Finding David

20 years in USAF, retired in 1993. Currently employed and well on my way to being independently out of debt....

My Photo
Location: Sanford, Maine, United States

Sunday, February 13, 2005

So, You Wanna Try An Alternate Operating System, Eh?

Ubuntu Linux
Originally uploaded by carney1979.
Is Linux really ready for the common desktop?

I wish I had a nickel for every time I read that last statement. I could probably make another mortgage payment!

As many of you probably know by now (or will soon), I have shunned Micro$oft Windoze for Linux.

I have run Linux since late 1995/early 1996. The only reason MS Windoze resides anywhere on my computer is Linux has yet to come up with a decent (IMHO) flight simulator that beats the one by Micro$oft.

So, is Linux ready for the common desktop?

Not quite. (...again, something I've heard for many years.)

I run Ubuntu Linux, a distribution that I heartily recommend to any who are Linux savy.

I was running version 4.10, also known as Warty Warthog. Oh yeah, Linux vendors like to name each release of their distributions. I upgraded to 5.04 (Hoary Hedgehog) last night.

In doing so, the kernel was replaced by a newer version.

For you complete newbies, the kernel (and even Windoze has a kernel) is like a middle-man between you and your hardware, such as disk drives, printers, etc. You (through the software) tell the computer that you want to print something and the software passes this to the kernel, which passes it to the printer. Viola! You get your printout.

Well, anyway, whenever you install a new kernel, you need a new graphics driver. This is actually what draws the "picture" on your screen.

Linux comes standard with several (well, OK, LOTS!) of graphics drivers. But if you have an accelerated video card like mine, you need a special driver.

So I went to the Nvidia web site and downloaded the driver for my card.

I installed the driver. It didn't work.

I switched back to the non-accelerated driver and searched for a solution online. I tried fiddling with this setting and that, I tried too many things to remember, each time switching drivers and rebooting. Many, many hours spent trying to get this thing to work.

Guess what? The Nvidia driver has a bug and won't work with my particular type of card.

When is the replacement driver going to be released? Your guess is as good as mine!

I've heard February 30th.......

So, is Linux really ready for the common desktop?


Post a Comment

<< Home