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osOpinion: Linux Distributions: Making Things More Difficult?

Jan 31, 2000, 06:05 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Craig Roberts)

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"Linux, of course is due to its Open Source license, has more distributions than most people can count. This means of course, no two setups are identical. I, for example might install Red Hat 6.1, a friend may try Mandrake or SuSe. We're both running Linux, but we both have different utilities, windows managers and even the file locations may be different. Now, for people who know Linux this may not seem to be a problem, but what about all these people who are starting to use Linux for the first time? Surely debugging, installation and administration becomes easier for the learner if there was a 'standard' Linux distro? If people have a problem with Windows 98, they can compare their problem with someone else who is running Win 98. For example, I have been using Linux full time for about 3 weeks. Not long you might say, and I would have to agree. Anyway, I was trying to get some true-type fonts working on my machine and looked at the HOWTO files to get some instructions. The first problem I encountered? The XF86Config file was not where the HOWTO said it was. Okay, so I had to hunt around for it. When I finally found it, in a completely different branch of the file tree, I loaded Emacs to edit it. Now, my file was substantially different to the demo file. Rather than having a list of 5 or so FontPaths, I in fact only had 1."

"After doing some more questioning to other Linux users, I discovered that this setup is different for every distribution - a fact I am taking a truth merely from their superior knowledge of the subject. So, the help I had found was next to useless, because it was based on an earlier/alternative setup. Same OS, different distribution."

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