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Thread: Ubuntu 11.04

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    Ubuntu 11.04

    OK, I'll get the Ubuntu 11.04 discussion started.

    Downloaded it via Torrent - I did start with the normal download but the servers seemed overloaded and the download is taking forever (still isn't finished!), but the Torrent download completed within minutes.

    Installing into a new VM in VirtualBox. Initially the Unity desktop did not show it; I had to install the VBox Guest Additions and after that Unity worked fine.

    Unity will take some getting used to - it took me several minutes and many mouse clicks to finally find the Package Manager. But now that I have have played with it for a while I kind of like it.

    I also found a way to reduce the size of the icons on the launcher bar:
    http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/02/u...-be-resizable/
    Now my icons are a comfortable 32 pixels.

    I'll post more after I play with it some.

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    Now that I have used 11.04 for a while a few impressions.

    In general I like Unity. I am a WIMP: I prefer using the mouse for navigation, and Unity provides some nice features. I especially like:

    a) the mechanism for navigating to the different desktops - click the Workspace Switcher, I then see the screen divided into the four workspaces. I can drag/drop apps from workspace to workspace, and double-click the workspace I want.

    b) The mechanism to choose among instances of an application. For example, I usually have a handful of Terminals open. Unity shows multiple triangles to the left of the Terminal icon in the launcher. If I click on those triangles, Unity minimizes all apps other than Terminal, and then arranges the Terminals on the screen in a tabular pattern. I can then click on the one I want. Once I click it, it becomes the active app, and the other apps are restored to their original positions. While this is different from how Windows 7 does this, it is a very acceptable alternative.

    But there are some things I don't like:

    c) I have to click the center mouse button, while the cursor is on an icon in the launcher, to fire up another copy of an application. After trying many different things to accomplish this i finally had to google it to find this out. To me that is not very intuitive and it will be awkward on a laptop (you have to hit both touchpad buttons simultaneously to simulate a center button click). Additionally, the center button on my mouse is a scroll wheel and clicking the wheel feels awkward.

    d) The triangles mentioned in item "b" are at the edge of the screen on a physical box, so they are not that hard to zero in on. However, when Ubuntu is run as a client OS in VirtualBox, and the client is windowed, aiming for the triangles requires some precision. I usually find that I overshoot the window edge and end up with the mouse pointer completely outside the Ubuntu client window. All this means that I have to put a lot more effort than I want to into getting the mouse where i want it (the target is really small). I don't have this issue with a Windows 7 client because I can click anywhere on the icon to get the app's thumbnails to show up. I agree this is a minor point, but it should be simpler.

    e) It took me a while to realize that in Unity the menu is at the top of the screen. The worst thing was that until you hover over the application's name on the top bar of the screen, the menu doesn't show up! I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get to the configuration dialogs for both Nautilus and Terminal before I discovered the "missing" menu. Now, having the menu at the top of the screen is probably fine for small-screen computers like netbooks. After all, you will most likely be running everything in full screen mode, so it doesn't matter all that much. However, I am running on a very large screen. I have many Terminals open, all windowed, none running full screen. So I have two issues. First, I have to move the mouse a whole heck of a lot farther than what I used to to get the cursor to the menu. And when I finally get to the menu, am I certain which Terminal instance the menu is for? Or is it perhaps for a Nautilus instance? Or for something else? Add to this the fact that only Gnome apps use the global menu (other apps continue to have their menus within their windows), and you have a very confusing, inconsistent and frustrating interface. (You have probably guessed by now that I'm not a Mac user; I suspect that if I was that this one issue wouldn't bug me so much). Anyway, I found out how to turn this behavior off and all is well: http://oimon.wordpress.com/2011/04/1...rwhal-release/. Now each app has it's menu within its window.

    f) I can't get shared folders to work in VirtualBox. Thus hosts disk drives cannot be mounted within the Ubuntu client. I can access the host's disks via Samba, so I can at leats transfer files back and forth, but that is not as convenient as having mount points. I usually create many symbolic links back to documents, music, pictures, etc. on the host, but this is not possible until I can mount the shared folders. The lack of this functionality is sort of to be expected; I image that the next update to VirtualBox will correct this. But until then I will consider this Ubuntu 11.04 client to only be a toy because I need the shared folder mounts to do real work.

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    "d" turned out not to be that big of a problem. When I click on an icon in the launcher, all of the instances of the app are brought to the foreground. If I click a second time, the behavior I described in "b" takes place - other apps are minimized and the instances are distributed across the screen. So the small target area of the triangles is not an issue; I can simple click the icon twice to get the same effect.

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    I will add my two cents worth. I upgraded my Virtual Box and Ubuntu yesterday. I am now running VirtualBox 4.0.6 and Ubuntu 11.04. In my case, the upgrade informed me that Unity would have compatibility problems and sure enough, after the upgrade, Unity is nowhere to be found. I installed the latest Guest Additions 4.0.6 and mostly everything is back to where it was before the upgrade, but:

    1. I still have to bridge my network and disable the VirtualBox Host Only Network adapter. If I don't, my Windows 7 laptop can't be seen on the network for things like scanning from my OfficeJet automatically to the laptop.

    2. Unity seems to be installed -- Synaptic Package Manager offers to reinstall it, so it seems to be installed, but it is not an option at login time. I have various options, Ubuntu, Ubuntu classic, Recovery Console, etc., but nothing Unity.

    3. I can't get connected to anything outside the computer. Before the upgrade, I could access the Windows network and get to shared folders across the network. I had set up a shared folder in VirtualBox and could get to it. With 11.04, none of that seems to be working. I'll keep playing, but for now, I'm cut off from the network and files on the Windows side of my computer. Firefox works, so networking is working.

    4. OpenOffice has been dropped for LibreOffice...

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    I've been using Ubuntu for a couple of years on an Acer Aspire One netbook (dual boot with Win 7). I installed 11.04 a few days ago using their standard download and install.

    I like the changes, but the biggest problem is Suspend and Hibernate. Waking from Suspend, my USB Bluetooth dongle doesn't work, and restarting doesn't always enable it, nor removing it and re-inserting. I can usually get it to work again by restarting until it does, but obviously that's a poor fix.

    Waking from Hibernate is even worse. The screen flickers and with odd colored areas and is unusable. Restart fixes this.

    At least two people have submitted bugs about this behavior so I'm hoping for a fix...but, it's disappointing. Ubuntu boots 2 or 3 times as fast as Win 7 and many of its features are better thought out and easier to use...but the fact that upgrades are not reliable says it's still not ready for the masses.

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    Thanks everyone for the comments above. It looks like I'll hold off on upgrading 11.04 for a while. The longer it's out, more issues may arise.

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    I have run Ubuntu 11.04 inside VirtualBox on three different computers. On two of them I get Unity, on the third I don't (just basic Gnome). The two that get Unity have NVidia graphics processors; one is a desktop and the other an HP laptop. The one that doesn't get Unity is a Dell laptop with integrated Intel graphics.

    The behavior doesn't seem to have anything to do with performance - the Windows Experience Index number for Desktop and Gaming graphics are higher on the Dell laptop than on the HP laptop. But the HP laptop will use up to 512MB or graphics memory when needed, so this could be a factor.

    In addition, the two machines that get Unity are running 64-bit (both Win 7 Pro), the Dell is running 32-bit (Win 7 Enterprise). But I don't think that is a factor. In all cases, Ubuntu is 32-bit (actually, I created the virtual disk once and copied it to the other two machines).

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    Windoze users might go for it; nerds, maybe not

    Amid the chorus of "why did they have to change things around and make it so dumb?", maybe what Canonical is doing is right in line with their objective of 200 million users in a few years. That is, get us cognoscenti to debug it, then put it on our uncle's and grandma's machines to keep them from calling us every other day with a problem. Meanwhile, if you don't like it, log in with good ole Gnome with the button on the bottom of your screen.

    And you folks running Ubuntu on Wubi and Virtual Box, isn't it time you put 2 toes in the water and learn dual booting? Is Steve Ballmer going to come to your house and beat you up??

    And is there a Linux Secrets newsletter and lounge? Cuz I'm tired of learning about Windows.

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    And you folks running Ubuntu on Wubi and Virtual Box, isn't it time you put 2 toes in the water and learn dual booting? Is Steve Ballmer going to come to your house and beat you up?
    But I do multi-boot! My desktop has XP (64-bit), Win 7 (64-bit) and Ubuntu 10.04 (64-bit). My laptop has Win 7 (64-bit) and Ubuntu 10.04 (32-bit) (see a prior post for my laptop travails with 10.04). I haven't had the time to try Ubuntu 11.04 on my laptop; if is still has issues I'll be stuck with 10.04. Ubuntu is the primary OS on my laptop, so I need it to work.

    But I like using Virtual box because I can quickly try other OSes (without risk of screwing anything up) and because then I can run Windows and Ubuntu at the same time (which is a great benefit). And I have found Ubuntu within VirtualBox to be very responsive.

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    Installing into a new VM in VirtualBox.
    I am curious why anyone would think this is a reasonable way to go? I have a separate machine with an eSATA docking collar. All I do is pop a new hard drive into the docking collar and install the 'test' system on its own drive, a cheap one ~$50 - $100. The system can boot off these things and the systems never know the difference. It is a trick stolen from Linux 'Live CD's. I can try out Linux spins and remixes from 4GB USB sticks which cost ~$10. The spins have persistent memory, so I can save my results. The biggest problem with that strategy is at USB2 speeds they are slow. Hence the eSATA migration.
    The point is that I'm letting the test system run the way it wants to and the parent system is totally unplugged! Unless I want it otherwise for some strange reason. This is an alternative or adjunct to dual booting. My mobos allow me to choose which drive to boot from so 'dual booting' is way more fun and trickey. Even the ordinal can be changed!
    Last edited by wmfay1; 2011-06-13 at 17:03. Reason: spelling

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    Quote Originally Posted by wmfay1 View Post
    >>> Installing into a new VM in VirtualBox.
    I am curious why anyone would think this is a reasonable way to go?
    Here are a few:

    a) I don't need a second computer to run a second OS. Comes in handy when I'm on the go and only have my laptop. On my laptop, which runs Win 7 Pro, I typically have a few versions of Linux and an XP VM (the XP VM is actually registered within my company's Active Directory so that I have full corporate access while on the go). Also, saves me from having to fire up a second PC. I had a second PC at work just for Fedora, but I replaced it with a Fedora VM in my work laptop and that works much better for me. And the company is glad for the electricity savings from not running a second PC.

    b) I don't need a CD/DVD to install the OS. I usually download the new Ubuntu ISO and point VirtualBox at the ISO. No need to burn a CD to run the installer. (I admit this is a very minor point.)

    c) I can share the host OS directories with the guest OS. For example, I let VirtualBox automount my data drive (which has my documents, pictures, etc.). Then in Linux I replace the existing Documents, Pictures, etc. folders with softlinks to the corresponding folders on the host OS. Thus in Linux I am looking at the exact same Document folder as in Win 7. I do this with my XP client also. Very handy. By the way, I also do this for my dual-boot systems, softlinking my Linux folders back to my Windows folders. (By the way, I don't use NTFS file compression because Linux has difficulties with it.)

    Having had the opportunity to use 2 PCs both at home and at work to run 2 OSes I can say that at this time I prefer to run a single PC with multiple OSes. I guess that if I really needed graphics power within Linux that I would not feel this way; I would prefer running two PCs. But then that is me. Everyone has their way of working that is comfortable to them, and that is more important than any technical reasons.

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    Understand you are depending on one box.
    I used to do that too until I learned about bad capacitors the hard way.
    Yes, I use ASUS exclusively now, but I find mobos are cheap and need updating every once in a while.
    The issue of 'laptop' is also an issue. They get out of date all too frequently. Mine's an inexpensive HP but after 5 years almost everything is obsolete.
    320 GB and 2GB hardly cut it anymore.
    As for VM, doesn't that circumvent the security built into the OSs? It's the VM reading/writing to your HDs not the native system.
    Oh, and 'Live CD' is sort of a misnomer. It's really on a USB flash drive, not a CD. One of the big sins I commit is not using CD as much as I should. Live-CD is a program which formats the downloaded ISO image for a flash memory stick. It also can create persistent data stored on a compressed overlay.
    You see, I use eSATA hard drives as 'CD's, or flash drives, whatever. At 2TB, they get intimidating.
    I ran into bypassing system security using Fedora and Ubuntu on 'Live CD' (on SUB). That is why I'm looking into disk encryption schemes.
    It doesn't make me feel very happy executing code that I have no idea who wrote it or what it contains. Not that that will be possible for much longer.
    I'm amazed the AVG scan on my LAPTOP is now a million objects long! It wasn't that long ago that it was 20 - 50,000 long. On Win 7 it's 2M.
    Last edited by wmfay1; 2011-06-17 at 15:52.

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    As for VM, doesn't that circumvent the security built into the OSs?
    Not sure what you mean by this. Are you wondering if the VM client OS can read the host's filesystem? A client OS uses a virtual hard disk which is just a large file on the hosts hard disk, so anything the client OS reads or writes is restricted to that file. To the client OS it appears to be a hard drive. Of course, when I mount a shared drive then the client OS has direct access to the host hard drive and its files.

    I ran into bypassing system security using Fedora and Ubuntu on 'Live CD' (on SUB).
    I have done the same, and dual-booting is another way around OS security. Essentially, anyone who has physical access to your system has the potential of accessing all of your data unless you encrypt it - all they have to do is boot up another OS on your box. Even this forum has many posts from people who have old hard drives now mounted in a USB drive enclosure asking about accessing files that are supposedly inaccessible; all that is needed is to change ownership.

    It doesn't make me feel very happy executing code that I have no idea who wrote it or what it contains.
    You can say that for Windows - who knows what's in there? But for any Linux distro the source code is available and you can see what it contains. And from the source code repository you can find out who wrote it. I get questioned quite often about open source software from my work colleagues who believe that only proprietary software is trustworthy. I tell them that there are numerous open source products used by millions of people and they have a very good reputation in the marketplace; being afraid of it just because you don't have to pay exorbitant fees to someone for the privilege of using it is silly. But then I deal mostly with reputable open source; I would think twice about trying some open source from an obscure group that has been downloaded only a few thousand times.

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    11.04 permissions

    I recently installed Ubuntu 11.04 for the third time and finally found out how to get back to the "classic" desktop. It works fine, except that it will not allow me to copy a file from a NTFS drive to a Ext3 drive. It tells me I do not have permissions and it will not allow me to change the permissions. It tells me I am not the owner. Strange, since no other person has ever used the computer. I have tried to find an answer on the web, but nothing I have found is understandable to me. Can this be done simply, or should I just remove the drive and use it in a different computer?

    This kind of problem has always appeared when I have tried to use Linux, making it very intimidating. I just want to drag and drop the files from one HD to another, but that simple operation is incomprehensible to me when I use Linux.

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    Apparent corruption of dhcp assignment & dns

    Quote Originally Posted by buggsy2 View Post
    I've been using Ubuntu for a couple of years on an Acer Aspire One netbook (dual boot with Win 7). I installed 11.04 a few days ago using their standard download and install.

    I like the changes, but the biggest problem is Suspend and Hibernate. Waking from Suspend, my USB Bluetooth dongle doesn't work, and restarting doesn't always enable it, nor removing it and re-inserting. I can usually get it to work again by restarting until it does, but obviously that's a poor fix.

    Waking from Hibernate is even worse. The screen flickers and with odd colored areas and is unusable. Restart fixes this.

    At least two people have submitted bugs about this behavior so I'm hoping for a fix...but, it's disappointing. Ubuntu boots 2 or 3 times as fast as Win 7 and many of its features are better thought out and easier to use...but the fact that upgrades are not reliable says it's still not ready for the masses.
    OK, I'm doing exactly what you're doing, Primary Win 7 Ult on Acer Netbook with Ubuntu dual booting in a separate partition. Last week I couldn't log on to a net. Just flipped back to Win and I was up and running. Now I haven't been able to log on for a week in Ubuntu. I tried a desktop that is loaded the same way. Ubuntu wouldn't go on line but Win XP did. Put in the Ubuntu 11.4 install disk to try to do some repair work and now Win will not go on line. Same with a third unit. In Win, IPconfig gave me an address in the 69.xxx.xxx.xxx (forgot the rest). No dns etc. I went back in and forced a static ip in my dhcp range and enter a universal dns. I was able to get on line and even survive a reboot. Problem now is that I can't duplicate this in Ubuntu and get on line in Ubuntu.
    Has anyone else experienced this issue?

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