Thursday, April 30, 2009

Jaunty Jackalope first impressions

I've just upgraded to from the Intrepid Ibex version of Ubuntu Linux to Jaunty Jackalope, the latest brand new version.

So far, most of the significant problems have been with sound. It initially wanted to send all sound to my USB phone rather than to the speakers. Not sure why it didn't keep my old settings, since this is an upgrade rather than a fresh install, and it was still using Alsa. I've decided to give PulseAudio another chance--Last time I used Pulse, it would frequently go bad, and require me to kill and restart it once or twice a day. Once I got it sorted where to send sounds, it seems to work OK. Audacity music editor now works with Pulseaudio.

Amarok looks promising for a music player if I understand the weighting system right, but it is more complicated than XMMS. It doesn't come with MP3 support standard, a common problem with Linux apps. That is excusable because of the legal issues involved. The gripe I have is that it also doesn't tell you about the problem, it just skips all the MP3's without playing them. A quick Google told what to install to make it work. Audacious (the successor to XMMS that doesn't work as well) doesn't work out of the box, where it did before.

Another setting that didn't carry over properly was the LCD subpixel order--it was set to vertical, and that triggered a bug in some apps (Skype and the HP printer applet) that made their fonts completely unreadable. Setting the order properly both fixed Skype and made fonts better.

I now have control of typing repeat rate that I lost in Intrepid.

It appears that the one-pixel line glitches I had with dual monitors are gone (I'd get a one pixel horizontal line on one monitor that was related to what was shown on the other) but they weren't consistently present before, so I can't be completely certain.

Panels (Toolbars) are on my laptop monitor where I want them. Intrepid kept moving them to the external monitor whenever I would disconnect then reconnect.

The install wanted to delete a bunch of stuff that it thought were no longer needed, but gave the option to cancel, which I did. Several of the things it wanted to remove weren't obsolete, but rather things I had installed without using the official repositories. The same options to remove were available in computer janitor, but with decent explanations and individual control. This let me get rid of stuff that was really obsolete, but let me keep XMMS, Skype and codecs.

Flash appears to be much more stable, where in Intrepid I was getting sound problems that required restarting Flash periodically.

So far, not much in the way of amazing features, but solid bug fixes. Much more pleased than the upgrade to Intrepid Ibex.


  1. Nice post. I downloaded the code, but haven't updated yet. Was waiting for the weekend (or people to say ZOMG OHNOEZ DONT UPGRADE!!!1!one!).

    I guess I can upgrade ...


  2. Since posting, I'm seeing very high CPU--Way more, and way more often than in Intrepid. Its enough on this weak hardware that if I can't fix it, will be a dealbreaker.

  3. Something was screwy in saving sessions. apparently launching something that caused a constant 20% or greater CPU load in xorg, and made Firefox eat 20% when it was running.

    I've had Skype, Pidgin and Firefox set to launch by themselves. All of them were launching twice. When I shut them off in the GUI preferences/startup applications, and told it to not save my session they still launched on boot, although only once each.

    I wound up renaming the gnome-session file in ~/.config and creating a new empty one. CPU is back to normal.

    I think from now on, I'm going to save my installed app list and repositories in Synaptic, back up my home folder and do a fresh install.

  4. Anonymous3:58 PM

    not much in the way of amazing features, but solid bug fixes.sounds good.

    my own policy is to stick with LTS versions unless a newer one has some one thing i can't do without, so i'll likely skip 9.04 entirely. still, if the next LTS version to come down the line can be summed up in that same way, i shall be very satisfied indeed.

    what Flash plug-in are you using with your browser, the non-free Adobe one? because youtube videos crashing firefox is the biggest problem i'm having with Ubuntu, hands down. and i'm using Adobe's code; if the free copycat is more stable, i might switch.

  5. Flash worked fine in Hardy Heron. Flash and sound gave me all sorts of problems when I upgraded to Intrepid Ibex, enough that I went back to Hardy. Unfortunately some of the problems followed when I restored my home folder, so I tried a clean install of Intrepid to get dual monitor support back, then copied my home folder bit by bit.

    Flash 10 would begin to stutter after a few hours, requiring me to stop and start the plugin. I finally went back to Flash 9 which lasted longer, but had odd magenta artifacts. Eventually its sound would go distorted, requiring a disable/enable of the flash plugin, but this was usually days rather than hours.

    So far I haven't had any flash problems at all in Jaunty, but I'm not sure I've been up long enough at a stretch to trigger them.

    (The laptop I'm doing all this on is a 2 year old $500 Compaq Presario C300, Celeron M processor, upgraded to 2 gig of RAM.)