Information Technology

Doing Battle with KaOS – Part 2

KaOS has a few things broken in it. The printer setup utility for defining printers is horrible broken. It keeps telling you to install this GTK printer discovery tool and even after you install it the printer setup utility cannot find it. I assume nobody bothers fixing it because there is a not-widely-known Web interface to CUPS. Open a Web browser and enter the following in the address bar:

http://localhost:631/admin

On KaOS you have to use the user “root” along with the password for root. No, your sudo enabled account simply doesn’t work. For the love of God don’t save the login information! If you happen to try your own account and check the little box to store the user, that will be it. There is no possibility to change the user. You have to wipe everything for that browser and hope for the best, or use a different browser.

Another broken thing is syslog-ng. It is in the distro repo and the current temper tantrum crowd in charge of logging bugs simply close all bugs reported against it without even the tiniest bit of investigation. There is some other logging daemon installed, but it is God-awful. Despite all of the complaints against it, having one single log file where everything goes is invaluable in trouble shooting. Each entry is time sequenced. When you are testing/developing software something bad can happen in a completely unrelated program on Linux which hoses you good. Now that Linux has made the Microsoft sized mistake of more tightly coupling network with the kernel we can all expect Linux to become just as broken when connected to a network as Windows machines are.

Don’t believe that? How many of you have been typing a document, playing solitaire or any number of other things which have absolutely nothing to do with the network only to have a “busy mouse cursor” show up because your worthless Windows box had a network problem? It’s most of you, if not all.

What happens when you are running some program which writes to a database and the database service/engine dies then is auto restarted behind the scenes. There is nothing wrong with your application, the service/engine has a problem. If you don’t see the time stamped issues intermingled with your time stamped messages, you simply aren’t going to suspect the database engine.

Unlike every other Linux distro I’ve used for the past decade or so, their .bashrc doesn’t check for a ~/bin directory and automatically add it to a user’s search path. The convention of automatically adding ~/bin to the search path when it exists is a time honored tradition developed because people were sick and tired of hack the PATH variable to run their own shell scripts. On KaOS you have to hack your .bash_profile to look as follows:

#
# ~/.bash_profile
#

[[ -f ~/.bashrc ]] && . ~/.bashrc

if [ -d "$HOME/bin" ]; then
    PATH="$PATH:$HOME/bin"
fi

As I said before, getting KaOS up and running is not the 20 minute job most distro users are used to.