Intrepid: Growing Pains

Updated again Nov 1st 9:00pm, Taiwan time.

I’ve upgraded from Hardy to Intrepid and found a slew of problems. First the problems which are not fixed:

  1. Gnome does not want to start the gnome-terminal which is saved in the session configuration. After further investigation I found that session saving in gnome 2.24.1 does not work at all. This is a regression bug and a major one at that.

  2. Update: I can’t sync to my cell phone using bluetooth. The bluetooth driver is there and working but to be able to sync there need to be some configuration performed. The configuration of the bluetooth tools has significantly changed since Hardy so this is not a trivial thing to fix. And the documentation seems nonexistent. One step forward, two steps back.

  3. Evolution displays negative total number of emails.

Then the problems which I have been able to fix:

  1. The guys working on compiz have decided to go from 0-based indexing of viewports to 1-based indexing. Of course, user settings are not automatically upgraded so I had to go into my configuration and fix that manually. I think the change is good because 0-based indexing makes sense only to programmers. However, not providing for an automatic upgrade of the configuration data is asinine.

  2. scim initially refused to start. It turns out that skim was preventing it to run. Not skim directly but there was a session script which checked whether skim is present or not and if present would refuse to run scim.

  3. Evolution at first did not want to connect to my mail server. I fixed this by switching from TLS to SSL for the connection protocol.

  4. Update: Hardy and Intrepid run different versions of rsync. Unfortunately, the two versions do not speak the exact same protocol. There is some degree of compatibility so not all uses of rsync between an Intrepid and Hardy machine are doomed to fail. However, I use rsync in such a way that Intrepid’s rsync cannot talk to Hardy’s rsync. I’ve backported Intrepid’s rsync to Hardy to take care of that problem.

  5. Update: Skype initially was not able to produce audio. Changing my sound out and ringing devices in the “Sound Device” tab of the “Options” dialog to the value “pulse” fixed the problem.

  6. Update: Spamassassin’s cron job fails. A workaround exists.

  7. Update: The Eclipse version bundled with Intrepid is both ancient and buggy. To be fair that is also a problem with Hardy. The problem has been reported and a newer version of Eclipse exists in one of the PPAs.

  8. Update: Evolution displays a huge “Show:” button. I fixed this by going into the gconf registry and removing the key at /apps/evolution/mail/labels.

I will update this page as I find more.

4 thoughts on “Intrepid: Growing Pains

  1. Louis-Dominique Post author

    @Simon: An incorrect assumption rather than a stupid question. I do not use skim in Gnome. The skim package was left over from an earlier KDE installation. In the past I have been pretty good at purging my system of all things KDE after trying KDE out but now I still use some KDE apps from time to time so going through the list of packages to remove is error-prone.

    skim was a left-over. The mere existence of /usr/bin/skim, whether it is actually used or not by the user, is enough to prevent scim to run. There is an actual test in a session script which does what I’m talking about: if skim exists, then do not run scim. It is a bad test. Somebody has fixed it but the fix has yet to trickle down to the repository.

  2. Louis-Dominique Post author

    Good question Bill. There is nothing yet which I think is “OMG, this is something I must have!!1!” What I’ve noticed:

    1. The power management subsystem has been significantly revamped. Prior to Intrepid, there were several packages involved in suspending or putting the computer to sleep and those packages were held together by very fragile glue. I know because I’ve had to go mess with them at some point in the past. It was very hard to know what does what. In Intrepid, they’ve decided to retire the old acpi-support package. That’s a welcome change. The upshot for the end user is that it should be easier to have full support for suspend and hibernate.

    2. I do not need to mess as much with configuration in /etc/ as I did in previous releases.

    3. There is support for a private encrypted directory. But I don’t use that because I encrypt all of my Linux partitions anyway.

    4. Pulseaudio seems to work better than it did in Hardy. See my point about skype in my post. In the past, I’ve had issues with skype working properly. If I used any other application which outputs sound before using skype then skype would complain about not being able to output audio. With the “pluse” devices, I’m hoping that this won’t happen.

    5. Then there’s a bunch of little things here and there.


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