Stuff we've discussed on IRC.
Posted by David at 2006-09-04 22:17
Posted by David at 2006-09-04 21:46
They do a good job of generating bad press don't they?
Posted by ats at 2006-09-04 17:33
So I've been quite happy with Ubuntu, until 6.06 came out.
The first reason is that a whole load of stuff broke.
- XFCE, as shipped, is an unreleased beta version. A responsible Linux distributor should not pull that kind of stupid stunt.
- Worse, the configuration was split out into separate packages, and no deps were added -- so if you upgrade (like I did, on three machines), then you go from a working, stable XFCE to a completely broken beta version that can't find its config files.
- The suspend behaviour's been changed; I used to be able to whack the power button to have my laptop hibernate, and now that does nothing. It'll still hibernate if I chase through the menus to find the right option (although the default is the completely useless "suspend").
- Most seriously, though, there's a nasty bug with network interface naming. On all three machines I upgraded, the primary network interface no longer has a static name -- some boots it's eth0, some it's eth1. This means that my headless machine was coming up without a usable network interface half the time, which is obviously a really bad thing.
It seems highly unlikely that I'm the only one who's hit this bug...
Having spent a while poking at it, it turns out that the problem is that I'm using the "universe" repo. (Which is obligatory, because much of the software I use isn't in the main repo.)
There's an "ifrename" package there which conflicts with "wireless-tools", which is part of the base system.
"wireless-tools" also provides an implementation of /sbin/ifrename, but it's split into a separate package, also called "ifrename" -- so there are two ifrename packages, one in main and one in universe.
When I did the upgrade, my machines removed the old ifrename package (because wireless-tools is in the base system, even on machines that'll never see a wireless network), and then were unable to install the new one.
I can work around this by taking universe out of my apt config temporarily, installing the right ifrename package, then adding universe back, but it's a pretty trivial fix (just rename the "wrong" ifrename package).
But why is ifrename even necessary in the first place? Interface names are (reasonably) stable in Linux by default; what on earth have Ubuntu done to break this?
(It's not a kernel hack, since I'm running a stock kernel -- since theirs is too old for my SATA cards to work reliably...)
(kimble mentions that she's seeing similar problems with soundcard ordering, so presumably they're now doing something broken to detect hardware that doesn't maintain a stable order.)
OK, so it's a bug. Let's go and report it.
First problem: on the Ubuntu home page, where on earth is the link to their bug-tracking system?
Chase, chase, chase. Ah, there it is, three clicks away from the main page in a decidedly non-obvious place.
Oh, great. They've designed their own bug tracker.
This is a really stupid idea. Bugzilla's hardly great by default, but pretty much every free software developer knows how to use it. Make it harder for those people to submit bugs, and you're locking out the majority of your useful bug reports.
Right, so I need an account to use it. Whack in a "real name", a throwaway email address and a password, and it mails me a link to click on. Fairly standard, but the form doesn't tell me what my login is going to be, so I can't write down the password I've used until I actually get around to logging out and back in again.
(Turns out it wants my email address, not the name it asked for on the form.)
Right, bug 46817 is from someone who's spotted that the package is broken (because the init script is still there, but the binary isn't) but isn't affected by it.
The interface to their proprietary bug tracking system is appallingly bad -- it's even worse than Sourceforge's.
Bug 57501 is someone who's spotted that interface naming isn't stable any more (even after resume, which is what I see on my laptop too), but it's filed against the wrong package.
Bug 35576 is another unstable-interface-naming bug.
Aha, so it's udev that's responsible for interface naming now. That'd explain why it's horribly broken.
(Why the hell is the device filesystem manager renaming network interfaces?)
So I guess it's time for me to find another distribution to run on my non-GARstow machines -- or bite the bullet and stick GARstow on all of them...