Trying out Ubuntu 23.04

Posted on 7 September, 2023 🏷  linux, rant

I haven’t used Ubuntu since I first discovered Linux 9 years ago in University, so I thought I’d give it a this past weekend. I didn’t like it. I only used it for a day and a half before I had to wipe everything and go back to Manjaro.

Before I get into the things that really bothered me, here’s what I liked:

1. Online accounts

This is more of a Gnome thing than Ubuntu, but still, I love that I can add all my online accounts in the settings and have everything synced up automatically in the calendar and email apps. I love KDE Plasma, but this is the one thing I really miss in it.

I actually don’t care much for email, but calendar notifications is something I really need. I always find myself forgetting about scheduled meetings. Ofcourse I could find another way to deal with this, but it would be really nice if I could have it OOTB with my distro.

2. Wallpapers

Not really a major thing but Ubuntu and ElementaryOS are the two distros I’ve seen that always have the best wallpapers shipped by default.

3. Somewhat consistent themeing

I think Ubuntu does this really well with the Yaru theme. I say somewhat because this is Gnome, and there are always issues with themeing Gnome.

That’s about it for what I liked.

Here’s what I didn’t like:

1. Installer didn’t work

This is a big problem. Ubuntu released a new installer written in flutter and it just didn’t work for me.

It kept crashing in the middle of the setup process (before I actually got to the final install step), and when I finally got to the final step and clicked install, it froze at 5%.

I tried multiple times and even downloaded an update for the installer. Same thing.

Finally, I decided to go back to the website and download the legacy installer version - which worked fine.

This should have been a huge red flag for me. I should have given up on the whole thing the moment I had issues with the installer. But oh well, I apparently had time to waste.

This was a bad one.

Everything else after this is based on personal preference so not anything really wrong with Ubuntu itself.

2. Huge window title bars

I think the window title bars on Gnome are ridiculously huge. I can’t stand them. I tried getting around that with a theme that offers a “compact” version, but -

3. Themeing is such a pain

Why do I need to install an extra piece of software (Tweaks) to be able to change the default system font? I don’t understand the reasoning behind this. At the very least, this should be an option in the settings.

Fonts aside, applying a new shell theme doesn’t really change the theme for all apps. Something to do with “Libadwaita” and legacy apps. I didn’t look into it enough to figure out what was going on. But apps like the terminal and the file manager just didn’t want to be themed differently. I use these apps a lot so it would be too distracting for me to have them not looking the same as everything else.

4. Different ways to install software

This is totally me having been spoiled by the conveniences of the AUR. When I install an arch based distro, I have a script that installs yay, and uses it to install everything else from wherever it’s available (official repos or AUR, I don’t care).

yay -S literally-anything. It Just Works ™.

With Ubuntu, I have to figure out if the thing is in the repos. I may have to add some new repos, add GPG keys and run system updates. Maybe the thing is a snap. In that case, I need to run some different commands to install snaps.

I wan’t even able to install previous versions of Python 1. Something about it being a security issue for non-lts versions (can’t remember the exact error).

There’s probably something out there like yay but for Ubuntu - I don’t know. But as it is, it’s all just too much work.


  1. Ofcourse I should have used pyenv instead, but ain’t nobody got time for that. ↩︎