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Some Of The Possible Changes Coming For The Desktop With Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

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  • Some Of The Possible Changes Coming For The Desktop With Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

    Phoronix: Some Of The Possible Changes Coming For The Desktop With Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

    While we aren't even half-way through the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS development cycle yet, Ubuntu's Trello board provides a look at some of the changes and new features being at least considered for this next Ubuntu long-term support release...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...top-Trello-Dec

  • #2
    - Improving Ubuntu's Ubiquity installer for those wanting to do desktop installs to RAID arrays.
    How about an actually useful installer that isn't so brittle that it can potentially break on any single or combination of non-default but otherwise valid options? Ubuntu's installer has been utter crap compared to other distro installers for years and Canonical has done nothing to fix it.

    Install root to an XFS formatted partition and try to boot from it? Sorry, no.

    Setting up drives for encryption NOT using the default values? Like pulling eye teeth, and usually will not work.

    I remember at one time the installer could throw an error that you couldn't click past if you had a phantom GPT partition on a BIOS booted installer. You couldn't wipe the drive from the installer.

    XFS formatted partitions causing issues on Ubuntu has been my peeve for a while. But another one cropped up in 18.04 not directly installer related: there's no way to easily choose which audio device is default if you have multiple devices. This was possible in 16.04, but in 18.04 you have to go through some manual configuration steps. Papercuts like these is why I generally believe Ubuntu is getting worse at the desktop than better. Does anyone at Canonical actually THINK what they're doing before they make usability regressions like this or are they taking the RH/Gnome route of "We're the developers and we know best, sit down and shut up!"?

    I mean, come on, guys. This is basic stuff SUSE, FreeBSD (yes even FreeBSD's installer is better at disk setup than Ubuntu's imo), Fedora, etc have been managing to get right for a long time.

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    • #3
      How about an actually useful installer that isn't so brittle that it can potentially break on any single or combination of non-default but otherwise valid options? Ubuntu's installer has been utter crap compared to other distro installers for years and Canonical has done nothing to fix it.

      Install root to an XFS formatted partition and try to boot from it? Sorry, no.

      Setting up drives for encryption NOT using the default values? Like pulling eye teeth, and usually will not work.
      I could not agree with you more. Hell, I had to write a partition manager (partman) replacement udeb and then inject that into the build_netboot target of Debian-installer just to enable encrypted dual boot with Windows 10 for work with a preseed. Total pain in the ass.

      So many different installers that do NOT share abilities. Debian-installer, Ubiquity, Subiquity.
      Last edited by drlamb; 12-06-2019, 10:29 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by stormcrow View Post
        Couldn't agree more, I thought it's just me: XFS didn't work as root partition (neither did JFS IIRC) and had to do manual audio setup (after googling for an hour) because it doesn't remember which audio device I set as default.

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        • #5
          To be honest I dont have a problem with the Ubuntu installer. In my mind and experience Ubuntu has been largely developed as a desktop OS and they are just now getting into servers in a big focused way.

          Outside of basic LVM setup which in itself is a really advanced topic for desktop, what would a desktop user need other than a fast simple installer that gets them to an installed desktop right away.

          For a truly brutal install experience, may I present Gentoo? Now this is by design as it gives almost 100% configuration and customization... but plan on several days to get to a desktop

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          • #6
            Gentoo doesn't market itself as a "pop the disc in and go" option, though - and anyone going a route where they are compiling their OS from source is likely to want that level of control. It didn't take me days to get to a usable desktop with Gentoo - about a day on real hardware. That said, I messed around with installing in a VM in my spare time for a few days first so I knew where most of the potential pitfalls were... plus there are some amazing folks in the Gentoo community who are incredibly helpful.

            I think Canonical are going the RedHat route with respect to users. I've never been a big fan of RedHat based distros, but I found my recent (work related) excursions with CentOS 8 to provide me with much less flexibility than I had expected. I know I'm biased, though, because I utterly loathe Gnome Shell.

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            • #7
              I heard something about snap crap becoming mandatory for standard applications like chromium, is that still valid?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Hans Bull View Post
                I heard something about snap crap becoming mandatory for standard applications like chromium, is that still valid?
                I'd like to know that too... because that'll be the last straw that finally gets me off my lazy ass to do a full reinstall and migrate from Kubuntu to Debian and I don't want to have to go through a useless upgrade process first.
                Last edited by ssokolow; 12-06-2019, 05:24 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hans Bull View Post
                  I heard something about snap crap becoming mandatory for standard applications like chromium, is that still valid?
                  What do you mean by "mandatory"? Ubuntu 19.10 - which as usual provides Firefox as default browser - will install an optional Chromium as snap package. Nothing prevents you from compiling or installing a .deb-alternative (I would expect a PPA providing such an alternative).
                  Apart from Chromium three or four Gnome utilities (font viewer, calculator, ...) are also installed as snaps but are equally available as normal packages in the default repo. (I've no idea about the intention behind this.)

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                  • #10
                    Canonical tries to be another Red Hat, too bad they totally lack the vision and more importantly, the competence to do that. When you compare the Fedora experience to Ubuntu, it's just a different world.

                    After reinventing the wheel so many times, and failing badly, with the likes of Bazaar, Upstart, Mir, Unity, Ubuntu Touch, Snap, MAAS, Netplan, I really don't understand how they still have the nerve to redo yet another component, let alone such a crucial one as the installer.

                    The best part is that they already have Kickstart along with DI. It's broken, obviously, random options don't work or don't even exist in the Ubuntu implementation, but it is there.

                    I tried this new hot garbage installer a few weeks ago, it errored out like 3 questions into the process, then I instantly went back to the "alternate installer" or whatever they call it.

                    Did I happen to mention that the graphical installer still doesn't support dual boot encryption? Or that the ncurses installer won't allow you to delete the encrypted volume once you created it? If you need to make changes, you need to reboot and start over. How about fixing your current installers before rewriting it from scratch? What exactly are they trying to achieve with this rewrite in the first place anyway? I just don't understand. Neither do they, I think. It seems a classic example of NIH (not invented here) syndrome.

                    I guess they want to differentiate from the others or something. But they are already fine. They have the PPA system which makes Ubuntu a really handy system. They have mainstream support, 3rd parties support Ubuntu first, and others second. They need to calm the [email protected] down with these idiotic additions.

                    I just don't understand why they feel the urge to always do things differently. There really isn't a market for that. We don't need another installer. How about fully embracing DI? Or Anaconda? I don't care, just pick one, the less you're involved in the development process the more stable it will be. Anything Canonical touches breaks, really.

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