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synaptic on 17.10

On Wed, 2018-01-24 at 18:24 +0000, Peter Hillier-Brook wrote:
> Thanks, Colin. Unfortunately the machine has left the building: my
> friend has gone home and distance coaching isn't very practical. I've
> left her with a text file on the desktop to guide her through 'sudo
> apt update and upgrade'. That'll probably have to suffice until the
> flaw is rectified.

It's trivial to choose X; distance coaching is trivial.  At the login
screen there's a little gear icon next to the login button, after you
choose the account to log in as.

Click it, and it will give you a list of ways to log in: probably there
will be only two things there.  Choose the "X" one not the "Wayland"
one.  Now log in normally.  You only have to do this once: your
selection is remembered.

Second, there's no need to use Synaptic (or the command line either) if
all she wants to do is install updates.  The default installation of
Ubuntu will check for updates daily and if some are found will pop up a
dialog asking if you want them installed.  You just have to select
"yes".  It will then recommend rebooting when necessary (a new kernel,

Alternatively, if she searches for "Software Updater" (go to the HUD by
moving the mouse to the top-left corner of the screen for example, then
start typing to search) she can access this simple interface directly
and it will tell her if her system is up to date and offer to update

If she wants to install some new software, not update her current
software, she can search for the "Software" application which is the
Gnome Software utility, and install things from there.  People have
issues with Gnome Software but it basically works.

Synaptic is only needed for more advanced usages and advanced users. 
She doesn't need that based on what you've said here.  I don't think it
should be recommended at all to people who just want to use their
system in a basic way.