After the successfull installation of xubuntu 12.04 the laptop finally boots into the xfce desktop enviroment. So what to do next? Do this first in Xubuntu has you covered. I also read through the mentioned “14 bug solutions” and the “10 mistakes you should avoid”. So basically I am all setup for further experiments with xubuntu now. Did all the updating and so forth, decreased swappiness. So I started playing around with customizing my desktop a little, little bit by installing another dock. I choose Docky simply because I dont know, it looked good on some forum post. Simply
sudo apt-get install docky and the little thing gets installed right to your system. Configuration is not that hard but remember to enable “display compositing” in the “Window manager tweaks” system settings. It looks better!
I already had some linux experience way back, so I knew some terminal commands but I forgot most of them or didn’t remember them correctly. So I had to google a bit and found this really nice help. It lists the basic terminal commands and explains what they do. So kinda like a man page for terminal use. Also this: How to use linux! Keep this in mind if wanna familiarize yourself with linux. I throw my laptop under the cupboard every now and then simply because it doesn’t help if get to caught up in projects and start yelling at the screen out of my own incompetence.
Short disclaimer at the beginning: I already have some stuff running on my laptop, had the idea with blog while I read through all those documetations, so now for the first few posts I gonna try to recreate what I already have done to the poor machine.
So I got this old laptop from my wife flying around here. It’s an Acer Aspire 1350LM. The only datasheet I found is from this german site.
I had DamnSmallLinux (DSL) running on it a while ago cause I used the laptop as a musicbox in a basement. It did the job but was rather clunky and stiff. At least it was small which was the main concern. So now, what distro to choose? Would ubuntu run on it? Feeding google with “learning linux”, “linux distros” and the such I quickly had a brief idea of which way to go. Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Kubuntu had quite some nice reviews specially suitable for older machines. So I gave it a shot and downloaded Xubuntu 13.10. I followed this guide to make a bootable USB-stick with my mac, I should note that the steps of the tutorial to convert the downloaded .iso file into an .img file are not necessary. You can make a bootable USB with an .iso file!
Gladly the laptop already supports USB-booting but sadly the xubuntu 13.10 build kept crashing. The shell worked but as soon as I wanted to start X it stopped and hang. Alot has changed the last decade. Graphics are now done in the kernel, xorg.conf is not really needed any more. So that was new. There are some drivers out there for the freaky chipset (Via KN4000) this laptop uses as graphicscard but downloading the LTS 12.04 version of xubuntu in this case did the job.
So, onwards to the installation Xubuntu 12.04!
with steamOs on the horizon, I thought it might be a good time to take a closer look into linux again. I always liked the idea of a free, opensource, crowd computed, highly customizable, super efficient operating system. So after a buddy of mine started diving into FreeBSD back in the days, now almost 15 years ago, I blindly tried to follow him and kind of failed due to the fact that I was also a bit lazy. Why work on an OS when you have a fine running windows machine on which you can do whatever you want?! Well, it took a couple of years til I gained more understanding of what it means “to do whatever you want” and now with the recent mass-surveilance of innocent citizens of whatever country with the help of proprietary software of tech-monoliths I really like the idea of an open OS which is controlled by the people and doesnt control the people. At least thats the idea.
Wow, I kinda lost track, I started because of games and now make statemenst about surveilance and tech-giants spying on us. I guess it all comes together somehow. I want to learn linux because I was always interested in computer and such stuff, I think Valves decision to build their own OS based on the linux kernel has great potential to change the whole PERSONAL-Computer game. Stating that the computer is personal again might be a nice marketing campaign but yet has to be fullfilled by those claiming it. With linux it was and is always possible. Yet there is the problem of embarking and diving into new things for alot of people. Linux doesnt have a reputation of being easy to learn and use, if you like it or not. Yet I think alot of things have changed in the last 15 years when I first entered the outskirts of linuxtown.
People only need to be able to use an OS, they dont need to program it. Windows, in my opinion, is highly complex yet people dont fear using it cause it makes it easy for them to just scratch the surface of possibilitys. MacOS goes a step further, it strips the main interface of all the complex stuff and presents you a nice sleak user experience, streamlined to be working, easy and enjoyable. Both OS come preinstalled with a new computer depending on which model you purchase. And thats a big problem for linux marketshare. Accessibility has been highly increased over the last decade. There are distros like ubuntu, opensuse, elemtaryOs (beta), just to name a few, which make it very easy for the normal user to install said OS on their computer. If linux would come preinstalled on computers I guess people would use it, at least for a while. Compatiblity issues and choice of software aside. I know there are companies selling computers with preinstalled linux but it hasn’t reached the big market yet. I cant simply go into a store and chose between Win8, MacOSX and a popular linux-distro.
tldr; The purpose of this blog is mainly a documentation of fails/succes of my linux projects and attempts, but of course theres gonna be alot of attitude and opinion for free with my posts. I do not claim to know shit about linux, I’m a noob so take my opinion as such.