Wednesday 9 May 2007

A good note and a bad one.

On the negative side, I'm increasingly coming across people having bad experiences with the latest & greatest (Ubuntu), even without looking for them (example). But on a net-positive day, I made a sweet discovery.

I was trying to install VMWare server onto my Ubuntu FF workstation. I tried obvious choices - the binary packages available for download, and alien'ing the rpm package. In both cases, when running the config utility, the vmware found it needed to recompile a module & fell over. In serious doubt that I had enough motivation to drill down the dependency tree, I came across the feisty-commercial software repository, where a vmware native deb package resides (possibly only for the last 10 days or so. I wonder why that might be?)

Add the repository (deb feisty-commercial main) into sources and apt-get install vmware-server. Done. That easy.

That is the way it should be done. That one gem of a repository - one which recognises the need for commercial software - is the answer to almost all of my reticence. Curious, I snatched a peek at the respository itself to see what else might be there (I have a few things on my shopping list). Actually, just VMWare. It doesn't seem to be used at all. The equivalent repositories for Dapper and Edgy were not much better - a small (very) handful of apps (opera being an example).

If Canonical can expand that repository and make it a standard way to find commercial software, Ubuntu will have crossed the street into the sunshine.

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