Desktop OS: To be or not to be...

Liam Proven lproven at
Wed Nov 10 14:27:02 UTC 2010

On Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 4:41 AM, Smokin Chevy <chevy4x4burb at> wrote:

> Anyway, I finally switched my main desktop to Ubuntu 64bit Desktop.

What version?

> I would
> have to say after a week of running it that I do not think that Ubuntu is
> fully up to speed to be a desktop OS.  Atleast not past a standard desktop
> computer.  My biggest complaint is that in order to drag a window across my
> four LCDs I have to enable Xinerama.  Xinerama is not compatible with compiz
> so there goes any visual effects including the proper display of Docky.

Works fine for me. I'm running 10.04 with an old free 256MB nVidia
7800GTX card, the latest nVidia drivers from Ubuntu's repos, and
Compiz works fine.

If you are using nVidia drivers, though, you should be using their
TwinView feature, not Xinerama. Xinerama does work but I've not needed
it in 5y or something. It belongs back in the Matrox, 2D desktop era,
for me. Certainly I've had a composited multihead desktop working fine
for 2-3y now.

Docky, OTOH, I found broken beyond belief. I have tried every
GNOME-compatible dock I have heard of and the only one that is barely
usable, to me, is ADeskBar, and then only as a task switcher. Most of
its advanced functionality is broken (notification area & volume
control don't work at all; drawers work but could find no way to put
anything in or on them; the clock works fine but is non-interactive,
e.g., it doesn't display a calendar when clicked, a core function for

> Other quirkiness appears from time to time.  I may have the
> audio unmuted and it will display so in 2 or three monitors and the others
> will show in the panel that the sound is muted.

You only have one sound system. You /can/ only have one sound system,
really. So having >1 volume control makes no sense. If you have volume
controls on every desktop, you have an irrational setup & I would not
expect it to work.

>  I can have a Screenlets
> daemon icon on one monitor but none of the others so it requires going
> through the menu to add a widget to a desktop.  To top it off about 20
> minutes ago I tried highlighting something that I had typed on google and
> the mouse started spastically fluttering around three of the four screens
> like little gnats.  The digital clock stopped and froze.  I knew at that
> point that X had left the building.  The lights were on but nobody was home.

I think I've had X crashes about 3 or 4 times since I moved to Ubuntu
4.10 in 2004. But then, I've never tried quad-head using 2 cards. I
run dual-head and have done for about 12-13yr now. Originally on a
pair of Matrox Millennia, then on a G400, then on a G550, then on
various old free nVidia cards.

> My thoughts are that Ubuntu is probably the closest and being mainstream
> desktop ready but they just aren't quite there yet.
> Anyone with constructive thoughts?

Well, it works for me, in some quite demanding roles, and it's working
for about a thousand customers and clients of mine so far, so I'd say
that for my money it is ready, yes.

I would have to point out that what you are trying to do is far from
ordinary, by the sound of it.

Liam Proven • Info & profile:
Email: lproven at • GMail/GoogleTalk/Orkut: lproven at
Tel: +44 20-8685-0498 • Cell: +44 7939-087884 • Fax: + 44 870-9151419
AIM/Yahoo/Skype: liamproven • MSN: lproven at • ICQ: 73187508

More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list