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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Ubuntu instalation

I was really fed up with Gentoo, so I grabbed Ubuntu betas (Dapper Drake 6.06 Beta 2).

The first cool thing - installer is integrated with a LiveCD. That is - you boot into a LiveCD (like a Knoppix), with all the things (like FireFox) you'd expect from one, but also with an "Install" link on the desktop. That's the best installer ever - if you get bored looking at the progress bar you can read some web comics or something :-). I'm actually writing this blog entry from inside the installer, just clicking Save Draft a bit more often.

Live report from the instalation

  • Warning "there may be some bugs left, please backup everything". Yeah, as if anyone ever did.
  • Language selection.
  • Timezone selection from a world map. It has language-based defaults so it got Warsaw time seeing that the selected language is Polish.
  • Keyboard selection. Finally, everything is in Dvorak :-). There was something about keyboard layouts on the boot screen (Fsomething - Keyboard layouts), but as BIOS doesn't grok my USB keyboard I couldn't use it. The whole system (including FireFox) switched to the new layout.
  • Real name, username, password, computer name selection. Remember that Ubuntu has no root account by default, it uses sudo for root things.
  • Partition program. I selected the "by hand" option, as that's the part where magic can really screw someone up. The "by hand" option is a really cute partitioning wizard.
  • Instalation. Reading web comics was not such a bright idea after all. 256MB (with no swap at this point) is not enough for comfortable FireFox + installer.
  • Reboot.

After reboot

I'm going to spare you description of the hacks I had to do because of BIOS having problems with disks bigger than about 137GB, as it only took 5 minutes and wasn't Ubuntu-related or particularly interesting. Or does someone maybe know how to update BIOSes ?

Anyway, after the reboot Ubuntu told me that 357 packages have updated versions and asked me whether I'd like to update. Information on what changed in each packag was available in a nice GUI wizard. So, I just told it to go on, and it updated 357 packages (it took about an hour, screenshot taken during the update).

So, I have a working system. Now the next actions are:
  • Install all necessary FireFox extensions. That's going to be some fine bloggable material.
  • Install more packages, like Eclipse and xchat and AmaroK. It should be much easier than in Gentoo, unless one of the programs has not been packaged for any Debian-based distro.
  • Install the proprietary 3D drivers. Yucky.
  • Configure everything that needs to be configured. Probably not too much work.
  • Decide whether GNOME (Ubuntu default) is better than KDE (what I used so far). If not, it's just a few clicks to switch it. The first impression is good - it doesn't seem to suck as much as it used to. Like, the terminal actually supports tabs. Another bloggable stuff coming :-D

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