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  1. #1
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    too many bugs in Lubuntu, get another distro?

    (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.

    tldr:

    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)
    Last edited by SonnyE; July 11th, 2012 at 05:11 PM. Reason: added first paragraph

  2. #2
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    Re: too many bugs in Lubuntu, get another distro?

    Hi!
    Have you tried Ubuntustudio? This distro is created with musicand graphics in mind. I've installed Ubuntustudio a few times at work and our music students use it and some find it works well.

  3. #3
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    Re: too many bugs in Lubuntu, get another distro?

    No, as I said this is my first time. I wanted Ubuntu Studio first but it comes on a DVD, which I can't burn. Also, for some reason I thought Lubuntu would be easier to start as a first taste of Linux.

    Is there a way to run Ubuntu Studio's installer directly from the hard drive instead of from a DVD?

  4. #4
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    Re: too many bugs in Lubuntu, get another distro?

    Quote Originally Posted by SonnyE View Post
    No, as I said this is my first time. I wanted Ubuntu Studio first but it comes on a DVD, which I can't burn. Also, for some reason I thought Lubuntu would be easier to start as a first taste of Linux.

    Is there a way to run Ubuntu Studio's installer directly from the hard drive instead of from a DVD?
    I think you must boot the installer from another drive, not the one where you want to install the system. But the easiest way is to make a USB boot drive either a flash drive (pendrive) or an external hard disk drive.

    Format it to the FAT32 file system, add the boot and lba flags and use Unetbootin to make it bootable from the downloaded iso file. This should work with both CD or DVD size iso file as long as the USB drive is big enough. 4 GB would be enough for most DVD iso files (because they are usually not maxed to fill a DVD disk).

  5. #5
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    Re: too many bugs in Lubuntu, get another distro?

    Quote Originally Posted by SonnyE View Post
    No, as I said this is my first time. I wanted Ubuntu Studio first but it comes on a DVD, which I can't burn. Also, for some reason I thought Lubuntu would be easier to start as a first taste of Linux.

    Is there a way to run Ubuntu Studio's installer directly from the hard drive instead of from a DVD?
    You can install Ubuntu studio from within lubuntu.

    There are a few available packages to choose from.

    ubuntustudio-audio
    ubuntustudio-desktop
    ubuntustudio-video

    Have a look in the software centre

    You can also add an iso to grub and boot with that


    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/ISOBoot

    To be honest it is likely that you'll be better of trying to deal with the issues though - start threads for each issue - putting them in a long list is not the best way to proceed.

    It will get very long and very confusing as to which bit is for what fast.
    Last edited by Elfy; July 5th, 2012 at 08:27 AM.

  6. #6
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    Re: too many bugs in Lubuntu, get another distro?

    Thanks for the advice and link about loading Ubuntu versions via the hard drive. I'm considering using UNetbootin for that, so that I won't mess up my Grub with typos.

    ------------


    About the mixer bug:

    /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.

    I found a bug report page on that bug:

    https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...er/+bug/439156

    with this advice in the bottom post:

    Matej Kenda (matejken) wrote on 2010-09-15: #22
    I am using Compaq Evo N1015v on 10.10.

    This issue is still happening.

    I found this page, where using additional options is advised:

    modprobe snd-index8x0 ac97_quirk=1 xbox=1

    http://alsa.opensrc.org/index.php/In...ps_with_ICH845
    (alsa.opensrc.og etc. is a broken link)

    the "Multimedia audio controller" recognized by Lubuntu is:

    ALi Corporation M5451 PCI AC-Link Controller Audio Device (rev 02)

    Here's a video driver page:

    http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownloa...0x86&rev=10.10

    which was linked by this Ubuntu thread as a solution to the audio issue:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1638055&page=2

    This page gives up-to-date instructions on driver installation:

    http://askubuntu.com/questions/12429...-video-drivers

    which links to this page:

    http://wiki.cchtml.com/index.php/Hardware

    where it shows that my video card (Radeon IGP 320(M)) is no longer supported by AMD and my only option is to use the open source driver.

    I also found links leading to video driver updates as the suggested solution back when I was looking into solving the suspend and hibernate malfunctions.

    This all adds up to suggesting there is no way to run Ubuntu of any kind with the audio and video features fully working on this computer. Unless some trick like the one involving "modprobe" works. But I haven't yet found documentation for what options to use on modprobe and where to put that command (in a tty? in a file? what file?)

  7. #7
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    Re: too many bugs in Lubuntu, get another distro?

    Quote Originally Posted by SonnyE View Post
    Thanks for the advice and link about loading Ubuntu versions via the hard drive. I'm considering using UNetbootin for that, so that I won't mess up my Grub with typos.
    Warning: Backup your internal drive before doing things like that with the hard drive!
    Last edited by sudodus; July 5th, 2012 at 09:49 AM. Reason: unetbootin ...with the hard drive

  8. #8
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    TenPlus1 is offline Grande Half-n-Half Cinnamon Ubuntu
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    Smile Re: too many bugs in Lubuntu, get another distro?

    Try using Xubuntu as your first taste of Ubuntu... Lubuntu is a great Os albeit very light and lacking some of the features of a main desktop like Xubuntu, Ubuntu and Kubuntu has...

  9. #9
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    Re: too many bugs in Lubuntu, get another distro?

    @mastablasta

    I'm sorry, you misunderstood, I didn't do anything to prevent gtk installing and for all I know, I have gtk. It's just that the something run by the Synaptic package manager had a complaint about gtk in the details window.

    I just tried it again and the details looked a lot the same, but this time it says it was successful.


    debconf: unable to initialize frontend: Gnome
    debconf: (Unable to load Gtk -- is libgtk2-perl installed?)
    debconf: falling back to frontend: Dialog
    (Reading database ... 125069 files and directories currently installed.)
    Preparing to replace libgnutls26 2.12.14-5ubuntu3 (using .../libgnutls26_2.12.14-5ubuntu3.1_i386.deb) ...
    Unpacking replacement libgnutls26 ...
    Preparing to replace libdbusmenu-glib4 0.6.1-0ubuntu3 (using .../libdbusmenu-glib4_0.6.2-0ubuntu0.1_i386.deb) ...
    Unpacking replacement libdbusmenu-glib4 ...
    Preparing to replace libdbusmenu-gtk3-4 0.6.1-0ubuntu3 (using .../libdbusmenu-gtk3-4_0.6.2-0ubuntu0.1_i386.deb) ...
    Unpacking replacement libdbusmenu-gtk3-4 ...
    Preparing to replace libdbusmenu-gtk4 0.6.1-0ubuntu3 (using .../libdbusmenu-gtk4_0.6.2-0ubuntu0.1_i386.deb) ...
    Unpacking replacement libdbusmenu-gtk4 ...
    Preparing to replace xserver-common 2:1.11.4-0ubuntu10.2 (using .../xserver-common_2%3a1.11.4-0ubuntu10.3_all.deb) ...
    Unpacking replacement xserver-common ...
    Preparing to replace xserver-xorg-core 2:1.11.4-0ubuntu10.2 (using .../xserver-xorg-core_2%3a1.11.4-0ubuntu10.3_i386.deb) ...
    Unpacking replacement xserver-xorg-core ...
    Processing triggers for man-db ...
    debconf: unable to initialize frontend: Gnome
    debconf: (Unable to load Gtk -- is libgtk2-perl installed?)
    debconf: falling back to frontend: Dialog
    Setting up libgnutls26 (2.12.14-5ubuntu3.1) ...
    Setting up libdbusmenu-glib4 (0.6.2-0ubuntu0.1) ...
    Setting up libdbusmenu-gtk3-4 (0.6.2-0ubuntu0.1) ...
    Setting up libdbusmenu-gtk4 (0.6.2-0ubuntu0.1) ...
    Setting up xserver-common (2:1.11.4-0ubuntu10.3) ...
    Setting up xserver-xorg-core (2:1.11.4-0ubuntu10.3) ...
    Processing triggers for libc-bin ...
    ldconfig deferred processing now taking place
    W: Waited for dpkg --assert-multi-arch but it wasn't there - dpkgGo (10: No child processes)
    So I hope that isn't a problem.

  10. #10
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    Re: too many bugs in Lubuntu, get another distro?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elfy View Post
    You can install Ubuntu studio from within lubuntu.
    I might add...

    You can install LXDE/Openbox from within Ubuntu too, e.g. make your own "Lubuntu".

    Lubuntu and Peppermint are nice Ubu-based distros, but if you like LXDE I've found it more rewarding to simply install it on top of Ubuntu, and choose LXDE @ boot.

    The "problem" with canned LXDE packages is they try to make them too lightweight. When you add "bloat" to LXDE, by loading it on top of a standard Ubuntu install, it actually becomes a much more pleasant experience.
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