Tag Archives: karmic

More Karmic FAIL

At work most of our computers run Ubuntu (well, they used to) and the upgrade to Karmic has not been fun. Mike’s machine broke X, Evolution on Justin’s machine segfaults whenever he tried to create a new email and it also booted his old 2.6.28 kernel instead of the new 2.6.31 version. AC’s computer lost all his desktop icons in GNOME, the subtitling editing program he uses broke and needed a re-install, the screensaver also locks up his machine… and so on.

On top of all that, a non-technical user which I put onto Ubuntu tried to upgrade at home and it failed too. Also, my boss tried to upgrade his home computer to Karmic for the second time, but it aborted during the process.

This is all about 6 weeks after the initial release.. *sigh*

Karmic upgrade, broken printing. Workaround.

So on another machine (my Dad’s to be exact) after an upgrade to Karmic, both sound and printing were broken.

I fixed the printing issue last night, which was truly strange. The original printer was still there (as I would expect) and could be seen in the GNOME print manager. The problem was that it just wouldn’t print at all. Taking a closer look, for some reason the driver had been reset to “Alps MD-1000” even though it’s a Samsung.

Broken printer

Changing the driver to anything else and saving the changes did not actually change the driver – it went straight back to “Alps MD-1000.” Adding a new printer resulted in the same problem.

The fix was to log into the CUPS server directly (http://localhost:631) and from here I was able to select the right driver – and it stuck. It could now print correctly.

Going back to the GNOME print manager still shows the driver as being the “Alps MD-1000” which is just wrong.

So I’m not sure why GNOME print manager is broken, but if I configure the printer directly with CUPS it works.

Karmic upgrade, broken sound. Workaround.

Upgrading to Karmic on a Dell Optiplex 755 desktop resulted in broken sound.

It’s a very basic and extremely common card:
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 02)

GNOME has no sound, but opening up the mixer shows the device (analogue stereo output) and indeed when I play a sound I can see it come up on the “applications” section of the mixer.

The problem is that not only does no sound come out, but any application (from Totem to aplay) which tries to play audio hangs.

In Jaunty the sound preferences utility was much more powerful. You could choose between Pulseaudio, Alsa, ESD and OSS for various types of sound, everything was much more configurable. Now in Karmic, that’s replaced entirely and no longer possible – it appears to be Pulseaudio or nothing.

So, the “fix” is to purge pulseaudio and utils, leaving only Alsa. Reboot and magically sound works, but we’re not out of the woods yet!

Problem now is that we have no mixer under GNOME because unlike in Jaunty, it can only talk to Pulseaudio. Starting up the mixer from the command line shows it “waiting for server.” Not only that, but Totem still can’t play sound, presumably because it too is waiting for Pulseaudio.

So, what to do next? Install VLC.

This isn’t even a fix, in fact it’s hardly a decent workaround, but it is sufficient for now. How the average user is supposed to deal with this is beyond me. It’s a pity there is no longer the ability to switch between sound servers..

Update: Looks like this has been an unresolved problem for the last three months.