Before I move on posting another "instructional" entry, I thought I'd first get something off my chest, it is after all a blog, my blog even, and I can do whatever I want, nobody seems to be reading it anyway. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had some trouble getting WoL to work on my Ubuntu Server and in fact it still does not work properly. I got this working flawlessly on my Windows PC in 1 minute.

I am not a Linux/Unix expert, but I certainly am not new at it, I've been using it for years at work. In fact I would argue that I am the same kind of user on Linux that I have always been on Windows. I use it because the software I employ needs an operating system to run in, period. I don't administer users on it (I am the only user), I don't fool around in the registry (scared to death) and I haven't open a DOS window since Windows 2000. Same with Linux, the tools I use at work are just run in a Linux environment and so I use it. Yet getting this feature enabled on Windows was easy for a user like me, in Ubuntu on the other hand it was more akin to giving birth to a 10 pound baby, slow, painful and I was cursing the person who conceived it. Finding a solution was like a treasure hunt gone horribly wrong. I changed scripts, config files, startup routines and at some point I was even told I need to recompile the kernel! That is where I drew the line and kinda gave up on the feature until I noticed that WoL does work when I shutdown the machine manually (shutdown -h now). However nobody can tell me why that works whereas if I use the Standby/Hibernate it does not.

I am well aware that WoL probably isn't high on many computer users must-have-features list, but that is not the point. In my deep dive sessions in the world of WoL I noticed Linux users complaining about the power management features and how they can't find a fix for them either or that it inexplicably works in some cases but not in others, very similar as my experience with WoL and I am sure that is high on people's feature list. I never heard anybody complaining about those on Windows. The point I am making is that a user like me should get these features to work without any problems on Ubuntu. If I can't get it to work, a novice user doesn't stand a chance and there are a lot more novices out there than experts. I am sure a lot of users would have given up already after such an experience, one of the downsides I guess of free software, if you don't like it, you toss it.

There, I've said it. It is way to early for me to give up on Ubuntu, I am a tinkerer after all so this suites me just fine. I am hopeful that it will get better from here on and that I will discover things that are easier to do in Ubuntu than in Windows, but I definitly concluded that Ubuntu is not ready for the masses ... yet.

2 comments

  1. CombatWombat // November 26, 2008 at 12:39 AM  

    I think that this is more a case of chicken and egg - which comes first? I'll explain: Mainboard manufacturers are lazy. They don't write good ACPI implementations for the BIOS of their mainboard, they tend to cater to the masses - ie Windows users - and write cludges that works for Windows. "Linux? wot's that?" Therefore the poor Linux kernel hackers can try until they're blue to match ACPI properly, it won't do any good - what they would really need is documentation from each manufacturer of each mainboard - and that would only prove what idiots they are, so they won't supply that! But times are a-changing and hardware manufacturers are waking up to the fact that their gear needs Linux drivers - just take a look at Brother's Linux support now! Some mainboard manufacturers also supply Linux with the mainboard, eg ASUS.

    All-in-all I have found that I need to do research before buying hardware:- will it work with my OS of choice? Windows users will have to do the same too, with Vista and soon 7 changing the landscape.

    Good blog, BTW, nice writing style. Keep at it :-D

  2. mvilrokx // November 26, 2008 at 10:52 AM  

    Hi CombatWombat,

    Thank you very much for your comments, I really appreciate it. Turn's out somebody IS reading my blog :-).

    Since I posted this I found out that indeed the blame should not totally be pushed onto Linux/Ubuntu but that ACPI is a bit of a mess in general. Funny enough though, I get most hits on my blog from Google Search about ... problems with WoL :-) so it is a legitimate concern.

    I sometimes feel that the Linux Community doesn't pull together on these issues, speak as one voice. I know we are only a small % of overall users, but there must still be millions out there. I cannot imagine these users cannot lean on those manufactures to get things done. But Linux users rather fiddle around on their own, posting "cool" solutions to these problems that should even be problems. Maybe time for another rant eh :-)

    Thanks again of the nice words. I feel like I should give you a price for first comment, maybe a free link on my 700 billion dollar home page (www.700billiondollarhomepage.com) :-)

    Cheers,
    Mark.