Monday, May 3, 2010

Why Lucid Lynx 10.04 is a Turd

I have few very basic requirements (although they may not be so basic to implement) for an OS my laptop. And linux continues to break them. The most recent upgrade to the oh-so-awaited Lucid Lynx 10.04 did this:

1. Desktop effects were disabled. X was loading the glx extension from too many drivers. My intel driver's glx extension loaded fine, but then it decided to load up the glx extension from all the nvidia drivers. Now, I don't use all the crazy desktop effects that are offered. I think most of them are useless. However, I am used to using "scale" and the "expo" plugin.

And the dock I use (gnome-do) absolutely must have compositing enabled. Now before you start asking why I don't just use the gnome-panel, and forget about desktop effects, or this dock, well there is a reason.

Gnome-panel is full of bugs. If I keep the lower panel on all the time, it eats up valuable desktop space because gnome has decided to have both a panel on the top and on the bottom, and have all the file, edit, view etc menus in the windows.. using up valuable screen space. So I can only use gnome-panel if I auto-hide the lower one. But when I am using two screens, it sometimes doesn't like to "un-hide". Gnome-do is the way to go. And that is what I was using until upgrading to this piece of crap called Ubuntu 10.04.

Anyway to fix this I just had to get rid of all the xorg-video-nvidia packages. But I think this is stupid. I should not have had to spend the better part of 4 hours figuring this out.

2. Vmware (which is running my windows guest) takes full control of the shift and control keys. Every time I start vmware, and I am in the vm, my shift and control keys work, and they miraculously stop working for my host os (linux). This was working fine before.

Now they stop working every time without fail.

3. And this is the most annoying. My computer goes to sleep, but doesn't wake up. It boots up. Hibernate works, but wake up from hibernate doesn't. And don't tell me to disable it. It's a laptop, it should hibernate. I know about suspend-to-ram. It does that fine. But when its on battery power, the only way for it to go to sleep is to hibernate, because thats what Power Management Preferences in gnome force it to do. There is no option to suspend if the computer is inactive on battery power. Just an option to hibernate. So it should work. But it doesn't. And there is an open bug report for this.

Update. I've managed to fix the hibernate issue as follows:

a) Get the uuid of your swap partition:

aleem@l2837lnx:~$ cat /etc/fstab
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# swap was on /dev/sda6 during installation
UUID=f0835dcf-6086-4602-8b8f-bac15d9ee20c none swap sw

b) Make sure you have the same one in /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/resume

aleem@l2837lnx:~$ cat /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/resume


If not, change it. This was the case for me.. it had some miraculous uuid of a disk that never existed on my system -- probably the one that came with the initramfs-tools package.

aleem@l2837lnx:~$ sudo gedit /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/resume

c) Update the initramfs boot image

aleem@l2837lnx:~$ sudo update-initramfs -u

I have been a linux user on the desktop for years. I had linux on my laptop before for 5 years as my primary OS. I switched back to windows because of crap like this. Then last year I switched back to linux. It's come a long way, but it still annoys the crap out of me.

Done venting.

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