Initial ubuntu impressions and suggestions

Daniel Robitaille robitaille at
Fri Oct 29 01:01:39 CDT 2004

> 1) During boot, I get the following error messages:
>    PCI: Address space collision on region 7 of bridge 0000:00:1f.0
> [1000:107f]
>    modprobe: FATAL: error inserting pciehp
> (/lib/modules/
> Operation not permitted
>    modprobe: FATAL: error inserting shpchg
> (/lib/modules/
> Operation not permitted

the fatal errors are harmless but confusing for most users, especially
with the words "fatal" and "errors" in them.  I finally gave in
recently and blacklisted them to get rid of them before someelse in my
family start wondering about them after a reboot.

> I have no idea about the first one; perhaps the later two are related to
> the fact that acpi isn't enabled on this machine?  On a related note, with
> acpi disabled, the machine doesn't actually switch off when shut down; it
> must be manually power cycled.  The acpi stuff claims that the bios is
> pre-2000 and hence too old to work.  But I had no trouble with the
> soft-power
> off working using apm instead of acpi.

I had the same issue on mine with acpi automatically disabled due to
its age. So I  added apm to /etc/modules, and that  enabled the
automatic switch off when shutdown.
> 2) This time, X came up with 1024x768 at 24bpp as requested, but at only
> 60Hz.  Again, editing /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 was required to fix the
> problem;
> something a novice wouldn't be comfortable with.  (In this case, the
> monitor
> that I was using didn't support DDC, so it was using a generic default
> with a maximum horizontal refresh rate of 48kHz; hence the 60Hz limit at
> 1024x768.  Admittedly, most modern monitors support DDC, so this wouldn't
> be a problem for most users.  Perhaps if a DDC link is not detected, it
> could prompt the user for the info?  That's probably getting too technical
> for your target audience, though...)

My 7-year old monitor had the exact same problem:

There is a hint in that bug report that maybe it will be fixed in
Hoary.  But at the rate the fuzzyness is growing on that monitor, I
suspect it will die before then :)

> 1) sshd was disabled by default.  While I can certainly appreciate the
> need to keep the install as simple, secure and question-free as possible
> (and you've done an execellent job!), maybe one more install question
> might be ok?  (Something like "Do you want to allow other people to
> access this computer via the internet?"  I dunno.)

I actually I personally think it's a good default (and an excellent
sale pitch) not to have something like sshd enabled by default: after
an installation Warty is not supposed to have any ports open to the
world.  And then only at that point with a running system the user has
to take steps to install various software (sshd, apache, etc) that
will open ports; and hopefully he/she will realize the implications of
this from a security point of view. Throwing questions at install time
that opens ports to the world is a bit risky.

> 5) I tried double-clicking on an .mp3 file in nautilus, and it started up
> totem, which in turn failed to play the song with an uninformative message
> of the form: "Totem could not play 'file:///home/'.  Failed to
> open; reason unknown."  It logs a more useful error message:
>    ** (totem:7012): WARNING **: don't know how to handle audio/mpeg,
> mpegversion=(int)1, layer=(int)3
> elsewhere, but I didn't discover that until later.  This all works fine
> with a plain .wav file.  While I understand that licensing issues may
> prevent you from decoding mp3s in the default install, shouldn't it fail
> more gracefully?

I have to say, that error also confused me; and I only realized later
when I saw a post on the mailing list that I needed an extra package
from universe to solve the problem.

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