Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04: Pulseaudio, nfs, automounter and my dismay

I upgraded to Ubuntu 10.04 last night. Ouch.

My first problem was that, suddenly, the automounter was going totally berserk. It would randomly mount/unmount all of my NFS filesystems. I couldn't do anything.

This morning, I found the solution to that problem, but that only served to further confuse me: pulseaudio was freaking out over not being able to create a file under ~/.pulse. I deleted that directory and suddenly my automounter worked again... OK, that's spooky. I'm assuming that pulseaudio was loading audio drivers on startup and the fact that it kept re-starting meant that the module interface was constantly being banged around, resulting in poor service for any calls to loaded drivers. Surprising my system was stable at all, if that's the case.

Anyway now I'm finding lots of horrible little problems:

  • Rythmbox used to hide itself when you clicked on its notification icon... no longer
  • Pidgin seems to have been put into tabbed window mode by default which is painful
  • Evolution seems to squirrel your password away and use it for the password to your keychain... this means that when your password changes, you have to remember the old one in order to access your saved passwords. It seems like this should at least come with a big red button labeled ("just start over") so I can stop having the password dialog box pop up.
  • System services are no longer managed by the standard init.d script interface. Joy, a non-standard init. Just what I needed.
  • Process names are getting more and more absurd. The fact that something is running on my system called rtkit is deeply wrong. I nearly had a heart attack before I googled for it (of course, it's not alone: liboobs was one I saw scroll by as I was installing)
Overall, 10.04 does not impress me. It seems to have been put together as a way to prepare for future updates rather than as a stable starting point for long term support.

PS: Another issue just cropped up: outbound mail from evolution seems to have been silently failing all day. I finally realized that people weren't getting my mail and went to check the settings. Sigh.