Jeffrey Coleman Carlyle

The Ruler of Earth

Ubuntu Is Decidedly Uncool
Posted: 18-Aug-2009 8:00PM CDT
Topics: [JeffCenter]

So I bought into the hype and decided to try out the professional Debian-based Linux distribution Ubuntu. You'd think that since someone presumably pays Canonical to create releases of their platform there would be at least some basic quality control in their release procedure, even something as simple as making sure all of the source packages in the distribution actually build; however, this does not appear to be the case.

There is a pretty simple bug in the vnc4server package when running on 64-bit systems. This bug was first reported to Canonical almost two years ago, and the fix has been known for sometime: it is as simple as moving an include outside of extern "C". Despite having a known fix this bug remains unclosed.

So fine, I know what the fix, and vnc4server is open source, so I think I'll just fix it myself. But no, the vnc4 source code included in Canonical's Jaunty release cannot be built from source. The package has dependencies on packages that are not even available in the Jaunty release, and once I worked around, I found that the xserver code included in the package is so old that it can't be built on Jaunty either. I've now wasted hours dealing with this: all so I can cut-and-paste between my vnc windows and my Windows box.

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Posted by Jeremy Visser on 20-Aug-2009 12:19AM CDT
If all you want is cut-and-paste, then maybe Synergy ( is for you. Its main function is sharing a mouse and keyboard between computers over a network, but it also keep the clipboard synchronised, which is really handy.
Posted by Jeff on 20-Aug-2009 8:24AM CDT
Thanks for the tip. I had seen Synergy before; I think some of my research colleagues use it, but I don't think it applies to my situation. I was trying to connect to a computer that was on the other side of the building.
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