Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) brings with it quite a few changes, the biggest one being the switch to Gnome as the default desktop environment and the dropping of support for unity. I recently did the upgrade from 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) and there were a few issues but in general it has been a smooth experience. Gnome seems to take double the amount of RAM but in return delivers a much more responsive desktop environment so that is something that I can definitely live with. Surprisingly, quite a few of my configuration settings such as global shortcuts, icons and theme were seamlessly carried over from Unity over to Gnome.
sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool
One of the first items of business is the Gnome extensions. Fortunately, Ubuntu has already packaged a few useful extensions which can be installed via:
sudo apt install gnome-shell-extensions
Note that to enable changes to extensions, you need to restart the Gnome session which can be done by bringing up the command
Alt + F2 and typing in
r. In some cases, a full log out and log back in is required. Once the session has been restarted, restart the Gnome
tweak tool to then manage the installed extension.
The generally recommended way to install gnome extensions is via the extensions website using a pre-configured browser. I however, wanted to simply install them locally and these are the steps to do so:
metadata.jsonfile. Note the value of the
~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions. Rename the extracted archive folder to the same value as what was provided in the uuid field.
I personally have the following extensions installed:
indicator-application-service. Killing it seems to solve the problem but a more permanent solution would be to remove all indicator packages:
sudo apt purge indicator-application indicator-appmenu indicator-bluetooth indicator-common indicator-datetime indicator-keyboard indicator-messages indicator-network indicator-power indicator-printers indicator-session indicator-sound indicator-transfer indicator-transfer-download-manager. Note that removing them results in the removal of unity as well. With this fix in place the Top Icons extension is not required anymore either.
Shell extensions can be disabled using the Gnome tweak tool or you can delete the extension folder to get rid of them completely. Make sure to restart the sessions for changes to take effect.
After the upgrade I intermittently ran into a black screen after logging in. After some research, it seems like this is an issue with the Nvidia drivers not being suppored on Wayland with Ubuntu 17.10 as explained here.
I followed the procedure as described in the thread above and reinstalled the nvidia drivers and that seemed to have eased the pain a bit. I still however noticed a black screen once in a while. I usually just suspend my laptop so I'm hoping that I don't get it again. Steps followed:
sudo apt purge 'nvidia-*' sudo apt install linux-headers-$(uname -r) sudo apt install nvidia-384
Use the following to check what type of session is running:
Another item of note is the missing extended battery information in the top bar such as the estimate of battery time left. This information can be gotten by clicking on the battery icon and then expanding the battery information section. If you find this annoying as well please add in your voice here.
To be able to manually suspend the laptop, hold the Alt key when the mouse is over the power button in the top bar menu. This will flip the power off icon to a "pause" icon.
So far so good, I'll keep this article updated if I find any solutions to my problems or more problems :)
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