Fighting with computers

Computers are not always friendly.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Newer Ubuntu 6.06

In a previous post I explained how I got my laptop running SuSE Linux 10.0. But I was not happy with the way Linux was working on my Acer laptop. Although I managed to get everything working ok (except the internal memory card reader) I was not very happy about the power management. I was not happy it took me some effort (including recompiling the kernel) to get audio working. But after all it worked.

I have been giving away Ubuntu CD-ROMs to my students since 4.10 and I have installed Ubuntu to my brother's computer and both (my brother and his computer) have been happily working since then. It is a pity MP3 or Divx are not supported out of the box. Printing and OpenOffice and GIMP have been working like a charm.

This time I thought maybe I should give Ubuntu are try, so I downloaded the latest beta (Dapper flight 7) but instead of Ubuntu I took Kubuntu, which is a blue-ish KDE-based versus Gnome-based Ubuntu. The new Live Cd includes a more or less painless built-in graphical installer. It almost worked but the embedded QTparted program was packed in a small window you could not make any use of it (after all it is a beta). Later on I manually selected the partitioning I wanted and the installation went smoothly for less than five minutes. System rebooted sucessfully and I was glad everything worked "out of the box": audio, bluetooth, wifi, graphics ... well almost.

Graphics looked a bit distorted and I later learned that I was using 1024x768 resolution instead of the 1280x800 of my display. But luckily enough other user provided a quick and easy solution to this problem.

I've just downloaded Ubuntu Dapper beta flight-7 CD to see if I can get hibernation and suspend modes to work properly (which seemed not to work on Kubuntu, although I did not give them a second thought). On the other hand I feel adventurous and I think I am giving Gnome a try on my laptop as I have only used it long ago with early RedHat (version 5.2 I reckon). Since then I have been using KDE and I like it a lot. But I know that Gnome has been evolving too and I want to see how it does now. I'll keep you posted.

Update: Dapper beta flight-7 had a nice partitioning application but it failed when installing on my laptop. I had an extrange complaint when installing Kubuntu flight-6 about errors on the windows partitions but I had the option of ignoring them. I saw no sign of this in Ubuntu Dapper beta flight-7 but an installer crash (I'm guessing it is the same thing but I cannot be sure). So I was forced to install back Kubuntu. I'll wait till a new version becomes available.

Update2 (May-18th): I've just downloaded today's daily Ubuntu's Dapper snapshot and everything went smoothly and I am almost all set. What I still need to check is how well power management is doing and whether or not hibernate and suspend work. BTW, I needed to do the same trick as I mentioned above to get 1280x800 working.

Update3 (May-19th): It's all working fine. Both suspend and hibernate work and coming back from suspend is very fast (almost as fast as the iBook) but you need to type your password to get back to your desktop. There is a problem with ACPI if you remove AC-power after a suspension has been waked up. The system shut itself down because it thought it was running out of power when I removed AC-power when battery was almost full. If you do not mess with AC it seems to work ok. Ah, and I like the slightly thinner window top decoration better than the old one.


  • At 9:40 am, Blogger Hiroshi Ikeda said…

    I have been praying for the DSL near home, until Telefonica decides when I cuold have the Internet in my private life all I can do is read post about GNU/Linux, XGL, etc.
    Tengo los diente largos, grrrrr.
    Thank you for the post.


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