Minor Issues And Niggles
Despite getting settled in to Linux pretty quickly, there have been various issues I’ve had to deal with to get the system how I’d like. The worst offender being that the desktop completely froze three times on the first day. I believe this was down to the built in AMD GPU driver. I’ve since installed the AMD GPU Pro driver, that AMD themselves supply and, touch wood, things have been okay, so far. I also installed the wrong drivers, initially, and couldn’t boot to desktop from the login screen. It would keep going back that screen. But Linux makes it so easy to get to a command prompt, so I could remove that package, reboot and all was well again. But it’s not one an average home user would to want to deal with. When I switched to a dark theme the text boxes in Firefox were also black, and I couldn’t see what I was typing in them. Again, this was fixable but cumbersome.
Another issue I had was my Logitech MX Master mouse was lagging, when connected via Bluetooth. It worked absolutely fine with Windows, on the same machine, and my Macbook, so I knew it couldn’t have been the mouse or adapter. I had to add a blacklist entry to /etc/default/tlp to prevent Ubuntu from power managing the UB bluetooth adapter. Essentially it was switching it off after a few seconds, then reawakening when it got some activity. But that’s not a great experience when using a mouse. After I’d added the adapters ID to the config, all was good.
I also noticed that videos had visible tearing on them. This effected everything I watched on VLC and videos in Firefox/Chromium. A fix involved adding a conf file with a setting to prevent tearing in to the /etc/X11 directory.
On the subject of VLC, it was closing moments after starting videos. I’ve switched off hardware acceleration in VLC for now. But I’d rather a solution where I could use my hardware for videos, since it’ll decode HD video far better than the CPU can, whilst leaving the CPU free for other things.
Also Firefox does seem to have a tendency to not load all the images on a page, from time to time. The Facebook notifications panel being one that often needs a page refresh before it’ll show. No idea why that would but I’m going to persevere with it as I’m trying to uncouple myself from the Google eco-system.
I later updated the Linux kernel to 5.2, which broke VMWare Player. It needed to rebuild some bits, which failed as it didn’t support the kernel version. I then had to go to a Github repo to patch some files myself by building the correct files for my version of VMWare, and so on. Performance on VMWare was dog slow but I found out that was due to the VMs residing on a NTFS partition. On Ext4 everything was nice and fast, so I’m not pointing fingers at Linux for that.
Going by my own experiences, Linux is not quite the OS for those that just want everything to work, and terrified at the thought of trying to fix potential problems, as they occur. But, if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, it can be quite rewarding. Plus you learn more of the system as you go along patching things up.