Skip to main content

Ubuntu 7.04 - Steady updates, fixes, work-around for Compiz

The updates keep coming in at a steady rate every day. They range anywhere from 20 to 40 packages/update on a given day. It will be interesting to see what is finally touched up and cleaned up for the April 19th official release of 7.04.

Some good news: The display problem with the NetworkManager was fixed with today's updates. It now displays the state of the underlying networking system.

Some peculiar news: I ran into an interesting problem during yesterday's batch of updates that included an attempted update to the kernel.

Two items to point out in the screen capture above. First, the update manager has failed to download kernel 2.6.20-14-generic with a 403 HTTP error. Second, kernel 2.6.20-14-generic was already installed and running on rhea. The 403 error is usually the 'forbidden' error. If somebody realized that it was a mistake to leave this package on the update server, why not remove it? They I'd have seen the ubiquitous 404 (not found) error. My greater worry again concerns process. Not what I saw via update, but how a duplicate package could have been created and dropped on the update server in the first place. It looks like someone had the presence of mind to notice the problem and block access, but it should have never gotten that far in the first place. If Canonical wants to grow beyond being just a repackager of Debian they're going to have to make their update process air tight. That means more attention to detail and better internal testing. This isn't the first time I've seen update glitches, and I'm afraid it won't be the last. Companies can mitigate the risk of upgrade glitches by first installing them on test machines and checking for regressions or problems. Individuals don't have the luxury.

This problem was fixed with today's update. Kernel 2.6.20-15-general was delivered and installed and everything is running absolutely fine and stable.

Compiz

It should be noted up front before I get started that Compiz stability issues are known to be a problem even by Mark Shuttleworth. But I still like to tinker with it anyway, if for no other reason that it works well under Suse. In any event I found a work-around for getting the cube effect to work again, and it involves these steps:
  1. Bring up Desktop Effects and enable it if it isn't enabled already.
  2. Disable the 'Workspaces on a Cube' check box.
  3. The workspace switcher has shrunken down to one desktop. Right-click on it and configure it to have four workspaces again.
  4. Re-enable the 'Workspaces on a Cube' check box.
  5. Enjoy the cube effect.
I tried this on both my regular login and with a test login that I created fresh for just this purpose.

Compiz still has problems, the worst (for me) being the maximize window bug. Maximize any window under Compiz and it won't restore back to it's regular size. You can't kill it either with the close window button. You have to right-click on it's button in the panel and select close from there to remove it. Sometimes, when you re-open it, it will open normally. I just simply leave Compiz disabled. The Gnome desktop looks good without it.

Overall

Ubuntu 7.04 shows good progress towards a final release. It feels like system performance has picked up for day-to-day work, which for me includes the following:
  • Web work (browsing, blogging, AJAX-supported e-commerce such as banking)
  • Documentation and general engineering supported by OpenOffice 2.2
  • Software development using Java 6/NetBeans 6, C++ w/emacs, Ruby, and Python
  • General relaxation such as playing back DVDs and other streaming content.
Compiz notwithstanding this is the best Gnome desktop I've ever used. It even manages to edge out Open Suse's Gnome desktop in a number of areas.

Note that there's no gaming support on here. I've pretty much given up on games in general due to their content, lack of originality, high expense, and generally closed nature. Games have become the ultimate resource black hole, sucking time, money, and creativity out of nearly everyone who calls themselves a hard-core gamer. With these negative qualities it's no wonder a company like Microsoft wants a major piece of that action.

Comments

  1. It's a beta, as a user you're suggested not to use it because of the lack of stability; don't complain about the update glitch given this knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
  2. If it's a lack of stability in the distribution then you're right, and I've repeatedly written that caveat in all my posts about this version, first as an alpha user and then a beta user. But if it's the update system, then I do have a higher concern. If the issues with the update system is indeed just another side of beta testing that doesn't show up after release then I have nothing to worry about, do I? I've enjoyed working with this version so far and will stick with it, touchy supporters notwithstanding.

    ReplyDelete
  3. just installed 7.04 on ff-day, and the cube bug seems to still be there, but your handy "disable/4 workspaces/enable" trick works a treat.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

All comments are checked. Comment SPAM will be blocked and deleted.

Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

first night for the gingersnaps

The first night has passed and the two have managed to survive, in spite of what their tiny hearts might have thought when first arriving. Greebo, the larger of the two, has been in hiding the entire time so far. Ponder has spent the time zipping in and out of hiding spots, checking things out, and learning just how comfortable pillows are for resting your head.

During the night I felt the tiny body of Ponder hitting the bed as he leaped up on the side, and then climbed to the top to run around on top of me. At least once he play-attacked my fingers. He might be small but his claws are still quite sharp.

When I got up in the morning the bowl of cat kitten food was fairly well depleted. It's been refilled and fresh water put in the big dish on the floor. I'm assuming that both Greebo and Ponder are feeding and drinking. I have seen Greebo under the furniture peeking out at me when I went looking for him. I'm leaving him alone while he continues to adjust.

So far the guys h…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.