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What is your setup like and why.

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Postby x9200 » Thu, 10 Jan 2013 12:58 pm

Just have to vent off a bit. I made this fatal mistake installing the most recent Centos 6.3 on my PC at work. The outcome is like I would went back 6-8 years in time. I've been just struggling for 1h to get bloody java plugins working with Firefox and other browsers and issues like this are dozens. Even sound does not work properly and my pc is a Dell Optiflex so business standard and popular solution. Damn. I am pretty sure at this point that this is kept this way on purpose. Maybe, just maybe, the security-wise it is a great and well proven system but for everything else it simply sucks. It even does not have 'whois" in its standard packages.

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Postby zzm9980 » Fri, 11 Jan 2013 8:43 am

Sounds like Linux on the Desktop like I remember :D

Did you just not install the proper optional packages during install? Or do they not even exist in the repos? I would prefer the standard install to be the way you describe, since CentOS is supposed to be a server platform, not desktop. Now if Fedora had those problems out of the box...

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Postby x9200 » Sat, 12 Jan 2013 9:37 am

Centos I guess is a mixed environment distribution at this moment (both desktop and server). It comes with Gnome. It is said to be an enterprise Linux. In light with the recent Java exploits outbreak it looks like maybe it is a right approach. Enhanced security by denial to install properly. Even better enhancement could be reached by failing to detect the network cards but this was probably too extreme. Also I am not aware of any security hole in the sound drivers on the dell optiflexes.

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Postby RimBlock » Mon, 14 Jan 2013 9:11 am

Horses for courses.

To be fair, the Optiplex is a desktop machine and some of the main desktop manufacturers do sometimes put in some 'cheap & nasty' parts to keep cost down. Some hardware drivers may be proprietary and the manufacturers have not released source code or linux drivers. Hell, Windows Server 2012 still does not support the HP B110i integrated SAS controller (found in a number of HP entry level servers like my ML110 G7) as standard.

If there is a requirement on sound and it uses old desktop hardware then why not use Fedora as it is more of a desktop OS but with the underlying underwear of RHEL, the open source parts anyway. Would seem to be more appropriate.

As for Java.... considering the number of releases Java put out I am not so surprised you are seeing issues. When building a couple of servers for a client I had to install Java (not a browser plugin but the standard Java package). Part of the requirement was that I produced a 'playbook' so the client could rebuild the entire software stack line by line. Over the course of building the software stack, confirming that it was all working one package at a time and rolling back when there were issues, I stopped counting how many times Sun updated Java and ended up providing a link to the Java archive with the last version I installed and confirmed was working rather than a link to the current version. I am all for updating Java as long as it is worthwhile but eveytime I went back to the Java site for a rebuild a new version would be there.

Clearly the soundcards are disabled in the version of CentOS set for the Singapore locality to stop people sending subversive messages to the masses. On a desktop, the 'powers that be' probably believe they could stop it before it became too widespread. On a server they probably think it would spread too fast what with all those susceptible citizens connected :P.

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Postby x9200 » Mon, 14 Jan 2013 12:15 pm

RimBlock wrote:Horses for courses.

To be fair, the Optiplex is a desktop machine and some of the main desktop manufacturers do sometimes put in some 'cheap & nasty' parts to keep cost down. Some hardware drivers may be proprietary and the manufacturers have not released source code or linux drivers.

Yeh, but it works reasonably well under Ubuntu starting from 9.04 IIRC :) If someone advertises the distribution as an enterprise one and it comes with a desktop environment I would expect it should work out of box on a standard branded desktop pc used probably in zillions enterprises. Or do I fail to understand what is an enterprise distribution all about?

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Postby RimBlock » Mon, 14 Jan 2013 2:29 pm

x9200 wrote:Yeh, but it works reasonably well under Ubuntu starting from 9.04 IIRC :) If someone advertises the distribution as an enterprise one and it comes with a desktop environment I would expect it should work out of box on a standard branded desktop pc used probably in zillions enterprises. Or do I fail to understand what is an enterprise distribution all about?


Well Ubuntu has its roots in the desktop arena rather then the enterprise space so when they moved over with their enterprise version they just brought the other parts with them.

CentOS is an Enterprise system with a windows manager commonly used in desktop environments. Makes a slight difference. Sort of like Solaris coming with CDE.

What model Optiplex is it ?.

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Postby x9200 » Mon, 14 Jan 2013 8:37 pm

Hey, c'mon, are you saying that the Centos team relies on some precompiled kernels/modules and don't chose by themselves what goes inside their packages? :) It seems they should monitor what is on the market segment they target.

(I don't remember what exactly model this optiplex is, I can check it out tomorrow, but I also don't have problems making it working, I just think it should work out of box)

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Postby RimBlock » Tue, 15 Jan 2013 8:59 am

x9200 wrote:Hey, c'mon, are you saying that the Centos team relies on some precompiled kernels/modules and don't chose by themselves what goes inside their packages? :) It seems they should monitor what is on the market segment they target.


Not sure which part of my reply this is aimed at but as CentOS is aimed at the server / Enterprise sector of the market I am not so surprised that desktop parts not commonly used in that sector do not work out of the box.

To look at it another way, should Solaris work out of the box on the same desktop machine ?. Should RHEL ?.

I rarely have issues with CentOS working out of the box but then most of the desktop hardware I put it on uses core chipsets also commonly found in entry level servers (Intel nics for example).

Have you had a look at Stella. It is a desktop remix based on CentOS and may be more appropriate for what you are looking to do ?.

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Postby x9200 » Tue, 15 Jan 2013 10:48 am

Frankly I could not find any explicit statement saying that Centos is a server distribution. All other signs point IMO to a mixed/hybrid distribution. I.e.

Index of /centos/6.3/isos/x86_64
Name Last modified Size Parent Directory -
0_README.txt 06-Jul-2012 10:01 2.0K
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-LiveCD.iso 07-Jul-2012 17:26 692M
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-LiveCD.torrent 09-Jul-2012 18:03 217K
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-LiveDVD.iso 06-Jul-2012 13:07 1.6G
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-LiveDVD.torrent 09-Jul-2012 17:50 263K
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-bin-DVD1.iso 06-Jul-2012 10:20 4.0G
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-bin-DVD1to2.torrent 09-Jul-2012 18:15 217K
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-bin-DVD2.iso 06-Jul-2012 10:20 1.4G
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-minimal-EFI.iso 21-Aug-2012 18:30 364M
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-minimal.iso 06-Jul-2012 10:23 330M
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-netinstall-EFI.iso 18-Sep-2012 09:39 234M
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-netinstall.iso 06-Jul-2012 10:14 200M


Why would you want to have Live CDs for a server distribution?
From what I see in the FAQ it looks like Centos might have been considered a server distribution (questions like whether it is possible to install X-server etc) but it does not seem the case any longe. Or this: why anybody aiming at servers would consider putting NetworkManager in charge as the default setting? :)

Solaris is IMHO a different pair of shoes. I don't follow it already for quite some time but in the past it was very hardware specific. RH was always a mixed/hybrid distribution. No experience with RHEL but if they don't clearly mention it is for the servers then yes, I would expect it to work o-o-b on the standard business desktop machines.

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Postby RimBlock » Tue, 15 Jan 2013 11:24 am

x9200 wrote:Frankly I could not find any explicit statement saying that Centos is a server distribution. All other signs point IMO to a mixed/hybrid distribution. I.e.


Sure but I think if you want to have everything spelt out explicitlly for software packages like that you will be dissapointed. Producers target a particular market sector but hop to get overspill from other sectors if possible. Why would they reduce the chance of that overspill.

x9200 wrote:
Index of /centos/6.3/isos/x86_64
Name Last modified Size Parent Directory -
0_README.txt 06-Jul-2012 10:01 2.0K
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-LiveCD.iso 07-Jul-2012 17:26 692M
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-LiveCD.torrent 09-Jul-2012 18:03 217K
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-LiveDVD.iso 06-Jul-2012 13:07 1.6G
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-LiveDVD.torrent 09-Jul-2012 17:50 263K
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-bin-DVD1.iso 06-Jul-2012 10:20 4.0G
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-bin-DVD1to2.torrent 09-Jul-2012 18:15 217K
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-bin-DVD2.iso 06-Jul-2012 10:20 1.4G
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-minimal-EFI.iso 21-Aug-2012 18:30 364M
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-minimal.iso 06-Jul-2012 10:23 330M
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-netinstall-EFI.iso 18-Sep-2012 09:39 234M
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-netinstall.iso 06-Jul-2012 10:14 200M


Why would you want to have Live CDs for a server distribution?


I have used a Linux Live CD many times to correct an OS issue without wanting to install Linux to the machine in question. Sorting out drive paritions used to be a common. Having an issue with an entry in the fstab also currently prevents the OS booting to command line. Booting from a live CD allows mounting of the machines drive and then the fstab can be easily fixed. Whilst there are other ways of doing it, a live CD can be fairly handy.

x9200 wrote:From what I see in the FAQ it looks like Centos might have been considered a server distribution (questions like whether it is possible to install X-server etc) but it does not seem the case any longe. Or this: why anybody aiming at servers would consider putting NetworkManager in charge as the default setting? :)


Why would you do that in a desktop setting :wink: .

The problem I see is that it is listed as an Enterprise Linux without them defining what they believe that means. I get the impression that your take is that is can be used on any machine used in an enterprise environment. In the widest view that is clearly a reasonible interpretation. Mine is more of it being best suited for machines commonly only found in an enterprise environment, i.e. servers and the like so a bit more targetted.

It would seem that CentOS will not enlighten us either way.

That said, why do you think CentOS would be the best option for an enterprise desktop system ?.

RB
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Re: What is your setup like and why.

Postby samdirevo » Fri, 18 Jan 2013 12:26 pm

[quote="RimBlock"]I have started this as a thread where techy people can talk about their nerdy setups.

Often someone will start a thread with a question and it will get derailed as tangents start forming all over the place or people will stop rather than derail the thread even though the tangent may be of interest to others.
So here we have an open discussion of setups and the reasons behind them. It is not intended as a ‘bragging’ thread but more of a “This is what I have done, maybe this configuration may be worth thinking about for your needs”

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Postby x9200 » Sat, 19 Jan 2013 7:23 am

RimBlock wrote:
x9200 wrote:Frankly I could not find any explicit statement saying that Centos is a server distribution. All other signs point IMO to a mixed/hybrid distribution. I.e.


Sure but I think if you want to have everything spelt out explicitlly for software packages like that you will be dissapointed. Producers target a particular market sector but hop to get overspill from other sectors if possible. Why would they reduce the chance of that overspill.

And this is exactly the reason why I consider Centos a failure. I could say, it is ok if Centos comes with a paid commercial support but as it not, such approach does IMHO more collateral damage than any good. How they can possibly benefit from marketing something that does not work where other, competitive products do and the is no apparent reason for it?


x9200 wrote:
Index of /centos/6.3/isos/x86_64
Name Last modified Size Parent Directory -
0_README.txt 06-Jul-2012 10:01 2.0K
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-LiveCD.iso 07-Jul-2012 17:26 692M
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-LiveCD.torrent 09-Jul-2012 18:03 217K
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-LiveDVD.iso 06-Jul-2012 13:07 1.6G
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-LiveDVD.torrent 09-Jul-2012 17:50 263K
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-bin-DVD1.iso 06-Jul-2012 10:20 4.0G
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-bin-DVD1to2.torrent 09-Jul-2012 18:15 217K
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-bin-DVD2.iso 06-Jul-2012 10:20 1.4G
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-minimal-EFI.iso 21-Aug-2012 18:30 364M
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-minimal.iso 06-Jul-2012 10:23 330M
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-netinstall-EFI.iso 18-Sep-2012 09:39 234M
CentOS-6.3-x86_64-netinstall.iso 06-Jul-2012 10:14 200M


Why would you want to have Live CDs for a server distribution?


I have used a Linux Live CD many times to correct an OS issue without wanting to install Linux to the machine in question. Sorting out drive paritions used to be a common. Having an issue with an entry in the fstab also currently prevents the OS booting to command line. Booting from a live CD allows mounting of the machines drive and then the fstab can be easily fixed. Whilst there are other ways of doing it, a live CD can be fairly handy.

You don't need any Live CD for this. Every boot CD from practically any distribution got the set of basic tools including vi. On a very rare occasions Live CDs may better work for chrooting prior to installing boot managers (the full dev tree is created) but this would be damn lame reason for populating half of the server distribution on Live CDs :)

[..]

The problem I see is that it is listed as an Enterprise Linux without them defining what they believe that means. I get the impression that your take is that is can be used on any machine used in an enterprise environment. In the widest view that is clearly a reasonible interpretation. Mine is more of it being best suited for machines commonly only found in an enterprise environment, i.e. servers and the like so a bit more targetted.

Mine is similar to yours. I have never said "any". I said standard and popular. I believe the Dell's Optiflexes are such machines.


It would seem that CentOS will not enlighten us either way.

That said, why do you think CentOS would be the best option for an enterprise desktop system ?.

This is not that I expected it to be the best. I expected it to have the problems present few years ago in Fedora to be solved. I expected a neat, well designed, maintained and above all mature distribution with their components working together. When I have time I will surely try something different. At this moment I am thinking about Debian 7.

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Postby RimBlock » Tue, 22 Jan 2013 9:40 am

x9200 wrote:You don't need any Live CD for this. Every boot CD from practically any distribution got the set of basic tools including vi. On a very rare occasions Live CDs may better work for chrooting prior to installing boot managers (the full dev tree is created) but this would be damn lame reason for populating half of the server distribution on Live CDs :)


Whilst you and I may be quite happy playing around at the command line using vi and its obscure key combinations to edit files, there are those who would prefer a gui and a gui based editor where they can perform the tasks with a few quick clicks. They also know that with a live CD they can play around and do some testing without having to do a full install on to the hardware of a machine. Doing a trial with a live CD would have saved you having to install to the optiplex only to find out some of the things you need do not work.

The OS, just as all the others, are aimed at a broad range of people, not just yourself with your more advanced knowledge and experience. Like it or not, other people who more often than not may have been brought up on the Windows generation of products are more likely to transition easier with a gui based product. Having a base system on a CD makes troubleshooting easy. If you find doing this troubleshooting via the command line easier then that is fine but others may not.

x9200 wrote:Mine is similar to yours. I have never said "any". I said standard and popular. I believe the Dell's Optiflexes are such machines.


Nope, you are right, you didn't say "any". You also didn't mention what you believe standard and popular means in your view or which Enterpise desktops should not be considered.

Enterprise desktop machines from the top players (IBM/Dell/HP) would be where I would expect support to be covered maybe giving a generation or two leeway from the current production units.

We can not comment on the machine you are using as you haven't provided the model up until now. Without the machine model it is not possilbe to examine why you may have had the problem or what went wrong.

x9200 wrote:This is not that I expected it to be the best. I expected it to have the problems present few years ago in Fedora to be solved. I expected a neat, well designed, maintained and above all mature distribution with their components working together. When I have time I will surely try something different. At this moment I am thinking about Debian 7.


Why, Fedora and CentOS are different products created by different teams. Why would issues seen in Fedora be fixed in CentOS. Debian is well repected although I am no aware of people using it as a desktop OS but surely there are.

Again, I would agree that CentOS is not best suited for a desktop OS regardless of what its own website state. It is, however, a great Server OS if someone needs one that is free and Linux based.

Maybe you could try a Debian Live DVD first, before installing it :wink: .

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Postby x9200 » Sat, 26 Jan 2013 10:55 am

RimBlock wrote:Whilst you and I may be quite happy playing around at the command line using vi and its obscure key combinations to edit files, there are those who would prefer a gui and a gui based editor where they can perform the tasks with a few quick clicks. They also know that with a live CD they can play

As you know I am not a professional IT but IMVHO fixing a broken system with some basic tools available everywhere and making you independent of a full load of the libraries is a must have skill for any wanna be sysadmin of unice-like platform. Besides, I really doubt you can do any serious fixing from the gui level of the l-CD. These are not dedicated repair distribution so the only comfort one can get is in having some basic editing commands as options in the menu. I would expect people who want to administrate such systems should be able to learn a few key-combinations. I am not a vi believer or fan (I prefer pico/nano) and I know only the basics but it already helped me to solve literally hundreds of problems where no gui was available at all.


around and do some testing without having to do a full install on to the hardware of a machine. Doing a trial with a live CD would have saved you having to install to the optiplex only to find out some of the things you need do not work.

This is in general a valid point but a l-CD is not a fully blown and installed system so having tried this or that would seldom help. Can I install Java on any of the popular l-CD distros? Should I install a dozen or 3 packages I use to be sure? Is it possible at all? Will all the drivers work and be available with the l-CD? The problems if not catastrophic shows up typically later and these catastrophic due to the limitation of the l-CD may be easily solvable within the already installed system. In other words I would not make my judgement based on l-CD. IMO this can be mostly useful for some people unfamiliar with the system who want to see the look and feel of a particular distribution. People how intend to operate a system should already have such knowledge.

The OS, just as all the others, are aimed at a broad range of people, not just yourself with your more advanced knowledge and experience. Like it or not, other people who more often than not may have been brought up on the Windows generation of products are more likely to transition easier with a gui based product. Having a base system on a CD makes troubleshooting easy. If you find doing this troubleshooting via the command line easier then that is fine but others may not.

I simply doubt there is here any equivalent. What I can do with the boot CD such person would probably not be able to do with any l-CD gui.


Enterprise desktop machines from the top players (IBM/Dell/HP) would be where I would expect support to be covered maybe giving a generation or two leeway from the current production units.

We can not comment on the machine you are using as you haven't provided the model up until now. Without the machine model it is not possilbe to examine why you may have had the problem or what went wrong.

Oh I am sorry, I just checked as I was sure I did it but I did not indeed. I can check it on Monday but I am not sure if this is that relevant. It has some minor problems with sound showing up with a few application (i.e. mplayer) but what was actually more annoying is the need of configure many things by hand that work o-o-box in the other distributions.

Why, Fedora and CentOS are different products created by different teams. Why would issues seen in Fedora be fixed in CentOS. Debian is well repected although I am no aware of people using it as a desktop OS but surely there are.

The connections between Centos, Fedora and RHE are well known and emphasized in many places. One should expect learning from the errors of the sister/mother-distros is the right thing to do. Don't you think? ;)

Again, I would agree that CentOS is not best suited for a desktop OS regardless of what its own website state. It is, however, a great Server OS if someone needs one that is free and Linux based.

Maybe you could try a Debian Live DVD first, before installing it :wink: .

I will do it and than I will install it and then come back here!

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Postby RimBlock » Mon, 28 Jan 2013 9:51 am

x9200 wrote:
As you know I am not a professional IT but IMVHO fixing a broken system with some basic tools available everywhere and making you independent of a full load of the libraries is a must have skill for any wanna be sysadmin of unice-like platform. Besides, I really doubt you can do any serious fixing from the gui level of the l-CD.


Sure but you are a knowledgeable person who has dedicated a reasonable amount of time in order to learn how to do this. Kudos to you but others may not have the time or enthusiasm in order to want to make that commitment but would still like to use the operating system. They could still use fdisk or parted for disk issues. They can boot on the Live DVD and mount the system partitions and fix issues that way, this freeing up in use or difficult to edit and save files.

A classic example, as previously mentioned, is the incorrect setup of the fstab. If there is an entry for a disk/partition that no longer exists then CentOS will not boot. It will allow you to enter in recovery mode and then you will find the file is generally mounted as read only so you cannot edit it and correct the problem. From the command line you can mount it RW on another partition and then edit it but there tend to be many different sets of instructions on how to do this and the correct parameters to use, some of which are out of date, some have typos, some are for different distributions. If you have not taken the time to search (either in a book or via the internet on another machine as this one cannot as it cannot boot), find, test and record the instructions then the other option is to use a Live DVD, boot, use one of the gui tools to mount the system drive from the troubled installation, use one of the gui editors to fix the file, pop the DVD out and reboot. If you get stuck you have access to the internet to help search for a solution and you have the ability to copy and paste to help avoid typos.

At the very least, I like to use a live DVD to enable me to have 4 terminal sessions up and to be able to copy / paste between them or to be able to start a process in one and have another monitoring results in the log files.

If, however, the machine in question was in an environment where there was no easy direct access (i.e. in a datacenter) then the person administering it needs to know how to do so without a Live DVD.

x9200 wrote: These are not dedicated repair distribution so the only comfort one can get is in having some basic editing commands as options in the menu. I would expect people who want to administrate such systems should be able to learn a few key-combinations. I am not a vi believer or fan (I prefer pico/nano) and I know only the basics but it already helped me to solve literally hundreds of problems where no gui was available at all.


Sure but with a Live DVD, the gui can always be available if you have access to the machine in question and can set the machine to boot from it.

x9200 wrote:IMO this can be mostly useful for some people unfamiliar with the system who want to see the look and feel of a particular distribution. People how intend to operate a system should already have such knowledge.


Not sure I get you. If someone is coming from Solaris and want to look at using CentOS (or any other distro) are likely to get a fairly good idea of a system from a Live DVD without the need to install it.

To say you won't make a decision based on a Live DVD is your prerogative, but to explain it away due to a live DVD not offering a full system and about issues showing up maybe XXX months down the line and drivers may not be included is really missing, IMO, the point of the Live DVD.

It is intended as a taste. Someone may want to see the differences between Fedora and Ubuntu. It will give an idea without the need to install anything and you can quickly flick between the two.

If you want to run testing over a period of time with a full system then it should be clear that you would need to install. A Live DVD can give a taste of different distros so you can narrow down in the first place what may be a short list someone may wish to try for a longer test.

x9200 wrote:
I simply doubt there is here any equivalent. What I can do with the boot CD such person would probably not be able to do with any l-CD gui.


Err, well I would hope so as it is tailored for different jobs. The point being made is that most people can sort out most normal issues they may encounter in a basic install with a live DVD and may find it easier to do so than having to use the recovery console.

If you use a boot CD with various tools setup to aid system recovery then there would be a bit of an issue if a Live DVD could do just as well.

x9200 wrote:
I can check it on Monday but I am not sure if this is that relevant. It has some minor problems with sound showing up with a few application (i.e. mplayer) but what was actually more annoying is the need of configure many things by hand that work o-o-box in the other distributions.


More for interest than anything else.

I think we are of the conclusion that CentOS is not the best desktop operating system. I still beleive it is a very good free Server OS though.

x9200 wrote:
The connections between Centos, Fedora and RHE are well known and emphasized in many places. One should expect learning from the errors of the sister/mother-distros is the right thing to do. Don't you think? ;)


Yes but I see no evidence of it being a rule of nature in computing or any other industry. Car manufacturers don't always learn from one another even if the 'other' is a brand owned by the same parent company or even if the brand is the same but a model is different.

The fact that others are better in that area is where their competitive advantage lies.


x9200 wrote:
I will do it and than I will install it and then come back here!


I would be interested to see what you make of it.

RB
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