10 Things Ubuntu Needs To Improve On: Page 2

Posted November 5, 2007

Matt Hartley

Matt Hartley

(Page 2 of 2)

4) Not automatically backing up fstab
The blatant stupidity behind not being available by default is completely beyond me. In response, I have been hard at work making sure that newbies have a simple bash script that will enable them to have a backup available.

Having your operating system suddenly forgetting what drivers are connected is something that is – with current technology on Ubuntu – easily avoidable. All it needs is a little python and some GTK to make it happen.

5) Not automatically backing up xorg
I realize that Ubuntu devs have made great strides in this sort of area with the 'bullet proof X' initiatives. However, just a simple "cp" (copy) function of that little file would provide people with improved options when trying to 'tweak' something later, only to screw it up royally.

Because sometimes, those existing Xorg backups are not up to date, so the user needs a simple means of backing up a fresh copy of their Xorg themselves without having to learn to use Bash at every turn. If this was Slackware, this would never be an issue. But this is Ubuntu, designed for both typical Linux users and newbies alike.

6) Restore files from the trash
We have this rather basic ability in Windows, yet if something is tossed into the trash while using Ubuntu, you better remember where it goes to if you want it restored!

The lack of this feature is hardly a show-stopper for most people, as critical files are protected by the root user. But it would be nice to have when the kids decide to get creative with their 'system tweaking'.

7) PPPoE is a mess on Ubuntu (and Linux in general)
Again, not a show stopper if the user has a router in place with a home network. But for the single DSL user, it can be frustrating to find yourself dealing with no alternative outside of pppoeconf.

Generally, you will have to "up" the network interface yourself in some manner. And even then, pppoeconf is quite buggy once you discover this is what you are to be using. Asking new users to step into this application is beyond ridiculous.

For a newbie-oriented distribution like Ubuntu, this is once again a bug that could be avoided by simply advising a common sense policy of using PPPoE settings that come with cheap routers. The documentation even hints at this, yet then heads off into the sunset with the idea that most people using DLS are only connecting directly, which is just silly.

It's great that Ubuntu provides a step-by-step “how to” for those that are not in a position to connect via some sort of router, but making this the default means of dealing with PPPoE hassles is simply not time well spent.

8) IPV6 enabled
While the current status is set to 'fix released', the fact remains that it shows up again and again in each new Ubuntu release. During installation, there should be the option of activating ipv6 with the user's permission, and understanding how to disabling it later should it cause issues. This is not a rare issue. It’s been flooding the Ubuntu forums with users who are upset that Web sites don’t seem to connect as they once did.

9) A GUI-based recovery mode
Ubuntu's idea of a recovery mode is pretty geeky, as it’s basically the command line. But in addition to this, they ought to provide a means of reinstalling the system files while preserving the home folder. It was successfully done with Linspire 5.0, so I know for a fact that it is quite doable for future releases of Ubuntu.

10) Common sense distribution of documentation
Ubuntu, by and large, has the best documentation I have ever seen from a Linux distribution. However, some of the best documentation is not even really part of the documentation project itself. I would like to see some means of content cooperation or even content scraping (with permission) so that the documentation could maintain a more complete feel.

Perhaps this is something to add to Ubuntu's idea pool, be it another example of text-based chaos.

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