Usually im more of a terminal-savvy user, i used to have Alpine Linux on my desktop.

For less hassle trying to get games to work, i recently tried getting back to Ubuntu.

Adding user to KVM group or another

adduser -G $USER group

People on modern systems will need to log-out via ‘loginctl terminate-user $USER’ to avoid lingering processes not reloading the group data.

Reddish screen during the night

This is quite useful to avoid sleep problems. Sadly, the redshift started 4 hours into darkness (its winter right now), after when im supposed to be in bed. Turns out, during installation, i disabled location services, and the Timezone isn’t enough for the Redshift to figure out sunset and sundown on its own. Solution was to enable location services for like, 5 seconds.

ssh-askpass

There is a managed ssh-agent available, during first connect, it allows you to add your key from ~/.ssh to it. From this point, all SSH sessions startup without any other need of passphrases or so.

Adding keys with ssh-add -c to make them ask for confirmation each time results in SSH sessions failing wiht “sign_and_send_pubkey: signing failed: agent refused operation”. Known Bug, #1812247.

For a while i ran a rogue ssh-agent or none, but in the end i gave up and just used the permanently unlocked ssh key.

Using i3 instead of the default

i3 is perfectly installable on Ubuntu. If you select it when logging in, you end up with a black screen.

Turns out the login manager is on a different tty than the desktop environment, so you need to manually switch to the right tty (which is, technically, not one if its graphic). I didn’t find the logic which tty was picked for i3. I remember having it on tty5.

I didn’t stick to it, because on the web, all explanations just document which icons to click and rarely which command to execute to make the correct configuration window pop up.

“Waiting on network…” during shutdown

Just hard-shutdown the machine. There is an magic incantation for cleanly escaping that by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del for seven times, which makes systemd reboot. If you trigger that, and power-off the machine while its down for a moment, you can at least be sure that your disk cache has been flushed to disk.

ModemManager

I had it on my blog previously. ModemManager writing AT commands into the root shell of an router if i attach it via USB serial cable.

They actually fixed this!

TempleOS starter

I tried to create a custom starter.

https://askubuntu.com/questions/141229/how-to-add-a-shell-script-to-launcher-as-shortcut

I cannot change the icon for the resulting starter. The select file dialog exits successfully without doing changes I cannot drag the launcher into the starter - nothing happens.

When i try to double-click the launcher, it gives me a warning that its from a non-trusted source. Sorry if im not trustworthy. It also only gives me an “Cancel” button from there.

Move it to ~/.local/share/applications/ so it shows up in the search menu. Chmod +x it to have it show its icon and not ask if its trustworthy.

Go into your application search, search for it, and click “Add to favourites” in context menu. If you change the starter while its in that directory, move it to some other folder and back to have the updates version being shown in the search. From there, add it to the starter again.

TORCS

I wanted to try that car simulation game. On the web i saw that it was packaged for Ubuntu. Trying to get around using apt and the command line, i went looking for it in the package manager GUI. Searching for its exact name only yielded results for Torchat and the Torbrowser and companions. I ended up installing it manually with apt-get. This didn’t make it show up in the “Installed” section. Anyways, i got a starter in the dashboard i could add to my favourites (main bar), so its working out for me now.

Backup Notifications

Occasionally i got a popup asking me to setup automated backups, defaulting to Google Cloud. No, thanks. I do manual backups using rsync (because of the storage layout on the server side). It showed up permanently at the unlock screen instead.

I later found that there is an notification area on Ubuntu, which can be seen by clicking at the Clock display in the top center of the screen. If you search for “Notifications” on the Dashboard and not click on entries given by the Package management, you can get to an Dialog to disable these backup reminders.

Rhythmbox

rsynced my Music folder in, started Rhythmbox, the titles came up. I clicked a title. Rythmbox crashes.

I start Rhythmbox again. It re-reads the title list. I drag & drop the columns so title is at the beginning, which somehow results in the actual name of the title being missing. Which isn’t catastrophic, just after that Rhythmbox so i can re-setup my config. This time it doesn’t crash!

Rhythmbox is now running fine. The rsync just finished. But somehow many of my titles are still not showing up. So i exit Rhythmbox. Except when i don’t. I end up with the Window gone, and no status icon, with the Music still playing. I could still control it using the XF86 Media buttons on the keyboard. I search the web to find that Rhythmbox compressed its UI into the notification area, from there i could restore the Window. I still couldn’t find an exit button, but pausing the current song (stopping doesnt work because there is no stop button) and closing the window does the trick.

The Rhythmbox notification for a new song just grabbed my focus while im writing this.

Edit: Occasionally crashes when manually switching tracks.

Conclusions

I don’t want to say Ubuntu is bad or something, but i can totally understand why people use Windows instead.

The discoverability feels as bad as on a terminal-only system. Whats worse is that ubuntu has many gimmicks enabled per default that get into my way. My browsing history is full of searches starting with “ubuntu disable …”.

Its still necessary to do magic actions to make your changes propagate through the system, and way too often, thats a reboot or a loginctl kill-session.

I understand that this is supposed to be modern, but if this is the future, i dont particulary like it.