Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Ubuntu 9.04 RC disappointment

I got a bit disappointed using 9.04. I installed RC on my production machine (yes, I took a full backup, used Clonezilla btw.).

Things worked smoothly. The install went through, it just asked me to replace some files and 30 minutes later, I was up and running again.

VMware Workstation does not work any more

My notebook is a HP 8510w which runs Ubuntu 64bit. Unfortunately, VMware Workstation 6.5.1 did not run any more. The network modules could not be found.

OK, there is a new version out 6.5.2. But: Downloading the RPM works fine, the plain vanilla bundle is corrupt. Does VMware not know or recognize this?

So: No VMware Workstation (and thus) no way to test other things (like ext4). This happened in April 2009 let me add. We do have 64bit machines out there.

On a note by, VMware Workstation 6.5.2 works fine on a 32bit OS.

Gnome freezes

I used a mobile internet connection from Vodaphone today. After use, I tried to disconnect from my provider. The machine froze on disconnect. Not one, not twice, 4 times reproducably.

Most ot the time I put the machine in suspend mode. Every 5 times, Gnome does not react to wakeup calls. I get the background of the password entry dialog, but no entry field, no way to get into the machine.

Up till 8.10 I had the chance to restart Gnome using the well known Ctrl-Alt-Back key combination. Someone had a brilliant idea and disabled this last resort handler. So, now if Gnome freezes, I have to reboot the machine.

Another issue that happens regularly is my bluetooth mouse does not get recognized after boot. I have to turn it off and on to get it recognized (which itself takes several seconds).

Buggy Network Manager

I connect to my infrastructure using a wireless LAN. I like to sit on my balcony on a warm April evening and like ... ok, you are not here to read about my leasure activities.

I use WPA2 private to connect to a Netgear router. There are about 30+ wireless routers in the neighborhood so I turned my SSID broadcast of.

Network manager disconnects regularly when there are more than 10+ SSIDs seen. Most of the time it does not even attempt to reconnect. I like this to happen during downloads especially.

Disconnects happen every 8 hours or so.

Sometimes the machine tries to reconnect. It does not succeed and brings up a dialog to log on to the network.

Lukily one can observe the password that is there as the default.

Unfortunately its not the password, but the password hash. This is retrieved from the keyring manager.

So, I filed a bug, that the logon dialog in the network manager applet takes the wrong credentials.

I'm the only person having this?

I get an answer telling me, I am wrong. I'm puzzled. I can see the wrong password, I can enter the correct one (and get connected again) and this guy says that the correct password is used?

So besides my observations that the password hash instead of the password is used, I download the sources.

I'm no C guru any more (I used to program in C some 20 years ago). But I found some suspicously looking files (wpa2.. wireless... .c and .h). I open them in Geany and low and behold, I find two routines that get called.

One gets called after a first connect and it uses the password, runs it through a hashing function and sends it to the connecting routine.

The other is called whenever the is the need to reconnect. It retrieves the password hash, hashes it and forwards it to the connection routing.

I send the two files to the guy telling me, I'm wrong.

That happened 2 weeks ago. I update daily but there was no update on network manager applet so far.

How long do I have to wait for a working connection (that, btw. was perfectly working in 7.10)?

Never ending scanning story...

I do not want to go into details about scanning. I use a Canon FB630U. It's old but it works. It is supposed to be supported. But since 7.04 scanning with this scanner is not possible any more.

I file a bug every release and it gets piled up, but there seem to be no one that works on these issues.

SD cards

I have a camera that uses SD cards and I have an SD card reader on my notebook. One would think that getting pictures from my camera into my notebook is easy. Well: it's not.

The card reader recognises the inserting of SD cards. But Gnome does not mount them always. I have not figured out why it does not mount the card. At first I beleived that certain cards were formated malformed. But the same card gets recognised on monday and ignored on tuesday.

Should you use 9.04?

I cannot recommend 9.04. Im sorry to say.

Basic error correction by Canonical is minuscule to non existent.
The software is not ready for prime use. Experimental yes, but not stable.

If you have the chance to test, do so. If you want to upgrade: DO A BACKUP. If you never did and relied on Ubuntu quality, DON'T DO IT THIS TIME.

Stay with 8.10 if you can (and want). 9.10 is out soon.

Stay tuned, as I am not giving up on trying to help improve Ubuntu.

If you think that this is normal: Download Fedora 11 beta and test all of the above mentioned issues. You will be surprised. Nothing fails in Fedora (thats why I know, my scanner works actually).


Anonymous said...

I have the similar issue with the network manager, something i have also noticed, in 8.10 i still saw the hash when i looked at the password itself although i never got disconnected nor did i ever have issues connecting

Me said...

Same problem here with my network manager and SD also.

Jafafa Hots said...

Same problem with the scanner. Shame, really since I love this little old scanner. I have newer ones that I ignore in favor of using this one. Until now.

M. Gauthron said...

I also have Gnome freezing with Jaunty 9.04 and Vmware Player 3.0.0 build-203739. I'm running a Windows 2003 image. Laptop is a Dell D620 . I can start up the image and use it. However if I move my mouse too rapidly in and out of the VM screen it freezes the desktop. The mouse is not moving. I can't even switch to a terminal (ctrl-alt F1) so I need to do a hard reboot. It happens kind of rarely but it so random and therefore very frustrating. I have used my VM a lot and definitely didn't have this issue with 8.10. Not sure what to do: upgrade 9.10 or downgrade back to 8.10?
Second related issue: when I have a window on top of the VM screen, the focus is still on the VM, so I can't use the window in front until I minimize the VM player window.

Here are my Graphic card details from lspci -v:

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/PM/GMS, 943/940GML and 945GT Express Memory Controller Hub (rev 03)
Subsystem: Dell Device 01c2
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
Kernel driver in use: agpgart-intel
Kernel modules: intel-agp

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS, 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
Subsystem: Dell Device 01c2
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 11
Memory at eff00000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=512K]
I/O ports at eff8 [size=8]
Memory at d0000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]
Memory at efec0000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256K]
Kernel modules: intelfb

00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/GME, 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
Subsystem: Dell Device 01c2
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
Memory at eff80000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=512K]