Alan Marsh | 1 Aug 02:15 2009
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Linux workstation admin simpler than OS X

I've been using OS X as my main workstation and laptop for 5 years now and CentOS for most of my server work.
Prior to that I worked mainly with Fedora. Over time I've setup most of the web development infrastructure
I need on OS X but I still find system administration a real pain in OS X. So much is hidden within OS
X-specific apps like 'dscl' and 'launchctl', then there's the need to have an /opt subsystem to get GNU
stuff installed properly. It just feels like a kludge all the time compared with Linux. Added to this, with
each OS X release so much of what's under the hood changes. I can no longer open ports by number in firewall
provided by System Preferences in Leopard and have had a hell of a time getting Dovecot to run locally. With
Linux it's simple. 

I've been thinking of switching all of my work back to Linux as this G5 and Powerbook G4 are getting old. The
price of Apple hardware is ridiculously expensive, considering the current recessionary trends, and my
pocket won't stretch to £1400 for a 15" Macbook Pro or £2000 for a Mac Pro when I can get Fedora on a decent
laptop for £600 and a powerful workstation for not much more.

Anyone else find OSX system administration clunky after living with Linux?

gvim
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Tethys | 1 Aug 11:21 2009
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Re: Linux workstation admin simpler than OS X

--------

Alan Marsh writes:

>Anyone else find OSX system administration clunky after living with Linux?

I've never used OS X in anger, so I can't comment. What I *can* say
is that sysadmin on Linux[1] is getting harder than it used to be. For
example, my latest annoyance is the latest version of Fedora, which
doesn't even let you configure a network on install. It seems you're
supposed to use the NetworkManager applet when you log in for the first
time instead. I'm sure that works well if you're using the machine as a
single user workstation with the default settings. But apparently the
concept that people might do other things with it doesn't seem to have
occurred to anyone. Conform! It's just like being on Windows...

FWIW, I don't run a GNOME desktop so I don't have a NetworkManager
applet, and even if I did, my home directory is NFS mounted and I
authenticate with NIS, so I can't even log in until the network is
up. When I reported this, the result was CLOSED NOTABUG :-( Linux
From Scratch is looking more and more tempting every day.

Yes, I was able to edit /etc/sysconfig/network{,-scripts/ifcfg-eth0}
to get a working network to allow me to log in. But if anyone seriously
thinks that's easier than entering an IP address/mask and gateway at
install time, then their world view differs significantly from mine.

I'm not sure what anyone installing on a headless server is supposed
to do. And before anyone comments, yes I know Fedora isn't ideal on
a server, but the Fedora of today is the RHEL of tomorrow. Apparently
(Continue reading)

James Laver | 1 Aug 12:51 2009

Re: Linux workstation admin simpler than OS X

On 1 Aug 2009, at 01:15, Alan Marsh wrote:

> I've been using OS X as my main workstation and laptop for 5 years  
> now and CentOS for most of my server work. Prior to that I worked  
> mainly with Fedora. Over time I've setup most of the web development  
> infrastructure I need on OS X but I still find system administration  
> a real pain in OS X. So much is hidden within OS X-specific apps  
> like 'dscl' and 'launchctl', then there's the need to have an /opt  
> subsystem to get GNU stuff installed properly. It just feels like a  
> kludge all the time compared with Linux. Added to this, with each OS  
> X release so much of what's under the hood changes. I can no longer  
> open ports by number in firewall provided by System Preferences in  
> Leopard and have had a hell of a time getting Dovecot to run  
> locally. With Linux it's simple.
>
> I've been thinking of switching all of my work back to Linux as this  
> G5 and Powerbook G4 are getting old. The price of Apple hardware is  
> ridiculously expensive, considering the current recessionary trends,  
> and my pocket won't stretch to £1400 for a 15" Macbook Pro or £2000  
> for a Mac Pro when I can get Fedora on a decent laptop for £600 and  
> a powerful workstation for not much more.
>
> Anyone else find OSX system administration clunky after living with  
> Linux?

No. I don't feel a need to administrate my local machine and beyond  
that, what do I need other than an ssh client.

For development, however, you may find the setup I have more  
preferable, I run vmware fusion with debian inside it and have it  
(Continue reading)

James Laver | 1 Aug 12:53 2009

Re: Linux workstation admin simpler than OS X

On 1 Aug 2009, at 10:21, Tethys wrote:
>
> FWIW, I don't run a GNOME desktop so I don't have a NetworkManager
> applet, and even if I did, my home directory is NFS mounted and I
> authenticate with NIS, so I can't even log in until the network is
> up. When I reported this, the result was CLOSED NOTABUG :-( Linux
> From Scratch is looking more and more tempting every day.

Even with the applet you're still in trouble. I can't persuade the  
machine my client has allocated for me that it doesn't want to just  
DHCP every time but that it should use the details I give it. I even  
went so far as to hardcode them in the underlying config and yet  
networkmanager would undo the good work.

You just can't win. And this is the future, apparently. It's also one  
of the reasons I use a mac.

--James
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Alan Marsh | 1 Aug 13:58 2009
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Re: Linux workstation admin simpler than OS X

James Laver wrote:

> 
> Even with the applet you're still in trouble. I can't persuade the  
> machine my client has allocated for me that it doesn't want to just  
> DHCP every time but that it should use the details I give it. I even  
> went so far as to hardcode them in the underlying config and yet  
> networkmanager would undo the good work.
> 
> You just can't win. And this is the future, apparently. It's also one  
> of the reasons I use a mac.
> 
> --James

# service NetworkManger stop ; chkconfig --del NetworkManager  ?

Untested :-)
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Johannes Lang | 1 Aug 15:45 2009

Re: Wireless and Linux

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>    1. Wireless and Linux (Johannes Lang)
>    2. Re: Wireless and Linux (Caroline Ford)
>    3. Re: Wireless and Linux (John Hearns)
>    4. Re: Wireless and Linux (John G Walker)
>    5. Re: Wireless and Linux (lesleyb <at> herlug.org.uk)
>    6. Re: LIVES (Andrew Black)
>    7. Re: LIVES (Chris Bell)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
(Continue reading)

John G Walker | 1 Aug 15:59 2009
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Re: Wireless and Linux


On Sat, 01 Aug 2009 06:45:23 -0700 Johannes Lang
<johannes.lang <at> btinternet.com> wrote:

>  People say as a 
> newbie, you should use Ubuntu, but I prefer openSuse / SLED. Besides, 
> these disros use KDE and Konqueror rather than Gnome and Nautilus as
> the file manager (I digress though).

I learned Linux on openSUSE, and it's really the only distro that I
know (and I know it badly at that!). I also prefer KDE to Gnome, you're
not alone here.

I've tried Ubuntu, but I can't see the attraction. No doubt others will
inform me (and you),

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 John
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Geo | 1 Aug 15:59 2009
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Re: Wireless and Linux

On Saturday 01 August 2009 14:59:25 John G Walker wrote:
> On Sat, 01 Aug 2009 06:45:23 -0700 Johannes Lang
>
> <johannes.lang <at> btinternet.com> wrote:
> >  People say as a
> > newbie, you should use Ubuntu, but I prefer openSuse / SLED. Besides,
> > these disros use KDE and Konqueror rather than Gnome and Nautilus as
> > the file manager (I digress though).
>
> I learned Linux on openSUSE, and it's really the only distro that I
> know (and I know it badly at that!). I also prefer KDE to Gnome, you're
> not alone here.
>
> I've tried Ubuntu, but I can't see the attraction. No doubt others will
> inform me (and you),
>
> --
>  All the best,
>  John

Hi,
   If you like KDE then why not try Kubuntu ? That way you get an "easier" 
distro for new Linux users & get your KDE fix.

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(Continue reading)

Stuart Sears | 1 Aug 17:47 2009

Re: Linux workstation admin simpler than OS X

On 01/08/09 10:21, Tethys wrote:
[...]
> I've never used OS X in anger, so I can't comment. What I *can* say
> is that sysadmin on Linux[1] is getting harder than it used to be. For
> example, my latest annoyance is the latest version of Fedora, which
> doesn't even let you configure a network on install.

You can force the issue, as it happens...

> It seems you're
> supposed to use the NetworkManager applet when you log in for the first
> time instead. I'm sure that works well if you're using the machine as a
> single user workstation with the default settings. But apparently the
> concept that people might do other things with it doesn't seem to have
> occurred to anyone. Conform! It's just like being on Windows...

> FWIW, I don't run a GNOME desktop so I don't have a NetworkManager
> applet, and even if I did, my home directory is NFS mounted and I
> authenticate with NIS, so I can't even log in until the network is
> up. When I reported this, the result was CLOSED NOTABUG :-(

NetworkManager is started before login these days, IIRC

To them, it won't be a bug - they designed it that way. How can it 
possibly be wrong? <removes tongue from cheek>

> Linux From Scratch is looking more and more tempting every day.

Been there, done that. Several times. Believe me when I say it isn't 
easier :)
(Continue reading)

John Hearns | 1 Aug 19:04 2009

Re: Wireless and Linux

2009/8/1 Johannes Lang <johannes.lang <at> btinternet.com>:
>
>
> The WG111T USB network adapter uses an Atheros chipset I think. All the
> web pages I have visited unfortunately tell you different things. One
> says "no drivers exist" and others say "it depends how you configure
> your system". Who would you believe.
Again, why not save yourself time and effort and just buy an adapter
which you know will work out of the box, without having to configure
ndis-wrapper?

> Please be patient with me, as I am a newbie at Linux. People say as a
> newbie, you should use Ubuntu, but I prefer openSuse / SLED. Besides,
> these disros use KDE and Konqueror rather than Gnome and Nautilus as the
> file manager (I digress though).
I'm sorry, but this is a canard. You can install both Gnome and KDE on
any desktop Linux distribution. When installing SuSE you just click
the boxes to install Gnome.
I prefer Gnome, and I'm sitting in front of an OpenSUSE 11.1
workstation right now, using Gnome.

Sorry to labour this point - but with Linux you get to choose. You can
run a completely command-line system, with no windowing interface. You
can run a lighweight X-windowing interface, such as fvwm. You can run
Gnome and KDE - all installed on the same system. Indeed, even though
I'm using Gnome I can run KDE applications on my desktop - all you
need is the relevant libraries installed.

My honest advice to you - get the OpenSUSE 11.1 installation DVD,
either by downloading it on a Windows PC and burning a DVD, but post
(Continue reading)


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