Post by Daniel James
...which is very easy to install. Don't forget that most computer users
have never compiled anything in their life. The expectation of end-user
kernel rebuilds should really be a thing of the past.
Indeed, my goal when setting up Linux for end users is to try and make sure
they never even see a command line. Musicians aren't geeks and neither are
most corporate types.
Slackware is great for when you have that one machine in your mom's basement
and it doesn't matter to you to keep track of what file came from where or to
be able to uninstall stuff cleanly. It's sort of the Windows model of
installing software, only with source.
Gentoo is sort of the best of both worlds, but I don't feel like waiting 36
hours for it to compile everything I need for a usable desktop, whether
corporate or musical.
Debian is nifty except for the installer. I understand they're working on it
and maybe in another year I'll be able to recommend it to non-technical
Lindows/Xandros/Lycoris are just too limited for musicians or for the kind of
people who pay me to make Linux work for them.
Red Hat is okay as a server distro but they just don't seem to understand the
desktop and unless you're a power user who knows enough to install apt-rpm,
you're stuck in dependency hell.
I use and recommend Mandrake (but never switch to the latest and greatest
until a month or two after it's out) because urpmi is sort of a nice
compromise between plain RPM, and apt. Its installer is simpler than the
various Windows installers and I can set up my own RPM repositories with
automagical dependency checking that my users can set up and install packages
without ever having to see a bash prompt. The only downside I can see to
Mandrake is that they're in receivership right now and that makes them a big
question mark for versions subsequent to 9.1.
There are certainly problems even with the automagical dependency checking
systems, like someone will build a package that needed some new obscure
library that they had installed from cooker (the unstable Mandrake branch) or
from source and didn't bother to provide an RPM for, but people generally
find those pretty quick.
There are lots more Mandrake urpmi sources than just what you find at Mandrake
mirrors, to wit:
http://plf.zarb.org/~nanardon/urpmiweb.php - make sure you click "show
specific sources too" as it includes a lot more.
A couple that aren't listed there include
http://rpm.nyvalls.se/9.0/RPMS - thac's RPM's, a huge collection of audio apps
http://www.kudla.org/rpm/i586 - my own collection which isn't really audio
related but as long as i'm mentioning sources... ;)
Karel, I definitely feel your pain with regards to dependency hell, but I
won't be running 9.1 until I think enough people have guinea-pigged it for
me. If anyone running Mandrake 9.0 has problems with a particular audio app
RPM I'd be happy to rebuild it, stick it in my repository and work out
dependency issues with you. That way everyone (well, mdk 9.0 users) can