After a few days, it became apparent my Ubuntu + Openbox experiment wasn’t as succesful as I had hoped. There were some nagging issues with it which prevent me from using it full time.
- Sound muted after boot: a weird one, since it didn’t show up when I used GNOME. After a bit of searching I learned that, instead of the sound being muted after boot, it became muted as soon as I launced any application that made a sound. After that, I had to unmute the Front channel, and everything would be well until the next reboot. I fiddled around with sound settings and alsa for a while, but in the end I simply uninstalled PulseAudio, which got rid of the problem. As a sidenote, why do I need PulseAudio again? I didn’t seem to lose any functionality. Sound still worked…as a matter of fact, it worked better than before.
- Another sound-related problem: I couldn’t get rid of the sound theme while Openbox. Both gnome-sound-properties as gconf showed me that the Ubuntu sound theme was disabled, but I was still hearing drums everywhere. Minor annoyance, but an annoyance nonetheless.
- The flashplugin had some issues (I can’t play Zynga Texas Hold’Em poker in Facebook). This isn’t Ubuntu specific: I have the same problem in Arch but I work around it by using Midori. In Ubuntu however, Midori doesn’t even want to load Facebook…probably because it’s an older version. I tried Opera, Kazehakase and Epiphany but that didn’t work. Very minor annoyance, and not Ubuntu’s fault at all, but I need to play poker!
Which proves that Ubuntu’s a very polished distribution as long as you stick to the defaults. For example, when googling the second issue I found that some users of Mythbuntu and Xubuntu were also affected. It seems like Ubuntu is a very versatile OS, with its *buntu variants, but actually only Ubuntu itself rises above the rest. Ovbviously, when I try to create my own “Openboxbuntu”, a lot of what makes Ubuntu good disappears.
That being said, I’ll try to install a real Ubuntu with Openbox next: Crunchbang Linux. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it.