The magic of Ubuntu

Ubuntu Linux

After three years (has it been that long?) the time has finally come to replace my very much beloved RedHat 8.0 with something more up-to-date. The choice was fairly simple. Yes, Ubuntu. Praised by everyone, loved by many aka the most popular linux distro around.

I got to know a little bit of Debian magic, by installing apt-get for my RedHat. It had very limited use as the rpm repositories were rarely updated. Only using Debian you can experience its full potential. And yes, Ubuntu is a Debian clone.

The installation was fairly simple, although I missed the “select packages” screen (I suppose there is no option to choose the installed packages before the installation). Next stop: configuration. Turning off graphical login, disabling useless services (cups, alsa, ppp and so on…) – all the usual stuff. Hour after hour my system was shaping up.

At some point I have noticed that I did not have identd running. Without any hesitation I executed apt-get install oidentd. One minute later it was up and running.

And now for the magic part. It has automatically discovered the non-routable IP address (in the 192.168.x.x range) assigned to the eth0 interface (which was also the default routing target) together with the IP address of the gateway. Based on those two IP addresses it found out that my machine was sitting behind a NAT, so it automatically added the -A gateway_ip option to the command line (needed for oidentd to work behind a NAT). That’s just pure magic.

I know it’s just a relatively simple installation script, but still, it’s those simple things which make all the difference. And, sometimes, also make my jaw drop.

10 points for Ubuntu.

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Paweł Gościcki

Ruby/Rails programmer.

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