17 May 2016

Xubuntu 16.04 - install and enjoy?

This is the third and hopefully the last post in the series about Xubuntu 16.04. First we had a quick screenshot tour and then a more in-depth review of the Live Xubuntu 16.04.

After all of that, I installed this operating system on my laptop. Now I want to share with you some findings of the installed version of Xubuntu 16.04 LTS.

If you remember, I had Ubuntu 14.04 LTS installed as my main operating system for couple of years. Windows 7 is also installed on the same computer and I use it occasionally. Since I wanted to change Ubuntu, I booted my laptop Toshiba Satellite L500-19X into the Live mode of Xubuntu 16.04 from the USB stick. Quick check of main features, mostly that the desktop works, and off we go into the installation mode.

When installing, I had an option to either upgrade Ubuntu 14.04 to Xubuntu 16.04, do a fresh reinstall of Xubuntu on the same place, or wipe the disk in whole and make Xubuntu my only operating system. There was also an option for "fine tuning" of disk partitioning, but I didn't bother and chose the reinstall option.

The installation was painless and rather quick. A few minutes later I had a laptop that successfully connected to the network and was in a workable state.

Of course, the next step was to make it fit my own requirements in terms of configuration and applications. I won't describe each of them here, as this is a matter of personal preference and needs.

There are some things although that I wanted to pay special attention to. They may help you if you decided to use Xubuntu 16.04 yourself, and will also help myself if I ever wish to reinstall Xubuntu 16.04.

Mounted disks

As I mentioned above, there is a Windows installation on my hard drive. It obviously takes its own partition. There is also another partition with shared (between OSes) data on my HDD. Both of these partitions use the NTFS file system.

I also have a network drive that I need to mount to my filesystem.

Right after the installation, I did not have these NTFS or network partitions visible anywhere in the Thunar file manager. They obviously need to be mounted first.

There is a tool ntfs-config in the repository that allows you to mount NTFS partitions. Unfortunately, this tool only gives you an option to mount partitions in the /media directory. That is not what I needed. That's why I had to revert to manual editing of /etc/fstab file.

Here is a bit of a caution. The ntfs-config utility rewrites the /etc/fstab file with its own data. If you made some changes, for example mounting the network drive, before running ntfs-config, they would be lost. Be careful and keep a backup of that configuration file before running the configuration utility.

I might have saved some of my time if I chose the "additional options" of the disk partitioning while doing the installation. Unfortunately, I had not done that. I leave it for you to investigate if that actually helps you to mount the NTFS partitions in desired places right from the installer.

Network drive mounting

As I mentioned above, my /etc/fstab file lists a network partition that I want to mount at boot. Unfortunately, this does not happen automatically. It is a known bug.

It is still not resolved, and I am monitoring the situation.

The workaround is to give sudo mount -a command when the system is ready.

Another workaround is to avoid using fstab at all and mount the network drive via the Browse Network option in Thunar. There are some downsides of this workaround.

  • The drive mounted this way is not visible in terminal-based operations, including Midnight Commander (mc).
  • You cannot open documents with LibreOffice from this drive.

Missing mouse pointer

My laptop has an Intel video card. Unfortunately, there is a well-known bug that affects many Ubuntu operating systems running on hardware with Intel graphics cards. The mouse pointer disappears when you wake up your system after suspend, or in some other similar situations.

You can check details on Ubuntu and Freedesktop bug trackers. There is a workaround, or temporary fix, in post number 56 of the Launchpad thread. It worked for me.

Otherwise… the system is live on my laptop for about a week, and I see no reason not to enjoy it.

If you want to share the same pleasure that I have, why not order your own disk with your favourite Linux operating system on BuyLinuxCDs site?

Happy Linuxing!


  1. Something about the Ubuntu init system can make mounting network shares in fstab fiddly. I would suggest putting a mount command in /etc/rc.local instead.

    1. It does not work.
      /etc/rc.local works before any graphical interface starts. Network only connects when user logs into GUI.

  2. Create a file like that on $HOME/.config/autostart:

    [Desktop Entry]
    Exec=<----put your mount command here
    #Icon=place the icon's located

    Save it in $HOME/.config/autostart/anyname.desktop

    I hope it works.

    1. This is sudo mount command. It will not work without password.

    2. Have u edited sudoers to put perms there?

    3. No, I have the default sudoers file.

    4. Have u edited sudoers to put perms there?

  3. Grant perms to your user there. You can do that with just a single command of interest.

    1. Still don't understand. Even if I add user to the sudoers group, the command in the autostart will ask for the password, won't it?

  4. It's insecure but if security isn't matter... That's why I suggested to put only that command for a user without password with NOPASSWD option in sudoers file.

    1. Thanks for the explanation. Don't think this is a good option. :(

  5. When the mouse pointer dissapears after wake up, it can be brought back by switching to a VT and back with Alt+Ctrl+F1 followed by Alt+Ctrl+F7.

  6. When the mouse pointer dissapears after wake up, it can be brought back by switching to a VT and back with Alt+Ctrl+F1 followed by Alt+Ctrl+F7.

    1. Yes, this is a manual fix that you need to apply each time you wake up the system, alternative to the confif change that can be applied only once.