When it’s about time for a new version of Ubuntu to arrive, usually I end up installing a late alpha or beta version before the final release. This wasn’t the case with Ubuntu 8.10, so I’ve had a pretty smooth transition. Recently I did get time to take a stab at working out some of the issues I have been having.

Desktop effects can’t be enabled after using external monitor (bug report)
Ubuntu’s desktop effects have always worked well on my Eee PC 901 laptop. But since plugging it into a TV via the VGA port, Compiz will not start even after the switching back to the internal display.

Attempting to enable effects causes Ubuntu to report “Desktop effects could not be enabled”. Running compiz from the terminal reports “Software rasterizer detected”.

This seams to be caused by the screen resolution utility changing my xorg.conf file in ways that break Compiz. I removed this section from my /etc/X11/xorg.conf file:
SubSection "Display"
Virtual 2384 768

After logging out I’m able to enable effects again.

[update] I tried using a TV again and was able to work around this problem by not enabling both screens at the same time. However, I did have a new problem. The external monitor would randomly go blank after being connected for a few minutes. I could only get it working again by rebooting Ubuntu. This seems to be a well known issue. (bug report)

Bluetooth mouse doesn’t reconnect (bug report)
I have to remove and re-pair my Bluetooth mouse to get it to connect with Ubuntu after waking my laptop up from suspend. Recent updates seem to have fixed this!

PulseAudio issues
Every now and then I will find that I’ve lost all sound playback. It seems that PulseAudio is crashing; System Monitor will report futex_wait in the waiting channel column (which seems to be what most crashed applications will say).

To work around this, I kill PulseAudio with System Monitor, and then run pulseaudio using the Run Application dialog.

Flash Video issues
Sometimes when I try to play a Flash video playback will start and stop after two seconds. Restarting Firefox usually fixes this for a while. This problem could be related to PulseAudio.

Audio-in with Skype (forum thread)
I had Skype working fine on Ubuntu 8.04, but now I can’t get it to capture any audio. By setting all the sound device options to pulse in Skype’s settings, I can get audio-out working but not audio-in. This is probably another PulseAudio issue.

Firefox hangs after closing
A few times I’ve had Firefox appear to close normally, but it hangs and stays running in the background. I haven’t found a way to reproduce this behavior.

Have any of these issues been bugging you in Ubuntu 8.10? I’ll update this post as I find solutions or run into new problems.

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