Much as I evangelise about Ubuntu, Linux and the Open Source ethos, help out with testing on Ubuntu Quality team from time to time and report bugs whenever I can, a ‘bad Ubuntu day’ only serves to remind me that as a product, it is simply not ready for mass-market, main-stream adoption.
It needs a baby-sitter with expert knowledge in order to keep it running 24/7 across whatever hardware you want to run. Change something and there is absolutely no guarantee it will keep running. You have to be an enthusiast with time on your hands and a good number of working braincells.
So, with two weeks in which to reflect after the latest 12.10 release, here are the pet hates in no particular order.
- Turning detective when it breaks, firstly to find out what broke, by combing through search engines and forums, then working through a half-dozen half-assed suggestions that half-worked for other people who had the same problem.
- It’s still embedding the Unix/Linux belief that the terminal session and command line is the best solution to any problem.
- Unity, which is a graphical user interface, keeps making me type things to find programs. And you still can’t place the Launcher anywhere but the left hand side.
- Trying to get new and/or older hardware to work in whatever version I’m using, via a combination of firmware and settings (I know it’s not the ‘driver hell’ we used to have in Windows Vista and now Windows 8, but comparative therapy doesn’t help).
- Random kernel updates cause my Broadcom wireless adapter to stop working (along with half the rest of the Broadcom users, but not necessarily the same half). See hate items 1 and 4.
- Audacity sound editor randomly freezes while I’m editing (requiring a end process in a terminal or System Monitor). It’s done this for as long as I remember in every Ubuntu version. Just as well Audactiy has the best recovery routines of any program I know.
- Canonical turning Ubuntu into iOS for an iPad with an appstore and Amazon crap in the search results (yes I know how to turn it off, I had to look it up).
- The disappearance of half the controls under System Settings since 11.04.
- The Grub boot menu order changing when I update Ubuntu version on a dual-boot machine (don’t make my young lady mess with a boot menu just to get to Windows)
- No less than three Nvidia drivers for current graphics cards in 12.10. Confusion abounds especially when you pick the wrong driver and your desktop is unusable.
- Ultimate geek nagging such as in the forums: “Are you filing bug reports? Minor and major bugs should be fixed in the point releases. If they aren’t make sure your bug reports are kept up to date.”
I wouldn’t mind so much if half this list wasn’t the same as the first time I wrote it in 2007. RC