Thursday, October 8, 2015

(Sadly) I am so done with this...

Years ago when I first started working with Ruby on Rails (back in the version 1.0 days) I started off on a Windoze machine... and we all know what a major headache that was. It didn't take me too long to start looking for other alternatives and I settled eventually on Kubuntu.

It took a lot of work to get things up and running but I slowly learned more and more about bash, and setting up Apache, and getting Samba to work on my mostly Windoze network. A lot of work but I eventually got things working and was able to happily develop my system on that platform. I really came to love the power and flexibility that was possible on Linux.

Eventually, I started working with some older MacBooks and while they were relatively under-powered and had their quirks it was a pretty nice setup. And for the past two years now I've been working with current MacBooks and loving it. However, when starting up a new project, I decided to got back and see how Linux would work: it would be my desktop / base machine and I could still use the MacBook when I was on the road.

As usual, there were a number of glitches, not the least of which was that my last version was 12.10 and was no longer supported. Not only does Ubuntu not support the old releases, they actually take down any servers that contain the files necessary for an upgrade so you're pretty much out of luck. I didn't want to start from scratch as I had a lot of things configured. I already had my /home on a separate hard drive so I was eventually able to migrate things over and get up and running on 14.04.

I figured I was good to go... wrong.

Running Rails 4.0 turned out to be a problem: capybara-webkit refused to install so I started researching that. More hassles, more delays, but I figured it would settle down soon.

Wrong again.

I decided to do a reboot and that's when things got really, really bad. I got dropped into a grub rescue prompt, with complaints about a parameter that some well-meaning application had added. And even setting the boot drive (after even more research) didn't solve the problem.

Fortunately I don't have much on the system that isn't backed up -- there's only one small system and database that I'll need to recover but this time I'm going to do it with a live disk and then...

...I am done with Linux. I've come to the opinion that Linux is really great for two kinds of people:
  1. People that want to learn and play and don't mind re-installing frequently.
  2. People that really really know how to make this stuff work well -- sysadmins.
Unfortunately I'm not one of those two kinds: I want to use the system to get meaningful work done, I don't have time to learn everything, and I certainly don't qualify as a sysadmin, even though I've gotten lots of things working over the years.

So... sayonara, Linux... it's been good to know you. You've been a good companion -- albeit often a frustrating one -- and I've learned a lot from you, but it's time for me to move on.

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