Linux is impossibly complicated

Discussion in 'Linux Networking' started by Fred Jones, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. Also some people seem to forget that linux=kernel, but easy of use depends
    actually not much on kernel as on distribution. If one distribution will be
    easier it won't affect much other distros, people should help in that
    instead of bitching.

    Everyone will win on that, people which like less popular distros will have
    greater support for hardware. Regular users finally would have an
    Dariusz =?iso-8859-2?Q?Kuli=F1ski?= / TaKeDa, Jun 7, 2004
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  2. that's usenet, the person don't see that you're there you can simply ignore
    him without any consequences if you don't want to help.
    If you want to be efficient, rewrite linux in assembler it will be smaller
    and faster. Currently to fit in a floppy you simply are removing a lot of
    it's functionality, compressing files. Do you believe that's efficient?
    That's just cheating (you're wasting memory and cpu cycles to decompress it
    and storing decompressed version, it doesn't serve any other purpose than a

    Do you want to see true achievement? Look on demo disc of QNX. It has a
    network support, GUI and even a web browser on ONE floppy.

    But that is just a demonstration, nobody will use it for work, that's
    serves only one purpose - people will say: "they could do that? wow"
    Dariusz =?iso-8859-2?Q?Kuli=F1ski?= / TaKeDa, Jun 7, 2004
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  3. Fred Jones

    Gerard Guest

    On Mon, 7 Jun 2004 14:43:12 -0700, Dariusz KuliƱski / TaKeDa scribbled:

    I'll tell you a little story about a man (lett's call him Bill... ;)

    Bill dies, and after doing so, he arrives at heaven's gate. st Peter
    welcomes him and confronts him with his options. He lets him choose where
    he wants to go, heaven or 'the other place'. Well, says Bill, I find it
    hard to make a choice, can I take a look first? Well sure, says st Peter,
    come with me, and I'll show you.

    First, they arrive at heavens door. They see people strawling along green
    pastures by mumbling brooks, surrounded by larks and butterflies. Hmmmm,
    Bill says, I'd like to see the other place now.

    They walk to another door. When it opens, Bill sees a pub, with joyfull
    people at the bar, having fun, drinking an occasional beer, smoking their
    cigars and cigarettes, throwing darts, etc. Outside the pub, people are
    jogging along through tranquile urban streets.

    They return to the lobby and Peter asks Bill what he wants. Well, Bill
    says, I've made my choice Peter! I would like to go to 'the other place'.
    Okay, Peter says, I'll fill in the appropriate forms, wait a second.

    After filling in the form, they return to the door of Bill's choice and
    Peter lets him through. All of a sudden Bill finds himself in a very, I
    mean *very* hot environment, tar-pits al around, flames up to the roof,
    saters poking him with burning rods, etcetera. Then he sees the boss and
    cries out: yo, satan, what of the image I saw a few minutes ago? saten
    grins and replies:


    GerardLinux ay tee filternet dee oo tee ann el

    Das machinen is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy
    schnappen der spingenwerk, blowenfusen und corkenpoppen mit spitzensparken.
    Ist nicht fur gewerken by das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren
    keepen handen in das pockets. Relaxen und vatch das blinkenlights!!!
    Gerard, Jun 8, 2004
  4. So that what I meant when I was talking about all OS'es on floppies, it
    simply doesn't count.
    Dariusz =?iso-8859-2?Q?Kuli=F1ski?= / TaKeDa, Jun 8, 2004
  5. As Gerard suggested: I don't use it doesn't mean nobody uses it.

    Well, I do use them for many various tasks like debuging network
    connection of Windoze machinech (for this little floppy provides much more
    useful information than a whole disk consuming "OS"), I do use it to
    install those Windoze machines when there is no CD-ROM drive available -
    (simply partition disk, format it and copy files over network -> reboot w/
    DOS boot floppy and install that think they keep asking for).

    Not to mention that so called "live" CD distros are nice since you can
    take your familiar environment everywhere you go. And yet even on a CD
    with a lot more space available, I still haven't seen full-featured
    Windoze like that. :)

    Not that it would be really importatn, I just wanted to let you know:
    There are actually people using that for real work (or at least one person
    more than nobody),
    Ondrej Kubecka, Jun 8, 2004
  6. Here in comp.os.linux.networking,
    I'm afraid it isn't true that "nobody cares". I know I certainly do.

    I still have a lot of hardware here which won't boot from CD-ROM due to
    BIOS limitations, but is otherwise more than adequate for most desktop
    functions. This 192MB PPro/200 box, for example, is still very capable
    as a desktop machine, but it won't boot from CD. It's simply too old.

    Hardware which is even older (like my 486 firewall box here) can still
    be put to very effective use with the right software. I've been very
    pleased to be able to use Coyote Linux 2.2 (a specialized single-floppy
    Linux distribution) on my 486, as it gives me a dedicated firewall and
    frees up my more powerful boxes for interactive desktop stuff. That
    machine doesn't even *have* a working CD-ROM drive anymore...

    Just because you don't happen to see a need for floppies anymore doesn't
    mean others don't, and this seems to be one more in a long list of good
    examples of why "cookie cutter" solutions don't work well for everybody.

    When a user has access to software like Linux, they have more freedom
    to use that software in a way that *they* find most convenient.
    Until *everyone* moves forward to hardware which is completely floppy-
    independent, a process which will take several more years, the ability
    to use floppy diskettes will continue to be important to some users.
    Richard Steiner, Jun 9, 2004
  7. Here in comp.os.linux.networking,
    If all you want is the kernel, a basic shell, a firewall, and some small
    supporting tools, then it's fine. Coyote Linux even includes a small web
    server on its single-floppy distribution for remote administration, and
    my copy also runs a copy of iptraf so I can monitor network traffic.
    The memory and CPU cycles are expended at boot time, but the resulting
    running system resides on a RAMdisk and is completely functional (the
    floppy diskette is no longer needed or accessed after the boot process).

    Since the system isn't rebooted except for upgrades or (in my case) for
    power failures which exceed my UPS's ability to protect the system, the
    booting process only occurs around once a year (approximately).

    In my case, the "demonstration" I'm using has been connecting my entire
    LAN to the internet for over four years now. :)

    See this link for more information:
    Yes, the QNX demo diskette is a nice illustration of what can be done
    in terms of creating a small client, but it isn't as useful as a more
    specialized server version like Coyote. :)
    Richard Steiner, Jun 9, 2004
  8. Ok you're right, but what I was trying to point out that having a linux on
    floppy is not very big achievement. Yes I said nobody need that, but I see
    I was wrong, so I'm correcting it: "most of users don't need it".

    Also I'm running my freebsd server on an old computer (about 5 years old),
    and using CD-ROM was very convenient for me.

    Also I first saw PC since 386, but those which I know already had a CD-ROM
    so is hard for me to believe that your 486 didn't have cd-rom (unless you
    removed it).
    Already 10 years passed, I think times which I was talking were in in 93.
    Dariusz =?iso-8859-2?Q?Kuli=F1ski?= / TaKeDa, Jun 9, 2004
  9. Here in comp.os.linux.networking,
    My Micron Millenia Pro2 Plus and IBM IntelliStation Z Pro systems (all
    PPro systems, the Micron from late 1996 and the two IBMs from early or
    mid-1997) have no way to boot from a CD-ROM, so the floppy requirement
    is somewhat more recent than 1993. :)

    Then again, my three Compaq Deskpro 6200 boxes (also PPro systems from
    mid-1997 I think) will boot from CD-ROM, so 1997 must've been the period
    where support for bootable CD-ROMs started appearing.

    Keep in mind that those boxes are all 686-class machines, and are also
    all probably capable of running newer Linux distros or even Windows XP
    variants (might require more RAM on some of the systems, though), so it
    isn't like we're talking about the equivalent of the Model T here. :)
    Richard Steiner, Jun 9, 2004
  10. Fred Jones

    Gerard Guest

    OK, so you *DO* have about 10 years experience ;)

    Ah, the good old days... 8086's with 128Kb internal memory and two 5,25
    *FLOPPY* drives (if one was lucky, otherwise only one!)....

    The magnificant 6502 (C64) machine code...

    But wait, before that, we had the Z80's machine language (I vividly
    remember Rodney Zaks' book "Programming the Z80"!). This was used in a lot
    of computers running CP/M (on which DOS was founded).

    And before that there was the RCA 1802, also known as the ELF
    microprocessor, that we programmed using a 17 key-keyboard (16 hex keys and
    an enter key) and a few switches to go between programming mode and 'run'
    mode... This little chip was also used in space-shuttles due to its
    versatillity... I never had more fun than when I programmed my model-train
    track with my ELF computer with 256 *BYTES* of memory! (speaking of
    effecient programming ;)

    hmmmm, we're getting a bit off topic, I believe, but: those were the days,
    my friends...
    Gerard, Jun 9, 2004
  11. That was my first computer.
    Ok, that was more than 10 years
    But it was very interesting.
    Dariusz =?iso-8859-2?Q?Kuli=F1ski?= / TaKeDa, Jun 9, 2004
  12. Fred Jones

    Richard Gunn Guest

    Also I first saw PC since 386, but those which I know already had a CD-ROM
    I have a couple of 486 machines that have only floppy disc drive and 120MB
    hard disks. I had installed IPCOP on a DX266 from CD by hanging a CD off
    the IDE bus especially, but it didn't have enough memory (or so it seems) to
    load a second NIC so couldnt use it as a firewall. I had tried Coyote and
    not got anywhere with it. Both machines have never had CDROM - 1 a clone
    and the other a DEC PC.

    Anyway, maybe I'll try again as I am now using a PII 400 (I think) as my
    firewall/web/ftp/samba server which, although it will stay, I would liek to
    have another 'standby' box to replace it with you it fail (being fairly new
    to Linux I doubt my trouble-shooting skills are very good presently and
    can't live without my broadband - especially when needing help!).

    Reading this thread has given me the urge to start trying again - maybe with
    just a normal floppy distro I can play with IPCHAINS on knowing I am not
    going to need to install anything over the top of existing hardware (ideal
    use of the bootable floppy!).

    Richard Gunn, Jun 10, 2004
  13. Fred Jones

    Kalevi Nyman Guest

    Linux is only complicated for Micro Softheads. All the rest of us
    are willing to learn. My wife (54) expresses exactly the same
    arguments as all childish complainers here, but she complains
    about Windows. Why is everything so uppside down in Windows
    is her daily question. Why? She learned UNIX as her first OS.
    Then Linux. She refuses to touch our doughters laptop with
    Windows eXPensive. After almost 6 years of Linux/UNIX work
    she "refuses to learn everything backwords" she says.

    The fact is, neither Windows nor Linux are difficult if you are a
    beginner and are not used to ANY system. Both have excellent GUI
    and if you can use a wordprocessor, spreadsheet or other
    applications in Gnome or KDE, you can very easily work with
    corresponding Windows apps and vice versa!

    Of course there are differencies in operating systems, but then
    again Linux is free, not as in free beer but as in free speach.
    Anybody can download ISO-images and burn installation CDs at will.
    Anybody can keep up with bugs and updates with simple tools
    that are mostly automatic or semi-automatic.
    Anybody can install Linux in any number of computers.

    This list can go on for long and take more diskspace than a
    SWAP partition, so I stop here.

    But - there is no stopping Linux by M$ or anybody else. Linux
    is not a company it's an idea of sharing code to the benefit
    for all. How can an idea go bankrupt?

    Kalevi Nyman, Jun 17, 2004
  14. Fred Jones

    James Knott Guest

    MIne was VAX/VMS. I hated working on dumbed down DOS & Windows.
    I've also been running OS/2 on my computers for over 12 years.


    (This space intentionally left blank.)

    To reply to this message, replace everything to the left of "@" with
    James Knott, Jun 17, 2004
  15. Fred Jones

    Juhan Leemet Guest

    Other distros can also do network installs (either NFS or FTP), if you
    boot from a set of floppies. Unfortunately, the memory footprint seems to
    keep increasing. SuSE no longer installs on anything less than a i586, and
    NFS installs required 32MB for SuSE 7.2, then 64MB for 8.2, and I believe
    requires 128MB for 9.2. I think you can run (but not install) in smaller
    memory, but then installation would be a tricky thing (install in one
    machine, trim & reconfigure, then run in another). I'm not sure why
    they're going that way, with steadily growing memory requirement? I was
    originally hoping to be able to run the same distro/version on a range of
    old/new machines. That would make support and maintenance easier. However,
    that no longer seems practical (maybe theoretically? but not worth the
    effort). So, like Gerard suggests, you probably have to be choosy as to
    which Linux distro. I recently found Puppy, but I haven't tried it yet.
    Juhan Leemet, Jun 23, 2004
  16. Fred Jones

    Gerard Guest


    Yep, exactly the reason for me to choose a somewhat older slackware distro.

    Just had my attention drawn to, I think I'll give that a try
    as well..

    GerardLinux ay tee filternet dee oo tee ann el

    \ /
    '-. | | .-'
    ___| |___
    -= [ ] =-
    `---. .---'
    __||__ | | __||__
    '-..-' | | '-..-'
    || | | ||
    ||_.-| |-,_||
    .-"` `"`'` `"-.
    .' '.

    Jesus is alive, I spoke with Him this morning!
    Gerard, Jun 24, 2004
  17. I've used slackware .... better ... but when I've installed gentoo ...
    it was a breeze.

    you might try gentoo for your need.

    raqueeb hassan
    congo (drc)
    Raqueeb Hassan, Jun 24, 2004
  18. Gentoo is configuring the kernel on my other machine as we speak...

    GerardLinux ay tee filternet dee oo tee ann el

    \ /
    '-. | | .-'
    ___| |___
    -= [ ] =-
    `---. .---'
    __||__ | | __||__
    '-..-' | | '-..-'
    || | | ||
    ||_.-| |-,_||
    .-"` `"`'` `"-.
    .' '.

    Jesus is alive, I spoke with Him this morning!
    Gerard Wassink, Jun 25, 2004
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