Monday, January 20, 2014

Fixing Ubuntu 2014

A new year, a new machine, and some new fixes needed to make a stock Ubuntu/Unity machine usable. Unfortunately, the steps I worked out in aren't sufficient. For one thing, when you turn the machine on there's no button to bring up a terminal window. On a Linux box. Because we all know that Ubuntu Linux is going to replace Windows and OSX, right on the desktop, so there's no point catering to the developers.

Thanks, guys.

Here's how I spent an afternoon this year making the system usable again.

1. There's no top-level Application menu, no Terminal icon, no way to start work. So you need to click on the vortex-ilke icon on the top, type "Terminal" in the search bar, and at least get something that will let you interact with the system more deeply than the average subway commuter Canonical seems to think is their typical customer.

Right-click on the launcher icon for the Terminal, and choose "Lock to Launcher"

2. There's now a Mac-like global menu, because separating the menu from the app is so much cooler than doing it the way Windows and all the *ix systems have been doing it since their GUIs came on board some time in the '80s. Apple got it wrong.  According to this works:

sudo apt-get autoremove appmenu-gtk appmenu-gtk3 appmenu-qt

sudo apt-get autoremove appmenu-{gtk{,3},qt} # if you hate typing

But I didn't see any change. This will need work.

sudo apt-get remove indicator-appmenu
and reboot.

3. - 6. I'm just running gnome-panel on login now, and that brings back the top-level menu when I log in with the ubuntu theme.  No more fussing around.

7. sudo apt-get install openssh-server

8. sudo apt-get install nfs-common

9. sudo apt-get install gconf-editor

10. Nothing here, just getting back in sync with the previous post.

11. There is no metacity in the new gconf-editor. Our first big loss.

12.  It's "81overlayscrollbars" now.

Just as an aside, this process really sucks. It's like everything the industry figured out about UIs in the '70s and '80s has been totally tossed overboard. It's like the designers today look at how their grandparents and pre-kindergarten kids use tech, and they think that's good.

In other words, if you accidentally wipe away your top menu bar, here's how to restore it:

dconf reset -f /org/gnome/gnome-panel/
killall gnome-panel
13. sudo apt-get install subversion git mercurial
We might need bazaar and cvs later on.

14. If you can, copy /etc/fstab to your new machine to get the mount points.

And once again, copy everything over and enjoy the progress.

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