People bleat on and on about how much better Linux is than Windows. Here’s some news: I’m fairly bright, and I like challenges, but even I am getting frustrated at Linux. I’m using RedHat 9, which might make some of you mutter “Why isn’t he using Ubuntu?”. Well I’ve joined a group of like minded individuals, and we’ve inherited a server and it happens to be RedHat 9. So it stays.

So I get VirtualBox, download the 3 CD’s that RedHat is provided on and start installing. The installation was painless. However getting the needed stuff installed is where things collapsed. Every website and forum that goes into installing redhat files has a slightly different way of doing things. But they don’t tell you where to get the files from: “Type the following to extract the apr-1.2.5-41b+8.tar.gz”.  That’s fine, but please tell me where to get that file first. Also installing from source isn’t the greatest it’s cracked up to be. Various software components organically evolve – functions come, go and get renamed or deprecated and dropped. So trying to compile several things from releases that you try and glean from the net isn’t the productive, especially when you have to wait 10 minutes to find they aren’t compatible. So there goes rpmfind.net.

And that brings me to my next point: The point of the tools is to make me more productive, not the tools themselves. Spending an afternoon trying to install software (Subversion of all things) isn’t productive. Windows takes about 30 seconds: Download the msi, double click the msi, accept the default config, done.  I can now start using Subversion. Can I use it on RedHat? No. Because I still haven’t got it installed.

So why don’t I use the install I have on my Windows box? Because I am trying to get the steps figured out so we can use it on the server without me borking the entire server.

This is the reason why Linux will never break the strangle hold of Windows. You may say that if I used Ubuntu then I wouldn’t have this problem, but RedHat was released in 2003.  I can still double click MSI installers created in 2003 and be confident that they will work as advertised.