Charbax wrote:There isn't an easy to use "Add or Remove Software" feature on either the Acer Aspire One Linux nor the Asus Linux versions. The only way to install more applications on those are by using terminal or some other weird stuff. That's simply cause Acer and Asus were too lazy to use a better implementation of Linux. They were kind of also in a hurry to release those. I spoke with some Acer and Asus representatives, and they said they are going to release better versions of their Linux.
Don't know about the Asus; the AA1 certainly has a GUI packager. And I should know, since I've got one. And it's hooked up to some repository somewhere, but I'm not sure what. It doesn't necessarily help, for various reasons, but it's there.
The problem with installing software exposes a deep, conceptual difference between the way mainstream Linux distro work and the way Windows works. Linux software is a widespread, collaborative effort, and most Linux software has dependencies on other software written by different authors. Look at mplayer, for example -- it has about fifty such dependencies. If you download mplayer from a mainstream repository, then you hope that the installer you use will take care of the dependencies, and obtain and install all those bits too. But if you download mplayer from some other place outside a repo -- as a .rpm or a .deb or whatever, even if you run the GUI install on it's, it's still like to fail. It will fail because it has dependencies on bits you don't have.
Windows, for the most part, doesn't work this way. People of distribute Windows app, whether open source or proprietary, tend to distribute them as self-contained bundles. If you can install it, it will probably work. Sadly, installing it may cause a load of other things to stop
working including, in some cases, the OS itself. But that's the trade-off you get with that mode of installation.
To use a software installer on any Linux distro requires at least one of the following to be true:
1. You know a bit about software management, and what dependencies are and why they matter
2. Your distro is compatible with, and taps into, one of the mainstream repos like Fedora
3. Your distro is connected to a well-managed repo maintained by the vendor.
Acer has gone for (3), essentially. But the software available via the installer is pretty limited, because it is maintained by a small bunch of folks with a lot of other work to do. Actually, the Acer Linux is broadly based on Fedora 8, and you can hook up to the Fedora repo and get a successful install about 50% of the time.
Now (1) and (3) will suit the casual Windows user. He/she won't understand (1) at all, most likely, and will find (3) very limiting (that's certainly what I here from Acer users). And (2) won't suit netbook vendors
because the only way to make a distro fully compatible with, say, Ubuntu is if it actually is
Ubuntu. And if it is that will require a level of user sophistication that does not exist.