[Wolves] Distros and Desktops

Adam Sweet adamsweet at gmail.com
Thu Oct 18 16:41:23 UTC 2018

On 17/10/2018 23:49, Stephen Welch via Wolves wrote:
>>>>> This led me to wonder what distros and desktops you lot are using
>> these
>>>>> days and which others you're interested in.
> Ubuntu: Gnome, Unity and Gnome 3.  Messed around with others but that's
> it.  I always love the look of KDE but when I come to use it I just cant
> get use to it.

Likewise. I installed KDE Neon (KDE on top of Ubuntu base, built by KDE
project) and it looks OK, though not quite as nice as I expected, but I
haven't felt comfortable yet.

I assume it's a packaging dependency error but I tried to install Kmail,
the KDE mail client, through the 'Software' GUI app. It installed fine,
fired it up, it walked me through setting up my account then bombed and
said it couldn't save the account settings because Akonadi wasn't
running. Some furious Googling recommended installing 'akonadi-*', which
installed the PostgreSQL database server. Kmail still failed the same
way. I ran some Akonadi debugger which bombed with an error about MySQL.
I installed a MariaDB server and Kmail now starts and I set up my
account and I can see all my folders except I don't have an inbox
folder... Installing postgres was my fault because I installed akonadi-*
and the wildcard expanded to akonadi-backend-postgresql, but I don't see
why a mail client should need a MySQL server out of the box.

> Not being an expert I always find if I use something other than unity,
> gnome (ubuntu) I eventually come across an issue, then I hear an internal
> whisper in my ear "you don't have time for this..."

Again, likewise :) Playing with Neon yesterday reminded me how much
things just work in Ubuntu (with the exception of external projectors on
dual GPUs...)

> You done firmware updates for your laptop model?

I've installed every firmware update Ubuntu has offered me and I think I
have everything the Dell tool in Windows 10 has offered, but I haven't
actively checked.

FWIW, having dual GPUs is a bit fiddly under Ubuntu and I knew that when
I bought it. Under Windows it works really nicely, you get a desktop
drawn by the Intel card and the NVIDIA card steps in for specific
applications. Under Linux you have to choose one GPU or the other for
your entire desktop session.

I found the Intel GPU wouldn't detect external monitors, but the NVIDIA
one would, so I'd use the Intel one by default and switch to NVIDIA when
necessary. With the upgrade to 18.04, that stopped working. I found even
with the proprietary NVIDIA installed and the Open Source nouveau driver
blacklisted there was still a systemd service that loaded the nouveau
driver. Disabling that and setting nouveau.modeset=0 as a driver option
made things work again but that all broke after some updates the
afternoon before my training course and I discovered it too late to
investigate why.

I see you're working at MAC in Birmingham these days, I hope you're well :)


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