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Old 2021-09-19, 23:45   #1
chalsall
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"Chris Halsall"
Sep 2002
Barbados

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Default 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!

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".
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Old 2021-09-20, 12:05   #2
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalsall View Post
I recently decided to standardize on Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS for all new server installs.
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.
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Old 2021-09-22, 18:25   #3
chalsall
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Default 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.
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Old 2021-09-23, 12:51   #4
xilman
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Originally Posted by chalsall View Post
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.
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.
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Old 2021-09-25, 16:43   #5
Nick
 
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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.
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Old 2021-09-25, 18:32   #6
EdH
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
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.
Not sure if I'm missing something, but changing ownership is a simple "sudo" command: chown. It can work on an entire directory.
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Old 2021-09-25, 18:34   #7
xilman
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Not sure if I'm missing something, but changing ownership is a simple "sudo" command: chown. It can work on an entire directory.
+1
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Old 2021-09-26, 08:14   #8
Nick
 
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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.
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Old 2021-09-26, 09:44   #9
M344587487
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalsall View Post
...
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.
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.
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Old 2021-09-26, 12:54   #10
EdH
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
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.
"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)
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Old 2021-09-26, 13:22   #11
retina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdH View Post
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)
Does that mean Fedora has gone full MS now, deciding to help themselves to data from the users?

The OS is supposed to be the most trusted part, not the most leaky part.

Last fiddled with by retina on 2021-09-26 at 16:09
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