Ubuntu 8.04: Not quite there, yet

[ Friday, 9 May 2008, michuk ]

I was patient this time. I let all alpha and beta releases past. I took a deep breath when RC got to the surface, I even downloaded it… but it landed on a shelf in the end. This time I decided I want to install a ready product, supposedly working out-of-the-box. I’ve had enough problems with theoretically stable products, turning out to be early-beta quality. So I’ve downloaded the stable version of Ubuntu 8.04, released April 24 and started on!

I’ve installed the newest Ubuntu on two laptops: my Thinkpad (see: Thinkpad X61s and Linux) via the upgrade option from version 7.10, and on my wife’s (HP dv1000 series) via a clean install, replacing unreliable and iffy Mandriva Xtreme 2 (Polish-specific Mandriva flavor). Let me describe my two-week-long experience with Hardy Heron.

Ubuntu 8.04
Ubuntu 8.04 — default desktop

Upgrade Ubuntu 7.10 -> 8.04

On my personal laptop I’ve installed Ubuntu Hardy Heron upgrading from Gutsy Gibbon (released October 2007). The upgrade was surprisingly smooth. There were almost no conflicts, despite me having installed many non-standard packages. The upgrade took around half an hour (on 8Mbit broadband). At the end of it, the system ordered me to restart the computer, which I’ve done. After the restart, my eyes were shown the Heron 8.04, which — curiously enough — seemed to work

Not to end with curiosities, the installer has uninstalled the digiKam package. So I’ve re-installed this perfect viewer and simple-photo-edit tool right after the reboot. The digiKam re-install caused PostgreSQL to be removed, however, there was no problem with re-installing it afterwords. Amazed by these dependencies, I went on.

GNOME surprised me rather nicely — there were no problems after the upgrade — I didn’t have to flush the personal settings (the dot files in /home directory), unlike to what usually happens during Linux upgrades like that.

Ubuntu 8.04 Ubuntu 8.04 Ubuntu 8.04
Upgrading to Ubuntu 8.04
Ubuntu 8.04 Ubuntu 8.04
PostgreSQL removal and restore

Clean installation

On the HP laptop I’ve installed the system from the ground up. There is not much to be mentioned here. The Ubuntu installer hasn’t changed too much since 7.10. The hardware was detected pretty much same way, all essentials were working after the first reboot (that is, besides the non-free codecs and Skype and RealPlayer programs, that needed to be installed separately). Not too much hassle thanks to the ubuntu-restricted-extras package and the medibuntu repositories.

News in Ubuntu 8.04

Ubuntu 8.04 is a Long-Term Support distribution, similarly to Dapper Drake, released June 2006. It should mean fewer shiny bleeding-edge features and more stability and reliability. However, it’s not really the case since there is a few of the former and not too much of the latter.

Firefox 3

Yes, I was stunned too, seeing the default browser in the stable Ubuntu release being Firefox 3 Beta 5 — Gran Paradiso test version of the new incarnation of Firefox. The developers have taken a courageous (spontaneous?) decision and thrown the beta browser at the public. Additional millions of beta-testers^WUbuntu users most likely will help Mozilla to release a stable and finished product by this July. There is a question however: should the stable distro force its to beta-test software? And yes, there is a lot yet to be tested!

Firefox 3 shipped by Ubuntu 8.04 is not stable. There are cases of the browser hanging and non-responsive periods. It also happens to just crash without any particular reason (most probably with a segmentation fault) which I have experienced a few times while watching YouTube videos.

Worse than that, not all extensions are available for the new Firefox, yet. At the time of the release, there was no stable versions of two extensions I use daily: TabMixPlus and del.icio.us. And those are essential for me to more-or-less reasonably use the browser. After a few days the del.icio.us for Firefox 3 extension arrived and TabMixPlus beta got released, too. But test-quality browser and test-quality extensions are a ‘minefield’ all together and this was just too much for my patience. In the end, after a few days of fighting, I gave up and switched to Opera. I’ll rather wait for a stable version before I switch to Firefox 3 again.

Not to be so pessimistic, though, it is worth noticing, that Firefox 3 ships a bunch of nice new features, (although mostly known from the Opera Browser) which can greatly improve the browsing experience, of course when it achieves the stable state, eventually:

  • Faster rendering — this is noticeable at first glance — looks like the new Gecko engine can show the partial content of the page faster, even if the entire page is not yet loaded.
  • Full page zoom — enables the user to zoom all contents of the page, not only the text, but also images and other elements like Flash movies. This would have been more useful a few years back; now, in Compiz era, when one can zoom in and out the entire desktop, this feature seems to be less important for a browser (under Linux, that is).
  • Address hinting — introduced not long ago in some Opera version, now in Firefox 3. This is a handy feature. Just enter any part of the address into the relevant box — the program will hint the correct page address, suggesting a few of them (probably using the browsing history and/or Google search for this purpose)

Was that enough to forget the instability? No, it wasn’t.

Ubuntu 8.04
Firefox 3 Beta 5 in Ubuntu 8.04

The clock, the calendar and the weather.

In the new Ubuntu (GNOME?) version, the desktop elements, like the clock, the calendar and the panel applets, are more integrated with each other. The events entered in Evolution get highlighted on the GNOME clock automatically. Choosing your location, you can get the current weather information in the task bar, too.

Ubuntu 8.04
Tell your Ubuntu where you live!
Ubuntu 8.04
Choose the location and the applet shows the current weather automatically

Package manager

The package manager indicates now, by displaying an icon in the Notification Area (system tray), that it is currently installing or updating packages.

Ubuntu 8.04
Updates available
Ubuntu 8.04
Update in progress

Power management

Clicking the battery icon, one can hibernate (suspend to disk) or suspend (suspend to RAM) the system.

Ubuntu 8.04

Also, it’s worth mentioning that the battery life under 8.04 is significantly longer. My Thinkpad X61s used on average 10-11W of power (checked that using powertop tool) compared to 13-14W in 7.10. This accounted for an almost 20% gain in battery life, which now more or less matches Windows XP. Good work!

Rhythmbox — outside sites integration

The Rhythmbox music player received a feature similar to Amarok’s integration to external music services: Jamendo and Magnatude. One can search for a tune or an artist directly within the program, download and listen to the music, and in case of Magnatude, also purchase some DRM-free tracks (in Jamendo you get it for free!).

Ubuntu 8.04 Ubuntu 8.04
Rhythmbox: Jamendo and Magnatude integration

Hard time with Heron

I wouldn’t be myself however, if I haven’t listed the problems I experienced (or I’m still experiencing) when using my beloved Ubuntu. Some of them are the result of my hardware configuration, some result of 8.04 premature technology, some are just usual bugs (or features?).

Audio and video

One could think, that Linux has reached the level sufficient for a typical home desktop user regarding multimedia, that is, the sound works just fine, one can listen to their music collection, watch DVDs or YouTube movies. Nothing more wrong! Ubuntu 8.04 contains a whole new quality sound system — PulseAudio. And nothing works as it should.
I’m not sure if this is the result of introducing this feature too early, or is it for some other reason — the fact is: in 7.10 everything worked without problems, right after the installation, in 8.04, on both configurations tested, there were (not encountered earlier) issues:

  • Rhythmbox could not open any music file, neither OGG nor MP3 nor any other (despite having the codecs installed),
  • Totem was iffy – mostly hanging hard while trying to watch a video or (I know, it’s a little extravagant to do such things in Linux…) a DVD movie

Oh, and yes, these two are the default multimedia applications in Ubuntu 8.04. Quite sad.

As I’m much attached to listening to the music and watching movies, I’ve installed two additional programs: mplayer and VLC. At the beginning, mplayer has given me similar hard time as Totem — trying to play any video or DVD it stopped whilst displaying the first frame and wouldn’t go any further. Trying to scroll the progress, it did show another frame and stopped again. Watching the movies frame-by-frame is not the most entertaining experience. VLC was better because it played most of the videos, no sound however. Out of patience, I rebooted.

And then, a miracle happened. It worked. Both in mplayer and VLC, both video and audio. But only for a while :) After a few hours of fighting this problem, unable to find any solution, I made a desperate step:

sudo apt-get install esound

Having the old esound sound system reinstalled, the PulseAudio was removed. Multimedia stopped acting funny on me from the moment on. I don’t know if PulseAudio was really the problem, but the fact is, that removing it has solved the problem for good.


Tracker is an indexing system for text files enabling users to perform fast full-text searching. In theory, that is. Didn’t work for me, at all.

Ubuntu 8.04
Tracker hang-up

Trying to search anything, I get no results. I only get a nice alert from time to time, that the application has crashed. Tired of the alert I removed tracker from my system and installed Google Desktop Search. Yes, it’s available for Linux and it does work.

SSL in Psi

For communication, I use Psi, the Jabber client written in Qt. It is fast and stable, I haven’t found anything able to compete, for any platform, yet. No, Gajim can’t compete, either — it’s a long, unrelated story. Anyway, under Ubuntu 8.04, SSL communication doesn’t work in Psi. Or at least it seems so, because after installing the qca-tls package (which used to help in all previous editions), SSL support stays inactive. After browsing Ubuntu forums I found out, that this time the SSL is activated by installing another package:

apt-get install libqca2-plugin-ossl

It is indeed, it works, it’s just awesome.

Ubuntu 8.04 on a laptop

I talked about the general ups and downs with Heron. Now, getting to the end of this review, a few words about the laptop support in the newest Ubuntu.

Thinkpad X61s and Ubuntu 8.04

Hardy Heron has solved a few problems I had with Ubuntu 7.10 on my little Thinkpad:

  • The volume control using multimedia keys started working miraculously, with no additional configuration (bug fixed)!
  • Suspend to RAM does not cause the system to hang randomly any more (at least it never happened after the upgrade), just works a little slow (needs 10-20 seconds to wake up) and sometimes the system is unstable when resumed — GNOME apps are iffy, it even happened, that the only way to sort this out was a reboot (no, even the magical /etc/init.d/dbus restart didn’t work). It is however usual for the hibernate feature to require the network to be restarted upon resume. Sometimes it works, sometimes not, it’s life.
  • Compiz is stable. This is a novelty. It works even after resuming from suspend or hibernate (although I suspect it may be responsible for the issues described above). There is also no ‘blue screen while video playback’ problem. This is really a nice surprise. First time round I have really used Compiz for some 2 weeks, without the need to disable it. Ubuntu however enables only the really life-simplifying plugins by default, like moving the windows between desktops by dragging them to the edge of the screen, or light visual effects. No wobbly windows, 3d cube and other redundant stuff.
  • Microphone in Skype still didn’t work after the upgrade. Oh yeah, I know, not Ubuntu’s fault, maybe Skype’s. Works in Windows XP however with no issues. This was quite a bad surprise. Lucky for me, on the other laptop nothing changed, and Skype still works, but it is still a mystery to me how it does. On Thinkpad I finally got over the problem by following the instructions found at notebookreview. Just run gnome-volume-control and check the Capture box checkbox and then in Recording tab set Capture to the maximum value. No idea, why it wasn’t set like that by default, no idea if it would have worked in Ubuntu 7.10. Nevertheless, it works in 8.04, with just some jitter. I’m happy and my mom is as well since we can talk for free again.

Other problems however, still didn’t get resolved:

  • NetworkManager is as unusable as it was before. It detects the wireless networks, however, it is unable to connect to any of them. All that’s left is editing the /etc/network/interfaces file manually and resuming by typing ifdown wlan0 && ifup wlan0
  • General instability after resuming from sleep mode. In fact the hibernate functioned better in 7.10 than in 8.04.

So, the Thinkpad got supported better than in Ubuntu 7.10. But still worse than in over five years old Windows XP SP2.

HP dv1000 and Ubuntu 8.04

The interaction between Hardy and my wife’s HP was quite pleasant. Similarly to the previous edition, the laptop is fully functional. Suspend, hibernate, multimedia keys, the sound and the wireless card work by default and ‘out of the box’, no special configuration needed. If you are looking for a laptop to run Ubuntu, I can sincerely really recommend this one (sadly, this model is now only available on auction websites, I guess).

Final remarks

Ubuntu 8.04 shows progress in comparison to 7.10, against all odds. Many errors have been fixed, the hardware is better supported and one can really see it. It is a pity, that developers, instead of concentrating on fixing bugs and improving stability, decided to add many new features, introducing new bugs as the result.

The most important question is — do I recommend Ubuntu 8.04? If I were to answer simply ‘yes’ or ‘no’ the answer would be negative. If you need a good system, that ‘just works’, wait a few months before installing Hardy Heron, until it becomes really stable, as the LTS staple suggests. If you like shiny new features and challenges, and you don’t get confused by Firefox or GNOME hangups, install Ubuntu 8.04 now. You might be lucky and it may work better for you than it did for me :)

Translated by: el es.

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fold this thread Kaminix  Friday, 9 May 2008 o godz. 8:33 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I disagree, for my laptop the 8.04 is a downgrade. The only thing keeping me to it is my curiosity for ‘anything new’…

8.04 has…
…made me a frequent visitor to Launchpad, even made me bookmark it.
…wanted to remove everything HAL for me at one occasion.
…made me compile my own network drivers, something I didn’t need to in 7.10.
…made me afraid of using the Kaffeine video player as it seems to randomly crash X when I play video files… files which play fine after X is restarted.
…made my laptop freeze like 50 times on the base system when I accidently push the tab key or do something else to invoke the system bell. Works fine after having installed the desktop packages though.

I really do think the improvements of Hardy Heron are yet to be seen on my behalf.

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fold this thread engambament  Friday, 9 May 2008 o godz. 10:13 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

thanks for the tip for sound problems.
i was experiencing the same troubles with pulse audio.
installing/downgrading (to) esound worked for me too.

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fold this thread engambament  Friday, 9 May 2008 o godz. 11:27 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

…partially :(

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fold this thread David  Saturday, 10 May 2008 o godz. 5:11 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Regarding the hanging of Firefox: I had noticed this too in the nightlies. It seems to have gotten much better now; a week ago or so one of the updates seemed to have fixed the problem.

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fold this thread Ciaran  Sunday, 11 May 2008 o godz. 1:07 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

You don’t need to switch to Opera – just install firefox2. It’s in the repositories. Why they made 3 the default I don’t know.

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fold this thread michuk  Sunday, 11 May 2008 o godz. 1:53 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I did that too. I mentioned Opera just to sound a bit more overdramatic :)

fold this thread jacques  Sunday, 11 May 2008 o godz. 4:22 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I completely agree with this review, I’ve had similar problems with sound and video in Ubuntu which I hadn’t seen in over a year on any other distribution. For me this is an unacceptable regression for a LTS release. Besides this issue, the performance of the distro degraded significantly on my machine since upgrading to Ubuntu Hardy from Gutsy (on a 1.6GHz pentium M laptop with 1GB RAM). This pushed me to try Archlinux and I’m not going back. Performance is just amazing, the best I’ve seen on any OS. And video and sound worked out of the box, no more choppy video when using vlc or mplayer. It took me a while to install it but it was very worth it. Another bonus: this is the first distribution of linux I try that has very good performance when playing flash videos on the web (youtube or whatever). It’s even smoother than on windows!

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fold this thread EdwardOCallaghan  Sunday, 11 May 2008 o godz. 6:17 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

OpenSolaris2008.05 anyone ?

Works a dam lot faster and is stable too..
Also, ZFS totally rocks!

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fold this thread JD  Sunday, 11 May 2008 o godz. 10:17 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

I completely agree with this review as well. Sure, Firefox 3 is kinda nice, the new hardware support is kinda nice, the new GNOME clock is kinda nice, but it still has a lot of issues.

1. It has KDE4 as an option which is prolly one of the worst DE’s since KDE 2.0 or GNOME 1.x (hopefully KDE 4.1 will be better with Ubuntu 8.10).

2. PulseAudio – Great idea, horrible execution. Not only does it break sound in flash (you have to install libflashsupport to get sound with flash videos, but whoops, libflashsupport makes firefox crashy as hell), but Skype won’t work with it by default (cuz skype requires direct ALSA access which Pulse “hogs”) and a lot of apps weren’t really ready for the transition to PulseAudio.

3. Tracker is now and will be for a decent time into the future (as it has been for a year) complete and total crap.

4. Simply: The Ubuntu devs are idiots. In gutsy, i believe about 3 months ago, a new kernel or something hit the repos and it broke A LOT of people’s systems…on a “stable” release…Unacceptable… Also, in Hardy, post-Alpha 6, the devs pushed a new kernel to the repos…and *oops* FORGOT TO ENABLE ANY SOUND SUPPORT AT ALL! Also, about a week after the kernel incident, there was a libc6/glibc update…That broke EVERYTHING to the point where you couldn’t even chroot in to fix it. Maybe i’m just “floating” this, but the Ubuntu devs are PAID whereas the Debian and ArchLinux devs aren’t, and i haven’t seen this many problems in Arch since i started playing with it in 2004 or Debian in the 1.5 years running Unstable and the 4 years running Testing. So that only proves one thing to me: That the Ubuntu devs are incompetent. Hell, if i was at my day job, and i did that Gutsy update on one of the servers, i could possibly get suspended or fired (I couldn’t, but there are offices like that)…Yet the Ubuntu devs screw up this much and still have a job.

My personal belief is that if you’re lazy (I am/used to be) or don’t know much about *nix Ubuntu and linux mint are decent…They do all the work for you. If you do know more than a little bit, i strongly suggest Debian (preferably Debian Stable for servers, Testing for desktops)… Debian has the same great package management tools as Ubuntu without all the stupidity…They don’t use a massively modified kernel, they don’t use hack-job initscripts (Upstart), they let you choose your defaults (if you want), they don’t make stupid decisions like installing a broken sound system (Pulse) or a broken search daemon (Tracker) by default and most Debian Developers are intelligent and do some decent QA.

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fold this thread Luis  Tuesday, 13 May 2008 o godz. 12:47 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I echo the sentiment that has been expressed in this article. I upgraded to 8.04 and it resulted in a hung computer. I had to fiddle with GRUB to get kernel releases back to have a sort-of stable system. I also had to downgrade from Firefox 3 to Firefox 2 because of the way it handles the certificates, I could not log into the Outlook Web Access at work. Overall stability is lacking for a “Long Term” release. At this moment I’m in the crossroads of downgrading the whole thing to 7.X or limp along for the patches as they come in.

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fold this thread Eric  Tuesday, 13 May 2008 o godz. 12:58 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Strangely, I haven’t had any of the problems listed above. I guess your mileage really does vary. I upgraded from 7.10 to 8.04 and sound works just fine. Totem works and even plays my files from my MythTv setup. Firefox is uber-stable and Tracker was able to find all of my files.

Perhaps you had something weird there before or set something up wrong.

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fold this thread michuk  Wednesday, 14 May 2008 o godz. 12:25 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

@Eric: and you probably have a top-level sound card with decent ALSA support. In such case all the nifty stuff introduced in PulseAudio should work just fine.
I have a laptop with a crappy card, and guess what? PulseAudio is also enabled and installed by default. So is Compiz which proved not to be as stable as I thought at the beginning. Why? What for? To annoy users? I really don’t understand this approach.
Why not just detect the hardware capabilities and for crappy one don’t install the great new stuff by default? Shouldn’t be that hard. All the required code is there, just the matter of enabling it.

fold this thread Aljaz  Tuesday, 13 May 2008 o godz. 1:16 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

Everyday I look at the upgrade button on my workstation at work. Should I or not… This article made me wait for a little bit longer :)

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fold this thread Alistair Beasley  Tuesday, 13 May 2008 o godz. 4:53 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Pulseaudio caused me nothing but problems to, I also was unsure if it was the true cause of my problems, but having read this article and the comments I think we can be quite certain that it is.

I haven’t noticed any problems with firefox yet though. Apart from the extensions that aren’t yet working for this version.

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fold this thread Sarah  Tuesday, 13 May 2008 o godz. 5:01 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

I found the migration from 7.10 to 8.04 to be a trifle difficult and resulted in a less than perfect system. It is… tolerable though but I don’t think that’s acceptable. Pulseaudio does have a tendency to vanish leaving you without a working sound system, especially with WINE.

Firefox 3b5, shouldn’t be in a long term release by default, for me it’s stable enough but it’s Beta code. Lots of issues with flash video players in amd64 though; but that is, I’m assuming an amd64 build problem :)

The ‘wow’ aspects are pretty much GNOME 2.22′s feature set and Gentoo, Debian and whatnot will all have the same if they install that version. Personally I’ve found the new gvfs to be not that good. Yes, plugging in to FUSE is wonderful but I’ve had video’s stop playing because it’s fallen over or ‘hickuped’ whilst a regular CIFS fstab based mount point just keeps on trucking.

It’s snappier, quite quick and the ability for the bootsplash to keep displaying whilst fscking the disks is nice (being dropped to a text console broke the loon n’ feel)…

I accepted that vmware-player went missing for 7.10 and moved to vmware-server… now in 8.04 even that’s buggered off. Indeed my partner had the upgrade wizard merrily delete all of his virtual machines… and thus the pre-built gentoo packages he’d been working on… that was not nice.

I suppose I could, should, maybe, move back to Gentoo (my weapon of choice) or give pure Debian a whirl but well, I’m lazy… however Ubuntu 8.04 is on a time limit; if the damn thing doesn’t start working properly all the time like 7.10 did, I’ll ditch it faster than I killed Windows off.

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fold this thread yur  Tuesday, 13 May 2008 o godz. 5:30 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

What nobody is mentioning is usability.

For me (in a flavor of distribution), this means sharing printers and files over a network. This means virtual o/s support (For my windows programs). This means drivers and apps that work. And finally, management tools that manage these things effectively.

The biggest problem with 8.04 (which i haven’t tried any earlier versions) is this: It’s all over the place. I think maybe mepis spoiled me in that it limited the environment to what actually works and then sets up tools to manage those apps.

Ubuntu should focus on stability and manageability instead of new features.

Now, i gotta go back to my night job (unpaid) working on this:
Sharing Printers (where is my gui)
Sharing Files (can do but other pcs not allowed access)
ATI 9800 work with two monitors at 1440×900 24 bit (no ubuntu gui works)
Compiz-Fusion work on that setup (btw compiz-switch helps a lot)
Add/Remove not crash when installing konqueror (everytime)
Networking stay online (goes down during browsing)
3D screensavers not crash and lockup desktop
Epson Picturemate 200 actually print (now prints blank paper)
Ekiga work with voice and video logitech webcam (only bw video)
Music play without crashing the app (your suggestion helps!)
My music player not export music in ‘XYG.mp3″ format
Ugh !!!! Samba installed but no samba management tools!!!!

So, after all that fancy gui, i’m back at the terminal pining away at conf files… cause we all know that in linux gui is for sissies.

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fold this thread SirYes  Tuesday, 13 May 2008 o godz. 5:51 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

So you too think Ubuntu 8.04 has been released a bit too soon to be responsibly called LTS… Welcome to the club, then!

LTS releases have their installation media refreshed occasionally. Mostly because the repositories contain so many updated packages that downloading the updates alone would take longer than the old Live CD. So, when more (most of?) bugs will be solved, and a refreshed 8.04.1 (or 8.04.2) ISO would be available, noone will remember these quirks. However, it still doesn’t look right to release unfinished product, with many small but disturbing annoyances.

But there is another truth about it. Did you know that Ubuntu team is surprisingly small? Citing:


quite recently there was only “109 total developers including Canonical employees”. And yet, they are able to produce a system that has such an impact. Interesting, isn’t it?

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fold this thread James E. LaBarre  Tuesday, 13 May 2008 o godz. 7:13 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I think the reason for packaging Firefox 3 beta in 8.04 is specifically *because* it is a “long-term support” version. By the time support on 8.04 ended, FF2 would be significantly out of date, and would likely require a lot of wasted effort trying to keep it patched. Going with FF3beta means that eventually a final, stable version will become available, yet won’t require a re-think of how the system works with it (which would be the case in an upgrade of 2.0-3.0 had FF2 been the version shipped). Of course, when it comes to KDE3 vs KDE4, I don’t know.

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fold this thread michuk  Wednesday, 14 May 2008 o godz. 12:28 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Why not have a firefox update when it’s ready? And inform the user that they may switch to Fx3 or stay with Fx2… seems like a way smarter approach than forcing everyone into beta-testing by default…

fold this thread SirYes  Tuesday, 13 May 2008 o godz. 7:38 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

So when updated point releases hit the mirrors, these problems will gradually vanish. In fact, Mark Shuttleworth just announced regular 3-month long intervals between such point updates:


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fold this thread SirYes  Tuesday, 13 May 2008 o godz. 7:40 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Ok, make it 6-month long intervals, with the first point release 3 months after original 8.04 release.

(note to self: read more carefully)

fold this thread TG  Tuesday, 13 May 2008 o godz. 7:49 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I tried upgrading from Gutsy to Hardy on my laptop, which just made the whole thing explode, so I had to start with a fresh install instead. This wasn’t terribly surprising, I’ve never managed to survive an Ubuntu distro upgrade, something always breaks. But with my /home on a separate partition, this is a quick one hour process, including installing all the apps again.

Apart from a few days of fumbling around and trying to figure out how to get the intel speed stepping thing installed so my cpu fan wouldn’t run at full speed all the time, I’ve had no problems with Hardy whatsoever.

I guess it must be because of hardware differences or something because I can’t relate to all the problems you’ve had, at all. My laptop is a budget P4 celeron 1.6GHz Toshiba that’s 3-4 years old.

Firefox runs fine, hasn’t crashed yet and it’s not due to disuse, I can assure you.
Compiz works great, even with my crummy ATI mobile chip.
The new sound system is great, works like a charm.
Wifi and network works without any interference on my part.
And the new Gnome is awesome, those guys keep amazing me with better user interface with every version.

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fold this thread dff  Tuesday, 13 May 2008 o godz. 8:14 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

“until it becomes really stable, as the LTS staple suggests.”

LTS only suggests “long term support”, it does not suggest anything about initial stability. An LTS release will not be tested more or less than any other *Ubuntu release.

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fold this thread Gerry Boland  Tuesday, 13 May 2008 o godz. 8:43 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Yep, I agree with the sentiment of this article. Considering 8.04 is labelled Long Term Support, I was lured into installing it on my Dell Inspiron D400, imagining that most bugs were squashed.

I’ve found that suspend hangs 5-10% of the time, and I’ve never managed to resume after hibernation. Compiz is always turned off after resume from Suspend. General performance is sluggish, and the system fan turns on a lot more often then I’d like.

I also had the above mentioned problems with audio & video. Between VLC and MPlayer, I’ve sorted my video playback problems, but more work will be needed to get audio working satisfactory. Firefox frequently hangs, scrolling responds slowly (smooth-scrolling off) and is generally quite irritating. The network setup app is poor, I’d to edit files by hand to get anywhere.

I don’t feel that 8.04 is stable enough for my uses, and am contemplating a change:(

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fold this thread steve  Wednesday, 14 May 2008 o godz. 5:05 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I agree on some points, not on all. I have been disappointed with Gstreamer being broken, but Gnome Mplayer works where Totem still dies. The video plugins for FF don’t work, either.

But the enhancements have been nice, and 8.04 has a lot going on under the hood that’s setting the stage for the .1 release this summer. I agree that PulseAudio is crap, but it’s an important step towards where we need to be, LTS or not.

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fold this thread Stomfi  Wednesday, 14 May 2008 o godz. 11:49 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Depending on the machine I have successes and failures.

On my AMD 64 nvidia gforce4 board with 1GB RAM & 5300 gpu, everything now works.
I lost my USB printer but after deleting it and rebooting, it came back albeit with a different socket name.
I tried to change one secondary hard drive for a bigger one, and the ID label was wrong. Can’t figure out how to get the new one recognised, so reverted /etc/fstab to /dev/sdb1.
This machine doesn’t work with Mandriva, RedHat or SUSE. No matter what I do, the video always hangs unless the driver is set to vesa.

On an HP 1.7GHz with 512MB & Nvidia GeForce2 GPU video is a problem.
Apparently there are some nvidia associated problems in the restricted modules package. So I have to use 7.10 on these as it works perfectly.

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fold this thread TK  Wednesday, 14 May 2008 o godz. 9:57 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I tried to change one secondary hard drive for a bigger one, and the ID label was wrong. Can’t figure out how to get the new one recognised, so reverted /etc/fstab to /dev/sdb1.

You can use one of two tools to figure out the UUID of a filesystem. ‘dumpe2fs /dev/sdb1′ or ‘ls /dev/disk/by-uuid’. Once you get the long UUID string, you can use that in lieu of the /dev file. You can even use the file system label but that’s another subject.

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fold this thread Wim Vandersmissen  Tuesday, 27 May 2008 o godz. 7:58 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

You can also use vol_id –uuid /dev/sdb1 to determine the UUID of a filesystem.

fold this thread Dan-the-man  Sunday, 18 May 2008 o godz. 11:03 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I have a problem:
When I’m on Youtube watching videos and I want to also watch a movie with Totem, I get no audio and slow video.
If I use Youtube and VLC, the audio is not there, but the video is not slow.
Shall I downgrade to eaudio ?

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fold this thread Julian Rockey  Monday, 19 May 2008 o godz. 9:47 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  error

Just my $0.02 but I found Hardy to be the first truly stable Ubuntu on my Thinkpad T60. I don’t get Compiz for some reason but sound, video, Firefox 3, suspend, hibernate, removable media, iPod, Skype, office apps all work perfectly. I was quite surprised to see such negative feedback on these forums. It goes to show what a difference different machines can make to a user’s experience.

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fold this thread marcus  Thursday, 22 May 2008 o godz. 3:58 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I concur with Julian’s comments. This is the best version of Ubuntu to date. I had to replace my notebook (from Thinkpad A30 to Compaq F700 series) right after upgrading to 8.04 and the time it took to get a new notebook usable was less than 24 hours. With any version on Windows it takes a week to configure to my specs. Even when I had issues (wireless, dual monitor) their resolution was quick & easy due to the online forums. This version of Ubuntu is a STRONG competitor for XP or Vista. FYI-I went back to Firefox 2 due to incompatibility of the add-ons. I’ll wait until Firefox 3 is a stable release before upgrading.

I also agree with the comment about different machines. Still I feel that this release is the best so far! And I am very happy to not have to use any Micro$oft products on my personal computers!

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fold this thread Patrick Morrissey  Friday, 23 May 2008 o godz. 7:55 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

WOW, I am a computer systems engineer and I have not seen ANY of these problems you have spoken about. I would suggest you dig a little deeper and see if you can understand what is causing your problems. Look at the incredible success of Ubuntu 8.04 any where on the net. Also this release recognizes all disks and disk partitions INCLUDING Windows NTFS! So transition is easy.

Lastly take a look at what Ubuntu can do on YouTube. It took me a while to set this up the way I wanted it but OMG it is incredible!!!

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fold this thread leandro  Sunday, 25 May 2008 o godz. 6:41 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Same stability issues hunging my HP/Compaq Presario V6210br from the V6000 series while playing video with vlc, totem etc. System crashing all the time when playing video. Returning from hibernate also crappy. Im strongly considering moving to a rather slower but ultra-stable distro like debian.

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fold this thread anonymous  Tuesday, 27 May 2008 o godz. 2:13 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

idk about the beta, but whatever suggestion mechanism the current stable opera has, firefox awesomebar beats it by light years, so i think you haven’t done justice to fx3. i didn’t think it to be significant at first, but right now i think that within, say, 3 months searching for sites by keywords (and i mean history, not google!) is going to be as obvious as tabbed browsing, gestures, or extensions. it just makes browsing the internet so much more comfortable i don’t want a browser without it.

okay, now for mine impressions on acer aspire 5315:
-sound buttons worked before and they still work!
-wifi didn’t detect correctly, and still doesnt (it’s a madwifi issue, though), also, ndiswrapper worked and still works.
-compiz now works properly without conflicting with movie playback, which is a great improvement.
-lack of extension compatibility is indeed annoying, but after looking around for a few betas and installing nightly tester tools for forcing compatibility, i don’t want to come back to fx2. ever.

also, for some reason, my desktop’s gfx card fails to work since i upgraded it to hardy – it works, but only with vesa, so i can’t even turn on compiz anymore, and it worked perfectly before. there’s a chance that its just that i messed something up, but it’s annoying nevertheless.

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fold this thread Raskolnikov  Wednesday, 28 May 2008 o godz. 2:28 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I agree with the point about Firefox 3 beta – bad idea. Flash is unstable on version 3, and many add-ons do not work with it yet. Soution – downgrade. This was a blunder, but calling the release managers idiots seems a bit extreme. sudo apt-get purge firefox, and answer Y when it asks you to install version 2.

On the wifi – this is a problem with proprietary drivers, and hardware vendors who refuse to release specifications, not a problem with Ubuntu, or even GNU/Linux. Of course if you’re the one trying to get the integrated bc57x wifi working on your dell latitude d600, it’s now your problem right? My personal solution was to use ndiswrapper.

In my opinion, Ubuntu *IS* ready for prime time, and the community as a whole has displayed a strong commitment to continued improvement. I’ve been using Ubuntu 8.04LTS on my main computer since it was released and I could not be happier.

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fold this thread meself  Wednesday, 28 May 2008 o godz. 1:48 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I was very disappointed by 8.04.
Although the interface and overall integration are a true steps forward, they should not take precedence over stability.
I am getting tons of segfaults from Totem, mplayer, pidgin, audacity, rhythmbox, wine, etc. Audio (both onboard and USB) and video just don’t work.
They should have not included ffx 3 beta, a beta should not by definition be in a production release !!!
Also the OS hang completely three times so far, once while strace-ing pidgin to figure out where it was segfault-ing.
As crude as 7.10 was it was far more stable than 8.04

amd64, nvidia, 4GB RAM, MSI mobo

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fold this thread Mark  Thursday, 29 May 2008 o godz. 11:11 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

hardy is crashing more than daily for me. God its even worse the xp.

My gripes are the same as the rest.

Firstly, I was using Kubuntu not Ubuntu and when i did the upgrade through the package manager it installed ubuntu and was very crashy

So i decided to get out another fresh hard drive reinstall from scratch. Still haven’t been able to get Eclipse running, desktop freezes a lot. Try to open two programs that both use sound, something’s gonna hang.

Thought Ubuntu stable was supposed to be stable?


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fold this thread Jonas Dias  Friday, 30 May 2008 o godz. 3:02 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I did not like 8.04… The interface got nicer, but system got quite slower, specially on not very powerful machines.

OpenSolaris2008.05 is amazingly faster and worked nice, it`s installation is really easy too! Has a Package Manager, Integrated Compiz (if you have an nvidia)… Driver Tools and ZFS really Rocks!

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fold this thread Obi-Wan-Kenobi  Saturday, 31 May 2008 o godz. 10:03 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Yes, ubuntu is still not bug free, unfortunately. It has refused to change the keyboard layout for me. It does it in an unpredictable way.

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fold this thread Tim Richardson  Monday, 2 June 2008 o godz. 4:10 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I’m a Ubuntu skeptic, and moved to Debian about 1.5 years ago, but I just installed Ubuntu 8.04 (end of May) with all the updates enabled (including proposed updates). I got Firefox 3.0 RC1 via updates.
So far I like 8.04; it works as well as Debian and of course the Ubuntu targets laptop users more than Debian. I have a Dell; wifi, hardware buttons, suspend and resume all work great (as they do with Debian).
I find that power usage is the same (after I optimised Debian). Audio and video are ok for me. The Ubuntu team have compiz working really well, much better than I ever managed with Debian testing (stability is not a problem, but I lost video accelaration using Compiz with Debian). It’s on a machine I want to just work. Ubuntu has failed this test in the past, but I am starting to feel that maybe 8.04 will be a keeper. The other point is that it looks good. Compared to Debian, it’s much easier to do consumer-user Linux advocacy with Ubuntu (faster boot, nice splash screens), and the support for new users is really good.

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fold this thread Stephen  Tuesday, 3 June 2008 o godz. 4:25 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I had some good and bad experiences with Kubuntu 8.04 x86-64. Some of the things that were cleaned up that made me happy were flash plugin installation, which, although it crashes like in 7.10, works MUCH better and installed perfectly. The addon issue I resolved by going into about:config and creating a new boolean row with key “extensions.checkCompatibility” and setting it to “false”.

Unfortunately, the kernel they chose for 8.04 completely breaks sound on my computer (ASUS P5B motherboard), which forced me to recompile the kernel with a patch created back in March – yes March.

Overall, not a bad release, but I had expected much more from an LTS.

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fold this thread smchris  Tuesday, 3 June 2008 o godz. 5:50 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Sad. My history with Ubuntu has been poor. A v.6 install CD hung on boot with my old test machine. Screw it. Later I tried a Kubuntu live CD, looked at it, and basically asked, “Why?” But last year I put a 7.10 on a machine I don’t use much and found that there was a lot I liked about the Ubuntu interface. Unfortunately, I guess I didn’t put it through its paces enough.

When my desktop motherbaord died in April, there was an excuse to dump the old software and try 8.04. So close. But the Debian setups for myself and my wife are very full-featured. We demand acceleration, networked printers, and multi-OS kvm/qemu for fun and work. We run XP for Windows web tools (yeah, Flash “play” runs slowly but otherwise _very_ acceptable) and have full-featured local Apache/PHP/MySQL+PostgreSQL servers, the database servers are linked to OpenOffice.org, I want some linux media tools and I run Windows 98 for some proprietary personal stuff like QST amateur radio magazines on CD, old games and the like.

Again, so close with the great majority of the above. But, even with an Ubuntu install to a fresh hard drive with my Debian install attached and accessible for reference:

1. It’s been over a month and I cannot get the old networked laserjet 1100 to work. Same cupsys.conf as Debian. Doesn’t matter which of the half dozen drivers I choose.

2. The kvm session seems to work well with XP and Samba. DOS-based OSes, however, lock the x-windows randomly (but soon) after startup. What’s the xorg.conf option? “UseEvents” “false”? Doesn’t help.

Both are serious concerns to me but I guess it is the cups that really frosts me. I’ve found a blog in French where someone asserts the laserjet 1100 just isn’t supported. In the end, it’s a trust issue. Ubuntu can’t inherit the reputation of being “based” on Debian if one hand screws things up while the other hand adds enhancements.

So I’m back with my old Debian boot — but it feels like a moment of limbo. I haven’t wiped the 8.04 yet but I’m really tired of research trying to fix things that work fine in Debian. Quintuply annoying when so much _is_ right about Ubuntu but I may have to conclude with a lot of people on the web that I can’t trust Ubuntu to be “there” yet. Maybe if you want grandma to email and cruise the web it is one of the simplest linuxes to maintain but not something I’d trust relative to some other distributions for a serious and comprehensive range of work.

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fold this thread Fazlur Rahaman Naik  Tuesday, 15 July 2008 o godz. 12:38 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I too completely agree with the review. i also experienced the same problem with audio & video. Some times the nautilus crashes, if u press any key. Lot more to improve in Hardy …

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fold this thread Clyde Boom  Wednesday, 23 July 2008 o godz. 9:35 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  --1

Your readers may be interested in the comments about Hardy – as can be seen at Mark Shuttleworth’s post at:


The post is named “Ubuntu’s role in bug management for the whole free software stack”. And lots of people are unhappy that this version is so poorly executed.

Your readers may also want to learn some more about Ubuntu Linux by watching some sample Ubuntu Linux training videos at:


You can have a look at the free Ubuntu Linux book blog and see an Ubuntu Linux book being developed – daily.

And you can comment on this book and help develop its progress!


Thanks for the post!

Clyde Boom, http://www.iLearnLinux.com
The Easy Linux Training Guy ;) – Easy, self-paced Linux training – in Plain English!

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fold this thread Wayne  Sunday, 3 August 2008 o godz. 6:45 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Recently installed Ubuntu 8.04.1, and I am extremely happy with it. Maybe I am fortunate to have a compatible machine – have Dell 1100, 2 years old. Everything works, Tracker search work brilliant, firefox, fonts, multimedia, wireless (with Edimax EW-7318USg) etc etc

I just wonder if limiting the default Ubuntu to a CD image is actually hurting. I know there is a DVD version but the default where everyone bases their opinion on, is the CD. I wonder if they have to leave out features and support so that it can fit on a CD. Space is limited and high compression is also used. I believe that alot of problems would be solved if they go for a 2 CD default install and/or a DVD, or even a USB stick. I know people like a single CD download and install but they should know there are consequences to this. There are also people who have extolled the single CD download and install but then complain that more applications should be installed by default or help documentation is not there, my printer is not supported etc – hmmm, can’t have it both ways.

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fold this thread michael skramstad  Tuesday, 12 August 2008 o godz. 7:49 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Opening multiple Firefox browsers running Flash causes Flash areas to turn grey, and the browser crashes sometimes. I run the AMD 64bit OS and I used to use the 64bit FF browser until I got tired of FF crashing and seeing grey Flash zones.

To resolve these problems, experienced by many Ubuntu fans, I installed Swiftweasel. You can download it here http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=195473&package_id=….

The Debian packager will install it automatically. It runs great on my Athlon AMD64 Hardy 8.04 server/desktop box, with Flash 9.

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fold this thread jacky  Monday, 18 August 2008 o godz. 9:01 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I have a Dell Dimension E521 (AMD) and with Gutsy it would freeze up after an hour or two, every time. It was a known issue on these machines. I even tried about 6 different BIOS updates that Dell put out to fix the problem. Once I upgraded to Hardy this behaviour suddenly stopped! After 8.04.1 came out I installed Compiz, which I had uninstalled long ago hopeing my system would stabilize, and found that it now works perfectly! Although 8.04.1 has some bugs that 7.10 didn’t have it is, in my opinion, far better.

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fold this thread forsaken  Sunday, 24 August 2008 o godz. 11:22 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

yeah, tried it out, modern pc you dont -need- to know the details.
anyway everything goes fine however…
where’s the control?
where’s the diversity?
where’s the rest of the repository gone?
it just aint debian :)
infact it isnt even close :P
just blergh. beta firefox, one colour scheme, hardcoded .debs that cant be removed else they break everything, .debs like that bootloader screen that I dislike… reminds me of windows xp when I tried to remove the windows xp login picture and animation with something else and broke it…
just a whole load of hype, back to the source, back to debian for me.

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fold this thread Yaro  Friday, 17 July 2009 o godz. 12:47 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

The 8 series of Ubuntu was just… bad. 8.10 was even worse than 8.04. And one of the single biggest mistakes the Ubuntu devs made was Pulse Audio.

Pulse Audio isn’t even beta yet, why the fuck did they think installing it as the default sound daemon was a good idea? Broke sound for thousands, if not ALL Ubuntu installations. From what I’ve seen, PA is still fucking up sound even in 9.04, but by this point I got so fed up with Ubuntu I switched to Arch.

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fold this thread best essay writing reviews  Wednesday, 13 August 2014 o godz. 6:05 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

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