Ubuntu: I'm extremely impatient

Ubuntu: I'm extremely impatient

Summary: Okay, I admit, I am an impatient person. I hate waiting in lines.

TOPICS: Browser, Open Source

Okay, I admit, I am an impatient person. I hate waiting in lines. I have a superiority complex and a tremendous arrogance where I believe the world revolves around me. Hey, I'm a New Yorker, it comes with the territory. My wife, Rachel, is infuriated by this -- whenever we go to a restaurant and there is even a fifteen minute wait, I walk right out the door. On a Friday night, I've been known to walk in and out of five or six restaurants until I get immediate gratification.

TimeoutIf I wasn't such a Linux addict I probably would have walked right out the door with Ubuntu Hardy Heron as well. The demand for downloads and updates to the newly released Linux distribution was so tremendous, that the repositories are totally overwhelmed -- you can't connect to the US or central Canonical archives if your life depended on it today. According to a close industry source, Ubuntu saturated 20 Gigabits of bandwidth from both its main repositories and download locations over the last 24 hours. It's like the Seinfeld episode where they go to the Chinese restaurant and the bunch are stymied by every attempt to get a table.

aptitude timeoutsWith the growing popularity of the Ubuntu distribution, Canonical needs to get the repository infrastructure built, or we're all going to be walking out. They need to partner with someone like Akamai where the repos can be cached and large amounts of users can get to packages reliably.

Of course, there is no doubt that the service is expensive, and even with Shuttleworth's billion plus dollars net worth, its probably a rather big pill for Ubuntu and Canonical to swallow. What I'd like to see is a large organization -- perhaps with philanthropic aims to support open source -- eat that Akamai or hosting bill. It just so happens that Akami has a large hosting partner already, and that partner is Microsoft.

Microsoft could score huge points and extend a major olive branch by allowing Ubuntu to use its Akamai infrastructure that it uses for Service Pack and patching delivery and MSDN downloads to distribute Ubuntu and serve repository packages. After all, they are serious about making inroads in interoperability and being nice, right? Of course if Microsoft wants to decline the offer, I am sure Google or another large vendor would be happy to step in.

Firefox Cert Problem1The repos aren't the only thing I am impatient with either -- it seems that Heron being released with Firefox 3 beta5 has caused a bunch of interoperability issues with sites that I frequently use. In particular, it has to do with unsigned security certificates -- if you go to a site that has an unsigned certificate, Firefox 3 stops you dead in your tracks. On many sites, it will allow you to hit the "exception" button, it imports the invalid certificate, and then lets you through. But on certain sites, such as hotel Internet service login pages, and private VPN gateways, Firefox just plain wont let you through, at all. In order to get onto my hotel Internet last night, I actually had to boot into Windows, download the Opera "static" distribution for Debian systems (use the static, because the qt-mt library is not installed on the system by default), toss it on a USB card, reboot to Ubuntu and install it before I could get on the Internet and Firefox 3 would let me browse anywhere.

It's clear that as good as Firefox 3 is, it isn't ready for prime time yet, and Ubuntu should seriously consider having more than one browser installed by default. A side by side install of Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 or perhaps Opera (which my buddy Larry happens to like as well) would solve that problem.

Topics: Browser, Open Source


Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet, is a technologist with over two decades of experience integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

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  • ...

    You impatience didn't allow you to think... there are other Web Browsers with Ubuntu... you could have easily opened one of those up. Even the file browser could have been used.

    Arrogance and impatience... sounds like you need to grow up a bit, the world revolves around the sun, not you, me or any other carbon based life form on this planet. ]:)
    Linux User 147560
    • HOW

      How am I supposed to open up another browser if the repositories are hammered and I can't install one? There is only one web browser installed by default, and that is Firefox 3 beta 5. If you want anything else you need to get it thru aptitude.
      • For the certificate problems, try this:


        Download Firefox 2, and for the repo problems just pick a mirror to use, if only for next day or two.
        Tony Agudo
      • Lots of other people want it at the same time

        and you're throwing a wobbly. Perhaps you should go to as many distro's as you do restaurants for your false "instant satisfaction".
        • You didnt read the article

          • How so?

            "The demand for downloads and updates to the newly released Linux distribution was so tremendous, that the repositories are totally overwhelmed ? you can?t connect to the US or central Canonical archives if your life depended on it today."

            Google : ubuntu opera browser
          • He never does...nt

      • ...

        Sounds like a short coming of the Gnome interface. I am a KDE user, so with KDE (I figured Gnome would be the same way... guess not.) I can use the Konqueror file browser as a web browser. Also KDE installs two browsers by default, Firefox and the Konqueror web browser.

        Konqueror functions similar to Microsoft Windows Explorer, in that you can surf the web via the System Explorer or by opening the Web Explorer.

        So does the Gnome interface allow this or not? If not then my apologies, if so then you had a solution at your finger-tips. ]:)
        Linux User 147560
        • Actually

          It doesn't, Gnome's UI philosophy is one program for each task contrary to KDE's one program that can do many tasks (ie. Konqueror). Atleast thats what I've known until now, It may be possible to tweak the UI but I wouldn't know as I haven's tried...
      • repositories

        You don't have to get software through the repositories. Search for firefox in a .deb format. Just double click on it. Or install it from a .tar.gz file. A little command line stuff, very little. Easy.
        I realize someone new to Ubuntu might not want that additional trouble. I just got started with linux a few months ago.........
  • Try downloading from...

    or the bittorrents or what I do is use 'wget' from a terminal window command line. Example man page usage:

    [b]wget -c ftp://sunsite.doc.ic.ac.uk/ls-lR.Z[/b]

    [i]"If there is a file named ls-lR.Z in the current directory, Wget will assume that it is the first portion of the remote file, and will ask the server to continue the retrieval from an offset equal to the length of the local file."[/i]

    As for BT, I've downloaded in less than 15 minutes ubuntu and kubuntu 8.04 using 'deluge'.

    Patience is a virtue. ;)
    D T Schmitz
    • This is fine for downloading the distro but not for repos

      They haven't figured out a way to do aptitude repoisitories on Bittorrent yet, and I am not sure it would work so well. :)
  • RE: Ubuntu: I'm extremely impatient

    Yes, but from what I've seen last night it is worth the wait (if you don't timeout!)
  • Welcome to the achilles heel of open source

    No money.
    • ...

      And yet is still seems to innovate, improve and spread at an alarming rate. Seems that the adage you need money is really a false belief. ]:)
      Linux User 147560
    • Money is no object

      Open Source doesn't need that much money. Thats the
      BEAUTY OF IT. It's one of life's free mysteries that can never
      be solved. Its funny how you cant get water for free, but you
      can get software for free...
      • And the cost of food is rising to compensate

        There's nothing Penelope and Rupert will stop at to take money from us.
        • How is your Mum and Dad anyway?...nt

        • Once again - no value what so ever...nt

    • Blaming the wrong people for slow repos ...

      I had no problems accessing the repos or the CD/DVD releases early Friday morning. Don't look to Canonical to host repos at Akamai - ask your ISP why they aren't hosting repos for their customers.

      My ISP in Australia (Internode) does just this and, because the data is already on their network, it doesn't count towards my download limit. It's not hard to change the repos from the official Canonical site.