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Thread: Ubuntu is a disaster! How do you manage to cope with it?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Ubuntu is a disaster! How do you manage to cope with it?

    I've been using Ubuntu for some time now, and I can't help but notice the endless plethora of problems I'm faced with. Most (but not all) are non-fatal, and the rest are simply annoying. Here are a few examples.

    There was a MAC address cloning bug that still remains unfixed. It makes you unable to spoof your MAC address when you're connecting to a hotspot.

    On a newer computer, I got no sound even though everything appeared to be working correctly. Nothing was muted in alsamixer, and the hardware obviously has no problems (it works perfectly in Windows). Ubuntu 14.04 and ubuntu 16.06 both failed. I tried to install the latest Alsa driver, but even though a help page clearly said there was supposed to be a .deb file, there wasn't. I tried to compile the tar.gz's extracted contents, and it errored out with a bug so obscure not even Google could find anything about it. See this post for details: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...4#post13459144

    In response to the sound problem, someone suggested trying 16.04 beta. A sensible suggestion; perhaps Skylake motherboards are too new. But then, Startup Disk Creator, when used on Ubuntu 14.04 to create a bootable USB drive for Ubuntu 16.06, makes the disc unbootable. I saw people reporting this bug from at least 4 years ago, and it's still not fixed for some reason!

    I had to burn the image to a DVD to get it to work. When I finally managed to do this, the installation hung at the purple screen. nodemoset didn't fix it.

    Disks, a program included by default with Ubuntu, frequently runs into problems when formatting disks.

    On Ubuntu 12.04, dragging icons to the desktop results in a lock icon on them. You then have to change the ownership of the file in order to even get it to run. The casual user who just finds a shortcut on the dash and then drags it to a more easily accessible spot would never think to try this! On Android you drag an icon out, and it just works! You wouldn't need to manual to read (not that there is one for Ubuntu) to figure out how to unlock those icons.

    Desktop icon arrangement, compared to Google or even Android, is stupefyingly unintuitive. There's no grid to line up to, and the icons don't stop at the places you've dragged them to. Half a decade later? Same problem.

    These are only a few of the numerous problems I've run into. And this is on 12.04 and 14.04; stable versions of probably the most wideless used Linux distro. I am not fond of Windows, but I have to get my work done, and these problems aren't helping when I can't fix one even after wasting a week of time Googling for solutions. There's no official reference to turn to for those problems; just experienced users who seem to have spent even more time than I have poking and prodding at every aspect of the operating system until they find a solution. How I wish there was a book that had all the answers. I don't care how gigantic it is. I would read it if it was a panacea. How do they do it? I could grow old just fixing the most basic problems. Yet these users seem to have read every man page in existence.

    I could list countless other problems that I've encountered over the years. These few don't even begin to do justice to the frustration I've endured; the countless man-hours I've wasted trying to fix the most simple of problems just to get my work done. Just when I think I've found some stability - some peace of mind - with an LTS version, I either need a new computer or a new version is released, and the nightmare begins all over again. My blood pressure has probably risen 20 points just from the problems of the last 3 days; is it really too much to ask just to get my speakers to play sound?

    Yet there appears to be a thriving community of users. Unless some massive Skynet is faking these posts, hypertension and frustration have apparently not yet wiped out Ubuntu users. So how do the rest of you manage?
    Last edited by sanssadness; March 23rd, 2016 at 03:02 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Lubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Ubuntu is a disaster! How do you manage to cope with it?

    Quote Originally Posted by sanssadness View Post
    I've been using Ubuntu for some time now, ...
    But you've posted in the New to Ubuntu section. Didn't have to read further. Your title says it all. Good luck.
    Shortened urls: See point #11 here. And clicking on them could be risky.
    Use ubuntu-support-status with caution.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Re: Ubuntu is a disaster! How do you manage to cope with it?

    "New" is a relative word. Experience level varies widely depending on how much time you can set aside from your life to learn every obscure facet of the os. And that's assuming the bugs don't kill you from sheer frustration first. This distro markets itself as user-friendly, so one would expect better.
    Last edited by sanssadness; March 23rd, 2016 at 03:17 AM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ubuntu is a disaster! How do you manage to cope with it?

    You have chosen to participate in an enormous open-source project. We expect you to...participate. To help improve the software and the project itself.
    You are not our customer. We are not your vendor. We are fellow participants - your peers.

    Your help to triage, patch, test, review, document, support, or otherwise participate to solve these issues is very welcome.

  5. #5
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    Re: Ubuntu is a disaster! How do you manage to cope with it?

    The last time I reported a bug (the MAC cloning one) was years ago, and the problem still wasn't fixed the last time I checked, even though many posters confirmed the bug. The download link asks for donations: Is that not a form of participation too?

    All I want is a stable work environment; one free of major problems. I understand that might be too much to ask for a "new" new user, but I gave Ubuntu a few years, working around the minor problems wherever possible. I think I've done my part.
    Last edited by sanssadness; March 23rd, 2016 at 03:35 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    1,486

    Re: Ubuntu is a disaster! How do you manage to cope with it?

    @sanssadness,

    Did you report the bug to a bug database, or did you complain about it on a forum? Developers don't generally get their task list from a forum.

    Drivers generally come from upstream. Some distros do a lot of driver work, others take upstream and some contributions by the distro users themselves. In the case of upstream, adding a bug here doesn't really change anything. You would need to go upstream for that.

    Canonical spends a lot of time tweaking the user experience for *buntu, but bleeding edge hardware is, through the nature of Open Source, a bit light on support.

    Linux and all the free/open source software typically installed with it is NOT commercial, meaning there is nobody overseeing the entire software base and coordinating development. Each software package has its team, some have commercial support and some have a guy who's tired of waiting for a driver who gives it a whirl. Some have hardware vendor support and others do not. As a general rule, people installing any Linux distro need to investigate the hardware support before they buy the hardware. If being a developer or a tester is not appealing to you, then choose vendors who cooperate with Open Source or who provide their own drivers for Linux.

    While there is much financially backed software development for Linux, there is a profound base of coding by volunteers who are neither paid nor intent on providing a commercial-quality product. Generally the volunteers want to make it work for their personal use case, not everyone else's.
    Help stamp out MBR partition tables. Use GPT instead!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    77

    Re: Ubuntu is a disaster! How do you manage to cope with it?

    I reported it to Launchpad. It's a duplicate of this bug: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...r/+bug/1320752

    Years later, the status is still confirmed. I get it, Ubuntu isn't commercial. But programming isn't my area of expertise. My involvement with Ubuntu is as a working professional rather than an enthusiast with endless amounts of free time to fix any problem at will, so I can't really write a driver that would solve the problems of a few thousand people even if I would love to volunteer some free time; it's just not my field.

    I get it. Ubuntu isn't commercial. Nobody is getting paid to help me get it to work. But there's no "bug bounty" feature. I can't pay for a specific bug to get fixed. People donate, but not for their specific problem; just to help the project overall. And I might do more to help the project if the basics were at least working properly. I'm not a fan of Windows. In fact, I hate it. But it at least helps me get my work done. When I spend days on end just to get sound to work properly, it's time I will never get back.

    Imagine you had a friend or neighbor who was computer literate but doesn't have the time to fix major problems when they pop up. They support the open source philosophy, but they need something that just works. How would you make the case to them that Ubuntu is the right solution?
    Last edited by sanssadness; March 23rd, 2016 at 04:06 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Ubuntu is a disaster! How do you manage to cope with it?

    Not a support thread. Moved to Ubuntu, Linux and OS Chat.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Hidden!
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    Kubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Ubuntu is a disaster! How do you manage to cope with it?

    This Will go into recurring soon probabbly.

    Quote Originally Posted by sanssadness View Post
    There was a MAC address cloning bug that still remains unfixed. It makes you unable to spoof your MAC address when you're connecting to a hotspot.?
    Obviously not enough people are annoyed by this bug. or perhaps there is a workarround?!

    On a newer computer, I got no sound even though everything appeared to be working correctly. Nothing was muted in alsamixer, and the hardware obviously has no problems (it works perfectly in Windows). Ubuntu 14.04 and ubuntu 16.06 both failed. I tried to install the latest Alsa driver, but even though a help page clearly said there was supposed to be a .deb file, there wasn't. I tried to compile the tar.gz's extracted contents, and it errored out with a bug so obscure not even Google could find anything about it. See this post for details: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...4#post13459144
    Buy Linux certified hardware to avoid such issues.There is also Linux preloaded hardware available.

    In response to the sound problem, someone suggested trying 16.04 beta. A sensible suggestion; perhaps Skylake motherboards are too new. But then, Startup Disk Creator, when used on Ubuntu 14.04 to create a bootable USB drive for Ubuntu 16.06, makes the disc unbootable. I saw people reporting this bug from at least 4 years ago, and it's still not fixed for some reason!
    Solution is simple - do a md5sum check if all is good, use another USB image "bruner". plenty to go arround.

    I had to burn the image to a DVD to get it to work. When I finally managed to do this, the installation hung at the purple screen. nodemoset didn't fix it.
    Again looks lke unsupported hardware. or bad install. or bad image?!

    Disks, a program included by default with Ubuntu, frequently runs into problems when formatting disks.
    Isn't gparted used for formatting?!

    On Ubuntu 12.04, dragging icons to the desktop results in a lock icon on them. You then have to change the ownership of the file in order to even get it to run. The casual user who just finds a shortcut on the dash and then drags it to a more easily accessible spot would never think to try this! On Android you drag an icon out, and it just works!

    Desktop icon arrangement, compared to Google or even Android, is stupefyingly unintuitive. There's no grid to line up to, and the icons don't stop at the places you've dragged them to. Half a decade later? Same problem.
    You are not supposed to have icons on Ubuntu desktop, but in launcher. and even there only the most used ones. for the rest - Dash is there. desktop is supposed to be emtpy. which is why you ran into trouble. if you want the classic widnows desktop experience try Kubuntu, Xubuntu or Mate & Cinnamon desktops instead. there also a few others arround

    You wouldn't need to manual to read (not that there is one for Ubuntu) to figure out how to unlock those icons.
    Now that's a terrible thing to say:
    community made manual: https://ubuntu-manual.org/
    +
    ubuntu wiki: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/
    +
    official documentation: https://help.ubuntu.com/
    +
    there is Cannonical support available

    Quote Originally Posted by sanssadness View Post
    Imagine you had a friend or neighbor who was computer literate but doesn't have the time to fix major problems when they pop up. They support the open source philosophy, but they need something that just works. How would you make the case to them that Ubuntu is the right solution?
    i would get them to buy a linux certified PC or a Linux preloaded PC if they wanted to use Linux. those tend to just work. and not much issue son those to solve.
    Easy to understand Ubuntu manual with lots of pics: http://ubuntu-manual.org/
    Do i need antivirus/firewall in linux?
    User friendly disk backup: Redobackup

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    2,299
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    Ubuntu

    Re: Ubuntu is a disaster! How do you manage to cope with it?

    If I had a friend who made an honest and informed effort to use Ubuntu, or any other distribution, and found it lacking, I'd suggest that friend consider Windows and OS X as the only other viable alternatives. Yes, it's nice when things "just work". Often, however, they don't, on any platform.

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