Your Comments and Feedback on the Desktop Experience AND the Community/Contributor Experience

I always hear people complaining about their favourite software not being available on Linux.
Many companies claim it is difficult to support an unclear operating system with different versions of different libraries properly.
Snaps would be one option to make that easier and kill that argument.

If the rest of the system re uses libraries, i don’t think a few snap packages will be a ram or disk space issue these days. That argument feels a bit made up to me.

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Pausing for 24 hours.

The flood of I-don’t-like-snaps in the past few hours by first-time posters suggests that those folks won’t actually stick around to make more meaningful contributions. We have seen this before. So we’re going to wait for the drive-bys to move on to the next sensation.

My two cents:

ZFS and ZSys: I love these. But, AFAIK, they never made it out of experimental. Also, the new installer for 21.10 doesn’t propose them. Are you still supporting them?

Bring back Unity or switch to KDE: I think it’s pretty clear by now that GNOME is moving away from what Ubuntu wanted for its desktop environment. How many extension do you need to maintain to make it resemble a regular desktop that most users are familiar with? How many tweak tools do we need to access the basic settings we expect to have on any OS? I liked Unity and I would love to see it back. However, KDE is getting a lot of traction nowadays and it can do almost everything Unity could do and even more. Maybe it would be easier to sponsor KDE than resurrecting Unity.

Snap: I love them and I use them. But there are some pain points I would love to see addressed.

  • Disable automatic update (or make it optional). I would rather see the snap updates along the system updates so that I can choose what I want to update and when I update it.
  • Offer a finer grained sand boxing. My web browser only needs access to my Download directory, not my whole home directory.
  • Please make it 100% open source. That would encourage other distributions to adopt it. It’s in everyone best interest.
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Having tried ZFS on root on three systems, and updates on two of them had grub busted. The lack of a ZFS recovery utility on the desktop install ISO image is a glaring oversight. At this point I cannot recommend using ZFS on root because there is no way to repair a broken initrd file. There was no way to roll back to previous snapshots because there was no zfs.ko bundled the the initrd after update.

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  1. I’m not a heavy snap user, but there’s one major issue I have with it: snapd silently updates some snaps and leaves previous revisions on disk. As time goes by that snap directory begins to grow unacceptably big. There might be an easy setting and sane default to set a limit for simultaneously installed revisions of snaps. Maybe there’s already one which I have no idea about? I beg my pardon then.
    Ah, and another one, but that’s steadily getting inapplicable: many snaps used to be outdated and built by some random persons – maybe greatest on Earth but who I know nothing about – and that’s why I’d like to thank all maintainers like @alexmurray who are busy making various snaps up-to-date.

  2. I hope all work done by systemd and tpm2 teams on github will be properly supported by Ubuntu (enrolling tokens used to unlock LUKS partitions, totp, etc). Being able to prepare unified unified kernel images with initramfs-tool or at least correctly working dracut also could be a good thing.

  3. Pipewire, of course.

  4. Maybe a little bit more love for Kubuntu and others? This is by no means an important matter, but last time I checked Kubuntu was still using its own plymouth theme, not that cool spinner/UEFI logo theme that has been allotted to “mother” Ubuntu a couple of releases ago.

Oh, almost forgot it: please fix that annoying bug that causes error when navigating with Nautilus to, say, /boot/efi directory (and other directories which are accessible using temp rights elevation). I talk about error appearing when user enters a correct password and the story ends with no access being granted.

Speeding up update-initramfs?

Not sure if a good idea or not, but maybe some way to replace grub post install with systemd-boot? It should be able to survive upgrade to 22.10

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I suppose it’s not going to happen since systemd-boot is UEFI-only. Ubuntu has to support various systems including legacy ones, and maintaining 2 different bootloaders even if one of them is quite simple is only a little profit but big overhead.

  • Guest - User, files wiped after logout, with options to disable: user, wiping
  • encrypted home directories, easy convert unencrypted to encrypted home
  • fido2 for login and encryption: disk, user
  • sync settings, installed Apps, folders between Ubuntu installs, when both machines are online

snaps do have a builtin self-test and rollback mechanism (rarely used by desktop snaps though, but often in snaps with services etc) and always allow you to snap revert <snapname> to go back to the last known good version on disk … for that reason you always have at least two versions installed … and indeed there is a setting to force the amount of retained snaps (but you need to keep at least two). this is documented at:

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  • Prefer deb packages over snaps, especially for default programs (looking at you, Firefox).
  • Disable automatic snap updates (or at least allow it) so the user can manually update them like it’d do with flatpak and apt
  • Make snap open source
  • Use GTK for installer, no need another framework to increase installation media size.
  • Catch up to latest GNOME version and use most recent versions of GTK programs.
  • Bring back “100 papercuts” project to fix all small issues that are not really that noticeable for everyone, but are just annoying to deal with.
  • At least some marketing for desktop version, maybe even make a deal with more hardware makers to release laptops and PCs with Ubuntu pre-installed?
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Hi @quarkyalice

The suggestion of having choice to switch between various different accent colors is one of the most discussed issue on Yaru’s github see issue: #2170.

The summary of the whole discussion from the issue is: it’s possible for Yaru to add new colors but would need an approval from design-team on what colors to offer and would also require someone from desktop-team to patch the appearance-panel to display the accent-colors to offer something similiar to the this screencast.

What features I would like to see on the Ubuntu desktop:

  1. enable to sell and buy snaps in the snap-store
  2. install flatpak and enable Flathub by default, including the GNOME Software integration, so that flatpaks are as discoverable in GUI as snaps and debs are
  3. allow setting up btrfs in the installer with subvolumes for the Ubuntu OS and the user’s home folders, where the user’s home folder is regularly backed-up
  4. keep going :slight_smile: Ubuntu is the best OS for work and fun
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As KDE User im absolutely biased but some more effort on kde plasma would be great. It is easy to configure to look like the design people are used to from unity, Windows or mac OS :slight_smile:

Maybe the installer could offer preconfigured “lookalikes”.
I want my Desktop to look like:
-(K)Ubuntu
-Mac
-Windows 10

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I’ve been using Ubuntu since the first day it was released. I was shipped my free CDs and still have them. Moving from Debian it was amazing, clean and very polished. I’ve had some bumps along the way and brief switches to other distros, but in the end I’m happy with Ubuntu as my daily primary work (mostly) and home (always) desktop.

Some of the main niggles I have are:

  • Wayland, let’s make it a first class citizen. I don’t know what’s missing, but it’s clear that some apps don’t work well with it, or are completely broken. I have to switch between X11 and Wayland all the time. Screen tearing on the default video player in X11 is unbearable. It doesn’t look great when I’m showing someone something and say “oh wait, let me log out, switch the graphics engine and start again”.
  • Sometimes packages get into a bad state, my most recent one was nodejs. Oh and the nodejs ecosystem of packages is horrible.
  • I have to agree with some of the snap discussions. I like snap, it seems to just work. But the snap apps are slow. I have to tell my partner “just wait” when Skype does not immediately open.
  • Software - it’s very slow. This should be fast and easy to search. But I find it’s difficult to use, the search button is hidden in the top left (thanks Gnome). A search easily takes 10 seconds and the results are underwhelming. Also the search results don’t have much information. Some of the reviews are pretty bad and it’s difficult to judge the software based on the user reviews. Having “expert users” or “editors” make detailed review of software would be great.
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Snap improvements:

  • Biggest is finding a better solution for compression. The findings here are not refuted and not addressed.
  • Allow multiple repos simultaneously activated, or at least allow switching the store without recompiling through simple cli commands to update the config. This would be the easiest way of adding a feature without having to do things you obviously don’t want to do like open source the snap http server. Other distros could add their own additions or use the system with a different repo altogether (i guess they technically can do that one now but not worth the hassle)
  • Allow option for on-demand mounting for desktop users. It really took me by surprised how much slower the initial OS boot becomes when you have a lot of snaps.
  • Likely not to happen: Just open source the store

GNOME:

  • The GNOME team doesn’t have distros or users, or even devs not following their every whim, in their priority lists, but only devs making GTK GNOME apps.
    • However, it’s the only desktop that has a good single-entry workflow (just hit super between any task to accomplish what you need, not 5 different multi-key shortcuts old people can’t remember)
    • KDE is too modular, and each modular piece is in a different state of usign new technologies like qml, etc. This modularity currently makes such a workflow and stable experience hard to achieve.
  • My hope is Canonical, System76 and others will continue to stand up to GNOME for things users are asking.
  • If GNOME ends up pushing everyone out, hire developers to help work on 2 things using KDE technologies
    • Coding a new performant unified overview for KDE that allows window, desktop management, plus app, file, and plugin search, all using the super key, but using a better layout (a lot like gnome 3.38) that properly uses whitespace and gives each area room to breath and function, instead of how GNOME 40 crams everything opnto 1 axis. This video shows it’s an area they’re working at but need help. This option would probably take multiple cycles of work while still shipping GNOME.
    • Working with Maui devs on their apps that looks better and use CSDs, or work to enable an official CSD option for main KDE apps by just moving the close button to the toolbars, and removing the titlebar/rounding corners.

Flutter:

  • I’m a fan
  • Please keep pushing to improve desktop features and support
  • Like drawing it’s own titlebar without GTK to enable easy CSD creation just with dart/flutter only
  • Improving multi-window capabilities of parts of the widget tree so people can “dock” and undock specific widgets, or reorganize if designed that way (that is probably currently possible)
  • Adding a system config that flutter apps look to for accent color so users can pick an accent color and flutter will use that variable. (hopefully this can be a same thing that other apps use to look for int he future, like what do you call… a standard)
  • Just anything to improve an already good platform for people to easily make more apps for Ubuntu. I personally think Dart/Flutter is a joy to use and there’s actually documentation and help to get started.
  • Gnome 42
  • Better support for Gnome Software, I have been using in recent versions of Ubuntu and it hasn’t been working well… I don’t use Snap Store as Gnome Software supports Snaps, Flatpaks and .deb at the same time. Update the system over there without errors. An example of a Gnome Software that works well is Debian or Fedora.
  • An option in the settings to switch to Gnome vanilla layout? (No dock or desktop files) ¯_(ツ)_/¯

**
Nvidia 495 + GBM driver still working on version 21.10 :ok_hand:

A post was split to a new topic: Does Ubuntu have a Light/Dark Mode?

That’s good, considering that Ubuntu uses the very same gnome-software source as Debian does.

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  • Use the vanilla Gnome Launcher (and apps)
    I know branding is good, but with unity gone, it would be good to just use the default settings from the gnome launcher so its more compatible, instead of diverging. Spend the resources on something provided by Canonical that stands out Ubuntu in a better way, like maybe working on an app exclusive for Ubuntu (yet still opensource), that then can be embraced by Gnome team

  • Improve the App store
    It feels a bit outdated, and it takes long to load the content. You guys have done a great work with https://snapcraft.io , why not make it look just like that? So speedy and elegant. Maybe use an electron app?

  • Support snaps better.
    I currently have a new AMD CPU and have been months without being able to run my favorite snaps, as the app developer has to update them and some owned by the snapcrafter team have gone unmainted for a while. Maybe have some universal packages to be patched on the fly the snap when installed on newer systems so they don’t have to be maintained by app developers.

Thanks for reading all our feedback =)