Problems on Ubuntu

pavlass2

New Member
Greetings people,

As many others did I also decided to try Linux and I have some thoughts to share and questions to ask. First I will describe my three weeks on Ubuntu.

A few weeks ago, I decided to buy a new computer. It’s laptop ASUS K401UQ-FR008D which had no preinstalled OS. I’ve alway been curious about Linux systems so I decided not to buy Windows and instead chose Ubuntu because I read that it’s one of the best systems for unexperienced users on Linux. I’m not disappointed, for ubuntu is free, easy to use, quite fast and I find its design quite fancy.

But I’m experiencing some stability issues. Sometimes the whole system just freeze and I can’t do anything else but restart it manually.

The second issue is impossibility of shutting computer down using software. Usually I just close the laptop and that suspends the system without problem but when I know I’m not going to use my computer for longer period of time I feel like it’s better to shut it down completely so I click on “Shut down” button and UI disappears but the desktop background stays on. Forever. Well probably, I kept it on like fifteen minutes before I shut it down manually.

Just a few minutes ago occured another error. I woke my laptop up from suspend and previous user was still logged in and system waiting for password, I needed my account so I clicked on the menu in right upper corner and clicked on my account name. First nothing happened at all so I clicked on “Lock/Swich account” and then the system crashed. Display went black and some errors text was rolling up. Again I had to restart it manually because I couldn’t find any other way how to stop the error text rolling and go back to desktop.

The thing is these errors are occurring to often to ignore them. Windows isn’t errorless but I had the same number of errors on Ubuntu in past three weeks like on Windows in past three years.

So my questions are: are these and other errors happening so often to you too? Is it normal for Ubuntu? Is it normal for Linux itself? If it’s just Ubuntu thing, can you recommend me a different distro where I could have a better luck with avoiding such errors? Maybe Linux Mint? Or something else?

I will appreciate any advice.

PS My system is Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
 


Lazydog

Member
First off welcome to Linux.

I know most users don't want to hear this but have you tried to google search your issues? Because of the amount of Ubuntu users out there I cannot believe this has never happened to anyone else and I believed they will provide you the answer to your issue and how to fix it.

Normally I would have not posted as I don't know Ubuntu but your commect about reading this is the best distro is what made me do it. ;)

Ubuntu, like every other distro, has its loyal fan base. They are all going to say theirs is the best for this or that. I myself use Gentoo, not for beginners by any means, and I will plug that to the right people. Here is my take on this. When you google something you get a lot of hits for a certain distro this tells me something about the diustro. It has a large user base and the problems seems to be addressed slowly. For everything in linux there is a work around until the problem is addressed by the maintainers. But when you get page after page of distro issues that leads me to stay away from it.

There is a site you can look at for seeing what is out there and if it has what you want and if it will function how you want.

DistroWatch

There are a lot of good distros out there, some I have used or tested and a lot I have not. I'm used Linux for a while now and have only really stuck with a few I've come to trust.

RedHat - Support and Updates are no longer free since they went public. I used there 5.0 - 5.4 back in the day before RHEL

Fedora - RedHat's testing bed. Back in the day you were required to re-install every 6 months as that was the life of there versions at that time. Is has changed to a rolling release now which makes for using it better but you are still on the bleeding edge when using it. I used it for a few release until I found the next Distro.

Centos - They take RedHats source code and recompile it for use as Centos. This allows you to use RedHat without the RedHat tax. This is all legal under the terms of the Linux License. RedHat has since bought them up not really sure what the future looks like for this distro. This is also a rolling release.

Sabayon (presently used on my laptop) - This distro is based on Gentoo and is completely binary packages. This is also a rolling release.

Gentoo (presently used on my desktop) - This is a build as you go distro. You download the code and then compile it as you see fit. This is a rolling release due to the fact that you are always installing what you want when you want form the latest stable source code.

Please don't take this the wrong way. I'm not trying to bash Ubuntu I'm just stating that since you are new you should be made aware there is more out there and only you can decide which one is best for you. The best part about these distros is most, if not all, have a live CD/DVD that you can download and burn and then boot it to see if it looks and functions the way you want.
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
Greetings @pavlass2, and welcome to the forums! @Lazydog is right in that Google can often help, because most problems are those that happen over and over again. Sometimes the solutions are easy to find, or sometimes you have to dig deeper.

Folks here will help too, and you have options on how to proceed. Because you are not yet hooked on Ubuntu, trying other distros could be the most simple way to make your laptop stable and usable. You mention Linux Mint, and it is an excellent choice to try, as well as Linux Lite, for new users. But both Mint and Lite are based on Ubuntu, so they may work well for you, or they may share the same problems you have now. Either or both are worth trying to find out though.

If you do have similar problems with other Ubuntu-based distros, then certainly try some others. There are too many to list them all, but I would suggest PCLinuxOS, openSUSE, Fedora, and Manjaro. These are all full featured distros, like Ubuntu, and I think that all are compatible with the UEFI (and may be Secure Boot compatible too).

UEFI is the modern firmware replacement for BIOS on computer motherboards, and the UEFI settings sometimes need adjustments to work well with Linux... but that would not explain your current problems. In short, if you choose a Linux that will work in UEFI mode with Secure Boot enabled, then use those settings. But if you have trouble, try leaving UEFI mode enabled but turn off Secure Boot. Also in the UEFI settings, turn off Fast Boot if you see that selection.

Troubleshooting your current Ubuntu is an option, but it can be a long and tedious task to figure it out unless Google gets you some very quick direct solutions. I often suspect video card issues or settings, but there are many other things that are also possible (bad RAM, power settings, etc). A new computer should not have a bad RAM chip (or any bad component) but sometimes defects and slip though quality control inspectors on any electronic product.

One last thing about Ubuntu... you picked a good version, the latest long-term support version. But you mention that you like it's design (called "Unity" desktop) and they have announced that they are abandoning Unity and returning to the Gnome desktop next year.
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
@pavlass2 - Hi and welcome :)

I have already "liked" a couple of the above, but both atanere (will know) and Lazydog (is likely learning), I sometimes qualify things, hopefully to help.

There is a site you can look at for seeing what is out there and if it has what you want and if it will function how you want.

DistroWatch
I would add this page there, https://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=popularity , because if a Linux Distro (distribution) is in the Top 100, it likely has an established support system including a Forum.

One last thing about Ubuntu... you picked a good version, the latest long-term support version. But you mention that you like it's design (called "Unity" desktop) and they have announced that they are abandoning Unity and returning to the Gnome desktop next year.
... and that is true. But Ubuntu MATE is possibly more user friendly, particularly to Windows users, and is 3 years old last June. I use both the 16.04 series of Ubuntu, but currently also use point releases such as 17.04 (9 month life) in both MATE and GNOME desktop environments (DEs).

The simple answers to your last questions in your OP (original post) are, in my opinion:

So my questions are: are these and other errors happening so often to you too?

Not so often.

Is it normal for Ubuntu?

Not normal.

Is it normal for Linux itself?

No.

If it’s just Ubuntu thing, can you recommend me a different distro where I could have a better luck with avoiding such errors?

I typically run about 70 Linux, covering 6 Linux "Families" (sounds like the Mafia, lol). I could highly recommend at least 10 that might suit beginners. I would have to ask and assess your needs and wants to get a better idea.

Maybe Linux Mint?

Definitely one of my all-time faves, great for beginners and ex-Windows users, just have to choose a DE from
  • Cinnamon
  • MATE (pron. "mar-tay")
  • Xfce and
  • KDE and there is also
  • LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) 'Betsy' 2 - often overlooked, but the most stable
I run all of the above.

Or something else?

Answered I think with my above, and comments by the others
'Nite all and

avagudweegend

Wizard
 

pavlass2

New Member
Thank you all very much for your advices. Distrowatch seems really usuful.

I tried troubleshooting using google, but the fast easy solutions didn't work at first. Now I look a bit deeper and found something that seems to resolve the shutting down issue. Well I tried it twice and it works ok so I hope it's not going to change.

The freezing issue still happens sometimes, I will also try to look into it.

Trying another distro will be always on the table. I would probably wanted to do it anyway. If the issues persist it will only hasten it.

Talking about other distros – as @atanere mentioned Mint and Lite are based on Ubuntu. Does that mean that every app (or at least almost everyone) that runs on Ubuntu will run on Mint and Lite too? I use my laptop for writing texts but also for a bit of gaming, so I need Steam and PlayonLinux, also I am going to need NetBeans and ability to run some Windows or Dos apps so I need something like Wine and Dosbox.

Talking about apps, a few more questions come to my mind. I learned that using terminal (apt-get) I can look for and install apps and packages from cloud. What is that cloud? Is it one cloud for Debian/Unity systems where all apps are compatible with all these systems? Can I be certain (or at least quite certain) there are now harmful (like viruses, spybots and so) apps?

And finally – about desktops environments. On Ubuntu and other massively used systems I can change environments (at least on Ubuntu it's possible and it seems quite simple how I just found out, awesome :)). But the environments aren't compatible with systems instantly. They need to be optimise for every system so it's no like I could just try Unity on Mint or Fedora. So even though there is a list like that https://www.tecmint.com/best-linux-desktop-environments/ I can't just install any environment on any system. Is that right?
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
Yes, Mint and Lite are very compatible with anything you have done with Ubuntu, including the use of PPA's. The "cloud" you mention are more properly referred to as "repositories". Mint and Lite have some of their own, but they also share some with Ubuntu because it is their base. PPA's (personal package archives) are outside of those main repositories... they are very useful and I'm sure most are legitimate, but there is a higher chance of finding some rogue app. You can also download source code (to compile yourself), or a ".deb" file (a Debian package) and install some apps directly.... again, I'm sure most are legitimate, but you could get burned downloading stray stuff off the web. The repositories are your safest choice and usually all that you need.

Desktops are a big topic, and if you want much info on them it would be best to start a new thread. Ubuntu makes distinct separate distributions for each of its different desktop environments... Kubuntu=KDE, Xubuntu=XFCE, Lubuntu=LXDE, and so on. Mint (and most distributions) also makes separate editions with the various desktops. You can install them side-by-side on a hard drive and let GRUB choose which one at boot time. But there are some cases where you have just one distribution running with one desktop, and then you can "log out" from that session and start a new session with a different desktop. That is more complicated, and I haven't noticed anyone really doing that lately. It's far more common to just use the distribution and desktop combination that you like best. So the direct answer to your question is, "No, you can't just install any desktop to any distribution, but there may be some cases where you can mix some of them together."
 

Lazydog

Member
I'll ad this, most of your application will run on every Linux distro. As long as it is not Distro specific then it should run on any distro. Things that will not are propitiatory applications like your system maintainers as they are designed for that type of distro.

I'm a big fan of KDE and it give you the most options of customizing it to your personal liking.
 





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