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Ubuntu Bugs

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supermike's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-17

I'm trying to lure a new user, Keith, to here. He used to work at or with Microsoft, much like me, knows a thing or two about development, and now uses Ubuntu. He's new to the whole Linux scene. His website is below and I found out about him on lxer.com:

http://keithcu.com/wordpress/?p=24

Anyway, he posts the following things that bug him about Ubuntu. I was wondering if anyone wanted to comment and perhaps give him advice, in case he wants to come here. I've emailed him personally and invited him to come here. Regardless of whether he comes here or not, many other users of Ubuntu may benefit from what you have to say. Here's Keith's list of problems/bugs with Ubuntu:

(pulled from http://keithcu.com/wordpress/?page_id=15)

* Multimedia often skips or doesn�t display properly in the browser
* Sleep and hibernate don�t work on my hardware yet
* Gnome will mount NTFS, and create an icon on my desktop, but I can�t browse it because of permission problems
* Enabling external monitors isn�t easy
* Remote printing requires manual textfile configuration
* Installing non-free software or drivers requires lots of manual work
* Driver bugs, some hangs and crashes
* apt-get dist-upgrade hosed my machine (had to do a fresh install)
* ogg-vorbis is 5x slower at encoding a CD compared to Windows Media
* The 802.11 network admin tool is completely broken. It is incredibly slow and there are huge pauses when there shouldn�t be, when I create or update a location, the settings don�t persist, and I can�t get it to connect to encrypted access points. If I could fix one thing in Ubuntu, it would be this. I�m tempted to download the code, crank up the debugger and have a look around. However, I can�t believe other people haven�t noticed these issues already. I wonder how many Ubuntu people aren�t running Breezy or use iwconfig?
* Install needs network access. It lets you specify the WEP key, but not the SSID. In my apartment, there are 15 802.11 networks!
* Both save to RAM and hibernate to disk don�t work.
* The fingerprint reader doesn�t work.
* I can�t get the external monitor to work. I believe I might be able to edit some config file, but I don�t have the time nor expertise to figure that out.
* I can plug my DVD-ROM drive in after I boot, but Ubuntu won�t recognize it till I restart.
* My laptop has two batteries, yet the battery monitor only shows one.
* It is harder to install Java than any other piece of software on my computer. I�ll bet Scott McNealy couldn�t do it.
* I can�t get remote printing to work, local printing is okay.UPDATE: I had to edit a textfile but now it works!!
* The menus are way better than fedora but still a little too complicated. System tools, System administration and System preferences?!
* I wasn�t able to turn off certain system sounds. I had to turn them all off. Most of the beating drums and other sounds were annoying anyway.
* OpenOffice understands a small subset of the hotkeys of Word.
* Can BASH use Ctrl-c for copy like the rest of Linux?
* The on-screen display for increasing screen brightness and such doesn�t work.
* I put GAIM, Thunderbird and Firefox into my startup programs for my session with priorites below 50, and when I did that, the shell wouldn�t boot properly.
* I have to start the Beagle daemon every time I launch the applet. I�ve not successfully used it yet.
* I�ve configured my desktop and themes and such but even so, on startup it shows brown. I can�t kill all the brown!
* Kino cannot open ASF even though Totem can (once I installed the w32codecs)
* It was hard work to get the realplayer installed. I think I gave up on following Ubuntu�s instructions and just went to Real�s website.
* Ubuntu sometimes hangs on my hyperthreaded server on startup while trying to load the LVM.
* Ubuntu didn�t install the MP kernel on my MP machine. Fedora did. The MP 686 kernel is in the repository, so it isn�t much work�
* I�ve had a few hard crashes on my laptop, when playing around with IWConfig.
* My .ICEAuthority permissions got reset somehow and the graphical logon was broken. I reset the permissions and all was well.

supermike's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-17

* Multimedia often skips or doesn’t display properly in the browser.

Fact of life on Linux still, unfortunately. The best thing I've found is to get mplayer running properly and with all the illegal codecs downloaded and installed. Even then, it's still jerky when run outside the browser. I haven't been able to get anything except YouTube and GoogleVideo to display properly in the browser.

* Gnome will mount NTFS, and create an icon on my desktop, but I can’t browse it because of permission problems

NTFS read-write is turned off by default because they consider it alpha, but I'll tell you, it's a darn good alpha and probably should just be called beta. You can remount it as read/write by editing /etc/fstab. This is explained far better than I can explain it on the web. (I'm short on time right now or I'd explain this.)

* Enabling external monitors isn’t easy

No doubt. Lots of edits in /etc/X11/xorg.conf. No fun.

* Remote printing requires manual textfile configuration

I never saw that. CUPS works just fine for me, along with the GUI for that. Had zero issues.

* Installing non-free software or drivers requires lots of manual work

Yep. They need to get with the program and learn how to make a DEB or RPM, or to get hooked up in yum or apt repositories.

* apt-get dist-upgrade hosed my machine (had to do a fresh install)

There's a procedure for this. I have it. I'll make it in a separate post.

* I can’t get the external monitor to work. I believe I might be able to edit some config file, but I don’t have the time nor expertise to figure that out.

Not easy. It's /etc/X11/xorg.conf. You'll need some help here, or a PhD, one of the two. Wish it weren't that way, but perhaps this will improve in the future. This is one area that I think needs to improve a tremendous amount.

* I can plug my DVD-ROM drive in after I boot, but Ubuntu won’t recognize it till I restart.

Oh, that's a laptop hot-plug issue, which comes down to a driver issue. Yep, no good news here except to submit a bug report.

* It is harder to install Java than any other piece of software on my computer. I’ll bet Scott McNealy couldn’t do it.

On Ubuntu, I thought it was already pre-installed. At least it was in the browser. If you want the latest Sun Java, then yeah, it's probably pretty confusing for the new user. To install the latest Sun Java, consider the files you see when you run this command-line command:

sudo apt-cache search java | grep -i "java" | grep -iv "lib" | sort

Then, install them by doing:

sudo apt-get install XXX

where XXX is the file you want (the item before the dash). Note also that if you turn on Backports, Universe, and Multiverse option (explained perhaps thousands of times on ubuntuforums.org), and run the "apt-get update", followed by the apt-cache statement (above), you'll likely see more Java stuff there if you want. (Note also after doing the install that you'll probably want to consider turning off Backports, Universe, and Multiverse option in /etc/apt/sources.list, then do "apt-get update".

* The menus are way better than fedora but still a little too complicated. System tools, System administration and System preferences?!

Yep -- confusing, eh? I like your observation. You should file this at Launchpad with Ubuntu.

* I wasn’t able to turn off certain system sounds. I had to turn them all off. Most of the beating drums and other sounds were annoying anyway.

Yep -- good thing to suggest on Launchpad.

* OpenOffice understands a small subset of the hotkeys of Word.

Didn't know that. I actually don't use all the well-known hotkeys in Word. I also don't use OpenOffice enough -- my day job requires I do stuff in MS Word, unfortunately.

* Can BASH use Ctrl-c for copy like the rest of Linux?

That's a GNOME Terminal thing, not Bash. It's CTRL+SHIFT+C, instead, I think. If you also get adept at the 'screen' command, you can also have far more power with command-line, including cutting and pasting between multiple sessions.

* I put GAIM, Thunderbird and Firefox into my startup programs for my session with priorites below 50, and when I did that, the shell wouldn’t boot properly.

Wow. Now that's a very big bug. Don't know what could cause that.

* I have to start the Beagle daemon every time I launch the applet. I’ve not successfully used it yet.

Beagle daemon? What's that?

* I’ve configured my desktop and themes and such but even so, on startup it shows brown. I can’t kill all the brown!

Odd. Haven't seen that one. I have my system saving stuff properly. More than likely you have a hidden config file with the wrong permissions?

* Kino cannot open ASF even though Totem can (once I installed the w32codecs)

Use mplayer with illegal codecs instead.

* It was hard work to get the realplayer installed. I think I gave up on following Ubuntu’s instructions and just went to Real’s website.

I gave up on Real, long ago. I hate the company's ethics, anyway.

* Ubuntu sometimes hangs on my hyperthreaded server on startup while trying to load the LVM.

Yeah, I've heard thi