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Good-bye, Ubuntu

The title says it all. Earlier this week, I tried to install OpenSSH with Kerberos authentication support for Dapper, using apt-get of course. Doing so broke my system miserably. Package ssh-krb5 was installed but not configured and it gave me an error saying it couldn’t stop the currently running SSH service. However, SSH stopped working at that point – totally – and that is something I just can’t live without. Worse was to follow. I tried to reboot, and after going to INIT 6, Linux simply stopped responding after trying to shut down SSH server; a first time I’ve seen that happen. No tty was accessible, and although my system was up (I could enter junk characters via the keyboard), I couldn’t do anything useful. After waiting and hoping for 20 minutes, I had no choice but to reset the system.

On restart of course, fsk had to go through my disks – 320 GB of space to check the un-unmounted filesystems which happily took another twenty minutes. I went into single user mode, uninstalled SSH and Kerberos as completely as I could. No luck. On rebooting again, the system still stopped – this time after stopping the rsync daemon. And so on, a few times. Later I found an open bug in Ubuntu which says ssh-krb5 will not install due to malformed dependencies. And here I was, thinking that because of it’s Debian heritage, Ubuntu would have the best package management around. I can understand that a package may have malformed dependencies and behavior but to (a) keep such a package in the repository and (b) for apt-get to fail to realize that it will break the system is quite strange to me.

In any case, Ubuntu was the only distribution that came *this* close to being a Fedora-replacement for me. The only other issue I’d had was that a lot of applications wouldn’t compile using the standard configure and make scripts due to missing “development libraries” and I couldn’t find those through apt-get or synaptic – something that usually isn’t a problem in Fedora.

In any case, I am now back to Fedora Core 5 on which everything that I need for work (including Kerberos5) works out of the box, and yum has grown – in my perspective – to be as good as apt-get for fetching stuff like codecs, utilities and the like.

Talking of utilities, I found a gem of a gmail checking utility for linux called checkgmail. It’s in fact the best gmail checker I’ve seen – you can not only see snippets of mail in notification boxes, but also open or delete a message, mark it as read, or mark it as spam. Check out the screenshot below.

checkgmail.png

Here’s to continuing Linux progress!

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