Problems after using UBUNTU for about 13 Days...

Benjamin Edwards bedwards at
Tue Sep 28 13:38:41 UTC 2004

Not sure wether a 'usibility' study is really possible using a beta release of a distribution that is months old against a very mature release.  What you say is in fact fairly encoraging.  

Although due to standardisation it is a lot easier to get a distribution working on Mac I suspect since the number of mac users is smaller, the platform more expensive and the fact that it already has a mature *nix initialy most of the activity will be on x86.

What I would be interested to know is wether there is anything about ubuntu you prefer to OS X.

It would be cool it you could put some of this stuff into bugzilla.


>>> Karsten Fischer <kfischer at> 09/28/04 02:23pm >>>
Caveats in UBUNTU (or, more precise, UBUNU & Gnome & Debian)

First off all, UBUNTU seems pretty stable and easy to use. Compliments 
to the developers.

Still, comparing the Desktop-Usability of UBUNTU with the only other 
Desktop-Unix (OS X)available, Ubuntu stays at the second place. 
Granted, UBUNTU runs on three different platforms: the x86-Family, 
AMD64 and PowerPC (up to G5); whereas OS X runs only on the PowerPC. 
Nevertheless, it is after all possible to produce a Unix-based System, 
which is easy to use, needs barely knowledge of computers to set it up 
or to maintain it. With this example in mind, Ubuntu should strive to 
reach a similar goal.

The current problems seem to be mostly GNOME-related, with only a few – 
but extremly annoying – bugs in the underlying system. I tried to sort 
them into the following categories: Platform-specific, 
Desktop-Specific, OS-Specific.

Now, let the list begin:

Platform: PowerPC (iBook G3, summer 2003, 800 Mhz G3, 640 MB RAM)
OS-Specific:	While running on Battery-Power, Ubuntu seems to drain the 
battery almost twice as fast as OS X; CPU is running at 400 Mhz – as it 
would in OS X, but this doesn't seem to have 	any dramatic influence on 
battery-usage. Way to go there...

OS-Specific:	the modem is neither detected nor is any software 
installed (using the Desktop-install) for the use of it. Very 
interesting, since nearly any Mac produced in the last three to four 
years seems to have a modem. Internet via Modem as well as Fax should 
be installed as default I think.

Desktop-Specific:	My Digital camera (a no-name brand which identifies 
itself as USB-Mass storage) seems to be detected, I even get a dialog 
which states that there seem to be pictures on it and if I would like 
to copy them to the computer – great. Unfortunately, in the next window 
I am asked to select my camera, since there seems to be no camera 
connected to my computer. Regardless which camera I choose, I couldn't 
import any pictures of it.

Desktop-Specific:	The Keyboard doesn't work as anticipated. After a 
long, long time of fiddling with it I came up with a work-around: every 
time I log in, I open a terminal and issue the following command 
'xmodmap -e *keycode 64=Mode_switch“', after which I can use the 
Option-Key to generate things like the '@'-smybol using the 
Apple-default Option-l. This seems to be a minor bug, but pretty 
annoying – and is probably fixed in the latest builds. By the way: it 
seems that the default buttons for closing a window (which seems to be 
– in most cases – the same as closing the application) is something 
strange and should set to the default Command-W and Command-Q

Platform: any

Desktop-Specific:	Documentation. This is a simple topic: there is 
almost none of it. When I pressed the Help-Button, loacted conveniently 
in the Menubar (called 'Panel' here, which may be more appropriate 
since every app seems to have its own Menu sticking at the top of their 
window) I get an awful lot of documentation, but in fact hardly 
anything usable. Especially since I selected German as my default 
language – but the Help System is always English. What I expected – and 
probably most users of Ubuntu – would be an introduction to the OS, 
perhaps a chapter *Differences to Windows & OS X“, several guides like 
*How to connect to the Internet, Printing, Faxing & Scanning, How to 
set up your local Network“ and so on. And I would prefer a native 

Unsure:	I greatly appreciate OpenOffice, but there seems no way to get 
Spellchecking to work.

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