A few Ubuntu 10.04 fixes

Jack Wallen
Jul 26, 2010
Updated • Dec 2, 2012

Ubuntu 10.04 has been out for a while now...long enough so that some of the more pestering issues have been finally fixed. But in some cases those issues continue on. What do you do? Some of these issues are hardly noticeable. Some, on the other hand, are fairly annoying.

In this article I am going to show you some fixes for the more annoying Ubuntu 10.04 issues. They aren't many, but in some cases, for some people, they have been real show stoppers. I hope that's not you, but if it is let's see if we can remedy what ails you. If a fix for a problem you are having isn't listed, contact Ghacks and let us know what issues you are having so we can know what to cover.

USB devices not mounting

This has been a problem for anyone that might be using a machine that still contains a floppy disc drive. The problem is the code for the floppy gets in the way of USB devices being about to mount. To get around this (assuming you no longer use your floppy drive) you can disable that floppy drive with the command:

sudo modprobe -r floppy

This command removes the module for the floppy drive from the kernel and keeps it from being loaded. You will need to reboot your machine after you issue this command. You should now see that USB devices will mount. If you decide you need that floppy back you can always issue:

sudo modprobe floppy

to reload the module.

Move windows controls to right side

This isn't so much a bug as it is a pet peeve of most people. You see, the vast majority of computer users have grown used to having their controls on the upper right side of the window. For some reason, the Ubuntu developers decided to place these controls on the upper left side of the window. If you are like the vast majority you want it back on the right side. To do this all you have to do is follow these steps:

  1. Open up the gconf-editor tool (issue the command gconf-editor).
  2. Navigate to apps > Metacity > general.
  3. Double click the button_layout key.
  4. Change the value of this key to menu:maximize,minimize,close.
  5. Click OK and the change will occur immediately.

You can now close the gconf-editor tool.

The NVidia graphics black screen install issue

There have been some cases where using particular NVidia graphics cards have lead to black screens (or out of sync) problems when trying to run the live CD or installing Ubuntu. There is a way around this. Here are the steps:

At the startup of the installation screen hit F6 and select nomodeset and install as usual.

Upon first boot (after installation) press the "e" key when you see the GRUB bootloader.

Delete quiet and splash from the boot command and add nomodeset.

Hit <Ctrl>x to save and boot.

Now, once booted,  you need to add the NVidia proprietary driver by doing the following:

  1. Click System > Administration > Hardware Drivers.
  2. Select the proprietary driver that is recommended to you.
  3. Upon completion, reboot your machine and your graphics should look great.

Final thoughts

Ubuntu 10.04 is one of the finest OSes to hit the "shelves" in a long time, but that doesn't mean it is not without flaws. Hopefully these tips have helped you to enjoy this Linux distribution a bit better.


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  1. Mark said on August 10, 2010 at 4:37 am

    I have searched everywhere for why Ubuntu 10.04 will not connect to my DSL ethernet wired connection. I can tolerate the slow mouse response even though I went to Systems to speed it up, and the Keyboard sometimes freezes with the last key pressed before it freezes repeat itself 20 or thirty times and then I have to shut the whole computer down and reboot. I have been on several blogs, websites and see the same problems with others and no one has yet offer an answer or a bug to fix all these issues. I love 9.10 but 10.04 a really has me stumped.

  2. Anonymous said on July 27, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    The window controls were moved to the left in order to make room for context menus on the right side of the window border where the window controls used to be. There is logic behind this decision, and they are working on the new context menus for 10.10.

  3. Bob Smith said on July 27, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    mine crashes when the cpu or ram overloads… damn!

  4. Dewey said on July 27, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Jack, your articles have inspired me to migrate to the linux environment and I greatly appreciate all of your ghacks articles. One thing keeping me from running Ubuntu exclusively is that everytime I insert an audio cd in my ubuntu box, the entire system freezes. I’ve yet to find a reasonable fix online. I am quite new to the linux environment, so I may just not know where to look. Anyway, it may not be something for you to cover, but if it fits for you, I know I’d appreciate it.

  5. Markus said on July 27, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Ahh, it’s ALL part of the fun, and of linux.
    Users can and should post their problems on the ubuntu forum/s, and log bugs.

    And are Gnome desktop users so lucky ?
    There are even more quirks/ fun, if and when you install other desktops:
    LXDE, $ sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop
    Xfce, $ sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

    You select a desktop, at login page, using “sessions” drop down menu.

  6. paulo said on July 27, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Ubuntu 10.04 fixed bugs, boots faster, but added a hugelly uninstable package and project: Plymouth

    Plymouth is not decently mature yet for a distro like Ubuntu, and i think it were a very unresponsible choice on adding it… not only talking about that Fsck usability bug (lack of feedback, making us think our computer crashed, making us forcing the restart, and taking the risk on losing our HD…)

  7. bp said on July 27, 2010 at 9:31 am

    just spent half a day trying to get broadcom drivers, an updated kernel, and
    other updated packages to install on a lenovo s10. trying to use a usb install to check it out.

    LTS this is not. same old ubuntu. wait another six months to try again.

  8. JC R said on July 27, 2010 at 4:05 am

    Such fixes should not have to be done by users. This should be Ubuntu updates, not us messing under the hood.

  9. jamie said on July 27, 2010 at 12:57 am

    Thanks for the window controls fix. I have been using ubuntu for most of my computing needs the past week or so and it has been driving me crazy! Now if we can fix the low volume bug I will be all set.

  10. rMatey180 said on July 26, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Somebody should fix the glitch on the System Testing option. It’ll lock up several cores of your processor at 90%+. The only way I could fix it was a re-install of Ubuntu 64bit. I saw several of the same comments on the Ubuntu forums.
    But it’s still better than Winder$.

  11. Indian-Art said on July 26, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Hi Jack,

    Thanks for that info on how to ‘Move windows controls to right side’. I feel its more intuitive to have these buttons on the right.

    Or it could be just a force of habit.

  12. Frenando. said on July 26, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Hi, you missed a few common complains like the low volume bug, the ATI drivers, etc, I’m a linux noob, I switched to try it, and if it wasn’t for my Zune I would kept using it

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