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Tag Archives: distro hopping

Linux Mint 14 KDE Release Candidate on Gateway NV79 laptop

My old Compaq desktop recently decided that Microsoft Vista was no longer welcome. I mean, Vista just wouldn’t boot. Linux booted fine, but no amount of reinstalls, tweaks, etc. would get Vista going. I needed Vista only for the purpose of running a Microsoft Access database. So, I decided that this was as good of an excuse as I was going to get for buying myself a decent laptop.

I thought I would try to get something with Intel based cpu and graphics, since everything I currently used had older Nvidia graphics, and AMD processors. I just wanted to see how Linux and Intel get along. I should have studied up on things a bit more before buying!

I purchased a used Gateway NV79 from Ebay, with Intel i5 cpu, and ATI Mobility Radeon HD graphics. Windows 7 works beautifully, Linux, not so much…

I tried the following Linux distributions…

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Linux Mint 14 64bit Cinnamon: no backlight on monitor after bootup

Siduction 12.2.0 -rc2 64 bit: no backlight on monitor after bootup

OpenSuse 12.2 rc 64 bit: no backlight on monitor after bootup

Antix 12: monitor backlight worked, but wireless network wouldn’t.

Rosa 2012 64 bit: no backlight on monitor after bootup

Kubuntu 13.04 alpha 1 64 bit: no backlight on monitor after bootup

Fedora 18 beta 64 bit: no backlight on monitor after bootup

Chakra 2012.12 64 bit: don’t remember for sure, but I think the monitor worked, but the wireless didn’t.

And FINALLY… I discovered the download for the upcoming Linux Mint 14 KDE version, and… everything works, once it is fully installed. The laptop monitor backlight did NOT work while running from the live-dvd, meaning that I had to shine a flashlight on the monitor to see what was going on during installation. That’s a little tricky… because it’s easy to lose track of your cursor… but once installation was complete, and I rebooted from the hard drive, everything works beautifully. Well… as long as I don’t close the laptop lid. Then the backlight goes off, and I have to get the flashlight and log out of the desktop and log in again, and the backlight comes back on. (Edit, 2/28/13: I’ve since discovered that Ctrl>Alt>backspace, which logs out of KDE, will bring the backlight back on, and allow me to log in and get to work. I am still using this installation, and am quite happy with it, and with the new laptop!)

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Posted by on December 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Linking in Linux: a real timesaver!

I recently discovered a Linux feature that had escaped my notice for nearly a decade: the use of links.

While installing a new OS (Bodhi 1.2, I think it was), I was wishing for a way to keep my data safe on a separate partition while still having easy access to it from within my new installation. I knew there must be a way. I decided to play around with linking.

First I learned the hard way. For example, if I wanted my new OS to link to my .mozilla profile on the data partition, I would first remove the new OS’s /home/les/.mozilla file, (rm /home/les/.mozilla), and then create the link like this: ln -s /home/les/.mozilla /path-to-my-existing-.mozilla-profile. When I did this, to my utter amazement, Firefox opened up on my brand new OS with all my bookmarks, history, personas, etc.! Next I tried the same with /home/les/.thunderbird, and guess what… it brought in all my mail, account setups, etc. Now I was excited!

Finally, I discovered the easy way to do this. Normally I use KDE’s Dolphin filemanager, and I set it up with the split window option like so:

My Dolphin setupI navigate the left pane to my new OS’s /home/username folder. I navigate the right pane to my /home/username folder on the partition that contains my data. Then on the left pane I delete the empty folders that I won’t be needing, for example, Documents. Then in the right pane, I select the Documents folder and drag it to the left pane. I am then given the options “Move here/Copy here/Link here.” I select “Link here,” and it creates a link to the Documents folder on my Data partition! No more waiting while thousands of documents are copied to the new OS! This has worked like a charm, and even though it exposes the lack of depth in my Linux geekiness, I just had to share it. Perhaps someone else will be spared the multiple hours of copying files that I have wasted in the last decade!

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Enjoying “Stability” with Linux Mint Debian Edition

Update: Have since installed the 64-bit version of LMDE, and am just as happy. Although I’d like to have a more current version of Firefox than 3.6.13, it really works fine, and the 4.whatever versions don’t run all of the plugins I’m used to having. So, it’s really not much of an issue. I am still “enjoying the stability.”

I was excited when I first heard that Linux Mint was going to put out a Debian-based edition. I have been using it regularly almost since the day it came out, and have been loving it. I like the rolling release idea. I just today discovered How-To-Forge’s L.M.D.E. “Perfect Desktop” guide. Falko Temme creates these guides for many of the major Linux releases. That made it easy for me to find and install Skype (…now I just have to learn how to use it!)

My LMDE desktop 12/3/2010

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Wow! Maybe things are coming together in the Linux world…

After some things were a little funny in Kubuntu 10.04, (like log out and shutdown buttons not working… I have a low tolerance for stupid little frustrations…) I got Mint 9 KDE version installed, and it is running beautifully. The WOW is for the way it automatically found and setup my HP Photosmart Premium printer as soon as I turned it on. No hunting for drivers, no messing with CUPS… it just automatically configured it and it works!

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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“Generating grub.cfg” won’t finish….

A brand new installation of Kubuntu 10.04 always requires updates, including an updated kernel. The new kernel forces synaptic to run grub-update. My problem was that it just wouldn’t finish! It would hang at “Generating grub.cfg.” I finally figured out: unplug the usb cable to my printer, which has an SD slot in it for picture cards. Once I did that, and did a “sudo dpkg –configure -a” in Konsole, the update could finish as normal. I wonder if that is what made Mint 9 KDE installation keep halting at “Looking for other operating systems…” Hmmm. I’ll have to give that a try…

Update: I tried the Mint installation again, but I had to physically disconnect my second hard drive (where I keep my /home directory) and install to the entire first hard drive (no more Kubuntu) before I could get it to install completely. I kept getting stuck at “looking for other OS’s… ” when it was trying to install grub to the main hard drive’s MBR (master boot record). And THEN, as soon as I went to update the new Mint, I was stuck again at “generating grub.cfg… ” The workaround I finally found (somewhere on Ubuntu forums, I think) was to append this line to the bottom of /etc/default/grub:

GRUB_DISABLE_OS_PROBER=true

Then I was able to reboot, update through Synaptic, and it configured the new kernel, updated grub.cfg, etc. without a hiccup.

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Kubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala screenshot…

I have taken a long and winding road since my last post, but have landed (for now) with Kubuntu 9.10. I had worked through the pain of setting up Arch Linux with KDEmod repositories and all, but could not seem to get past a dysfunctional Akonadi server, which would pester me every time I wanted to open Kmail or Korganizer or Kontact. So now, all is working very nicely with Kubuntu Karmic.

I did have an issue with installation… the live CD installation would stop every time with “scanning disks” at 47%, and simply would not proceed. I got around that by downloading the Alternate Install CD.

Here is a screenshot:

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Kubuntu 9.10 screenshot using "Elegance" plasma theme and Quicklauncher taskbar widget

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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Sabayon 4.2 KDE was a mistake…

Sabayon 4.2 is a very beautiful Linux distribution, which is what attracted me to give it a try. Additionally, their packages are pretty close to the bleeding edge, which is what I generally prefer. Once I had it set up, I was quite happy with it, except for one thing… it is Gentoo based. I simply can’t get my head wrapped around the package management terminology and procedures, being so accustomed to apt-get and Synaptic with most of the Debian based distros I have used.

After several weeks of “wrassling” with it, I managed yesterday to bork the installation by allowing it to do a kernel update without doing the proper nvidia update that goes along with it. When I rebooted, it just gave me the black screen and a blinking white cursor in the top left corner. I did manage to figure my way out of that dilemma for a little while. (Ctrl-Alt-F1 got me to a terminal session, where I could login with my username and password, and use equo to install the nvidia driver).

However, once back on the desktop, I made the mistake of saying yes when the “equo update && equo world –ask” command wanted to clean up “unneeded” packages. Basically it removed practically all of KDE, and rebooting left the machine in an unusable, unfixable (by me) state.

Oh well. Back to Mint 7 again.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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