I have trouble executing simple flatpak commands, such as flatpak remote-add, flatpak search, and flatpak install. All commands just freeze for 5-10 minutes before returning the result. My 30mbps Internet connection is working normally. Manually downloading a flatpakref file to install using Ubuntu Software Center does not help -- it just shows a white/blank window for 5-10 minutes before displaying the software to install, or just be forever like that.

apt and snap work flawlessly. I formatted the drive and started with a fresh Ubuntu 18.10 installation, only to find the problem persisted. The only thing I can think of at the moment is some sort of connection issue from my country to the official flatpak repos.

Update: both add-apt-repository and flatpak remote-add suffer from the issue, and usually throw the Error: retrieving gpg key timed out. after a 5-10 mins. Try executing the command again will work without error, despite having to wait another 10 mins.

Update 2: It always tooks 2-3 minutes from the bootloader screen to the login screen on my home PC. Today I test 18.10 out on my work PC. The boot process is as fast as Windows 10, with all flatpak commands work perfectly. I suspect it was a hardware-related issue. But since Windows 10 on my home PC works normally, I need some more time to do some testing with Ubuntu on it. I've got a lot of hardware around to try out.

Executing command in terminal:

Executing command in Terminal

10 minutes later:

10 minutes later

Using Ubuntu Software Center:

Using Ubuntu Software Center


Finally solve the problem. My home PC uses an old server motherboard Intel S1200BTSR with 2 NICs. Disabling the unused one solves both boot time and flatpak problems. Strangely enough, my work PC which uses a somewhat newer board S1200V3RPS does not suffer from the issue with both NICs enabled.

Now Ubuntu boots normally, with kernel boot time reduced from 93s to blazing 1.7s. I used to have elementary OS with even worse boot time, but I think it should be fixed together with Ubuntu.

After a week of usage, I have to say Ubuntu (and Linux in general) has a long way to catch up with Windows in term of performance and user-friendliness. Gaming performance is worse if CPU is the bottleneck. And you cannot expect casual users to solve a lot of problems and workaround with bugs like that.

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