Reviews Tech Takes

Kubuntu / Ubuntu = Trouble?

My recent post Kubuntu Sucks got some attention it seems, that someone from the Kubuntu team responded to it. Here’s what he said:

It sounds like you didn’t have internet access during install so you will need to enable internet repositories in the package manager. This is exactly the same in Ubuntu and Kubuntu.
Amarok does have codec installation, unfortunately Kaffeine video player does not.
Since you seem to have ended up with a Kubuntu system your headline seems a bit exaggerated.

Jonathan Riddell, Kubuntu

Now there are a few things I’d like to say in response to this. I also have some more stuff as far as the performance of Kubuntu / Ubuntu 7.04 is concerned.

  • I was connected to the Internet when trying to download the codecs. Maybe the OS wasn’t able to detect that. It was showing the some of the packages accessible from Internet repositories, but they were all grayed out.
  • I hadn’t tried to play an MP3 file, so if I concluded that Amarok doesn’t support automatic codec download prompt, apologies. However, Kaffeine certainly doesn’t, because I checked that because it didn’t prompt a download for some video files I tried to play.
  • Kubuntu site lacks documentation which could be called at par with the excellent support Ubuntu has. Kubuntu 7.04 doesn’t have anything yet on the official site, which is surprising because Ubuntu is known for its good support. This shouldn’t be the case when Kubuntu has ShipIt because newbies might want it.
  • Coming to other stuff, Ubuntu had problems in network connectivity after install. Kubuntu had chosen to use DHCP, as is usual. I’d gone in for manual configuration, and the changes were effected immediately. However, with Ubuntu after manual configuration it claimed that the changes were implemented immediately, but I needed a system reboot for it work properly. Minor thing, might have thrown newbies into panic.
  • Something is seriously wrong with Gstreamer. I installed all Gstreamer packages; and MOV, 3GP, MP4 and AVI files are having some major issues playing. Some MOV files play, but some give ‘Failed to decode JPEG image’ error before exiting playback. On 3GP videos there is no audio. Ditto for MP4. AVIs generally don’t playback properly – all I can see is diagonal jagged lines for video while the audio is playing back – while on some other AVIs both audio and video get decoded properly, but there is no color. Color reproduction is another major issue because most videos have totally faded out colors, or green lines and blobs floating around in the media player window. Uninstalling, and then reinstalling Gstreamer didn’t help. I was pretty surprised because so far, I’ve never had a problem with Gstreamer on other distros like Fedora, Mandriva, SuSe, Freespire, RHEL, Gentoo or even older versions of Ubuntu.
  • Also, audio quality in videos is an issue. It plays audio files fine, but when it comes to videos it’s a different issue altogether. With all output settings at max (from the mixer, the player, and my headphones) at times the audio is simply too faint – on videos that I know are ok because I’ve played them elsewhere and on other distros earlier.
  • I hate the fact that GNOME doesn’t allow me to replace the double-click with a single-click like KDE does from its menus.
  • Leave Ubuntu with Sticky Keys enabled, do nothing and just leave your computer alone for some time. You’ll soon get a popup asking whether you want to disable it. Note that I did NOT have ‘Disable if two keys pressed together enabled’.
  • Some problem with the India servers for Ubuntu Synaptic? It chose to use the India servers for it’s package handling, and while updating the list of packages I noticed that it gave a ‘Failed’ status for some of the files. Switching to the main server solves the problem.
  • Why on earth shouldn’t the migration manager allow me to shift stuff while install from Linux is something I can’t figure out. Cool, they’ve eased transition from Windows, but why not allow Linux users to use it too?
  • CNR does seem to be the way forward as far as easier software install is concerned. Like Prashanth said ‘CNR is trying to be the of the Linux software’. I think a place where you can browse longer software descriptions, view screenshots, read reviews, navigate faster with the help of subcategorization is definitely better than what Linux has been using till now. Hold on for CNR’s public launch soon.
  • Maybe be we can also learn a lesson from the Adobe Flash Player 9 installer. It’s terminal-based, but I think even newbies shouldn’t have a problem.

5 replies on “Kubuntu / Ubuntu = Trouble?”

As I told you before, Ubuntu has brilliant multimedia support on “unbiased PCs”. By constantly criticizing Ubuntu or putting Freespire at a higher stance than Ubuntu for undue reasons, you have made it sad and angry because of which it doesn’t work on your PC to entertain you…!! ;)
Honestly, CNR is nothing but CNR contains software that are distro-neutral. This means that all the software put up on CNR would run just the same way on any linux distro, just like Google Earth.
Synaptic Repositories on the other hand are storehouses for software optimized for ubuntu/debian based distros. When you know what to download, just enter a command int he terminal to download that package. For that you don’t need to download the software lists as you are not really browsing through the archives, but pin-pointing at one particular download.
Just type in the command to install a particular package on the terminal, and APT recognizes the dependencies and prompts you to download the dependencies as well by prompting you on the terminal. Nifty utilitarian features like this one are an attraction towards Ubuntu and other debian distros.

And CNR does give proprietary software for download from which Linspire gets royalties. I have evidence for this now. Remember our debate a few months ago..??
Check this
And yes, Ubuntu guys have just made a windows migration thing now. Nothing for Mac and other linux users. Its a new feature under experimentation. perhaps Gutsy would feature something that we want…
Anyway, want to try RHEL5? It seems it has a better (faster!) package managing system. But alas, I don’t have space on my PC(s)… stay tuned for my review on Fiesty… or Gutsy Tribe 1…

@Sports Fan: Good news for us then, isn’t it?

@Prashanth: Sometimes, I get fed up of arguing with you. Plain fact is that it didn’t work on my PC, for any goddamn reason. And I didn’t ‘influence’ or ‘hypnotize’ my PC into not playing those stuff. Also, CNR resolves package dependencies even without requiring the user to go through and approve them – remember the OPIUM thing I sent – CNR has had that for a long time. So there’s nothing different from APT. Also, those are deb packages on CNR, and anyway debs’ are not ‘optimised’ – it’s simply a precompiled binary for a particular system. As for the ones you show, those aren’t free programs. Those are commercial programs which CNR allows you to buy – and I’d say this is an advantage over Synaptic which doesn’t have this feature. Also, the point is, CNR isn’t ‘pushing proprietary software’ – there are only a few commercial software, which infact when you perform a search come lower down the order than other popular free software.

vote for linux on my blog
And by the way,you are using the 64 bit edition and I’m using the PC edition.Do the problems which ure facing and I’m not facing have something to do with that?

@SF: Although mine is an AMD 64-bit computer, I’m using the normal 32-bit version of Ubuntu (and even that doesn’t / shouldn’t be the issue).

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