locale and sound in Dapper

Anders Karlsson anders at trudheim.com
Wed Apr 19 10:30:41 UTC 2006

On Wed, 2006-04-19 at 10:08 +0200, Johann Spies wrote:
> 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.

Well, cherry-picking packages from a different release is not supported,
and is advised against for exactly that reason - it breaks things a bit
more often than you'd like.
A full dist-upgrade would most likely have worked fine, with perhaps
only minor tweaks required after the upgrade. 

> 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.

Can't really comment on this. I don't use midi and while I use Gnome
desktop, amaroK is my music player of choice and it just works for me. I
may well have tweaked things - just can't remember if I have.. :)

> 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
> difference.
> 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.

System -> Preferences -> Keyboard. Pick keyboard layout, keyboard type
etc, and on the Layout Options tab, select all sorts of mods to the
keymap - like where your compose keys are. I used to do things with
xmodmap once upon a time, but since kde and gnome got tools to do it for
me, I don't bother with xmodmap anymore.

> 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.

Use the language-selector package, and the language-support-XX packages.
That should do the trick.

> 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...

Ubuntu is easier and faster to install now than WinXP. As for ease of
use once it is installed, that is a different matter, and very dependent
on the skills, preconceptions and needs of the individual user. Ubuntu
does exactly what I need it to do, and I enjoy using it. It also gives
me a warm fuzzy feeling seeing people try and install Windows on
desktops, hear the oaths and see the frustration until they come and ask
for install media. At that point I don't mind spending 10-15 mins
talking them through an install of Ubuntu/Kubuntu.

Ubuntu is getting there, and Dapper is showing all the signs of being a
great platform for a huge leap into the future. 


Anders Karlsson <anders at trudheim.com>
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