View Full Version : [ubuntu] Software Centre Woes

May 4th, 2010, 10:45 AM
Installing 10.04 on a desktop system is proving to be interesting...

The actual installation went well. It played nicely with the existing Windows 7 OS.

However installing (note: this was a clean install not an upgrade, so I'm having to rebuild my usual environment) applications is proving to be more painful than it should be.

The Ubuntu Software Centre is where newbies will head to. Heck, it's where I head to for most application installs. So that ought to be as polished as it is possible to manage. Leaving aside my dislike of the changes from the version in 9.10, as personal opinions will vary on styling issues, the Software Centre has mysteriously stopped acting on install requests twice so far. Clicking on the install button simply did nothing, although the button gave visual indication it had been clicked. The only way to overcome this I found was to reboot. Now, if I wanted to run software that stops working until I reboot I could have stayed with Windows.

I've also seen a cryptic message 'Software Catalogue must be updated' on several occasions, combined with the absence of the install button. I call this message cryptic as there appeared to be no useful explanation of what it meant, nor any obvious indication of where to find such an explanation. Rather than waste time I headed off to Synaptic and installed the application from there without any difficulty. Newbies might not be so comfortable with having to do this.

A final small gripe. Synaptic tells us up front the disk space needed and how much will be downloaded. Can't the Software Centre do likewise, if only in cases where the download will be substantial? I installed Okteta. A hex editor. It pulled down over a 100Mb of dependencies. I mean, be serious guys, downloading 100+ megabytes for a simple hex editor is insanity. If I'd known the download was going to be that size I'd have picked one of the other probably equally workable hex editors on offer.

Don't get the wrong impression. I'm a fan of Ubuntu. Which is why I'm not happy to see a feature that ought to be newbie friendly, the Software Centre, misbehaving. For me this behaviour is a minor irritation. Someone trying Ubuntu for the first time, who has no idea that Apt or Synaptic even exists, could find themselves stuck.