On Running Gutsy Beta

Just fired up the Gutsy Beta Desktop/LiveCD, thought I’d blog some quick notes & first impressions.

Overall: Gnome keeps getting faster, the startup sequence keeps getting faster, everything that should work by default (resolution, sound, wired internet) did (it always has with Ubuntu LiveCDs), so that much is good. Specifics below.


  • Bring back Dapper’s startup sequence. Please. Post-Dapper startups have conveyed no useful information beyond a progress bar that moves in fits and starts. Dapper’s discreet stylish scroll was a perfect compromise between a pretty startup and the traditional terrifying textscroll startup.
  • Also (minor issue) that progress bar is off-centre in both the startup sequence and during the “Check This CD” integrity checking run – it’s displaced right instead of being centred under the Ubuntu logo graphic.


  • Brown swirly default wallpaper: I like. The “We Hate Brown” crowd won’t, but it’ll give them something to complain about again.
  • Desktop Effects/Compiz/whatever it’s called this week by default: It works with my ATI Radeon 9600XT, it doesn’t bug me, I have no desire to enable the cube-thing or any of the other really glossy stuff, so it’s all good. NB Compiz/whatever works even WITHOUT having Restricted Drivers enabled (which they are not by default) – colour me impressed.
  • Close Button in top right corner: Do Not Want. Irritatingly close to the Close Window button on a maximized window. It’ll go first thing when I upgrade my install to Gutsy.
  • Fast User Switcher widget: Nice, but it’ll die too – this is a single-user computer and I use all of the top bar for stuff already.
  • Only Two Desktops: Meh. I use eight, I know lots of people don’t use this feature at all, so I suppose it’s a needed compromise.
  • The Desktop Switcher bug #34713 seems solved. Good.
  • On the other paw, using the mouse scroll wheel over the Desktop Switcher to change desktops doesn’t seem to work anymore. Compiz bug?
  • No real IRC client by default – no, Pidgin does NOT qualify. Gaim was crap at IRC, and Pidgin hasn’t changed at all. This has been a ‘bug’ since Dapper, and I’m still irritated.
  • Awesome Pidgin “feature” I just discovered: As you type in the input field, the text bounces up and down a few pixels. Please tell me this is a bug that’ll be fixed by release, and not really a “feature”…
  • All those default folders in ~ – Documents/Music/Pictures/Public/etc etc etc – Meh. Hopefully this does not lead to something like Bug #39085 coming back again.

I was going to load Muine (my music player of choice since Breezy) and test LP #117726 out, but Add/Remove and Synaptic both barfed with a window that said “Another synaptic is running. There is another synaptic running in non-interactive mode. Please wait for it to finish first.” – gnome-system-monitor showed nothing running that should have locked apt-get… WTF?

apt-get and aptitude both barfed too:

E: Could not get lock /var/lib/apt/lists/lock – open (11 Resource temporarily unavailable)

E: Couldn’t lock list directory..are you root?

First time I’ve ever had a LiveCD give trouble about installing things. Will reboot and investigate further later. Need food.

Edit To Add:

Pidgin’s bouncing-text bug filed as 150428.

The apt-get/Synaptic/AddRemove problems continue – various people in #ubuntu+1 have suggested a number of things, none of which work. Other people there are having update-manager issues, which may or may not be related.

By Brian Burger

Started this site way, way back in November 1998, when the web was young. It's still here, and so am I.

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