[thelist] Developing in Linux

Bill Moseley moseley at hank.org
Tue May 13 22:40:55 CDT 2008

On Wed, May 14, 2008 at 02:13:45PM +1200, Paul Bennett wrote:
> Hi all,
> Interesting discussion :)
> I switched my dev machine over to Ubuntu around 2 months ago (maybe less) for no other reason than I wanted to try it out.
> Minuses
> -----------------
> - Had to hose my whole partition because I couldn't resize the
> default windows xp partition and was too lazy / anxious to bother
> with a proper resize tool

Odd.  I installed Ubuntu on a Dell that came with Windows on the
entire partition and it ended up like this after asking how small to
make the Windows partition.  It was part of the installation process.

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1           6       48163+  de  Dell Utility
/dev/sda2   *           7        2715    21760042+   7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3            2716       29637   216250965   83  Linux
/dev/sda4           29638       30394     6080602+   5  Extended
/dev/sda5           29638       30394     6080571   82  Linux swap / Solaris

> - video editing is apparently nonexistent. Home movie production has
> ceased. Wife is unimpressed.

Nonexistent would be poor Googling on your part, but indeed it's
nothing like what Windows or the Mac have.

I've tried a few tools like http://heroinewarrior.com/cinelerra.php3
but it's nothing like firing up iMovie for simple editing.  Of course,
those are nothing but toys compared to professional tools.

And it's odd there are not better options considering how deeply
involved linux is in making feature films these days, and how fast the
studio's tools evolve.

> - lack of default codecs to play dvd's, mp3s is a PITA. Setup seems
> buggy (what may work once may not work next time)

I just installed a laptop today and this just isn't that hard to do:

    sudo apt-get install mplayer w32codecs

I find that on my Linux machines I can view many more formats than on
Windows in general.

> - installing Java

$ apt-cache search java | grep java | wc -l

> - getting a dial up modem working was possible, but not without drama

Never attempted such a thing.  Shoot me first.

> - gnome desktop is *ugly*. Why do all the fonts have to be so big
> and all the icons take up so much space. Should I be looking at KDE?

My install today had too small fonts, if anything.  I think Gnome
(Ubuntu?) made some decision to force dpi setting to 96 which seems
silly.  Maybe that was the problem.  Did you try adjusting the font

Here's Linux Firefox screen with Windows XP running in virtual box in
the back ground to compare fonts. I think the fonts in XP look bad
compared to my Linux setup -- but maybe I don't know how to tweak the
windows fonts:


I find that I tend to get used to whatever fonts I use daily and
everything else looks wrong.

> - default file browser to open files from within applications is a usability nightmare

In some cases.  Drives me nuts when they don't provide tab completion.

> - setting up Apache / PHP / Mysql was (ironically) easier on
> windows...

    This was the command I used today to install the servers:

    sudo apt-get install libapache2-mod-perl2 apache2-mpm-prefork \
        mysql-server-5.0 mysql-client-5.0 \

    And I did it remotely.  Sure it's easier. ;)

> - there just aren't Linux alternatives for some things, so you have
> to run WINE which is a passable user experience at best

$ apt-cache policy wine
  Installed: (none)
  Candidate: 0.9.46-0ubuntu1
  Version table:
     0.9.46-0ubuntu1 0
        500 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com gutsy/universe Packages

Hum, I must be missing something.

> - file permissions are a pain to learn (this may be just me - I have
> no brain for things like regexp either)

> - I hate the GIMP

That's one of those programs I wish I had time to learn.  For serious
work the graphic artists have this nice Apples and Photoshop.

> Pluses
> -----------------
> - all hardware except modem picked up without error (including
> wireless network card)

You got lucky. ;)

> - my wife has made the switch without any drama, although her needs
> are pretty simple

You got lucky again.  Can your wife call my wife?

> - apt-get is brilliant - all OS's should adopt something like this!

See above.

> - stability on a par with xp sp2

$ uptime
 20:22:29 up 401 days, 10:21,  2 users,  load average: 0.04, 0.03, 0.00

I reboot every year or so whether I need to or not.

Bill Moseley
moseley at hank.org

More information about the thelist mailing list