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ubuntu looked great!

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November 8, 2006 11:28:54 AM

I must say that Ubuntu looked really slick until I actually wanted to DO something with it. I went to a site that needed JRE installed, only to find out that Firefox under Ubuntu cannot install it automatically. I found the instructions on Sun's web site, got part way into them, and decided that this it was just too much trouble. Come on, why should I EVER have to create a symbolic link by typing a long, archaic command?

And Ubuntu only gives me options of 60 Hz refresh rate in any screen resolution on a new machine. What's up with that?

OK, I know this all makes me seem like a troll, but I just got disappointed all over again. I had heard such good things about Ubuntu, and it looked so slick and inviting, that I really thought much of the Linux desktop complexities had been hidden from the user. What a rude awakening!

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November 8, 2006 6:58:05 PM

Try using Synaptics "Applications->Add/remove", search for Java, this pulls up the Java5 JRE and SDK, etc. Select it, then select "Install". If used correctly, it's not any harder, just different.
November 8, 2006 9:02:25 PM

Thanks. I did what you said and added Java Runtime, but it still doesn't work inside Firefox. So, even to get the Java Runtime as a plug-in for Firefox, I am apparently supposed to go through a manual procedure and create a symbolic link that requires that I know where JRE was installed by the automated process. So, as slick as the GUI is, command-line roots are still showing. Thanks, again, though.
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November 8, 2006 9:18:29 PM

i'll just put my hand up and say it's not just Ubuntu, but firefox in general.
on my suse 10.0, i deleted the firefox .rpm to install the latest .tar.gz from mozilla.com. and java doesn't work (either .rpm or .tar.gz from the sun website)

actually, i'm not allergic to typing in long commands, so if someone could point to how to get the plugin to work, i'd be much appreciative...
November 9, 2006 12:57:56 AM

If you're installing via tarballs/rpms, then all that is need after that point is to make a symbolic link from a shared library to one of a few locations.

First, find libjavaplugin_oji.so (mine is located in "/opt/sun-jdk-1.4.2.10/jre/plugin/i386/ns610-gcc32/" on my laptop), then decide what scope you want the plugin to work for (i.e. for all users or just you). For just you, make the sumbolic link in "/home/your_username/.mozilla/plugins/", for global access find the Firefox install (mine is at "/usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/plugins/"). So, using my examples, you'd enter [code:1:9e96326caa]ln -s /opt/sun-jdk-1.4.2.10/jre/plugin/i386/ns610-gcc32/libjavaplugin_oji.so /home/your_username/.mozilla/plugins/[/code:1:9e96326caa]for local only and[code:1:9e96326caa]ln -s /opt/sun-jdk-1.4.2.10/jre/plugin/i386/ns610-gcc32/libjavaplugin_oji.so /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/plugins/[/code:1:9e96326caa] for global use.
November 9, 2006 1:04:13 AM

Wow, count me among the disappointed, I don't really use Ubuntu but I assumed they'd have that worked out for something as ubiquitous as Java plugin. Even though I use Gentoo (and as such use the command line to install apps) all that was required for working JDK+plugin was "emerge java", emerge being the installation tool.
November 9, 2006 10:28:12 PM

EasyUbuntu

Works although not strictly in the Ubuntu spirit.. Gives you the following:

[code:1:1fa93a8dc6]Multimedia

* Enhance video player: Install a better multimedia backend (totem-xine replace totem-gstreamer)
* Free Codecs: Add Support for playing mp3 and other non-free formats
* Binary Codecs: Add support for proprietary video and audio formats (w32codecs) (only x86)
* libdvdcss: Read commercial and encrypted DVDs
* MIDI: Add support for playing midi files

Web

* Flash: Enable the Macromedia Flash plugin (only x86)
* Java: Enable the Java plugin (Sun Java for x86, amd64) (IBM java for ppc)
* Videos: Enable viewing videos embedded in webpages

Archives

* RAR: extract and create RAR archives
* ACE: extract ACE archives
* 7-Zip: Extract 7-Zip archives

System

* Repository list: Main, Universe, Multiverse and PLF (replace your previous sources.list)
* Fonts: Install Microsoft and other nice fonts
* DMA: Enable Direct Memory Access to improve DVD reading (breezy)
* Nvidia: install the official driver to enable 3D on Nvidia graphics cards
* ATI: install the official driver to enable 3D on ATI graphics cards

Voice Over IP

* Wengo: a free Voice Over IP software (available in dapper)
* Skype: the most popular VoIP software (only x86)

[/code:1:1fa93a8dc6]
November 17, 2006 7:49:14 PM

Yes, of course the various "get things the way you want them" scripts will do it, but my point was that for a "user friendly" distro it shouldn't be required (it should be handled by the installation framework). Since that is the very goal of the distro, in that aspect there is work to be done.

Just my $.02
November 18, 2006 8:28:04 AM

A lot of this comes down to the philosophy of the distro producer though.

Ubuntu deliberately leave out many of the things the scripts set up, MP3 support being a good example. Its ironic that we all slate MS for including a player and driving other companies out of the market but it seems to be the first thing we want to do with a linux distro.

Whilst I agree its a pain having to set things up I'll at least credit the fact that they explain why they had to do it this way. Short of buying your distro (and paying the loyalties) I dont really see a better way round it.

Ubuntu is aiming for corporate clients. It has to be carefull.
November 20, 2006 1:42:56 AM

I agree that the philosophies of the maintainers/figureheads play into the included software and officially supported packages offered through their repositories, but this (in my eyes) is less of a question of whether a package should be made available and more a question of if made available through a package management system, allowing the manager to properly set up the environment (if possible) to make life easier on the uninitiated. The thing is, just that kind of functionality is in the .deb format (control.tar.gz->postinst), it just that whoever made said package didn't include a script that asks if browser plugin installation is wanted and then tries to fulfill that request.

As for the corporate setting, simply set up company-wide policies to never use certain repositories. It can be as simple as that to keep the company out of legal hot water (save for Ballmer's stance that all Linux users owe MS money for patent infringement).
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