Ubuntu bloat...



  • So, here I was, trying out some new stuff which is only really usable under Linux for some reason. Since I didn't want to swap OSs constantly, I thought of using a VM. So I set out to use VMWare Player (VirtualBox doesn't want to recognize my network card currently for some reason).

    Because I wanted to use an easy-to-setup Linux distribution, I thought of Ubuntu. But I had heard of all the bloat, so I gave a current howto a look and downloaded a minimal net-install version. During setup I selected "manual selection of software".

    Big mistake. Aptitude immediately presented me with 300 conflicts (with silly stuff like "dpkg" conflicting with "dpkg:386") before I was even able to do anything. So I deselected all the ":386" stuff, selected gdm and openbox, pressed "g" to install the packages which were downloaded and installed. So I thought that I was all done now and tried to quit aptitude.

    Upon which I was told that I had to install another 900 MB of packages. Okay, I thought, press "g" again. Only to briefly see some kind of error message which I couldn't really read because then someone thought it to be a good idea to let such an error message be followed by the deluge of 900 package names and a "press enter to continue" which threw me back in aptitude. Without giving me the option of ever reading the error message.

    The next "quit" worked only to be followed by the installer's message that "something went wrong." Gee, ya think?

    After two more tries I gave up and gave the standard Ubuntu desktop a whirl.

    Now, mind, I gave that VM 2 CPU cores and 4 GB of RAM. And still the whole thing took longer to open a simple file explorer than my old 486. Not to mention that someone's great idea of a software uninstaller consisted of "redraw the whole window whenever something changes, thrash the hard disc like mad and open random tabs the user never clicked on."

    Maybe I'll go back to Gentoo. At least that's an evil I know.



  • @Rhywden said:

    So, here I was, trying out some new stuff which is only really usable under Linux for some reason. Since I didn't want to swap OSs constantly, I thought of using a VM. So I set out to use VMWare Player (VirtualBox doesn't want to recognize my network card currently for some reason).

    Because I wanted to use an easy-to-setup Linux distribution, I thought of Ubuntu. But I had heard of all the bloat, so I gave a current howto a look and downloaded a minimal net-install version. During setup I selected "manual selection of software".

    Big mistake. Aptitude immediately presented me with 300 conflicts (with silly stuff like "dpkg" conflicting with "dpkg:386") before I was even able to do anything. So I deselected all the ":386" stuff, selected gdm and openbox, pressed "g" to install the packages which were downloaded and installed. So I thought that I was all done now and tried to quit aptitude.

    Upon which I was told that I had to install another 900 MB of packages. Okay, I thought, press "g" again. Only to briefly see some kind of error message which I couldn't really read because then someone thought it to be a good idea to let such an error message be followed by the deluge of 900 package names and a "press enter to continue" which threw me back in aptitude. Without giving me the option of ever reading the error message.

    The next "quit" worked only to be followed by the installer's message that "something went wrong." Gee, ya think?

    After two more tries I gave up and gave the standard Ubuntu desktop a whirl.

    Now, mind, I gave that VM 2 CPU cores and 4 GB of RAM. And still the whole thing took longer to open a simple file explorer than my old 486. Not to mention that someone's great idea of a software uninstaller consisted of "redraw the whole window whenever something changes, thrash the hard disc like mad and open random tabs the user never clicked on."

    Maybe I'll go back to Gentoo. At least that's an evil I know.

    Did you install vmware tools? I believe you need that for any sort of decent video performance



  • That was the first thing I did. Still handled like a 40 ton truck uphill on a steep incline.

    Next version I found: Bodhi, a derivative of Ubuntu, claiming to be for developers and only installing basic stuff. Too bad it uses Enlightenment (which VMWare Tools don't like apparently) and resolutions beyond 800x600 require arcane shell commands...



  • What you're looking for is Lubuntu (or Xubuntu).

    Also don't forget the first rule of software (especially open source software): if you try to deviate from the most common use case, you'll find bugs.



  • @Rhywden said:

    Maybe I'll go back to Gentoo. At least that's an evil I know.

    It would be worth your while to learn Debian. I switched to Debian with Xfce after Ubuntu moved from brown and orange to contusions and grazing and put the window controls in the wrong corner, on the grounds that Shuttleworth had clearly lost the plot; I've seen nothing since to convince me I was wrong.

    I've used Red Hat, Fedora, Gentoo, Ubuntu from Warty through Lucid, and Debian from Woody through Jessie/Sid. Of those, the Debians have been by far the most fun and least annoying. Debian is not strictly even a Linux distro any more; there are BSD and Hurd kernel flavours too, though I've not yet played with these.

    Debian also has the least bloated installer of any, to the best of my knowledge, and unlike most other distros it doesn't install everything-and-the-kitchen-sink by default. In fact when I first started playing with Debian I was quite taken aback by the need to install packages for what would seem to be basic necessities (what do you mean, traceroute doesn't come standard?) but package installation proved to be quick and easy enough that needing to do an aptitude install before every fourth or fifth command in the early stages wan't too onerous, and I've ended up really very impressed with how relatively untangled the Debian devs have managed to keep their dependency network.

    One trick I wish I'd known from the first time I ever played with it, though, is that even that tiny installer supports multiple VTs; Alt-2 flips you from the main installer (it's text-based) to a second console with logging spew, so that if it goes wrong you get useful amounts of clues as to why, and can try fiddling around behind the installer's back to fix it. The installer shell is only busybox, but it works well enough to be useful, and there are pre-installation packages (udebs) selectable for doing stuff like setting up GPT-partitioned disks with LVM or mdraid or whatever.

    Debian has plenty of depth and breadth, its installations stay reasonably tidy, and the fact that you don't actually need to compile. every. fucking. piece! puts the whole experience streets ahead of Gentoo.



  • @anonymous234 said:

    What you're looking for is Lubuntu (or Xubuntu).

    Also don't forget the first rule of software (especially open source software): if you try to deviate from the most common use case, you'll find bugs.

    Yeah. For instance, they obviously didn't think of "the user suffers from a half-assed IPv6 implementation by his ISP" and didn't include a frickin' sensible timeout in apt-get.

    Seriously, every single time I forget to disable IPv6 it goes through half the list of repos just fine and then usually hangs for 10 minutes at the security repo.

    And, of course, they don't really document how to disable IPv6 at boot so I had wade through several use cases which only make sense if you already managed to install the system (instead of it being borked due to this right from the start). For anyone interested, you press Tab and then add "ipv6.disable=1" to the kernel command line which you can also use with Grub to make it stick.



  •  Yeah, like, omg, that extra 1 GB of stuff is really going to hurt on my 4TB drive. :( So.. much.. bloat..



  • @Rhywden said:

    Because I wanted to use an easy-to-setup Linux distribution, I thought of Ubuntu.
     

    That's funny. I was never able to create a working Ubuntu install. I've routinely successfuly installed Debian, Red Hat, Slackware at several places. I've made a Debian derivative once, and a Linux from scratch install for a very ninche application, I've written another installer for Slackware... But I was never able to get Ubuntu running correctly (ok, part of the problem is that I just give up after a couple of days).

     @Rhywden said:

    Now, mind, I gave that VM 2 CPU cores and 4 GB of RAM.

    Did you enable hardware video acceleration? Ubuntu tries to use it by default, and GPU emulation is very slow.

     



  • @pbean said:

     Yeah, like, omg, that extra 1 GB of stuff is really going to hurt on my 4TB drive. :( So.. much.. bloat..

    You might rethink that attitude if its exactly that extra 1 GB of stuff which slows your environment down to a crawl. Not to mention that re-downloading 1 GB of extra stuff gets old real fast when you're trying out several distributions.

    Yes, even with a 100 Mbit pipe.

    @Mcoder said:

    @Rhywden said:

    Because I wanted to use an easy-to-setup Linux distribution, I thought of Ubuntu.
     

    That's funny. I was never able to create a working Ubuntu install. I've routinely successfuly installed Debian, Red Hat, Slackware at several places. I've made a Debian derivative once, and a Linux from scratch install for a very ninche application, I've written another installer for Slackware... But I was never able to get Ubuntu running correctly (ok, part of the problem is that I just give up after a couple of days).

     @Rhywden said:

    Now, mind, I gave that VM 2 CPU cores and 4 GB of RAM.

    Did you enable hardware video acceleration? Ubuntu tries to use it by default, and GPU emulation is very slow.

     

    Yes, I did enable hardware acceleration. It wasn't the desktop effects that were slow. It was the response time overall which gave me headaches. Like, taking 5 minutes to de-install 5 software packages I didn't need when I made the mistake of using Ubuntu's software center instead of using apt-get. Or taking 10 seconds to open my home folder.



  • @flabdablet said:

    put the window controls in the wrong corner



    Correction, Ubuntu actually put the window controls in the correct corner. Windows is the real WTF.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Rhywden said:

    You might rethink that attitude if its exactly that extra 1 GB of stuff which slows your environment down to a crawl. Not to mention that re-downloading 1 GB of extra stuff gets old real fast when you're trying out several distributions.

    Yes, even with a 100 Mbit pipe.

    I make that around 100 seconds longer, assuming saturation, so stop being in such a damn hurry. OK, that's probably a poor assumption unless you're downloading form a relatively-local source; I don't get those sorts of rates sustained unless I'm not going over the open internet. In any case, I remember downloading an early Slackware using floppy disks as a transfer mechanism (because it was much faster than the network connection I had to the machine I was installing on, which was on a “mighty” 9k6 baud serial line) and getting a Linux installation going in that situation is a matter of taking a whole weekend while omitting as many packages as possible.

    This was in 1993. Shit, 20 years ago. Damn, feeling old today…



  • Try to pick a distribution more appropriate to the time your computer is from, if Ubuntu "slows it to a crawl". If you are working with a PC from 1999, try installing an operating system from 1999, too.



  •  It may be driver-related, which would make the version of the OS pretty moot - if anything it may work even more slowly.



  • @pbean said:

    Try to pick a distribution more appropriate to the time your computer is from, if Ubuntu "slows it to a crawl". If you are working with a PC from 1999, try installing an operating system from 1999, too.

    It's an i5 2500K. Not overclocked, mind, but since 100% CPU on all 4 cores reaches ~45 °C, there should be some room left.

    Bodhi, with the same settings is quite fast (but, as I already stated, suffers from an incompatibility between Enlightenment and the VMWare tools) and I've now come to use Debian which is quite fast as well.

    So, any more advice you want to give because it's obviously not my hardware which is the problem here?

    @dkf said:
    @Rhywden said:

    You might rethink that attitude if its exactly that extra 1 GB of stuff which slows your environment down to a crawl. Not to mention that re-downloading 1 GB of extra stuff gets old real fast when you're trying out several distributions.

    Yes, even with a 100 Mbit pipe.

    I make that around 100 seconds longer, assuming saturation, so stop being in such a damn hurry. OK, that's probably a poor assumption unless you're downloading form a relatively-local source; I don't get those sorts of rates sustained unless I'm not going over the open internet. In any case, I remember downloading an early Slackware using floppy disks as a transfer mechanism (because it was much faster than the network connection I had to the machine I was installing on, which was on a “mighty” 9k6 baud serial line) and getting a Linux installation going in that situation is a matter of taking a whole weekend while omitting as many packages as possible.

    This was in 1993. Shit, 20 years ago. Damn, feeling old today…

    100 seconds? That assumes, my dear, that I'm actually getting the full 100 Mbit from the opposite side. Actual download speeds are usually more in the 300 to 500 KB/s range.



  • @Rhywden said:

    You might rethink that attitude if its exactly that extra 1 GB of stuff which slows your environment down to a crawl. Not to mention that re-downloading 1 GB of extra stuff gets old real fast when you're trying out several distributions.

    Yes, even with a 100 Mbit pipe.

    My experience (most recently installing Mint about 6 weeks ago) is that even with a 20Mb pipe the download isn't the bottleneck. Sure, it takes a while, but the installation scripts take longer. So that's another reason not to blindly install stuff you don't want.

    I do wonder, though, whether you needed to install anything in the first place. If you're using a virtual machine, can't you just download a "live CD" image and run that?



  • No, a live CD wouldn't do. I have to compile a few things.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Rhywden said:

    @dkf said:
    I make that around 100 seconds longer, assuming saturation, so stop being in such a damn hurry. OK, that's probably a poor assumption unless you're downloading form a relatively-local source
    [...]

    100 seconds? That assumes, my dear, that I'm actually getting the full 100 Mbit from the opposite side. Actual download speeds are usually more in the 300 to 500 KB/s range.

    Reading comprehension is your thing, yes?



  • @Rhywden said:

    No, a live CD wouldn't do. I have to compile a few things.


    I don't see why that's a problem. Live CDs usually have some mechanism involving either RAM disks or USB storage which allows you to install extra packages etc.



  • @dkf said:

    @Rhywden said:
    @dkf said:
    I make that around 100 seconds longer, assuming saturation, so stop being in such a damn hurry. OK, that's probably a poor assumption unless you're downloading form a relatively-local source
    [...]

    100 seconds? That assumes, my dear, that I'm actually getting the full 100 Mbit from the opposite side. Actual download speeds are usually more in the 300 to 500 KB/s range.

    Reading comprehension is your thing, yes?

    Then why posit that assumption in the first place when it's far from the actual reality as you yourself noticed?

    Some kind of pie-in-the-sky thinking, like "when the moon is full and the wytches are naked..."? That's not a terribly useful attitude to have. Then again, you're a troll so uselessness goes without saying.

    @pjt33 said:
    @Rhywden said:

    No, a live CD wouldn't do. I have to compile a few things.

    I don't see why that's a problem. Live CDs usually have some mechanism involving either RAM disks or USB storage which allows you to install extra packages etc.

    I still fail to see the usefulness of having a VM which perishes as soon as I power down.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Rhywden said:

    @pjt33 said:
    @Rhywden said:

    No, a live CD wouldn't do. I have to compile a few things.


    I don't see why that's a problem. Live CDs usually have some mechanism involving either RAM disks or USB storage which allows you to install extra packages etc.

    I still fail to see the usefulness of having a VM which perishes as soon as I power down.

    This is actually very useful when you're dealing with files of unknown origin or when you need extra security assurance that your system is not compromised by eg rootkits. Though there's no perfect protection from this, things like physical keyloggers also exist.

    (Pedant: USB storage allows persistence.)



  • @pbean said:

    Try to pick a distribution more appropriate to the time your computer is from, if Ubuntu "slows it to a crawl". If you are working with a PC from 1999, try installing an operating system from 1999, too.

    I tried OS/2 and BeOS but they wouldn't install.

     



  • @Rhywden said:

    I still fail to see the usefulness of having a VM which perishes as soon as I power down.

     

    Ever heard about suspending your VM? Well I do not know if the software you use can do it, but VirtualBox can.

     


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