Xubuntu 16.04 LTS Bringup

Notes on updating my desktop Optiplex 980 from Xubuntu 14.04 LTS to 16.04 LTS, after being unable to compile OpenSCAD, Slic3r, and GNU Radio from source. Blowing three days on reconfiguration & tweakage after a clean install is the price one pays to get rid of a few years of cruft; the old version remains bootable and lootable on another partition, Just In Case.


  • nfs-common
  • xfce4-goodies
  • xubuntu-restricted-extras
  • hp2xx
  • xsane, xscanimage
  • kate (which hauls in a big hunk of wayland, alas)
  • digikam
  • chromium-browser
  • devilspie2
  • dropbox (from site)
  • remmina


The hacks required to ensure NFS mounts happen before signing in seem to be obsolete. Given that systemd now controls everything, I have NFI how to proceed if that’s not the case.

The Xubuntu load progress display looks like it’s scaled up from 640×480.

There seems no way to disable on-screen notifications without deep hackery; some of the collateral damage involves the death of the volume control applet in the indicator panel thingy, so I didn’t try very hard.

The aforementioned volume control now fires up the Pulseaudio control dialog. That display explained why the audio came out of the 980’s crappy internal speaker, but switching it to the HDMI output produced only silence. After blowing away ~/.config/pulse and rebooting that sucker, it’s all good: Linux audio remains a slow-motion train wreck.

The initial sign-on dialog appears on the portrait monitor, minus rotation, because the dialog box follows the mouse pointer: the initial mouse position sits one pixel beyond the landscape monitor. Blind-type the password, whack Enter, and it’s all good.

FWIW, I’ve installed the XFCE flavor of Mint Linux on the laptops, but that’s basically Xubuntu with (some of) the ugly sanded off and really doesn’t buy much for somebody who pays no attention to eyecandy.

2 thoughts on “Xubuntu 16.04 LTS Bringup

  1. Long ago, I wrote some custom software to format text for badges, and I happened to use the Versatec (a brand of xerographic printer) fonts (the optional “vfont” package for vtroff). For quite a while after, every OS upgrade, I’d have to add in vfont so my software would work (vtroff was already an orphan). Eventually the day came when the fonts for a that long-obsolete printer were no longer part of the distros. Briefly, I kept going by writing a converter that would translate one of the still-available bitmap fonts into the vfont format, but then I moved on to PostScript.

  2. The xfce hack sounds useful. I’m working with a new i3 Inspiron 15 with Slackware 14.2. Some minor issues (Pale Moon and KDE don’t play well together), and something freezes when the system is idle for a while. Must look at logs and the bios settings when I get dug out of the snow. (20″ worth. Whee!)

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