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Ubuntu Linux (Gusty Gibbon) Disappointment

Yesterday evening, I was in need of something to do and every now and then I get these urges to try out Linux as a desktop OS again. I saw that they had released a new beta version of Ubuntu (the Gusty Gibbon release – which is scheduled for final release sometime in October) and decided I’d try it out in a dual boot with Vista Ultimate and Ubuntu. Anyway, I download the ISO file, burn it to a CD, stick it in my CD drive, reboot and boot the CD.

Okay, so now I’m on the Live CD and I’m going to install it, so I click the Install button. Next, I go through the setup and select one of my 320GB SATA 2 HDD that I’m currently not using as the drive to install Ubuntu on. So that goes fine, it installs and tells me to reboot to boot into Ubuntu. It installs GRUB and everything too which in theory should allow me to select whether I want to boot to Vista or Ubuntu, correct? Right.

So now, we’re rebooting… I get to the GRUB screen and I see that Vista isn’t even listed in the menu to choose as an OS to boot to. I thought well that’s OK I’m going to reinstall the Windows Vista boot loader anyway in the end so I didn’t worry about it.

Alright, so we’re past the Ubuntu loading screen and BAM! it errors. Apparently X didn’t install properly (for those who don’t know what X is it’s essentially the basic framework for building GUI environments in Unix-type operating systems). Now, I think to myself, well, for something that’s supposed to be competing with Windows this sure isn’t a good sign. If you installed Windows and you didn’t have a GUI when you booted up Microsoft would never hear the end of it. It would be on every major Tech news site. Oh, but since it’s Linux “oh, that’s okay…Linux rocks! I’ll just spend 10 hours trying to find out how to get my GUI back.” Yes, I realize you can reinstall configure X, however, the average user (let alone the brand new user) looking to make the switch to Linux will most likely have no clue how to do so.

Moving on… Basically what I ended up doing is saying “Screw it.” and I popped in my Vista Ultimate DVD, booted to it, and went to the recovery portion of the DVD and opened the command prompt, where I proceeded to open BootRec.exe, and used the following commands bootrec /fixmbr and bootrec /fixboot. /FixMbr will overwrite your MBR (Master Boot Record) and /FixBoot will write a new boot sector to your system partition. Then all was fine.

I found out from a friend who uses Linux pretty much daily has never had a Ubuntu install where they didn’t have to reconfigure X. He said he had that issue on 3 different machines. I have another story that’s actually almost the same with a Dell machine I bought (one of those machines with Ubuntu preinstalled…) but I’ll write about that another time.

I’m curious has anyone else had any similar experiences? Maybe not just with Ubuntu, but any distro of Linux. Please share your feedback as I’m curious to know.

— Jeff Weisbein

Jeff is the founder & CEO of BestTechie. He has over 10 years of experience working with technology and building businesses. He loves to travel and listen to music.

  • Matt


    heh, running Ubuntu 7.04 with no issues

  • Richard Chapman


    I’ve never had such experiences in my 2.5 years of using Linux. It might have something to do with the fact that I stick to the final release of any given distro. There is a reason for having a release schedule you know.

    But I don’t see that you have a problem. Just stick with what you buy from Microsoft and be happy with it.

  • iPRED


    First of all. There is a reason why this text appears when you go in to the gusty forum:

    “GUTSY GIBBON SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR YOUR DESKTOP UNTIL RELEASE IN OCTOBER 2007
    If you decide to use Gutsy Gibbon then you are doing it on your own risk and with the risk of major breakage and possibly losing data.”

    Second of.
    GNU/Linux Is Not Windows *. You have to put a bit of work on it to adapt the different technicals.

    So please next time you review an OS, compare the RC:s/betas if you want to be accurate.
    Sure Vista is quite Beta release ;-P. But they say that it’s stable…..

    Thanks

  • Alex


    Quite stupid… (sorry, but…)
    Ubuntu 7.10 (G Gibbon) is still in development stage. It is normal for a “beta” not to work. As you said, it will be released in October. (7.10 it means that it is the version that will be released on the 10th month of 2007). If it was supposed to work without problems, it would have already been released.
    If you read carefully, it tells that what you downloaded and tried is only for developing/testing, not for using.
    So comparing this beta with vista is at least stupid.
    If you want to use(try…) Ubuntu, use the released version (7.04)… or just use another distro (openSUSE, PCLinuxOS etc.), but be careful: not BETAS or ALPHAS.

  • http://www.besttechie.net/ Jeff


    I realize that this is a beta release. However, I had the same issues with a stable release as did someone else I know as I mentioned above.

    Also, I’m not a Windows/Mac/Linux/Unix fan boy of any sorts, but the fact of the matter is even Vista and XP beta’s didn’t have these types of issues.

  • http://www.besttechie.net/ Jeff


    I also should note I use Debian Lenny on my web server and Ubuntu 7.04 on a separate home server at my house. I had similar issues when I installed 7.04. I’m not bashing Ubuntu or any distro of lInux I’m simply stating that apparently this isn’t uncommon.

  • http://www.n9vv.com Ken


    *YES* you experienced the very difficult problem that Ubuntu releases *ALL* have with ATI Radeon x600 cards in the Dell Dimension machines. I am just about to purchase an NVIDIA card from geeks.com just to get over this recurrent problem. I tried PCLinuxOS, Mandriva, and SimplyMEPIS with great results and even had the 3D Beryl/Compiz environment working. But not with Ubuntu. There are some convoluted instructions about how to make flgrx work with Beryl, but they have not worked for me and this darn X600 PCIe card. I hope that sometime in the future that Ubuntu embraces the new 3D desktop cube metaphor. It seems to be light years ahead of the flat 2D Gnome or KDE desktop in Ubuntu.
    ———
    Ken – Naperville, IL USA

  • http://www.besttechie.net/ Jeff


    Hi Ken, thanks for the comment however, I have an nVidia 7600 GT.

  • Mic


    It’s okay ….. understandable.

    the beauty of linux is that there’s a choice. if for some reason *buntu doesn’t goes well with your setup, there’s always others like

    Mepis :
    http://www.mepis.org/mirrors
    PCLinuxOS :
    http://www.pclinuxos.com/index.php?option=com_ionfiles&Itemid=28

    or opensuse, fedora, debian etc. etc. and all are free for you to try to your heart’s content.

    that’s the beauty of Linux :)

  • http://www.justanothertechblog.blogspot.com linnerd40


    Hey man, I feel ya. I had this same problem once when installing Ubuntu. Although I am kinda a Linux fan boy (not excessively), I don’t get people that think that Linux ready for the whole world. It isn’t. Although that was a test release, the troubles like you have had are sadly still all too common. Linux still has a way to go, but that doesn’t mean you can’t love it :-) Guess you can’t complain if it’s free… I still find it simply amazing what just a bunch of people simply enthused about an ideal can do (aka kudos to Linux developers!) :D

  • Cliffystones


    Jeff,

    I had the same problem with PCLOS. It overwrites the XP MBR and you have to go in and fix it and manually tell PCLOS to install the boot loader into another partition.

    Now to those who would call you or anyone else for that matter stupid, it would seem that writing the OS install program to include preventative measures for this would be a no-brainer buy now.

    So who is more stupid, the person who assumes that such a basic problem would have been eliminated by the 7th OS version, or the arrogant programmers that keep overlooking it? All the while copping the attitude, “It’s Linux, you should be able to fix it!”

  • ridgeland


    I had Nvidia in my old PC and it was fine with Fedora, SuSE, Ubuntu and all the others I tried. When I bought my new Dell-Ubuntu E520n I was careful to see that it came with Nvidia. No problems here.
    Ubuntu 7.04 not beta!

  • Kevin Dupuy


    Hi. Ubuntu’s Gutsy Gibbons release is under heavy developement at the moment. As a rule of thumb: NEVER expect Linux versions that haven’t been completed yet to work correctly.

    I highly suggest you check back in mid-October when it is offically released, as most if not all of your issues will have been fixed.

  • kilay


    well, you’ve got a premature evaluation, thus you’ve got a premature disappointment. if you can evaluate gutsy again in its final release then do your final conclusion.

  • Kecsi


    Riport the problem/error please.

  • mark ross


    i have never been a fan of any ubuntu release, so i feel your pain. out of curiosity i did buy a new hp desktop with vista starter, because i needed to experience first-hand this ongoing controversy about vista. well, it took me less than 4 hours of vista to decide to install and dual boot with linux mint 3.0. my personal observation is that mint kicks ubuntus’ ass and is running circles around vista.

  • Kenneth


    But this isn’t even a beta! We’re talking about the 5th ALPHA release!!! We’re not even to beta yet…

  • http://blackboxvoting.org Jim March


    First, Gutsy is currently NOT a “beta”. It’s an Alpha. Meaning “it really isn’t done yet”.

    That said, I tried both the Alpha 4 and 5 states and had…”glitches” with both. Nothing as bad as you’re describing.

    I’ve done a LOT of Feisty installs of late and it’s always produced a bootable setup. I’ve got it running right this second on an Acer laptop with Intel950 video; I also did a friend’s Dell 1501 with an ATI setup. No problemo, although I didn’t try 3D on his – mine, yeah, no problem with either the standard “desktop effects” (a low-grade version of Compiz) or a more up-to-date Compiz Fusion 5.2 codeset.

    Feisty is good stuff.

    In Gutsy5 I found two errors: the auto-setup for configuring multiple monitors can produce “broke boot” (“unable to load X”) combinations – so that feature clearly ain’t done yet. And at least for my scanner, SANE (the scanner driver system) blew up. The lack of scanner support drove me back to Feisty for now…but they’ll sort it out.

    Jim

  • http://www.rapskat.com rapskat


    I’ve been using some distro of Linux as my ONLY personal OS of choice for over 7 years now, so I think I may have a little insight in using Linux as a desktop platform.

    First, I will say that – while I do really like ubuntu and I think it is doing much to get the concept of desktop Linux to the mainstream – I haven’t had the best experiences with it either. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ubuntu on a server system, and I would have no reservations recommending it as such, however as a desktop it does have its quirks (as do pretty much all OSen, esp. Windows).

    That said, I would never recommend pure Ubuntu to someone just trying out linux for the first time or someone not well versed with LGX (Linux/GNU/X.org) desktop configuration, administration and usage.

    In my personal experience, I have found that two distros, MEPIS and PCLinuxOS, seem to be the best candidates for persons fairly uninitiated with desktop Linux.

    I hope I didn’t come across as proselytizing or condemning, I’m just trying to share my paltry knowledge in the hopes that it may help someone in the future. Thanks for reading!

  • Just me.


    “But this isn’t even a beta! We’re talking about the 5th ALPHA release!!! We’re not even to beta yet”

    Well I think that’s just a poor excuse. Gutsy is supposed to be released in two months right? It really should be more stable now. Eg. Debian would be wery wery stable this close to release. I think this just shows how buggy Ubuntu really is. If it’s like that two months before release, you can just think how much bugs there will be left when it’s released.

  • http://elcerrajero.blogspot.com El Cerrajero


    As everybody have told you, that’s a beta release.

    Did you send a bug report? No? this is the moment to do it ^_^

  • spr0k3t


    Bug report… it’s alpha.

  • Daeng Bo


    People keep saying that you tried a beta version. They’re wrong. 7.10 is still in alpha stage. The beta will come after Tribe 5, which is what you tried. Alpha software not working correctly? Not surprising.

  • GUIRUI


    I have had a problem with my Dell 2100 for Ubuntu, Debian, SimplyMepis to set up dual boot

  • http://www.besttechie.net/2007/08/25/ubuntu-linux-gusty-gibbon-disappointment/ yeah that pissed me off


    yes feisty fawn has the above mentioned problems on a dell inspiron 6400/1505e laptop (ATi X1400), and ubuntu did shit all to solve that problem after the release, thx.

    I just hope they fix it now for the Gusty Gibbon release coz i had to spend f*kking hours to figure out how to fix it.

    apart from that mounting external NTFS drives and getting it write enabled has become easier, over and all yes linux (ubuntu) is getting stronger :)

    and anyone who is getting V(sh)ista for eyecandy reasons should definitely check out Compiz/Beryl, I’m a total linux newbie, but with all the online tutorials and scripts had it up and running in no time.

  • http://homestarrunner.com yeah that really pissed me off


    yes feisty fawn has the above mentioned problems on a dell inspiron 6400/1505e laptop (ATi X1400), and ubuntu did shit all to solve that problem after the release, thx.

    I just hope they fix it now for the Gusty Gibbon release coz i had to spend f*kking hours to figure out how to fix it.

    apart from that mounting external NTFS drives and getting it write enabled has become easier, over and all yes linux (ubuntu) is getting stronger :)

    (yeah are the comments going through?)
    and anyone who is getting V(sh)ista for eyecandy reasons should definitely check out Compiz/Beryl, I’m a total linux newbie, but with all the online tutorials and scripts had it up and running in no time.

  • xploited


    what did you expect man? Ubuntu sucks balls!!
    You need to try SuSE 10.2, and you will enter the age of eternal happiness :)

  • Myztry


    Gutsy Gibbon has only been in development for 5 months. He should have compared it to Vista at the 5 month development stage. Not the 6 year stage.

    Now that the anti-competitive hurdles are falling, Microsoft is going nowhere fast. By the time Microsoft get around to ’nuffing’ out another release, Ubuntu will 10 times more developed.

  • Enrico


    I have installed ubuntu on several machines, never had any problems. Okay on first boot, evidently it is using standard drivers so you should install the drivers apropriate for your hardware. However this allways went smoothly in my case.

    Also, if it works on the live-cd it should work once installed, cause it is basically the same system. Maybe you should stick to very simple systems: Sabayon and Opensuse.

  • http://www.besttechie.net/ Jeff


    Enrico,

    I should mention this is not the first time I installed Ubuntu. I have used Ubuntu on and off since before it was even really popular at all and no install issues with it even with the text based install (which was also pretty straight forward), but thanks for the suggestions.

  • syncdram


    Hmmm, I’ve installed Feisty on my dell computers and had to pinch myself because everything just worked! My desktop is a dimension 9100 and lab top is a dell inspiron 5100. All networked wireless. Print sharing works. I dumped windows months ago. Remember (BETA) means at your own risk. I suggest you do a review on a final release. I think you will be much happier! I know i am………

  • Simon


    It’s a beta release, of course it’s going to have problems. File a bug report instead of ranting.

  • http://rayne.hellawack.net mistone


    siersouly don’t use the beta. just use 7.04 . gusty really doesn’t add much at all especially since I already have compiz fusion. The cool thing about ubuntu is that it will tell you when there is a new release and install the updates for you.

    btw I am huge ubuntu fan

  • ReaderX


    Looks like a strong pattern here. The crowd says, “Stop trolling.”

    Maybe next time you will try an officially released version of Ubuntu and find yourself enjoying it as a dual-boot option. I do.

  • freaktech


    I have been using Ubuntu for about 3 years now and have had no problem what so ever. But I also make sure to do some research on compatible hardware and not purchase anything that has known issues. It is a well known issue that Ubuntu does not work well with ATI and that is because ATI does not develope drivers for linux as Nvidia does. I am currently running Gusty and everything works like a charm.

  • http://besttechue.com Igaveuptomuchwork


    I had the exact same thing happen with 7.04. After 2 hours of searching and trying to look for the fix, I gave up. This is not ready for primetime. I’m just an average user, too much work.

  • C.A. Carpenter


    Tried installing the Ubuntu 7.10 final release on 2 PC’s. The 1st will install the Std ver fine, but if I try the Alt ver it crashes every time on the S/W Install section (have tried 8-9 times) (kind of a red screen of death).

    On the 2nd PC, the Alt ver installs fine, but have found out after 3 attempts, that if I enable rotating desktop cube, on the next boot…X will not start & my monitor does not get a signal, goes into standby (you can hear the HDD loading though). Both PCs using Ath X2 w/Nvidia cards (7950GT & 8800GTX).

    Would love to get off the MS bandwagon & I’m not at the point of working with bash, installing packages/source…just trying to get thru the install without losing a whole weekend….which I usally leave to MS, sitting on the phone getting a 48 digit activation code to replace the activation code I already paid for.

  • raihan hasnain


    I have installed ubuntu 7.10 on 4 machines, including a hp laptop and a dell laptop.

    no issues.

  • martymas


    for the last 3 weeks ive tried to
    upgrade to gutsy gibbon
    twice from ubuntu 6.6 to 7.4
    now from kubuntu 7.4
    and they have all been a disaster
    first i had trouble with display drivers
    my v-card wasent compatable with
    the kubuntu sys
    and at the end of the install
    all i got was a black and white screen
    and as i didnt know what to do other than
    go back to windows
    and delete those kubuntu partitions
    since then ive tried 3 times
    and now in the fourth install
    this is an up grade from the kubuntu 7.4
    disks
    at the moment the sys is an over bloated
    not very good
    sys that will never be user friendly
    until they decide it is people who use it and not
    technology
    ive used linux for some time now
    and tho i have a lot to learn
    this b—-t has turned me off
    martymas

  • subixonfire


    sory but i hawe to say that ubuntu is best distro of all & i em using it sice the bigining. OK some problems with hardware can hapen especiali high end hardware but the solution allwais exist & the best way to faind is “Google for ubuntuguide” end search there, there all is wery simple end well explained so a beginer canfix all problems easly.

    Sory for my bad english!!

  • ajustwar


    I installed ubuntu for the first time recently and had no problems with the dual boot xp ubuntu setup. all the hardware worked fully except the wireless card would not connect to a network. trying to get it fixed.

  • Idiotonuni


    I have never had a problem with Ubuntu but i only use the final release and i research before i try anything new. anyway it could be vista’s fault (lol jk).

  • biyouboogie


    I have not had any problems with my version(s) of Ubuntu (Gnarly Gnome and Gusty Gibbon). But I have not tried to dual-boot. Is there any particular catch to loading both operating systems (Windows -yuch , and Ubuntu)?

    I really prefer Ubuntu over any version of Windows, but I do have relatives and friends who just HAVE to have Windows on my PC.

    What’s the procedure for dual booting? I have different partitions for both OS.

  • jonathan


    @ Cliffystones

    “Jeff,

    I had the same problem with PCLOS. It overwrites the XP MBR and you have to go in and fix it and manually tell PCLOS to install the boot loader into another partition.

    Now to those who would call you or anyone else for that matter stupid, it would seem that writing the OS install program to include preventative measures for this would be a no-brainer buy now.

    So who is more stupid, the person who assumes that such a basic problem would have been eliminated by the 7th OS version, or the arrogant programmers that keep overlooking it? All the while copping the attitude, “It’s Linux, you should be able to fix it!””

    And what do you think will happen when you install windows on a hard drive with Linux? I bet 100 bucks it will over right the MBR without even saying anything about it. And on top of that it wont even give an option to boot any other OS at all!! Now what programmers sound smarter, the ones for MS or the ones for Ubuntu?