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Table of Contents

My life with Ubuntu 4.10 through 6.06

My life with Ubuntu before Edgy is documented on my page on Warty, Hoary, Breezy and Dapper. This page also holds various interesting miscellaneous links.

My 64-bit life with Ubuntu Linux 6.10 and 7.04

Along with some new hardware, I gave the 64-bit branch a chance, trying to squeeze a bit more (or rather 32 bits more) performance out of the stuff we got.

As you can see below, I've switched back to 32-bit Ubuntu again in the meantime -- mainly because of problems such as not having had a Sun-official Firefox-plugin back then, being stuck with installation/configuration-issues with w32codecs (though there is a 64-bit package available, as I've learned in the meantime) or similar.
(It might well be that some of the issues I didn't like on the 64-bit architecture have already been addressed. With my next full re-install, I might give 64-bit a chance again -- let's see when it's due.)

Ubuntu Linux 7.10: Gutsy Gibbon

With Gutsy Gibbon, I switched back from 64-bit to plain 32-bit.

However, before I start, here's a link on the current format used to entries in the fstab -- quite interesting in comparison to the traditional approach: Understanding fstab.

(gutsy) Installation, basic packages and graphics drivers

Here's a list of packages I installed additionally:

(gutsy) Java, Flash, Skype and Acrobat Reader

(gutsy) Visual desktop effects

Really really great features are "real transparency" (ALT + mousewheel) and the zoom (SUPER + mousewheel).
For fine-tuning of desktop effects, install compizconfig-settings-manager (depends: python-compizconfig) -- also see e.g. How to set up Compiz Fusion.
Select "System > Advanced Desktop Effects Settings" (or run the command "ccsm"). IMHO nice effects to enable include:

(gutsy) Multimedia support

BTW: A useful command line tool I found is jhead: shows, edits and uses EXIF data of JPEG files.

(gutsy) Mouse buttons

I used btnx to get all my mouse buttons to work, also see this btnx-thread in ubuntuforums.

Update, 09-04-25: However, note that I'm having some issues on Ubuntu 9.04. Olli Salonen added a note on his webpage about upcoming problems with some distros, referring to a similar tool as an alternative: easystroke. See below for details.

Here's what I did for "btnx":

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential libgtk2.0-0 libgtk2.0-dev libglade2-0 lib
glade2-dev pkg-config
  [dependencies: libxml2-dev]

$ wget http://www.ollisalonen.com/btnx/btnx-0.3.2.tar.gz
$ tar -xvvf btnx-0.3.2.tar.gz
$ cd btnx-0.3.2
$ make
$ sudo make install

$ wget http://www.ollisalonen.com/btnx/btnx-config-0.2.1.tar.gz
$ tar -xvvf btnx-config-0.2.1.tar.gz
$ cd btnx-config-0.2.1
$ ./configure --prefix=/opt/btnx-config
$ make
$ sudo make install

- Run "Applications > System Tools > btnx":
  detect mouse and mouse-buttons
  configure mouse-buttons (such as "Back" to "ALT+Left", etc.)
  enable the buttons you want to be handled by btnx
    (e.g. all buttons but left, right, wheel up, wheel down, middle button)
  save configuration and restart btnx

- Also see "Help" inside "btnx-config", Trouble-Shooting:
  "Forward" always triggered an additional event in my configuration.
  Here's what helped to fix this - see your file "/etc/X11/xorg.conf":
	Section "InputDevice"
	        Identifier      "Configured Mouse"
	        Driver          "mouse"
	        Option          "CorePointer"
	        Option          "Device"        "/dev/input/mice"
	        Option          "Protocol"      "ImPS/2"
	        Option          "ZAxisMapping"  "4 5"
	# markus - 07-10-28 ...
	        #Option         "Emulate3Buttons"       "true"
	        Option          "Buttons"       "3"
	# ... markus - 07-10-28
	EndSection

Ubuntu Linux 8.04: Hardy Heron

Just some basic information on Hardy this time...

Ubuntu Linux 8.10

(intrepid) Upgrade from Hardy to Intrepid

I basically just ran "update-manager --devel-release" in an ALT+F2 command-line and followed the onscreen instructions.

(intrepid) Issues

Here are the issues I ran into after upgrading to Intrepid and that I could solve (somehow):

An issue that stayed until I upgraded to Jaunty:

(intrepid) Miscellaneous

Ubuntu Linux 9.04: Jaunty Jackalope

I've been using Ubuntu Linux since their very first release 4.10. Some the releases I liked more, some less - especially with the past few releases, the "feeling" was not quite right for me. (There simply were too many little issues around I didn't really like...)
However, according to my first impression, Canonical has now released a really great distro again with 9.04 aka "Jaunty Jackalope".

Here's the Ubuntu Linux 9.04 release notes, and here's the link to the recommended Jaunty Upgrade process.

(jaunty) Upgrade from Intrepid to Jaunty

I basically just ran "update-manager --devel-release" in an ALT+F2 command-line and followed the onscreen instructions.

Sidenote:
Amazingly, the system did not only upgrade without any questions asked. Moreover, it also survived an accidental reboot in the middle of package-installations:
While I had the PC run the upgrade process mentioned above, another user switched to their account (leaving mine logged in as usual), not knowing what I was actually in the middle of. Well, this really seemed to have been bad timing: With the X-server not working properly anymore (just some horizontal lines), I rebooted the machine using CTRL+ALT+DEL.
The X-server came up in some 640x480 resolution rescue-mode, giving me the possibility to run the same "update-manager -d" command as described above. After another reboot (requested by the Ubuntu system), I had a proper X-server running again.
I ran "update-manager -d" again as before ... this time it completed package installations and configurations.
-> really amazing!

(jaunty) Some random information

(jaunty) kdenlive && H.264

Pursuing a private little project to cut and author some video DVD, I ran accross kdenlive. While in my opinion it still has some glitches (crashes too often, though crash-recovery seems to be ok; but also I think I'm going to stick to several small projects that I'll somehow combine lateron, since from time to time it seems to mix something up in the project configuration), kdenlive is really a great and easy to use tool for video editing, even for entire novices such as me! :)

However, if you want to render your videos to H.264 or some other codecs (apart from DV, Theora and such), you will have to fix a packaging issue in Ubuntu 9.04 - here's what worked for me to get the missing codecs such as H.264 to be active and usable in the Render-dialog (instead of just being listed but not being selectable):

  1. Install recompiled version of libmlt++1 according to https://launchpad.net/~sunab/+archive/ppa, here's the current apt-sources-list entries:
      deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/sunab/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main
      deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/sunab/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main
    
    Use your favorite package management tool to install libmlt++1_0.3.8-0ubutunu2.
  2. According to this Ubuntu bug 363805 on the libmlt++1 issue (which actually is the official bug report on this topic), it's a good idea to install the "unstripped" versions of the following libraries (though you might need to consider patent issues in some countries - or similar):
      $ sudo apt-get install libavcodec-unstripped-52 libavformat-unstripped-52 libavutil-unstripped-49 libswscale-unstripped-0
    
  3. Now, install Ubuntu's libmlt-dev and re-run kdenlive's configuration assistant as indicated by the kdenlive webpage.
       $ sudo apt-get install libmlt-dev
    
    And in kdenlive, run "Settings > Run configuration assistent" ... and restart kdenlive.

Next time you "render" your video in kdenlive, you should have the codecs such as H.264 available to be used.

(jaunty) Mainboard replacement

Due to a hardware-problem, I had to switch my previous mainbord Asus M2NPV-VM for a new one: Asus M3N78-VM.

While basically everything is up and running again, I had to play around a bit to get X working again, with the downside of system-lockups if 3D-effects are enabled. This leaves me with a stable but quite basic desktop now without any of that nice effects-stuff. Here's my current xorg.conf.
Let's see how Ubuntu 9.10 performs...

Also, the new mainboard does not have a parallel port anymore. Thus, I had to connect my HP DeskJet 5550 printer via USB now. While this works just fine, every now and then, GNOME's system-config-printer application adds a second "deskjet-5550" printer, for whatever reason. (Problem is that this new printer is not the default but it is active, while the default printer is set INactive afterwards. I fix this each time manually.)
Let's see what Ubuntu 9.10 brings...

A problem which has become quite annoying is that after the boot sequence, the mouse sometimes does not work. To fix this, I need to reboot the machine (or unplug and plug the USB-mouse back in again). I tried to re-initialise the USB system with one or two apps, but could not get it working with a software-only approach yet.
Let's see what Ubuntu 9.10 has to say about this...

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last modified: 2010-02-23 15:57:01
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