back to article A perfect marriage: YOU and Ubuntu 16.04

Before I dive into what's new in Ubuntu 16.04, it's worth pausing to reflect on what's missing: Scopes online search, now off by default. That means no more potentially socially awkward search results when all you really wanted was to open Brasero (speaking of which, Brasero is gone too). Scopes, introduced four years ago, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd love to upgrade

    ...but I'm stuck with a black screen, no matter if it's a clean install or upgrade. And this is a machine that Dell sold me with Ubuntu already on.

    Will stick with 14.04.4 on my daily runner, which by now (for me anyway) is solid as a rock.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'd love to upgrade

      Hmm. Well, you're probably going to have to debug what's happening in init during the startup.

      Oh, wait. It's systemd.

      Good luck! I think you're going to need it.

      1. John Sanders
        Linux

        Re: I'd love to upgrade

        Oh wait is systemd, and it happens to be documented, how convenient!:

        https://freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/systemd/Debugging/

        https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Systemd#Boot_Kernel_Command_Line

        https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/How_to_debug_Systemd_problems

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'd love to upgrade @John Sanders

          Although, reading that documentation, most of the debug steps actually require you to have a running system to change things for the next reboot.

          And even if you can get a shell, you need to use systemctl (ideally). If systemd is shafted, or you're running from a live boot USB, I expect that systemctl will probably not work as expected.

          Maybe not so helpful!

      2. akeane
        Thumb Down

        Re: I'd love to upgrade

        Only the harshest of cynics might suggest an opaque, poorly documented, binary-only start up system could sell a lot of RHEL "support" contracts when it all goes TU...

        Who does Poettering work for again?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'd love to upgrade

      Stick with 14.04.4 man. This is the most disappointing LTS release ever. QA is completely down the toilet.

      Most of the problems are from upstream, though canonical don't seem to have done any work to smooth the rough edges and integrate with Unity.

      Systemd isn't even my biggest cause for concern. The Gnome devs have continued their insane and arrogant vision to build a unified touch interface, for a platform I'm not convinced has ANY touch screen users. Work-flows broken, mouse travel times vastly increased.

      I'm not sure where to go from here. This time I recompiled one Gnome app, and switched to alternatives for others, but I don't feel like fighting the defaults forever. After all, the whole appeal of Ubuntu for me was that I'm lazy, and the defaults were "good enough".

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: I'd love to upgrade

        Unity7 isn't getting a lot of time spent on it, Nautilus upgrades were pulled in favour of an older version, the USC replaced with Gnome Software all in the name of expediency, same with the online search as it never worked as it should.

        I've been running 16.04 on one machine since december, I've found it reliable throughout.

        Even Gnome 3.20 is less annoying than previous versions, although I still avoid Gnome apps on any other DE other than gnome (they certainly don't look good or operate well on tiling window managers). Not bad though, minimum of quarter window snap available by default and I might use it more often - same issue Mate has. For me, the only desktops usable are tilers or those desktops with quarter window snap (Unity, KDE).

        1. Bob Vistakin
          Linux

          I upgraded a VM from 15.10 to 16.04 over the weekend

          It trashed by XFCE desktop settings - no apps in launcher, none of the custom icons I'd set up, not even the wallpaper I'd used. The same command line "do-release-upgrade" from 15.04 to 15.10 on the same machine worked fine last time round. That's why I do this in VM's - I'd suggest waiting for the dust to settle a while, or do it on something not critical.

          1. Bob Vistakin
            Linux

            [FIXED] Re: I upgraded a VM from 15.10 to 16.04 over the weekend

            I'd better correct this, for the record.

            I'd always used the excellent X2GO as a remote desktop client into these machines.Turns out its just that client that's at fault. I actually upgraded a spare laptop to prove this and locally the new Ubuntu is excellent, it only loses all the user settings when I remote in this way under XFCE, and even that situation will be fixed soon as the devs of this 3rd party client are onto it.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Desktop linux, please exit left

          I just tried Unity 8. Although barely working yet, I get exactly what they're going for. It's Android on the desktop!

          I gotta get the hell outta here. It's clear 14.04 was the last Ubuntu that will be usable as a desktop OS.

      2. Fatman

        Re: I'd love to upgrade

        <quote>The Gnome devs have continued their insane and arrogant vision to build a unified touch interface, for a platform I'm not convinced has ANY touch screen users. Work-flows broken, mouse travel times vastly increased.</quote>

        I have been working with the beta version of Ubuntu-Gnome, and I just shake my head in wonderment:

        What are those devs SMOKING!!!

        In the past, I have tried to use Linux Mint, but the devs choices seem to impair the usability (re Ubuntu 12.04 which is my day to day O/S). Fortunately, I left a spare partition on the hard drive, and over the weekend, installed MATE. I just like that a lot better, time to 'play' with it.

        1. Hstubbe

          Re: I'd love to upgrade

          As long as i can deinstall all the unity and gnome bloatware and replace it with xmonad, i don't care how much crack the devs are smoking. Yay for choice!

      3. asdf

        Re: I'd love to upgrade

        >Systemd isn't even my biggest cause for concern. The Gnome devs have continued their insane and arrogant vision to build a unified touch interface

        You do realize Red Hat is responsible for both of those turds and making money hand over fist by doing so right?

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: I'd love to upgrade

      Problems like that are a real impediment for users who are interested in Linux, but don't want to make it their life's mission.

      I'm an advanced Windows user, and pretty good with Macs. I've been exploring Linux as an alternative to those, and there's much to like. Ultimately, though, the OS is a tool to run applications with which I do work. I'm willing to expend a certain amount of effort on the OS if I see a clear benefit to doing so, but there are limits.

      For example, it took me two hours to get Linux Mint XFCE to print to a LaserJet over WiFi -- mostly because HP had stopped hosting a required file. I had to find and compile the driver source, install it, and then configure cups manually. It worked, but I can't really call it two hours well spent. If I'd been on a deadline, it would've been disastrous.

      More importantly, though, the process was far beyond the capability of an average user. Installing the same printer on a Windows box took maybe 3 minutes. Other "simple" tasks have become lengthy trips down the Linux rabbit hole as well, due to things like outdated repositories and lack of vendor support. I like Linux, but as a non-enthusiast I often feel like I'm pushing a rope.

      1. Bluto Nash

        Re: I'd love to upgrade

        "More importantly, though, the process was far beyond the capability of an average user. Installing the same printer on a Windows box took maybe 3 minutes. ... I like Linux, but as a non-enthusiast I often feel like I'm pushing a rope."

        Hear hear. Still learning my way around Mint, but it would be so much simpler if the manufacturers could see that there's a relatively untapped market for their product under another OS besides Windows. There will always be those that love to putter around under the hood - I just want to use my machine, and that precludes the desire to poke around the guts of the OS. I used to like it, but now I have stuff I need to get done. Mint fills the bill admirably for 90% or more, it's just that last 10% that's really irking the cr@p out of me.

        1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

          Re: I'd love to upgrade

          > it's just that last 10% that's really irking the cr@p out of me.

          Bingo. The pre-installed stuff and common packages in the major distros work perfectly, which lulls you into a false sense of security. When you try to go off script, that thin veneer of civilization can suddenly be stripped away.

          Windows is no picnic, as we all know, but the universe of common and well-supported hardware and software is larger.

          1. Bob. Hitchen

            Re: I'd love to upgrade

            I've been running on Mint since XP went no problem. Currently using an i7 NUC the system is very fast and it does everything I require. Windows may have stuff that Linux doesn't but I don't need it.

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: I'd love to upgrade

        I have 2 printers that Windows refuses to do anything useful with. No vendor drivers are available. No drivers are available from windows update. The only options are a couple of generic printer options that are too new. New version of the printer language, older printers.

        If not for the generic postscript option in CUPS, these printers would be doorstops as far as Windows is concerned.

        1. Orionds

          Printer setup and controls in Ubuntu (actually Xubuntu - my favorite distro)

          Some printers are actually supported much better in Linux than in Windows.

          I have found this to be true with the Ricoh Aficio multifunction network printer/copier/scanner used in the school's library. Installation of the driver is like two minutes without any downloads needed.

          The same goes for the Epson ink jet printers I have the R210 and R230 - kind of old - but still printing absolutely gorgeous color photos. The Linux driver allows micro-control of color density, resolution, gamma and even droplet size (which I have not tried). These controls allow me to make life-like color photo prints.

          The printers are recognized and the drivers set up in less than a minute - again without any downloads whatsoever.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'd love to upgrade

        printer config can be a rough spot/major pita with GNU+Linux but using xfce may not be the best choice for someone who just wants things to work or be made conveinent for the user. You'll probably want a more "whole hog" DE if that is what you're after. Also, every little thing seems diffiullt at first when coming from windows b/c all windows users have been trained to be dependent slaves. After using linux for a while you will be astonished by how ignorant and lazy you once were. Then it's hard not to become the sterotypical linux elitist. You just have to remember, you were once a useless sack of shit too. :)

    5. Ian 55

      Re: I'd love to upgrade

      No video output happened on one PC here - adding nomodeset to the launch command line in grub got it back.

  2. HmmmYes

    ZFS. Ace.

    Now DTRACE please.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you want ZFS and DTRACE so much, why not try out OpenSolaris ?

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Bah!

        Because it was sentenced to the maggot pit some years ago?

        1. iOS6 user

          Re: Bah!

          In this "maggot pit" are still things which are unreachable on Linux.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        There's also FreeBSD.

      3. FrankAlphaXII

        You mean OpenIndiana? I guess you could, but unless you're already familiar with Solaris' quirks, why bother? Its not impossible to learn obviously, its just another damned unixlike, but I'd argue its a waste of time on an older niche OS that even Oracle doesn't seem to care that much about. Sort of like OpenVMS and HPE, sometimes I wonder if HPE even remembers that they own it.

        Anyway, If you want ZFS and DTRACE, and a great deal more support, try FreeBSD. Its really not that much different than Gentoo. If you don't care that much about ZFS but still want DTRACE with no fuss, use OSX.

        1. s2bu

          While HPe still owns OpenVMS, they licensed development of it out to VMS Software. VMS seems to have hired a lot of the original VMS devs.

          Too bad they didn't do the same for Tru64...

      4. HmmmYes

        I want ZFS because its great and it works.

        Yes, it eats memory but when 16G costs me ~£100 - who cares FFS.

        When I was young I spent £100 (~£250 in todays money) 512K - yes thats K, not M, not G!

        I want Dtrace as its fantastic for debugging.

        I want it on Linux as I use Dtrace on FreeBSD and Solaris - open + larrys versions.

  3. SecretSonOfHG

    Good to see the're progressing to get back to Gnome 2

    After a few years of tweaking, many Unity features that made it different from Mate/Gnome/KDE are gone: scopes, search bar, window menus at the top, tool bar at the left... it seems to me that Unity has been a long diversion to reach the same destination at the end. Or are there still unique Unity features that can't be replicated easily in Mate/Gnome/KDE?

    (note: Gnome is also experiencing the same evolution. From the original, radical Gnome 3 desktop a lot of features have been added so you can end up with a desktop very similar to Gnome 2)

    1. wolfetone

      Re: Good to see the're progressing to get back to Gnome 2

      What's old will be new again.

    2. frank ly

      Re: Good to see the're progressing to get back to Gnome 2

      "... this release is the first to allow you to move the Unity launcher to the bottom of the screen."

      I laughed when I read that. (Long term MATE user here.)

  4. Phil W

    UnUnified

    I enjoy Ubuntu (or rather the various spin offs), but I despise the Unity desktop, as well as GNOME from 3 onwards. The shiney new launcher bar and loss of the old Applications, Places, System menus in the traditional drop down style were absolute deal breakers for me. Simple things seem much harder to find and do in both Unity and GNOME 3.x

    Mate on the other hand is wonderful, and now that there is a pre-spun Ubuntu with Mate as the desktop, that may well be my distro of choice. It may even be enough for me to stop picking Mint by default.

    N.B. Also, yes for you Linux/Ubuntu zealots who feel the need to point it out, I am fully aware that I could install Mate on vanilla Ubuntu or any other spin off, I just don't like having to go to that much effort immediately after install to get to a GUI I feel is usable.

    1. PyLETS

      Re: UnUnified

      " I am fully aware that I could install Mate on vanilla Ubuntu or any other spin off, I just don't like having to go to that much effort immediately after install to get to a GUI I feel is usable."

      While it's true that a simple package install from a fully configured desktop gives you a new desktop manager option on the login screen, you could also simply download and install from a choice of Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Kubuntu images etc. to get a fully working XFCE or LXDE etc. desktop by installing one of these images from scratch.

      1. Palpy Silver badge

        Re: UnUnified -- want dropdown application menu?

        I haven't installed 16.04 yet, but in 14:04: Classic Menu Indicator. Done.

      2. Phil W

        Re: UnUnified

        "While it's true that a simple package install from a fully configured desktop gives you a new desktop manager option on the login screen, you could also simply download and install from a choice of..."

        Well yes, that was my point, installing the distro with your preferred GUI in the first place is massively easier than adding it afterwards (especially as adding afterwards often leaves you lacking themes etc). Personally I rather enjoy the installers for Fedora and similar that give you a choice of desktop environment as part of the install process. Maybe that's something canonical should do?

        "If you are knowledgeable enough to already know this or know what you want, ignore the advice, it is often advanced in the spirit of trying to be helpful."

        Quite true, and the Ubuntu forums themselves are actually quite friendly in terms of advice, unfortunately other places are not so much. I've actually encountered people who insist, regardless of others opinions, that the only real way to install Ubuntu is to install a server/mini install and add all the relevant packages for your chosen GUI from there.

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Devil

          Re: UnUnified

          There is NOTHING remotely difficult about running a command to install ONE package.

          It's so simple and easy that it become MORE burdensome to seek out the appropriate canned option.

          That's the beauty of Linux package managers. You can start out with the Debian minimal image and install everything just by asking for Firefox or Libre Office.

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: UnUnified

      "N.B. Also, yes for you Linux/Ubuntu zealots who feel the need to point it out, I am fully aware that I could install Mate on vanilla Ubuntu or any other spin off, I just don't like having to go to that much effort immediately after install to get to a GUI I feel is usable."

      - I've pointed that out on occasion. Nothing really to do with zeal, I started with linux on Suse with a choice of desktops on install. I've seen comments from many saying they installed some flavour, didn't like the desktop and said they were going to reinstall to try X, then maybe Y next. Such a waste of time, but many assume to get the mate or gnome desktops in ubuntu, you must install the relevant flavour. The flavours add a lot to the ubuntu ecosystem, but avoiding this confusion is not one of them.

      If you are knowledgeable enough to already know this or know what you want, ignore the advice, it is often advanced in the spirit of trying to be helpful.

  5. pyite

    Gnome2/Mate-like desktop switcher -- avaiable in unity?

    Is there a way in the default Ubuntu desktop to pre-create a 2d set of virtual desktops?

    This is the main feature that keeps me going back to Mate... I can have a desktop switcher with 24 desktops in a 6x4 grid.

    After running this way for like 20 years (since the fvwm2 days) it is difficult to give it up; which is what Unity, Gnome3 and Cinnamon all want me to do.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Gnome2/Mate-like desktop switcher -- avaiable in unity?

      "Unity, Gnome3 and Cinnamon all want me to do."

      - I feel your pain.

      Unity, close but not biscuit 4x4, 6x6 yes, but no 6x4. Gnome, it seems to be dynamic workspaces focused, static is an option with tweak, but doesn't work right.

      KDE allows rows and columns to be specified separately, so should be possible.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gnome2/Mate-like desktop switcher -- avaiable in unity?

      > After running this way for like 20 years (since the fvwm2 days) it is difficult to get it up.

      I misread this, and was about to give you advice about wearing loser fitting running shorts.

    3. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Gnome2/Mate-like desktop switcher -- avaiable in unity?

      Why not just keep using fvwm2? I never understood how these desktops should be more productive than a(ny) plain old window manager. "Shiny" does not add value for me, rather distraction.

      Icon: apparently me.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Gnome2/Mate-like desktop switcher -- avaiable in unity?

        Thomas Adams and the Fvwm team are engaged in a cleanup of Fvwm currently, called Mvwm. Something to look forward too.

        I've tried to 'get into' Fvwm a number of times in the last 17 years, as soon as I try to get FvwmButtons doing something complex, it breaks, and for which I regard myself an utter failure. It has so much potential in that weird crusty setup I can't help myself and just leave working alone though.

        1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

          Re: Gnome2/Mate-like desktop switcher -- avaiable in unity?

          @Teiwaz

          > I've tried to 'get into' Fvwm a number of times...

          If you are feeling bold, try ctwm with the, erm, equisite configuration file given here. You may want to disable auto-raise (I like it, but most people hate it with a vengeance). If you like it, you become an official (VSOP) member of the inofficial grumpy old farts club.

          1. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: Gnome2/Mate-like desktop switcher -- avaiable in unity?

            "If you are feeling bold, try ctwm with the, erm, equisite configuration file given here. You may want to disable auto-raise (I like it, but most people hate it with a vengeance). If you like it, you become an official (VSOP) member of the inofficial grumpy old farts club."

            Heh, ctwm. I think that little gem goes beyond grumpy old farts club membership into serious masochists hellfire club territory, and I've attempted to roll my own session with wm-utils. Maybe I'll give it a spin again...

            1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

              Re: Gnome2/Mate-like desktop switcher -- avaiable in unity?

              @Teiwaz:

              > ...serious masochists hellfire club territory,

              This is, according to about everyone, true.

          2. pklausner

            Re: Gnome2/Mate-like desktop switcher -- avaiable in unity?

            Pah! Real men fix config.h for customisation http://dwm.suckless.org/customisation/ ;-)

      2. AJ MacLeod

        Re: Gnome2/Mate-like desktop switcher -- avaiable in unity?

        I think quite a few people have come to this realisation over the past couple of years, me included. Since a year and more I'm back to using WindowMaker after a very, very long break and it's bliss. Many thanks to the team that have taken up maintenance of it again...

      3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Gnome2/Mate-like desktop switcher -- avaiable in unity?

        I loved fvwm back in 1994. It looked very pretty and fairly futuristic. Did the job well too. Ran well on my 486DX 66MHz which I was proud to own (with a massive 16MB or RAM, or was it 32MB..).

        Don't see today's GUIs (window managers, as we called them) looking that much better to be honest.

        Of course, consistency between window manager look, and app look and feel, was and has always been one Achilles heel of unices.

    4. thames

      Re: Gnome2/Mate-like desktop switcher -- avaiable in unity?

      @pyite - If you're asking about the virtual desktop switcher in Unity, it's been there all along, just disabled by default.

      System Settings ==> Appearance ==> Behaviour ==> Enable Workspaces.

      I haven't upgraded from 14.04 to 16.04 yet (it hasn't come up in the updater yet), but I have 16.04 in a VM and just checked and it's still the same there. This is the same place by the way that 16.04 lets you decide whether to put the application menus in the top bar, or in the application window. The desktop switcher appeared immediately when I changed the settings, but this was running in a VM, so if there is something different about video on bare metal you might need to log out and back in again.

      The keyboard short cuts to use them will appear on a cheat sheet if you hold down the super (flag) key. Basically though, cntrl-alt arrow key works the same as in Gnome 2, and there are some other short cuts as well. If you have an application window already open in another desktop and you left-click on the launcher icon, it will take you to whatever desktop it is on (middle click still launches another copy, and right click still brings up a launcher menu).

      I suspect that workspaces are turned off by default because it confuses newbies coming from other operating systems. They hit the wrong hot key combination and when everything "vanishes" think that all their applications have simultaneously crashed. I know that this confused me mightily the first time I encountered it back in Mandrake (KDE) days. Of course once I found out what they were, I couldn't imagine doing without them.

  6. Dave Bell

    The past is un-dead

    I have been using Linux for a few months, and the annoying thing is how much semi-obsolete help is floating around, and gets pointed to as the answer to the question you didn't quite ask.

    Don't worry, Mr. Stallman, I'm not planning on changing my filesystem. And your Ovaltine will be here in a minute.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: The past is un-dead

      "semi-obsolete help"

      - You just summed up the internet.

      The help is only obsolete if you are trying to get instructions on Gui with screenshots in most cases (a lot of the ubuntu help is like this). Gentoo and Archlinux Archwiki are good places to go for help. It's mostly cli based though, but at least up to date.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The past is un-dead

      "I have been using Linux for a few months, and the annoying thing is how much semi-obsolete help is floating around"

      I have been using Linux for 17 years, and the annoying thing is how much semi-obsolete help is floating around.

      Ten years ago it was usually possible to get accurate answers to technical questions on the Linux mailing lists and forums. The problem now is that there's been such a deterioration in the signal-to-noise ratio, even on the distros' official lists and forums, that it's often quicker to work out the answer yourself. The tendency to post half-informed guesses (or link to long-obsolete info without checking whether it's still relevant) seems to have become normal behaviour.

      1. John Sanders
        Holmes

        Re: The past is un-dead

        ""(or link to long-obsolete info without checking whether it's still relevant) seems to have become normal behaviour.""

        Yep, that's gamification of forums and tech sites for you.

      2. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: The past is un-dead

        The tendency to post half-informed guesses (or link to long-obsolete info without checking whether it's still relevant) seems to have become normal behaviour.

        You've just described free tech support in general since the early days of the Internet going public.

      3. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: The past is un-dead

        > The tendency to post half-informed guesses (or link to long-obsolete info without checking whether it's still relevant) seems to have become normal behaviour.

        That problem is not specific to Linux. "Information highway" (blerch!) --> road kill

        I sadly have to agree that things deteriorated for Linux, though (fighting with Nvidia and USB, esecially ext4 over USB). Recently I have been (gasp!) tempted to try *BSD for that very reason.

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Re: The past is un-dead

          Yeah. There's no one going around tidying up the Internet so the cruft just accumulates.

    3. Barry Rueger

      Re: The past is un-dead

      a) I generally have found both the Mint and Ubuntu Web forums pretty good.

      b) Then again I'm old enough to remember the days when Linux "support" was limited to "READ THE FRUGGIN MANPAGES NEWBY."

      I'll grant you though that it's annoying to find a 'solution" that dates from four versions earlier and 2009.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The past is un-dead

        '..b) Then again I'm old enough to remember the days when Linux "support" was limited to "READ THE FRUGGIN MANPAGES NEWBY."'

        Be fair, at least back then there was a fighting chance that the man page would actually give you the required information (albeit some were nicely encrypted in guruspeak)

        Nowadays, if you're lucky there's a feckin URL pointing to an outdated, incomplete and useless wiki...for the previous version.

    4. Vic

      Re: The past is un-dead

      the annoying thing is how much semi-obsolete help is floating around, and gets pointed to as the answer to the question you didn't quite ask.

      The bit that annoys me is when you follow a link to a forum where someone has asked the question you wanted to ask - and all the replies are either "I don't know" or "I fixed it" (without explanation)...

      Vic.

      1. Bluto Nash

        Re: The past is un-dead

        "Never mind, I got it working, thx!" and that's the last you see of it. Way to pay it back, guy (or girl). That's likely the most useless response to a question that's ever posted. Unfortunately, seen all too frequently.

      2. fidodogbreath Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: The past is un-dead

        > and all the replies are either "I don't know"

        > or "I fixed it" (without explanation)

        Now, be fair. At least half of the replies will be "works fine for me." Equally useless, of course.

        There's still a fair amount of "RTFM NOOB" out there. And let's not forget the ever-popular "THIS HAS BEEN ASKED BEFORE DO NOT MAKE ME REPEAT MYSELF YOU MORON" rants.

        Followed, of course, by five pages of "XYZ WHY ARE YOU SUCH A KNOB?" / "IM NOT A KNOB YOUR A KNOB" / "NO YOU ARE" / "NO YOU ARE"....

        Not unique to Linux forums, of course; but when all of the "support" is forum-based, you run into it a lot.

  7. Spanky_McPherson

    Would be nice if it didn't hang on boot

    Doesn't work for me - it tells me the filesystem is clean and then hangs. Not even a login prompt.

    Fortunately it was a clean install on a new drive, I can just pop the old drive back in.

    I might raise a bug if I can work out where I should do it, it's not immediately obvious.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Would be nice if it didn't hang on boot

      grub wiped a computer of mine on version 14 years ago. I was not happy.

      Still love Ubuntu but not Unity. Gnome 2 was my choice back then.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Would be nice if it didn't hang on boot

      your drive might just be too new for ubuntu. maybe try with arch or antergos or maybe manjaro and see if it works.

      also, you could hit ctrl+alt+f2 to make sure you're still in runlevel 3. maybe it started with runlevel 5 and hung up. In which case if you drop to runlevel 3 you may get some useful info.

      1. s2bu

        Re: Would be nice if it didn't hang on boot

        I'm sorry, but how is a DRIVE too new? That makes no sense.

  8. I Am Spartacus
    Boffin

    One experience - some good some bad

    I upgraded by desktop, and bleeding edge XUbuntu to 16.04 last week and it was fine. No problems at all. It just worked. Very happy.

    So I upgraded the LTS server from 14.04 to 16.04.

    There are various sites that say you need to update to 15.10 before you go to 16.04. That would seem to defeat the whole idea of LTS, so I ignored them.

    Why did I want to upgrade? I wanted the support for LXD. Then I can partition the server workflow in to separate units that do Mail, HTTP, proxy, file server, media server, etc. More isolation, so that a fault in one does not impact on any others.

    That could have gone better. First it nuked MySql, and said I had two versions running simultaneously. Loads of errors, including a reference to the fact that it could link to to DropBox. MySql? DropBox? No., I didn't get that one either. Official advice is to uninstall MySql, and all its components. That means uninstalling all the Postfix/courier/authDeamon stuff that also links to MySql.

    Did that, and MySql came back sweet as you like.

    Then reinstalled all the other gubbins, and mail went down. Hard down. Nothing. Nada Spent the next 6 hours trying to get mail back. First postfix came up pretty fine and could receive emails. But no mail client could connect. Sometime in, I realised that Thunderbird could not connect, but all the Mac's and iPhones could.

    Then I got Thunderhead connected, can receive email, but can't send.

    Then it all started working. I still have no idea what I did, or why it was broken in the first place, or how I fixed it. But it's working.

    All apart from SquirrelMail. That has some very wierd TLS messages.

    Message: Works well on Desktops. Take care on servers. But I can now stay on 16.04 for the next 4 years at least, and by then that server should be on the cloud anyway.

    As for Systemd. it's fine. No issues. It works well. I don't see any degredation.

    1. John Sanders
      Linux

      Re: One experience - some good some bad

      Advice is to leave the servers alone up until a couple of weeks/month after release, they tend to iron out all these issues in ~2 weeks after release.

      In my case I always upgrade servers once the x.1 is released, I do it for everything Centos, RH, Debian and of course Ubuntu.

      Upgrading on the first couple of weeks is always risky no matter the Distro, upon release they are more concerned from getting it out of the door on time than anything else, so they focus on the installation issues for launch and the upgrade issues they work it on later once people begin reporting issues.

    2. nijam

      Re: One experience - some good some bad

      Ubuntu's own website tells you *not* to upgrade 14.04LTS to 16.04LTS until the .1 release (due in a month or two). The standard upgrade system doesn't even offer the option yet.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One experience - some good some bad

      "That means uninstalling all the Postfix/courier/authDeamon stuff that also links to MySql."

      it shouldn't. in arch you can remove a single package irrispective of dependencies if you wish. not sure bout boontu, but i imagine you can.

  9. Len Goddard

    SO,

    I currently use Mint/Xfce 17.3

    From a personal point of view, mainly based on running the final betas of ubuntu and xubuntu in a virtualbox.

    The good:

    snaps - excellent, or will be when people start providing them.

    The ugly (or at least irrelevant):

    task bar on the bottom - I prefer it on the left as with an ultrawide screen I have more horizontal real estate to spare

    ZFS - if I were running a server I'd be excited but for a desktop I'm happy with ext4

    scopes gone - Saves me disabling them but I almost never use desktop search anyway

    systemd - I sympathise with the purists who object but I can live with it

    software centre - I think used it once to install synaptic

    The bad:

    Min/max/close on the left of the title bar - 20 years windows and linux desktop use have hard wired me to go to the right. For me unity is a non-starter until I can reconfigure this.

    Xubuntu seemed flat and visually unattractive compared with Mint Xfce. Probably fixable with some determined customisation but I could see no significant advantages.

    I'll wait for Mint 18, I think.

    1. Damon Lynch

      Re: SO,

      It took me less than a day to get used to the Min/max/close being on the left of the title bar, and I've been using PCs since the days of the venerable Intel 8088. Moreover I use Windows too, and there is no confusion mixing and matching my daily use between Unity and various Windows desktops. Your brain gets used to it very quickly and it's nothing to worry about. Really. There are plenty of things to worry about with computers, and window control positions are not one of them.

      Learning to touch type in Cyrillic when you're not from the region and you're not a young nipper -- now that's hard.

      1. DropBear

        Re: SO,

        "Your brain gets used to it very quickly and it's nothing to worry about. Really."

        No. Mine doesn't. Really. Tried. Several times.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: SO,

          ""Your brain gets used to it very quickly and it's nothing to worry about. Really."

          No. Mine doesn't. Really. Tried. Several times."

          - Window buttons left or right I Find a minor culture shock compared to trying to use Gnome with the dialog buttons at the top instead of the bottom.

        2. herman Silver badge

          Re: SO,

          Simple fix - turn the screen upside down.

          1. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: SO,

            "Simple fix - turn the screen upside down."

            Why mess with the fixtures and fittings? Stand on your head, the blood rush might help.

    2. nijam

      Re: SO,

      I'm not at all convinced by snaps - it's years (decades in fact, AFAIR) since the standard apt-based package manager gave rise to dependency hell, so that can't be a justification for it. It's much more likely that some ill-advised person thought "Microsoft updates are really good, let's do ours the same way."

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why LTS?

    There's so much in flux now... Snap packages in their infancy, Mir on the horizon (or Wayland?), Unity on the way out but not yet gone, the painful transition to systemd... that's gonna be hell to support for 5 years. There are 3 years left for 14.04 LTS, and distros based on it (like Mint) will probably stay with it till the next LTS (or abandon Ubuntu?) - so what's the rush?

    Typical Canonical idiocy.

    1. Colin Critch

      Re: Why LTS?

      Yes sometimes it is best to wait. Depends on what procument and software bashing you are planned to do in the next few months. It think it will be another year before I upgrade to 16.04 for web-servers.

      Some laptops which need a bit of work already will get it sooner.

      1. thames

        Re: Why LTS?

        @Colin Critch - "Yes sometimes it is best to wait. Depends on what procument and software bashing you are planned to do in the next few months."

        14.04 users aren't going to even be offered the upgrade until 16.04.1 comes out in a few months. You can force the upgrade right now if you really want to, but the official path is to wait a few months for the official LTS to LTS upgrade version. This is covered in the release notes.

        "14.04 LTS to LTS upgrades will be enabled with the 16.04.1 LTS point release, in approximately 3 months time."

        It's not clear though if this applies to just the desktop version, or the server version as well. With a server I would wait a bit anyway unless I needed the latest for testing purposes, since the first few weeks after a new release usually results in a lot of bug fixes going out in response to reported problems. I suspect this is at least part of the reason why they are recommending that LTS users wait until the point release comes out.

        The release notes also list the changes. For desktop users:

        "The general theme for 16.04 on the desktop is one of bug fixes and incremental quality improvements. "

        I intend to wait for the official LTS to LTS upgrade path to be made available in a few months.

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Why LTS?

      Leaving off facing changes for 3 years might entail dealing with an even longer list when you have no choice left though.

      There are only going to be fewer non-systemd choices by that time (but there might be a couple more non-systemd choices with caveats). Wayland will become default for most desktops after another couple of years, but X will still be available on most distros for years to come, too many window managers and smaller desktops still depend on it.

      Canonical are not the only distro to jump onto changes asap. Archlinux jumps ahead generally before the rest, systemd, python3 as default....

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Why LTS?

      Ubuntu made systemd the default in 15.04 so there is no "painful transition". It's happened and curiously the world did not collapse. The same is true of virtually every mainstream dist. If you have reason to run a script to launch a daemon you can still do it.

      And it's important to note that the old way of starting services in Ubuntu since 6.10 (and Fedora since 9) was upstart, not sysvinit. Not that you would know it from the usual whining about systemd vs sysvinit in this thread.

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Mushroom

        Re: Why LTS?

        I will reserve final judgement until I see for myself. Plenty of people complain about systemd and I've personally experienced problems with non-trivial desktop configurations and upstart. A simple but well tested and highly reliable component has been replaced with various iterations of "ooh! shiny shiny!".

        1. DrXym Silver badge

          Re: Why LTS?

          "Plenty of people complain about systemd"

          Yes they do and its usually for specious, wrong or refutable reasons. Or because they're trolling.

          "A simple but well tested and highly reliable component has been replaced with various iterations of "ooh! shiny shiny!"."

          Linux has always been about reinvention. How many times has the kernel been rewritten? How many desktops are there for it and how many times have they been rewritten? How many calculators, browsers, file managers and all the rest are there for it? Even now there is a concerted effort to get replace X with Wayland (or Mir). There is barely a part of the core which hasn't been rewritten multiple times to improve performance or to remove some arcane, baroque, incomplete or broken behaviour. Why should the user-land bootstrap be exempt from this?

          Regarding upstart, it was an improvement on sysvinit, but it was still thought to start things unnecessarily because it was event driven. e.g. network-manager's conf listened on dbus to start but just because dbus ran didn't mean anyone wanted to start network-manager. Systemd is dependency based so services are launched explicitly systemd ensures all the dependencies are started first.

          Secondly, systemd isn't new software. It's been in some distributions for six years now and even enterprise dists like RHEL have used it for 2. They use it because it is reliable, it fixes longstanding issues with sysvinit/upstart, it enforces security via cgroups and minimal privilege and it's more efficient.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Why LTS?

            Reasons people complain about systemd (a classic example of Not-Invented-Here gone wrong):

            * Replaces the transparent script-driven startup with an opaque ini-driven model.

            * Replaces /sbin/init with a comparably large C binary that is tightly coupled to the Linux kernel[0] and its developers refuse patches that would make it portable.

            * Uses DBus - something that should have died off a lot sooner than ConsoleKit/PolicyKit

            * Replaces the "true way" to start daemons with a service supervisor[1]

            * Defaults to binary logging[2]

            * Expanded scope far outside the system bootstrap to subsume and replace a whole host of software that it had no business replacing including: udev, hostname, ntpd, rsyslogd.

            * Its developers actively refuse patches that would make systemd-* compile with C libraries other than glibc.

            Nothing prevented them from taking an existing lightweight service-driven system instead they embarked on badly re-inventing Solaris SMF

            [0] - This is not a hard thing to do, but it also is not the first example in the Linux space, iproute2 is a clusterfuck in its own right.

            [1] - Dr Bernstein had this idea long before when he wrote "daemontools" and that idea spawned a pretty solid, compatible and dependable alternative: "runit", which itself inspired "s6" (http://www.skarnet.org/software/s6/).

            [2] - What the fuck were they smoking when they came up with this? A non-transaction-safe binary logging system (yes I know you don't have to use it, but it shouldn't even exist).

            Bottom line, I have my reasons for not liking systemd, and they run quite similar to the aforementioned developer of s6 who has a whole page on the topic: http://www.skarnet.org/software/s6/systemd.html

            TL;DR:

            systemd attempts to cover more ground instead of less. In other words, rather than simply being an init system, it tries to be a complete overhaul of the way a Linux system is run, and tries to force other software to hook with it in order to be supported. This goes very much against:

            * The Unix philosophy, which is to do one job and do it well;

            * The bazaar approach that has made the free software ecosystem what it is today - see below;

            * Cross-platform compatibility. BSD is not dead, Solaris is not dead, but systemd ignores Unix. It even ignores Linux to some extent: the systemd authors had the guts to ask for specific kernel interfaces!

            The reason why systemd has become so prevalent is not that it has been accepted by the community. It's that it has manpower. It is backed up by open source software companies that can provide much more manpower than developers like myself working on free software on their own time. The distribution model of systemd, made of lobbying and bullying, is much more akin to the distribution model of Microsoft Windows than the one of GNU/Linux.

            For all my Linux needs, there is Gentoo or VoidLinux, for my servers, there's BSD/Solaris

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Spanky_McPherson

      Re: kubuntu 15.10 to 16.04 works but 12.04 to 16.04 does not

      12.04 to 16.04 is not a valid upgrade path. You have to go via 14.04, I believe.

      1. Colin Critch

        Re: kubuntu 15.10 to 16.04 works but 12.04 to 16.04 does not

        Sorry my mistake. The years roll on too fast these days. I did mean 14.04 (and not 12.04), so I was a bit surprised when only 15.10 seemed to work.

        kubuntu 15.10 to 16.04 works

        Xubuntu 14.04 to 16.04 ( PVR + mythtv + kodi) (intel atom x 4). No upgrade

        Kubuntu 14.04 to 16.04 ( i7) . No Upgrade

        I think the kubuntu chaps are still preparing the 14.04 to 16.04 upgrade docs.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: kubuntu 15.10 to 16.04 works but 12.04 to 16.04 does not

          Good to know, thanks.

          I also _think_ my 15.10 isn't repeatedly nagging me about the System update as it did on 15.04.

  12. Mage Silver badge

    Screens are not tall enough

    I'd ONE toolbar/launcher (done that on Mint + Mate). But able to put it at SIDE of the stupid wide not tall enough 16:9 screen. Mate toolbar/launcher thing can be put at side, but compare to Win XP it's "broken" if on a side edge. No sensible change to layout.

    I have Autohide on Windows & Linux Mint + Mate.

    I do not want a clone desktop of Win8, or Win10 or OS X.

    Two is daft on 1080 high 16:9 and on Netbook even ONE at top or bottom is silly compared to side edge/

  13. Rich 2 Silver badge

    ZFS and GNU

    What has any of this got to do twitch GNU AND that Stallman ...person?

    Surely, if there is any legal issue at all it is up to the Linux people to make a noise (if they want to). Just because GNU provide the licence words, it doesn't give them the right to dictate to the Linux people how it should be used

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ZFS and GNU

      "Just because GNU provide the licence words, it doesn't give them the right to dictate to the Linux people how it should be used"

      Very funny! (You forgot the joke icon however.)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ZFS and GNU

      lmao! oh lordy, that is hilarious! thanks man.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Linux is good but boring as shit

    Seriously, i stopped reading pretty quick when the launch bar being at the bottom of the screen was significant. Yawn yawn yawn (and I'm a Linux fanbois).

    1. thames

      Re: Linux is good but boring as shit

      I guess if people want excitement, they can switch to Windows 7 and spend their days struggling with it to keep it from upgrading itself to Windows 8 or Windows 10 on them. I'm quite satisfied to a placid existence with Ubuntu and Unity.

      1. TVU Silver badge

        Re: Linux is good but boring as shit

        "I guess if people want excitement, they can switch to Windows 7 and spend their days struggling with it to keep it from upgrading itself to Windows 8 or Windows 10 on them. I'm quite satisfied to a placid existence with Ubuntu and Unity."

        Well, they could always let the upgrade go ahead and enjoy the benefits of Redmond's shiny new Windows 10 NSA Privacy Intrusion Special Edition (model = Mountain View) or they could try out Ubuntu 16.04 instead.

    2. Tommy Pock

      Re: Linux is good but boring as shit

      I don't care about the OS, I don't sit there using the OS. I use sofware.

      The more boring and unobtrusive the OS, the more mature, stable and useful it is.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Linux is good but boring as shit

        Got it in one.

        It should not matter what the OS is - it's just there to provide a mechanism to let me execute my software. For me, Ubuntu has been a no-go since the launcher; I can use it, but damnit I *prefer* a hierarchical menu for applications. Equally, I prefer the window controls on the right - it's a little thing, but it's enough to make me choose Mint over Ubuntu.Though of late there have been many other things...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Linux is good but boring as shit

          MX-15 is a very nice desktop distro that might be to your liking then :)

  15. HieronymusBloggs

    Not quite

    "what has quickly become the only option in Linux init systems - systemd"

    To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the death of sysvinit and openRC are greatly exaggerated (so far).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not quite

      Many distros are fighting the good fight and Devuan is moving to beta :)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    server install - fine

    upgraded 2 boxes to 16.04 from 15.04. nice to be back on LTS track.... not having issues with GNOME/GUI etc etc as these are servers and don't run X/GUI at all. just terminal. In that respect I think Ubuntu has closed the gap with RedHat for server platform choice.

  17. DropBear

    I would have expected...

    ...the article at least mentioning that the proprietary (but presumably faster) fglrx graphics driver for AMD GPUs no longer works in 16.04...

    1. FrankAlphaXII

      Re: I would have expected...

      I'm surprised they didn't mention that at all, plus the fact that you can't manually install it either

    2. John Sanders
      Linux

      Re: I would have expected...

      These days RadeonSI works more than well, AMD is abandoning fglrx for the new AMDGPU PRO driver, RadeonSI is more than ready, and AMDGPU PRO is expected soon (1-2 months)

      So not a biggie.

  18. MrKrotos

    Linux noob

    I have been forcing myself to use a couple of Linux distributions over the last year or so to get me out of the Microsoft only club. Must admit that there is no comparison with regards to servers, the ultra light footprint of Linux is so nice, in most cases the Microsoft servers feel like bigfoot with a backpack full of scrap lead.

    The only thing that drives me mad is the differences in syntax when trying to do things, although I am learning :)

    My fav has to be Debian, although the changes in GUI from 1 version to the next........

    Onwards and upwards :)

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Linux noob

      > My fav has to be Debian, ...

      I recommend Debian for the "noobs", believe it or not. The derivative Ubuntu isn't any easier (except for maybe the very first look). And "derivative of derivative" (Mint) makes me feel thoroughly uneasy (yes, unpopular opinion).

      And I possibly should use fewer parentheses (like them, though (maybe lazy thinking (but then, Lisp isn't bad))).

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Linux noob

        Been a debian user for years. Tried Ubuntu a couple of times but didn't like it. Desktop is XFCE and session manager LightDM - Nice and simple, just like me!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Linux noob

      I've already mentioned, above, MX-15 as very nice desktop distro, so why not again :)

      1. keithpeter
        Coat

        Re: Linux noob

        "I've already mentioned, above, MX-15 as very nice desktop distro, so why not again :)"

        I'll just point out that Slackware 14.2 is at RC2 and due for release in a month or several and that Willysr's MATE desktop packages run very nicely. The OpenOffice.org binaries install fine when converted with rpm2tgz. All cool.

        And then I'll get my coat 'cos this is about Ubuntu.

  19. TVU Silver badge

    Goodbye, Ubuntu Software Center

    I welcome the replacement of the laggy Ubuntu Software Center in 16.04 which had been neglected for years.

    I think it's also worth making the point that we ought perhaps to not take the views of self-appointed Linux guardians too seriously (here's looking at you Software Freedom Conservancy) in respect of Canonical's use of OpenZFS not least because it's a minority legal opinion. I can't help thinking that this obstructionist stance was a misguided attempt at profile boosting and fund raising.

    1. thames

      Re: Goodbye, Ubuntu Software Center

      The problem with Gnome Software (GS) is that it only handles some packages. You still need to install either Ubuntu Software Centre (USC) or Synaptic for the rest (basically, anything not a Gnome GUI package, or in other words, the vast majority). If there is some way of doing this from GS, it isn't obvious to me and I couldn't find it.

      The Gnome Software thingy is basically a stripped down copy of USC. They made it "simpler" by simply leaving out advanced features. I can see the reason why Ubuntu is switching to it however. It unifies the user reviews into one source of information instead of splitting them between Ubuntu and non-Ubuntu Gnome distros. The reviews were a great feature in USC, as it let you see at a glance which package you ought to try first when presented with multiple alternatives for the same task.

      However, I think the issue of handling non-GUI packages in GS needs to be dealt with. The Gnome Software application is still a few years behind USC in terms of capability.

      1. TVU Silver badge

        Re: Goodbye, Ubuntu Software Center

        "The problem with Gnome Software (GS) is that it only handles some packages. You still need to install either Ubuntu Software Centre (USC) or Synaptic for the rest (basically, anything not a Gnome GUI package, or in other words, the vast majority). If there is some way of doing this from GS, it isn't obvious to me and I couldn't find it."

        That should be easily solved by installing other equivalent utilities like Lubuntu Software Center (I'd have gone for a reskin of this one) or Appgrid, both of which are better than the old Ubuntu Software Center anyway. I'd also suggest raising this matter on the official Ubuntu help forum to draw this issue to their attention.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Goodbye, Ubuntu Software Center

      GNOME's software app is pretty dreadful too. It can become unresponsive, displaying a bunch of ellipses on icons, lock up if the package manager is busy doing something and generally give unhelpful error messages or no feedback at all.

      It also assumes users are only interested installing end-user applications so it's not a package manager. Something like synaptic would be more useful for admins but I'm not really sure why a high level app store and a package manager can't coexist in the same software since they need access to the same functionality.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Goodbye, Ubuntu Software Center

      "I can't help thinking that this obstructionist stance was a misguided attempt at profile boosting and fund raising."

      i doubt it. RMS wouldn't have made a statement if he didn't have a position on the matter. He's just picky about this stuff, that's all. If he's right(he usually is), then this possible mistep could have ramifications down the line. It's a warning, basically.

  20. hellwig

    Snap Packages

    Good! I never liked applications NOT shipping with all their dependencies. If nothing else, what if I have to do an offline installation?

    Besides, with 'backwards compatibility' a modern curse word these days, we will find more and more issues with "common" dependencies. If I'm an app developer, there's no way I want to handle support when the issue turns out to be another vendor updated a "common" dependency and broke my app. I want to lock my app down to the dependencies I tested it with. Even if they "deprecate" something before breaking it first, that puts the onus on MY development plan to fix it before judgement day. And who says I don't have something more important to do?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Snap Packages

      Snaps don't sound like that good an idea to me. It's not unusual for an application's security problems to be the fault of one of the libraries that it uses (for example a jpeg library for a Web browser).

      With apt you just update the single version of the library that's installed on your system. If that broke something that simply applied pressure on package maintainers and app developers to keep things up to date. But at least the buggy library had been expunged from your system and you'd be safe.

      Now with snaps it sounds like it might be difficult to ensure that a buggy and dangerous library dependency has actually been removed from a system. Snaps will make it easy for maintainers to be lazy with keeping things up to date, and that's never good for security. Furthermore it may be difficult to stop an old and dangerous dependency coming back into a system simply by installing a poorly maintained application that still includes it. Not great.

      They may be thought about and solved these problems, but it's now something I'll have to go and read up on and check out instead of just using it. An if they've got it wrong then it becomes a major security headache instead of being a useful tool.

      It's also how Windows does dependencies. Microsoft resolved the DLL hell problem by simply allowing apps to install different versions of DLLs. You end up with multiple versions of common DLLs, which totally misses the whole point of a DLL or shared library.

      And why the hell does anyone think it's a good idea to have competing package management systems on a machine? It's bad enough now without introducing yet more fragmentation. Previously you'd simply search apt, and then fetch a tarball if what you wanted wasn't in the repository. Now it's a case of looking for a snap, in apt, wondering which to choose if it's in both, etc. This isn't going to help the world solve the problem of which way to package software.

      Snaps and SystemD, it's like the Linux community is engaged in a head long rush to mimic Windows in every way conceivable having spent the best part of three decades slagging it off. With Gnome seemingly hell bent on removing everything that was useful (file time stamps in a file manager?) Linux is rapidly becoming a place that I don't want to be any longer. In fact there's a lot about it now that is fairly shitty and getting worse.

      Microsoft?

      If MS can make their support for Linux userland work well (early signs are good) we might be in the bizarre situation where the best place to run open source software is Windows, not Linux.

  21. Howard Hanek
    Childcatcher

    Clean Install

    I performed a clean install on an old laptop with only one (1) minor glitch with Geary email. I switched to the default Thunderbird email client. I noticed the performance and stability improvement over Ubuntu 14 pretty quickly. So far so good and while I understand the security concerns about the new file system, in a mixed environment that developers run it makes things easier.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    C'mon, son!

    >his release is the first to allow you to move the Unity launcher to the bottom of the screen.<

    Woah! The 1990s called and want their UI back!

  23. Tommy Pock

    "To be removed: XChat"

    Shouldn't I get to decide that?

    1. thames

      Use Hexchat instead. XChat has been more or less dead for years. The authors of XChat took the Windows version proprietary and then later abandoned it. The latest news on the XChat web site seems to be from about 6 years ago.

      The Linux version of XChat however was GPL and so was forked to create HexChat, which is still under active development and maintenance by other people. The newest release of Hexchat was about a month ago.

      In other words, if you want the same thing, remove XChat and use Hexchat. Hexchat can't use the XChat name due to trademark issues.

      1. Tommy Pock

        Thanks, I will. Stuck in my ways I suppose. It worked so I used it, and it continued to work so I continued to use it

  24. Rol Silver badge

    You should be dreading the next few weeks...

    I used to install Ubuntu on friends PC's and laptops, and they loved it. Not only that, they trusted it.

    For me, that was a Godsend as all my time around their gaffs was spent socialising and not as it used to be:- ripping bits of Microsoft out; polishing it with some spit and then hammering it back in again with fingers crossed.

    Problem was, that unbridled trust of everything Linux extended to them hitting "Yes", when Ubuntu offered up its next incantation and then I'd be back to fixing and not mixing.

    Mint has never announced to the user a quick one click upgrade to its new shiny shiny and thus a fixed PC has invariably stayed fixed.

    Those of you who fix friends computers with Ubuntu, might be getting fevered calls over the next few weeks as they merrily venture into unknown territory. Unless of course Ubuntu has stopped enticing the feckless into undoing your handy work.

    1. Lestibournes

      Re: You should be dreading the next few weeks...

      You can change the settings for the upgrades.

      By default Normal releases get notices for all available upgrades, and LTS releases only get notified about LTS releases (which happen once in 2 years), and now even that is only after the first major update, which happens a few months after the new LTS comes out.

      So in short, give them an LTS and make sure the updates are configured the way you want.

  25. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Apparently snaps are insecure as hell

    If you install them using X11, they can do anything they want:

    http://news.softpedia.com/news/developer-claims-that-canonical-s-new-snap-format-isn-t-secure-on-ubuntu-desktop-503287.shtml

    And here's a sample exploit:

    http://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/42320.html

    1. j-g

      Re: Apparently snaps are insecure as hell

      When using X11, Snaps do not provide much *additional* security, which means they are almost (but not quite) as insecure as installing the same software through apt-get, .tgz, self-compiling, or any other means.

      Snaps do not introduce more risk, they just don't magically solve all your security issues as long as you keep using X11. When not using X11, the sandboxing provided by Snaps does make them a lot more secure than traditional installation methods.

      It's amazing how that analysis was misinterpreted and turned into complete and utter FUD.

  26. iOS6 user

    > Canonical claims it has taken legal advice and that it is allowed to ship OpenZFS with its Linux.

    It is the same as commercial support on FreeBSD with ZFS.

    More important is that OpenZFS code is few years behind what is now available in Solaris 11.3 and even more will be in upcoming Solaris 12.

    This is causing that whatever is basing on OpenZFS is more and more like toy.

    Improvements only in Solaris 11.3 GA are so dramatic (from point of view of scalability and performance) that sooner or later someone trying to use ZFS on Linux will hit the wall.

    And what is the difference of using ZFS on the same hardware (enev non-Oracle HW)?

    Almost nothing if Solaris is not cheaper!!!

    RedHat support on the same hardware is more expensive than Solaris support.

    If someone really needs to use ZFS on prod I really don't understand why someone may try to use Linux/Ubuntu.

    technological gap between Solaris and any Linux flavor is so big that if someone will really do full compare IMO cannot form conclusion that it make sense to use Linux!!!

    DTrace, ZFS, FMA, network layer visualization, zones (non-global and kernel zones) and many more like packaging (how many years will take any Linux distro to develop concept of BEs?) and crucial SUPPORT quality .. all these things somehow is possible to have on Linux is IMO out of the discussion.

    Linux on side of Solaris still is only a toy .. and nothing more than toy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm also a fan of Solaris, having used it extensively in the past.

      There is definitely a "Linux-first" trend in the world, and really it's not well deserved. I've noted many times how bad people are at technology selection for their next application, project, IT system, or datacentre. Linux is a default choice for a lot of people; they never stop and think about whether or not it really is a good fit for their requirements.

      Running a datacentre on Linux means that the admins are forever having to check each and every kernel, library and application update to see if there's any important security patches they must adopt, and do a ton of regression testing every single time. That's not productive.

      Sure, they can pay money to RedHat or Ubuntu to partially solve that problem, but then what's the point of using Linux in the first place? RedHat aren't exactly that great, and they're not cheap. They're not necessarily able to get a good answer either because despite their best efforts they don't fully control Linux. And then they force things like SystemD onto everyone, making a whole load more problems...

      Contrast that with Solaris, or even FreeBSD. There's only one place to look for information, and the people behind it really know their stuff. And because the documentation is good there's generally less need to pick up the phone in the first place. And because there's only one FreeBSD and one Solaris, the whole patch, update, regression thing is easier; if one admin says something is good on their installation it'll probably be good on one's own.

      Cost

      Microsoft used to bang on about total cost of ownership. Ok, so the actual total cost of ownership is very much an individual thing, but choosing Linux does not guarantee that you've also chosen lowest cost.

      Open source really struggles to do big stuff quickly in an organised way and can easily get left behind. ZFS, DTRACE, all took a long time to kinda-imitate in Linux. Linux itself has benefited massively from corporate contributions (from Intel, IBM, RedHat, etc), and would be a shadow of its current self without them.

      To me cost is less about how much the license cost and more about the price one pays in not having things like proper file systems, excellent system debugging tools, rapid access to accurate documentation and support from the people who wrote it. With all of that in place one can really do things quickly and properly.

      The closest you get to that in Linux is a so-so and late imitation of a file system, FTRACE which may or may not have been compiled in, a load of junk from non-experts on Linux forums, support from people who may have read a bit of the source code and charge a fortune to go an read it a bit more, and so much fragmentation that there's no possibility of a sensible one-stop shop.

      I think the FreeBSD people have made the best job of it by making it possible to sensibly adopt things that have been given away like ZFS and DTRACE, and by choosing to remain united behind a single version. The end result is useful.

      1. John Sanders
        Linux

        Clearly...

        ""Running a datacentre on Linux means that the admins are forever having to check each and every kernel, library and application update to see if there's any important security patches they must adopt, and do a ton of regression testing every single time. That's not productive.""

        You haven't run many datacentres on Linux.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Clearly...

          no shit! It's like he overheard some incompetent windows user who didn't get hired as LSA complaining about linux or something. :)

    2. TVU Silver badge

      "More important is that OpenZFS code is few years behind what is now available in Solaris 11.3 and even more will be in upcoming Solaris 12..."

      However, it is worth stating OpenZFS has not been frozen since the split with Oracle Solaris ZFS and that it is under active professional development so that OpenZFS is not stuck where it was back in 2010.

      1. iOS6 user

        > However, it is worth stating OpenZFS has not been frozen since the split with Oracle Solaris ZFS

        IMO it is not worth. Just look on price.

        Oracle is supporting way bigger customers base and only by this demands of fixing something or adding new features is at least order of magnitude bigger.

        For example OpenZFS ARC still needs to be carefully capped. On Oracle ZFS ARC can easily go up an down.

    3. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      Oracle Solaris is dead, it was dead since Oracle bought Sun. There is Illumos for fans of Solaris who are not stuck with closed source - which happens to be upstream for OpenZFS, which is the same ZFS as used by Linux.

    4. User4574
      Thumb Down

      One fly in the ointment, it's still owned and sold by Oracle.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All of this hate and resistance to change. Unity is fine, systemd is here to stay, just ignore the angry comments posted from people who are resistant to change. If suddenly the sun burned out, they'd pummel you to death for suggesting something has changed in the sky, because it's not what they are used to. Ironically if these same mentalities ruled the world, we'd still be using shit like lotus123 because change is bad. It's whatever, time to move with the flow. That said, 16.04 is not a bad release at all. It has a few bugs which will be worked out, but hey.. it's not even been out a week yet. This is to be expected. Opposed to the previous incarnations that were riddled with issues for some users. I haven't decided to put this on my amd machine yet, but already it's running really smooth on my other machine. Far smoother and cooler than any other I've dumped on it this year including windows. I fully expect that once the initial quirks are sorted out you'll have quite a nice and stable version here.

    1. thames

      About 10 years ago it was Gnome versus KDE, and before that it was VI versus Emacs. And before that it was Bourne shell versus Korn shell versus C shell versus Almquist shell. And let us not forget C versus Pascal, or 6502 versus Z80.

      Countless distros have been shipping System-d, and yet there is a distinct lack of articles in el Reg about any notable disasters caused by it. That includes by the way previous releases of Ubuntu. It's quite possible that System-d is indeed crap, but I'm not going to stay awake at night worrying about it.

      Unity works fine and is easy to use. The complaints seem to come from people who can't seem to find anything "wrong" with it other than they want the launcher on the bottom and the menus in the application window, the former of which is now a configuration option, and the latter which has been one for several years.

      It seems like in this industry that you're not really l33t unless you use something different from the mainstream, and that if that once obscure thing becomes popular, then it's immediately denounced as being "crap" and the denouncers have moved on to something more obscure.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > It seems like in this industry that you're not really l33t unless you use something different from the mainstream

        How is that a defense of Unity and systemd? Those are still the new-and-different toys of the 'leet. You don't read horror stories about them here because (AFAIK) the vast majority of Reg writers & readers are curmudgeonly folk with the good sense to rely on boring dependable software.

    2. itzman
      Paris Hilton

      All of this hate and resistance to change...

      ..is reserved for people who think change for its own sake is progress.

      I have this cool modern car with square wheels to sell you sir...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From the article:

    "If you're making the leap from the last LTS version, 14.04, then this latest release will be the first time you encounter systemd. Ubuntu's own effort to build an init system was abandoned several releases ago in favor of what has quickly become the only option in Linux init systems - systemd."

    What's your deal? Were you paid to say that? It is not true and the Devuan community is working to ensure that systemd is not the only Linux init system. https://beta.devuan.org/

    Maybe you should join a mailing list to keep track of the efforts being made to avoid systemd. dng-request@lists.dyne.org

  29. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. hoverboy

    I upgraded 14.04 to 16.04. There was a glitch that was widely reported as borking the upgrade; I just did a hard reset, booted back to Ubuntu and got a dconf window, Carried on and everything went perfectly. Apart from this it was the smoothest upgrade I've had in years - I normally always re-install but this time I don't think I'll bother. It's now working perfectly as my workhorse. Couldn't be happier.

  31. JLV

    naive question - what should I expect from systemd wrt other process supervisors?

    I am currently using VMs built on LTS 14.04, built via Chef.

    One of harder things was setting up process supervisors. Typically each and every Chef cookbook for <install something> wants to schedule a service with <tool of choice>. So, depending on who wrote a Chef cookbook, nginx may want to run on bluepill, redis-server prefers runit, django thinks Supervisor is awesome, etc etc...

    I eventually got most of them running on runit (an offshoot of daemontools) and Monit (which provides nice monitoring, but which I configured to call on runit to start/stop processes because I wasn't keen on figuring out System V init scripts).

    I know there is a lot of pushback re systemd here. Does anyone know if systemd on LTS 16.04 will tend to mess up process supervisors like these, on the assumption that it should be doing their work? Proof will be in the pudding - run a build on top LTS 16.04 - but I am curious if anyone has seen this kind of impact. I honestly don't want to hook up any of my stuff to systemd, though I could care less if Ubuntu at large does it.

  32. itzman
    Linux

    so what's it got...

    ...that mint 17 has not?

  33. Richard Stallman

    The article errs in calling me an "open source firebrand". I lead the free software movement, which is a campaign for software users' freedom. This is a matter of justice, and we fight for it; I am proud to be a firebrand for free software and freedom.

    The idea of an "open source firebrand" is an oxymoron, because the whole purpose of "open source" is to reject and bury the issue of freedom. The open-source non-movement denies that there is anything here to fight for.

    Please don't misrepresent my views by suggesting I am a supporter of that.

    See http://gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html

    for more explanation of the difference between free software and open source. See also http://thebaffler.com/past/the_meme_hustler for Evgeny Morozov's article on the same point.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ubuntu Unity / Gnome is a dumbed-down disaster.

    My neighbour wanted to try 'that Linux' so he d/loaded Ubuntu and booted it, he's a long time Windows user, and i guess he wanted a change, after reading all the negative comments about security and privacy in Windows - (with some prompting from me)

    I asked how he was getting on with it last week, and he said he hated it and couldn't do anything much with it.. so i asked for more info, apparently he got the Ubuntu 16.04 and said there were only a couple of pointless apps installed on the (side) menu, as he wasn't interested in using Amazon or office bloatware and clicking around for some kind of menu produced few results, and right-clicking only provided a minimal menu with still no way to browse the already installed software.. i told him to d/load Kubuntu instead if he must, i just steered him away from Ubuntu, now he seems much happier.

    I could'nt believe it was *that* bad, so i downloaded it too, The Ubuntu website is decidedly light on info, looking very corporate and pointless, as i sit and write this (not in a suit) i see the front page (sic) is taken up by a brag about how big blue loves Ubuntu, then some suit-type links below to a Samsung dev conference, another damn phone thing, something about 'flying base stations', a link to News from 'insights' (I've no idea) and a pointless link to a 'review' which wasn't really a review at all, and the generic words might just as well be describing some bland marketing speak about comfy shoes or something. vapid and dreadful, and still bloody brown FFS. It even took me some clicking around the website to find what desktop it *actually ships* with, so all that was quite telling of what kind of audience Ubuntu is aimed at, (potential investors and suits) and thus set the scene for the rest of the UI train wreck i saw.

    Neighbour was right, all of the above more or less, some years back wasn't Ubuntu waxing lyrical about how it was for beginners and ease of access blah blah ?

    Unintuitive i thought, as neither could find any interface for browsing installed software, maybe it was there somewhere, but i missed it, i resorted to right-clicking for an xterm to start stuff after i found what was installed in software centre. what a kludge, maybe it's me, not impressed, so i thought i'd check the system settings.. another mistake, as there was bugger-all to configure, like a damn Fischer-Price OS .. god awful.

    Who is this OS actually for ? Schools, uber-devs ? or Pottering ? or people who ONLY want to use Firefox and Office ? I gave up and killed the VM and went back to a real OS there i could do things.

    dreadful website, dreadful desktop. At least i understand why everything is brown..

    1. Lestibournes

      Re: Ubuntu Unity / Gnome is a dumbed-down disaster.

      There is no brown. I don't know what colors you're seeing, but it's orange and purple.

      If you would have clicked the Ubuntu button in the launcher you would have gotten the dash, where you can search and browse for stuff, including apps. If you right-clicked that button you would have been given options, including for applications. You can also directly install stuff from the dash without opening the software center.

      You could also open the dash by pressing the Windows key.

      The Dash doesn't work like a menu so it takes some getting used to, but other than that the system is super simple and easy. Ubuntu doesn't have so many configuration options probably because for the most part they are unnecessary, and those who want more can install additional tools or use dconf.

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Ubuntu Unity / Gnome is a dumbed-down disaster.

      I don't like Ubuntu because they mimic Windows 8/10 too much (with some old OSX thrown in too).

      Stop hiding everything behind meaningless gloss.

      Ubuntu jumped on the touchscreen bandwagon a long time ago now, but does anyone actually use it for that -and is it even any good for that purpose?

      Are hierarchical menus really that frightening to people? Never seemed so in the Win 95 days.

      Sure, it can all be configured, if one can be bothered. But why install all that bloat if you don't want it?

      I don't see Ubuntu as being very innovative (GUI-wise), just following trends. But Canonical has done a service to Linux regarding hardware compatibility and ease of installation.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There are a few glaring mistakes in the article, but otherwise it seems well informed and informative.

  36. witchyseattle2016
    Linux

    Not That Great

    OK I read your article and yet I still don't know what all the excitement is about. In 14.04 you can turn off the ads in the Search so there you go no more "spyware". Next you can move the the launcher to the bottom ? Wow ! Really ??? In Mate you can have a top panel you can add to, a bottom panel and a panel on the right or left. Mate is extremely flexible. Finally the big Calendar, true you cannot use the big calendar in Mate however, the calendar, lightning, comes standard with Thunderbird and you can even create a new calender according to your needs. This LTS is not all that great if you are set on Unity, Personally I am going to stick with Mate 16.04.

  37. zanto
    Thumb Up

    Choice rules!

    just installed 16.04 LTS on a new laptop and apart from some initial glitches with the UEFI, it works quite nicely. I was initially upset when i saw that enlightenment e16 would not install. I tried e20 but just didn't like all the eye candy. but as this is linux, there's always a choice, i chose fluxbox and it works just like e16 did, fast, clean and functional.

    would i recommend ubuntu 16.04LTS to someone else? yes definitely. it's still IMO one of the easiest installs i've done, has a large set of tools and applications and is compatible with a large range of hardware.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020