Glitch City Laboratories Forums

Lab δ: Tech => Computers and Technology Discussion => Topic started by: Abwayax on November 01, 2009, 09:42:57 pm

Title: Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic
Post by: Abwayax on November 01, 2009, 09:42:57 pm
Just upgraded yesterday. The most noticeable change is the new login screen.

Other changes of note:

Current Ubuntu (9.04) users should probably upgrade. Windows users who want to see what the fuss is about can try it out with Wubi (http://wubi-installer.org/), the Windows-based Ubuntu Installer that installs the OS directly within Windows (and lets you uninstall it directly within Windows' Add/Remove Programs if you don't like it).
Title: Re: Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic
Post by: Brocco Guy on November 02, 2009, 06:17:11 pm
Current Ubuntu (9.04) users should probably upgrade. Windows users who want to see what the fuss is about can try it out with Wubi (http://wubi-installer.org/), the Windows-based Ubuntu Installer that installs the OS directly within Windows (and lets you uninstall it directly within Windows' Add/Remove Programs if you don't like it).

Is there a way to full install with Wubi?
Title: Re: Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic
Post by: IIMarckus on November 02, 2009, 06:51:43 pm
I hate to knock on Ubuntu all the time—really, I do—but my experience with 9.10 has not been very pleasant.

My sister uses Ubuntu on her Acer netbook. The 751h model uses the somewhat new Intel GMA500 graphics chipset, with a native res of 1366×768 pixels when using a binary blob driver (or a stretched 1024×768 otherwise). One day she came to me saying that the screen was stretched. Sure enough, on startup X would fall back to a text screen with an unhelpful error message. Apparently X starts on the default display, dies, but keeps running on the display so that you have to manually tell it to use a different display. Once it begins again, the screen is running at a skewed 1024×768.

Apparently this is because the driver is not supported in 9.10 (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=NzQzMg). Rather than removing or popping up a useful error for incompatible packages (i.e. “this driver does not work with this release, either remove the package or don’t upgrade), it attempts to use the broken driver on every startup, without ever pointing it out.

After reinstalling Jaunty and disabling updates, things seem to work again…though she was plagued by constant freezes until I installed 1) the nonfree codecs and 2) AdBlock Plus (flash ads I assume?). Of course, she still couldn’t play her music until I went into gconf and unchecked some mysterious values in the media player configuration (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=803889).

This isn’t the first time she’s had a problem. Sound stutters from time to time, unreproducibly (I blame PulseAudio because I never hear anything good about it). Things break when the lid closes; my workaround is to set the action to “blank screen” instead of “hibernate/suspend”.

Really, I’m really not against the idea of an easy‐to‐use Linux distribution. My feeling is that Ubuntu isn’t. Constant problems like this make me feel like I can’t recommend this to family members and friends.
Title: Re: Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic
Post by: Abwayax on November 08, 2009, 11:26:21 am
Well, generally, it's much easier to have driver problems in non-Windows OS's because hardware is practically developed with Windows in mind. I suppose it depends on the machine in question, I use an Acer 5810T and Ubuntu runs almost-perfectly fine on it (with the exception of hibernate - suspend works though). The problem is generally because hardware companies won't support their hardware being used to run non-Windows OS's.

As for user-friendlyness, I think Ubuntu is miles ahead of the common perception of Linux which involves the terminal and "making everything work yourself". However, it's true that there is some improvement that can be done. The good thing about the existence of so many free/open source Unix-like systems (not just Linuxes) is that there's so much choice. You don't have to be locked into one platform. You don't "have to" use a popular distro like Ubuntu or Debian. Windows, on the other hand, encourages vendor lock-in. But that's a slight digression.

As an aside I heard Linux Mint is better in the user-friendly department.