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Having misgivings after 'upgrading' from Lubuntu 18.04 LTS to 20.04 LTS

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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I took advice from the ubuntu forums that due to some fairly major changes between the two versions, it's not a great idea to try and do an in-place upgrade so I backed up my personal data and told it to wipe the main partition and start afresh.

What really gets my goat though are things that really seem 'beta' state that were working stably in the previous version. Such as:

1 - the printer management UI worked absolutely fine in 18.04 LTS. In 20.04 though, it routinely hangs if I try to change the driver for my printer. I ended up doing it through the web-based admin system.
2 - The Disks utility (which worked fine on 18.04) was replaced with KDE Partition Manager, which doesn't work properly. For example, I wanted it to automount my data NTFS partition on another drive, it asked me if I wanted to commit the changes to fstab, sure, but no changes to fstab occurred. The Disks utility also isn't stable (hangs).
3 - The previous login/lock screen looked minimal but still reasonably professional. The new lock screen looks fresh from 1993:



The login screen doesn't look great either:



Is it common that one version of a Linux distro is OK and the next isn't?

With some battles I've made it usable. I've got one outstanding issue whereby if my hi-fi isn't switched on before booting the computer then Lubuntu 20.04 (18.04 didn't do this) defaults to HDMI audio which is quite irritating. When this happens, Pulse audio volume control only lists the HDMI audio, not the Realtek onboard audio.

Things that I've liked about Lubuntu (this version included) is that Windows+E invokes the file manager, +R invokes the run prompt, the UI lacks eyecandy, the file manager doesn't have a lot of clutter (though 20.04 is a step back IMO), and the start menu is minimal. I'm considering trading up for a distro with a bit more consistency/stability. I've even given Windows 10 some consideration but since I'm not particularly keen on spinning the wheel of fortune every 3 years on a new OS version, Win10's "do et naow!" mandatory OS upgrade every six months is not something I appreciate for a workhorse PC.
 
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mv2devnull

Golden Member
Apr 13, 2010
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Is it common that one version of a Linux distro is OK and the next isn't?
Can't speak of ubuntu -- have dwelled in Ret Hat Linux, Fedora Core, CentOS Linux. The latter was really "LTS"; 10 years of support for major releases. With major releases several years apart each major release is a huge step. Furthermore, "Enterprise Linux" tends to be barren; third party repositories supply additional packages if and when. Even with presumed quality, each new major version has had issues at start that couple first point releases tend to fix (so within a year or two from release). With long support one can usually continue with previous major releases until the next does get its act together.

If you have a distro that gets frequently small updates, then a larger component change (implied by the recomendation to reinstall) must feel drastic.

Ubuntu has "sub-distros" with different (default) package selection? lubuntu, kubuntu, ... ?
CentOS Linux has only one distro and you install the packages that you need. For example the DE: Gnome (default), KDE, XFCE, MATE, ...
Granted, the selection can be lacking, but it is possible to replace the DE without reinstall.
I wonder whether you have access to any alternatives within lubuntu?


Overall, reinstall from scratch is a usefull skill to master. Clean install, no legacy cruft.
You have three entities: OS, how to config it, and your data.
OS comes from install media. Config you have to adapt to current OS. Your data you migrate.


PS. CentOS is "shifting focus", so it is not something to consider. Some clones/forks might show up though. Besides, as RPM-based distro it is quite different from ubuntu.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
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Lubuntu had a fairly major change between the two versions you used. It was based on lxde, and is now based on lxqt, which is a major refactoring of the "lx" environment. It might not be what you want anymore. I tried it briefly on the boss' computer, and I thought it felt "heavy" for a lightweight desktop. Two alternatives are xubuntu for a gtk based desktop, and kubuntu for a plasma desktop.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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Lubuntu had a fairly major change between the two versions you used. It was based on lxde, and is now based on lxqt, which is a major refactoring of the "lx" environment. It might not be what you want anymore. I tried it briefly on the boss' computer, and I thought it felt "heavy" for a lightweight desktop. Two alternatives are xubuntu for a gtk based desktop, and kubuntu for a plasma desktop.
Yup, I've started playing around with xubuntu in a VM because its UI is closer to what I want than kubuntu. The main thing I find weird though is how not-at-all ready for release it feels compared to 18.04.

So is this what people running Linux tend to do, stick with a distro and then change up if the next version is a bit titsup?

Overall, reinstall from scratch is a usefull skill to master. Clean install, no legacy cruft.
You have three entities: OS, how to config it, and your data.
OS comes from install media. Config you have to adapt to current OS. Your data you migrate.
I agree, though I found what you said funny is that the same applies with Windows, then after mastering the reinstall, the next step is mastering Windows without needing a reinstall :)
 

mv2devnull

Golden Member
Apr 13, 2010
1,342
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I agree, though I found what you said funny is that the same applies with Windows, then after mastering the reinstall, the next step is mastering Windows without needing a reinstall :)
Now that you mention that unspeakable, yes an OS is an OS. I was thinking cloud though. If you need to spawn ten or hundred VM's for a job, you want them have appropriate, up to date config with minimal fuss. Yes, you could make one "right" and clone the rest. However, if you need to change them during the task, then you either "erase all but one, update the one, and clone again", or have a maintenance method that can (re)apply changes to all machines, including during the initial setup.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
54,337
4,337
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So is this what people running Linux tend to do, stick with a distro and then change up if the next version is a bit titsup?
Kind of I guess. I use debian, so it's more or less generic, and there aren't any large changes to the core release to release. You're still at the mercy of your desktop environment though, and changes always happen. Sometimes you like them, other times not. You still have the ability to fix it, pay someone else to fix it, or change environments. I've been digging plasma lately. I use that at work, and have xfce at home, which I've used for many years. I like both a lot.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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I'm considering xubuntu, but especially after today I'm going to be extra careful in testing out every last thing I can think of before switching again!

I discovered today on Lubuntu 20.04 that LibreOffice prints garbage every time I print (worked fine on 18.04, naturally), whereas printing from other apps works fine. xubuntu can handle my printer, and I tried the same install routine on a spare Lubuntu 20.04 VM and I get the same problem.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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The solution for the printing/export to PDF functions from LibreOffice is described right at the end of this post:

It turns out that LO in kubuntu and lubuntu 20.04 has tonnes of problems printing and exporting to PDF, not just my system. I'm amazed such a problem could still exist nearly a year on from release.
 

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