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Ubuntu Page

I have decided to separate my posts about Ubuntu on settings and my thoughts on the OS on this page.  I get a ton of hits from people trying to configure TV tuners and dual screens and such.  You will find all of that information here.

Daily Scoop & Related Links

This post came from a Daily Scoop entry and is the follow-up to my original post about Ubuntu 8.04.  I have found several pages and helpful documents that I have used in order to make my Hardy Heron installation work excellently.  So without further ado- here are the things that help make this wonderful OS something workable.

From Fosswire is a Ubuntu cheat sheet based in .pdf format.  Here is the link to the page where you can download and view the .pdf.  This is possible the best and easiest guide I’ve seen.  Especially good for users like me who really know nothing about the command line.

From the Ubuntu How-To site is a great guide for all things Hardy Heron.  I used their other guides for previous version of the OS.

The following is code to install drivers for a Happaugue USB TV Tuner called the HVR-950.  I found these lurking on the internet and wanted to duplicate them in case the site went down at some point.  Hit the original instructions for details about other Ubuntu releases and how to install these drivers.  I haven’t tried these instructions yet on 8.04 but I’m pretty sure they will work.  The issue is finding software to play the TV signal on.

sudo su

apt-get install mercurial linux-headers-$(uname -r) linux-source build-essential

cd /lib/firmware

wget http://konstantin.filtschew.de/v4l-firmware/firmware_v4.tgz

tar xvzf firmware_v4.tgz

hg clone http://mcentral.de/hg/~mrec/v4l-dvb-experimental

cd v4l-dvb-experimental

make

make install

reboot

sudo modprobe em2880-dvb

If on the next reboot, the card stops working the em2880-dvb module is not being loaded properly in Feisty. To fix this :

cd /etc/modprobe.d
sudo gedit dvbstick

then add this line to the new dvbstick file :
install em28xx /sbin/modprobe --ignore-install em28xx; /bin/sleep 2; /sbin/modprobe em2880-dvb

Reboot your system

Initial Impressions

I’d like to preface this post by saying that I’ve tried Ubuntu a number of times, but have not been able to make it my day-to-day OS.  Additionally, I will not pretend to be well-versed in Linux customization or configuration, but you could say that I’m an normal desktop user.

Let me just say that my initial impression to the new OS was fantastic.  Everything was silky smooth and fast as hell.  I installed Ubuntu 8.04 by means of Wubi- a new installation method that installs the OS through Windows (just like you would install any other program).  You reboot and choose Ubuntu through the Windows Boot Menu and it completes the installation.  The whole thing took me less than 20 minutes.  This process is much easier than worrying about partitioning the drive yourself and worrying about deleting files.  You choose how much space you want to give Ubuntu and you are good to go.  Apparently, the speed of the Wubi-installed Ubuntu is slower than one installed directly to its own partition, but I have yet to experience a problem.  You can also uninstall Ubuntu from Windows through Add/Remove Programs.  This is the first of the wonderful additions that Ubuntu has added to their already outstanding OS.

After I logged in and the setup was complete, I was pleased to see that the wallpaper had been updated and slight refreshes have been made to some of the design elements.  Immediately, I enabled visual effects and every click became a delightful flurry of eye candy.  Some people tout this technology (Compiz Effects) as worthless, but it makes the GUI a smooth, dynamic experience.  This is a big step up from 7.10 since a lot of the time the visual effects would hiccup.  Another welcome addition was the automatically working forward/backward buttons on the mouse for internet browsers.  Before, you had to change the configuration file and mess around a lot.  Users like me first not only don’t know how to do that, but additionally worry about messing something up.  It finally works without any hassle or setup- right out of the box.

Possibly the best addition to this version of Ubuntu is far better dual monitor support.  I have a 20″ Dell widescreen that works great under Vista and Mac OSX.  I could never manage to get this monitor to work with prior versions and without too much problem I was able to configure dual monitor support in a short amount of time.  When I went into the monitor management program, it would not pick up the second monitor.  I had to type in “sudo nvidia-settings” and configure it through there.  I enabled the monitor and xinerama to get the setup I wanted.  Additionally, it works just as well as Windows or Mac machines.

I’ll be writing a more specific, detailed review of Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron in due time.  I will highlight areas it would still improve in and detail more things I like about it.  Check back in a week or two for that post.  I also hope to do a post dealing with security programs in Ubuntu since Unix/Linux machines are great for finding vulnerabilities and flaws in computers and security.

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2 responses to “Ubuntu Page

  1. VikingErik

    June 6, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    “good for users like me who really know nothing about the command line.”

    Riiiiiiight. It’s a decent guide but not enough to pull those. Nice job. I’ve had a Hauppage dual tuner sitting in a box for awhile and just never got around to installing it. I’m a bit heartened to think it might go well but I’ll admit I was slow on jumping into the new Ubuntu version. (The box is also my 1.5TB file server and I don’t often take chances with it.)

     

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