First Ubuntu Crash

So there I was, just about ready to publish a blog post about the upcoming cherry blossom festivals in Japan, when something so rare happened that I didn't quite understand what had actually happened at first: Ubuntu crashed.

Technically it was Xorg that crashed, but that's neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things. The only time I can remember having an honest-to-goodness issue with Ubuntu is when I would run too many VMs, starving the host OS of resources. The system is generally incredibly stable, which is one of the reasons I come back to this distribution of Linux time and again for both desktops and servers. Fortunately nothing important was being worked on, otherwise I might be tempted to use this as an excuse to install one of the daily builds of the upcoming 19.04 release.

There's less than a month to go before the next version of the popular Debian-based operating system is released and there are a couple of features that I'm looking forward to. The first is a bug fix for name resolution when disconnecting from an L2TP-based VPN. This issue has bugged me for months despite it's relatively simple workaround. When disconnecting from the work VPN I lose all name resolution on the machine, meaning that I cannot use the network (or the web) at all. Browsers complain that there is no connection, and pings to known servers on the home network timeout. The solution is to disable and re-enable WiFi, which is annoying given that I'm using a wired connection. 19.04 will include a fix for this.

The second item I'm looking forward to is the updated Gnome desktop environment. Version 3.22 has some noticeable performance improvements that make the system feel much, much faster. Applications load faster. Animations and transitions are smoother. Memory consumption is lower. Wins all around and, given how the 18.10 version of Ubuntu that is currently running on my notebooks is already a heck of a lot more performant than either macOS or Windows 10, the additional improvements might just make people using a commercial operating system a tad jealous.

Of course, Linux on the desktop may not be something that everyone would want to use on a daily basis. I feel that it is more than ready to be used by a majority of people who do not absolutely require the Microsoft Office suite or the best hardware support for gaming1. Given the opportunity, I would even push the management at the day job to consider ditching Windows 10 for Ubuntu given that the vast majority of the computers at the schools require little more than a browser and Skype.

Maybe I'll bring the topic up when the 20.04 LTS release is announced.

  1. Gaming on Linux is getting better from what I'm told, but this is still something I'll try to actively avoid in order to make better use of any spare time. A nice train simulator or some of the better Need for Speed offerings could really interfere with sleep, work, and other responsibilities.