Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Ubuntu Gutsy is Bloatware. The latest ubuntu distro is terrible, comparing with the previous one, Feisty Fawn.
Cases like this make me think about the 6 months release cycle, and really appreciate my Debian stable, which is old, but working. So why am I saying Ubuntu Gutsy is terrible ?
First, upgrading breaks USB mounting. During Beta testing phase many people reported that upgrading will break mounting of external disks. Well, the guys in Canonical think this is not important, and released without supplying an adequate solution.
This is wrong, because it hearts product loyalty. Many users, like me are loyal until something just happens. I've used Ubuntu from version 6.04 to 7.10 as main laptop working station. Prior to this, I've use SuSE, until their terrible package management drove me away ! Now with Ubuntu 7.10 being so bad, I looking for alternatives.
Second, Gutsy has many great features, but do we need them all ? Canonical, has done a great job winning the linux desktop, and now is aiming for the server and corporate market. But I suspect that some decisions are just to biased. For example, the inclusion of AppArmor and SELinux. Security is important feature of any OS and linux is already doing a great job. Do desktop users need such enhanced security as AppArmor or SElinux, which is implemented in the NSA ?
Well, the reason I rant about that is that, both services slow down boot times significantly, and remind me the days I've been working with OpenSuSE 10.1, which was slugish. I used ubuntu 7.04 on a small old laptop, which has a 500 MHz processor and 128 MB of RAM. Boot time from GRUB to GDM took 1:47 minutes. With the new kernel and boot process it takes over 5 minutes!
Now, advanced users can of course disable AppArmor on boot time, but try removing the package libselinux - everything is dependent on it ! So it won't be removed.
So, old laptops will just work terribly slow with gutsy ! So does Tracker slows things down, and behaves in awkward ways. Tracker, SElinux, and AppArmor, are all great features, but are terribly heavy, and should not be installed on old computers. Hardware detection should do better and at least ask the user if they should be activated by default.
Eventually, I've ended up, burning another feisty CD, and reinstalling it. I'll wait and see what will be with ubuntu 8.04. If it won't work to my liking I'll completely switch to Debian. My server runs on it and I'm happy with it.