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Ubuntu day 1

The Good:

  • I installed KDE, it look 30 minutes (big download). I didn't like it, I uninstalled it. It uninstalled all the deps. This makes me happy.

  • Things seem to be going pretty fast. I had a lot of lag last time I tried Ubuntu, but that was admittedly over a year ago.

  • I installed Vim and tried to use the :perldo command and it failed. You got :perldo support in Gentoo by compiling Vim with the perl USE flag. I was a bit nervous about Ubuntu, because there's no way I can live without :perldo. But then I installed vim-perl and it worked. I still don't quite understand how these kind of packages work, but I can't complain.

  • I took a gamble and took my old Gentoo xorg.conf, replaced the Ubuntu version with it, and restarted X. Behold, Twinview worked perfectly. As did the extra buttons on my mouse. I love Linux when things work.

  • If I put two gnome-panel's on two different monitors, and put a taskbar ("window list") on each, each panel's taskbar shows the windows that are currently on that monitor only. I thought gnome-panel didn't support this, which is one huge reason I was using KDE instead. This makes me very happy.

The Bad:

  • I already had to install something manually because it was missing from the Ubuntu repositories. As I said, this is the price of using a binary distro I guess. I had to install rubygems myself, and then I had to install the win32 video codecs manually. Honestly though I think the ease with which everything else works will make up for having to play around with this kind of thing every once in a while. We shall see.

  • Kmail is totally b0rked. It complains about being unable to use imap or imaps. God only knows what's going on there. KDE support seems a lot less polished and tested than Gnome, in Ubuntu, which kind of makes sense since the main focus seems to be Gnome. I have no idea where even to being to look to get Kmail working, so I'm going to forget about it. Another price of using a binary distro.

  • Some commands aren't very "discoverable". Who would've thought apt-cache search is the command to search for a package name. Why not apt-get search? But this is a problem with Linux in general: steep learning curve. And at least in Ubuntu I could've fallen back to the GUI package manager. (I'd rather learn to use the command line version, for reasons that should be extremely obvious.)

  • sudo. Yuck. I've blabbered on before about why I don't like sudo. I need to look up what will break if I start using su instead, and see if sudo is even removable in Ubuntu.

The Ugly:

  • Pretty sure I'm going to get tired of orange pretty quickly.
  • The fonts in Ubuntu are really big and bold-looking. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing. But it's noticeably different than what I was used to in Gentoo. I'm sure I could fix this if I wanted.
  • I don't believe the bass and treble volume controls are working. That's troublesome. I do like that the sound comes non-muted by default though. That was always a rather silly thing about Gentoo. Can't imagine how many hours of time have been wasted by users trying to get their sound to work because of being muted by default.
November 14, 2006 @ 1:48 PM PST
Cateogory: Linux


Quoth Scott on November 14, 2006 @ 2:28 PM PST

You can pretty much replace all the various "apt-*" commands with "aptitude", ie:

aptitude search

Does basically the same thing as:

apt-cache search

IIRC, Ruby Gems are an ongoing headache for Debian packagers because of some incompatibilities with apt. I don't know the details, though.

You shouldn't have any problems with breakage by going back to su. At least not on the command line. Where you might have some trouble is in Gnome. I'm not sure what you'd have to do to "unsudo" that, since I've not really checked into it, seeing as I tend to like sudo, myself :)

Quoth Brian on November 14, 2006 @ 2:57 PM PST

Thanks for the advice. I will give aptitude a try.

I have read that there is no package for rubygems by design, because we "don't need it" since we have apt. Not sure how much I agree with that. Not sure if that's an official stance or just a rumor / hearsay. But given that I need the Ruby xml-simple module and there's no way to get it other than installing a gem or installing it manually, my options are rather limited.

Quoth Hussam on November 14, 2006 @ 3:26 PM PST

Also if you're still interested, to install a few 'non standard applications' (I don't know if that's the appropriate way to put it but hey) Ubuntu users created a little program called 'automatix'.

Google for 'automatix2' which is kind of the next-gen version of the original. Download the deb, 'dpkg -i' it and you'll be able to use it from command line.

The w32codecs is available in there among a few other applications that are more on the bleeding edge than what you'd find in the default repositories.

Welcome back to Ubuntu! I stuck with it since after you gave it a first try. I never went back because I couldn't stand the 3+ days of compiling on my old computer. I use XFCE by default and switch out of the default theme rather quickly. I know how you feel about the 'apt-cache search' part. I remember the frustration of searching google for 'apt searching for program' and not coming up with any helpful results (back in the day).

Oh one last thing. The 'Murrine' engine and its themes are rather spiffy (:-p). You might want to give it a shot. You'll also have to download the deb package from the website and install it. Gnome-look will supply you with the needed themes. [ ]

Quoth Brian on November 14, 2006 @ 4:14 PM PST

I will look at this automatix thing. I have used the Murrine theme before, it's good I agree.

Quoth Jamie on November 14, 2006 @ 10:16 PM PST

Weren't you using Debian at one point? What happened to that. I'm following progress here as I too need to change my distro and really can't face going back to gentoo; I'm currently using Arch Linux, which is ok, but has some major annoyances.

Quoth Brian on November 15, 2006 @ 1:35 AM PST

I'm still using Debian on my second computer as my file/web/database/ssh/etc. server.

Joe D
Quoth Joe D on December 28, 2006 @ 4:51 AM PST

As far as I know, nothing breaks by using 'su' on Ubuntu. Just do a 'sudo passwd root' and set a password, then you can 'su' to root without any trouble.

As far as removing 'sudo' altogether, I don't think you can do it. I have the feeling that it's a dependency for pretty much every package in the distro.

Quoth Brian on December 31, 2006 @ 5:38 AM PST

I guess I could set sudoers to forbid permissions to everyone. I'm still too nervous to try it.