Major bug in Ubuntu 8.10 networking for static IP addresses

There is a bug in the new version of Ubuntu (8.10, or Intrepid Ibex), where static IP network settings are lost after every reboot. Kind of makes it hard to connect to your box remotely with ssh.

Pretty big bug, huh? You’d think it would be rather embarrassing when your latest operating system release breaks the internet for a large proportion of your users. You’d assume this would be high priority, right? Nope. Until recently, the bug was considered only Medium priority since there were workarounds, even though they were completely nonintuitive and nothing a basic user could ever figure out by themselves. Worse, Ubuntu 8.10 has been out for months now, and this still hasn’t been fixed, and probably won’t be for a long time. (In fact, it will end up being fixed in the next version of Ubuntu before they backport the solution to 8.10.)

This bug exposes a fundamental flaw in the Linux distribution development model, wherein the people releasing the operating system don’t actually write, or even understand, the various components they are packaging. If this bug came up in Vista, Microsoft could have it fixed in less than a week, because the guy that wrote their network manager actually works there. Of course, Microsoft tests their products before sending them out the door, so it wouldn’t have happened to begin with.

A lot of the people using Ubuntu 8.10 are going to turn tail and run back to Daddy Gates when they encounter this bug. They aren’t going to check bug tracking sites to figure out what’s going wrong, or look into work-arounds. So, you can ratchet the Linux market share down just a little bit more. At this point, the idea that Linux will take over the computing world is actually becoming downright laughable from the perspective of anybody who hasn’t been drinking a lot of kool-aid.

I’ve asked this question before, but why spend so much time developing Linux only to not bother to actually put out a quality product? If these folks are so inclined to spend time programming a mediocre operating system for free, why not just volunteer at Microsoft? At least that might actually help people.

(In case you found this page looking for a solution to the problem, instead of a pointless rant about it, I offer the following two solutions, in order of decreasing utility. The most obvious solution, assuming you value your time at something north of minimum wage, is to simply install a usable OS built by professionals who actually have something to lose were they to release an operating system with such an astoundingly egregious bug. If you’re too cheap for that, or suffer from Linux Masochistic Personality Disorder and absolutely must get this working, you can always edit your network settings by hand.)

3 responses to “Major bug in Ubuntu 8.10 networking for static IP addresses”

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