Some of my Kubuntu-Hoary tweaks

Abdullah Ramazanoglu ar018 at
Fri Apr 15 09:57:49 CDT 2005

Derek Broughton dedi ki:
> On Thursday 14 April 2005 19:01, Abdullah Ramazanoglu wrote:
>> I hope this proves useful to others as well, and I hope the
>> positive/negative community response to this and other user preferences
>> (please post yours too) becomes a useful feedback to Kubuntu devs as to
>> what defaults/settings to adopt in future releases.
> These are good as examples of what works for you.  I'm pretty leery of
> suggesting most of this as "defaults/settings to adopt in future
> releases".

I agree, and I'm not asking them be adopted as defaults. I'm only
suggesting them for consideration. What I mean is that if everyone tells
about their own preferences, along with a short rationale, and if everyone
goes for or against these preferences, also with a short rationale, then
in short time it becomes apparent which popular and sensible preferences
are missing in a default installation (and vice versa). I regard this as a
continuous convergence process through feedback.

>> 6. A new "root" command (instead of "sudo -i") to switch to a permanent
>> root session:
>> echo "alias root='sudo -i'" >> ~/.bashrc
> ???  You mean 'su'?  I don't _have_ a pure kubuntu install (yet - just
> downloading it) but a hoary kubuntu-desktop on top of Debian sid, so
> perhaps 'su' is missing from pure kubuntu, but I'd be very surprised.

I meant sudo. There's no password defined for root (disabled for login) in
Kubuntu. So either it's necessary to define a "passwd" for root (which
defeats the original no-root strategy) or do root tasks through
indirection of sudo. I used to do "sudo -i" to get a persistent root login
session (as opposed to prefixing each command with sudo), and this "root
command" just seemed so cute to me. Other than that it has no value. :)

>> ii) Almost everyone[*] enables universe and multiverse (if not also
>> marillat or backports) the first thing after installation.
> Probably - I missed out on multiverse, at first, because it _wasn't_
> there and commented, but I think it a bad idea to have them enabled by 
> default.  I really think only the ubuntu supported packages should be 
> enabled by default, but make it easy to get the rest, by having commented 
> lines for both universe and multiverse.

This is a highly controversial subject, at least to me, regarding
definition of "right thing to do". I guess it deserves a separate thread
of its own. But suffice it to say that I think Kubuntu should go even
further and include non-supoorted and *non-free* packages (as long as it's
legal to do so) in the CD. It takes just a simple installer question: "Do
you want to install packages not supported officially by Kubuntu?" The
rest is a controversy about whether it is the right thing to do. Many
thinks it's a compromise between right (ideals) and might (user base). I
think it's also a synergy: You have every right of imposing your "right
thing"s if you have a large user base. FWIW, I vote for user base
expansion in the first place, and doing due compromises for it.

> They're good suggestions - I'm just not sure that many of them should be
> defaults :-)

I'd like to add another one.

10. Harden filesystem robustness:
Don't laugh, but I swear I've observed huge increase in filesystem
integrity with this, particularly in rather adverse conditions. E.g. I
once had one system with a buggy chipset which was freezing many times a
day, or there are some users who think a PC is really just a fancy TV
(including my 3 yo kid, but he has learned orderly shutdown now :)

Kernel already takes care of dirty pages, but I suspect there's something
special with "sync" (could it be flushing on-disk cache as well?) that
apparently makes the filesystems an order of magnitude more robust.

sudo echo "* * * * *  root  /bin/sync"

I'd much like someone more knowledgeable on kernel internals shed a light
on this one. Until then, I'll continue to do it the first thing after any
Linux installation.

Abdullah Ramazanoglu
aramazan ÄT myrealbox D0T cöm

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