(Update 2: I'm adding a post to this thread on July 11 to say how I've worked around some problems in Lubuntu 12.04. Lubuntu runs with low RAM and processor usage, so it's all right for some purposes.)
I am new to Linux. This is the first time I've installed any Linux. I've almost given up on it because of the bugginess, but I'm still trying so some help would be appreciated.
(Skip to near the end if you just want to tell me what else to use instead of fixing problems in Lubuntu.)
I don't know how to file an official bug report yet, and there are so many I don't know if it would be worthwhile to file them separately, when there might be a simpler solution to most of them all at once, such as using a different distro or OS (Windows XP works fine) or buying a new computer. I'm planning to buy a new desktop computer anyway. The reason I wanted to try Linux was to test whether Rosegarden 12.04 works well enough to be worth setting up a Linux-based desktop system just to run it. The Windows port of Rosegarden was all bugs and crashes but it's not supported by the Rosegarden project, so I don't want to judge Rosegarden by it. I'm not comfortable with the Linux set up I'm using right now and wouldn't judge Rosegarden if it didn't run in it either.
downloaded Lubuntu 12.04 desktop i386 on 2012-06-22, began installation 2012-06-29
system info: HP Pavilion ze4800, ~512 MB RAM, 2.12 GHz AMD processor with 530 MHz power saving mode, 80 GB hard drive, dual boot install from Live CD of Lubuntu 12.04 desktop i386, with Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 3 on the other partition.
- [update: solved, it did install a mixer, I just didn't know how to start it: alsamixer] (a crucial problem, considering my purpose for using Linux) The start up fails at creating a mixer. There's only a single volume control, without a balance control. (Windows XP creates a mixer for sound to the speakers: CD, wave synth, midi synth, microphone, pc speaker, etc., and a separate mixer for recording, with balance controls and mutes for each source.)
/var/log$ grep "mixer" syslog.1
Jul 4 17:14:24 s-ze4800 kernel: [ 22.748038] AC'97 1 access is not valid [0xffffffff], removing mixer.
Jul 4 17:14:24 s-ze4800 kernel: [ 22.748049] ali mixer 1 creating error.
- (major problem) Gnome-mplayer included doesn't play ordinary mp3 or FLAC audio files, doesn't give any sign that it doesn't or couldn't play the particular files, letting them seem empty (0:00) and Gnome-mplayer is set as the default mp3 and FLAC player, although Audacious included does play those mp3 and FLAC files. (update: I set Audacious as the default player for mp3 and FLAC)
- (suggestive of a major problem) There are no desktop event sounds, even though the checkboxes for those were checked by default in Customize Look and Feel, under the tab Other, and sound is on as proved by Audacious playing a FLAC file.
- Brightness buttons are significantly delayed in effect compared with their speed in Windows XP. (a minor problem, or major considering I want low latency for playing a software synth through the computer keyboard?)
- On the desktop, windows leave trails on windows below them for several times as long as Windows XP, despite the FOSS graphics driver it installs being compatible with 3-d on my old graphics (the "radeon" driver for Radeon IGP 320M.) I still don't know how to check whether it's using graphic acceleration at all. That's something normal desktops have a GUI interface that at least tells the user.
[update: no problem, it didn't delete the files, it just put them in a new folder called .Trash-1000 on my Windows partition] When the desktop file manager included, pcmanfm, is used to manipulate files on the Windows side of the partition, delete ("are you sure you want to send this file to the trash?") sends the file to the trash on the Linux side, from which it cannot be restored or deleted ("error: the file does not exist") until it vanishes after reboot. It's a bug to allow deleting files to the trash when restore is actually broken for those files, instead of warning they'll be deleted permanently.
- Setting a compose key (aka Multi_key in xmodmap) requires using the command line and doesn't cause a compose key to be available for input. (Although the key chosen shows up as changed to Multi_key in xev, it becomes a useless key.) The GUI interfaces included have no options for even something as simple and standard to Linux as setting a compose key. Starting from English US the GUI interface doesn't have a way to add languages or input methods, just greyed out buttons for that. (Currently I can use a compose key only in UXTerm or XTerm, but not in desktop applications or LXTerminal, and not in tty unless I set that manually using a complicated command. Trying right now various advice about how to enter characters by Unicode number, and even that fails to produce any results. !falta! Stoerung! un echec)
- Advice about how to do particular things in Linux is generally not applicable within Lubuntu, since programs available and directories used for settings have been changed significantly from what was common a few years ago. Yet there isn't a new standard guide or plan that the ordinary user is directed to study.
- Some other programs included crashed occasionally and automatic bug reports were sent. I didn't have time to write down what they all were.
- I also just now received the message "sorry, Ubuntu 12.04 has experienced an internal error." (update: This happens when starting Gnome-mplayer.)
- Some links to programs in the menu do nothing, such as Input Method Switcher.
- The battery utility in the sys tray says "Adaptor is online Your battery is charging (0%)" when actually my battery is fully charged, and I just hope it's not overcharging it.
- [solved, work around by editing] The Spreadsheet Gnumeric included can more or less handle an ods file from LibreOffice (which I made for planning my next computer purchase) that contained ordinary numbers and totals of cell ranges, but it required editing of a format mistranslation: drop down menus within cells that showed up unexpectedly and were in the way of reading the numbers.
- [solved, work around] In the dual boot installer, the partition size slider does not indicate which OS gets which amount of the hard drive. (I found a thread on this forum that answered that, though the posters didn't seem completely sure, and added my own result as an answer. Right side = Lubuntu.)
- [solved, work around] It didn't complete the installation, stuck in Live CD mode. (I found via Google that the Ubiquity slideshow for Lubuntu that was supposed to be displayed during installation had to be removed manually to make the installer finish running on some systems.)
- [solved, turned off feature] Suspend and hibernate malfunction. On my laptop the screen turns off, power use and fan speed go up, and there's no way out except manual power down and boot from scratch. Xfce power manager, included, does allow turning suspend and hibernate off, but not directly: In places there's only a choice between suspend and hibernate for what the computer will do when it "sleeps." So I chose to have it never "sleep."
Since I started this thread, I've resolved or worked around the following problems:
- [solved, get used to it, it's for online security] The user doesn't get root and isn't allowed to set a short password for sudo, even if it's the user's own computer used alone at home.
- [solved, uninstalled] The Penguin games included have animation that looks glitchy and unreliable. For example, cards in spider jumping or flashing invisible as they move, which looks several times less solid than Windows XP, and pegs in mastermind leaving permanent trails on part of the background.
- [solved, ignore, the developers are already aware it's a problem] Some buttons do nothing, such as Help in Xfce power manager. (Others have reported this as a bug.)
New bugs that came up after I started this thread:
- Synaptic package manager failed on updating new packages. I selected 6 to update, and something seems to want gtk to be installed, and I don't know if it is, so none of them got installed.
I'm not skilled enough at Linux yet to install Arch or a plain Debian, so I want something that has a desktop with more complete and functioning settings than this install of Lubuntu, and is audio capable.
What other distro or other fix does anyone suggest? (update: planning to try Rosegarden in Lubuntu first)