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-   -   Making the transition to Ubuntu... (https://www.mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=27148)

chalsall 2021-09-19 23:45

Making the transition to Ubuntu...
 
So, I find myself in a situation where I'm having to stand up a bunch of "public-facing" LAMP stacks. The usual routine; can't be hacked. Maintainable by others. Etc, etc, etc.

I recently decided to standardize on Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS for all new server installs.

This is instead of CentOS / RedHat. There is simply too much uncertainty in that distribution space ATM, IMO. And I've been using RedHat and its derivatives for anything serious for more than 20 years.

Today I decided to "take the leap" for Ubuntu on the desktop as well. I'm pleasantly surprised by how well it went! :tu:

I installed 20.04.3 Mate Desktop on a small (500 GB) SSD using a spare machine, and made sure the install was "sane". I'm an old-school Mate GUI user; a consistent UX is critical for me. Don't do anything stupid like 3D warp the windows; just give me 36 virtual desktops spread across three monitors, and then get out of my way.

I then installed this new SSD into "Burrow" (my main workstation), and booted from the new device (using the BIOS boot options, of course).

Because my "real" home/ partition is on another device, after booting into Ubuntu I can then (from a text console (read: Alt-F1)) unlock (decrypt) the filesystem, and mount it on top of the /home/ mount point in the Ubuntu file-system.

This also means I can flip back and forth between Fedora 34 and Ubuntu 20.04 whenever needed.

So far, things are looking good. I'm typing from the Ubuntu environment now. And, most critically, all my Mate Terminal SSH profiles are working, so I can connect to all my various servers.

I might add some additional posts to this thread over time, as I do a deep "making friends" session with Ubuntu getting the desktop (read: all needed software stacks) "fit for purpose".

xilman 2021-09-20 12:05

[QUOTE=chalsall;588202]I recently decided to standardize on Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS for all new server installs.[/QUOTE]After using Gentoo for many years, I standardized on Ubuntu for new systems a few years back, including on a tiny ARM-64 SBC which Ernst sold to me. Two of my machines still run Gentoo.

I like Ubuntu.

chalsall 2021-09-22 18:25

First big "ARG!!!" moment...
 
So, other than the usual tweaking of the GUI (mostly bringing in Fonts), things are going quite well with the new Ubuntu Desktop environment.

I have found that the "Software Boutique" is a cute, user-friendly way of presenting the software repositories. However, several installs failed (GIMP and Scribus, for example) despite multiple attempts. Complaints about unresolved dependencies.

Weirdly, the "apt" command-line interface worked just fine, so I don't know why the GUI interface had problems.

But, my first big Grrrrr... I discovered that the Mate Terminal will crash (killing all active terminals!) if a profile is launched with the "Run a custom command instead of my shell" set to a script without an explicit path.

I have a bunch of tiny little scripts in my ~/bin/ directory which do port knocking, and then SSH into different machines. Under Fedora, it was fine to just give the script name (yes, I learnt that under Ubuntu ~/bin is not set in the $PATH by default).

But under Ubuntu not even "~/bin/[SCRIPTNAME]" worked; I had to give the full path. And, again, it didn't fail gracefully; killing all my other sessions.

xilman 2021-09-23 12:51

[QUOTE=chalsall;588410]
I have found that the "Software Boutique" is a cute, user-friendly way of presenting the software repositories. However, several installs failed (GIMP and Scribus, for example) despite multiple attempts. Complaints about unresolved dependencies.[/QUOTE]I find Synaptic works very well, except over a "ssh -Y" connection, the latter being caused by Wayland's inadequacy in a multi-host environment.

YMMV.

Nick 2021-09-25 16:43

I have just installed Ubuntu Desktop for the first time, and most of it went smoothly.
The installation process has been oversimplified somewhat. For example, you can
take full control of disk partitioning in order to preserve existing partitions, but later
when you create a user account, you cannot set its user ID. So at the end you
still have all your old files but they might not belong to you anymore!
Setting a static IP address even for a wired Ethernet connection counts as a
user setting not a system setting, which is a strange design choice.
The GUI program for installing software does not appear to have heard of gcc,
which is rather poor. Still, it gets you to learn about Debian packages and apt.
Installing Signal was easy, which is a bonus.

EdH 2021-09-25 18:32

[QUOTE=Nick;588683]I have just installed Ubuntu Desktop for the first time, and most of it went smoothly.
The installation process has been oversimplified somewhat. For example, you can
take full control of disk partitioning in order to preserve existing partitions, but later
when you create a user account, you cannot set its user ID. So at the end you
still have all your old files but they might not belong to you anymore!
Setting a static IP address even for a wired Ethernet connection counts as a
user setting not a system setting, which is a strange design choice.
The GUI program for installing software does not appear to have heard of gcc,
which is rather poor. Still, it gets you to learn about Debian packages and apt.
Installing Signal was easy, which is a bonus.[/QUOTE]Not sure if I'm missing something, but changing ownership is a simple "sudo" command: chown. It can work on an entire directory.

xilman 2021-09-25 18:34

[QUOTE=EdH;588701]Not sure if I'm missing something, but changing ownership is a simple "sudo" command: chown. It can work on an entire directory.[/QUOTE]+1

Nick 2021-09-26 08:14

Well, as a joke that clearly fell flat!
The more serious underlying point was that other Linux distributions
offer more control of the details during installation than Ubuntu does.

M344587487 2021-09-26 09:44

[QUOTE=chalsall;588410]...
But under Ubuntu not even "~/bin/[SCRIPTNAME]" worked; I had to give the full path. And, again, it didn't fail gracefully; killing all my other sessions.[/QUOTE]Where/how is ~/bin/[SCRIPTNAME] being used? Different shells (or configurable options of the same shell) may have different substitution behaviour in some scenarios. If it works with $HOME but not ~ it's probably something like this.

EdH 2021-09-26 12:54

[QUOTE=Nick;588728]Well, as a joke that clearly fell flat!
The more serious underlying point was that other Linux distributions
offer more control of the details during installation than Ubuntu does.[/QUOTE]"Not sure if I'm missing something," Must have. . .

I settled on Ubuntu after trying a lot of other distros, but not an exhaustive trial. Ubuntu had some things others didn't, like zlib1g-dev in its repositories. OTOH, I had noticed the missing gcc odditiy, but g++ brought it in as a dependency. One of the bigger issues was that, way back then, only Debian and Ubuntu would run headless according to anything I could find through research and trial. But, after well over a decade, I'm still really only a beginner with linux, finding out quite often of easier ways to accomplish things via items that were already there in the OS.

An Ubuntu trend that has really started to annoy me is the increasing "Ubuntu needs to restart to finish" messages after normal upgrades. Try running into that all the time for an entire set of machines across a varied crop computer farm.

OTOH, the Fedora developers are watching my every click and keystroke on a normal workstation so they can incrementally remove (and sabotage) more of what I use with each upgrade. (serious joke)

retina 2021-09-26 13:22

[QUOTE=EdH;588734] OTOH, the Fedora developers are watching my every click and keystroke on a normal workstation so they can incrementally remove (and sabotage) more of what I use with each upgrade. (serious joke)[/QUOTE]Does that mean Fedora has gone full MS now, deciding to help themselves to data from the users? :down:

[size=1]The OS is supposed to be the most [i]trusted[/i] part, not the most leaky part.[/size]

xilman 2021-09-26 15:58

One of the bigger issues was that, way back then, only Debian and Ubuntu would run headless according to anything I could find through research and trial.[/QUOTE]Gentoo.

kriesel 2021-09-26 17:39

[QUOTE=EdH;588734]An Ubuntu trend that has really started to annoy me is the increasing "Ubuntu needs to restart to finish" messages after normal upgrades. Try running into that all the time for an entire set of machines across a varied crop computer farm.
[/QUOTE]And presumably each additional Ubuntu based VM, which may be kept around for testing in differing environments or whatever. How MS-ish of them.

EdH 2021-09-26 18:11

[QUOTE=xilman;588749]Gentoo.[/QUOTE]I must admit to never having tried Gentoo (that I remember). Not sure why. Now, Ubuntu is so ingrained, I'm just running with it.

[QUOTE=kriesel;588755]. . . How MS-ish of them.[/QUOTE]Almost my exact thinking - I thought maybe MS ex-programmers had moved into the linux OS coding world.

kriesel 2021-09-26 22:58

[QUOTE=EdH;588758]Almost my exact thinking - I thought maybe MS ex-programmers had moved into the Linux OS coding world.[/QUOTE]Maybe it's where culled ex-MS Windows OS programmers go to attempt revenge. Or it's what they're doing in some free time, and habits carry over from the office.

EdH 2021-09-27 00:06

[QUOTE=kriesel;588782]Maybe it's where culled ex-MS Windows OS programmers go to attempt revenge. Or it's what they're doing in some free time, and habits carry over from the office.[/QUOTE]I had thought of sabotage, but not of the other ideas.

chalsall 2021-09-27 00:13

[QUOTE=EdH;588758]Almost my exact thinking - I thought maybe MS ex-programmers had moved into the linux OS coding world.[/QUOTE]

It's a bit surprising and annoying just how much telemetry is sent back by default. Even from the Server version. And if you're "Public-Facing" it becomes pretty clear who the "anonymized" data is coming from...

At least this can be turned off under Ubuntu. But you need to know to do so.

chalsall 2021-09-27 20:29

So... A possible regression from Fedora 34...
 
I tried running obs to record a meeting today.

It didn't perform terribly well. At one point it crashed, which caused a massive screen/window scramble period lasting about two seconds. I also can't access two of my three USB web-cams.

One of the side-effects of these types of crashes (which I remember experiencing while using Fedora 32) is every window is resized to be no wider than one screen. I regularly have windows spanning two if not three screens (all 1920x1080; one driven by the CPU' IGPU and two by a GeForce GTX 1050).

I suspect this might actually be an "upstream" bug, although I /thought/ Ubuntu Desktop 20.04 LTS was /supposed/ to update to deal with these types of serious issues. Or, maybe, I'm just running an edge case with multiple monitors spread across multiple video ports exposed on the machine.

I'll work with what I have at the moment. It works "well enough" for my most common tasks.

But I may have to look at installing 21.04 (giving up on the LTS) to get the functionality I expect from my OS(s). Or, go back to another Distribution that delivers on my requirements.

Any thoughts from anyone on this? A fix beyond installing /yet/ another software stack on yet another set of storage devices would be greatly appreciated.

Edit: Oh! Just to be ***very*** clear. This would only be work developer workstations running Desktop. Servers ***always*** run LTS.

chalsall 2021-10-02 19:05

Ubuntu Desktop (Mate) 20.04.3 LTS is not "fit for purpose" (at least, for me).
 
So, a quick update... It's been just short of two weeks now within the Ubuntu Mate 20.04.3 LTS Desktop environment. I've been applying all updates as they become available.

I'm finding it is not stable enough for my requirements. Nothing special... Just drive three HD monitors (one via an MB video port, the other two through a GTX 1050), and run *lots* of software concurrently (terminals, browsers, VMs, etc).

And, please do this while providing a *stable* work environment. I nominally keep my workstation machines running for weeks at a time between reboots. *I* should choose when those happen, not my environment!

WAY too many crashes! WAY too often!

Seems to be mostly "Marco 1.24.0-1ubuntu1" crashing, which causes a massive ~2-second "seizure" which results in windows being moved from where positioned. I've also found that OBS doesn't "play well" in the environment (which surprises me quite a bit; OBS is very mature software).

My next step is to try Ubuntu Mate 21.04, and see if that release has fixed these bugs. I suspect the problem is "upstream", but Fedora 33 onwards did *not* have these problems (32 and earlier did).

The machine in question (Burrow / Hobbit) is far from the top of the line, but it has 6 real cores, 64 GB of RAM, and 120 GB of highspeed swap.

It *should* be able to (and did under Fedora) provided a stable desktop. I'm giving Ubuntu one more chance.

EdH 2021-10-02 20:25

I'm runnig Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on almost my entire set of machines and I've started noticing system error messages on many of them. A more recent annoyance, is having to reboot after updates far more frequently than in the past. For me, it would be a major task to change the OS accross my machines, but I sometimes think of doing just that.

Nick 2021-10-03 08:42

[QUOTE=chalsall;589222]Seems to be mostly "Marco 1.24.0-1ubuntu1" crashing...
It *should* be able to (and did under Fedora) provided a stable desktop. I'm giving Ubuntu one more chance.[/QUOTE]
Is it worth trying a different window manager, perhaps?

xilman 2021-10-03 14:35

[QUOTE=Nick;589260]Is it worth trying a different window manager, perhaps?[/QUOTE]Seconded.

I standardized on Xfce many years ago and have no problems with my multi-screen Ubuntu systems.

chalsall 2021-10-03 16:26

[QUOTE=xilman;589282]I standardized on Xfce many years ago and have no problems with my multi-screen Ubuntu systems.[/QUOTE]

My workstation is for work. I've been using MATE for about ten years; it's very comfortable for my workflows.

Call me an old foggy, but I'm *not* changing my window manager.

chalsall 2021-11-08 22:00

Formal notice. And, thanks for wasting my time...
 
Ubuntu Mate has been fired!

I jumped through all the hoops. Upgraded to ubuntuMATE21.10 (as I am always reminded of by way of the cute little auto-run pop-up thing).

The last straw was when I was away from my workstation for a little while on a voice call. The screen blanker started. But seemed to be working in slow motion.

While the sun was in my eyes outside of my office, Ubuntu decided it would be a really good idea to lower the contrast on my screens as part of an animated "fade out". But, for some reason, this was taking (literally) hours.

Please forgive me for this, but FSCK me! This is almost as bad as Winblows demanding an update when the human is in front of a lot of people.

Me Human. You software stack. Do what I tell you to do, or (PLEASE) get out of my way.

Next up is FC35. I have the ISO ready to lock-and-load.

EdH 2021-11-08 22:52

[QUOTE=chalsall;592738]. . .
Next up is FC35. I have the ISO ready to lock-and-load.[/QUOTE]I just upgraded my Fedora from 33 to 34. Every time I upgrade, something more annoying has been done. This time it's Gnome, going to 40 (or 41) and changing all the familiar and less troublesome left-locked hidden menu and vertical workspaces to a bottom-locked menu and horizontal workspaces. Oh, but I can "fix" it by going and getting an extension. I can also fix it by getting rid of Gnome!

chalsall 2021-11-08 23:17

[QUOTE=EdH;592741]I just upgraded my Fedora from 33 to 34. Every time I upgrade, something more annoying has been done.[/QUOTE]

I hear you. Loud and clear.

The reason I was effectively forced to try Ubuntu as a workstation solution is because I was limping so badly along with a Fedora 33 boot set that the next Kernel upgrade would have resulted in my being unable to boot.

No joke on that.

This was a worthwhile exercise (at least, for me).

For the record... This conclusion is very subjective. I have simply personally decided that Ubuntu as a MATE workstation is not to my liking. ***WAY*** too unstable when human-facing as a workstation.

Pressing the reset button...

For me (which I will document), the next exercise will be a "fresh install" for the latest Fedora "Mate Spin".

P.S. I find it somewhat amusing that I having this conversation while I continue to rebuild so many Winblows 10 installations because they are for some reason self-destructing.

P.P.S. No joke on my P.S. Possibly statistically significant?


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