locale and sound in Dapper

Johann Spies js at wdsl.co.za
Wed Apr 19 08:08:06 UTC 2006

I did an aptitude upgrade and selected other upgrades from
breezy to dapper the past weekend (not a dist-upgrade because my
internet link was too slow).  On Tuesday morning I could not
boot my laptop due to a circular reference in the scripts
handling the ramfs.

So I made a backup of the hard disk (using Knoppix) and did a
fresh install of Dapper.

Two things made me realise that Ubuntu is not yet easy enough
that somebody without a considerable bit of Linux administration
experience could install and configure it.

1.  I could not get the system's sound to work from the start as
I expected it.  Only after a "killall esd" did I have some
success using xmms and something like "saytime".  I could not
get my timidity or aplaymidi to play midi files even after
inserting the snd-seq - midi-modules.  

I could also not find the "multi-media selector" in the menus on
Gnome - something that I have used on Breezy.

2.  I have problems with locales and accented characters like
'ê'. I can do it now with the Compose key in the console but in
the Gnome-terminal I have no success. I have tried to set the
compose key in the keyboard preferences, but that did not make a

I have tried to set the compose-key for X using xkeycaps
generating the following code in ~/.xmodmap:  

keycode 0x73 = Multi_key

This has worked in Breezy, but not in Dapper.

How do I set the default locale?  In the past I could use
dpkg-reconfigure locales, but that does not do the job any more.

Linux System Administration has been my full time job for years
now and I have seen Debian and Ubuntu installations become
easier.  It still has a long way to go...


J.H. Spies - Tel. 021-982 2694 / 082 782 0336 / 021-808 4036(w)  
             Posbus 4668, Tygervallei 7536
     "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor 
      angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things 
      present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, 
      nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us 
      from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our 
      Lord."     Romans 8:38,39 

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