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Ubuntu 101 | A Lesson.

Ubuntu 101 | A Lesson.

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Published by Raymond Lee Marr
A tough lesson learned using Ubuntu, challenging updates that were held back, and some of the ways I overcame and was able to recover from it. How you can take the steps to experience Open Source and see outside the Walled Garden of Proprietary Software.
A tough lesson learned using Ubuntu, challenging updates that were held back, and some of the ways I overcame and was able to recover from it. How you can take the steps to experience Open Source and see outside the Walled Garden of Proprietary Software.

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Published by: Raymond Lee Marr on Feb 04, 2010
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Lesson's In Open SourcebyRay Marr  
“Perhaps the free software movement will just  grow faster and better as more people hop onboard. More users mean more eyes looking for bugs. More users mean more programmers writing new source code for new features. More is better. ”via wayner.org – Free For All 
February 2010 - Updated
ad a tough lesson to learn in regard toUbuntu, that first there is often a reasoncertain updates are held back whether it is because they can result in breaking other aspects – and cause false responses, from update-manager,synaptic apt and aptitude. Which make up whatusually is used for updating Linux® basedsystems. As they each use the same back-endthough the server being used may be differentdepending on what you set it up within update-manager. In simpler terms, they use the activenetwork connection unless you have the alternativeCD (Compact Disc) which hosts the deb (Debian)files which are exactly what makes up thedownloaded files.
The culprit this time around was
which makes up the suite that is Gnome, oftenassociated with the distribution Ubuntu, arelatively new additions to the Linux World.Designed to be more like Linux for Humans, or insimpler terms focused more on ease of use andgraphical hocus pocus if you want to call it that.Just as with any distribution it is dependent on theresource it accesses and can be brought down byuser error.The solution was a long process and an ongoingone at that as you will see in reading through thisarticle. As first after I forced the update, even whenit was clearly specified as being held back whenthere was notice of updates that these had beenheld back. Rebellious as the next guy, being blissfully unaware and a bit over confident.Figuring this could not possibly break Ubuntu, or at least Gnome since capplets-data is an integral part of the session manager. Which I only foundout when I rebooted the system, I only saw theKDE and xterm which are the defaults of the most basic format, and means to solve issues with booting and display managers. It was fortunate thatthey were still available, which gave me even afew more tools in an ever smaller toolbox whengnome was taken out of the picture even if onlymomentarily.Generally it is the most simple tools, that can dothe most, particularly when you are dealing withLinux Distributions. Left with only these verysimple tools, I had to review my earlier notes onUbuntu when I first got started with Open Source,using v7.04 of the distribution. Through thosenotes I recognized that there were approaches tomanually setup the network connection and to getthe needed updates to see if I could get it to work again.Certainly it was a clear reminder, that there is moreto learn, but that I could use what I have learned upto this point, to solve basic usability issues. Whichhelped in this particular situation, but I was onlyaware of these approaches because I took the timeto read about them in the first place. Even withwhat I know distros have a tendency to break 
 Illustration 1: Ubuntu - The View
Lesson's In Open SourcebyRay Marr sometimes like it or not, but at least through thosetrials and tribulations you become more aware of ways to help others who will eventually deal withsimilar annoyances.It is often the most difficult lessons we must learn by experience them first hand and to deal with theassociated frustrations, while also offeringadditional lessons that would better enable you toteach wayward explorers into the uncharted wild of Open Source how to get past the obstacles, thoughfrustrating you grow through it.Just as when I was writing on this, there were other challenges I was facing, with wireless andnetworking in general. Seemingly the one major annoyance for to many of the Linux®Distributions. One of the most discouragingaspects, a deal breaker for recent converts toLinux, the one thing that results in people leavingLinux before they even get started. Wireless can befrustrating, yet I know from experience that it is possible as the quote goes “...Even This ShallPass” wireless is not so difficult to deal with, justas with anything it is a matter of experimentationand exploration of the community based sites andrepositories of information that can easily be foundon-line In example, when I started using Ubuntu atv8.04, I found it to be quite buggy, I knew I had to be on-line so I setup a shared connection, sorry tosay from a Windows machine that then enabled meto press
and type
update-manager -d
which is the command for update-manager tocheck if there is new distributions available andthen allow you to upgrade to the most recent one inthe repos. It comes down to a short spat of typingand the rest is point and click similar to thewindows system. The one Operating System that ison most computers, limiting vision, and for allintensive purposes to say it can be the only one, if the person does not step up and out and look  beyond windows. They only exist through their Ubiquity, being in so many places at once, as a bitof irony the installer for Linux is in fact calledUbiquity.The upgrade went without a hiccup, and a fewhours later I truly begin the journey into Linuxwhich is a resurgent meaning
– that is often used in programming making it thatmuch more intriguing as a self referential usingUbuntu as the vehicle for my first foray into the
Open Source World
.Of course one of the first challenges was to getwireless working as I alluded to earlier, as initiallyI set it up, using a shared connection over awindows computer system. Using the most basicconfiguration, it was when I unplugged from theEthernet cable, disconnected from the windowscore that I noticed, first that though Ubuntuworked fine with a wired connection, to usewireless was a bit more involved partly becausethe wireless card I had on my PC, was based on theBroadcom chipset, which as I would expect wasone of those things that were kept under lock andkey, proprietary of course. Fortunately there had been a group who had worked long enough andhard enough, aware that such a thing was neededand enabled a simple process of downloading andinstalling the firmware by
System >Administration > Hardware Drivers
after making sure you are connected so that thedownload can work and the installer will finish.Once you have an active and working connectionthat was secure and ready to go. Reaching this point is quite a fun time, particularly when you arefirst starting the journey into Open Source. Awarethat you were able to get it done, and have itworking from your own hands.Through the community of developers who are a part of the
Open Source Movement
, who frequentforums, irc and Linux sites, they all become a greatresource for the path towards freedom throughcommunity based ideas. Certainly as you delvefurther into this world that would otherwise just bea mystery to you, there will be eventual challengesand they will bother you until you realize thatthrough them you are learning something new and

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