This is why we can’t have nice things…

So my Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.10 install lasted me less than a single day, and now I have the choice of trying again and hoping, or trying out the other netbook distros.

But wait… let me re-wind there.

Last night:

Perusing the Ubuntu software centre, I noticed Progress Quest. Sweet! I ran that for 2 years straight at my last job! So I clicked install and prompty forgot about it.


Looking through my installed applications, I noticed Wine was in the list. Strange, Ubuntu don’t normally package that as a part of the vanilla install, let alone on a netbook.

That’s cool I thought. Oh look, Progress Quest! *click*

Why is there a Wine icon on the Unity side bar? ……Oh… Ubuntu added a non-native application to their list of supported applications. And I didn’t realise because the install button doesn’t present any information, it just installs it.

Ok, well… *close*… I don’t really want to run Wine on my Netbook so I’ll remove it and move on.

Open up Ubuntu Software Manager, find Progress Quest, click remove.

While that continues, I think I might look around and see if there are any non-ascii NetHacks in the default repository.

SLASH’EM… Gtk+ vs SDL… cool… ahhh.. *click*… *click*…

Ok.. Synaptic has frozen, and Progress Quest hasn’t finished removing itself.

*Wait 15 minutes*

Ok.. Synaptic is officially dead. Selecting reboot from the panel does nothing, ctrl+alt+del and selecting reboot does nothing. Ok, alt+F1 and ctrl+alt+del triggers a system reboot. I hope I the package manager isn’t tooooo confused.

Login, select Adam… select Adam…… select Adam!

Awesome, I can’t login. No error messages in the terminals, can’t login at the terminals either. Rebooting does nothing. If I click my username fast enough I get a *glimpse* of “Permission denied” on the GDM dialog.

Google “Permission denied”

Find a number of people having the same problem, all with the same answer “You forgot your password, reset it”. (See here, here)

No, I can’t even get to the point of entering my password.

It seems that Synaptic was in the middle of frakking around with PAM settings and left PAM in an badly configured state. I can get a root shell from recovery mode, but I can’t find a single proper resolution to the problem even though it seems to have been occuring since the days of Hardy. So once I get to the shell I have no idea what to do.

You know how everyone else got around the problem?


And thats what I’m going to do.

But wait, I’m a developer? I should be able to figure this out myself?

Sure, but should I have to? FUCK NO.

This is bullshit. This is the equivalent of a program uninstaller leaving your system unbootable (which only happened once on Windows ’98 because of Demise, but lets not go there).

So I should enter a bug report?

Well I don’t really want to sign up to another forum / bug tracker. It increases the entry barrier and I’m already frustrated enough.

Oh but its open source, I should fix it myself?

Ah, no. Sorry, I’m not familiar with this code-base, I have enough things to worry about let alone these problems. Just because someone is a mechanic, doesn’t mean they need to fix their own car or even go out of their way to tell <insert car manufacturer here> that they’re “doing it wrong”.

Linux is too fractured. Ubuntu are trying to do some fantastic things, but they continually introduce new technology and break things. Their fixed release schedule encourages bad QA practices. They need to stop introducing new shit for a single release and just FIX the damn bugs. Linux/Ubuntu can have all the composite effects it wants, all the shell enhancements, the system uptimes. But if maintaining the system day to day is a chore, we’re not going to get anywhere.

I’ve never been able to do a dist-upgrade in Ubuntu without being left with a system that can’t boot. Seriously… wtf.

Microsoft suck, their technology is bollocks and at least 5 years behind in every area. But you know what, I can always log into my OS after running system upgrades or uninstalling something.

And that is why we can’t have nice things…

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