Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Forget the Koala fight and let's go Lynx

There is a lof of debate whether Karmic Koala was a good or bad release, that is all a matter of expectations. In my opinion, we, the Ubuntu community did a great job but the outcome was not as good as some people expected.

I have read the following reply from Martin Pitt on the ubuntu-devel-discuss which makes me believe this was an accounted risked, part of the preparation for a much important goal which is 10.04 LTS:

" Well, the bug tracker is full of regression and other reports. Karmic
indeed was meant from the start as a "crack dump" release, with lots
and lots of new technology going into it. So in a way, it was the
Fedora of Ubuntu releases so far.

Perhaps we should have announced that more clearly...

At least we now have a full cycle ahead of us to do bug fixing. :) "
Unlike the usual blame game this was a much simpler and probably more realistic answer.

Instead of wasting energy debating if it really failed let's just try to fix it. Sometimes is not a technically failure and it is just lack of understanding on how things work, if that is the case we still need to fix it, it's a matter of improving awareness and communication.


  1. where is this "lots and lots of new technology" I wonder.

  2. 9.04 worked great, but I upgraded to 9.10, it hosed my video driver, so I then did a nuke & pave, installed a clean 9.10, which fixed the problem with the video driver in one way, but broke it in another because now Compiz doesn't work. Had I (and many others) of known that 9.10 would be akin to Vista and 10.04 would be akin to Windows 7, I would have waited.

    Lesson learned.

    From now on I NEVER deviate from ONLY using LTS+1, such as 8.0.4.xLTS. When 10.04LTS is out, I will not update until it's at 10.04.1LTS.

  3. >>Jonathan said...

    where is this "lots and lots of new technology" I wonder.<<

    Well, a brief summary of the "new technology" is as follows:
    At the base level there is the new Linux kernel in addition to the new release of GNOME. Then there is the deprecation of hal in favor of Devicekit-extras and udev-extras. Add to that the new intel video driver architechture (using UXA instead of EXA acceleration) including the newly defaulted "kernel mode setting" feature plus the new gcc compiler and the recent use of Ext4. Moreover, we can't forget the improvements of the GDM and the shift to grub2. Also there is the major improvements on icon graphics and enhancements of the default theme.
    I hope this list will make you understand what "new technology" 9.10 is using and more importantly appreciate the amount of effort needed to integrate them into a single working unit.

  4. @Ron -- if you're reading this, your Compiz problem is very simply solved.

    The new version of the X server apparently doesn't use an older technology that Compiz is built to run against by default. However, it *can* -- when invoked manually -- run against the new version. This is just a Compiz issue, and it's a fairly silly one.

    Here's what I did to fix the problem:

    Via GUI, go to:
    System > Preferences > Startup Applications

    Click on "add"

    In the middle text field, "Command", type the following:


    Click add. Restart your x-session (Either w/ CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE if you've enabled that, or by logging out and back in). You're done. Compiz now initializes -- it even gives a splashscreen as it boots up. Which you'll now get every time you log in.

  5. Bashar, I don't think that list is longer than any other Ubuntu release. It was in 9.04 the new Intel driver architecture was introduced and I had much more problems with 9.04 then i have with 9.10. 9.10 absolutely flies on my Acer Aspire One netbook. For me 9.10 was a rock sold release, no issues what so ever.

  6. Lifehacker just ran a poll on Karmic ( with 86% voting in the top three (love it, love it but quirks, works). That should say it all.

  7. @IConrad

    I will try your advice, but I've already done the following:

    First I tried this, which did not work:

    gconftool-2 --recursive-unset /apps/compiz

    then I just did a complete un/re-install, which also didn't work:

    sudo apt-get remove --purge compiz compizconfig-backend-gconf compiz-core compiz-fusion-plugins-extra compiz-fusion-plugins-main compiz-gnome compiz-plugins compiz-wrapper libcompizconfig0

    rm -rf ~/.config/compiz; rm -rf ~/.compiz

    sudo apt-get install compiz compizconfig-backend-gconf compiz-core compiz-fusion-plugins-extra compiz-fusion-plugins-main compiz-gnome compiz-plugins compiz-wrapper libcompizconfig0

    Compiz just will NOT run on this Dell Latitude C-610. I'll try your advice though, maybe it will work.

  8. Correction: It ran under 9.04, just not under 9.10 even after a clean install of the OS.

  9. It would be nice if Ubuntu developers stop trash talking Fedora

  10. @IConrad,

    What you suggested did work - kind of. Yes, I was able to use the Compiz effects, but whenever I did, the screen would get this snow-like residue on it. basically, it's an issue within 9.10 because I used Compiz just fine with 9.04... So whoever changed the kernel or whatever you did, please fix it.