Lately Ubuntu has been driving me nuts on my one desktop. Every few weeks LivePatch makes changes to the system and it no longer boots. I’ve tried disabling updates and LivePatch, only to find the system non-bootable a few weeks later.
Hello to Centos 9 Stream (CS9). While I know Centos is not known as a desktop OS, at this point I want stability, at least with this one specific desktop. I have a laptop with Ubuntu 20.04 and (knock on wood) never had an issue with it. I knew going into CS9 I would be doing a lot of problem solving to get my desktop setup.
VirtualBox I use VirtualBox to run applications that are provided only in Windows or other OS’s. When I installed VirtualBox from the EPEL repository, I could see both v6.1 and v7.0. Both installations would fail to install. After a few hours researching the errors I found that the problem was a known issue and has a fix, it is just not been released into the repository yet. So I installed the latest stable test build, version 6.1.41.
Wayland Issues Next I went to create an Ubuntu 22.04 LTS VM. I found it frustrating that CS9 didn’t come with a lot of basic desktop applications. Even after installing the extra repositories, there were a ton of gaps. So for the short term I had the idea to create an Ubuntu VM for those apps until I could figure out how to install them dirctly in CS9. When I created the VM, the install would get about 75% complete and then just shutdown. At first I thought my desktop was going into hibernate or suspend. After several attempts with me finally taking the time to watch the full install, I realized that VirtualBox was being dumped. In /var/log/messages I found a reference to Wayland core dump and Wayland being restarted. A quick search revealed that Wayland is a display server protocol that is replacing X11, however Wayland has a lot of issues. A quick reboot and just before logging in, I could click on the configure button in the lower right hand of the screen and change the protocol back to X11. My next attempt to create the Ubuntu VM in VirtualBox completed with no issues.
GNOME Extensions Next I wanted to get the Centos UI to be more desktop friendly. GNOME Tweaks comes installed by default, so that helped. I then installed all of the GNOME Shell Extensions, “sudo yum install gnome-shell-extension*”, then rebooted. After an hour or so exploring the extensions, I ended up with the dash panel at the bottom of the screen, icons on the desktop and the top menu bar updated. So now the desktop is starting to look like a real place to get some work done.
Snap When I first started experimenting with Linux, back in the Fedora 5 days, a friend of mine said “yum is your new best friend”. Back then I think my responses was “Huh?” Well, yum is still a good friend, however Snap is quickly becoming my new BFF. After installing snap and the snap core, I found the apps that were missing from CS9. Things like Slack, Spotify, Kdenlive, Darktable, GIMP were all there.
So whats left to configure…. I need to setup the 2 printers and the photo scanner. I really like shotwell in Ubuntu for managing photos, I want to see if I can find it for CS9. I’ve got a dozen or so cron jobs that need to be setup.