Skip to main content

At Work With Linux: Ubuntu 11.10 and a Problem Explained, Somewhat

You're looking at the Software Center, working again. I complained about its not working and spewing out an error message. I blamed it on Ubuntu, and I was probably wrong to do that. It turns out it's not a problem with Ubuntu but in this particular case the environment in which it's run.

My instanced of Ubuntu 11.10 is running as a VMware virtual machine. This particular screenshot of Software Center running is after cold starting the instance. You can either shut down a VM or you can just put it to sleep, then restart the VM where you left off. And that's the key to the malfunction.

I was hoping that another upgrade might have restored Software Center. To complete the installation I restarted Ubuntu and after the reboot found Software Center was indeed working again. I put the VM to sleep, then came back to it later in the day and discovered that Software Center was back to it's original failure mode. And then the lightbulb came on.

I shut down the VM, then restarted it. Software Center worked. I did that a number of consecutive times, and Software Center started correctly each and every time. But every time I put the VM to sleep and then restarted it from sleep mode, Software Center always failed to launch.

At this point I don't know if I'll file a bug report or not. My way of running Ubuntu 11.10 is, shall we say, non-standard. But I'm curious if Ubuntu would illustrate the same behavior if it was installed on a tablet and went through the same style of sleep mode. On wake-up, would Software Center fail on in the same way, for the same reason? I supposed I could dig deeper for a full explanation and a solution, but right now the quirk is logged along with a simple solution: reboot after using Software Center in a VMware VM. It's not what I would call a show stopper, and I've got bigger problems and little time.

Now, on to other things...


  1. Thanks for this explanation! Having the exact same issue running Ubuntu 11.10 with VmwareFusion on the Mac.


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…

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.

sony's pivotal mirrorless move

I'm a died-in-the-wool technologist, even when it comes to photography. I have always been fascinated with the technology that goes into manufacturing any camera, from the lenses (optics) through the mechanical construction, the electronics involved, and especially the chemistry of the film and the sophistication of the digital sensor. It's amazing that the camera can do all it's asked of it, regardless of manufacturer.

Of all the types of cameras that I've really taken an interest in, contemporary mirrorless (again, regardless of manufacturer) are the most interesting because of the challenging problems the scientists and engineers have had to solve in order to build a compact but highly functional camera. In particular I've followed the sensor advances over the years and watched image quality climb (especially with μ4:3rds) to exceed film and rival one another such that there's very little difference any more as you move from the smaller sensors such as 4:3r…