunch of stuff and a million links and lots of apps. Try Ogle, that looks nice. File is downloaded. install it, comes up with message about not having a source for some file it needs. Oh. My. God. Just install the damn APP! OK, I'll humour you. Download more stuff. Oh the extra stuff is not self-installing, Sorry bud, 2 strikes and you're out. I have no time for this typing crap at the command line BS. delete the Ogle RPM file and the extra crap. Eventually I find the dvdcss stuff and get it and install it (lucky it's in some easily installable format without dependencies!). Still doesn't play a DVD, but this time Totem popped up??? Try Kaffeine again, it works. Hmmm, OK. Uninstall Totem.

Search for some more apps. Found this site, really great! A cross-reference of Windows to Linux apps.
Tried gFTP but it sucks, too simple. Get Filezilla. Still too simple for my liking but it works so I'm happy for now. Linux +1.
I'd still prefer something better like CuteFTP though.

Found out that my all time must have app Mailwasher is available for Linux. Get it and install. After some minor configs, that works great too! Linux +1

Set up email. try default email program, Evolution. It's too simple, not enough config options for my liking. I don't like the cluttered layout and those dumb big buttons on the left bottom taking up screen real-estate. Too much like Outlook. I hate Outlook, too much BS is going on with it. Drop it. Try another one. Find Kmail. looks almost like Outlook Express, my email program of choice. I like it already. Plenty of config options. Can turn off 'check mail on start-up', needed for Mailwasher to work properly. has address book import, OK, I'll go with it for now. Linux +1

Now let's try IM. Look for some programs. I need ICQ and MSN support only. Would be nice to have it all in one app. Find Liqc which seems to be the best of the bunch and supports most protocols. get it and install. Fire it up, do some configuring. Add ICQ look-alike skin. Yeah baby, very nice. Add ICQ account, ICQ working OK. Add MSN account, click status then on-line, SSL error, but then connects anyway after a few seconds. OK, whatever. Chat with someone on ICQ, works OK. Send file, nope, no go. Open ports in firewall, still no go. Try file transfer with MSN side of it. No option to send a file. Geez, WTF. Delete Licq. ICQ on Windows XP just works.
Linux -1, Windows +1

Look for more programs on the computer. Try Gaim. Can't seem to see how to add ICQ UIN #. Maybe there's a way, but it's not obvious to me? Oh I see it. The 'screenname' is the UIN#. Hmmm, that's smart. OK, set that up. Seems to work fine. Errr.... what's this? Spam/Porn messages popping up? Ok, block all users except on my buddy list. Works ok now, no more spam/porn links popping up. Close then reload. The block setting isn't sticky, I'm getting spam/porn popups messages again! Uninstall Gaim. Problem solved. Try Kopete. Now this looks good. Set up accounts, connect, all good, even MSN connects without issues. Connect to friends and chat. yep. Send a file. Looking looking. friend is waiting patiently. Hang on I'm new to this, looking for send. WTF, there's no option to send a file??? You call this an IM program? I don't think so buddy. Kopete? Should be called Ka-put. Uninstall it F-A-S-T! urrghhh!!

Decide that the all-in-one option is just like Windows (i.e. crap) and go for a single app. Drop support for ICQ, tell those friends to get onto MSN or die. Check list. Find AMSN on the net. Looks good. Install and configure. Connect. yes good, my contact list is working. try sending file, yes it works. receive. yes too! OK, this is the one for me. Hmmm, I like all those options, lets set a few on and off as I like it. Auto connect on start up. Yeah. start up only in notification bar, sounds good, so it doesn't pop up on screen, and will be auto minimised on bootup. Yeah baby I like it. Add to favourite apps. Add to start-up apps. close AMSN. restart it. auto minimise to notification, great! icon is brown.... not connected? click it to restore. err, i said click it to restore! come-on buddy RESTORE! click the icon about a million times. nuh, nothing. now my mouse dies. damn I must eventually buy one of the newer wireless optical MS mice which uses less power. Anyway, find batteries, replace, working mouse again. Look for a way to shut down the app, CTRL-ALT-DEL maybe? hmm, its asking if I want to shut down PC now. well i suppose that is one way to kill the app. OK do it. (must find out a way to kill tasks like XPs CTRL-ATL-DEL)
Update: added Force/Quit button to panel, which allows me to kill misbehaving apps.

Reboot, restarts AMSN automatically. pops up, then minimises. Click icon. nothing! Are you joking? Give me my f-ing APP! Uninstall AMSN. MSN Messenger just works!
Linux -1, Windows +1

Look for other apps. Hmmm, there is nothing else better. OK, try re-install. Run AMSN, same as before, auto minimise and no restore! Hmmm, settings must be saved somewhere and were not deleted when it uninstalled. Go looking for them. open home dir, look for a file or dir. nothing. go to menu and select 'show hidden dirs'.Jesus! What the hell are all those dirs doing there, talk about clutter! Well anyway, there it is, a .AMSN dir. open the dir and find a few config files. go back one dir and delete that MOFO .AMSN dir. Reinstall AMSN. Re-configure, add account, DON'T CLICK 'start only in notification bar'. working good. leave it alone!

Try looking at some photos on my CF card. Insert card into reader slot, icon appears on desktop screen. Click pics and they load into default app (Eye Of Gnome). seems a bit too simple, looking for something like ACDSEE. Try another one. Gwenview. Hmm, this looks interesting. Thumbnail browsing, full screen viewing, panning, zoom, rotation. Forward and backward of pics with small arrow icon. Yeah, that bitch looks real nice, I can see right up her.. errr. OK, OK, back to work! This one will do for now. Set pics to open by default with this app. Linux +1.
I still prefer ACDSEE V2.42 though :-)

Next is my web cam. Hmmm, I wonder how good Linux Plug and Play support is. Let's plug it in and find out. OK plug in Logitech Quickcam Pro 4000 into front USB slot....... nothing. Maybe I need to load an app. Go looking in apps for something. Find Gnome Meeting. go to config and set up web cam. run through wizard. it finds the camera exactly as a Logitech Quickcam Pro 4000 so it must be plugging and playing properly I think. It sets up audio and is working too once I select the correct input. This is looking VERY good! Select v4l driver. Oh oh! no video! look for other video driver options. nothing. try reboot, maybe it will find it on boot up and ask for some drivers like XP does. Nope same thing, nothing. Run Gnome Meeting again, click icon to show local video, just a grey screen where video should be. I know there's some sort of Philips web cam driver thing available, but according to the install info, it's not Guru-friendly. Let's try it anyway. Install the driver.
hmmm, well, dependency failures, as expected. Too many for my liking so I'll have to give up. oh well. It works in Windows anyway. Plug and Play in Linux? Hahahaah. Linux -1, Windows +1

Now let's try a few external HDDs. plug in my 2.5'' 40GB external USB HDD. After a few seconds an icon appears on the desktop and clicking it brings up the files. Same for my OTG Photobank which also contains a 2.5'' HDD. All files are visible and accessible. Very good. Linux +1

I need some music. Plug in and fire up my Transcend 20GB USB Digital Album. It pops up since it's just a USB HDD really. No problems so far. Double click the Music folder. Double click an MP3. Oh, License agreement BS from Helix Banshee (default app). Click OK... whatever. who cares. Pop up window, import into library. no. go away. sound is a bit glitchy, it should play fine with this USB2 link. App looks crap too. try something else. I need Winamp. check cross-reference list. Ah! VideoLan. Yes I used that in Windows, was kind of OK, but a little bit slow at decoding video on my Athlon 1333MHz internet PC even though the same video played fine with Media Player and Winamp (well that old crap PC has to be good for the net at least!). Go find the download. Hmm, seems it's source only and needs too much other BS. Wait, there's an RPM. Get it and install. Oh geez, dependency failure. Forget it. Sorry bud, better luck next time.

Check the cross reference again. Ah XMMS. I remember that app from a few years ago when i tried Xandros. Search in the application searcher. no! WTF??? Not in this distro. Geez, snobby Novell assholes. OK, download it, this had BETTER work! grab the redhat RPM (no Suse specific d/l available). install it. asks for the Linux DVD. OK, insert DVD. Install successful. Right click MP3 file and select 'open with other application'. look for XMMS. I don't see it??? click 'all applications'. looking, looking.... geez, f**k me, it's not there. where is it?? No icon but it's installed. Geez that IS SMART. Go to xmms site. Load user manual. Basic Installation. Type this at the shell and this, and that, and this, make, compile this and that. edit the source, compile again. 'Type' is a four letter word buddy. no, no I'm NOT GOING THERE. forget it. dammit I want this to work. Just for the hell of it, shell prompt. type xmms. it loads! Where the F is it?? I have an idea. Right click desktop. select 'create launcher', name = XMMS, command = xmms. click OK. oh dear. pop up box 'The application seems to have closed unexpectedly'. a crash! hahaha, looks like old Linux isn't yet Guru proof. Message 'reload application?'. yes OK, since it's the panel that has crashed, it's a bit hard to do anything without it. Panel is back. Icon on desktop is there. Drag it to the panel. Click it and XMMS loads. Load an MP3 and play it. Yes! Good-O. Gee I wanted so much to give Linux another minus point, but it works, and the sound is clean and jerk-free, so I guess I have to give it a point, so, Linux +1. and Windows -1, because WinAMP is no longer needed.

Oh look at that! The tally is equal now, both on -2. Oh hang-on, I need to subtract -1 for Windows which I added above. Now thats better. Linux is winning! MINUS 2 to Windows MINUS 3. Still not very good for Linux lovers though is it? But don't worry. I'm not finished with Linux yet! You don't escape my scrutiny THAT easily bud!

Hmm what other havoc can I create today? Maybe I should sleep a bit first... ZZZzzzz....

Added the line below 'current points' using about 10 dashes (-) using Open Office Writer to type all of this. Hit return. It added a line across the whole screen. Sorry guys, that is not what I wanted. Hit delete, the line is still there. Hit undo and typed it again and hit return again. It added the full line again. Right click on the line and select 'undo auto formatting'. that fixed it. hmmmm, maybe I can just adjust it a bit.... Moved the whole 'Current Points' line up a bit using the mouse to drag/drop and then hit enter again. Same damn line appeared. AARRGGHH!!!! Linux -1

I need a skin for Winamp.. err xmms. go back to the xmms site. download some skins. where do I put them. Check FAQ. it says in ~/.xmms/Skins
OK that means where bud? hmmm, I remember seeing a .xmms dir in my home/user1 folder (I'm user1). lets try that. unpack the files into the skins dir. what a mess, and no dir inside the archive. OK create one. Create Folder, name it 'chaos'. drag files into that dir. load xmms. go to skins browser, it's there!! select Chaos. Ah much better.

Now I need a WYSIWYG HTML editor for my web site. Something like Frontpage. GINF is the one to get I think, since INF means IS NOT FRONTPAGE... which actually means it is... ;-). So I got it from the web site. It needs some other shit of course. I downloaded a pile of them going back and getting other stuff it needed so I could install the file before that one. Until I got this error in the software installer app......
Resolvable id 74519 does not exist.
Geez, even Google has no answer for that one. Now I'm pissed off because I need to edit my web site and I don't want to do it the hard way (i.e. edit the html directly). I end up manually adding some stuff to my site anyway because I needed to update something before I forgot about it. Grrr.
This un-resolved dependencies crap is really ridiculous! I must have downloaded 20 rpms and .gz files and nothing will install without needed something else! This is yet another thing that seriously damages Linux's name. Linux -1

Ok I found one that appears to be working. nvu. It's pretty nice too. Not Frontpage, but still nice. Thank god the developers of it are smarter and had the foresight to include everything it needed so it will just install!
Linux +1

Hmmm, I just found out that Novell has purposely crippled Totem so it wouldnt play DVDs and any kind of video file by default (I heard it's illegal to play DVDs on a PC?? No!??? OK, I'll delete the dvdcss stuff off my PC right now, SIR!) ................. NOT! Asshole! They also removed a bunch of other stuff like flash, acrobat reader and a few other apps that are needed. I knew Novell were a bunch of dickheads way back when I worked on Novell Netware (geez what a piece of shit that was), but I figured by now that most of those idiots would have retired or died. I guess not. Reputation seriously damaged again. Oh dear. Linux -1

I need to create a blank title bar for this page. Fire up The Gimp. Load another title bar, use eye dropper to pick black. Select pen tool, wipe out the text. Save as title_blank.gif. It works well. At least Linux IS good for something. Photoshop is no longer required, at least not for the kind of image editing that I do. Linux +1, Windows -1

While adding other programs, I went into the software updater thing in Yast and added some catalogs for software dependency servers like packman hoping that would fix my problems. It didn't do shit, but now I noticed an orange icon on the taskbar. 910 software updates are available. 910!! This is going to be an instant failure for sure. Ok, I'll humour you again. Click 'Update'. After a small wait, sure enough, unresolved dependencies. Gee, that was like taking candy from a baby.
Linux -1

I see a few people have noticed my rant. Thanks for the input. OK let's quote some of them and answer.... (maybe I'll figure out how to add blogging software to my site so I can get proper feedback?)

> It's not easy to change habits... Remember it was the same when we switched
> from DOS to Windows 95. It crashes, it's slow and I need to click start/stop icons
> and wait for the computer saying it's ok to switch it off,??? Before, we just got to
> push the power button to switch it off. My Gravis UltraSound doesn't work correctly
> anymore? IRQ conflicts, what I can't assign them myself anymore? The OS does
> everything for me? But badly! Look at that mess! Windows, what's a shit! Ring any
> bells?

Ah yes, the good old days of DOS. I didn't actually switch from DOS directly to Windows 95. I did it gradually, DOS > Windows V1.0 (oh god what a shit that was) > back to DOS, wait a while, then  > Windows 3.0 > Windows 3.1 > Windows 3.11 for Workgroups > Windows 95 pre-release > Windows 95 etc etc. Plus I still used my Amiga and a few DOS-based GUI windows-like menus/programs for DOS so GUI manupulation of files and programs was not strange to me.  Well, this is 2007 now and devs should have got smarter and wiser. The common GUI interface for an OS is common-place now and has been since 1995 (and even way before that if you count the early Macs as being the leaders in OS GUI interfaces... or was it someone else?), there should be a program to do everything using the GUI including all configurations, and it should be S-L-I-C-K. People should be able to migrate to Linux without having to know all of the BS that is involved behind it (just like programmers use VC++ or whatever instead of programming in ASM or binary using Notepad or some shell based text editor like vi). It should just work out of the box and extra things that are needed should be easily available and more importantly, easily installable. But sadly everything doesn't work like it should. When it does work out of the box and everything works as expected, Linux will rule the world.... and I really hope that will happen. I wonder how long it will take Linux to reach that peak, or if it ever will?

> You can try installing the Windows apps through a Windows interface called
> "wine".

> Almost every desktop program should work as long as it doesn't rely too heavily on
> DirectX9. There is an app database on the site with instruction on installing some of
> the more difficult to get running apps.

I know about Wine and other programs similar to it (Cross Over Office etc). But nope, I refuse to run Windows apps and Wine. That would be cheating and admitting that Windows has won. The people who wrote Wine are actually admitting Windows is better just by it's existence. If Linux can't take on the big boys all by itself, then Linux will suffer.

> I am going through this right now too... seems a lot of people want to avoid Vista at
> all cost.

Indeed! I hope Microsoft will fail with it's attempt to X-Box the PC.

> LMAO. What a laugh I had reading this. Thanks Guru. Love the commentary on your
> trails with this :-)  Reminds me of my crash course in Linux. I ended up going with
> Ubuntu Linux, install automatix ( straight after Ubuntu
> installation.

Thankyou for your kind words. I was actually considering going to Ubunto first, but my ISP has an issue with downloading from their FTP in that any download over 2GB just keeps on going and going and going, and it seems their techs are not smart enough to fix it. I don't really want to use up a large part of my quota downloading dozens on Linux distros from the official sites until I find 'the one' (downloading directly from the ISP's FTP is free). That's why I went with Suse, I had the DVD and it was convenient.

OK let's get back to it....

Oh, I've noticed something with my all-time favourite app! Oh no!! Not Mailwasher!! Dammit. When logging off and shutting down the PC, Linux tells me 'your session was saved' and it doesn't shut down. If I close Mailwasher manually then log off, it works. Hmmm.

I really need to get a powerful/configurable FTP client. Filezilla just sucks the DDD (Smitty will know what that means ;-)
Let's try one.... IglooFTP Pro. In an RPM. Open with Software Installer. Wow, it's actually installing. It seemed to take a long time before it started installing though. Maybe it was downloading stuff from the net? Maybe the dependency server thing I did before worked? I have no f-ing idea.
Ok, so it's installed, but no icon in the application list?? HELLLLLOOOOOO, icons have existed since at least the Mac and Amiga days (early to mid 80's), or maybe even before that. Jesus Christ. OK, shell prompt
, IglooFTP-PRO. It loads.
HOLY CRAP now this looks pretty. Lots of config options. Almost looks like CuteFTP. Seems it's not free though. Maybe I'll buy it. Connect to a site. Hmm, can spawn sessions. Has a site manager. columns can't be resized, I can live with that. No drag & drop support. I may as well stick with Filezilla if I wanted that. Well, I won't uninstall it yet. I'm reserving my judgement for later..... I wonder if astalavista can help me make up my mind faster? ;-D

Let's get another one. AxYFTP. Check screen shots. Looks like an old Amiga program I used for file management. What was it called again? I forget. Urgh, anyway, I'm not going there, it's too simple. Next one... FTPCube. Screen shots looks nice. OK suck it down. It's a .gz but It runs from the unpacked dir, good, no installing. oh! it needs Python, and that's one of the things that wouldn't install from before because it has dependency issues. ok, no problems, delete. Next one. Kasablanca..  you dirty rat. Hmm no that was James Cagney. ''play it again Sam''. Yeah that's it, or was that a different movie or the same movie? According to what I read, Humphrey Bogart didn't actually say 'play it again Sam'. Urgghh, I don't know anything. Anyway, screen shots look interesting. Download it. Install. It's asking if it can install extra packages? No, I want to install it without actually installing it.... dummy!
YES, install the extra stuff, whatever! Just do it. I thought Linux had removed all of that 'are you sure' crap like Windows has, but it seems not. Still, it's nice to be able to just delete a file and not be asked 'are you sure?'. That might even be worth a point. Linux +1

Ah, Directory Opus, that was the Amiga program that AxYFTP looks like. It's all coming back now, ah the good old days.

Now Kasablanca is installed. Oh, and an icon in the application list too! Very good. Linux +1.
Click it.... popup box...
'There was an error setting up the inter-process communications for KDE. The message returned by the system was:  Authentication rejection, reason: None of the authentication protocols specified are supported and host-based authentication failed. Please check that the 'cdopserver' program is running.'
Hmmm, I'm in Gnome now. I want to use this program, I do not care about which UI i'm running, the program runs in the damn CPU, which is a Celeron 2GHz. The code is Intel and Linux, it will just run. Linux replies 'No buddy, you will run KDE or you can suck my right nut'.
Whoa! It has attitude too. Hmmmm, this is another thing that just lets Linux down, apart from the fact that Linux thinks it has a right nut, it has 2 user interfaces that are not wholly compatible. Probably. I have no idea, but it's a negative aspect anyway. Let's just have one UI and call it the Linux UI? Make it pretty, make it customisable, but first and foremost, make it compatible and usable! Linux -1

Well, let's see if the dcopythingy is running.
Yast.  Network Services. xinetd. dcopserver is not listed. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place? According to Google, dcopserver is part of KDE. But I have KDE installed and have used it. ok, shell again.
user1@linux-l0m6:~> dcopserver
It looks like dcopserver is already running. If you are sure
that it is not already running, remove /home/user1/.DCOPserver_linux-l0m6__0
and start dcopserver again.
Well, there is no .DCOPserver* dir there, so I can't delete it and restart. I clicked the OK button to kill the error box and the program loads anyway. gofigure. Looks a bit simple anyway. Connect to a site, site manager is non-existent (simple bookmarks only), transfer file.... No drag&drop. geez, what is it with these programs? Don't they understand the concept of 'a user friendly application'?
Oh well. Delete. Next one.

While reading about the dcopserver thingy, I also noticed people having similar trouble while trying to run Amarok. OK let's try it. Yep, same communication error. Hmmm, let's play with it anyway, click OK to clear the error. it runs. Load some MP3's into the library by importing my music dir, it works ok. Seems a little simple though. OK close it. Pop-up message, something about... to close it I should click 'quit' instead. and now it will run in the taskbar. OK whatever. Looking, looking....It's not in the taskbar, there is no icon!??? Maybe the devs were watching The Matrix at the same time as they coded that bit 'There Is No Spoon' etc. The music is still playing??? I can't turn this thing off. The volume slider in the notification bar doesn't affect it either! Oh well, the music is good so I'll just listen to it anyway. Must remember to uninstall this MOFO app though, next time I reboot. Rebooting seems like the only way to shut it off because I queued 12 hours of MP3s in Amarok! o_O
Linux -1

I'll skip kbear, the web site just brings up a my_sql error.

Well I've reached the end of the long list of FTP programs for Linux that I found on the net. It seems that IglooFTP or FTPCube are the best ones. I'll have to investigate FTPCube and python a bit more.

Music is still going....
yeah yeah yeah, uh uh uh, oh yeah, uh uh yeah uh yeah uh no no no yeah yeah yeah whoa whoa yeah yeah yeah uh uh huh uh huh, thats the way it is...........

Let's do that now. It says it needs wxPython something. OK get the binary. It installs. ok. Now run the FTPCube program. shell.
python build
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "", line 19, in ?
from distutils.core import setup
ImportError: No module named distutils.core

great! Hmmm, let's try this another way. Yast. Software Management. search distutil
A few python related things are listed. OK install them. Now it's telling me there are dependency issues and wants to know if it can delete stuff??? NO, I just installed that stuff buddy and it works! I select 'ignore'. About 1000 times!
Now it's selected 137M on one server, 60M from another and 60M from my DVD. Continue? DO IT!
It's now downloading and installing a whole bunch of unrelated BS. I don't care as long as that bloody FTPCube program works.
Done. Let's try this again. Shell prompt
python build
WHOA! a whole bunch of stuff just scrolled up the screen. And it appears to have worked.
Next instruction is....
python install
running install
error: invalid Python installation: unable to open /usr/lib/python2.5/config/Makefile (No such file or directory)

Let's try this another way. Oh no here we go. source compiling.
unpack to tmp
root shell
cd /tmp/Python-2.5
./configure   (tons of stuff scroll up the screen, but eventually... success)
make   (compiles and is successful... looks like it compiled the whole internet by the amount of stuff on the screen)
make install    (successful too!)
about a billion files were added to my HDD. Do the devs of this have shares in Seagate?
I'm lost, what was I trying to achieve. Oh yeah FTPCube.
cd to home/user1/ftpcube-0.5.1
linux-l0m6:/home/user1/ftpcube-0.5.1 # ftpcube
Ftpcube - Compilation error: No module named wx.
        Unable to import the wxPython package.
        Ftpcube cannot run without the wxPython package installed.
        For more information on how to obtain these packages, visit:
Are you joking? I just downloaded, compiled and installed the WHOLE INTERNET!
into Firefox again
Geez, 23.6MB! These devs have shares in Seagate too.
unpack to /tmp
cd /tmp/wxPython-src-
mkdir bld
cd bld
.make install
oh I'm sorry, I made a mistake before. THIS time I compiled the WHOLE internet.
ok everything installs and there were no errors.
Now I get a message telling me it worked and it's fully installed, but if I'm running Linux I need to add /usr/local/lib to /etc/ and then run ldconfig. ok.
gedit /etc/
It's already there. quit gedit.
back to ftpcube
linux-l0m6:/home/user1/ftpcube-0.5.1 # ftpcube
Ftpcube - Compilation error: No module named wx.
        Unable to import the wxPython package.
        Ftpcube cannot run without the wxPython package installed.
        For more information on how to obtain these packages, visit:

After all this, I'm starting to sound like one of those Linux geeks!
Search Google again for the error....
Ftpcube - Compilation error: No module named wx.
Unable to import the wxPython package.
Found a site at
It says...

Uses a Python GUI, so it works on both Windows and Linux. Has seamless FTP & SFTP support through a modular back-end, threaded browsing, multi-threaded downloading, queuing of file transfers, site management, recursive transfers, remote directory caching, and internationalization.

To install FtpCube, install the wxPython package, then run `python install'. Then add /usr/local/lib to /etc/ and re-run ldconfig. Wxpython is not included in Suse, and the binary RPMs wouldn't install, so it was necessary to compile wxpython from source. Wxpython compiled and installed cleanly. Unfortunately, despite trying a variety of paths for PYTHONPATH, ftpcube continued to give the following error:

Ftpcube - Compilation error: No module named wx.
Unable to import the wxPython package.
That guy tested almost every FTP program in existence and according to him they all suck.
Bloody Suse again. Holy f-ing Toledo Batman! OMG. I just wasted 4 hours!
I'm now ready to kill anyone within 10 metres of me. Lucky no one is here except me.
It looks like there is nothing on Linux to rival CuteFTP.
Linux -1 Windows +1
Oh wait, there's an ant. S-Q-U-I-S-H! Now I'm happy.

I got a few emails today from a dev I'm working with on a MAME-related thing. There was a pic attached. I was always able to open attachments with Gwenview from inside KMail and everything was sweet. Now I'm getting inter-process errors which come up. If I click OK, Gwenview will still load. This seems to have been caused by those dependency catalog server things uninstalling stuff because of dependency failures. This is a bit dumb. It worked before and after I updated the system trying to get the other stupid programs working then it stopped working. Must be something with KDE again. I don't know what all that BS is about. Probably poor old KDE Vs Gnome again. That's almost as bad as updating to XP SP2 and stuff just randomly stops working. Almost. Even with Windows, it will open up jpgs with no problems at all and no errors ever.
Linux -1, Windows +1

The system has now become almost unusable. Another attachment in KMail (a zip) won't open at all now from within KMail. No error, no nothing. I get inter-process errors when clicking on url links in kmail too. I don't recall receiving an 'Impossible Mission' message telling me the whole thing was going to self-destruct after a specified amount of time. Maybe it was muffled by my MP3's, which are still playing.
yeah yeah yeah, uh uh uh, oh yeah, uh uh yeah uh yeah uh no no no yeah yeah yeah whoa whoa yeah yeah yeah uh uh huh uh huh, go Johnny go go go...........
Linux -1

OK, so now I think it's time to drop Suse and go to Ubuntu. So switch to Firefox, go to the Ubuntu site and grab the torrent (probably the fastest way to grab something this big). It asks to open in the default app (ktorrent). As you may have guessed by now, anything related to KDE is f--ked. I am getting inter-process errors a lot. I can't even download a bloody torrent now. Looks like my XP box will have to do the job with uTorrent, now downloading at about 500k/sec.
Linux -1, Windows +1

Now it's time to play some scanning games. I have to scan some documents so this is a good opportunity to test it in Linux with my HP Scanjet 5590 Flatbed scanner with ADF (a very, very nice little gizmo :-)
This could be a suicide mission for Suse, let's see.
Load xsane. Nope, it doesn't do shit. No scanning devices detected. Hmm, OK,  Google again.
WHOA! HP has scanner support for Linux. Amazing. No HP Scanjet 5590 listed :(
There's a link to the sane project  but it's a 404!
According to Yast Package Manager, the HP scanning and Printing software is installed (hplip)
Ok, found the current sane site at There's a devices supported list with search capability. Search HP 5590........ Oh. Unsupported Device. Well, looks like Windows beats Linux there too as my scanner works very well in XP. In fact, it's so fast if you stand too close to it while scanning, it will suck the foreskin right off your di.... errr.... Well Linux doesn't support it so we'll leave it there. Linux -1, Windows +1

At this stage it seems hopeless that Linux is going to recover.

I was sent these sites from a friend today....
I might look at them next time. Unfortunately for Linux this is a bit late though!

Let's see what else I have around here that I could plug into the PC to break this limping camels back....
Samsung X640 Mobile Phone with USB link is not supported.
Logitech Harmony 880 Universal Remote with USB link is not supported.
WinFast DTV1000 TV card doesn't work.
AND, I'm not even going to think about plugging in any of my 6 EPROM programmers to give them a shot. I think these added up amount to at least -5. My HP Laserjet 1000 and Photosmart 385 are supported, but it really doesn't matter because even with +2 (bringing it back to -3), Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 is dead in the water as far as I'm concerned. Just don't bother Novell, you couldn't take the heat with DOS (Novell Netware) and you still have no f-ing idea how to do it.
Linux -3

Oh dear. Look at that, Linux is at -12 points. It lost the battle. Windows scored a big fat ZERO though.

Well that's it boys and girls, one week wasted. The adventure ends until next time.
Perhaps Ubuntu will fare better?

GAME OVER, but as Arnie says 'I'll be back'
Hasta-la-vista BABY!

Current Points       Suse Linux -12    Windows XP 0


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