Author Topic: Linux installation what- ? moment.  (Read 1436 times)

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Offline rdl

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Linux installation what- ? moment.
« on: February 21, 2020, 07:34:42 pm »
Why in the world would an installer include a Thai language terminal by default?

Been using Debian 8 Cinnamon off and on since 2016 and decided last Saturday I needed to switch to something more up-to-date. Since then have done seven or eight installs trying to find something that works and that I could live with. Finally ended up basically back where I was with Debian 10 and Cinnamon, but I've sure seen some stuff that made me stare at the screen and say "Seriously?"
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2020, 08:33:48 pm »
Lots of developers with spare time, good skills are in Asia, and thus having localisations for them as default is a good idea, and will be beneficial overall.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2020, 08:43:08 pm »
And why not? Not everyone speaks English, you know.
 

Offline Ampera

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2020, 08:59:21 pm »
If you don't like it, don't use it. There's a sea of Linux distros that are English by default. I recommend FreeBSD  :box:
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Offline I wanted a rude username

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2020, 09:27:42 pm »
You need to install international fonts anyway, and then xiterm+thai is only 100 KiB extra. Seems worth it to me.

Aside from this, Debian's management is more distributed ... you could say "anarchic" ... than that of most other distros. If you want Debian but more top-down, there's always Ubuntu ... ideally Kubuntu, without that GTK stuff.
 

Offline rdl

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2020, 12:15:27 pm »
Maybe I didn't word that quite right. I will try again.

Why would the installation of an English language version of Linux include a Thai language terminal in addition to the English version, but no other non-English versions?

It's just an observation of one of several things I saw while installing various flavors of Linux which thought were very odd choices. It was not at all intended as criticism of Linux.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2020, 12:54:16 pm »
Ah you mean you have got a Thai terminal by default instead of the US English one? If that's so, that sounds like a weird bug, indeed.
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2020, 01:00:26 pm »
Ah you mean you have got a Thai terminal by default instead of the US English one? If that's so, that sounds like a weird bug, indeed.

Alot of the kool distros now setup the eth0 interface first and go get the location and set the interim locale. Years ago at parties, I had a 'friend' who would change the language on your phone while you weren't looking.

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Offline janoc

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2020, 02:40:56 pm »
But we aren't talking any "cool distros" but Debian. In Debian the installer starts in English and you pick the installation language manually as one of the very first steps, before anything else is done (network configured, etc.).

https://debian-handbook.info/browse/stable/sect.installation-steps.html
« Last Edit: February 22, 2020, 02:42:56 pm by janoc »
 

Offline rdl

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2020, 04:24:52 pm »
Three versions of XTerm were installed and that's it. In the menu they were called XTerm, UXTerm and Thai x terminal. I don't know which was default, probably plain XTerm which was in English.

Unfortunately, XTerm was not usable for me. The font was too small and ugly and I couldn't find an easy way to change it. I had to go figure out what Debian 8 used, which I liked, and install that.

After a day or so to think about it, the only logical reason I can come up with for the Thai XTerm is that maybe one or more people working on the installer were from Thailand.

Another "Seriously?" moment was when a Live version I was trying out locked the screen with a password protected Screenlocker.  I had to google that one and apparently it's been that way for years. The user name and password is in a manual somewhere but still...Why?
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2020, 04:27:45 pm »
Three versions of XTerm were installed and that's it. In the menu they were called XTerm, UXTerm and Thai x terminal. I don't know which was default, probably plain XTerm which was in English.

Unfortunately, XTerm was not usable for me. The font was too small and ugly and I couldn't find an easy way to change it. I had to go figure out what Debian 8 used, which I liked, and install that.

After a day or so to think about it, the only logical reason I can come up with for the Thai XTerm is that maybe one or more people working on the installer were from Thailand.

Another "Seriously?" moment was when a Live version I was trying out locked the screen with a password protected Screenlocker.  I had to google that one and apparently it's been that way for years. The user name and password is in a manual somewhere but still...Why?

Silly question, but did you check the md5sum of your iso?
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Offline janoc

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2020, 07:18:47 pm »
Silly question, but did you check the md5sum of your iso?

Yeah, that looks pretty much like something has gone really wrong during the installation.
 

Offline rdl

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2020, 07:46:24 pm »
Yeah, that looks pretty much like something has gone really wrong during the installation.

Why do you say that? Just normal Linux quirkiness I think.

Checksum was fine.

Here's another. File Manager in Debian XFCE Live was not able to open the local network.

Error message, Failed to open "/ on ".

I guess technically it still worked as a file manager. The problem turned out to be some missing gvfs packages. I decided to avoid Xfce for now.

 

Offline janoc

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2020, 01:09:56 pm »
Yeah, that looks pretty much like something has gone really wrong during the installation.

Why do you say that? Just normal Linux quirkiness I think.

Checksum was fine.

That's not "quirkiness". I have installed plenty of Debian installs in my life and this has never happened. Just to be clear - I am talking about getting a Thai terminal instead of US one by default, not having a Thai terminal in the menu in addition to a US one - which could be normal, either by choice of the distro developers for some reason or because it got pulled in as a dependency of something else that you have selected for installation.

By something going wrong I mean that installation of something could have failed and left the system in a partially installed state. I have seen that happen a few times - either because of a corrupted package (that's why the question about the ISO checksum), bad package on the mirror (if you have opted for installing/updating from the network) or sometimes simply a bug in the package. Checking the installation logs would tell you if that has been the case or not.

If you have installed Cinnamon, you should have got gnome-terminal installed. If it wasn't there, then that's not normal.

Xterm is the basic minimal terminal that needs to be there because of the X compatibility with older applications which expect to be able to find it. It is part of some kind of standard. Uxterm is the same as Xterm but it supports Unicode characters.

Here's another. File Manager in Debian XFCE Live was not able to open the local network.

Error message, Failed to open "/ on ".

I guess technically it still worked as a file manager. The problem turned out to be some missing gvfs packages. I decided to avoid Xfce for now.

That error message is stupid indeed but it is telling you it was not able to open a root directory of the folder you were trying to browse. The gvfs packages provide those virtual folders, e.g. for network or other things (e.g. a connected phone, camera, zip files, network drives, Dropbox ...) that are not really disks/directories but are to be presented as ones. So there is no "quirk" there - if you didn't install the required drivers for some reason, it could not work. That it would be better to not even offer browsing of the network if those plugins are not available is a different matter, but that you need to raise with the XFCE authors or Debian's XFCE packagers.

Debian's philosophy is minimalism by default - it won't install optional dependencies (such as those gvfs packages) unless you tell it to, because a lot of people don't need/want them. They may be tagged as recommended, though - but it is still up to you to tell the system to install them.

If you want distro that is a polished desktop experience without such "quirks", then Debian is likely not the best choice. It is a great system but for advanced users. They are shipping the various desktop environments and other software in their default configurations, as shipped by upstream developers, which sometimes means that the experience is not as polished as it could be unless you spend some time tying up the loose ends. Also given the sheer amount of software Debian ships it is probably not even possible.

If you don't want to be doing that, then one of the Ubuntus or their variants (Xubuntu if you like XFCE, Mint, Kubuntu ... ) will give you a lot less grief on the desktop. Or Mageia Linux if you don't mind switching to an RPM-based distro. These are much smaller in scope and the developers are specifically focusing on the desktop experience.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2020, 01:30:35 pm by janoc »
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2020, 03:12:39 pm »
That's not "quirkiness". I have installed plenty of Debian installs in my life and this has never happened. Just to be clear - I am talking about getting a Thai terminal instead of US one by default, not having a Thai terminal in the menu in addition to a US one - which could be normal, either by choice of the distro developers for some reason or because it got pulled in as a dependency of something else that you have selected for installation.

The last part is the most probable cause IMO here, and frankly, as long as it's not the default locale (which indeed would be weird and annoying), I think this is much ado about nothing.

Not 100% sure this is completely related here, but I remember that libthai is a dependency of GTK3 (or some other libraries that are themselves dependencies of GTK3). I haven't investigated why and why the Thai language would need specific support, but it does have a dedicated library.

 

Offline janoc

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2020, 04:59:08 pm »
I haven't investigated why and why the Thai language would need specific support, but it does have a dedicated library.

I think it is because of the specific input method they are using in Thai language.
 
https://packages.debian.org/sid/gtk3-im-libthai

 

Offline rdl

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2020, 06:49:14 pm »
I installed both desktops using the "Live" versions from https://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/current-live/amd64/iso-hybrid/ There are no options other than the usual keyboard, timezone, etc. As far as I could tell nothing went wrong. There were no warnings or error messages other than one I expected.

I didn't say the Thai version was set as default. I said it was included by default.

If "as default" is the same thing as "Preferred Application" I don't know which terminal was set as default because it's now Terminal (gnome-terminal) which I installed manually. I didn't make any changes to the "Preferred Applications", so somehow the system must have done that.

I do know that with Cinnamon I had no trouble getting to my NAS and logging in, but with Xfce could not even open the network. Quirk, bug, error, or working as intended? I have no idea.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2020, 08:12:42 pm »
If you are installing from the Live DVDs you will not get all packages (logically, they wouldn't fit on the disk). I don't remember whether Debian live media install allows adding network sources during the installation or not, but without those you will not get many of the optional components - such as the XFCE file manager dependencies that actually allow it to access network. So that's not a bug, that's a consequence of using the live ISO for installation.

My guess is that the absence of Gnome Terminal is due to the same reason.

I didn't say the Thai version was set as default. I said it was included by default.

If "as default" is the same thing as "Preferred Application" I don't know which terminal was set as default because it's now Terminal (gnome-terminal) which I installed manually. I didn't make any changes to the "Preferred Applications", so somehow the system must have done that.

Ah okay, that was not clear from your original description.

It was likely included by default because the GTK3 has dependency on the Thai input method and that has possibly pulled the Thai terminal in with it due to its dependency chain. However, that's only my conjecture, I don't have a Debian 10 around to check what the exact dependencies   between the packages are. It is likely a packaging mistake in the dependency chain (it can get extremely complicated!), nothing more.

Check which package the terminal program belongs to and then you can try to uninstall it (I assume you don't need it). It will tell you what depends on it, if anything.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2020, 08:14:14 pm by janoc »
 

Offline rdl

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2020, 09:32:42 pm »
Yes, with both versions you are asked to set up a mirror for downloading additional packages. I think it can be skipped, but I always go ahead and do it. I didn't exactly do a thorough check but both installs appeared pretty much complete. Actually more stuff that I really wanted was downloaded and installed. Of course I can say the same about nearly every other OS I've used.

 

Offline george.b

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2020, 05:03:42 am »
If you don't like it, don't use it. There's a sea of Linux distros that are English by default. I recommend FreeBSD  :box:

>Linux distros
>FreeBSD

You're joking, yes? :P
 

Offline janoc

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2020, 09:38:37 am »
If you don't like it, don't use it. There's a sea of Linux distros that are English by default. I recommend FreeBSD  :box:

>Linux distros
>FreeBSD

You're joking, yes? :P

He is trolling.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2020, 09:49:42 am »
Yes, with both versions you are asked to set up a mirror for downloading additional packages. I think it can be skipped, but I always go ahead and do it. I didn't exactly do a thorough check but both installs appeared pretty much complete. Actually more stuff that I really wanted was downloaded and installed. Of course I can say the same about nearly every other OS I've used.

That's weird, that looks then like a packaging/dependency bug. Cinnamon on Debian has a dependency on gnome-terminal, so it should have been installed.

https://packages.debian.org/buster/cinnamon

Oh I see now:

Quote
rec: gnome-terminal
    GNOME terminal emulator application
or x-terminal-emulator
    virtual package provided by [show 22 providing packages]

So if it finds during dependency resolution something that provides x-terminal-emulator, it won't install gnome-terminal because the dependency is satisfied already. And both xterm/uxterm (it is the same package, it ships two executables) and xiterm+thai provide that.

I would say that is a Cinnamon & xiterm+thai packaging issue on Debian. Perhaps file a bug report? It seems Ubuntu had the same problem, so I guess the issue comes from Debian (which is the upstream/source distro for Ubuntu packages):

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/lubuntu-meta/+bug/1752733
 
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Offline rdl

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2020, 03:40:07 pm »
That's weird, that looks then like a packaging/dependency bug. Cinnamon on Debian has a dependency on gnome-terminal, so it should have been installed.

My current level of Linux knowledge is not that great. I wouldn't have even known where to start to figure that out. At least my suspicion that something was not quite right was correct. Thanks for making the effort.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: Linux installation what- ? moment.
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2020, 05:48:05 pm »
That's weird, that looks then like a packaging/dependency bug. Cinnamon on Debian has a dependency on gnome-terminal, so it should have been installed.

My current level of Linux knowledge is not that great. I wouldn't have even known where to start to figure that out. At least my suspicion that something was not quite right was correct. Thanks for making the effort.

You are welcome. One picks stuff like that up over time. I have started with Linux (and Unix) around 1994, so I guess I have a bit of a headstart  ;)
 


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