Blog Post

My Kubuntu Natty Opinions

Well, I finished up installing and setting up the latest Kubuntu release, Natty Beta 2. Everything went smooth, no hiccups at all. Seems a little peppier in its step, however the main reason for installing today was because I was tired of the slowness of my last install. Nothing like installing from scratch, only to realize you forgot to backup one directory, therefor losing a bunch of work. Seeing as I like pretty much everything about the latest Kubuntu, I will only address the things that are annoying to me or do not work at all.

Fonts
By default the fonts are awful looking. I am not well versed in all of the fontness, however I can say the fonts are blurry as hell after an install. First thing I did here was Enable Use anti-aliasing in System Settings, and then set the Hinting style to Full. After a quick restart the fonts are now nice and crisp looking.

Network Mangler
Jeesh, for 2 years now I have had to manually enter the MAC address of my wireless router because I utilize a hidden SSID. Looks like I will be spending another 2 years adding that address to ~/.kde/share/apps/networkmanagement/connections/{35570ccd-a656-491e-97d0-622d29ba020b} for seenbssids=. I will make sure I tag this post KDE so the Network Manager folks can yell at me and show me I am doing something wrong.

I seriously think those are my only 2 gripes, and both gripes are easily fixed in less than a minute each. There are a couple of new things too that finally work.

Printing
YAY! Huge hugs to the person who implemented the network printing stuff, or at least fixed it so now I don’t have to install the GNOME printer applet or whatever it is called just to install a shared network printer. Kudos to you my friend or friends, job well done!

Bluetooth
I can connect to my phone, I can send it a file! Haven’t been able to do this before. To be honest, I never used it, and after using it today it made me realize one thing. Bluetooth sucks, except for those little ear pieces we see all the wanna-be business people wearing. You know, the things where people look like they are talking to themselves but really aren’t, or they could the new school posers acting like they are important. I am choosing the latter there.

Like I said, overall I am really impressed with what I am seeing here. As some of you know, I have been a bit bummed over the past year with Kubuntu and Ubuntu and annoyed by so much. Seeing this release makes me cheer up a bit and realize just what I am missing by not sitting in IRC for 24 hours a day running pbuilder constantly. Damn, now that I put it that way, I don’t know if I was missing that 🙂

Kudos Ubuntu and Kubuntu hackers on a job well done!

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  • Sebas

    Simple fact about hidden wireless: Nobody seems to care enough to implement it. I won’t do it, but can help by getting you started and reviewing patches.

    No yelling here, just that it doesn’t seem annoying enough for at least one person to JFDI.

    • Come on dude, I expect some yelling at me 🙂 I am kind of like you at the same time in regards to it. There is only one network I use that is hidden and I am starting to think I need to unhide it already and be done with it. We all know a hidden SSID isn’t anymore secure than one that isn’t hidden.

      • BajK

        I don‘t know what‘s this “” thing in the connections list is for but clicking it triggers a input field “Enter network name”, so you might give it a try entering your SSID there?
        I really like the new fonts, the first time I really used the Ubuntu font that is there since 10.04 (10.10?) because I was always jealous on those Mac guys with their ultra smooth fonts. KDE’s default Sans Serif font is a pain in the eyes.
        Yep, the Bluetooth thing is also nice, no more /lib/firmware copying things or anything, it worked straight out of the box. And it is soooooo much faster than Maverick.
        But why can’t they just implement standardized ACPI calls? Suspend to Ram? Forget it, won’t wake up (you end on a black frozen screen). Suspend to Disk? Forget it, after powering up your Linux you end up with a frozen black screen…
        And Beta 2 kernel panics on reboot (cold start works when editing a Grub start parameter) …

        • Yeah, I tried entering the ssid in that input field and hitting enter, but nothing happened.

          • Entirely true. It’s not implemented at all, just that button.

          • If I can get some time, I will look into it. It doesn’t seem to be that hard to implement, at least I wouldn’t think it would.

          • ptrflrs

            wait, i’m on a hidden network ssid and got it to work without any fuss at all.  i’m just an average “casual user” and  i really don’t like the terminal.  i did get it to show up as my default in the net management settings somehow but i don’t even remember having a hard time. i’m using kubuntu natty

  • Sebas

    btw, open-slx, openSUSE, Pardus, RedHat, Arch have all pitched in…

  • >Kudos Ubuntu and Kubuntu hackers on a job well done!
    And to KDE, i guess

  • Anonymous

    Is KDE network manager finaly able to see default network connection and allows me to edit it? Previous releases have acted like there is no defaul network connection, yet it has worked 🙂 I will not even consider to use this crap until are all fundamental things resolved. Maybe in KDE 4.12.5 🙂

  • Noel

    network manager is a mess. it was.. it still is.

    • (I’m one of the developers of said piece of software.)

      The exact reason for this is the ratio between people complaining (like you) and people actually putting work in it (like me and some others, but too little).

      The perverse effect is, however, that the sort of comment you make discourages people from pitching in (like me), instead of encouraging people to work on in.

      Bitching doesn’t make it better, it just seems to keep people from being interested in helping.

      Especially when I see people complaining about the bad network management experience in Kubuntu, I tend to think that it’s the result of Kubuntu or Canonical not helping to improve it. Consequently, I couldn’t care less.

      Personally, given all the tankful reactions, I might just drop my contributions to NM. It works for me, and all it ever gets you is people telling you how bad it is. Not exactly the kind of motivation I need.

      Got it?

      • Don’t you dare stop! I still love you if that counts for anything 🙂 Wish I had a bit more time, otherwise I think I would enjoy contributing to NM with you. Maybe I can get some more time in the near future. Need to knock the dust off of my C++ anyways with all this Python and web work I have been doing.

      • Keep up the good work! For most of us, network management is just beautiful in 11.04. I am sure that fixes for hidden networks are in the works; we, as users, just need to be patient, and express interest in FIXING the problem, instead of just complaining about it.

  • Dude, you’re so right about KDE. After Natty released I’ve switched to KDE and I ain’t going back. 

    As of NetworkManager, shouldn’t this http://i.imgur.com/oqv0a.png be the place to enter the hidden network id or name?

    Also I loved the BT support. I have bluetooth stereo headset for Skype and random music and keyboard. It all worked out of the box. I had to install the blueman when using gnome to make it working.

    Thanks for a great blog,
    cheers.

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