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Thread: Ubuntu 18 aesthetics

  1. #11
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    Re: Ubuntu 18 aesthetics

    Right, I've managed to get the top bar app indicators working (including Variety), thanks to the Gnome extension poetically named ‘KStatusNotifierItem/AppIndicator Support’ . Thankfully it works for me, and I now have Dropbox, Skype and even Variety visible. Unfortunately I still can't open my Variety preferences (while I can for Dropbox and others, so who knows why that is....) but if it's just inherited the preferences that I had before, and nothing is going to change, I will live with that for now (anyway, I assume that you can edit variety.conf in the .config folder).

    And now it's time for a break from all this. Thanks very much to those of you who tried to help. I know that it's hard to help when everyone is by definition trying to do their own thing. I think that the overview is very important sometimes for people who are coming from a background outside computer science, as it can all be very intimidating at first trying to understand what the differences between all these distros are. Which is why Ubuntu serves a great purpose as a first stopping point for new people. I just think that I'm ready now to try something else.
    Last edited by heatopher2; July 26th, 2020 at 07:21 PM.

  2. #12
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    Re: Ubuntu 18 aesthetics

    Oh, and by the way, someone on another forum told me that the issue of some icons not showing properly in Cairo Dock is not unknown, and the quick and dirty solution is just to find the relevant 48px icon in /usr/share/icons, copy it to a folder called Cairo Icons (or whatever you want to call it) and configure Cairo Dock to use that icon. I haven't sorted out the file manager shortcut thing yet, but again I'll park that one for now.

  3. #13
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    Re: Ubuntu 18 aesthetics

    Quote Originally Posted by heatopher2 View Post
    But I think I'm kind of stuck with Ubuntu on this laptop, which came preinstalled with it. Dell set it to "never" upgrade, simply because they didn't want to support later versions of Ubuntu
    I've got a Dell that came with Ubuntu. It was no trouble putting a different version on there. I went Cinnamon first and then KDE.

    There's no secret sauce: they have their own repositories for any last minute tweaks they might need for that specific software, which they then upstream: having the software available not only through Dell benefits everyone, and Dell not having to maintain it themselves benefits them. If a new LTS comes out during the lifecycle of a particular model then new sales (after a testing period) get imaged with the new LTS, but I think you're right that they don't produce new images for old sales. That doesn't matter, though, because they've upstreamed all their changes. You can just upgrade through the upstream project.
    None but ourselves can free our minds

  4. #14
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    Re: Ubuntu 18 aesthetics

    Aaaaaaah, OK. This one is XPS 13 9360 (I think). I bought it from a friend, and the warranty was long gone, so I can say that I am free to experiment at least. Well, maybe I can just ask for a little advice, then. The partitions look like this:

    Screenshot_fr_laptop_20200726_203034.jpg

    If I were to experiment with a different distro, would I need to leave those two green ones at the beginning? EFI is, I presume, to do with the UEFI stuff that you guys were telling me about my dual-boot machine? (I don't know why there is that unallocated 1MB, by the way)

  5. #15
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    Re: Ubuntu 18 aesthetics

    I have no idea what's in the second one but, yes, the first one is the EFI System Partition, where your bootloaders live. I don't know why we end up with 1 MiB unallocated bits, either, except that I think it's to do with having things aligned on a particular boundary.

    This is already a dual boot with Windows on another drive, IIRC? That makes things trickier, but not necessarily impossible. Ideally you'd have one ESP with bootloaders for all your OSes and the actual OS installs on whichever drive(s) make sense for them. It was to get into that state from where you'd got to that I was recommending fresh installs of both, I think. That's probably still the sensible option, only installing Windows in UEFI mode followed by whichever 20.04 flavour you end up preferring.

    In principle you could shrink your existing partitions down, have that third bootloader somewhere (sharing the ESP with your Ubuntu install, perhaps, bearing in mind the installer bug/feature/whatever that puts the bootloader on the first drive it finds rather than where you're installing to), and install to your newly unallocated space. But you don't have a lot of room to work with.

    So what I'd suggest is playing around with some 20.04 images (or new images of a different distro if you prefer), either on USB thumb drives or in VMs, to pick the one flavour that you want. Then install Windows in UEFI mode (since Windows tramples all over everything if you install it second) then install your preferred flavour of Ubuntu (or other distro) in UEFI mode. You've got a fairly hefty amount of data stored as "stuff," so you'll want to make sure that's backed up somewhere before you start fiddling, just in case. Plus whatever you wanted to keep from the Windows side.
    None but ourselves can free our minds

  6. #16
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    Re: Ubuntu 18 aesthetics

    Ah, no, this isn't the dual boot PC, sorry. I'm going back to that soon. This is the laptop, and no intention of trying to make it dual boot. I don't need that complexity, and prefer to have space for my "stuff" I'm OK with having a Windows VM on this one. Getting used to it.

    I think that the second small partition is a recovery partition, but to be honest the fella that I bought it from has not been incredibly informative (can't blame him too much - he's got a new-born baby to take care of) and I'm mostly working it out by myself, with the help of good folks like yourself.

    At the risk of asking a question to which I may possibly not understand the answer, could I ask why you chose KDE over Cinnamon in the end?
    Last edited by heatopher2; July 27th, 2020 at 12:49 AM.

  7. #17
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    Re: Ubuntu 18 aesthetics

    Quote Originally Posted by heatopher2 View Post
    At the risk of asking a question to which I may possibly not understand the answer, could I ask why you chose KDE over Cinnamon in the end?
    Essentially, I just liked it more.

    Cinnamon (at the time I installed it) had better high-DPI support than Gnome (I'd been using my own smooshed together Gnome/Compiz setup on the desktop) so I installed that on my high-DPI laptop when I got it. I'd used KDE briefly when it was KDE 4, but didn't like it: the introduction of KDE 4 was rough. Cinnamon was fine, and I used that for maybe a few years.

    By the time I built a new desktop, the Gnome devs had irritated me a bit more, so I wanted something else on the new desktop. I tried Kubuntu and really liked it - none of the problems I'd had with KDE 4, and I had the wobbly windows and desktop cube that I was used to from Compiz. After a couple of weeks I realised that I was just really enjoying using KDE Plasma and switched my laptop to that, too.

    The feeling that I got was that the KDE devs were putting all their effort into making their desktop better, for all their users, whereas with Gnome the devs were mostly trying to realise their vision regardless of what their users wanted, and the Cinnamon devs were mostly trying to correct for the Gnome devs' attitudes.

    For me KDE is now just the right balance between helpful and getting out of the way. I don't see myself using anything else unless something really fundamental changes. You, of course, might really hate it Best to try it out for a bit and see how you get on.
    None but ourselves can free our minds

  8. #18
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    Re: Ubuntu 18 aesthetics

    Quote Originally Posted by CatKiller View Post
    I don't know why we end up with 1 MiB unallocated bits, either, except that I think it's to do with having things aligned on a particular boundary.
    It's where they store stuff like the descriptor, master file tables, logs, and stuff like that. So, the space isn't available for you.

    That's my understanding.

  9. #19
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    Re: Ubuntu 18 aesthetics

    Quote Originally Posted by CatKiller View Post
    Essentially, I just liked it more.

    Cinnamon (at the time I installed it) had better high-DPI support than Gnome (I'd been using my own smooshed together Gnome/Compiz setup on the desktop) so I installed that on my high-DPI laptop when I got it. I'd used KDE briefly when it was KDE 4, but didn't like it: the introduction of KDE 4 was rough. Cinnamon was fine, and I used that for maybe a few years.

    By the time I built a new desktop, the Gnome devs had irritated me a bit more, so I wanted something else on the new desktop. I tried Kubuntu and really liked it - none of the problems I'd had with KDE 4, and I had the wobbly windows and desktop cube that I was used to from Compiz. After a couple of weeks I realised that I was just really enjoying using KDE Plasma and switched my laptop to that, too.

    The feeling that I got was that the KDE devs were putting all their effort into making their desktop better, for all their users, whereas with Gnome the devs were mostly trying to realise their vision regardless of what their users wanted, and the Cinnamon devs were mostly trying to correct for the Gnome devs' attitudes.

    For me KDE is now just the right balance between helpful and getting out of the way. I don't see myself using anything else unless something really fundamental changes. You, of course, might really hate it Best to try it out for a bit and see how you get on.
    Well, as predicted, I didn't understand absolutely everything you said there, but that's fine, and I suppose I probably will understand one of these days. The desktop cube sounds interesting, anyway.

    So, yes, thanks again for a really nice overview. I'm going to have to get a move on with deciding which distro to install on the PC, but I'll keep having a look at whichever one I don't install. Well, of course I can always install a virtual machine.

    Really appreciate all that help!!!

  10. #20
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    Re: Ubuntu 18 aesthetics

    Quote Originally Posted by heatopher2 View Post
    Well, as predicted, I didn't understand absolutely everything you said there, but that's fine, and I suppose I probably will understand one of these days. The desktop cube sounds interesting, anyway.
    Compiz was one of the first window managers to use the GPU rather than the CPU to draw windows. A composited desktop, in the parlance. Most of them can do it now, but they couldn't ~2005. That's why it was picked for the Ubuntu Phone: mobile chips (particularly then) had weak CPUs and underutilised GPUs.

    Its introduction led to all kinds of exuberance - I miss windows going up in flames when closed, but that one was apparently too scruffy to keep when the code went through a rewrite. You can probably still find lots of very enthusiastic videos from the time showing it off.

    Mapping the different workspaces to the faces of a cube (or the polyhedron of your choice) is a more concrete (less abstract) way of keeping track of them. Wobbly windows are a quick sanity check for problematic performance. I'd really miss them if they weren't available. Plus, they're ineffably cool to your internal nine-year-old.
    None but ourselves can free our minds

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