slowpain ≠ slickeasy

by Mark on

I have a functioning Linux installation on my laptop – Fedora Core 15 as it happens. Compared to the slickeasy process of setting up Ubuntu, getting Fedora Core to the same point in usability has been very slowpain. While using any non-Ubuntu distro while in the mindset of a vanilla Linux home user, I’m always struck (repeatedly and agonizingly, as if with a big wooden mallet) by just how much less polished the setup is. Say what you like about Ubuntu and Canonical – and by god, people do! – they have polished the turd of user experience to a diamond sheen. Ubuntu Just Works.

Let’s compare

I don’t have a set standard for “functioning desktop environment”; if I have an Internet connection and access both Dropbox and Google Chrome, I am 90% set up. However:

Steps to launch Google Chrome in Ubuntu:

  1. Fetch google-chrome.deb from the download page.
  2. dpkg -i google-chrome.deb.
  3. Launch Google Chrome.

Steps to launch Google Chrome in Fedora Core:

  1. Fetch google-chrome.rpm from the download page.
  2. rpm -i google-chrome.rpm.
  3. Note the missing dependencies, research them and install them.
  4. Further research the missing dependency and wind up having to download it separately, outside ofthe package manager. Have awful as fuck flashback to the [[dependency hell]] that originally drove me away from Fedore Core, seven fucking years ago.
  5. Resolve all dependency.
  6. Launch Google Chrome and en…it doesn’t launch.
  7. Pop open a terminal, and attempt a launch from there to determine what the error message is.
  8. Google the error message and seize upon a solution (disable [[selinux]]) while sailing through a frothy sea of angry comments regarding Google’s packaging policies, Ubuntu, Fedora, SELinux and that cunt squirrel who jangled the modem cable.
  9. Disable SELinux, reboot.
  10. Launch Google chrome.

All of the above is typical of my experiences with Fedora. I mean, Christ, I had to hunt down wicd by hand in Windows because for some reason the version of Network Manager that ships with this version of Gnome/Fedora wasn’t able to connect to my fucking wireless network.

I would call all of this taking the piss, but for the fact that I have actually managed to install it. The Ubuntu installed crashes out because of a bug regarding the RAM in my Netbook, and the 4GB Debian and Suse downloads are just fucking frightening. I have no need whatsoever for that many packages. I /love/ Arch Linux, but there is way too much work involved in just getting it running.

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