Problem installing 19.10

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Problem installing 19.10

Colin Law
I downloaded the Ubuntu 19.10 desktop image (sha sum checked) and
burnt to an SD card (16GB).  On booting into it I ran the Check Disk
option first, then Run Ubuntu and all seemed ok.  I selected Install
Ubuntu and at the What do you want to do dialog I selected Something
Else then selected the 40GB partition that I had already formatted as
ext4 (using gparted in a working Ubuntu 19.04 partition) and told it
to mount it as '/' and not to format, then told it to continue.
At this point it hangs with the wheel spinning.   I left it for an
hour but it was still spinning. I burnt the image to a different SD
card and tried again with the same result.  It also hangs if I select
the partition as '/' and tell it to format it.
Any suggestions as to what I can try?

Colin

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Re: Problem installing 19.10

Ian Bruntlett
Hi Colin,

On Mon, 21 Oct 2019 at 11:53, Colin Law <[hidden email]> wrote:
I downloaded the Ubuntu 19.10 desktop image (sha sum checked) and
burnt to an SD card (16GB).  On booting into it I ran the Check Disk
option first, then Run Ubuntu and all seemed ok.  I selected Install
Ubuntu and at the What do you want to do dialog I selected Something
Else then selected the 40GB partition that I had already formatted as
ext4 (using gparted in a working Ubuntu 19.04 partition) and told it
to mount it as '/' and not to format, then told it to continue.
At this point it hangs with the wheel spinning.   I left it for an
hour but it was still spinning. I burnt the image to a different SD
card and tried again with the same result.  It also hangs if I select
the partition as '/' and tell it to format it.
Any suggestions as to what I can try?

I installed 19.10, also using "something else" as an option. However, I deleted all the previous two partitions and installed onto two new partitions, one as /boot and the other as / and had no problems. Could the problem be that you are not formatting your / partition? What is on it already?

HTH,


Ian


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Re: Problem installing 19.10

Liam Proven
On Mon, 21 Oct 2019 at 13:01, Ian Bruntlett <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Could the problem be that you are not formatting your / partition? What is on it already?

It's possible.

FWIW I installed 19.10 at the weekend too, and I too had problems. I
have a new testbed laptop (a cheap 2nd-hand ThinkPad T420: Core i5,
4GB RAM, ⅓TB hard disk.) It had a clean install of 19.04 from about 3
weeks ago, because I thought I'd give GNOME another try.

I customised it a little with Dash-To-Dock, OpenWeather, Extend Panel
Menu, Unite and that was about it.

19.10 stalled at removing a "Python simple JSON" package. The machine
was thrashing the disk _hard_ and because I didn't have a memory or
performance monitor open I couldn't see what was wrong. It was
thrashing so hard that even with 30min or more of trying, I couldn't
so much as get to a vconsole.

I left it overnight.

Same in the morning but now it was (I guess) so hopelessly
over-committed there was only the occasional blip of disk activity.
Couldn't even move the mouse pointer. So I power-cycled it.

It booted into 19.10 fine as if nothing was wrong. There were a ton of
packages to remove but it was good to go. However, my GNOME profile
seems unretrievable -- the addons don't work, can't be removed, can't
be updated...

I think I'll have to add an account from the shell, nuke my profile
and start over.

GNOME 3 really needs a "safe mode" login. :-/

Anyway, yes, perhaps the most problematic Ubuntu version upgrade I've
ever had, and it was a clean install this month, with almost nothing
installed and almost zero use. :-(

There were celebrations on Twitter yesterday because yesterday was the
15th anniversary of the Ubuntu release.

IMHO this thread nails it:
https://twitter.com/mjg59/status/1186097266903285760

Especially:

Matthew Garrett @mjg59
Frankly I still think that Ubuntu in that era was the closest Linux
has ever got to being a viable desktop OS and I'm sad that investment
in desktop Linux has basically declined since then

Brian Swetland @dnaltews
Ubuntu hit a level of relatively painless "it just works" that I had
not experienced in previous Linux distros. It's still my default
desktop/laptop distro but I feel like they've lost their way a bit...

@jrm4
Armchair quarterbacking for sure -- but the fact that they decided to
take on Apple with Unity instead of taking advantage of XP's end of
life by just being the "OS that just works" still bugs many of us...

And in re that last one, bear in mind that I'm a Unity fan...

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Re: Problem installing 19.10

Colin Law
On Mon, 21 Oct 2019 at 14:50, Liam Proven <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On Mon, 21 Oct 2019 at 13:01, Ian Bruntlett <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Could the problem be that you are not formatting your / partition? What is on it already?
>
> It's possible.

It was a freshly formatted partition and I also tried telling the
installer to format it.  However Ian's suggestion of deleting the
partition and letting the installer format it from empty space seemed
worth trying and it worked, and the rest of the install went without a
hitch.  Not sure how I go about submitting a bug on this.

Thanks

Colin

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Re: Problem installing 19.10

Ian Bruntlett
Hi,

On Mon, 21 Oct 2019 at 15:15, Colin Law <[hidden email]> wrote:
It was a freshly formatted partition and I also tried telling the
installer to format it.  However Ian's suggestion of deleting the
partition and letting the installer format it from empty space seemed
worth trying and it worked, and the rest of the install went without a
hitch.  Not sure how I go about submitting a bug on this.

Not sure about this but... I believe the part of the installer that deals with partitions does not indicate on its main screen whether or not a partition will be formatted or not. If that is the case, I feel that having that information available would be very useful.

BW,


Ian

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Re: Problem installing 19.10

Colin Law
On Mon, 21 Oct 2019 at 17:49, Ian Bruntlett <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Hi,
>
> On Mon, 21 Oct 2019 at 15:15, Colin Law <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> It was a freshly formatted partition and I also tried telling the
>> installer to format it.  However Ian's suggestion of deleting the
>> partition and letting the installer format it from empty space seemed
>> worth trying and it worked, and the rest of the install went without a
>> hitch.  Not sure how I go about submitting a bug on this.
>
>
> Not sure about this but... I believe the part of the installer that deals with partitions does not indicate on its main screen whether or not a partition will be formatted or not. If that is the case, I feel that having that information available would be very useful.

In the Something Else option it shows the existing partitions and to
use one you double click it and it brings up a popup that allows you
to specify the type (ext4 etc), the mount point and there is a
checkbox to tell it to format the partition.  If it is an existing
Ubuntu partition and you say not to format it then it will leave /home
(and a couple of other dirs I think) as they are so user data and
config is not overwritten.  That is not what I was trying to do
though.

Colin

>
> BW,
>
>
> Ian
>
> --
> -- ACCU - Professionalism in programming - http://www.accu.org
> -- My writing - https://sites.google.com/site/ianbruntlett/
> -- Free Software page - https://sites.google.com/site/ianbruntlett/home/free-software
>
> --
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> Modify settings or unsubscribe at: https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-users

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Re: Problem installing 19.10

Bret Busby-2
On 22/10/2019, Colin Law <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, 21 Oct 2019 at 17:49, Ian Bruntlett <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Hi,
>>
>> On Mon, 21 Oct 2019 at 15:15, Colin Law <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>> It was a freshly formatted partition and I also tried telling the
>>> installer to format it.  However Ian's suggestion of deleting the
>>> partition and letting the installer format it from empty space seemed
>>> worth trying and it worked, and the rest of the install went without a
>>> hitch.  Not sure how I go about submitting a bug on this.
>>
>>
>> Not sure about this but... I believe the part of the installer that deals
>> with partitions does not indicate on its main screen whether or not a
>> partition will be formatted or not. If that is the case, I feel that
>> having that information available would be very useful.
>
> In the Something Else option it shows the existing partitions and to
> use one you double click it and it brings up a popup that allows you
> to specify the type (ext4 etc), the mount point and there is a
> checkbox to tell it to format the partition.  If it is an existing
> Ubuntu partition and you say not to format it then it will leave /home
> (and a couple of other dirs I think) as they are so user data and
> config is not overwritten.  That is not what I was trying to do
> though.
>
> Colin
>
>>
>> BW,
>>
>>
>> Ian
>>
>> --
>> -- ACCU - Professionalism in programming - http://www.accu.org
>> -- My writing - https://sites.google.com/site/ianbruntlett/
>> -- Free Software page -
>> https://sites.google.com/site/ianbruntlett/home/free-software
>>
>> --
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>> [hidden email]
>> Modify settings or unsubscribe at:
>> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-users
>
> --
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> Modify settings or unsubscribe at:
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-users
>

I did an update from 18.04 to 19.04 to 1.10, on one computer,
installed 19.04 then upgraded to 19.10, on another computer, and, did
a clean install of 19.10, on another computer, using created free
space in the clean install instance (I copied the data, and then
deleted the / and /home partitions, from and old Debian 7.8
installation, that I still had, from when I was (at that time) still
trying to get this computer working).

The one problem that I had, in the procedures, was in the cases of the
upgrades, where, when the process gets to the screen where it says x
number of packages will be installed, x number of packages are no
longer supported, and x number of packages will be removed, to view
the packages that are to be removed, the dialogue box expands, so that
the bottom, where the buttons to proceed or quit, are visible,
disappears off the bottom of the screen, never to be seen again, even
after the area where the packages are listed, is minimised, so, the
upgrade procedure has to be killed and restarted.

That, I think, is a bug.

After the 19.10 is installed, the applications are <expletive>,

On one computer, in trying to get some useful applications installed,
the Software Buttocks would install two or three programs out of the
selection queued for installation, then shut the computer down. After
this happened a few times, I managed to get synaptic installed, and
that installed all the packages that I sought, without any problems.

On another computer, where I had gone 18.04 -> 19.04 -> 19.10, the web
browser named Web (previously known as epiphany), when loaded with a
number of windows open, would simply kind of freeze - I could open
more windows, that had been loaded, from the taskbar, but, I could not
use the mouse within any open window, and, because of the progressive
downgrading that the developers are doing to the packages, this is one
of the packages that, like the increasingly useless midori (v0.5.11 is
far superior to v7.0), does not now allow a menu bar. So, to close the
application, I  had to use the "Force a delinquent application to
quit" utility. However, tonight, a system update for 19.10 became
available, and, after the update, that problem appears to have
disappeared for the Web web browser.

This is a bit like when I was using Debian, and. as I had said then, I
think Debian 3.1 was the best Debian version - for UbuntuMATE, I think
that 16.04 is far superior to 18.04, 19.04, and, 19.10. The versions,
like the packages, appear to be progressively deteriorating
(decomposing?)

It is like the zeroth law of thermodynamics - everything tends to
chaos and disorder.


--
Bret Busby
Armadale
West Australia
..............

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
 Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
 "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
 A Trilogy In Four Parts",
 written by Douglas Adams,
 published by Pan Books, 1992

....................................................

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Re: Problem installing 19.10

Bret Busby-2
On 22/10/2019, Bret Busby <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 22/10/2019, Colin Law <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On Mon, 21 Oct 2019 at 17:49, Ian Bruntlett <[hidden email]>
>> wrote:
>>>
>>> Hi,
>>>
>>> On Mon, 21 Oct 2019 at 15:15, Colin Law <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> It was a freshly formatted partition and I also tried telling the
>>>> installer to format it.  However Ian's suggestion of deleting the
>>>> partition and letting the installer format it from empty space seemed
>>>> worth trying and it worked, and the rest of the install went without a
>>>> hitch.  Not sure how I go about submitting a bug on this.
>>>
>>>
>>> Not sure about this but... I believe the part of the installer that
>>> deals
>>> with partitions does not indicate on its main screen whether or not a
>>> partition will be formatted or not. If that is the case, I feel that
>>> having that information available would be very useful.
>>
>> In the Something Else option it shows the existing partitions and to
>> use one you double click it and it brings up a popup that allows you
>> to specify the type (ext4 etc), the mount point and there is a
>> checkbox to tell it to format the partition.  If it is an existing
>> Ubuntu partition and you say not to format it then it will leave /home
>> (and a couple of other dirs I think) as they are so user data and
>> config is not overwritten.  That is not what I was trying to do
>> though.
>>
>> Colin
>>
>>>
>>> BW,
>>>
>>>
>>> Ian
>>>
>>> --
>>> -- ACCU - Professionalism in programming - http://www.accu.org
>>> -- My writing - https://sites.google.com/site/ianbruntlett/
>>> -- Free Software page -
>>> https://sites.google.com/site/ianbruntlett/home/free-software
>>>
>>> --
>>> ubuntu-users mailing list
>>> [hidden email]
>>> Modify settings or unsubscribe at:
>>> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-users
>>
>> --
>> ubuntu-users mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> Modify settings or unsubscribe at:
>> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-users
>>
>
> I did an update from 18.04 to 19.04 to 1.10, on one computer,
> installed 19.04 then upgraded to 19.10, on another computer, and, did
> a clean install of 19.10, on another computer, using created free
> space in the clean install instance (I copied the data, and then
> deleted the / and /home partitions, from and old Debian 7.8
> installation, that I still had, from when I was (at that time) still
> trying to get this computer working).
>
> The one problem that I had, in the procedures, was in the cases of the
> upgrades, where, when the process gets to the screen where it says x
> number of packages will be installed, x number of packages are no
> longer supported, and x number of packages will be removed, to view
> the packages that are to be removed, the dialogue box expands, so that
> the bottom, where the buttons to proceed or quit, are visible,
> disappears off the bottom of the screen, never to be seen again, even
> after the area where the packages are listed, is minimised, so, the
> upgrade procedure has to be killed and restarted.
>
> That, I think, is a bug.
>
> After the 19.10 is installed, the applications are <expletive>,
>
> On one computer, in trying to get some useful applications installed,
> the Software Buttocks would install two or three programs out of the
> selection queued for installation, then shut the computer down. After
> this happened a few times, I managed to get synaptic installed, and
> that installed all the packages that I sought, without any problems.
>
> On another computer, where I had gone 18.04 -> 19.04 -> 19.10, the web
> browser named Web (previously known as epiphany), when loaded with a
> number of windows open, would simply kind of freeze - I could open
> more windows, that had been loaded, from the taskbar, but, I could not
> use the mouse within any open window, and, because of the progressive
> downgrading that the developers are doing to the packages, this is one
> of the packages that, like the increasingly useless midori (v0.5.11 is
> far superior to v7.0), does not now allow a menu bar. So, to close the
> application, I  had to use the "Force a delinquent application to
> quit" utility. However, tonight, a system update for 19.10 became
> available, and, after the update, that problem appears to have
> disappeared for the Web web browser.
>
> This is a bit like when I was using Debian, and. as I had said then, I
> think Debian 3.1 was the best Debian version - for UbuntuMATE, I think
> that 16.04 is far superior to 18.04, 19.04, and, 19.10. The versions,
> like the packages, appear to be progressively deteriorating
> (decomposing?)
>
> It is like the zeroth law of thermodynamics - everything tends to
> chaos and disorder.
>
>

Oh, and, for anyone who does not know, the strain of Ubuntu, to which
I refer, is UbuntuMATE, where 19.10 is referred to as the paper cut
release - it is more like the cut your wrists release.

So, I am back in my better version number - 16.04.6.

I will see what 20.04 brings - maybe that will be a decent version,
with decent and usable applications.

--
Bret Busby
Armadale
West Australia
..............

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
 Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
 "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
 A Trilogy In Four Parts",
 written by Douglas Adams,
 published by Pan Books, 1992

....................................................

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Re: Problem installing 19.10

Colin Law
In reply to this post by Bret Busby-2
On Mon, 21 Oct 2019 at 20:53, Bret Busby <[hidden email]> wrote:

> ...
> The one problem that I had, in the procedures, was in the cases of the
> upgrades, where, when the process gets to the screen where it says x
> number of packages will be installed, x number of packages are no
> longer supported, and x number of packages will be removed, to view
> the packages that are to be removed, the dialogue box expands, so that
> the bottom, where the buttons to proceed or quit, are visible,
> disappears off the bottom of the screen, never to be seen again, even
> after the area where the packages are listed, is minimised, so, the
> upgrade procedure has to be killed and restarted.

On the standard Ubuntu system if you hold down the windows key and
left mouse button you can drag a window without needing access to the
title bar.  Thus it should be possible to move the window up to get to
the disappearing buttons.

> ...
> On one computer, in trying to get some useful applications installed,
> the Software Buttocks would install two or three programs out of the
> selection queued for installation, then shut the computer down. After
> this happened a few times, I managed to get synaptic installed, and
> that installed all the packages that I sought, without any problems.

I have had no such problems using apt.

Colin

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Re: Problem installing 19.10

Ian Bruntlett
Hi All,

On Mon, 21 Oct 2019 at 21:07, Colin Law <[hidden email]> wrote:
On the standard Ubuntu system if you hold down the windows key and
left mouse button you can drag a window without needing access to the
title bar.  Thus it should be possible to move the window up to get to
the disappearing buttons.

Some years ago I had that problem with installing Linux on my Samsung NC10 NetBook. Some dialogue boxes were too big for the screen. Strangely, though, maximising the dialogue boxes resulted in something that fitted on the small screen. I believe I pressed ALT+SPACE and chose "Maximise" to do that.

HTH,


Ian

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Re: Problem installing 19.10

Bret Busby-2
In reply to this post by Colin Law
On 22/10/2019, Colin Law <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, 21 Oct 2019 at 20:53, Bret Busby <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> ...
>> The one problem that I had, in the procedures, was in the cases of the
>> upgrades, where, when the process gets to the screen where it says x
>> number of packages will be installed, x number of packages are no
>> longer supported, and x number of packages will be removed, to view
>> the packages that are to be removed, the dialogue box expands, so that
>> the bottom, where the buttons to proceed or quit, are visible,
>> disappears off the bottom of the screen, never to be seen again, even
>> after the area where the packages are listed, is minimised, so, the
>> upgrade procedure has to be killed and restarted.
>
> On the standard Ubuntu system if you hold down the windows key and
> left mouse button you can drag a window without needing access to the
> title bar.  Thus it should be possible to move the window up to get to
> the disappearing buttons.
>

I could access the title bar. When I dragged that, like also trying to
use the "resize window", it just dragged the title bar upward, and the
buttons and the bottom of the dialogue box, stayed anchored below the
bottom of the visible area.


--
Bret Busby
Armadale
West Australia
..............

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
 Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
 "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
 A Trilogy In Four Parts",
 written by Douglas Adams,
 published by Pan Books, 1992

....................................................

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Re: Problem installing 19.10

Bret Busby-2
In reply to this post by Colin Law
On 22/10/2019, Colin Law <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Mon, 21 Oct 2019 at 20:53, Bret Busby <[hidden email]> wrote:

<snip>

>> ...
>> On one computer, in trying to get some useful applications installed,
>> the Software Buttocks would install two or three programs out of the
>> selection queued for installation, then shut the computer down. After
>> this happened a few times, I managed to get synaptic installed, and
>> that installed all the packages that I sought, without any problems.
>
> I have had no such problems using apt.
>

An advantage to using synaptic, is that, in searching for an
application, or, a type of application, is that synaptic lists what is
available; for example, in seeking web browsers, it lists the ones
that are available (even if the version of netsurf that is available
for 19.10, loads, then, when going to a URL, goes into hiding), and,
where available, associated debug and documentation packages, both of
which, are becoming increasingly necessary.

That allows for trying extra packages; for example, instead of
sticking with gnucash, trying also kmymoney, grisby, skrooge, etc.

And, with text editors, whilst my favourite is gedit (although, I use
vi for editing system files), there are kwrite, and, others, to also
try.

So, I prefer synaptic, unless I am restricted in what I am doing,
which is where I think apt is more applicable.


--
Bret Busby
Armadale
West Australia
..............

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
 Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
 "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
 A Trilogy In Four Parts",
 written by Douglas Adams,
 published by Pan Books, 1992

....................................................

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Re: Problem installing 19.10

Colin Law
In reply to this post by Bret Busby-2
On Mon, 21 Oct 2019 at 21:45, Bret Busby <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On 22/10/2019, Colin Law <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Mon, 21 Oct 2019 at 20:53, Bret Busby <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >> ...
> >> The one problem that I had, in the procedures, was in the cases of the
> >> upgrades, where, when the process gets to the screen where it says x
> >> number of packages will be installed, x number of packages are no
> >> longer supported, and x number of packages will be removed, to view
> >> the packages that are to be removed, the dialogue box expands, so that
> >> the bottom, where the buttons to proceed or quit, are visible,
> >> disappears off the bottom of the screen, never to be seen again, even
> >> after the area where the packages are listed, is minimised, so, the
> >> upgrade procedure has to be killed and restarted.
> >
> > On the standard Ubuntu system if you hold down the windows key and
> > left mouse button you can drag a window without needing access to the
> > title bar.  Thus it should be possible to move the window up to get to
> > the disappearing buttons.
> >
>
> I could access the title bar. When I dragged that, like also trying to
> use the "resize window", it just dragged the title bar upward, and the
> buttons and the bottom of the dialogue box, stayed anchored below the
> bottom of the visible area.

Perhaps you just couldn't pull it up far enough.  I have never seen a
window stretch when moving the title bar.
Worth trying dragging the whole window, pushing the title bar off the top.

Colin

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Re: Problem installing 19.10

Bret Busby-2
On 22/10/2019, Colin Law <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, 21 Oct 2019 at 21:45, Bret Busby <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> On 22/10/2019, Colin Law <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> > On Mon, 21 Oct 2019 at 20:53, Bret Busby <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> >> ...
>> >> The one problem that I had, in the procedures, was in the cases of the
>> >> upgrades, where, when the process gets to the screen where it says x
>> >> number of packages will be installed, x number of packages are no
>> >> longer supported, and x number of packages will be removed, to view
>> >> the packages that are to be removed, the dialogue box expands, so that
>> >> the bottom, where the buttons to proceed or quit, are visible,
>> >> disappears off the bottom of the screen, never to be seen again, even
>> >> after the area where the packages are listed, is minimised, so, the
>> >> upgrade procedure has to be killed and restarted.
>> >
>> > On the standard Ubuntu system if you hold down the windows key and
>> > left mouse button you can drag a window without needing access to the
>> > title bar.  Thus it should be possible to move the window up to get to
>> > the disappearing buttons.
>> >
>>
>> I could access the title bar. When I dragged that, like also trying to
>> use the "resize window", it just dragged the title bar upward, and the
>> buttons and the bottom of the dialogue box, stayed anchored below the
>> bottom of the visible area.
>
> Perhaps you just couldn't pull it up far enough.  I have never seen a
> window stretch when moving the title bar.
> Worth trying dragging the whole window, pushing the title bar off the top.
>

Too late now (for this version number) - it's come and gone - the
installations are installed, and hopefully, it will be fixed for
20.04.

I don't feel inclined to do another upgrade to 19.10, especially while
16.04 is still supported, and is better than 19.10.


--
Bret Busby
Armadale
West Australia
..............

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
 Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
 "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
 A Trilogy In Four Parts",
 written by Douglas Adams,
 published by Pan Books, 1992

....................................................

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Re: Problem installing 19.10

ubuntu-users mailing list
In reply to this post by Ian Bruntlett
21 October 2019  at 21:34, Ian Bruntlett wrote:
Re: Problem installing 19.10 (at least in part)

>Some years ago I had that problem with installing Linux on my Samsung NC10
>NetBook. Some dialogue boxes were too big for the screen. Strangely,
>though, maximising the dialogue boxes resulted in something that fitted on
>the small screen. I believe I pressed ALT+SPACE and chose "Maximise" to do
>that.

I still use an NC10


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