06 September 2019

Migrating to Lubuntu again - tips and fixes

I like Lubuntu, and it just keeps getting better.  My old migration notes is mostly outdated as the new Lubuntu uses LXQt instead of the previous LXDE.  So here's some new things I made note of as I migrate to Lubuntu 19.04:

Time Clock Auto Update Synchronization Problem
Lubuntu uses by default timedatectl as the tool for setting time including synchronization via NTP Network Time Protocol.  It doesn't seem to have much manual controls though, like forcing an update.

You could instead use chrony.

See Keep Your Clock Sync with Internet Time Servers in Ubuntu 18.04  and Ubuntu Docs on Time Synchronization.

It lets you do things like chronyc sources to see the currently available and selected time sources.  Perhaps your network is blocking NTP updates?

Or chronyc sourcestats to see your clock's time offset from the various NTP sources.

You could do a single time offset check, without setting the time: sudo chronyd -Q

Or manually force a time synchronization with: sudo chronyd -q


Download your own software to get the latest versions
The default package manager using the default Ubuntu software sources are pretty good at keeping up with the versions.  I like doing that most of the time to reduce on maintenance.

Some things are worth the manual install though.

LibreOffice is at 6.3, but the default installed version is currently only 6.2.6.  Small difference but 6.3 has major efficiency and compatibility updates!  Actually, you don't need to download and install manually.  Just add this PPA to get the freshest version by doing sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa and using your package manager to upgrade.

LibreOffice has a extension I rely on a lot:  MultiFormatSave.  Let's me save a document to multiple format at the same time, great for supporting MS Office compatibility.

Google Chrome is self-updating.  I prefer Firefox but anyway, sometimes you need it.

Apache NetBeans.  This requires as a dependency the Java JDK at least version 8.  Version 11, the default on Lubuntu right now, works fine so far.


Screen Saver Lock Screen Madness
There are at least 3 places to set the screen saver / lock screen / sleep settings:
  1. Preferences > LXQt Settings > Session Settings
  2. Preferences > LXQt Settings > Power Management
  3. Preferences > Screensaver
They seem to interact with each other, and each has slightly other settings and uses.

My default Screensaver sometimes ran the CPU real hot, so maybe set that to something less energy intensive first.  I used Deco with settings to reduce framerates.

I'd suggest using Screensaver purely for setting the screensaver and when it turns on.

Set when the screen locks using Power Management (Idle tab).

Use the Session Settings to set whether the screen locks before suspending the OS (I think it defaults to locking after suspending).


Microsoft Fonts

Install ttf-mscorefonts-installer.  Some instructions for this but it's straightforward from the package manager.  Just use sudo apt install ttf-mscorefonts-installer.


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