Monday, May 21, 2012

My Ubuntu 12.04 Rants

I've been using Ubuntu from past five years or so. I was young, loved fixing problems, remembering scary commands and making my system work. Now I've finished my college, have got mouths to feed and want a decent stable OS to make my job easier. I installed Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin from scratch last month. I love the OS, love unity but here are some of my rants.

1) Background service eats too much CPU

I usually keep my laptop on idle while I lie on my bed. While doing so the first thing I noticed was my laptop's fan constantly running. As you can see from the picture above, compiz, hud-service, xorg and unity-panel-service are eating half of my CPU all night long.

2) Installing indicator-network removes network-manager

This is by no means Ubuntu's fault. You need to be careful while using commands like apt-get and specially when you use any sudo command. In my case, I wanted to install weather indicator. While doing so I discovered indicator-network. Just out of curiosity I installed it. apt-get gave me very clear warning that it will remove network-manager. But I didn't notice it. Had I been playing with some scary package like ubuntu-desktop, linux-kernel, nvidia-* I swear I 'd have read every line of the apt-get message. But I was just installing an indicator, what harm could it bring, right? Unfortunately the indicator-network turns out to be software in alpha stage. I don't have LAN internet, it couldn't connect to my WiFi and it didn't detect my mobile Internet.

So to sum it up, installing indicator-network removed critical component of my system(Network Manager). After that it failed to perform any network operation leaving me without Internet. I couldn't install network-manager back without Internet.

3) Can't view high resolution photographs

No, I didn't blacked out the above image. That's exactly what happens when I try to see high resolution photos. The image viewer just displays black rectangle while it eats very high CPU(eog is eye of gnome the default image viewer).

4) Can't add exception in global proxy setting

I like to have ugly looking tool rather than fancy one that comes with half the functionality. This is exactly what happened with network proxy tool. I can configure proxy setting but for love of god can't add exception. No matter how shiny the new tool is there is no way to add ignored host in proxy.

5) Empathy eats 100% CPU

I gave empathy one  more chance before installing pidgin. Turns out to be bad decision. Got some network problem and the program hung eating 100% CPU. And by that I don't mean it used 100% CPU for few seconds and crashed. Nope, it just kept eating 100% CPU making my laptop hot as hell. apt-get remove telepathy* empathy* libtelepathy* and apt-get install pidgin was the only solution. So no screenshot :D.

6) Constant crashes

Crashes like these are fair and common.

7) App switching confusion

I'm using a program called shutter to edit screenshot for this blog post. After taking screenshot I click the edit button which opens a new window with the screenshot on edit mode. Mind that the edit window is opened on top of existing window not two separate windows. That means I can't use the original window without closing the edit window. Just like a dialog box. But the apps icon on launcher shows indicator for two windows. If I click it, it shows both the window in preview mode. But clicking the original window opens the edit mode window not the original window.

8) Can't close window with middle click

Earlier it was very easy to close Windows when I had one too many opened windows. Clicking the icon on launcher would show all the windows in nice big preview mode. I could then click on the one I want to work on or middle click on the one I would no more need, one by one. Now I have to select the unneeded window to bring it in front, close it, again click on the launcher for other windows, click to select and close it and repeat.

9) Can't remove music, pictures, videos etc from nautilus bookmark

I don't need them, what I need I'll bookmark them myself. This only creates confusion. And I can't remove them.  Further more look at the inconsistency. If I use open dialog box from any program, look at the items here. Now here is only home folder, desktop, filesystem and other partitions. What happened to music and videos and stuff? 

10) Drag and Drop

I like to drag files and drop it in my bookmarks folder for them to copy or move. I like to drag files and move them on top of applications for them to open. But I'm not finding it natural with current Ubuntu. It sometimes work sometimes I can't find the expected behavior. Or maybe I'm too confused.

11) Printing confusion

This one just ended up here. I had to print one file for a friend of mine while writing this and discovered this minor annoyance.

I had to print on both sides of the paper. IIRC on Windows OS the option is on main page. I mean I can choose to print all pages, current page, pages, odd pages or even pages. But while printing today I discovered that to print odd/even pages the option is in second tab. Now before submitting the print job my option selection stands as print all pages and print even sheets. What will it do, will it print all pages or print all even sheets? Confusing. Also other problems I have with printer is 
  1. If I cancel any printing job, the printer will stop printing at the very moment. Not after the current page is finishes printing. So I'll end up with half printed page and paper jam.
  2. If I forget to plug printer's USB cable to computer, it doesn't give any message just silently fails to print.
  3. No message if printer is turned off. Again fails silently to print.
12) Wireless Key havoc

I've to rely on couple of my neighbors for Internet. Yes its bad but to my defense I only use their connection for tunneling and setting up Internet requires at least $100. Most of the connection are pretty poor and the condition becomes worst at day time. Its quite difficult to get connected and there is high chance of getting disconnected. The problem is every two minutes or so Network Manager pops up asking for wireless key. I might be doing some work, watching movie in full screen or writing this blog post, the dialog box comes stealing focus and disturbing. There is no way to tell the key is correct, just the connection is poor, just keep trying with this key and don't bother me.

13) Eclipse and Ubuntu theme

I use Eclipse to do Android development. But Eclipse color mapping and Ubuntu themes doesn't agree always. For eg: in the picture above the selected handy tips that eclipse generated is on white background and whit text font with light highlight making it difficult to read. 

14) Ubuntu names

Yes it was fun when I was young. It was even fun to play mind game when I was alone by trying to recall all the Ubuntu names and version. But now its gotten too much for me. "Oneiric Ocelot", "Precise Pangolin", "Quantal Quetzal", English being second language to me, how am I suppose to remember this. If I don't need to remember this what's the use of the "name"?

15) Brasero stuck at "creating image checksum"

So I had to burn CD at office and was in kind of in hurry to give the CD. But unfortunately burning CD will fail in Ubuntu Linux. There is this thread at Ubuntu forums where people has suggested to disable image checksum plugin and install missing package. But the question is how can a LTS stable release can come with such kind of a bug? Can a normal computer user figure out the problem, Google it and stumble on the Ubuntu thread and apply the solution?


  1. bichara kati garo vako raicha hai talai hehe

  2. I am actively working with core developers on about 3/4 of these problems, but all have been listed as low priority and are essentially going nowhere. This is disenchanting, but I will try to upload patches myself over the winter break.