Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Ultima Linux: Ultimate Disappointment

Filed under
Reviews

I'm not sure this can be classified as much a review as a rant. This is why I'll file this as a blog instead of a news/review. I love slackware, I've stated that numerous times. In fact one of my first reviews here at Tuxmachines was on slackware. So why is it that more times than not when someone goes to try and "improve" upon slackware, it just makes a mess. Oh they have their communities that'll come down on me for stating the truth and even accuse me of hurting linux and open source advocacy. They go as far to declare me an incompetent and my hardware garbage. So, when I state that I found ultimalinux the ultimate disappointment, it's with saddness in my heart and a bit of trepidation. But I have to tell the truth.

Sure perhaps it's my hardware. Perhaps it was my kernel appends. But my hardware does rather well on most distributions and I always try many many configurations before I shrug my shoulders and say "oh well!"

It all started on September 4, 2005 when DistroWatch announced a new version of Ultimalinux ready for download. It took 2 days to get two 600 mb cds in, I kid you not. First the torrent tracker was shooting errors, then the ftp refused connections. Finally on the 5th the torrent started working, but it trickled in at anywhere from 0 to 30 kb/sec. It was quite frustrating. I told a friend, 'I guess they really don't want anyone to try their distro.'

However it finally finished on the evening of the 6th and I forgot the frustrations of obtaining the isos. I was open-minded upon boot of the 1st install cd and saw the familiar slackware installer and became rather optimistic when I saw all the extra great packages included and being installed. I was disappointed to see a 2.4.31 kernel as well as the packages being built for i486. Still I had hope.

It booted fine and I had no problems installing nvidia drivers. I'd seen during the install configuration where one has a choice of kde or kde+e (among others such as window maker and fluxbox). kde+e is KDE using the Enlightenment window manager. I thought for something different I'd default to that. It starts and appears to be doing fine until one starts opening and closing applications.

Konqueror was the first application to crash when I was trying to read the Ultima Linux website. I was looking to see if there was some package management system available. I was trying to see if there was a ssl package available as gaim couldn't connect to msn without it. Ho hum. I didn't find anything out about package management other than they say they have an update utility for security fixes called ulupdate.

Trying a couple different stock wallpapers (the usual KDE fare), just previewing mind you, the whole computer locks up.

Next boot I delete all of .kde and .enlightenment files and try with just a straight kde (3.4.2). While trying to get screenshots of OpenOffice.org 1.14, it froze up as soon as I clicked file > new > text document. A crash report window had time to open before the whole desktop just locks down. I was able to ctrl+alt+F2 and kill openoffice and get back to kde, but the window manager had crashed. The desktop was crippled and I restarted.

        

gxine locked up as well. First I was trying to see if it'd play a movie .bin and it just locked everything up, so the next reboot I try an .avi and it shot an error stating it couldn't allocate memory.

Throughout all these reboots I tried various boot options. The first time was a blank append line and other boots I tried things like apm=off, acpi=off, noapic, acpi=ht, and even mem=nopentium. I even tried using vesa graphics. It was no use. That distro was just not going to run.

So, I'll forego all the description, changelog, goals and philosophy. I'll leave it up to you to test.

OSDIR has a whole shi^H^Hcart load of screenshots, but it turns out they were provided by the developer. Is this an indication I know of which I speak?

I'd like to hear from my readers, but only in a positive sense. If you have ultimalinux running stably on your system, please contribute. But if anyone insults me, my intelligence, my grandmother, my machine, or my site, I'll just delete them and turn off committing.

UPDATE: Please see my updated review on a new version HERE.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Ultima does work for me

I just posted a mostly positive review of Ultima at OSDir's Distroreviews and I am very suprised our experiences were so different because Ultima has been rock-solid for me, just as I would expect Slackware system to be. In fact, just now I've run through the problems you mention: Konqueror did not crash on Ultima's home page, nor did it ever crash before. Open Office opened text documents with no trouble, and gxine played .avi movie with no suprises (I had no .bin files to test). I stuck to the defaults all the way through. On my desktop I run plain KDE or some other WM, but not KDE+e. I use nv drivers and no funny boot options other than append ide-scsi... and everything is fine here. I assure you I have no special reasons to promote Ultima and I am not lying either.

I also have to say that even if you're feeling frustrated, it is really unfair of you to slam a distro for the speed of their torrent - of all things, something out of their control! How fast the download is for you depends entirely on how many people are downloading and seeding, as I'm sure you know perfectly well. Ultima is clearly a small one-person, not-for-profit project and has to make do with whatever means of distribution it can afford, especially since its download and use are completely free. In any case, even in this regard our experiences differ because I used bittorrent and got both disks in under 6 hours, which I consider totally acceptable.

More in Tux Machines

Security: Google and Morgan Marquis-Boire

  • Google: 25 per cent of black market passwords can access accounts

    The researchers used Google's proprietary data to see whether or not stolen passwords could be used to gain access to user accounts, and found that an estimated 25 per cent of the stolen credentials can successfully be used by cyber crooks to gain access to functioning Google accounts.

  • Data breaches, phishing, or malware? Understanding the risks of stolen credentials

    Drawing upon Google as a case study, we find 7--25\% of exposed passwords match a victim's Google account.

  • Infosec star accused of sexual assault booted from professional affiliations
    A well-known computer security researcher, Morgan Marquis-Boire, has been publicly accused of sexual assault. On Sunday, The Verge published a report saying that it had spoken with 10 women across North America and Marquis-Boire's home country of New Zealand who say that they were assaulted by him in episodes going back years. A woman that The Verge gave the pseudonym "Lila," provided The Verge with "both a chat log and a PGP signed and encrypted e-mail from Morgan Marquis-Boire. In the e-mail, he apologizes at great length for a terrible but unspecified wrong. And in the chat log, he explicitly confesses to raping and beating her in the hotel room in Toronto, and also confesses to raping multiple women in New Zealand and Australia."

Review: Fedora 27 Workstation

On the whole there are several things to like about Fedora 27. The operating system was stable during my trial and I like that there are several session options, depending on whether we want to use Wayland or the X display server or even a more traditional-looking version of GNOME. I am happy to see Wayland is coming along to the point where it is close to on par with the X session. There are some corner cases to address, but GNOME on Wayland has improved a lot in the past year. I like the new LibreOffice feature which lets us sign and verify documents and I like GNOME's new settings panel. These are all small, but notable steps forward for GNOME, LibreOffice and Fedora. Most of the complaints I had this week had more to do with GNOME specifically than Fedora as an operating system. GNOME on Fedora is sluggish on my systems, both on the desktop computer and in VirtualBox, especially the Wayland session. This surprised me as when I ran GNOME's Wayland session on Ubuntu last month, the desktop performed quite a bit better. Ubuntu's GNOME on Wayland session was smooth and responsive, but Fedora's was too slow for me to use comfortably and I switched over to using the X session for most of my trial. Two other big differences I felt keenly between Ubuntu and Fedora were with regards to how these two leading projects set up GNOME. On Ubuntu we have a dock that acts as a task switcher, making it a suitable environment for multitasking. Fedora's GNOME has no equivalent. This means Fedora's GNOME is okay for running one or two programs at a time, but I tend to run eight or nine applications at any given moment. This becomes very awkward when using Fedora's default GNOME configuration as it is hard to switch between open windows quickly, at least without installing an extension. In a similar vein, Ubuntu's GNOME has window control buttons and Fedora's version does not, which again adds a few steps to what are usually very simple, quick actions. What it comes down to is I feel like Ubuntu takes GNOME and turns it into a full featured desktop environment, while Fedora provides us with just plain GNOME which feels more like a framework for a desktop we can then shape with extensions rather than a complete desktop environment. In fact, I think that describes Fedora's approach in general - the distribution feels more like a collection of open source utilities rather than an integrated whole. Earlier I mentioned LibreOffice can work with signed documents, but Fedora has no key manager, meaning we need to find and download one. Fedora ships with Totem, which is a fine video player, but it doesn't work with Wayland, making it an odd default choice. These little gaps or missed connections show up occasionally and it sets the distribution apart from other projects like openSUSE or Linux Mint where there is a stronger sense the pieces of the operating system working together with a unified vision. The big puzzle for me this week was with software updates. Linux effectively solved updating software and being able to keep running without a pause, reboot or lock-up decades ago. Other mainstream distributions have fast updates - some even have atomic, on-line updates. openSUSE has software snapshots through the file system, Ubuntu has live kernel updates that do away with rebooting entirely and NixOS has atomic, versioned updates via the package manager, to name just three examples. But Fedora has taken a big step backward in making updates require an immediate reboot, and taking an unusually long time to complete the update process, neither of which benefits the user. Fedora has some interesting features and I like that it showcases new technologies. It's a good place to see what new items are going to be landing in other projects next year. However, Fedora feels more and more like a testing ground for developers and less like a polished experience for people to use as their day-to-day operating system. Read more

6 Reasons Why Linux is Better than Windows For Servers

A server is a computer software or a machine that offers services to other programs or devices, referred to as “clients“. There are different types of servers: web servers, database servers, application servers, cloud computing servers, file servers, mail servers, DNS servers and much more. The usage share for Unix-like operating systems has over the years greatly improved, predominantly on servers, with Linux distributions at the forefront. Today a bigger percentage of servers on the Internet and data centers around the world are running a Linux-based operating system. Read more Also: All the supercomputers in the world moved to Linux operating systems

Android Leftovers