Dear Ubuntu users and developers!
In August I tried to start discussion ubuntu-desktop mailing list about software installation, but got only few positive results.
Problem importance was lowered and bugs are not fixed.
I post this here for discussion and for your support.
It is important, because of many Ubuntu newbies start to learn Ubuntu with software installation (you can search AskUbuntu for real-life examples).
I’m using Debian since 3.1 and using Ubuntu since 6.06. So let me write about software installation.
As far I can understand here are two methods of software installation:
aptitude - for advanced users
gnome-software and Muon - for newbies.
mate-welcome were added to the newbies’ list.
But they have very small lists of software.
IMHO gnome-software is too simplified as all modern GNOME - no options here, except of shortcut to
software-properties-gtk and no advanced search.
mate-welcome is beautiful and useful for real newbies.
software-center was great, but its development was dropped.
What we have as result?
There is only one mature and functional software manager. It is named Synaptic.
But … it works very strange. I talk about Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS (!) here.
I do not know why
apt-xapian-index was migrated to Python3. This migration is incomplete and buggy (see bug 1612948).
Almost every time when I open Synaptic it says “Rebuilding search index”. We have bug about this (see bug 1685376).
It takes a lot of time even on SSD (on HDD it is really painful). I launched Synaptic to find some package by name, or description, or section, or status and I always need to wait when it finished rebuilding index.
If I try to download changelog of some package it complains about privileges (see bug 1522675).
It shows duplicate entries for packages, installed from various origins (see bug 1533554).
So developers should fix all aforementioned bugs in Synaptic and its friends (
Synaptic is essential package, it is like
aptitude on server, but it is on desktop.
For such package every bug which made user’s life harder should be fixed as soon as possible by maintainers or upstream developers. Time for SRU should be minimal.
I did some research and I can conclude the following - the most useful tool is Muon, which originates from KDE (does not really matter if it works stable). I use it as Synaptic replacement.
I have some questions for discussion:
- What do you think?
- How do you search, install and remove software on your system?
- apt (apt-get)
- Which GUI tool is the best for you?
- Have you had any problems during software packages installation (by problems I mean real problems, not caused by lack of knowledge)?
- Do you have ideas how to fix aforementioned bugs?
- How to raise the importance of the mentioned problems?
With best regards,