How Ubuntu nuked my laptop

May 13, 2007

How Ubuntu nuked my laptop Based on some comments from my previous posts about Ubuntu, I decided I would in fact give it a try but if you are looking for a glamorous review of Ubuntu, this is not going to be it. I have nothing good to say about the operating system, its bootloader or anything about it really except that the LiveCD worked and my wireless decided to work but not my graphics card… you try looking at an “out of phase” display for a few minutes, see HOW you like it.

First I tried to install Ubuntu Studio which failed; I couldn’t get past the X-Server error or whatever gibberish it spits out that counts as an error. For the record, X-Server has got to be the worst implementation of anything in the history of operating systems; it’s too stupid for its own good. I shouldn’t have to define the hardware location of my graphics card nor manually input my display characteristics… oh and the manual configuration shouldn’t be a half baked cross between a GUI and text installer either.

At this point I figured it might be a bad DVD so I ran the disc checker (the one that comes with all Linux distros) which found no errors. The command to manually configure X-Server is not worth the space in my brain to remember, that’s what search engines are for, friends.

Having done that and growing more impatient by the minute, I decided that Ubuntu Studio just wasn’t going to work. So I tried to get a vanilla Ubuntu installation, downloaded it and yet more X-Server problems. I mean seriously, what is wrong with X-Server; it really is a piece of junk. After trying VESA and several other modes, the “Safe Graphic Mode” worked and for once it recognized and enabled my wireless card. Still no joy with my ATi Mobility X1600 though and I hear that ATi cards really are a problem for X-Server… hmmmm, just imagine if Windows was plagued with these problems and had utilities that didn’t know the difference between a USB port and a DVD drive (okay, maybe I exaggerate that point but not by much).

On with the show, since it booted and was working, I figured I’d install it just for kicks. That was a mistake I am still feeling. I had to reboot into Windows TWICE because the partitioning utility just like everything else is dumb as dirt. I had to create the two in Windows for the swap and root directory, fine, okay, done. Note this is going on about four hours and every moment of it felt like driving a nail into my eye. I’m counting download, burning and troubleshooting here.

Fine, Ubuntu does it’s thing, installs various files, downloads various packages, yadda yadda yadda, I wasn’t really paying attention because I can get up from a Vista install, leave it for 20 minutes or so and let it finish all by itself, doing that with Ubuntu is well, like taking a 45 caliber pistol and shooting your hard drive at point blank range.

So I come back, I find GRUB installed… for those of you who don’t know Vista doesn’t like it when GRUB tries to wrestle control from its boot loader so I knew this was not going to be good. I’m not really sure what happened between point A and point B but for a moment I did have a boot selection between Vista and Ubuntu and I tried to start Ubuntu. That was a mistake and that’s where my house of cards came tumbling down burying me in about a thousand tons of rubble. I got the good old X-Server can’t start error and I would really like to know what they were thinking with the option “would you like to see the error so you can troubleshoot it.” I mean it’s worse than a Windows hex memory dump error, bunch of letters and numbers that make no sense at all and even more so since my display was a jumble because, that’s right, it wasn’t configured correctly.

Alright, fine, I’ll just boot back into Vista and nuke Ubuntu. What do I get… I do not get a boot selection, I get “GRUB error” and that’s it, black screen of death, not even a command prompt and from that point not even the LiveCD would start. I did manage to recombine all those messed up partitions (thanks Ubuntu) in Vista by deleting them and what a novel concept that Vista automatically recombines them and asks to format them to either NTFS or FAT32, wow, did this not dawn on the Ubuntu team, honestly guys, what decade are you living in?  Proprietary, schmieatary, just produce something that works… you know… in some ways Vista is better but at this point I’m hard pressed to find anything good about Ubuntu.

I’m grateful for the fact that I did not wipe my previous installation of Vista from my larger yet slower backup drive and my disk image DVD decided it wasn’t going to work for reasons unknown. I have plenty of other burned discs that work fine so let’s rule out my burner or choice of discs.

Basically Ubuntu turned my laptop into a smoking pile of dung for a good portion of the day and it is not an experience I will repeat any time soon. You Linux evangelists can keep your propaganda and the Ubuntu team can keep what they call an excuse for an operating system but it really is an effective way to destroy a system.

Want to sell your old computer on eBay, let Ubuntu nuke it for you, problem solved. I don’t really know what the problem with X-Server was, could have been graphics, display configuration or even something less sinister, frankly I don’t know and at this point the only way you could get me to go back and check is the offer of $10,000,000 in an overseas account.

If you want Ubuntu and you go to a college that has a Linux club or “Linux install fest” let them deal with it or just buy one from Dell or System76. You’d have to pay me about $20,000,000 to try it again; I’m only willing to check the error thingy for $10,000,000.

Before the comments start, could I really make this up? Decide for yourselves. Those of you, who know me, know I wouldn’t waste my time writing about Linux unless it was the unvarnished, unpolished truth. Of course to this point, I’ve never really had what could be classified as a “good” or even “mediocre” experience and this one has to be the worst yet.

Windows could be partly to blame but most of it lies with Ubuntu.  The only real operating systems are Windows XP, Vista or Mac OSX there are no other operating systems, believing so is almost delusional. Everything was fine until GRUB came along, it’s junk too.  But don’t forget all those X-Server issues which also got under my skin, few things cause me to want to throw my hard drive out a window, Ubuntu brought me the closest yet.

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57 Responses to “How Ubuntu nuked my laptop”

  1. djule:

    Blame ATI…

  2. James:

    I’m sorry, but I think that was one of the most blindly useless articles I’ve ever seen. Yes, you had it bad. It does appear that Ubuntu went haywire on you, but since you haven’t had an experience with ubuntu that ‘just works’ (as it does 95% of the time) can you really make a comment that the entire operating system is garbage? Are you really such an authority on operating systems (linux included) that you can conclude Ubuntu is not really worth being called an operating system?

    I have been a user of windows for 10 years, and linux in general for 2. To be quite honest I have had very few issues with either, both are suitable for working and having fun on. I’m sorry to say I think you were the exception because all of the Ubuntu experiences i have had have been great. However, to your credit, I believe your reaction to the bad experience is exactly the same reaction most people would have and if Ubuntu can’t provide a perfect experience 99.99% of the time then it will never become a dominant operating system.

    Let’s face it though. Most people don’t want to install an operating system, and when it doesn’t work people get upset. No reason to write a rant about how much the whole system sucks though.

  3. Weirdo:

    I’ll say only two things:

    First of all, djule is right, ATI cards on Linux suck and are a PITA to configure.

    Secondly, what would you expect from an anti-Linux blog? Just check this out: “The only real operating systems are Windows XP, Vista or Mac OSX there are no other operating systems, believing so is almost delusional.”. If this is true, how am I writing this comment?

    Nuff said…

  4. nosredaekim:

    Grub wrestling control from Vista’s Bootloader? haha yeah right.

    Do you even have a clue about the new Windows bootloader that thinks its the master of the known universe? Grub is NOT at fault here, In fact, if you weren’t using a bleeding edge OS like Vista, but instead XP, grub would have automatically detected Windows, and put an entry for it in the boot loader. But no, Microsoft had to change everything in Vista so that there would be NO interoperability. Like the thought? I thought so. Posting this in this biased blog is probably not even worth it.

    And your insults on the X server? ahaha. In windows can you switch between logged in users simply by hitting alt-f7 and altf8? I thought not. You FINALLY have multiple desktops, while X has had them for DECADES. You sir are not a journalist, you are a flamer.

  5. Jonathan Schlaffer:

    With my problems, what’s my incentive to actually try it again and risk the same thing happening. Why would I want to risk my other computers in the same way. All I know is, everything was fine until GRUB came along… maybe it’s GRUB’s fault, maybe not but I had to draw some sort of conclusion. Quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, smells like a duck.

    Maybe it was Vista’s fault… maybe it was GRUBs, for the sake of the post I had to blame something, maybe the blame is split, who knows. Ubuntu ruined it, that much I do know, had I not messed with it, I wouldn’t have found myself swapping out hard drives (again).

    And, I wrote the post just a few minutes after I got my laptop with Vista installed up and running from the backup drive. So, maybe I was a little hot at the time… you should have seen the unedited post… no, I’m not going to share.

  6. cyber_rigger:

    Here’s a list of companies selling pre-installed desktop Linux.

    http://lxer.com/module/forums/t/23168/

    http://lxer.com/module/db/index.php?dbn=14

  7. Plato:

    Man, you are just stupid. Try to think a bit. Imagine that you were asked to install wista on a machine with preinstalled Ubuntu. What you would say about Vista in this case. Would you be able to boot in your Ubuntu system after Vista installation (if it is successful, of course)?

    P.S. I promise that this is the last time I visit this stupid blog. Bye, bye………

  8. Plato:

    P.S.S. I am not Ubuntu fan boy.

  9. Jonathan Schlaffer:

    If I did have to install Vista on a system with Ubuntu already loaded on it, I would probably install a second drive to put Vista on… maybe that would have had better luck. This being a laptop, that was not an option.

    If I were getting paid to install Vista and Ubuntu on the same system, I would first image the Vista partition to a backup DVD. Then I would attempt to install Ubuntu. I could probably get it working if I were so inclined to do so… (meaning being paid).

    Most people I have spoken with use XP, are in the process of deploying Vista and have a smattering of Macs around. Not once did the issue of dual booting Linux enter the conversation.

    It’s a Microsoft centric world that we live in, get used to it. Yes, I am aware of several companies preinstalling Ubuntu or other distros of Linux, as mentioned in the post, System76 and soon-to-be Dell are two of them. I’d have no problem with that but by the same token, I wouldn’t risk installing Vista on them. Don’t think I could blame Ubuntu if problems arose… think again.

  10. dhaval:

    hey,
    the problem with boot loder wasn’t grub. its vista, who thinks that it is the only operating system in the world.

    you try ubuntu, but you already have decided that it was going to be bad experience , so how it going to change you mind.

    there is only 1% user who have this kind of stupid problems, you included in this 1 %.

  11. Ken:

    So, I take it you never had to hit [F8] when booting Windows to enter the safe or vga mode? The issue with Vista and Grub is well documented and the fix is also easily found. If you think ATI drivers were never a problem in Windows, Google it.

    However, you are correct. Linux is above your gaming computer building, lack of critical thinking technical skills.
    My 74 year old mother-in-law didn’t have a problem with it. It would be interesting to have you use a computer that had Linux properly installed (you know like OSX, or a Dell windows machine) from the vendor. I bet I could take a Ubuntu Dell, and a Vista Dell and give them to two Joe Publics who only surf the web, do email, upload pictures etc… Set them for automatic updates. Want to bet which one would better shape in 6 months? Anyway, you were negative going in, obviously didn’t want to research potential problems prior/ during installation. I’m guessing you have a Thinkpad and didn’t research any gotchas prior to this adventure. You never did answer my question in your previous rant regarding how you problem solve Windows errors in 15 minutes. I know a guy that bought a new motherboard, hooked his drives to the onboard RAID controller, and couldn’t install Windows because the RAID drivers weren’t on the XP disk. He got a no drives found. He ranted for a few hours, finally called me and I told him about the [F6] key during install when the prompt for loading other drivers came up. This was obviously Microsoft ‘s fault.
    At any rate, enjoy your resource hogging, DRM’ed insecure OS. I guess if the only tool you can operate is a hammer, every problem needs to be a nail.

  12. IaDude:

    Before anyone makes major changes to a computer they should research- ATI has issues. Why anyone would try to dual boot with something as bleeding edge as visa, is questionable. Now take your meds and next time put in a blank hard drive to install on first. If you want to experiment, don’t use your good toys. I’m writing this with Ubuntu while installing Studio on my lappy with a different drive. I use my linux computers and have no need for M$. Enjoy your blue screens and virus with vista,

  13. DeadCabbit:

    Sorry, but Linux is not for everyone. Before you start installing an operating system, try reading stuff, like hardware compatibility or MAYBE about the grub thingy. People don’t drive in my country without a driving license you know…

  14. suuperjan:

    wow, last time i wrote to tell you, you should stop writing about linux, this time, i’m here to tell you to stop writing about PC’s. This is really sad. But let me give you one tip: RTFM!

  15. Seopher:

    I write a lot about usable linux and I too have completely munged up an XP install playing with Ubuntu. Until these issues are entirely resolved it’s unlikely that it’s going to take off in the mainstream.

    I’m not slating Ubuntu, or Linux in general because it’s my main topic on Seopher.com but it’s stories like this that highlight how tricky it can be to use – still.

  16. Jonathan Schlaffer:

    I could have lived with it being installed but not being able to boot because of a silly X-Server issue. Ever known a Windows install to NOT work because of a graphics issue… not in my 10 years of really dealing with it I haven’t. And yet here is Ubuntu that can’t start because of a mundane issue. Fine, let’s move past that then… the fact remains this is a laptop, it’s not like I can change the hardware in it (except for the HD and memory).

    Okay, it doesn’t boot… but something somewhere destroyed the bootloader(s) which I had nothing to do with. Was it Ubuntu, was it Windows, I don’t know, I will never know…

    The partition utility also needs much work… I like the utility in Vista, it’s no-nonsense point and click. I’m sorry but if you like working with manual configurations, command lines and boot commands, great, I don’t have the time nor the patience to deal with it… unless I was really being paid to do so.

    My main issue is with the bootloaders getting nuked… I could have lived with one operating system (albeit wasting space) that wouldn’t boot.

  17. char:

    After I installed Ubuntu on my laptop, GRUB didn’t have an entry for Windows. Ubuntu worked perfectly though. I had to manually edit the GRUB settings to add Windows but now everything is fine.
    I’m not an IT person and I still use mainly Windows (not on my laptop though) but I know that you shouldn’t install Linux on anything with an ATI graphics card because it only gives you grief. You really have to blame yourself for your troubles. Why don’t you try installing OS X on your laptop next and whine about it.

  18. dingbat:

    First, I do agree the ubuntu installer should give a warning and exit when it detects windows Vista on a machine. Something along the lines of “Microsoft Vista does not allow you to install a non-Microsoft Operating System” would be good and fair. It will also keep the lazy and the stupid from getting into something they cannot handle.

    Secondly, if you want to play with computers, you should be able to have fun figuring things out. If you think that is just a waste of time, don’t play with computers.

    I could continue with a rant about “pointy-clickety” mentality, but I wont. Have fun with Vista, I hear it’s got a nifty new alt-tab or some such thing!

  19. ComputerBob.com:

    In your article, and then again in your response to a comment, you say things like, “The partition utility also needs much work… I like the utility in Vista, it’s no-nonsense point and click. I’m sorry but if you like working with manual configurations, command lines and boot commands, great, I don’t have the time nor the patience to deal with it… unless I was really being paid to do so.”

    I’ve been where you are. In fact, everyone who has ever tried to anything other than point and click has run into problems. Some of them stick with it and solve the problems; or realize that the problems are beyond our current skillset and seek help from others who are more experienced. Eventually, the problem gets solved, and they learn a lot from their efforts.

    Unfortunately, still others give up because it isn’t easy, and since they’re unwilling to face their own limitations, they point fingers of blame at everything and everyone but themselves, when in fact that they don’t have the skills, patience, or whatever is needed for the job that they chose to take on.

    I’m sorry, but now that you have documented your dismal research, troubleshooting, and analytical skills, and your complete lack of patience and persistence, I just can’t imagine anyone paying to do any sort of PC tech support. And now your article will serve as a huge red warning sign to anyone who might consider you for such a job.

    In order to teach, you first have to be willing to learn.

  20. Efraim:

    I wonder.
    You must be a complete idiot.
    It’s not only a matter of ‘patience’, it’s reaally a matter of stupidity.
    Ubuntu rocks.
    Runs out of the install disk at once.
    It’s free (both as in free beer and free soul).
    In the rare occasions where you have to trim it (less frequent as in vista, byw) you lear n a lot.
    What do you want more, you stupid zombie?
    Go back to vista, pay through your nose for a operating system that is
    a) weak
    b) snooping all your personal data
    c) obsolete (compared with beryl)
    and enjoy it, running inside your guinea pig wheel.

  21. Ken:

    You could have done this to get Vista bootloader working.

    To repair your computer using Startup Repair follow these steps:

    1. Boot into Vista installation DVD
    2. Choose your language settings and click Next
    3. Click Repair your computer
    4. Choose your operating system and click Next. This should bring up System Recovery Options.
    5. Click on Startup Repair

    Startup Repair should now start diagnosing your system to identify the root cause of the failure. Once it has identified the root cause, it would automatically start repairing your computer. If you are curious to know what Startup Repair did, you can click on the details link and see which tests Startup Repair ran to diagnose the problem.

    After Startup Repair has finished the repairs, click Finish to reboot your computer.

    Your computer should now be able to boot normally into Vista!!

    That should have saved you a bunch of time getting Vista working without needing to spend hours hours on it.

    I’ve got two words for you: Virtual Machine. M$ has a free one. It will run Linux and you shouldn’t have to think too hard to make it work. Suse 10.2 or PCLinuxos may work better for you. The great thing about Linux is the choices.

    I don’t know what you do for a living, I hope to God it isn’t I.T. above setting up Windows in someone’s home. I had a few Vista hardware problems upgrading some workstations. Most are now working using updated drivers and work arounds. The difference is I didn’t start throwing my blocks when they didn’t shake out perfectly. You’re denying yourself a chance for growing because you have a short attention span. Keep believing all the positive press and user experiences with Linux are delusional because you have Fisher Price I.T. skills. You expected a bad experience going in. Might want to change your slogan to Technology with a bad attitude.

  22. ku6708:

    Personally, I’ve been using Linux for the Last 10 years. You could classify it as a hobbiest OS, But I would put Ubuntu in a different category. I’ve haven’t ran into any major issues installing Ubuntu on Dell Desktop’s and Laptops. My hats off to all Linux companies and for that matter BSD, Sun, MacOS etc… for at least trying to break the monopoly that is Windows and giving the end user a choice.

    My choice? Ubuntu!

  23. Anonymous Coward:

    The bad news,
    you did one critical thing wrong — by trying out Ubuntu and reporting the results when it fails. This is the most foolish things to do because all other Ubuntu users will blast you to hell :-)

    The good news,
    you are not alone — I’ve tried installing Ubuntu and just couldn’t get it up and running but I’ve got SUSE, Debian and Mepis working on this same machine :-)

  24. DERF:

    Dude your article is way off and you are an idiot, get a life punk.

  25. M$SUX:

    In PC OSs right now the market is starkly segmented. Windows is for the great unwashed masses who don’t know any better when you tell them there’s no way to prevent a computer from crashing, there’s no way to make a PC safe from outside attack, and you must invest in new hardware to get cool nearly-new features. There is OS X and Linux (including Ubuntu) for the upper tier of computer users – those who not only know that stable, useful, and affordable computing is possible but in fact demand it. Each person has the right to choose.

    I have a Dell D610 laptop – not ancient, but not top of the line. I dual-boot XP and Ubuntu easily and with no problems. Ubuntu runs so darned fast on this laptop that the only time I ever use XP is when I must share Powerpoint files with some one. OpenOffice Impress doesn’t seemlessly read and write .ppt yet. But that’s just a matter of some one cracking the .ppt file format. Then Microsoft will never EVER get another penny from me.

  26. I see you:

    this story is little more than link bait

  27. Kristian Hermansen:

    ATI

  28. Wim Van Buuren:

    Hi,

    sorry you couldn’t try out Ubuntu properly. Why don’t you give it a try on an old machine (if you have one somewhere), because now you are missing out on all the fun.

    I am a non-IT dualbooting Ubuntu user since two years (actually not dualbooting anymore, since windows crashed some months ago), and I really really like it, I have it installed on 4 computers at home.

    Things that I would miss if I would have to go back to Windows:
    - software installation and updating (so much easier with synaptics).
    - organisation of my menus and files on the HD (my windows computer was a mess, my fault I admit, but Linux is so much more organized.)
    - speed
    - no more degrading of the system when installing and deleting software (over time, windows would get extremely slow, Ubuntu doesn’t budge)
    - stablility: no more freezes taking down the system (this alone made me switch)
    - no crashes, or windows has recovered from a serious system error (not one)
    - beryl (very cool, even cooler than Vista Aero, I often do presentations, and when my presentation doesn’t get enough attention, beryl does the trick ;)
    - having multiple workspaces (so much easier to organize your work)
    - Amarok (the best music player in the world, a lot better than anything on windows, I’m addicted to it)
    - virusfree (to think I would have to go back to the world of virusses and spyware (and have to pay for it! ;) makes me shiver)
    - I don’t have to buy a new computer (Non of my computers are Vista ready, but they are all Ubuntu ready!)
    - totall cost: 0 $ (I can’t imagine ever paying for software again, if you can have all this goodness for free, why pay for something that is not bad, but certainly not better? How much does Microsoft charge for Vista + Office anyway? I could buy another laptop for that money, that’s so absurd.)

  29. Happypony:

    Yes I had windows 3.11 refuse to install due to lack of provided drivers on the floppys supplied by microsoft, and windows NT too done like wise things, ubuntu boots installs runs on my laptop, I guess dude you were on unlucky chappy

  30. John Pospisil:

    Anyone interested in writing a post in defence of Ubuntu?

    While I respect Jonathan’s right to voice his concerns and thoughts about Ubuntu, I do want to cover both sides of the debate. If someone is interested in writing a post of 200 to 300 words outlining out the benefits/advantages of Ubuntu over Windows, I’d be very happy to run it on TECH.BLORGE.com. Drop me a line at john@blorge.com

  31. Lucas Arruda:

    What I found ridiculous is judging an OS by a small experience.

    I know things have to work, but blame no Linux for booting problems. Linux has enough compatibility with XP, which XP hasn`t with Linux (booting, reading and writing on it).

    But Vista is just another MS gift saying consume me and nothing else. With Vista installed, there is no such thing as Dual Boot. People there worked so that the OS has no booting compat with both Mac OS X and Linux. So, blame your hungry-resource-no-advantage-Vista-OS for being to stupid, cause Triple Boot OS X, XP and Ubuntu works just fine!

    P.S.: Remember you aren`t even paying for Ubuntu Linux OS. Why don`t you pay some 20 bucks for some one to install you as people usually pay for a guy to install a Windows (not original, of course).

  32. Lauren Glenn:

    I’ve tried Linux and won’t be going back for a while. It’s a great OS once it’s up and running, but for me, it takes longer for me to get my stuff installed there than it does in Windows. The price for Linux is great: $0, but each time I install it, I go straight back to Windows. Why? Because setting up a DVR is just easier in Windows. Hardware support is there also.

    ATI has never really worked well in Linux from what I can remember. nVidia does better there.

    If it’s not for you, they even give you a LiveCD so you can boot into the OS without installing it. I’d like to see Microsoft do that.

    If Linux isn’t for you, then don’t install it. But don’t brow-beat it either. There’s nothing wrong with competition, especially against Microsoft….. but Linux isn’t a mainstream OS. Although, it does seem to get better with each new release…..

  33. Al Nonymous:

    Ubuntu comes on a LiveCD, so that people can try it out BEFORE they install it permanenly. If you had even a shred of common sense, that’s exactly what you would have done, instead of trying to blindly install it on a system that you hadn’t even tested it on. You’re pathetic.

  34. Martin:

    I can only echo what has already been said. You are a fool to judge Ubuntu by this experience, especially considering the circumstances.

  35. kuriharu:

    I can understand a lot of your frustration. I do use Ubuntu regularly, but it does have a lot of problems. Of course, no OS is perfect, but I would have to say XP does generally run better.

    Your frustration is justified. There are relatively easy fixes for the issues you encountered, but you shouldn’t have to endure so many issues with Xorg just to get your PC running.

    That being said, Ubuntu can be rewarding if you take the time to set it up. But it does require more time and more patience than Windows, so get ready to spend several hours looking stuff up on forums, etc. Once it’s done, though, it really can be a great OS.

  36. JROQuinn:

    Ummmm I had Vista Buisness installed on a partition first then Ubuntu on the remaining partition and, I dunno maybe I got lucky but Vista was recognized and had no problems with grub. Although my graphics card was ATI also but ATI has a reputation for not using the correct drivers. And also had problems with my integrated wifi nic. So it doesnt matter which OS you use. Everyone has their opinion on which is best. I am a linux noob but would prefer to learn Linux distros over Microsofts poor excuse for an OS, Vista. Ill stick with XP until i become more proficient with Linux.

  37. bohoho:

    He he! I’m amazed by people who throw themselves into the wather and expect they will be able to swim just like that!

    You take classes to learn to drive a car – why do you think computers are simpler? And no – neither MacOS nor Windows are easy for new unexperienced computer users. Look at the sheer amount of books like “Windows for dummies” and “Learn the internet in 5 easy steps” and you’ll see what I mean. You have the feeling that everything in windows is easy and intuitive because you educated yourself about the system for many years.

    Instead of beeing ashamed about your ignorance (a quick google search about “ATI linux” and “Vista GRUB” would have prevented the most stupid claims you made here) you have produced this uninformed article. Sigh…

  38. Casual browser:

    You are a knob. I came across your blog while troubleshooting an ati driver issue on Ubuntu. I have fixed the problem after searching Ubuntu’s (excellent, helpful) forums.

    You’re whiny blathering is a waste of time to those trying to read your blog for insight. And you don’t even communicate an actual opinion:
    “okay, maybe I exaggerate that point but not by much)”

    If you are going to state your opinion, *own* it. Don’t say something ludicrous and then back away partially and leave innuendo that you’re first point was really true. Fucking pussy.

  39. ATI user:

    Um, does your website work on Windows? You may want to add some type of user authentication. I recommend Ubuntu 6.06 LAMP.

    There are always people like you who have one problem with something new and then decry the whole concept as a failure. There were people complaining that Windows 95 was confusing because Internet Explorer could be used to browse the file system. I met a Best Buy rep who tried to talk me out of a 17″ monitor in the mid 90s because it would overwhelm me.

    I use ubuntu as a media server (jinzora and mythv). They took a while to configure, but they are\were free and I could install them on another system easily know that I know how to do so.

    If you don’t want to learn, then fess up that you either do not have the time or do not have the interest. But keep the “why so difficult?” to yourself. Publishing to the web only attracts people via google searches. People who know better than you. Some of them will take the time to tell you on your unsecured blog that you are a complete fucking idiot. I am quite sure you don’t talk to others in the same manner you blog. If you talked to me like this I’d smack the teeth out of your head.

  40. Jason Studley:

    Windows exists for people just like yourself. Purchase it, live it, love it. Those of us that can get past grub will enjoy the benefits of linux.

    Luckily for MS, Windows has never crashed during an install for an end user, or else imagine the hell they’d be paying by people such as yourself.

    thanks,
    json

  41. Gino:

    It seems like you are working for microsoft…a moron’s review of Ubuntu. Why did u do install it and why dont stick with windows for your entire life ? My request is please dont try to install linux till you die. Its not for you….

  42. Gino:

    Hey Jonthan,
    You are mistaken that its a microsoft centric world. Do you know that the hotmail you are working is running on qmail and a unix based server and more than 90% of webservers and email servers run on Unix based servers like free BSD, Solaris and Linux. Also do you know that the windows Vista copied the 3D desktop from Mac OS (who introduced it years ago).So please understand that Linux is not for kids…..and with the other kids in your kindergarten upgrade to vista and suck your thumb while enjoying the 3D effects….

  43. Soono:

    You’re just another Windows grooper. It’s always the people wrapped around someones little thumb that makes them standout for other companies’ products. You’re getting something for free and moan about how delighted you are with Windows upgradability, security and feature rich applications that only they can dream of. Your comparisons are by far lacking. I bet you’re the one that waits in line for Windows to open source their code like they claimed. Good luck.

  44. Anonymous Asshole:

    Sir, I too had an ATi card that didn’t like Ubuntu. ATi support for Linux is laughable at best. Linux support for ATi is understandably slow, but at least they attempt it. I was able to get past any problem I had with Ubuntu by either

    a) Googling for no more than 15 minutes
    or
    b) searching ubuntuforums.org, ubuntuguide.org, and websites like mythtv.org and getautomatix.com for information regarding possible problems and their fixes for specific distros.

    I do not know you, so I will assume that you are an average person with average intelligence and average IT experience. However, I have personally used the help tools provided by such distros and applications to solve any problem I have come across. I have fun abusing software by actively searching for bugs and problems and then solving the problems, because I end up learning something about how the system works, and alerting the developers to potential problems or .

    There are a plethora of tools available at your fingertips. It does not appear that you even attempted to use these tools. I loaded Ubuntu onto an extra computer we had at work and let my 56-year-old nothing-but-windows-desktops-and-novell-servers boss play with it. Within minutes, he had installed Wine using Automatix, diagnosed and solved a display resolution and sync issue, and was well into running very ancient windows database applications on Ubuntu.

    All he did was Google around for a bit, and he found help: like using “man ” to figure out how commands worked, and how to install Wine with Automatix. If you, sir, cannot or choose not to use these tools, then it is not the stupidity or laziness of Ubuntu or xserver developers, or of the Ubuntu community as a whole, but your own.

  45. marsbound2024:

    Ubuntu nuked my desktop as well. Hours upon hours of trying to dual-boot Ubuntu with Windows XP and I get that same X-Server bs! I followed everything including all different kinds of support. I did end up fixing my audio problems because X-Fi wasn’t supported, but X-Server is a huge pile of crap.

    So I tried to LiveCD first. I consider myself to have a very good knowledge of PCs. However, I wanted to try Ubuntu Linux first to put on a laptop for my brother. Thus, I wanted to try it on my own PC. I enjoyed the Live version of Ubuntu and found it to be a wonderful operating system. The audio didn’t work and I was confused, however. Ended up switching to onboard, like I said and that was great. Installing it was what was hell. I downloaded Ubuntu and did a checksum to make sure the iso file was valid. It was. I burned the CD and did data verification and then did another verification within Ubuntu and both said it was fine. So I installed Ubuntu on unused space on my hard drive. Hell broke lose after this. It was like the demons coming out of the teleporter in Doom 3. Not only did Ubuntu not work, but also somehow messed up my Windows drivers. Oh I will say this is due to my own fault in trying to figure out what was going on with Ubuntu and why did it not like to load the GUI environment. However I thought that this would affect only the Ubuntu partition and not everything in the world. Now I can’t play games on my Windows OS and am trying desperately to figure out how to solve that problems. I have reinstalled the nvidia display driver and may end up having to reinstall other things as well. I just don’t know. I am exhausted with trying to figure out this thing.

    But yes, the X-Server thing is a load of crap. I don’t see how it can’t load the GUI environment when Windows can without any drivers at all preinstalled. Ubuntu just shits itself when this feat is tried.

    So I am left boggled and frustrated. I ended up successfully uninstalling Ubuntu and fixing the Master Boot Record, but I am left wishing Ubuntu would have worked. I wanted a good Linux distribution to work with, but Ubuntu just caused me too many problems. I looked for hours upon hours at what might solve my problems (followed numerous FAQs, including ones on the Ubuntu Community forums) and did so quite a few times. Nothing ever worked. Ubuntu needs to get away from that X-Server thing because it is the worst.

    All you Linux-lovers can gripe about this post all you want, but seriously, if Linux ever wants to penetrate any part of the market like Mozilla Firefox, it has to be simpler than it is to install. Why is it so hard to install? Seriously. If an experienced user like myself has problems (at least partly related to my hardware), then all the mainstream users will completely be at a loss. Sure, some of them will get lucky and it will work, but others will find themselves incredibly frustrated.

    Anyways, if anyone could direct me to some actual good help or perhaps be willing to IM me for help, I would appreciate it. Otherwise, I will be looking at other Linux distributions. Ubuntu just doesn’t cut it–despite being a great OS, the installation is horrid on my custom-built machine.

  46. marsbound2024:

    Eck, sorry for the relatively non-linear post. I know I said I tried installing it and then talked about the download process even though previously I mentioned using the Live feature. I have a headache from this. There are also some other grammatical/syntax errors, so bare with me please. Any help is appreciated. My AIM screen name is marsbound2024 and my Yahoo is ishsoldier and my MSN is jc_astro06@hotmail.com. Look forward to talking with any of you.

  47. TaZMAn:

    Not gonna call you names. Been enough of that.
    What I’m going to say is this;
    You want to write a review make sure it’s unbiased.
    I have been a computer user for almost 30 years.
    I’ve used every flavor of Windows. Tried and used numerous distros and flavors of Linux. Started using Ubuntu several months ago. Have Dapper on one system as a stand alone and Feisty in a dual boot configuration with XP.

    Does Ubuntu have some issues? Yes!
    Does XP or Vista have some issues? Yes!
    Do other Linux distro’s have issues? Yes!
    Mac’s? Yep!

    In Ubuntu I’ve encountered numerous sound ‘card’ issues with my built in AC97 codec for 5.1 surround sound. Seems it’s not true surround sound and my sub-woofer won’t woof. Certain other distro’s won’t even enable sound.

    Also, in my dual boot system when I first installed Feisty and booted into XP I got a BSOD. Had to fix the MBR, do a check disk then reload grub from the Live Cd.

    So with these problems do I say Ubuntu or Linux in general is junk? Is it grub’s fault for the BSOD?
    That XP or Vista is better?

    The answer to all those questions is NO!

    I blame the manufacturers for my sound card problems. As you should be blaming ATI.
    They (The manufacturers) won’t or don’t want to write drivers for Linux. And they won’t supply the code which would allow the developers to build compatible drivers.

    As for the BSOD? I have seen that more then once with just a standard install of Windows. It’s known to happen and is pretty much expected especially when you have an install that is over a year old.
    I’ve even encountered a BSOD during a fresh install of XP! LMAO!!!

    But do I say XP is junk because this happened? Well………….LOL!!!

    Seriously, it’s a matter of choice. I choose to install Linux and play with settings. I do that in XP also.

    I research any possible problems or current problems and try to find a fix for them. That way I’m pre-prepared for grub problems or any of the other ‘can of worms’ you may encounter.

    I choose to have the freedom that Linux provides me.
    I can customize Linux till my heart’s content. I have my choice of distro’s and interfaces.
    I’m DRM free. I don’t have Big Brother phoning home with my surfing or personal data.
    I don’t have to run virus scans, spyware scans or worry about rootkits.

    Those freedom’s more then make up for the minor problems I have encountered with Linux.

    Next time you want to write a review about an operating system don’t jump into it head first with your eyes closed. Research it first and keep an open mind.
    And just because you encountered a few minor problems don’t go screaming about how it’s junk.
    It’s an Operating System! Not some game cd.
    You have to be prepared for unexpected results or bugs.
    And that wisdom pertains to all OS’s, not only Linux.

    TaZMAn

  48. Ronald:

    Hi all!

    First of all, I would like to say that I do not like to aggressively favor one OS or another. In other words: I give Linux (or in this case Ubuntu) every chance it deserves. In fact, it runs quite well on a single OS-system. However, I am not a technerd that installs any OS for ‘fun’. An OS for me should simply work. It’s a ‘shell’ or ‘server’ for other applications. In this case I wanted to try out some Linux specific software. Bad idea.

    Antyway, I wanted to try to install Ubuntu on a seperate harddisk, next to a fine and stable working Vista Ultimate. The friendly looking Ubuntu install lead me quickly through the whole installation. Matter of choosing the right disk, make some partitions etc. Very impressive. Until I rebooted. Nothing happened, only a black screen mentioning that there was no OS available. Panic. Luckily the Vista boot cd contains some repair tools. At first, those were not bringing help too, because the Windows disk was completely not recognized as a system disk anymore. In the end, I deleted the two Linux partitions with an old XP install cd, booted once again from the Vista install disk and managed to make Vista bootable once again.

    For me as a ‘simple user’ it is unimaginable that installing an OS on a SEPERATE harddisk in the end nukes two systems at once. This means that the MBR (yep, I learned many new terms during those dark hours of trying to recover a system) of Vista as well as of Ubuntu were destroyed or at least in a non-functional state. This should never happen. If you are a real Linux (or Windows) guru, such problems will undoubtitly be easy solvable. But distributing Ubuntu via internet and coverdisks as super easy and user friendly os is simply not fair. If you look around at the internet, many people get into great troubles because everything really looks very sweet and simple. But IF something goes wrong, it goes wrong badly.

    There should be AT LEAST a user friendly recovery tool available on ANY live cd with installation options. If something goes wrong, it should be possible to bring back everything back in the former state. In other words: if people install Ubuntu (or any other Linux) as an extra OS to check out (the most common) this should not lead to a completely dead system.

    For me Ubuntu will end up in a box. Handy as a live-cd in case of emergency. But defenitely not as a second OS. It’s simply not worth the hassle. ‘Simple’ users do not expect such dramas to come from a very easy looking install. You can’t blame them for ‘not thinking’, during installation there is not a single warning that something bad might happen. Linux still is -unfortunately- designed for techies. It can be a wolf in sheeps’ clothes. Windows also has its problems, of course. But in matter of doing something very destructive it is a lot safer. Most of the time :-)

    Once again: I don’t hate Linux, I don’t hate Windows. In Linux (and Ubuntu) I still see to many ‘unfinished business’, however. This can make or brake it, because especially Ubuntu is now at a very accesible level for many people. Also for the non-nerds and geeks. If a ‘normal’ user is bitten by Ubuntu, however, it will never look at it again. At the moment many people ARE bitten and the results are visible all over internet.

    Greetz,

    Ronald.

  49. roflmastr:

    I installed Ubuntu on a brand new Toshiba laptop with pre-installed Vista and ATI graphics with hardly any problems. The only issue was that after Ubuntu was installed, GRUB didn’t list the Longhorn bootloader as an option in the boot menu and I had to add it manually. I haven’t even used Vista more than 3 or 4 times in the 3 months I’ve had this computer. The only reason I keep it is because everybody needs at least one Windows system laying around somewhere.

    I guess the point I’m trying to make is this: Between system help, online help, forums, and chat , anybody who can’t make Ubuntu (or any other Linux) work is a complete dipshit.

  50. nathan:

    “Do you even have a clue about the new Windows bootloader that thinks its the master of the known universe? Grub is NOT at fault here, In fact, if you weren’t using a bleeding edge OS like Vista, but instead XP, grub would have automatically detected Windows, and put an entry for it in the boot loader. But no, Microsoft had to change everything in Vista so that there would be NO interoperability. Like the thought? I thought so. Posting this in this biased blog is probably not even worth it.”

    is this guy serious?

    is he complaining because Jon was using a “bleeding edge” OS?

    fyi Linux hippy, it’s almost august now and STILL Ubuntu has no interoperability with Vista.

    Bleeding edge? thats’s like saying that Gears of War is “bleeding edge”. Just because it’s been out for a few months doesn’t mean it’s not already a mainstay.

    Admit it, Windows is here to stay, and when Microsoft releases a new OS, at least 50% of all software in the world will be out-of-the-box or out-of-the-inbox compatable with it within 4 months.

    what’s easier, spending hours and hours downloading and editing and patching and running WINE and misspelling one word on the installer… or simply putting in a couple hours of overtime to afford a “bleeding edge” OS.

    2 more things:
    the “virtual desktop” did not first appear on osx, it was on xp, called powertoy. I have it on my other laptop(running xp) today.

    I have a laptop and a desktop. surprisingly, i don’t have a server. so when we say it’s a microsoft centric world, we mean that microsoft makes products for humans that work. if anything, the fact that servers and databanks and supercomputers run linux or unix (save for Virginia Tech’s supercomputer running OSX), and the fact that all the non-PC equipment STILL works with windows, prooves that windows is here for good.

  51. olegnep:

    it probably would be easier to get the ubuntu bootloader compatible with vista if microsoft didnt go out of its way to make one that makes it harder, so i dont think that you can blame this on ubuntu.

    also as far as i see microsoft is on the decline at a reasonably fast pace , quickly being overtaken by mac and linux , if some “users” such as yourself cant cope with that then you can have fun with your bloatware

  52. 4646:

    Your haven’t got a clue. You lie about everything you write about. I’m guessing you’ve got a limited edition Windoze t-shirt. Shut the f*** up about things you don’t understand you dumb b******!

  53. Mr. Ed:

    All good on my cutting edge HP DV9000 series lappy dual booting with Vista. Even the grub was fine, actually it was just awesome. The only issue I had was the built in webcam, a quick search on Yahoo solved this though… Vista is going with Ubuntu’s new release due in 5 days: http://www.ubuntu.com/

  54. AC:

    I was actually planning to explain to you how much you actually lie and what an extreme lack of writing skills you have, but it’s not even worth it. You should be fired.

    Why multiple partitions? *Laughs* You need a separate home partition and a separate root partition.. Why? Well maybe you want to replace/upgrade your OS without having to wipe your personal files (home folder)? And why a Swap partition? Because you don’t want to be mixing your virtual memory with your personal files and your OS? DUH!

    Installing Ubuntu was slow?! I installed Kubuntu today and it took (formatting+placing files+install drivers+configuring hardware) 15 minutes! Before you install everything you need to select a language, timezone (city), keyboard layout, name and password and you leave it alone and it will all take care of itself. Formatting ALONE on a 500GB drive with Windows XP takes over an hour! And all the files still need to copied and drivers need to be installed MANUALLY so “see HOW you like that.”. Not to mention that halfway through the install of this so called ‘real OS’, Windows XP, the install halts and asks you for the some stupid options before it can complete the other half. You are a lier.

    X11 is a joke?! Give me a break. It is the most advanced GUI technology out there. Why does it need to locate the graphics card(s) and the network? Because linux has a command shell and X works on top of that shell. (Why? Because if the GUI crashes you don’t crash the entire OS (like with Windows).) So it needs to talk directly to the graphics hardware with it’s own drivers (which also makes it portable to run on any *NIX) to be able to have direct rendering (something that you want to have in a “real OS”). It needs to locate the network because the entire idea behind X is it being a distributed GUI. You might (read = do) not understand that because you have always worked with a half-baked piece of crap called Windows.

    Somehow everything that does not work like Windows is bad to you. If you even knew how OS’s really worked you would be able to see what pile of crap Windows is. Even Microsoft acknowledged this by deciding to dump their OS and make a new one from scratch (Vienna) because it was too much crap to built a new OS upon. For your information: Microsoft never made a new OS from scratch; they just coded upon the codebase of their previous released OS. You can’t deny that it is even proven by the Wine project. DirectX 10? It is DirectX 9 with 3 extra functions (new water shader + grass/fur effect + layers of fog looking like on piece of fog – doesn’t sound so sexy now, does it?) with a change in ‘architecture’. If you dig deep you can still see pieces of Windows 3.11 in Vista.

    So I suggest you do some research (which is what journalists are meant to do – you know… people who write articles?) in the future to write articles that are actually good.

  55. AC:

    I was actually planning to explain to you how much you actually lie and what an extreme lack of writing skills you have, but it’s not even worth it. You should be fired.

    Why multiple partitions? *Laughs* You need a separate home partition and a separate root partition.. Why? Well maybe you want to replace/upgrade your OS without having to wipe your personal files (home folder)? And why a Swap partition? Because you don’t want to be mixing your virtual memory with your personal files and your OS? DUH!

    Installing Ubuntu was slow?! I installed Kubuntu today and it took (formatting+placing files+install drivers+configuring hardware) 15 minutes! Before you install everything you need to select a language, timezone (city), keyboard layout, name and password and you leave it alone and it will all take care of itself. Formatting ALONE on a 500GB drive with Windows XP takes over an hour! And all the files still need to copied and drivers need to be installed MANUALLY so “see HOW you like that.”. Not to mention that halfway through the install of this so called ‘real OS’, Windows XP, the install halts and asks you for the some stupid options before it can complete the other half. You are a lier.

    X11 is a joke?! Give me a break. It is the most advanced GUI technology out there. Why does it need to locate the graphics card(s) and the network? Because linux has a command shell and X works on top of that shell. (Why? Because if the GUI crashes you don’t crash the entire OS (like with Windows).) So it needs to talk directly to the graphics hardware with it’s own drivers (which also makes it portable to run on any *NIX) to be able to have direct rendering (something that you want to have in a “real OS”). It needs to locate the network because the entire idea behind X is it being a distributed GUI. You might (read = do) not understand that because you have always worked with a half-baked piece of crap called Windows.

    Somehow everything that does not work like Windows is bad to you. If you even knew how OS’s really worked you would be able to see what pile of crap Windows is. Even Microsoft acknowledged this by deciding to dump their OS and make a new one from scratch (Vienna) because it was too much crap to built a new OS upon. For your information: Microsoft never made a new OS from scratch; they just coded upon the codebase of their previous released OS. You can’t deny that it is even proven by the Wine project. DirectX 10? It is DirectX 9 with 3 extra functions (new water shader + grass/fur effect + layers of fog looking like on piece of fog – doesn’t sound so sexy now, does it?) with a change in ‘architecture’. If you dig deep you can still see pieces of Windows 3.11 in Vista.

    So I suggest you do some research (which is what journalists are meant to do – you know… people who write articles?) for writing future article (in case you won’t get fired for publishing nothing but trash.

  56. ian:

    This is why cloud computing will succeed because there are people like you who are as thick as a whale omelette and then think its a good idea to write a blog about how stupid they are. Here`s the reason you didn`t have a good experience with linux you are stupid. You actually admit to running vista well that says it all you retard even microsoft admit it was a disappointment. So do some research and dual boot your pc with 2 operating systems by partitioning your hard drive alternatively just carry on entertaining us with your retarded blog you thick twat.

  57. Best of Reddit:

    I just like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and test again here frequently. I’m reasonably sure I’ll learn lots of new stuff right right here! Good luck for the next!

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