Sunday, June 1, 2008


It's is more than 10 years since I regularly used a Unix system. I have of course followed the Unix/Linux development in general over the years but have never seen a reason to head back. I work with Windows and I use Windows at home. By parents have got a Mac and I really like Mac OS X and have thought about switching to this platform in the future.

Anyway the other day I read about Ubuntu 8.04 and Wubi and decided to give it a try.

First I installed it on my old Shuttle SB81P configured with one IDE disk, one SATA and a Powercolor 800XL. Everything went extremely well and I had my Ubuntu up and running after approx. 30 minutes. The default installation works fine and I haven't bothered to check what packages actually got installed.

Secondly I installed it on my even older laptop Acer Travelmate 632LC. This machine has some integrated Geforce2 graphics and an old disk that regularly gives me trouble. The first install got disk problems half way through. I cancelled the installation and got the choice to save the downloaded data in a backup. I tried once more and now the install went fine. But when booting up the first time the machine hung when formatting swap disk. I found an advice to rename the swap disk (C:\ubuntu\disks\swap.disk -> C:\ubuntu\disks\noswap.disk ) and restart so I tried that and now it booted up nicely! (Afterwards I found this error description that sounds like my error, I haven't verified the fix though.) Everything seemed to work fine and I got the option to upgrade the video drivers by the system since the Geforce2 obviously was detected. I accepted this and rebooted. Now the 2D performance became totally unacceptable. I was a lot worse than the default drivers. The fix for this was to uninstall the nvidia-glx drivers and install the nvidia-glx-legacy drivers. This was simple using the Synaptic Package manager.

Most impressive was that Ubuntu/Wubi detected my Netgear WG511 wireless adapter on my laptop and got it running without a problem!

So now I got Ubuntu on two machines at home. I have tried some basic functions like using the Firefox browser, the Open Office package and the default media player. Everything works fine but I can't see one reason to stop using Windows! It was a fun excercise though!

Perhaps I'll try using MonoDevelop for some .NET (Mono) development on this platform in the future to see how it compares with the express versions of Visual Studio.

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