Saturday, April 28, 2007

Feisty'ng Yawa, stucked and getting to know LinuxMint

It seems Feisty has installation problems that were reported here and here that both unfortunately bugged me on my attempts to install Feisty on two different machines. More Google results on the said problem are here.

I had no problems installing the Dapper and Edgy versions of Ubuntu on the same machines so I just thought why waste my time on a version that won't properly install on PCs where previous versions can (without any glitch!). Sorry for me, no upgrade this time until they resolve the bug.

But then, thanks to LinuxMint 2.2 (Bianca) which somehow satisfied my itch to upgrade my office PC.

The purpose of this Ubuntu-based distribution, according to its website, is “to produce an elegant, up to date and comfortable GNU/Linux desktop distribution.” There is support out of the box for numerous multimedia codecs, encrypted DVDs, as well as the latest Flash and Java plugins. (Yes, I know its illegal in some countries. :-> )

Installation is almost exactly the same easy way as how you install Edgy Eft (in which Bianca is based) on your PC. I had no problems installing LinuxMint on a PIV 1.7 Ghz 512 MB Nvidia VC and on a PIV 3.0 Ghz 256 MB built-in VC.

The initial interface is much like Vista or XP if you wish. It uses a menu system that works like SLAB in Suse. I kinda like the menu system but when I right clicked on an item in which I am trying to find an option to add it on the desktop or panel... the only option is to Add to Favorites. I always use that option so I was a bit disappointed not to see it. I hope someday they could add that feature on this gorgeous menu system.

It doesn't have a workspace switcher by default on the panel. Beagle search is the default desktop search engine. No games included. No Gimp.

Despite being without workspace switcher, games, and Gimp... it has all the necessary codecs and plugins to play movies and music. No problems playing a movie at YouTube, or using Chikka JavaLite. I can play 3pg, mp3, and other formats by default. I can also play .flv but I have to install VLC media player coz other media players installed (Totem and Mplayer) doesn't play it properly (no sound). I also installed RealPlayer which is best for .3pg playing.

No problem detecting USB flash drives and sound. I installed nvidia-glx for the Nvidia VC the same way I once installed it on Dapper and Edgy and it just works.

Honestly, I don't like any interface that resembles Windows XP anymore. So, in an instant I modified the panels and everything to make it look like Ubuntu. I don't like the default theme and wallpaper. I went to System -> Preferences -> Theme and chose the pre-installed the Bea theme which is a blue tango inspired theme. I also used the simply blue Bea wallpaper. I love it.

I tried Beryl which installed and works flawlessly on LinuxMint but I uninstalled it soon afterwards since I am not really a fan of eye candy. You may also use Automatix with LinuxMint.

Other than codecs, what does LinuxMint have that its parent Ubuntu doesn't? It has mintDisk, mintDesktop, and mintConfig. With mintDisk, you easily mount NTFS partitions with read and write powers, mintDesktop is much like the desktop options in Windows OS, while mintConfig is its customized Control Center.

Oh yes, on your home directory... there are already folders like Documents, Videos, Projects, Network, Pictures, etc with the appropriate emblems. Pretty neat.

I inspected /etc/apt/sources.list and it actually uses the same Ubuntu and MediBuntu repositories plus a one line LinuxMint repository (in which I think where you can get the mint tools).

Although I am not sure if Bianca will stay on my PC for a long time, I'll surely keep its installer handy especially for installations on internet-less PCs (less hassle).

Next upcoming version is Cassandra which is most likely based on Ubuntu Feisty. I do sure hope that Cassandra already has the fix for the above reported bug... more reason for me to keep LinuxMint longer on my PC.

For the meantime, I must say that I am disappointed with Feisty... I hope not for long.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

To do with Feisty!

I am yet to install Feisty on my PC but here's already my short list of to-do's, to wit:
  1. Install VMWare and learn how to install different OS's.
  2. Install IE4Linux, just for fun.
  3. Install and setup a working LAMP.
  4. Get an account at to acquire a static domain.
  5. Setup my PC so that I can ssh (or VNC) to it when I am out of the office.
  6. Install and play with Beryl!
That's all for now. I just thought that I have been using Desktop Linux for two years and its about time that I experiment with other things than I can do with Linux (other than fiddling with proxy servers and iptables all the time).

This forever linux newbie is getting excited!

Paying it Forward

Dom promised to send me a copy of the latest Ubuntu (Feisty Fawn) installer. I haven't met Dom in person or even online. He's from Dumaguete.

The only thing he asked me in return is free beer when he visits Tarlac. (But I read from a comment on his blog that he doesn't really drinks beer!) But then, what the heck... I am a beer drinker so no problem with free beer.

Pay it forward or paying it forward refers to repaying the good deeds one has received by doing good things for other unrelated people.

Just like Dom, I am paying his kindness forward... (of course, I am still reserving that free beer for him)... anyone who would want to have a free Ubuntu Feisty Fawn delivered thru mail, just email me your mailing info at No fancy CD here, just works.

And if you can bring your laptop or PC here at my humble office (which looks like a bodega sale for PCs) at the Local Government Unit of Gerona, Tarlac... I may even help you install Ubuntu Feisty Fawn... for free!

There's one condition though: you have to promise me that you'll burn the installer CD (at least) into three copies and then give it to your friends, or just about anyone who would want to have an Ubuntu Feisty Fawn installer.


Of course, free beer shall also be greatly appreciated :)

Addendum: Oh yes! I'm also waiting for a CD from Chin who also promised to send me one :)