Bugs and Improvement ideas for XUbuntu 10.04

Vincent mailinglists at vinnl.nl
Wed Jul 14 09:42:25 UTC 2010

On Tue, Jul 13, 2010 at 9:41 AM, Pál Gergő <iwantnobelprice at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hello Everyone!
Hi :)

> XUbuntu is already the best operating system, I think I'll never switch
> to anything else. But if we want more average windows users to switch to
> (X)Ubuntu, you may want to consider the following ideas.
Hehe, I always try to be careful when saying "I could use feature x so
please add feature x because most users want that". Even when you personally
could use something, really doesn't mean that applies to most (or even many)
users. In fact, most of the time when people say something like this, it's
actually a very specific edge case.

In any case, wow, what a list. As a non-developer, let me try to reply to
some things that I do know an answer to.

> I use XUbunbu 10.04 as a main desktop operating system, initially it was
> a dual-boot with a Vista (later deleted). I didn't read any official
> handbooks or manuals, I'm the man of experiences, and many future users
> will be like me. Here are the issues I came across.
Really, there are people who've worked hard on quality documentation, which
can really be a help sometimes :)

> 1. Currently the easiest way to change a partition volume label is with
> GParted.
> - Gparted should be installed by default
> OR
> - Mtools mlabel should be improved, to work like e2label , without
> hand-editing any config file

Changing the label of a partition really isn't someone people do every day
(or even at all). Having to install Gparted for this is good enough for such
an edge case.

> 2. The xfce widget "Mount devices" lists XUbuntu partition with a scary
> UUID, and no name. It should use partition label or "xubuntu" string
> instead. (All the other partitions are listed as expected). The user
> should be notified that if he/she wants to view UUID, he/she should use
> blkid.
This is something that should be improved by the Xfce project directly
(which is where Xubuntu gets its most important applications and plugins
from). You can file a bug (which you can also do to report a suggestion for
improvement) at http://bugzilla.xfce.org/ after creating an account.

> 3. When I install and boot linux other than HD0,0 , then the Places
> application does not list HD0,0 . I think it is because Grub always
> calls the booting partition HD0,0 , so when XUbuntu wakes up, it may be
> confused. But Gigolo lists it correctly, and I myself was able to write
> a 1kb automount shell script, to mount /dev/sd?? -> /mnt/?? .
> - The user should be notified about this possible problem, and that the
> solution is Gigolo
> OR
> - Places app should be improved (like I implied, it can't be too difficult)
Same here: http://bugzilla.xfce.org/

> 4. Pulsaudio is incompatible with many widespread applications, notably
> Blender. Esound seems to be compatible with anything (even Audacity,
> which, according to its developers , is not expected to). Esound should
> be the default sound system.
It used to be ALSA, I'm not sure why it was PulseAudio recently but I
believe there was good reason for that.

> 5. XUbuntu should not use UTC time settings by default. If it is
> dual-booted with a Windows, it is just a source of misunderstandings. If
> XUbuntu is installed alone, then it is totally indifferent, which time
> settings it uses. There also should be a GUI way to change it.
> 6. Setting the default mouse cursor speed multiplier [ex. for a too
> sensitive touchpad] AND changing xorg color depth (24 / 16) should be
> achieved in a GUI way.
I believe that's already possible. Have you checked the Mouse and Display
items, respectively, in Applications->Settings->Settings Manager?

> 7. There should be a more easy way to change the number of desktops ,
> and to create Launcher shortcuts. (ex: right click on the desktop
> changer -> Set count ; Right click on a file -> create shortcut)
You can also do this in the Settings Manager (under Workspaces I believe),
which is easy enough (you don't change the number of desktops that often).
You can create launchers in the file manager by selecting a file and going
to Edit->Make Link. Not sure if you can also do this for the context menu.
The Desktop I believe is being worked on.

> 8. When I install XUbuntu with hungarian default language, it is not
> able to locate and use the restricted nVidia GeForce Go 6200 drivers,
> System -> Hardware drivers does not list them. I reinstalled in english
It shouldn't, and probably isn't related to the language but just something
that happened during installation. Unfortunate, of course.

> 9. If I have some minimized and some normal sized applications , I have
> to click "Hide windows and show desktop" button twice to view my desktop
> (and obviously it is the function i want to use it in most caces). The
> first click pops up all the windows , even minimized ones.
http://bugzilla.xfce.org/ :)

> 10. Network monitor gadget uses "wlan0" string for wireless network. I
> could not find any /dev/wlan0 , so it was strange to me at first. The
> users should be notified about that they can get info from Ifconfig.
> 11. Personal oppinion: xterm should be completely replaced by
> xfce4-terminal. It even should have a shorter, more convenient name. I
> created a /usr/bin/cmd symlink to xfce4-terminal
Xfce4-terminal *is* the default terminal. The only place where you can still
encounter xterm, I believe, is when trying the failsafe session from the
login screen.

> 12. During installation, the default GRUB2 setting is to put XUbuntu on
> HD0 boot sector, no matter where the ext4 partition is. Now think about
> that a little bit.
> If I have two hard disks, on one windows (hd0) and on one XUbuntu (hd1),
> and I install grub into (hd0), then none of the devices are removable
> anymore, I will need both to boot any of the two operating system.
> - GRUB2 settings should not be hidden under the "Advanced" button
> - The default setting should be: Install GRUB2 into HD? whereever the
> ubuntu is, and if it is not HD0, warn the user to use Bios Boot Menu.
> - GRUB2 should warn the user about every possibilities and detect their
> consequences.
> 13. Total newbie linux users shoud be informed even before the
> installation begins, about:
> - Why to use EXT4 file system
> - what a swap is and what's its recommended size, and that it has to be
> created as a separate partition
> - how to set up mount points ("/" for file system, "swap" for swap)
> - that they can find other partitions in /media/
> - what does rwxrwxrwx attribute format mean
> - what is a root password for , and also the existence of the SUDO or SU
> - commands.
> - the existance and usage of Synaptic
> - the existence and usage of wine
> - the existance and usage of PlayOnLinux (many people think that the
> computers are not just for work!)
> - that samba is equivalent to windows file sharing and Thunar does not
> support It. Use Krusader.
> - - to show these informations, there should be a SHORT or step-by-step
> or on-screen-actualities guide.
Most of the things that apply to normal users are present in the
documentation. The more advanced things can be learned through the internet
or a guide book, but that's really out of scope to confront the bulk of the
users with on the desktop.

> 14. About the SWAP: just to be sure, I gave a 5 GB partition to XUbuntu,
> so that I never wanted to hear it complain. After installation, I often
> check it with the gnome system monitor, and XUbuntu ever since the
> installation, did not even touch the swap. I have 1GB ram, and it is
> more than enough to XUbuntu. During installation, especially when the
> user creates the swap partition, the user should be notified about some
> guidelines of the recommended swap settings, and also that an idle
> XUbuntu uses about 250 Mb memory.
In the default selections (fill the harddrive with Xubuntu or share the hard
drive with another operating system, I believe), this is all handled for the
user. When using the advanced partitioning window, you're expected to be
advanced and understand what to do with swap :)

> 15. Users should be informed that the lock screen option is actually
> done by the xscreensaver daemon, so if they turn off their screen saver
> completely, they cannot lock the desktop. Or, the lock screen should
> automatically re-enable xscreensaver.
Is there a place more obvious than xscreensaver to have screen locking
capabilities? Basically it's just running the screensaver but not stopping
until a password is entered.

> 16. The default screen saver should be phosphor with fortune. All the
> others are trivial to set up.
Is this just a screensaver that you like?

> 17. It would be a nice feature in Synaptic that it had a backup ability
> for the downloaded DEB packages also (and this function would be
> available through command line too)
Most of the packages you install are in /var/cache/apt, IIRC :)

> 18. It would be a nice feature to have a backup function for restricted
> drivers too (or being informed that they are usual ordinary DEB packages
> if they really are)
Yes, they are .deb packages as well. The above applies.

> 19. When I installed music players, my first experiences are: "Damn, no
> sound!". Audio and video cocecs are not REQUIRED just recommended.
> Synaptic should somehow detect the cocecs/plugins that the program can
> use, and ask the user if he/she wants to install those, too. For an
> other example: Krusader should come with kdiff3, krename and kompare
> installed by default.
> - Also, Krusader shoud be offered to be installed by default.

Movie Player, for example, does this, and I believe Exaile does it as well.
Anyway, the new installer that should come with 10.10 should include the
option to install restricted extras during installation. (Though I hope that
will install xubuntu-restricted-extras for Xubuntu, not

> 20. The ICEDTEA (or any other firefox - openjava brigde) should be
> installed by default. Seriously.
Why? Isn't Java installed now it's open source?

> 21. When I exit Krusader on a mounted device that is later removed, and
> start Krusader like that, Krusader tells me that the devices does not
> exist anymore. But it the removed device was on the right panel,
> Krusader crashes instead.
> Also in Krusader: it would be nice to have an FTP disconnect button,
> would be useful on some web servers.
> Also: Krusader shoud often check automatically if I later installed any
> plugin it can use (kdiff3, krename, kompare)
> Also: When I start an exe program through wine in Krusader, it starts
> that with ~ as the working directory. I have to first start a command
> line in the program directory with F2 button, and use wine in that to
> solve this problem.
> Also: when opening a file, there are two ways that it is likely to have
> been created: THIS operating system or Windows. So the automatic charset
> guessing should try these first, before anything else.
> Also: when opening a file, it loads the whole conent into memory, even
> if the file size is over gigabytes. I recommend to modify the editor to
> load only the parts I currently view/edit. Hexa editing also would be a
> nice feature (sorry if there is one, I was yet unable to find it)
No idea what Krusader is, but these things should probably be reported to
the Krusader project directly.

> 22. Pidgin uses the ~/.purple directory to store settings and logged
> conversation. Why???

Probably because the library it uses to connect to the different IM services
is called purple. I think other IM clients that also use this library can
then re-use these things.

To be sure, you should check with the Pidgin project directly though.

> 23. Samba and smb-fuse should be installed by default.
Can't you already access SMB shares through Gigolo by default?

> 24. In Application -> Settings -> Xfce4 settings manager -> Sessions and
> startup -> Application autostart, I cannot view or edit existing entry
> command-lines. Also If I create an own and want to change it later, I
> have to delete and re-create. The user who is advanced enough to
> navigate here has the right to at least know what are the commands for
> the startup items.
Known bug, IIRC.

> 25. Klamav, Clamav, Ufw and Gufw should be installed by default, even in
> an inactive state, or the user should receive information about their
> existance.
> Klamav sometimes has trouble with update file-creation so I have to use
> command-line freshclam for updates. Newbie users should be warned that
> ufw blocks incoming SSH, FTP, SMB and HTTP requests by default, but it
> has a built-in rule gui to enable them. And just a question: why would
> anyone ever use "block all outgoing" feature?
None of those are actually necessary by default; there are no viruses for
Xubuntu that are actually a threat, and there are no open ports by default.
The user has information of their existence if he opens Applications->Ubuntu
Software Center and searches for "firewall" or "virus scanner".

> 26. Freepascal Lazarus : Cross compiling should be either
> improved/simplified or totally forgotten forever. I found a several tens
> of pages guide how to set up cross compiling, which would have been a
> whole day of my life. I found a shortcut: I downloaded the
> windows-version compiler and used it with Wine. Works perfectly, and in
> no time.
No idea what Freepascal is but this, too, should probably be reported to the
freepascal project directly.

> 27. A very very nice feature would be a completely automatic gui wizard
> to create a failsafe "Xubuntu 10.04 bootable ISO on a USB pendrive
> stick" for reinstall/backup/ext4 portability opportunities. Mine was
> created with using info on www.pendrivelinux.com , and I also use this
> pendrive to backup Synaptic marking list and DEB packages.
> Also It should contain an EXT2IFS like tool (for windows to mount ext
> file systems) just for EXT4.

When running the LiveCD, there is System->Administration->USB Startup Disk
Creator. You can also install this afterwards to easily create a bootable
USB pendrive, that can also store your settings and installed applications
and the like.

> 28. When I click on the white question mark in a blue sphere "Help"
> launcher-icon in Xubuntu 10.04 , I get a "Welcome to Xubuntu 9.10"
> document in file:///usr/share/xubuntu-docs/about/xubuntu-index.html .
Known bug, IIRC.

> 29. The default music player Exaile does not handle mp3-s without
> ID2/ID3 tag, they don't appear when I want to search for them by
> filename. This is bad, because I have a lot of home made stuff. I use
> Audacious, which I recommend to be the default, because it is not less
> lightweight than Exaile. [Windows -> Linux switchers will be used to
> Winamp, anyway]
Should be reported to the Exaile project directly.

Do you also have any backup data for the light-weightness of Audacious and
the claim that most Windows users will be used to Winamp? I can hardly

Oh, and light-weightness isn't the only criterium. Integration with the
desktop, for example, is another.

> 30. Same as 29 with Totem and SMplayer : I'm already used to SMplayer,
> and I like it because it can play damaged files too, and uses built-in
> codecs for everything.
Built-in codecs are a no-go because Xubuntu can't ship them by default due
to licensing issues of those codecs. And because *you* are used to it
doesn't mean it should be shipped by default ;-)

> 31. tar.gz (the kind Krusader uses by default) has trouble with accent
> characters.
.tar.gz in general or is this just a probably with Krusader?

> +1: Totem, Mousepad and many other linux applications are shy about
> their names. I would like to see them in the window title, not just in
> Help -> About. It won't scare newbies, they probably will be used to
> Windows which does the same. It rather would help them find and start
> faster the applications they want.
> Anything I didn't enumerated on this list is TOTALLY AWESOME so
> congratulations anyway. XUbuntu is the best!
> The connection method to the internet is a blessing, I didn't have
> trouble installing flash player under firefox, and I usually play nice
> windows-games like Titan Quest, Dark Messiah, Metin2 and GTA2. I also
> use XUbuntu for developing multimedia , programs and web sites in html,
> php, javascript, mysql, freepascal, c++ , matlab-clone scilab, Blender,
> Audacity, LMMS, they all work fine.
Great :) Hope I've answered a few of your questions.

> Regards,
> Gregorius
> ( also available at lordofdance at freemail.hu )
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