Zed Lopez

Ubuntu 10.04 Disappointment

This weekend I brought Malasada’ computer up to Ubuntu Lucid. Yes, there’s a more recent version, but the other machines in the house are Lucid; I didn’t see anything compelling in Maverick; I figured Maverick’s younger and the kinks were likely to have been worked out of Lucid; it’s a long-term-support release, so if I feel lazy and there are no compelling reasons to upgrade, I can go without for up to three years.

It’s the first machine I’ve installed with ubuntu-desktop — the others were lovingly hand-crafted starting from command-line-only installations. So it was my first time encountering the things people have been complaining about. Ugly default desktop background — easily changed. Window icons on the left — easily changed. Ubuntu One in the main menu — easily changed.

But it’s also the first time I installed it on a machine with an Intel graphics chipset. And every few seconds the screen flickered black. And lots of people are having this problem and have been having it for months. And it’s not fixed. People are giving up and using Maverick, or Maverick’s kernel, or Karmic’s kernel.

According to the threads on the subject, changing boot options fixed it for some people. I tried a couple of the suggestions and they didn’t work. Switching from a DVI cable to a VGA cable worked and, in practice, I don’t see any quality degradation, so I guess I’ll live with it.

I’m not interested in a lot of the things Canonical’s been pursuing, but have continued to be an Ubuntu user because it’s been a good way to get an up-to-date, supported Debian derivative that just works.

But if you take away the just works part, then, well, I may be looking elsewhere next time I’m looking to upgrade.