Sunday, July 29, 2012

LINUX - Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Well, back to Ubuntu, specifically Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and I installed the GNOME Desktop.

Back when, I started with Ubuntu, my laptop came with it pre-installed. I left Ubuntu because they went to the UNITY Desktop.

Well UNITY Desktop sucks, really. Talk about making things hard to find.

Of course Ubuntu 12.04 LTS installs with the UNITY Desktop, but it was very easy to install the GNOME Desktop after I was sure Ubuntu worked.

Ubuntu 12.04 with GNOME Classic Desktop
  1. Got Ubuntu working the first time after install
  2. Got folder sharing working in just a few clicks (incl prompt for SAMBA install and auto setup)
  3. After sharing worked, got my shared-printer (via my WinXP desktop system) in just 3 steps
  4. Installed GNOME Desktop (via Terminal commands) and chose the environment after reboot (at the logon dialog)
  5. Almost forgot, Ubuntu recognized my laptop's camera, the other distributions I tried did not
  6. The other reason for Ubuntu is that it includes built-in Upgrade, you do not have to do a full install 
  7. Found the Synaptiks Touchpad Management utility in the Ubuntu Software Center, which allows you to disable the touchpad when your mouse is connected !!!
So, my laptop is working (so far) flawlessly.

PS - Live and Learn:

There is a warning about installing the GNOME Shell (aka Desktop). Use only one method.

There are many souces to do this, which is the too-many-chefs symptom of OpenSouce software.

  • You CAN install the shell from Ubuntu's Software Center, just search "gnome."
  • Alternate method is go to the source, GNOME. At the bottom of this page is the "click away" link to install GNOME on Ubuntu. 
  • Alternate method (which I used) is to use Termainal commands. The one I recommend is "Installing Gnome 3 on Ubuntu 12.04" article, which uses the GNOME3-Team Repositories. Make sure in get the GNOME Tweak Tool. This method gives you the Enviroment Select Menu (upper-right icon in logon) shown below. Of course I selcected GNOME Classic.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

LINUX - openSUSE 12.1

Time for an update.

As I have said in previous articles, I have a laptop that I got for the purpose of leaning Linux OS.

It came with Ubuntu installed, I loaded Linux Mint 10 next.  I just loaded openSUSE 12.1 with the KDE desktop. This is an OpenSource version of  Novell SUSE.

This version, or distribution, comes with GNOME and KDE (default) desktops, so you can choose which to install.  I choose the KDE desktop because it looks more Windows-like.

GNOME Desktop
My KDE Desktop

Although I am still experimenting with my installation, I have already found some nice features:
  • It can be upgraded without doing a full-install (Linux Mint 10 does not have this feature built-in)
  • Right-click the [Application Launcher] icon (far left, Gecko icon) and it has a Menu Editor option
  • Note ALL icons you see, including those in the Taskbar, are Widgets in this distribution, and I found out that you have to Lock Widgets if you don't want a screw-up
  • It includes a Touch Pad utility that has the option to disable the touch pad if an USB Mouse is connected (nice, very nice)
  • Note that the Taskbar is made up of Panels and Widgets, which you can add Widgets and move components IF you Unlock Widgets

My KDE Desktop with Application Launcher open

Note I had to change the launcher configuration (right-click Gecko icon to see option) to Disable Hover to make it easier to use.

My Taskbar close up
I am still playing around with openSUSE, but here's some things I've already found NOT-up-to-muster:
  • The included version of System Information (sysinfo) does not work like the one Linux Mint 10 had which could generate a full report on everything on my system that I could print
  • Finding some apps in the Application Launcher can be difficult, but it does have a Search Bar which occasionally shows an app that I could NOT navigate to (the search-result does not show location)
  • I am still trying to get the [SHARE] folder to actually share with my WinXP Desktop (getting help from forum experts), it was much easier in Linux Mint 10
Well, that all for now. I'll likely be updating this post.

UPDATE (as promised):

 My run of openSUSE failed...
  • Had 3  crashes that cause me to do a full reinstall
  • Never got SAMBA sharing to work properly (caused one of the crashes)
  • Since sharing did not work, of course I couldn't connect to my shared pringer
So, on to something else....