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I have been using Ubuntu 12.04LTS with MATE as the desktop, since I do not like Unity or GNOME 3. I do not know why MATE would cause any problems, if it is installed correctly [their site has specific install instructions for each version of Ubuntu it supports]. I have had no problems with it since I started using it almost 2 years ago. I did not upgrade 10.04LTS till 12.04LTS was out for a month or two.

Soon Ubuntu 14.04 LTS will be out, but I may not upgrade to it for a few months, just to make sure it works OK on a testing platform.

My current platform is a64-bit 4 core "custom built" desktop that was bought about 3 years ago. Ubuntu 11.xx and 12.xx did not like the onboard video card, since it gave me some boot time issues, but a low end replacement card worked just fine.

As for "spin off" and "clones" of Ubuntu, I would stick with Ubuntu. I tried Linux Mint, but it would not recognize one brand of network printers but would see it if I used the USB port. So that was a show stopper for me, since that printer was my main inkjet - Canon 6220 and now 5420 as backup.

I never use the Quickstarter option, since in the past I had trouble with updating some of the extensions with that option active. A few seconds of waiting should not "hurt" anyone.

On 01/23/2014 06:36 PM, Tom Davies wrote:
Hi :)
Debian has a reputation for being old and long-in-the-tooth by the
time it releases anything doesn't it?  I'm not sure if it's a fair
rep.  There are tons of Ubuntu spin-offs or 'clones'.

Does Xfce have it's menus and toolbar at the bottom of the screen by
default?  If so it might not be such a bad leap because many office
workers probably have a Windows machine at home or some passing
familiarity with it.

To install LibreOffice, OpenOffice etc alongside each other does
require a bit of trickery.
Did the crashes usually happen when both were open at the same time as
each other?  The Quickstarter counts as having one open.

Regards from
Tom :)

On 23 January 2014 22:44, Tony Godshall <> wrote:
Thanks for the comments.  Yes, Ubuntu seems especially
aggressive with "out with the old" mentality in spite of having
released named "Long Term Support".

No, the boxes are not old- they are Dell Zino, Zotac, and Asus
boxes purchased within the three, two, and one year, approximately,
respectively.  They are AMD64 low-power APU devices with integrated

My impression is that Debian has a much better record with regards
to preventing regression, so I'm probably going to test with them.
I probably won't be switching to anything that's not dpkg-based
unless there's a compelling reason- it would mess with too many

On Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 11:51 AM, Girvin Herr <> wrote:
I have been reading this thread, but since I do not use Ubuntu, I have no
direct experience to add to this discussion.  However, I may make one
suggestion: check the age of your video card and computer. I use Slackware
Linux and I have had KDE4 (QT-based) and xfce (GTK-based) desktop stability
problems for the last 3 or 4 Slackware releases.  My computer and its ATI
Radeon AGP video card were over 10 years old.  I recently upgraded my
computer to 2-year old technology and used an ATI 4350 PCI Express video
card and the stability problems went away.  I suspect that the Linux devs no
longer have access to the old hardware (AGP in this case) and do not test
the new code with it.  Therefore, it is a crap shot for new Linux versions
to fully function with old hardware.

As a footnote: After the upgrade, I took the old computer and went from 1GB
to 3GB of RAM, but that alone did not solve the desktop stability problems.
Switching from the old ATI AGP to an even older Nvidia AGP I had lying
around, and switching from the default nouveau driver, because it would not
find the old card, to the "nv" driver, got the old system working stably
again.  But it is a "bailing wire" approach and is destined to fail in the

Girvin Herr

On 01/22/2014 09:02 PM, Tony Godshall wrote:
10.04 LTS is lucid. We never went to gnome 3 since it broke too many
workflows. We looked at cinnamon and mate and they made our workstations
unstable. It's weird that an application could disrupt the ui as much as
we're seeing. Our users are used to their workstations staying up for
months and installing libre office has been much more disruptive than a
simple application install should have been.
On Jan 21, 2014 6:53 PM, "Jay Lozier" <> wrote:

On 01/21/2014 07:00 PM, Tony Godshall wrote:

This seems to be directly correlated to the install of LibreOffice 4.1.

OS is Ubuntu Linux 10.04 LTS 32-bit.  Hardware varies- mostly AMD64
dual-core E350 and E450.

I'm trying to confirm other issues- users have reported it's happens
more when using toolbar things like color background of cell to

I've confirmed panels going away and panels going transparent.

Some users have figured out that they can choose Log Out and then just
cancel and get their environment back.  Clicking Log Out is a
challenge but doable when the panel disappears- tooltips show where
the buttons are.

I've also found out that I can ssh in, su - to the user, kill
gnome-panel, and then relaunch it, and that also restores their
desktop to function.

This is Gnome 2 on Maverick? I am not sure if anyone here knows enough
about gnome-panel to answer you.

Have you tried the Ubuntu or Gnome forums?

Jay Lozier

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Best Regards.
This is unedited.

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