What it takes to make Ubuntu ready for use

I recently installed Ubuntu 6.10 on a new PC at work. In this post I will document all the steps I had to perform to get it ready for everyday use. Each step is assigned a level of difficulty, which I define below:

Very Easy
  • Step can be completed without using the command prompt
  • Intuitive to complete
Easy
  • Step can be completed without using the command prompt
  • May require searching to find the right place to make the change
Medium
  • Requires a single command to be entered at the command prompt
  • Requires searching internet resources to find the solution
Hard
  • Requires multiple commands to be entered at the command prompt
  • Requires searching internet resources to find the solution
Very Hard
  • Requires multiple commands to be entered at the command prompt
  • Requires searching internet resources to find the solution
  • Requires the user to manually edit a configuration file
These criteria are quite strict, because I believe that using an operating system should be intuitive, and not require any specialized knowledge. With that in mind, let me share with you the steps I performed to get Ubuntu setup ready for me to be productive with it.

1. Install Ubuntu
  • Difficulty Level: Very Easy
  • Description:
    • Ubuntu has one of the easiest install procedures of any operating system. I simply booted to the LiveCD, clicked on the "Install" icon and followed the simple wizard. It only took about 15 minutes to complete the install. You can even surf the net while the operating system is being installed.
  • How it can be improved?:
    • I think it would be a good idea to show a few simple tutorials to the user while Ubuntu is being installed to the hard drive. Use this time to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about Ubuntu. This can be as simple as a slide-show with text and background music, or perhaps a flash video with audio.
2. Enable additional software sources
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Description:
    • The universe, restricted, and backports repositories are an essential part of Ubuntu. By enabling these sources, I am allowing Ubuntu to take advantage of one of its greatest assets. There are now are over 20,000 software packages available that can easily be installed with a few clicks.
  • How it can be improved?:
    • Currently, you can enable these sources via "System>Administration>Software Sources", or you can let the sources be automatically enabled when you install an application that requires them. There is a specification that proposes that these additional software sources be included by default, and I agree.
3. Install proprietary graphics drivers (Nvidia)
  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Description:
    • This step required me to search the internet and follow these instructions that I found on the Ubuntu wiki. The steps included typing a command at the command prompt.
  • How it can be improved?:
    • Steps are already being taken to include these drivers in future versions of Ubuntu. To learn more, read the specification named "Accelerated X".
4. Configure Ubuntu to use my dual-monitor setup
  • Difficulty Level: Very Hard
  • Description:
    • I have two monitors that I would like to use with Ubuntu. By default, only one screen comes up and the other is blank. I searched for an easy way to configure dual-monitors in Ubuntu, but it doesn't appear that one exists. I had to manually edit the xorg.conf file just to use a second monitor.
  • How it can be improved?:
5. Install additional multimedia codecs
  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Description:
    • Much of the multimedia content available on the internet is encoded in a format that Ubuntu cannot use without installing extra packages. I had to search the internet to find the RestrictedFormats wiki page which shows how to enable support for many additional types of media.
  • How it can be improved?:
6. Install common applications (Add/Remove Applications)
  • Difficulty Level: Very Easy
  • Description:
    • The "Add/Remove Applications" tool is very well designed and easy to use.
  • How it can be improved?:
    • This tool is great, it just needs a bigger selection of applications. How does Ubuntu decide which packages will be in "Add/Remove", and which ones are only available in Synaptic?
7. Install less common applications (Synaptic Package Manager)
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Description:
    • If I cannot find my application in "Add/Remove Applications", then I use "Synaptic Package Manager" to install it. Synaptic is a great tool, but it is not as easy to use as the "Add/Remove" tool.
  • How it can be improved?:
    • Provide more packages through the "Add/Remove Applications" interface.
8. Configure my email, calender, and messaging client
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Description:
    • At work we are a Novell shop, so I needed to connect to our Groupwise servers to get my email, calender, and messenger service. Fortunately, there is native support for this in Ubuntu. I configured Evolution to display my email and calender, and I configured GAIM to connect to the Groupwise Messenger service.
  • How it can be improved?:
    • For the most part, everything mentioned above just works. I have discovered that I cannot join some types of chat rooms in GAIM, which I hope is corrected in a future version.
9. Mount my Novell Netware network drives
  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Description:
    • I thought this step would be harder, but it turns out that it only takes a few short steps to access your Novell network drives.
  • How it can be improved?:
    • I would like to see support for Novell network drives added to the "Places>Connect to Server" tool. Based on how easy it is to mount Novell drives, I assume that it would be easy to add this functionality. I feel that it would be a great win for Ubuntu to be able to say that it natively supports connecting to Novell network drives.
10. Install a Windows game (Warcraft 3)
  • Difficulty Level: Hard
  • Description:
    • While Linux has some great games available, an Ubuntu user may want to play a Windows game that they have already purchased. Wine allows many applications to run in Linux, but it is unpredictable and requires a few steps to get working. Warcraft 3 is rated "Gold", but I still had to follow this tutorial to get it working. The steps included installing Wine, running "winecfg" to configure my drives and OS type, and creating a desktop launcher to start the game.
  • How it can be improved?:
    • Wine is getting better with every release, but you still need to research each application to see if it is supported. If it is supported, it will take a few steps to get Wine setup for it.
Overall, this process was not very hard, especially if you consider how far Linux has come in the past few years. Once I completed the steps described above, my computer was ready for me to use. Based on the specifications for Feisty, the next version of Ubuntu will require even less work to get going. You can be sure that I will create a similar post about that version and share my experiences.

Comments

  1. just to let you know, alot of those things can be done using automatix, just google it and you can installl nvidia drivers, codecs, and even wine with only a few clicks! it really helps getting ubuntu up and running fast.

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  2. =))) i run wc3 by def in wine and all fine work.

    use brain and google

    wbr from russia =)

    exelens

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  3. Anonymous,

    Automatix was created to meet an important need in Ubuntu, and it does a good job of getting things working in Ubuntu. However, it also has a history and reputation of not being "upgrade-friendly", which can cause problems when the user tries to upgrade to the next version of Ubuntu.

    There is an Ubuntu specification (planned feature) that provides similar functionality to what Automatix was designed to do. You can read more here:

    https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/common-customizations

    ReplyDelete
  4. Now, how would you rate, "Install Linux game on Windows?"

    ReplyDelete
  5. for gaming on linux you can always try to use cedega, go for it! it's a lot easier!

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  6. Installing Ubuntu was very easy however,
    Some apps I had to install on a fresh Ubuntu

    1. Flash
    2. Skype
    3. Google Earth
    4. Nvidia Linux (Quadro 1400)
    5. VLC

    1) install_flash_player_7_linux.tar.gz required me to use "from the command line type ./flashplayer-installer to run the installer (Note: this can only be run from the command line). The installer will instruct you to shut down your browser(s)"

    2)Installed easily thanks to its Debian installer. Skype has different installers for different distros. Which is nice ***

    3) Had to change permissions on GoogleEarthLinux.bin to make it executable before I could ./GoogleEarthLinux.bin

    4)Failed to install on Ubuntu. Red Hat or Suse support only. Unfortunately, this makes Google Earth and many graphics accelerated applications slow. There are forums with long instructions of getting this to work. Don't have time to spend getting Ubuntu to work.

    5) sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install vlc vlc-plugin-esd
    Reading package lists... Done
    Building dependency tree... Done
    E: Couldn't find package vlc

    The GUI instructions for VLC didn't work either. I chose Ubuntu because it is supposed to be Linux ready for the desktop and the latest, most trendy Linux distro of choice these days. Yet, it would seem that support for Red Hat/Fedora with rpm packages would be easier. Ubuntu is quite easy to install and I'll give it credit for that, but installing application isn't always easy.

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  7. I would just like to add a comment about wireless cards and laptops - Broadcom drivers are a little difficult to get up and running...

    That's all..

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Some sites you might find interesting:
    http://freedomdrive.org
    http://homecomputerhelp.org
    http://twoss.wordpress.com

    As Flash is not an open format, showing a Flash video during installation is a bad idea

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  9. It's called Terminal, not command prompt!

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  10. your forgot the most important thing:

    Hardware support without having to fiddle a whole day to get it working decently on Software SATA which is in 99% of new consumer level desktops.

    Laptop hardware support would also be must for Linux to be a serious contender for the consumer market desktop. For now, it`s a geek toy for desktops and a server OS.

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  11. I have to disagree with that last point. I recently installed WarCraft III in Ubuntu, and it was rather simple.

    Of course, you have to have Wine and your 3D drivers set up correctly first, but Wine is simple to get up and running, and EasyUbuntu takes care of 3D.

    I pretty much just had to stick in the CD, right click on the installer, and select "Run with wine." After the game was installed, I had to right click on the applications menu, select "Edit menus," browse to the Warcraft III entry, and add "-opengl" to the end. That's it. Could be easier, but I hardly think it ranks as "hard."

    I did experiance a minor sound syncing problem I had to launch winecfg to fix, but nothing that made the game unplayable.

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  12. besides automatix, there is also easyubuntu (http://easyubuntu.freecontrib.org/). i like it a little better but used in conjunction with automatix it makes all the setup for ubuntu a piece of cake.

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  13. No distribution of Linux, Ubuntu included, is ready for the common laptop. Getting the wifi to work is a all-day hair-tearing exercise in frustration (especially for WPA connections), and support for common mobile graphics chips like the ATI Radeon 200M is seriously lacking. (You have to go into the BIOS and disable the onboard video memory? WTF??) And forget about using the media card reader and the modem (though I don't care much about the latter).

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  14. The important point of this article is that a desktop Linux distribution is approaching the ease-of-use that Windows and/or MacOSX current enjoy.

    Identifying where common tasks get bogged down is the first step in fixing them.

    Good article.

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  15. Until Linux is made as easy for most users to use and install programs as Windows lots of luck.
    Linux seems to be for programmers to endlessly play with not for easy that is easy functionality for the average or not even not so average low knowledge computer user without 24/7 tech support help from a knowledgeable Linux user.
    www.sellyourmanitobacottage.com

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  16. support for streaming quicktime in firefox 2.0 would be awesome.

    and sharing an ubuntu machines printer to other os's like os x has got to be easier. i still cant get it to work even after going though cups files craziness.

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  17. My trial of ubuntu (also edgy eft, v. 6.10) lasted only a few hours. I found that after getting my preferred applications installed (tbird, wine, etc.) the OS slowed to a crawl. I also could not get over the vnc refresh problem some others have reported. Windows went back on my PC the same evening.

    http://mrshiney.froppy.com/blog

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  18. Ubuntu is pretty easy to install first time and even easier to keep up-to-date (add bits to etc.). I'm loving it, example wifi works out of the box, added wine no probs etc.

    BUT sadly (because I hate anything proprietary) there are some real show stoppers for people trying it out for the first time. Example - infra-red with mobile phones; I'm not talking full driver suites, just sending and receiving files. Or online media streaming like RealPlayer streams from BBC.

    However, I believe it's all just a matter of time. As long as the guys working on Ubuntu keep focused on the basics and don't get distracted by what is the "latest thing" in another OS.

    More stable basics please, then fancy stuff. Ubuntu looks like it's going in the right direction.

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  19. The dual-head issue has a few different faces here.... if you're just trying to get TwinView and Xinerama running with DRI on an Nvidia card, it's a snap (assuming you have at least some knowledge of xorg.conf layout).

    However trying to get dual-head working with different GPU families, say a Radeon and an Nvidia side by side... expect problems.

    Another one you could have put in the "hard" basket is getting WPA-PSK working on a wireless network, with a Libertas or other NDIS-only wifi set. No GUI assistance here.....

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  20. Well, remember "plug-n-pray" in Window$, and all the configs and such that we had to endure before that? It's just like starting over!

    Ubuntu is maturing, and while it's able to do most things commonplace, there's also the "long tail" apps and needs that may never be covered. The support community is great, and even though things like proprietary drivers, modem configurations and wireless networking leave much to be desired there (mainly the fault of the OEMs), it does a mighty fine job of what it is supposed to be; see: http://www.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/philosophy.

    Also as an Open Source product, additions to it can vary from fantastic to catastrophic - remember, there's no "corporate eye" mantaining strict QC on additions (for better or worse).

    GNU/Linux GUI variants still need more common sense than XP or Vista, but there will come a time when the era of "dual booting" ends.

    I can't wait!

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  21. I've heard great things about ubuntu's ease of use, so I tried installing several different versions (6.10 & 6.06 from both the live cd and alt version) of it onto a sony vaio yesterday and today with no luck whatsoever. It doesn't get past "unpacking kernnel, OK. Booting kernel..." I'm not looking for help here, just pointing out that as good as ubuntu may be, there are still too many situations in which it doesn't "just work" for it to bring about mass acceptance of linux. As much as I want to give ubuntu a try, I have to admit defeat - back to xp :(

    "Free software is only free if your time is worthless."

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  22. I've been wanting to put up an article similar to this but you beat me to it. I agree 100% with you. Many of us tech savvy people can usually figure out a method to fix some of these problems, but I find it hard to advocate mass amounts of users to use Ubuntu or many other Linux distros for these reasons.

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  23. 1/18 anon - I have installed Ubuntu on a few different laptops lately (Dell, apple, hp), and it works just as well as any desktop I have installed it on. Even the media keys have support...

    Good review, agree with all your points...

    I have to say the main strength of Ubuntu vs most other distros is the ease of finding tutorials for just about anything online.

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  24. I've heard anecdotally and read in reviews that some of the non-free dekstop distros do a better job of integrating this kind of stuff for easier set and greater obfuscation of the internals. I haven't bothered to buy any of them, though, so I can't offer my own opinion.

    Some of these issues truly need attention to allow Linux to compete more directly for the desktop market, and some of them are less important.

    For instance, SATA and WPA need to be supported. Period, end of story. There needs to be an easy way to install proprietary drivers, like nVidia's. iPods, digital cameras, etc--it all needs to plug and play (as much as licensing can permit) in order to really compete in the consumer OS market.

    Finally, there needs to be a global front end to all of the various textual config files that your average noob isn't going to be able to find in the file structure, even after they discover their existence via google. There's actually a project like this in the works somewhere, that uses definition files to present a regedit-like tree of various apps/services/devices/etc and their associated settings (twiddling the values in the conf files for you.)

    These kinds of simple improvements are what's holding back the Linux desktop--if the community wants wider adoption by users of lesser technical competence.

    Honestly, this isn't a big secret, and it wouldn't take long to knock off the most essential and successful of these kinds of elements present in OS X and Windows. (Especially since OS X had provided an excellent example of almost completely hiding it's core from casual users.) Rather, I think that the community hasn't really accepted the idea that Linux (and UNIX, by extension) should be truly 'easy,' with all of the associated implications and consequences.

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  25. I can do pretty much everything in this post without touching a command line in Ubuntu except change "nv" to "nvidia" and add the handful of extra lines to enable dual monitor support. Basically with a good howto it's one command:

    sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf

    Under Gnome you can install wine using synaptic, run wine once from the console to establish the directories, etc. and restart X. Once this is done double-clicking on a windows .exe will install it just like in windows and Edgy will automatically add the file to a "Wine" directory in applications.

    On a tangent I wonder how well Mac OS X would fair under the same scrutiny? :)

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  26. As a dedicated Ubuntu enthusiast, I look forward to your further discussion with delight.

    That said, permit me to point out that one little tiny issue raises its ugly head -- an issue you don't appear to have mentioned. The linux terminal proves easy and simple to use, provided that the commands you must enter have been accurately documented.

    The single biggest problem I have encountered personally while using Ubuntu (aside from dependency hell, which is a different issue, and only arises when you want to install the more obscure packages), is the fact that fairly often the online references giving you the commands to type into the terminal don't work.

    Or, worse, the commands wreck your system.

    Let me give you a specific concrete example. Always eager to make Ubuntu more useful, I decided a while back to install Automatix. Great idea! So I googled for the procedure and copied the commands down and entered 'em, one by one, into the command line.

    At the end of the process, Ubuntu informed me of a catastrophic error. Synaptic had been nuked and there was nothing to replace it. Ubuntu had become un-upgradeable except by entering extensive commands into the command line.

    Now, a seasoned linux user would point out that I made a fatal error by not backing up the .conf files before I rewrote 'em. A seasoned linux user would also note that I could theoretically fix the problem by tracking down the various .conf files and re-entering all the required commands and flags to restore Synaptic.

    The problem is that I do not know where all the required .conf files are, nor am I familiar with all the required commands and flags to restore Synaptic and get rid of the botched Automatix install. Indeed, were I familiar with such commands and falgs, it seems obvious that I would not need Synaptic, nor would I need Automatix, since these are GUIs designed expressly to avoid having to sudo and type all that stuff into the commadn line.

    The result of my failed effort to install Automatix?

    Ubuntu became unusable and after studying various files in /etc, it
    became obvious that the simplest and easiest way to fix my Ubuntu 6 system was just to wipe the hard drive and re-install it from scratch.

    The hard-core linux expert will sneer at this point and retort "RTFA." Alas, grepping for combos of Synaptic && conf produced info that wasn't what I needed. I did RTFA. After going through lots of man pages and getting nowhere, it became clear that the simpleast option involed just reinstalling Ubuntu from zero.

    This worked. You can see the problem, though. Making one mistake in typing in a command after you have sudo'd and entered the command line requires a non-expert linux user to wipe the hard drive and reinstall the entire system from scratch.

    I submit that this is an unreasonable learning curve. A better method? Find some way of making sure that if a user botches a command prompt (within reason: of course if the user does something crazy like sudo rm -rf* nothing will help a beginner -- an experienced user might be able to rebuild the file tree, but a beginner won't know how, and I certainly don't), the entire system won't get nuked.

    Indeed, something like this can be done with a simple alias command, unless I'm mistaken. You can force Ubuntu to ask for confirmation before each file delete by doing something like:

    $ alias rm='rm -i'

    Ubuntu should have more fine-grained install options than just "server" or "desktop." There should also be options "beginner" or "expert" for server and desktop. The "beginner" option would isntall using various scripts like the simple one above to prevent inexperienced users from trashing the entire system after the sudo to root and start typing stuff in at the command line. A "beginner" option might also runa script that watchdogs the user's commands in the terminal and, if the beginner tries to do something danger, the script might warn the user: "WARNING: THIS COMMAND WILL ERASE ALL FILES IN THE ROOT (or whatever). Are you sure you want to proceed? [Y / N ]"

    Right now if you google a command that someone botches and you sudo to root and runn it from the command line, you can wack your Ubuntu install completely through no fault of your own. Easy enough to say, "Let's make sure there's no bad info out there about Ubuntu," but, realistically, that's never going to happen.

    Much better to try to ensure that beginners can't nuke their Ubuntu install with a wrong command as easily as I did.

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  27. One thing that made my ubuntu a whole lot more usable:

    aptitude install kubuntu-desktop

    ;-)

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  28. I've got a new Dell Inspiron E1405, not exactly an obscure machine. I installed Ubuntu and have given up on it for 2 reasons.

    1. network - Dell Wireless 1500 Draft 802.11n WLAN Mini-Card - not only is it a royal pain to install, but every time I install the recommended updates, it dies. not real helpful

    2. video - I still can't get my video (intel 945GM) to display the standard 1280 x 800 with 32 bit colors.

    Between these 2 things, I've spent upwards of 8 hours scouring google and various wikis trying to make this a usable OS. I'm a fairly technical user, I program a little, use sql databases and I can't make it work like it should.

    Maybe I'll try again at some point, but for now it isn't ready for prime time.

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  29. I would recommend a few things to help you out in using Ubuntu. I recommend them quite often in #ubuntu on freenode to new users.

    First, to get your vid drivers working properly quickly, nothing beats the Envy scripts (http://albertomilone.com/nvidia_scripts1.html). Now that they support ATI drivers as well, it's quite literally a single command and everything just works after.

    Cedega (http://www.transgaming.com/) also makes games 'just work' in a nice, friendly format.

    Finally, I will recommend Easy Ubuntu (http://easyubuntu.freecontrib.org/) over Automatix every time. It does virtually the same thing, but doesn't 'break' package systems, it uses them instead.

    While, yes, you have to do some 'searching' for these tools, a quick stop in at #ubuntu on freenode IRC will usually get the recommendations rather quickly :)

    --SilentDis

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  30. I must say, upon installing ubuntu for the first time (my first experience of linux on my desktop) I was most impressed.

    It was a pain having to manually mount hard drives on my own machine though. Especially since each needed to specifically told what filesystem to use, even though the os could detect them all correctly anyway.

    It is just the unnecessary geek-oriented things like this which are holding linux back as a really viable windows alternative for the masses.

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  31. "What it takes to make Ubuntu ready for use":

    1. EasyUbuntu
    2. Automatix

    Voila!

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  32. I encourage anyone new to Ubuntu and Linux to try doing things "the hard way." In other words, don't be afraid of the command line.

    This will take more time and effort on your part, but as in many things the greater the effort, the greater the learning and reward. I made the switch a month ago and am very happy with the results.

    I recommend the book _Ubuntu Linux for Non-Geeks_, by Rickford Grant. It's a quick, friendly read that provides a nice, hands-on overview of the OS.

    I'm a programmer and believe Ubuntu still isn't quite ready for those who'd like to turn on their computer and have it "just work" like an appliance. It will do some things perfectly at first, but before long a user is bound to encounter a situation where they need to dig into additional configuration/installation issues (although with the help of a good book and the Web these issues won't be insurmountable for many users).

    Good luck!

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  33. Anonymous said:
    The important point of this article is that a desktop Linux distribution is approaching the ease-of-use that Windows and/or MacOSX current enjoy.

    Ubuntu is one of my favorite Linux distributions. I actually prefer to use one the BSD's (netbsd specifically) for my un*x machines, but that is another story. When I decided to install Linux on some older SUN hardware, Ubuntu was up and running fast. Ubuntu, while it is IMO by far the closest thing to Linux ready for the desktop is still a long ways off from being "Desktop Ready". The anonymous user above said that it is approaching the ease of use of Windows and/or MacOS X. I disagree. It is approaching the ease of use of Windows 98, but it is nowhere near the ease of use of MacOS X

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  34. I was able to configure dual monitors by opening konsole and typing nvidia-settings or something like that. Sometimes the program that this opens is in the menu under system I believe. It was a simple gui and in a few clicks I had dual monitors.

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  35. Well , the fact that everybody is having different results with installing Ubunutu/Kubuntu indicates that it is still not quite ready for main stream but damn it is getting close.
    I have had no problems on my Acer Aspire 3500 with wireless working straight up, automatix doing a great job and easy to choose my video driver through system settings.
    I very rarely use Windows anymore and have found yet another reason not to use it as I can now run Internet Explorer 6, 5.5 and 5 allowing me to remain in Ubuntu to check web coding. See my post at http://thewizardalbany.blogspot.com/2007/01/another-reason-not-to-use-windows.html
    to find out how?

    ReplyDelete
  36. That address should have been
    http://thewizardalbany.blogspot.com/2007/01/
    another-reason-not-to-use-windows.html

    ReplyDelete
  37. I've noticed a lot of people (mostly anonymous... possibly all the same person) complaing about Linux support for wireless. I first installed Fedora and then Debian. In both instances getting my wireless card proved to be a pain. Then I tried installing Ubuntu and had to merely follow these three steps:

    1. Insert Ubuntu install CD.
    2. Select wireless connection.
    3. Surf internet.

    I know a lot of things in Linux can be tough to do, and I'm not saying that it is totally ready for the mainstream but Ubuntu has (from my experience) superb wireless driver support.

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  38. Regarding the dual screens setup... went through a similar hassle. But if you use KDE (kubuntu), you will find it immediately recognizes your screens.

    This may be useful if you dont want to switch OS, as you can add the KDE window manager to kubuntu.

    First do an update:
    # sudo aptitude update
    Then install KDE (kubuntu desktop):
    # sudo aptitude install kubuntu-desktop

    Log out of ubuntu, and in the login (splash) screen select a different session type (KDE).

    ItÅ› better to use aptidude, as compared to apt-get or Synaptic because it does a better job of rempving it should you want to do so (sudo aptitude remove kubuntu-desktop)

    Enjoy.

    For a list of apps that work for me in ubuntu (or kubuntu) read http://marcelo-bbt.blogspot.com/
    2007/02/favorite-apps-in-ubuntu.html

    ReplyDelete
  39. Anonymous said...
    ...
    > Indeed, something like this can be > done with a simple alias command,
    > I'm mistaken. You can force Ubuntu to > ask for confirmation before each file > delete by doing something like:
    >
    > $ alias rm='rm -i'

    This will kill scripts...
    Then those scripts will get modified to use ``rm -f'' instead of rm and hen we are back to square one...

    >
    > Ubuntu should have more
    > fine-grained install options than just > "server" or "desktop." There should

    I would also like to have more options at install time like RH/Fedora...

    > also be options "beginner" or "expert" > for server and desktop. The "beginner"

    And this mechanism should "learn" as the user gets more comfortable :)

    As the user starts doing more advanced, potentially dangerous operations successfully, the system, can change the settings from "beginner" to "advanced", gradually.

    > option would isntall using various
    > scripts like the simple one above to
    > prevent inexperienced users from
    > trashing the entire system after the
    > sudo to root and start typing stuff in > at the command line. A "beginner"
    > option might also runa script that
    > watchdogs the user's commands in the
    > terminal and, if the beginner tries to
    > do something danger, the script might > warn the user: "WARNING: THIS COMMAND
    > WILL ERASE ALL FILES IN THE ROOT (or
    > whatever). Are you sure you want to
    > proceed? [Y / N ]"

    You mean hooks in coreutils/fs?

    Frodo B

    ReplyDelete
  40. @Innatech

    There's actually a project like this in the works somewhere, that uses definition files to present a regedit-like tree of various apps/services/devices/etc and their associated settings (twiddling the values in the conf files for you.)

    [Frodo B]: Which project is this? Does it work across distros?

    Frodo B

    ReplyDelete
  41. @Anonymous said...

    [parts-deleted]
    Getting the wifi to work is a all-day hair-tearing exercise in frustration (especially for WPA connections),

    [Frodo B]: Nothing of the sort... I used a secure (with password) with no trouble on my laptop running kubuntu feisty.

    and support for common mobile graphics chips like the ATI Radeon 200M is seriously lacking. (You have to go into the BIOS and disable the onboard video memory? WTF??)

    [Frodo B]: I was able to get compiz-fusion running and many effects like jelly-windows on my laptop with this chip(200M). Did you separately install the ATI graphics card?

    Frodo B
    [parts-deleted]

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