Blog Post

Automatix FTW!

I knew that would get your attention. Anyways, thanks to Matthew for his outstanding technical review of Automatix. It is this sort of constructive criticism a project such as Automatix needs. It doesn’t need all of us blogging and bashing the project. Remember, Automatix is someones pride and joy. I know a lot of work has gone into Automatix, and if I remember correctly, the developers who started it, were new to the industry. The industry of development that is. I will admit that it has come a long way since the days of #!/bin/sh and I know it has more to go. And with Matthew’s review, hopefully this will help the Automatix developers with future work. I would love to see the Automatix people hop on board and work along side Ubuntu developers. We know the application fits a need, and actually fits a need in Ubuntu. Granted I may not approve of the applications it installs, like the binary blobs and what not, but new users, and a lot of seasoned veterans do.

I have bashed Automatix in the past, because one of their developers really pissed me off last year in #kubuntu and then they posted the whole Ubuntu thing on the top of their website. If you want to read more about that, you can search ‘Automatix’ up top.

If you decide to use Automatix and it breaks your machine, you were unfortunately given a few “I told you so’s” this week on the Planet. Don’t think that just because you broke your machine with it, that people in #ubuntu, #kubuntu, #edubuntu, and #xubuntu aren’t going to help you. No matter how you broke your machine, those channels are there to help you. If you go in there with an Automatix related issue, I would probably check the Automatix channel first. If someone gives you attitude, well call me and we will go beat them up šŸ™‚ OK! I am just kidding.

Can’t we all just get along?

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  • LaserJock

    Yes, I hope we can all get along. Unfortunately, I’m not all that optimistic because of the past words of Automatix developers. We’ll see, and I hope for the best

  • Ya, same here! They obviously fill a void, and they have gotten better with their code, I just wish we could all see eye-to-eye and possibly make not only Automatix better, but maybe one day get the guys on board to help. Who knows, it could just be a dream, or maybe they will prove the dream wrong and rock on!

  • JW

    See, I was completely ignorant about this until it was brought to my attention. Perhaps this is one of those “forgive and forget” examples — not forgetting (particularly mentioning it again) educates newcomers to a rift they never knew existed.

    Is this rift worth pointing out (sort of like “Hey, watch where you’re stepping — you’re next to the Grand Canyon” as apposed to cracks in the sidewalk)? If this is one of those dangerous topics, then I guess it’s a good thing to know about.

  • jh

    Well.. I gotta disagree.. to be honest.

    I used automatix back before Feisty (I think , even before Edgy.. yeah.. it was dapper.) I asked repeatedly if it was safe, and was told by Ubuntu knowledgeable people that it was not safe. I asked Automatix people, and was told by them that it was basically a bunch of Ubuntu ____’s (I’ll let you fill in the word) who were pissed off because automatix did what Ubuntu couldn’t do because they were stupid. Despite my better judgement (and , for ease of use) I went ahead and used automatix.

    Now, fastforward to the upgrade. I tried to upgrade dapper->edgy. The resultant system would not start cleanly At all. So I decided to do an experiment. I reinstalled, and set up an ubuntu vm. On one of those vms, I used standard practices to upgrade stuff and install stuff. On the other, I used automatix. I then upgraded each machine ten times. (I love snapshots.) The Automatix side broke every time. It broke the same way every time. The “standard upgrade” side did not.

    I mentioned this to someone else, and was told “Yeah.. don’t mention that to the automatix guys. They don’t take this type of thing well.”

    If they take it better nowadays, all the better.. but I won’t be using automatix ever again. They’re cocky and arrogant, and they cause more fights and trouble than the few packages they install solve.

  • Weeber

    I agree, before Matthew’s all the previous post were just bashing automatix. The Matthew’s post is a really great inside on automatix and I think the devs should give it the OK and try to fix those issues.

  • pwnguin

    Hey jh, do you still have that vm image? They might not take the sort of thing well, but if nobody tries they’ll have no reason to change.

    Still, I’m glad someone took my advice and wrote a solid reference on the technical shortcomings of Automatix.

  • jh


    No, I don’t.. but you can probably get one off the vmware appliances page that is close enough for government work.

    That said, I don’t really count on the Automatix people changing too much. I remember when they “demanded” their removal from the Ubuntu forums because people in other support forums were recommending the UbuntuGuide over the automatix..

  • Darkman

    This is Rick Lehrbaum’s Etch installation and it employs Automatix. I used it several months ago and have no problems whatsoever. Perhaps that’s because Etch is Debian Stable and doesn’t change except for security updates. My experience has been very positive.

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