Sunday, October 15, 2006

Running Ubuntu!

Yesterday I finally made the switch to Ubuntu on my ThinkPad T60p. It went extremely smoothly overall, and I'll be sure and report my progress of getting settled into the new OS.

As I stated in a comment to a previous post, I used Versora Progression Desktop to migrate my Windows files to Ubuntu. I backed everything up on my Linksys NAS but Versora claimed they could move all my Outlook email directly to Thunderbird. I say "claimed" because even though the Versora software seemed to run on the Windows side just fine to create the migration file, it chokes when I try to read it in on the Linux side. I'm hoping their support will get back to me but we'll see. As an alternative, there is a PST file reader for Ubuntu so I may try that today.

Ubuntu detected all the hardware on my system perfectly, including my wireless chipset. The only manual configuration I had to do was to my X11 config file to tell it to use a different video driver that would support the fantastic 1600x1200 resolution on my ThinkPad. (As an aside, this ThinkPad has the most beautiful screen I've ever seen on a laptop, and that includes the Powerbook I had last year.)

The ColdFusion installation was very smooth as well other than connecting it to Apache, which I guess I'll have to do manually since it choked during the install process. I did get the typical C++ compatibility library error that seems to pop up on most Linux distros, but when I installed CF on Fedora previously I was able to install the necessary packages to get around that error. No such luck here, but the only issues that will cause are that I can't use C++ CFX tags, nor can I use Verity, neither of which is important to me. For details on installing CF on Ubuntu, see this link. It covers Debian but Ubuntu is a Debian-based distro, so other than the C++ libraries the installation process is the same. In all honestly you just execute the installer and you're pretty much good to go, just tell it to use the built-in web server because it didn't like Apache (on my machine anyway).

Beyond that, I installed Thunderbird, Skype, Audacity, Gaim, Eclipse, CFEclipse, Subclipse, and Subversion (for the command line tools), and I'm in pretty good shape. Ubuntu installed a whole lot of great apps as part of the installation process such as OpenOffice.org, so all in all the migration was really, really smooth.

So what do I notice so far? First, it's just a whole lot of fun to mess with, and I feel very good to be free of my Windows shackles. Second, the machine is insanely fast. It boots up very quickly and after you log in, it's literally about 2 seconds before the hard drive stops spinning. On Windows it was more like 2 minutes. Now granted this machine is a 2.something GHz Core Duo with 2GB of RAM, but it performs quite notably better with Ubuntu than it ever did with Windows. Lastly, time will tell, but I didn't have any "oh but I can't do ..." moments after moving over. I do lose things like the Slingbox player, the TiVo Desktop software, and Napster, but that's about it.

My next step is to dock the machine and see how that works. I also ordered a new dual-DVI video card for the dock (the Advanced Dock for this machine can take a "short" PCI Express card), so we'll see how that works. The card I ordered uses the same chipset as what's in the ThinkPad itself (and the laptop itself is no slouch--512MB of video RAM on an ATI card), so it should be pretty smooth.

The only huge issue I have at this point is that I can't connect to SSL-enabled SVN repositories, so if anyone has any thoughts on that, I'm all ears. I get a "cannot perform propfind" error and did everything I found on Google related to this to no avail. I'm sure it's just an SSL version package for Java that's causing the issue.

I'm now officially Windows free (I use a Mac Pro at work), and it feels pretty darn good. Linux has come a long, long way since I used it as a desktop OS several years ago, and Ubuntu is darn easy to try out with their Live CD, so if you're curious just download it and give it a shot. I'm sure I'll have a lot to say over the coming weeks as I get more oriented to the new environment.


Comments


Congrats! I used to run Ubuntu a few months ago, but my home desktop gave up the ghost. My Laptop (an HP) has a Broadcom wireless card that isn't supported in Linux yet (they refuse to give up their drivers...). So I'm envious.


I have a not so new Compaq laptop that I use occasionally for web browsing and "experimental" installs (my main computer is a Dell desktop). Problem is it's been freezing pretty consistently since I got it -- a problem I've always suspected was related to Windows (vs. a hardware issue). Inspired by your post, I downloaded and installed Ubuntu on it this weekend. I had a similar experience -- all hardware was detected perfectly (including an old wireless PCMCIA Linksys card I use to connect to my network) and I was off and running. Much faster, and (so far) no freezes. Sweet.


I used and loved Ubuntu for about 6 months up to this month. I had to ditch it, though. I can't deal with being stuck on Flash 7. I've been pushed into doing a Flex project and Flash 7 will not be an option.

I did a lot of blogging on issues I had and how I got through them. You should take a look if you get stuck with anything.

Erik



I ran Ubuntu for the first time from CD last night just to get a feel for it. After that I decided to format a 2nd drive & try it out for a while. Anyone else easing into this & have suggestions?



Matt, which video card did you buy for the docking station? I can't seem to find any half-length dual-head PCI-E cards that are reasonably priced OR offer reasonable performance.





Max--it's been so long ago that unfortunately I don't remember. All I remember is that I got it from newegg.com and it was about $120. :-) Sorry, I know that doesn't help much but since I'm not running this setup anymore I just don't recall, and I don't have the video card any longer.





Ubuntu releases new versions every six months, and supports those releases for 18 months with daily security fixes and patches to critical bugs.





Ubuntu Finland[1] was awarded Finnish Linux User Group's 2008 award at the HP Linux Forum[2], in Helsinki, on 8th of May. The award was received by the team contact of Ubuntu Finland, Timo Jyrinki, and was given by the Finland's Minister of Communications, Suvi Lindén[3]. The award also included 2000€ in cash for Ubuntu Finland's usage.





Ubuntu releases new versions every six months, and supports those releases for 18 months with daily security fixes and patches to critical bugs.





I did get the typical C++ compatibility library error that seems to pop up on most Linux distros, but when I installed CF on Fedora previously I was able to install the necessary packages to get around that error



No comments: