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Where Linux Needs to Get a Clue


Although the tone of this page may sound like a rant, please consider that this is a serious problem and needs to be addressed immediately on the Linux distributions
  
    fmh> Suppose you install debian without a network card, then later
    fmh> add one.  Is there any way to re-run that initial installation
    fmh> program (where it prompts you for your ip address, hostname,
    fmh> etc) without having to also reinstall everything else? Or do
    fmh> you have to get the scripts and configuration files for
    fmh> networking going by hand?
    fmh> 

>I don't think you can rerun the network configuration after the system
>has been installed. But it is quite easy to setup networking assuming:

>(1) your network card is recognized by your kernel (recompile if
>necessary)

>(2) you know all the network settings (IP Address, netmask, gateway)

>The only difference is that instead of entering that network information
>when prompted by the installer, you now have to enter that info into
>/etc/network/interfaces with a text editor.
PasWiki Reply:
Come on dear Linux and its users. Get a clue. "Oh, just open up the hood and take the engine apart and change the bearings (you may also have to take the entire electrical system out, which should take 5 minutes (that's of course if you use Emacs)). It's really no different than opening the trunk and getting your carry bag out, really."

From the above post, it appears that linux is severely crippled with regards to command line configuration tools for simple things like networks (that people happen to use and install every day). This needs to change.


Running Debian without a network card?
Installing a simple program from a floppy or CD?
Good luck. So many people are used to and heavily rely on apt-get from the internet. This is BAD. The internet is not something we should desparately rely heavily on, just to install a program! What about a system which you can't get your network card easily installed? Why can't people install all sorts of programs off a signle CD easily or Floppy (not the installation CD, I mean a CD that I have a couple good tools on that I backed up to use at some point. Do I make my own Deb/rpm files and put them on CD's? The current solution seems to be to make my own tar installers manually, or write my own installation scripts, or use a bloated installation cd with millions of outdated old programs on it, or just give up and use a network card with apt-get, which I can't do in many cases, especially on a new system that doesn't like the network card that I just installed, or a system that doesn't have a cd rom but has a floppy, etc. etc.).

I do like the FPC installation program since I can just install FPC without apt-get.. some installation shell scripts are designed well. But most people don't have good installation programs and rely on people compiling the source or using RPM/APT tools. Every time I have the urge to type APT-GET, I quickly reconsider and try to find an installation program since installation programs can be reused without a network card or install cd. I just wish there was an uninstall script too.

Is it that complicated and obfuscated, that you can't even install a program off a floppy any more, dear debian? What about situations where you just don't care to setup a network card on a PC, because you don't have 3 network cards for 3 computers you are running? Do you have to pop the huge bulky installation CD in just to install a program, let alone if the program is even included with your installation? What if one just simply wants to make a back up copy of a program, so one can install it separately on as many pc's as he likes? Is this impossible with todays so called Operating Systems? No, sorry Debian, I WON'T "just run apt-get". It's not as easy and stupid as that. There are other things more important in life than just being able to type

  apt-get -install MyDumbProgramBecauseImaLazyCommandLineIdiot
  apt-get -install ImaSlaveToMyInternetProviderToo

Debian (and other distros) need to learn that: 

 -users need to be able to download a program from an internet website and install it

 -finding the right apt-get command to run is not an excuse. What if I don't HAVE a 
  freaking network card. What if I want a copy of a program on a floppy to install
  off the floppy?  Gzip src package (compile yourself, dumbnut) is not an excuse. An 
  install shell script is okay, but where the fuck is the UNINSTALL script?. 
  
 -What if I just want to pop a floppy in the drive and get a program installed on 
  some other machine easily without a network card? Do I have to 
  screw around with dpkg, deb files, and alien, gzip, and RPM files? How is this easy 
  for people? Let alone, even if its not EASY, what advantages DOES it offer to an 
  intelligent human? 
 
 -users need to be able to make back up copies and clones of there programs. Having 
  60 files spread out across 789 directories is not intelligent. 

  i.e. Storing files in 

       /usr/bin /usr/var /usr/lib /home/files/ /etc/blackhole/ /lib/files/
       /etc/share/ /lib/share/ /bin/ /bin/more/  /var/blackhole/  
       
       just to run one simple program is NOT intelligent nor effecient, nor 
       organized.
  
  Saying that "it's for advanced users" is like saying that eating an apple with a 
  toothpick and no teeth is for "advanced users". Malarky. Horse Shit. Donkey Shit. 
  Get a clue.

  Let's take a real world example:

    Joe wants to download and use midnight commander on his machine. His machine 
    doesn't have a network card, and he cares not to get the network card working 
    since its just a temporary situation. Joe goes to midnightcommander.com on his 
    machine that does have an internet connection. He downloads an installation file 
    onto his floppy. Joe installs midnight commander from his floppy (the latest 
    version). Possible on Debian? Nope. 

    Should it be?   Yes, if you are sane.  Yes, if you want your operating system to
    be used by intelligent people who do have a clue.
   
    Oh but blah blah there are advantages to shipping a gzip file that you have to 
    compile yourself manually blah blah blah especially if you have to blah blah blah
    copy all the files manually blah blah to 500 different directories blah blah 
    shared objects and blah blah here and there in black holes blah blah only wimps
    use install and uninstall programs blah blah.

    Enough! Get a clue.


The author of this page uses Gnu/Linux every day and is happy with the OS in general, and happy with it in many ways. This is just a clue to improve on. It's a serious clue.
See also: The Stupidity of Files Without Extensions

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