back to article Qt Ubuntu 24.04 betas show that there's room to innovate

The beta versions of Lubuntu and Kubuntu 24.04 are out, showing that there's room to improve on the standard Ubuntu formula. The beta announcements for Lubuntu 24.04 and Kubuntu 24.04 don't reveal quite as much information as the Lubuntu's alpha-test announcement did. The Reg FOSS desk looked at the two Qt-centric remixes, and …

  1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Snaps still don't work

    Just yesterday I was thinking that all snaps were hanging on update. Less than 0.2% CPU, no disk, and no network. Just sitting there in the copying files stage. Restarting snapd when it's stuck like this takes about 5 minutes. Same problem on retry.

    One was hanging. The others just needed an hour of doing absolutely nothing to finish. No errors logged. I hate snaps.

    1. Dr Paul Taylor

      Re: Snaps still don't work

      Today I did a routine "apt update" on my little laptop, but it jammed because it ran out of disk space. When I searched for what was taking the most space, it was all HUGE snap directory trees, in several places in the filesystem.

      I'm going to have to switch another distro if I can't re-install (X)Ubuntu WITHOUT snap. Any suggestions?

      1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: Snaps still don't work

        > I'm going to have to switch another distro if I can't re-install (X)Ubuntu WITHOUT snap. Any suggestions?

        Asmi, the remix formerly known as Zinc.

        Ubuntu 23.10 with Xfce and neither Snap nor Flatpak, but better .DEB management tools instead: Nala and deb-get.

        The 24.04 release is in beta.

        1. Toe Knee

          Re: Snaps still don't work

          I wish I would’ve known about that years ago: snap is what pushed me to MX from Xubuntu! I still don’t miss snap and it’s filesystem madness. lsblk should NOT drive me crazy.

          1. Dickie_Mosfet

            Binning the HFS and starting again

            The best solution (IMO) to the sprawling Linux filesystem was implemented in GoboLinux.

            Its creators re-mapped the entire structure so that there are only 5 sub-directories in root: "Files", "Mount", "Programs", "Systems" and "Users". Each application gets its own dedicated sub-directory within "Programs", so there's no need for a package manager at all. The directory structure is the package manager.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GoboLinux

            1. Jrx1216

              Re: Binning the HFS and starting again

              I would still want a package manager to handle updates/etc, but I do still /really/ think we need to rethink some of the basics at some point, and I've gotta say, using the organization of the file system itself seems very advantageous to me, and doesn't seem all that far off from the way things have been going anyway with containers and flatpaks, etc.

            2. jake Silver badge

              Re: Binning the HFS and starting again

              I haven't even heard the name GoboLinux in about 10 years.

              I rather suspect that there is a reason for that.

      2. Youngone Silver badge

        Re: Snaps still don't work

        I'm happily using Linux Mint which is Ubuntu (kinda) without Snaps but I'm not sure if it's lightweight or not. At least it's boring which is what I'm looking for.

        Snaps are the only reason I don't use actual Ubuntu.

        1. NATTtrash

          Re: Snaps still don't work

          Same thing here, since it is becoming more and a more of a pain to actually remove snapd and its tentacles (in the correct order for success!) and subsequently get the software you need for an efficient productivity box. And apparently we are not the only ones, since I see/ hear more and more people looking for alternatives, e.g xfce Debian, xfce Mint, xfce Devuan, Xebian,.. It's sad to see something that was thought out and worked well decompose. Ah well, let's keep calm and hop... or live that LTS to its end and get on that productivity...

          1. David 132 Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Snaps still don't work

            > Ah well, let's keep calm and hop...

            Typo, or command? Are you an adherent of the same religion as Arnold Rimmer's parents, Seventh-Day Advent Hoppists?

            Either way, I don't think you have a leg to stand on.

            1. NATTtrash
              Pint

              Re: Snaps still don't work

              Typo, or command?

              In the open source spirit... whatever you choose it to be (the lack of which is the main issue with snaps IMHO)

              I envisioned two options though: either hop to another distro, or resort to another hopping solution (see icon) and "forget" all about it.

              Either way, I don't think you have a leg to stand on.

              Strangely, that has occurred when executing that last option...

      3. RedGreen925 Bronze badge

        Re: Snaps still don't work

        "I'm going to have to switch another distro if I can't re-install (X)Ubuntu WITHOUT snap. Any suggestions?"

        The following link describes how to do it with it never coming back.

        https://www.debugpoint.com/remove-snap-ubuntu/

        If needing Firefox/Thunderbird installed as .deb files .

        https://launchpad.net/~mozillateam/+archive/ubuntu/ppa

        1. RedGreen925 Bronze badge

          Re: Snaps still don't work

          And now it pops into my mind too late for an edit. This link to get rid of the weak key warning you get in apt from the mozilla repo.

          https://ubuntuhandbook.org/index.php/2024/04/workaround-apt-warning-signature-key-uses-weak-algorithm/

  2. jake Silver badge

    There's still time for common sense to prevail?

    "That means that by default, no Wayland sessions are on offer here, just plain old X.org."

    Well, THAT's certainly a plus. Perhaps in the next edition they'll get rid of the systemd-cancer.

    1. Jeff3171351982

      Re: There's still time for common sense to prevail?

      I don't know that much about Wayland--only that when my (former and cursed) distro defaulted to it after an update, things I depended on couldn't be used any longer. Wayland is not good for a mere end user like me, but I guess for certain developers it's nice.

    2. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: There's still time for common sense to prevail?

      > Perhaps in the next edition they'll get rid of the systemd-cancer.

      For an easy life, try MX Linux, then. Less work than Devuan, better compatibility with nVidia drivers and things, and it works well.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: There's still time for common sense to prevail?

        Thanks, but I much prefer Slackware. Has worked perfectly for my needs these last three decades or so.

      2. RedGreen925 Bronze badge

        Re: There's still time for common sense to prevail?

        "For an easy life, try MX Linux, then. Less work than Devuan, better compatibility with nVidia drivers and things, and it works well."

        Then you need to put up with their foolishness like a never updating kernel as the default install does not make sure to have the meta package for that to happen installed. The firewall turned on a home network stopping you from connecting to the machine and other junk I forget at the moment I had to do when trying it. Oh command line modifications to config files ignored for samba at least, you had to use their graphical programs to do the configuration changes, with the their way or the highway approach. Though I did solve the shutdown problems with the one machine I installed and kept it on, turns out without the garbage systemd installed the machine will shut down perfectly fine. Use it and it continues to be powered on but supposedly off so a power button push and hold is needed to shut it down..

  3. jake Silver badge

    You're not alone, Mr. McMurtrie.

    "I hate snaps."

    The only people who champion them are management and marketing types, and modern pseudo-technical types who claim to be Linux proficient and yet wouldn't have any idea about how to create their own distro from scratch.[0]

    Easy solution: Choose a distribution (or other OS) that doesn't mandate them.

    [0] Cue several shouts of "Why would I want to do that?", thus rather neatly proving my point.

    1. sedregj
      Windows

      Re: You're not alone, Mr. McMurtrie.

      "The only people who champion them are management and marketing types, and modern pseudo-technical types who claim to be Linux proficient and yet wouldn't have any idea about how to create their own distro from scratch."

      My job title is "Managing Director". I'm 53. I ran Gentoo on my work desktop for 15 years, then Arch for seven. I have done Linux From Scratch, including running make config (not menuconfig, xconfig or any other wet handshake nonsense)

      I fucking hate snap, me. Mind you I do quite like systemd, so there you go.

      However unlike my native spoken and written language I dislike subject verb object for service incantations, eg: systemctl fuck service. Subject object verb is the way the good $DEITY intended because you really want to service service down hit arrow up service service up. Apparently the reason for SVO is that you can control multiple services, which you could still do by parsing the last word instead of the second one as the verb/action.

      The ultimate irony here is that German (Mr Poettering's native language) is famously SOV ie you cobble together a load of nouns, adverbs, adjectives and conjunctions and then spit out all the verbs right at the end. English strips away all that gender stuff for nouns (except when it doesn't) and subjects verb their objects (as you do). English insists on a massive rule book and then proceeds to break nearly all of them except for the one that says ... anything goes if it can be understood by more than one person, but that is optional ... oh and you will never fathom when to use ei or ie within a word, I hate you ... la la la thhhhrrrrip! Oh and that's one formal English. There are loads of the buggers.

      1. Diogenes

        Re: You're not alone, Mr. McMurtrie.

        adjectives and conjunctions and then spit out all the verbs right at the end.

        I am classed as a native German speaker, and I still have nightmares about reading Kleist short stories... 10 paperback

        pages of clauses, sub clauses, sub sub sub sub sub sub clauses, then the verb.

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: You're not alone, Mr. McMurtrie.

          Yes. I am all the time when reading German whether in print or on screen because of this quirk of its grammatical structure annoyed.

      2. navarac Silver badge

        Re: You're not alone, Mr. McMurtrie.

        i before e except after c. receipt belief. Memories from UK infants school circa 1952 !!!

        1. Dave559

          Re: You're not alone, Mr. McMurtrie.

          Yeah, but there are a number of weird exceptions to that rule…

          I think the only consistent English rule is: "Every linguistic rule has at least one exception"…

        2. JulieM Silver badge

          Re: You're not alone, Mr. McMurtrie.

          "I before E except after C" is only true for diphthongs making an "E" sound. When making an "I" sound or an "A" sound, the E goes first.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You're not alone, Mr. McMurtrie.

          The full version of the rhyme is :-

          i before e

          except after c

          when the sound is ee

          There are not many exceptions to to the full rhyme, except, say, seize.

          But it does cope with :-

          field

          receive

          height

      3. Mockup1974 Bronze badge

        Re: You're not alone, Mr. McMurtrie.

        >German (Mr Poettering's native language) is famously SOV

        That's not true. German is SVO (like English) except for questions which are VSO (like older English: "have you any wool?") and subordinate clauses which are SOV.

        So you'd say something like "She went to the shop [SVO], because we no milk left had [SOV]. Need we anything else [VSO]?"

  4. ldo

    How’s That Plan 9 Switch Going?

    “Linux is a dead end too. Unix in general is. We should have gone with Plan 9, and we still should.”

    Liam Proven, back on 12th April.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: How’s That Plan 9 Switch Going?

      Plan9 is an interesting OS ... I've been running it on one box or a dozen, and in one guise or another, since it was first made available. To date, I have found absolutely no use for it at all, except as a tool to learn about OS design, and as a curiosity. I used it as my main writing platform for about a year (coding, documentation, contracts, the books I'm writing, longer posts to ElReg, dead-tree letters, etc. ... ). Honestly, I gave it a good solid chance, but I'm back to Slackware.

      Plan9 is the poster child for a solution looking for a problem.

      But I like the silly thing. I want to find a use for it. Maybe someday.

      And no, using it as a container server for Linux applications isn't it ... just use another Linux box. Shorter learning curve for all concerned.

      1. ldo

        Re: Plan9 is the poster child for a solution looking for a problem.

        As you might have noticed from some of my other postings, I’m not a fan of technology for its own sake. It exists to serve us, we are not here to serve it.

        1. NATTtrash
          Joke

          Re: Plan9 is the poster child for a solution looking for a problem.

          It exists to serve us, we are not here to serve it.

          Hear, hear...

          So I assume you are not a GUI designer?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Plan9 is the poster child for a solution looking for a problem.

          I always considered linux a the poster child for a solution looking for a problem.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: How’s That Plan 9 Switch Going?

          "I'm not sure what you mean by a container server for linux?"

          Came from one of Mr. Proven's typically useful articles:

          https://www.theregister.com/2024/02/21/successor_to_unix_plan_9/

          "Also i don't agree with "plan 9 is not unix""

          I rather suspect that the authors might argue with that. From the Plan9 FAQ "Plan 9 is not Unix (or anything else you're likely familiar with). While the command set is superficially similar, it's most certainly not the same (cat on Unix has a dozen or so options; on Plan 9, it has zero). Many people come to Plan 9 expecting unix++ or similar, and are disappointed when they find something much more different than that. Even the development environment is similar but entirely distinct: we use mk, not make; we use C, but the library isn't ANSI and our compilers understand some C extensions that aren't in GCC (and not most of the non-standard ones that GCC made up); the default preprocessor is much simpler than ANSI's.".

        2. ldo

          Re: bloated piss poor attempts to make linux behave somewhat like plan 9

          In that case, why can’t you perform container-style isolation, running multiple alternate userlands, on Plan 9? That’s the kind of thing that is easily done on Linux.

          Think of it the other way round: Plan 9 “namespaces” are equivalent to just “filesystem namespaces” on Linux. Linux puts all its other userland-accessible kernel facilities into their own namespaces as well: processes, user IDs, network interfaces, even the host name and system time. In addition, it has “cgroups” for managing groupings of processes and controlling their resource usage. “Containers” are not a primitive provided by the Linux kernel, but are woven out of all these lower-level bits. This is why you have a range of container styles, from basic things like systemd-nspawn and LXC all the way up to Docker and beyond.

          In short, Linux has no need to suffer from namespace-envy: Plan 9 is the one suffering from container-envy.

    2. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: How’s That Plan 9 Switch Going?

      > How’s That Plan 9 Switch Going?

      You did read the whole series, right?

      https://www.theregister.com/Tag/One%20Way%20Forward/

      You are very keen to keep telling me and other commenters to go ahead and write stuff. Go on then.

      Once there's a Plan 9 that can run a modern web browser, I'll give it a go.

      1. ldo

        Re: Once there's a Plan 9 that can run a modern web browser, I'll give it a go.

        Modern web browser, just like on the “dead end” platforms?

  5. Tim99 Silver badge
    Linux

    The Urban Dictionary has several relevant definitions

    1. An African phrase meaning "humanity towards others"

    2. Ubuntu is an ancient African word, meaning "I can't configure Debian"

    I like the first, the second has more than a little truth. I like Devuan, but in retirement tend to use Raspberry Pi OS light and Mac OS.

    .

  6. Grunchy Silver badge

    I, too, eschew snaps in preference of debs.

    But, you know what??

    Win95 is back!

    https://youtu.be/CTUMNtKQLl8

    (Some people extoll snaps and some people extoll debs, but it’s been awhile since I got to play good old Space Cadet Pinball)

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