Tag Archives: Ubuntu

Giving Intrepid Ibex a pass

Well, the delay I had in laying my hands on Ubuntu 8.10 aka Intrepid Ibex lead to something else. In the mean time I was able to get Mandriva Linux One 2009 and I decided to give it a try. I was sceptical at first because I have been using Ubuntu for almost two years now. But Mandriva blew all that away.

The installation of Mandriva One 2009 GNOME was completed in about 10 minutes. The quickest Linux install on my computer so far. Also, the Mandriva iso for GNOME was pretty small at 607 MB. This meant a few applications were not included. At first glance I could see there were no games and there was no Tomboy something which I had grown to use more frequently. No big deal, I was able to install them from the Add and Remove Software tool.

As expected, there was no support for some audio and video formats. This too was fixed by installing the gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg-0.10.5-2mdv2009.0.i586 package from the net. So everything was set. One major positive I noticed was Mandriva never froze when watching videos as Ubuntu did. I had to do several reboots if I am watching a bunch of videos on Ubuntu. This stability of Mandriva impressed me the most.

AWN seemed to work fine although it was bare-bones. I was able to easily install the extras from the AWN Wiki and get things going. Here again the stacks applet worked perfectly while it did not work on Ubuntu. There were a couple of more applets which worked on neither distros.

So I am going to hang on with Mandriva as it is serving my needs perfectly well. The Mandriva Community is also very friendly and helped a lot when I faced any issues. Mandriva may not be as huge as Ubuntu but the stability and polish of the OS is unmatched. I can say that Mandriva 2009 is the best GNOME desktop I have run so far.

That effectively also means I would give the Ubuntu a pass this time and wait for the next iteration to see how things have improved.


Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex – Not so soon

Hm, as everyone is eagerly awaiting the release of Ubuntu 8.10, aka Intrepid Ibex, I would not be able to lay hands on this release until early next week. So I am going to be late to check out the latest and greatest linux distro 😦

How do I convince myself? There is a positive in this delay too. By then most of you would have downloaded, installed and given your feedback and possibly fixes are out for some annoying bugs – if any.

So, a round up and screenshots can be expected next week. I just cant wait to compare the newest Ubuntu to the Mandriva One 2009 which I am already running.

How to install AWN on Ubuntu Hardy Heron

Though this is a topic that is widely documented, this is one of the searches that land people on this blog. So I thought it is only logical that I write a post on how to install Avant Window Navigator aka AWN on Ubuntu Hardy Heron. I would just stick to this version and keep the post simple.

Step 1: Add the repositories

Go to System > Administration > Software Sources.

Enter your password when prompted.

Click on the tab named Third Party Software Click the Add button

Software Sources

Software Sources

Add the below lines one at a time, clicking the Add Source button after each line

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/awn-testing/ubuntu hardy main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/awn-testing/ubuntu hardy main

Click Close button

Click Reload button on the new window that pops up and wait until the update is complete. Once this is complete, the Software Sources window would close on its own.

Step 2: Install AWN

Go to Applications > Accessories > Terminal and type

sudo apt-get install awn-manager-trunk awn-extras-applets-trunk

Press ‘Y’ to confirm the installation

Step 3: Enjoy using AWN

Once the installation is complete, go to Applications > Accessories > Avant Window Navigator. The dock would start at the bottom of the screen. So you would have to remove the panel there (if you still have it there 😉 ) and move the items elsewhere.

You can drag and drop any program from its menu. For example, if you want to add Firefox to AWN, go to Applications > Internet > Firefox Web Browser and drag it to AWN and drop it once a “+” would appears on the cursor.

You can also install or change themes from the AWN preferences. To access preferences either right click on AWN and select Dock Preferences or go to System > Preferences > Awn Manager


1. AWN Wiki

2. Softpedia – With tips to install cool plugins

Ricoh Card Reader on Dell Inspiron 6400 running Ubuntu Hardy Heron (8.04)

Today, While casually surfing various support forums of Ubuntu and Mandriva, I stumbled upon this How To guide to get the Ricoh Card Reader (Internal) working on Ubuntu for various laptops.

For your information, I am running Ubuntu 8.04 – Hardy Heron. I tried the guide — though what was said made little sense to me — and got my card reader working.

So, give your luck a shot if you have been disappointed with the card reader not working on your laptop 🙂

No more Windows Vista :)

I have fallen sick and have been at home for the past week or so. I took this opportunity to remove Windows Vista Home Premium that came with my laptop. I was thinking about this for sometime now and the only thing that was stopping me was time.

Now that I had the time, I removed Vista and made Ubuntu my primary Operating System. In the process I have freed close to 50GB of disk space 15 GB on which Vista was installed and the remaining which it did not allow me to move to a different partition.

Please note that this is a decision after about one year of using my laptop. I was able to do all that I wanted to do on Ubuntu. I found that I logged into Vista only to update it. And more recently stopped the updates as well. Even after SP1 Vista was not that great. Yes, it was usable though.

So I have decided to try out different flavors of Linux on a different partition. I will retain Ubuntu as my primary OS until the time where it behaves so badly so as to get kicked out. I am currently trying out OpenSUSE 11 KDE 4 and my once upon a time sweet heart – Mandriva Linux One Spring 2008 KDE. I am also planning to try the GNOME version of Mandriva.

A first look at Ubuntu 8.04 – Hardy Heron

Yesterday evening, I installed the spanking new Hardy Heron on my laptop. This post is not going to be a complete review, but I will just cover the major points. For more information, please refer to my twitter timeline. I just don’t have enough time on my hands for a complete review.

  • No installation problems. Installs under 30 minutes for a clean install.
  • The laptop is more snappy now. I run a Dell Inspiron 6400 with Intel Core 2 Duo at 1.73 MHz and 1 GB RAM with 1 GB swap space. The system boots up faster, responds well and shuts down much faster compared to Gutsy.
  • Firefox 3 Beta is stable, no bugs or crashes until now
  • I installed the server apps today. I run Apache, MySQL and PHP – this took me some time to backup and restore the databases and blogs. Nothing to do with those apps though
  • The repositories seem to be heavily loaded now. So I advice to select the Best Server from the Synaptic package manager.
  • Wireless works. Ethernet works(it should, ain’t it?), Compiz works, OpenOffice.org works, codecs downloaded for the various media types. Pretty much all the standard stuff work.
  • Installing additional applications might take some time. For example, AWN is included in the repo but not many applets are available. So I had to add another source and install from it. I had the latest Flash version downloaded, so that was a snap to install. I prefer Amarok to Rhythmbox, so I installed it.
  • On the bad side, my laptop froze twice in two days. Yes it froze! Just like windows. Mouse did not respond neither did the keyboard. Ctrl+Backspace did not work either. So it was not X problem.
  • Most of the old GNOME GTK Icon themes don’t seem to work. Not sure what the problem is. My favorite Mac OSX Icon theme displays the default GNOME folder icon. This is the case with most other themes too. Has something changed in the way themes have to be created for GNOME 2.22? No idea.
  • Suspend works perfectly. Hibernate works, but considering the time taken to wake up, one can shut down and restart.
  • Brightness management seems to have gone bad. I am able to use the Fn key and get only two levels of brightness which forces me to add the Brightness management applet on the panel. I used to get ten levels in Gutsy.
  • Movie player does not play more than 8 sec of VOB files from DVD. VLC has no issues though. The file is just 1024 MB and had no issues on Gutsy.
  • Bluetooth worked after installing the Bluetooth File Sharing from Add/Remove programs. If this is required, why cant it be installed by default? I was able to send and received files to my Nokia phone but was not able to browse the phone on the computer. I was able to do this on Gutsy after installing gnome-vfs-obexftp but no luck here.
  • Apart from these minor irritations, the release is pretty good. I would not say solid because and OS freezing a computer cannot be called solid.

The real test for this release will be on the coming weekend when I will install it on my 7 year old P III computer running at 1.1 GHz and having 256 MB RAM with no graphics capability whatsoever. Gutsy is running pretty slow. I want to see how the Heron fares. No, dont suggest me to try Xubuntu. We are talking about Ubuntu here 😉

My conclusion is everyone can use this distribution, but some hand holding might be required for newbies. I should say that this is one of the releases that I had to spend more time on setting up the computer. This is also partly due to the fact that I have a lot of stuff to backup and restore.

Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon Screenshots

As promised, here are a couple of screenshots of Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon with CompizFusion and Avant Window Navigator

1. Expo Plugin

Expo Plugin

2. Shift Switcher

Shift Switcher

3. Water Effect

Water Effect

4. Avant Window Navigator

Avant Window Navigator

I could not capture the screenshots of the rotating cube. Any ideas how to do it?

Update: Oct 25, 2007: Adding the cube effect screenshot