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Re: Thank you - Ubuntu

  • Subject: Re: Thank you - Ubuntu
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2006 05:35:54 +0000
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: schestowitz.com / MCC / Manchester University
  • References: <1140389317.239982.185490@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> <1140390695.425854.94330@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>
  • Reply-to: newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • User-agent: KNode/0.7.2
__/ [Larry Qualig] on Sunday 19 February 2006 23:11 \__

> Larry Qualig wrote:
>> I installed Ubunutu on a spare system last night. The Synaptic package
>> manager looks really nice and the install went very smoothly. Amazing
>> how I can install a complete OS, update the entire system and do it all
>> with a single reboot. The reboot was during installation after it
>> copied all the files from the CD to the HDD.

Yes, Ubuntu tends to do this. I installed Ubuntu several times in the past
and the only time it gave me /any/ trouble... the network wire was
unplugged! Laugh at me or even curse if you get a kick out of it, but it
took me approximately a quarter of an hour to realise why no packages could
be downloaded and Ubuntu kept timing out, only to panic and complain about
yet another peril. Other than that, Ubuntu was often a breeze to install and
was rather fast to set up too.

>> The **only** problem I have with Ubuntu is the keyboard. Ubuntu does
>> *not* like my ergonomic keyboard. Once it boots the keyboard is dead.
>> Unplugging it and plugging it back in doesn't help. Whenever I press
>> any key all 3 LEDs (shift, num-lock, scroll-lock) all light up. When I
>> replace the "nice" ergonomic keyboard with a cheapo keyboard it works
>> fine. (The nice keyboard works perfectly everywhere else and when I'm
>> not running Ubuntu on that machine.) This machine will probably sit
>> downstairs as a headless server so it's not a big deal. But since
>> Ubuntu recognized every piece of hardware I have in that box it's
>> strange that a keyboard would give it hiccups.

In such cicrumstances, something tells me that SuSE/YaST would have come
handy. If you look at your SuSE box, you will probably know what I mean.
Ubuntu/GNOME won't not provide you with fine controls at GUI-level, but
perhaps you will eventually find a workaround.

>> FYI - I'm actually on my SuSE desktop using SSH to the new Ubuntu
>> machine to make this post. Cool stuff. Let me tell you.... this
>> networking thing is gonna be big some day.
>> By default Ubuntu doesn't install the ssh server. No problem...
>> Synaptic installed it with a few clicksl.

Installation of SSH was probably the first time I used Synaptic. It has never
coughed out an error. I cannot say the same about SuSE/YaST, which on
occasions warn about system inconsistencies. Despite the unkind warnings,
installation is always fine and the system is fully-functional afterwards.

>> But there is something weird that perhaps someone can explain. It has
>> to do with running multiple instances of Firefox. If I'm already
>> running local instance of Firefox on "suse"... if I start up another
>> instance via SSH on "ubu" a new Firefox window appears but it's using
>> all the settings/preferences/everything from the local suse machine.
>> It's basically running Firefox locally.
>> Then the opposite is also true... if I close down all instances of
>> Firefox then start one up on "ubu" via SSH it runs on my desktop fine.
>> But when I launch another copy of Firefox locally... the other copy is
>> started on "Ubuntu" - the other machine.
>> It doesn't really bother me but I'm just curious what it is. ( I don't
>> see this with other apps. )

Your troubles are very few. *smile*

I used to have the same 'problem'. The transparency of X is trying to assist
you here, but it sometimes has the adverse effect. If you have no sessions
of Firefox open, then everything depends on how you invoke Firefox. I have
keybindings and mouse gestures passed over (they are assigned to X-level)
from the SuSE box, so if I press <Ctrl>+<Alt>+B or draw a "b", Firefox will
open up on the remote machine, which is typically SuSE. If you go through
the menu/panel in Ubuntu, then _assuming no existing window of Firefox is
open) (i.e. it is not in memory and no profile is active), Firefox will open
under Ubuntu, i.e. natively.

Experiment with this and you will be able to predict what happens, when, and

> I forgot to mention the main reason why I was thanking "Ubuntu" and
> that's because it indirectly fixed a networking issue I had.
> I have a Windows 2003 server in a storage room downstairs that handles
> Active Directory, authentication and DHCP and DNS. Every windows
> machine can see and "ping" every other machine in the house. Windows
> can ping the other Windows boxes, the 3 Linux machines, the PDA's...
> everything.
> SuSE on the other hand is stubborn. But I wasn't sure if it was SuSE
> being stubborn or the Windows server being stubborn with Linux boxes.
> What happens with SuSE is that I can ping any box by IP address... but
> not by name. From SuSE trying to ping anything by name would timeout
> and fail. I could type "host <hostname>" and it would resolve just
> fine. But ping didn't work and neither did things like http:, ssh, and
> pretty much any other TCP/IP utility. (External names do get
> resolved... just internal machine names wouldn't work.)
> But I then installed Ubuntu and all the networking worked perfectly.
> Ubuntu could ping everything in my house and across the entire world.
> So I knew that it wasn't the Windows server and that it was SuSE giving
> me network problems.

Which version of SuSE is this, I wonder. Also, how was it installed and in
which network environment does it resides? Regardless of the answer, I never
had any networking problems with SuSE. Two machines of mine run SuSE happily
with all DNS matters working flawlessly. If you are connecting via a Windows
router, I don't have sufficient knowledge to comment. It is an aspect I have
no familiarity with (hand-on experience) -- neither in the context of
Windows nor Linux.

> Now that I knew the specifics it was easier to search Google. A little
> luck with getting the keywords just right and I stumbled on the reason.
> My domain name is "family.local" so the fully qualified machine name
> for everything is "suse.family.local", "ubu.family.local",
> "sporky.family.local" and etc. It just so happens that SuSE handles any
> FQN that ends in ".local" as a special case and uses multicast instead
> of regular DNS to resolve the name. So any ".local" domain name in SuSE
> gets special cased not to work.
> Turns out there's an entry I can add to host.conf to turn this off and
> it fixes the problem instantly. I would have found this eventually but
> Ubunutu did help... albeit indirectly.
> # - For anyone who is doing a search looking for an answer to the same
> problem.
> <key-words>
>    SuSE , local subnet domain DNS resolve address ping host multicast
> network setting IP address
> </key-words>

Things are tremendously simplified when you no longer depend on a
Windows-oriented network. In fact, back when there were Windows workstations
'in the loop', I had nothing buy delays and trouble when transferring and
backing up data. In Windows, connected computers will sometimes refuse to
show up (a Windows issue), even if these are all Windows-based workstations.
It put me off, having seen this issue recurring for 4 years.

Best wishes,


PS - I wrote a better reply previously. The above is an attempt to restore a
lost one. KNode crashed for the third time /ever/, but I already composed
about 6000 messages. One crash per 2,000 lengthy posts is rather acceptable,
but I wish I had saved as I went along.

Roy S. Schestowitz      | "Quote when replying in non-real-time dialogues"
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
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