Not ready for me

Volume 2, Issue 3; 23 Jan 2018

My attempt to upgrade to Ubuntu 17.10.1 did not go well.

As I type this, my laptop is purring away attempting to recover from my "upgrade" to Ubuntu 17.10.1.

Not ready for prime time, at least for me. In increasing order of severity:

  • I'm going to set aside complaints about the Gnome 3 UX. Yes, I was finding it a bit of a struggle, but I'm sure I'd get used to it and/or find the extensions that bend it to my will. I never liked Unity and I'm happy to return to Gnome.
  • There doesn't seem to be any sort of indicator area for non-core apps (DavMail, for example). That's not a show-stopper, I guess, but it's odd that that's still an unsolved problem.
  • The Epson USB drivers for my scanner didn't recognize my scanner. 😞
  • It's crashy. The gnome-shell crashed. Some "headless" java process crashed shortly after logging in, every time (something to do with DavMail maybe, though that seemed to continue working). It locked up entirely a few times, though it did seem to have some sort of watchdog timer that restarted whatever part of the system had wedged.
  • None of the SSH/GPG pinentry programs would work. When ssh-agent started, it had no trouble with my passphrase. But the gnome3, qt, and gtk-2 pinentry programs all refused to accept it; perhaps because it contains a punctuation character they don't like? (Really!?) I couldn't get the curses version of pinentry to work either.

I did a few minutes of web searching for answers and failed to find any.

It seems a tiny bit petulant to give up because something as simple as pinentry is misbehaving, but bear in mind that it makes ssh unusable which means no logging into remote systems, no checking out code through ssh tunnels, etc. Not doing my day job, basically.

I spent several hours last night and a couple of hours this morning trying to get this working. I simply ran out of time.

Ubuntu 17.04 is EOL so I'll have to do this again, but I'm going to wait a bit, I guess.