Feeds

Hyperic charges after disgruntled Ubuntu upgraders

When will Bill Gates fix my Vista box?

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Comment Canonical's release of a fresh version of Ubuntu has been met with plenty of grumbles. And now we find some other open source players trying to cash in on Ubuntu's issues.

Your reporter shifted from 7.04 to 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) right when the new OS became available. Well, by "right when," I mean after a 26 hour download.

I rarely get excited about software but will admit some giddiness around seeing all Gutsy had to offer in its polished form. As it turned out, that experience was not available to me. Gutsy booted up and refused to start the graphical user interface (GUI) on my Dell Inspiron 1420 notebook.

Embracing the open source "community," I made my way through a few message boards looking for tips on rectifying GUI issues. Nothing worked. I also went over to Dell's dedicated 7.10 wiki page but found no mention of my particular problem.

Being a Linux novice and a self-serving hack, I abused my position as a reporter and e-mailed Canonical chief Mark Shuttleworth about the issue. Shuttleworth was kind enough to put me in touch with whiz Bryce Harrington. "Run - sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg," Harrington told me, and life got better.

My GUI has returned, but I'm now barred from using the 3-D graphics tools that I could use before with 7.04. That's a pain since I'm a sucker for eye candy, but I understand there are a couple of fixes to try.

Apparently other Dell users were hit by the same difficulties, although the GUI conundrum remains absent from the Dell Wiki Known Issues, as of this writing.

Meanwhile, other users complained about serious networking problems with Gutsy.

Systems management software maker Hyperic has seized on these networking issues in particular to promote the 7.10-ready release of its Hyperic HQ package. "If you think you're desktop issues suck, imagine them on a server farm?" - seems to be the marketing threat.

"This being a laptop, of course, I didn’t need a tool to tell me that the name resolving lagged," Hyperic wrote. "But what if this were just one out of hundreds or thousands of machines in a data center? And in that data center, there were hundreds of new machines using an upgraded operating system. How would any ops person know that something was adding a few seconds of lag to each DNS request? Unfortunately, they most likely wouldn’t know until it was too late, ie. after stuff was breaking and business was adversely affected.

"But it’s nice to know that someone *could* know about this problem before the data center was toast."

That is comforting, isn't it?

Ubuntu - even with its gooey, hippy-center - seems to suffer from much of the same bad karma as other versions of Linux. It's just damn tough to please such a diverse set of users on diverse hardware. This helps explain why it takes Microsoft years and years to dump out a new operating system. My mum would be in shock if her GUI disappeared. And I doubt that Bill Gates would follow Shuttleworth's lead and issue personal follow ups.

I can understand and forgive some of the rough around the edges bits and pieces with Ubuntu. I am, however, confused about Dell's role in all of this. How can a company of its size that's presumably moving tens of thousands of Ubuntu machines not make sure that its hardware is ready for a major upgrade? Surely, Dell could detect problems and ask Canonical politely to include the fixes.

Even with all of these complications, my Ubuntu system remains my favorite to use at the moment. It runs with a speed unmatched by Vista and has a certain muscle lost with the Jobsian puffery known as Mac OS X. ®

Register hack Ashlee Vance has just pumped out a new book that's a guide to Silicon Valley. The book starts with the electronics pioneers present in the Bay Area in the early 20th century and marches up to today's heavies. Want to know where Gordon Moore eats Chinese food, how unions affected the rise of microprocessors or how Fairchild Semiconductor got its start? This is the book for you - available at Amazon US here or in the UK here.

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.