Kubuntu/Ubuntu 8.04 bugs and solutions

Over the week I have installed Ubuntu and Kubuntu 8.04 on 6 computers and to sum it up – I am not that impressed. I have experienced quite a few bugs and even though I found solutions to most of them I guess that these bugs could turn out to be real show stoppers for users not familiar with finding bug reports and solutions them self.

Java not working with Net banking
Installing the either “kubuntu-restricted-extras” or “ubuntu-restricted-extras” installs openjdk and not Sun’s Java. openjdk does not work with my Netbank, I needed to uninstall openjdk by doing:

aptitude remove icedtea-gcjwebplugin

and afterwards

aptitude remove openjdk-6-jre openjdk-6-jre-headless  openjdk-6-jre-lib

Finally I installed Sun’s Java

aptitude install sun-java6-jre sun-java6-plugin 

and afterwards Net banking was working.

Broken sound and wireless on Thinkpad X30
After my first boot on my Thinkpad X30 laptop the boot process took forever and when booted sound and Wireless networking didn’t work. The problem was the the kernel was choking on some strange modules, namely padlock_aes. It turned out I wasn’t the only one:
Bug report: Cisco Aironet stopped working in Hardy
The solution was to blacklist the problematic modules in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist by adding the lines:

# these aes modules break the airo driver
blacklist padlock_aes
blacklist geode_aes

Kmilo not showing OSD sound control
OSD (On-Screen-Display) when pressing volume buttons is not displaying on my Thinkpad X30. Again launchpad there existed a bug report: KMilo/Volume Hotkeys regression and the newer bug: [Hardy] kmilo’s OSD volume is missing
I still haven’t found a solution.

Installing Ubuntu server on a Thinkpad T40
I have an old Thinkpad T40 I use as my server. I downloaded and installed Ubuntu server successfully but after rebooting the kernel I got the problem that the Thinkpad T40 CPU wasn’t supported by the server kernel:

This kernel requires the following features not present on the CPU:
Unable to boot - please use a kernel appropriate for you CPU.

Again others have had the same problem. The bug report: Unable to boot 8.04 Alpha 3 Server install on laptop and PANIC: CPU too old for this kernel

Boot on the server install CD and choose “Rescue a broken system”. Answer a few questions and when you get to the prompt, install the right kernel:

aptitude install linux-image-generic

and uninstall the wrong kernel

aptitude remove linux-image-server

Booting problems with ata4
After a clean install of Ubuntu 8.04 on my machine the boot up process is stalling at certain point boot process making very slow ~ 4 minutes. I didn’t experience the same problem in 7.10. I wrote on Ubuntu forums about this problem: Very long boot in hardy – dmesg shows ata4.00 and found some help in the bug report: Hard drives recognizing issues (P5W-DH with Intel 82801GR/GH Sata Controller)

When I look through dmesg I found what I believe is the problem namely

[   38.395437] usb 5-7.3: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
[   65.943437] ata4.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x0 action 0x2 frozen

Which doesn’t end before way later:

[  206.659578] ata4: reset failed, giving up
[  206.659587] ata4: EH complete
[  206.659599] sd 3:0:0:0: [sdb] Result: hostbyte=DID_BAD_TARGET driverbyte=DRIVER_OK,SUGGEST_OK

The solution seem to be:

Then you need to add 2 options in grub to get it booting correctly.
Add irqpoll and noprobe=ata4

Firefox 3 is constantly writing to the disk
I had the problem after updating from 7.10 to 8.04 that Firefox 3 was writing constantly to the disk rendering my old Thinkpad X30 useless for tens of seconds of the time. There is a bug report on the subject: [MASTER] Committing to urlclassifier3.sqlite causes excessive CPU usage and disk I/O
It seems that the solutions is on its way to hardy-updates and is currently in hardy-proposed. The instruction from the bug report to try out the fix from hardy-proposed:

Test instructions: Go to System -> Administration -> Software Sources and enable “hardy-proposed” in the “Updates” tab.

And afterwards run:

aptitude update
aptitude install --reinstall xulrunner-1.9

Update: Today, 08-05-08 the new xulrunner reached hardy-updates and the trick above is no longer needed.

VNC problems
The new VNC gui, vinagre, is nice and all but it does not allow me to use any key-combination with AltGr. There bug repport: quite useless – cannot send any key with AltGr on german keyboard which contains a patch which is underway into hardy-updates.

Since vinagra is useless to me I tried to install the old classic, xtightvncviewer, but it turn out that I was unable to maximizing the windows by using “F8 -> Full screen”. I if did so the vncsession disappeared altogether but the vncviewer process was still running. This seem to be the same bug as reported here: xtightvncviewer: Full screen mode doesn’t work under WindowMaker
The solution for me was to install xvnc4viewer instead of xtightvncviewer which works with full screen and AltGr. 🙂

/var/log/auth.log is getting littered
On my server my /var/log/auth.log was filled with lines like this

May  4 13:17:48 nobel sshd[17333]: PAM unable to dlopen(/lib/security/pam_smbpass.so)
May  4 13:17:48 nobel sshd[17333]: PAM [error: /lib/security/pam_smbpass.so: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory]
May  4 13:17:48 nobel sshd[17333]: PAM adding faulty module: /lib/security/pam_smbpass.so

which made it almost impossible to see real data, like brute force attacks and such. I found a bug report: error in auth.log when switch user — pam_smbpass.so
and the solution turned out to be:

You can work around this, by commenting out the pam_smbpass.so related lines in /etc/pam.d/common-auth and /etc/pam.d/common-password.

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  1. Tanks a lot !!! I have a x31 and have had a lot of problems with the Aironet wireless and sound… Until I found this page 😉

    You made my day !! Thanks !!!

  2. Finally I found a solution to the ATA frozen problem. I added the following boot options:

    all_generic_ide irqpoll floppy=off

    to boot line in the file /boot/grub/menu.lst. The full block now reads:

    title           Ubuntu 8.04, kernel 2.6.24-19-generic
    root            (hd0,2)
    kernel          /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.24-19-generic root=UUID=9a036eac-db91-4a54-937f-2bf007e61459 ro all_generic_ide irqpoll floppy=off splash vga=794
    initrd          /boot/initrd.img-2.6.24-19-generic
  3. Thanks for the kernel hint.

    I have Parallels Desktop running on a MacBookPro and while the ubuntu-server-8.10 image would boot and install, it installed the linux-image-server kernel.

    Swapping this for the generic one got me going.


  4. Thank you so much.
    Adding all_generic_ide irqpoll floppy=off to the boot options fixed my problem.
    I’ve Ubuntu Intrepid 8.10 and used this workaround before: “noapictimer irqpoll” but with a lot of slow downs

    The only problem now, is that udma5 downgrades to mdma2 which slows down my hard drive. But it was worse before.


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