Commentary and Alternatives to Automatix

By | 2007/08/06

Some of you may have seen the post floating around a few of the planets the last couple of days concerning the review of Automatix. I want to say that I have long agreed with the conclusion, but this puts more detail in writing. If you have used, do use, or are thinking about using Automatix please read the post here. Also, please do not use it. Yes, I know it makes installing things so easy. It also currently makes breaking your machine easy.

My intent in asking you not to use Automatix is not to make your life more difficult–quite the contrary. My intent is to help you have a officially or community supported machine so we can help you in the future. If you have Automatix installed and something breaks most of the community resources have tied hands at that point and there is nothing we can do. If you file bug reports they are to a large extent considered ‘tainted’ with Automatix and don’t receive the attention they should.

It is for this reason that starting today I will take the complete list of applications installable by Automatix and write a tutorial for each one. There are alternatives to Automatix. In many cases supported alternatives. It may take one or two more steps, but when you need help down the road it’ll still be available. Beginning with my next post (should be coming today) I will begin.

This begins the Ubuntu Tutorials series on – Supported Installation Alternatives to Automatix.

19 thoughts on “Commentary and Alternatives to Automatix

  1. Stefan

    Too bad for Automatix. I used it on a lot of computers.
    Looking forward to your tutorials on supported alternatives.

  2. elswood

    I have used automatix for two years, since installing Badger, and because I couldn’t find any other way to install this stuff! I hope that if you are going to do tutorials, you will first off give us a tutorial on how to uninstall automatix (& its reported problems). Telling us how to install stuff after we have been driven (by need) to automatix is a little closing the barn door after the horses have fled…no? In other words, help those of us who are automatix users, please…

  3. LuptinPitman

    That is the way to do it! Giving people alternatives instead of just trashing an app that many have found indispensable is the right way to go about it in my opinion. Bravo and thank you much for the awesome info/resource.

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  6. dthomasdigital

    This is a great project that you do for the rest of us, thanks.

  7. SFA_AOK

    “That is the way to do it!”

    Agreed, thanks for taking the time to do this, it’s much friendlier than people going “How hard can it be to install ThingX.”

    Automatix made my life easier, installed a bunch of stuff in one go and was convenient. I didn’t use it for Feisty however – between the automatic codecs and Desktop Effects installing the NVidia driver, I didn’t have a need for it!

  8. Jon Pruett

    Yeah!! I think this is the best possible way to deal with the situation and really look forward to workable installation instructions for Truecrypt and others.


  9. Matthew Garrett

    As I said pretty clearly at the top of that post, this is my personal opinion – not the technical board’s opinion.

  10. Myron

    I think you should first mention the easy way to install most software in Feisty and other versions. From the main Applications menu, select Add/Remove… Most of what I would have installed previously using Automatix is available right in that list, including the restricted formats.

  11. Easwar Hariharan

    I guess you needn’t go to all the trouble to write a tutorial for all applications installed by Automatix.Those are popular apps and would be probably covered by by this guide:

    Just write a tutorial for those not covered here.:)

  12. Ripfox

    I have never had a problem with Automatix, in fact it’s worked quite good for me.

  13. jrev

    I just wonder why automatix is still in the repositories ?
    If automatix is dangerous for our computer
    it should be mended or excluded.
    I am just wondering what shall I do now …
    Thanks for your attention

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  15. longtoothe

    Never had problems with Automatix either with Etch or Ubuntu.


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