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Ubuntu hassles

Linux is great, don't get me wrong, but I hate upgrading. Every single time I try it, things go wrong and I waste a ridiculous amount of time trying to get everything up and running again. The first time I upgraded (from Redhat 5.1 to 5.3) was an education. It broke just about everything and took me weeks to get a functioning system back together. I was pretty new to computers at the time, never mind linux and kernels and compiling packages, so I did learn a lot.

Recently, my computer had started to fall over. I installed Linux on it when I bought it, and never upgraded, so things were starting to complain. It was time to sort out the problem. So, here we are again. I finally had a free weekend, so I bought an external disk, did a backup and prepared to do a new install. I've finally gone from Fedora Core 3 (yes, I know) to Ubuntu 9.04 by wiping the install partition and starting again. I thought that things might go a bit smoother this time, given the amount of development going on and the much larger user community. Wishful thinking.

The first obvious problem was that there were no desktop icons, and nautilus wouldn't run. When trying to invoke it from the command line, I got a "GLib-ERROR", which turned out to be caused by having a CD in the drive! Talk about bizarre. One (kludgy) fix suggested in the forums was this:

    sudo chmod a-r /usr/lib/nautilus/extensions-2.0/libnautilus-brasero-extension.so

which did the trick.

Then I had sound problems - output seemed ok, but the mic wouldn't work. This is rather annoying, since one reason for upgrading was to get Skype running again. I had been using an old version which had been fine, until Skype changed something and I could no longer log in with the old client. Playing around with the advice from a guy called Mark eventually fixed this one.

Then I discovered that I couldn't play DVDs, the playback was really choppy and kept jumping quite badly, making it pretty much unwatchable. The fix for this was the following two commands:
    sudo apt-get install libdvdread4
sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh

found on the Ubuntu website. Hurrah - I can watch Red Dwarf again! This was a big problem - Australian TV is pretty rubbish.

But, I still can't get the webcam running. After some investigation, it seems that this might be a conflict with the TV card so the only solution I have at the moment is to open up the box and remove the card. Frankly, I can't be bothered, it's just not that important right now. Maybe a later update will fix it.

So a lot of problems, but a lot of fixes. It's taken most of a weekend so far. I'm not impressed.

Posted by Megan on Sunday 19th Jul 2009 (04:12 UTC) | Add a comment | Permalink


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