Fixing Ubuntu 8.10

I suppose you could say I’m a long time Debian/Ubuntu Linux user, but the recent upgrade to 8.10 completely messed up my desktop machine.

  • Sound was broken in Flash. That’s happened before and doing an aptitude install flashplugin-nonfree-extrasound fixed that, but from time to time sound would break and I’d have to killall -9 pulseaudio;pulseaudio -D to get it working again.
  • My shiny new Xbox360 controller refused to work correctly in Ubuntu 8.10. Despite assurances on various Ubuntu sites that a fully updated system should now work, it didn’t. Moving the analogue stick moved the mouse pointer.
  • Editing a spreadsheet in Open Office proved impossible as whatever key or action I last took would repeat if I used the cursor keys. Hit “a” and “a” would appear in every cell when the cursor was moved. I used the mouse and TAB a lot while working on my last VAT return.
  • I wrote a DVD+RW just fine on Monday, but 3 days later when I tried to erase it, Gnomebaker complained it didn’t have permission to access /dev/sr0 (I think). I tried to mount another CD and Ubuntu complained it couldn’t read ISO9660 CDs.

I tried recreating my user account in case that helped. It didn’t. The only way to fix my broken Ubuntu 8.10 was to reinstall from scratch. After backing everything up onto one of my external drives the install couldn’t have been easier.

So, now? Any problems? ‘Fraid so.

  • I had to install flashplugin-nonfree-extrasound to get sound working in Firefox and Flash. Yay, Youtube is sounding sweet again! No lockups yet.
  • My joypad still didn’t work, despite the fact I had upgraded everything. Thankfully this bug report came to the rescue. If your Xbox360 controller refuses to work in Ubuntu, try this:

    $ xinput list
    See which device number the Xbox controller has…
    $ xinput set-int-prop THATDEVICENUMBER ‘Device Enabled’ 32 0

    I’ll probably have to add that to the Gnome Session so it’s permanent.

  • works fine thankfully. That was a showstopper bug. I even considered using Mac OS X for a moment.

Backuppc is reinstalled and configured. It now has nice RRD graphs! I’m also blown away by the folder sharing in Nautilus. This might have been available in 8.04 but I never noticed. Sharing folders via SMB has never been so easy!

I haven’t reinstalled everything I need yet, but I’m happy that my desktop is working again.