I hope you enjoy this short video demo of Linux Mint 14 XFCE.
I hope you enjoy this short video demo of Linux Mint 14 XFCE.
Tux Laptop clipart
The year 2012 has been a fun and interesting ride for Pensive Penguin. I thought it would be fun to highlight what I thought were the top posts of the year. Here they are starting with January and moving forward.
This may not have been the most widely read post of the year but it certainly impacted me the most.
Bash Command Line Blunder Using rm Not to be Repeated
I do not think there was a more important time for the Internet than SOPA/PIPA.Stop SOPA/PIPA Sign the Petition
In April I added mobile support. Site Update: Now Pensive Penguin Delivered in Mobile Formats What took me so long?
I like doing my part to support the Linux community and this was a good cause to get behind. The Debian Administrator’s Handbook Is Available in English The book is really great too. This cannot be said enough. Open Source Projects Are Free But Need to be Funded Projects need support and most of it will come from the community.
In August we had a birthday, Happy Birthday to Pensive Penguin! as well as created a stir in the Ubuntu community. Zeitgeist: Is Your OS Spying on You? I can see now that my choice of wording did not sit well with them. I could have done better. I still believe that the owners of the distribution have an obligation to its users to be upfront and honest. I think that Ubuntu did not do that very well in the beginning but has since cleared their name in this regard.
Sometimes it is appropriate to simply shout out about how you feel about something. I think I did that pretty well in September here From My Linux Soapbox!
Moving into November we talked about the move to ARM support and Secure Boot (I think the second most important topic of the year).
openSuse Releases v12.2 to Arm
Will Secure Boot Impact You?
A Solution to Secure Boot For Linux
That is it, my list for the top posts for 2012. I am looking forward to a great 2013 and beyond. Thanks for reading.
Well I finally took the plunge and purchased a new laptop. I got myself a Lenovo G580 with a B980 PDC CPU sporting 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive and more goodies. For the longest time, 10 years, I have either used a build it yourself desktop or a second hand laptop. It has been a long time since last buying new. While I did not go all out and get the latest i7 or i anything, the B980 compared rather well on Intel’s site with their newer and last years models. And as a bonus it sits atop the Sandy bridge giving it an extra punch in the graphics arena. All said and done I am happy with the purchase so far.
As you might be guessing from the post’s title, Windows 8 did not last very long on this machine. First priority was to disable the secure boot in the BIOS. And I do not give Lenovo much credit in making this intuitive. Perhaps there is industry pressure not to? We’ll never know for sure. Once in the BIOS you have to enable the legacy boot option and other OS options. This disables the secure boot but does not tell you it does. But upon checking you will find it is disabled after doing this. Save the settings and boot normally. At this point you can boot Windows 8 or your favorite OS. I booted the former. I wanted to see it first hand and I knew there would be an app to register the computer.
After a rather lengthy install process and a video or slide to show you Windows 8, one slide and not helpful at all, you are finally logged in to the desktop. What surprised me right off was I was wired to the network and it would only choose wireless as an option. My second thoughts were how clunky the interface was. Once in an application, which was not an issue, getting out was. No instructions, no pop ups, nothing. I managed to get out eventually and did indeed register the laptop with Lenovo. That is as far as I wanted to go with Windows 8. I have had my experience now.
I replaced the 500GB hard drive with mine, Linux already installed, faster spindle speed (7200rpm) and booted. Linux roared to life as expected. But that is not to say there was not any issues to deal with. Apparently this laptop comes with a newer network chip that does not have a module in the kernel yet. My first thoughts were that I was running the Debian edition of Mint and that the drivers were in the non-free category. I had been planning on installing Mint 14 Nadia since its debut but had not yet given in to the task.After all nothing was broken or anything. I fired up my employers laptop and downloaded the ISO burning it to a thumb drive in short time. Once again the install went off without errors and I was running Nadia in no time.
But the wired network was not working nor was it detected. The command lspci did indeed show the chip set, Ather03:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR8162 Fast Ethernet (rev 10), but nothing was happening network wise on it. Enter the best Linux trouble shooter Google and I found the answer here in the Ubuntu forums. There were other posts from Google but this one had the crucial step of installing build-essentials. Without it the fix does not work. I had Ethernet in short order once again. Wireless was functioning but where I live there are so many signals that it is degraded all the time for serious connections. So I prefer wired over wireless right now. It should also be mentioned that the wireless is the famous B43cutter and worked right off the bat. The non-free driver was also available if desired.
So far this setup is doing great and there are not any issues that are deal breakers. My only complaint and I do not yet know if it is the OS or the hardware, is when I go the click something the mouse pointer hides itself. Annoying to say the least. Oh well if that is the worst thing then I have done pretty well.
I should also mention that after setup sound was working, video was set to a good resolution and everything just worked as it should. Nice work to the Ubuntu teams and to Clem and the Mint team for putting this together.
Update: I noticed when changing themes the disappearing cursor is gone. I will have to pay attention to which one it was since I had been switching around on them. This is good to know and I will update again if I notice it.
The Debian Administrator’s Handbook written by Raphaël Hertzog and Roland Mas was originally published in France and through ULULE a campaign was started in November 2011 to liberate the book to be available to English readers throughout the world.
I am very excited to be able to receive this book in electronic format since I was not a large contributor. These days for my family money is very tight but I could not pass the opportunity to at least donate a few bucks to the project. The donation project was a success and now this highly acclaimed book in Europe is now available to English readers. It is even available on the web for free in HTML format or can be downloaded without donations. I ask that if someone does download that they help the project in any way that they can.
If you are interested in Debian from an administrator’s point of view, then this will be a prize for your collection.
It should be noted in the beginning that any installation of an Arch based OS will require Linux background or the willingness to read and follow instructions. ArchBang is no exception. The good news is the community behind these platforms does a great job at keeping the documentation updated, clear and well written. In fact I have used their documentation to solve many Linux issues with other more “popular” distros simply since it was so clear and the base of Linux remains pretty much the same no matter what is put on top. The main reason I feel this way about ArchBang is there are things to manually configure in this distribution than in other types such as Linux Mint. Mint install will configure everything for you and leave you at a desktop that will not require anything to be done. You will end up on a desktop in ArchBang too that is ready to use but getting there is a bit different.
The platform I am using for this test, (writing this post with it too.), is a Dell D420 running a Dual Core 1.2Ghz CPU and 1Gb of RAM. It is by most standards considered at the slower end of the hardware spectrum. I have it on loan from work since it was destined for the scrap pile when running Windows XP and performance was too slow to be viable to work with. We are talking a couple of minutes to boot and lots of lag when trying to open the main tools such as MS Office. Now that we have some background this review will have a bit more meaning.
ArchBang’s greatest difference from Arch is that it is a live distro that can be run from CD or USB. It is complete without the need to install anything else. I chose to install from USB using a technique I will outline at the end of this post. Arch on the other hand is a custom build type of distro. You install everything and all the choices are made by you. This doesn’t mean you can’t change anything in ArchBang or that there are not programs you might choose over others. But it is fully functional right from the start with few edits. This is my first successful install of ArchBang and I had tried before but I think my Linux knowledge and willingness to really read was not where it is today.
I followed an excellent How To guide from the ArchVortex blog and was running in minutes. Stan has posted excellent instructions complete with screen captures and I will not repeat them here. If you have plans on installing ArchBang follow his guide and you won’t miss.
Once installed I noticed right away how responsive this old computer became. Booting to the log in screen was less than 20 seconds and signed in to desktop was faster than I could type. My first thoughts were wow! I installed from a cabled connection and proceeded with the recommended post-install updates. My only real frustration was during the install when I set the mirrorlist. I would rather see this file arrive with the mirrors commented out and have me un-comment the ones I need. It is a chore to comment out so many mirrors. On the other hand I can see why this is done this way. If it was forgotten or missed, pacman (package manager), would not work and the initial updates would fail. It is from the popularity that the mirrorlist is so long and after running ArchBang a while I can see why.
I installed from a cabled connection since in the past I had issues trying to install from wireless. This Dell D420 comes with the notorious B43 cutter wireless chip. I have read too many issues getting this started so I chose wired, It is a Broadcom Ethernet chip set too but I had no issues at all with a connection. Once installed and updates were finished, I re-booted with a D-Link DWA 652 PCMCIA card. I had used this card in the past with some success and it uses the athk9 driver. This driver has been supported for quite some time so I was confident of a wireless connection. And I was right. Wireless started but to my surprise both adapters were showing as available. So it seems using Linux kernel 3.1.0-Arch #1 is now supporting the B43 cutter that has plagued so many users in the past. I stuck with the D-Link for the greater speed for now but it is nice to know it works,
I also tested the SD card slot and it recognized a card from my camera without a problem. This is something I have had issues with using LMDE on the Sony laptop.
I am really impressed so far with this version of ArchBang. I have to admit I do not know a lot yet about pacman and have not yet customized this install past adding the terminal, Aurora and file manager links to the main menu. But I’m sure I can learn.
I have to give this distro of ArchBang high marks for everything I can think of is working in this D420 Dell Latitude. I think this is a great distro for someone who isn’t afraid to step out of the comfort zone and learn more or for those in the know a great start to a fully customizable system.
Here is how I created the USB key. I have created a dd shell script that allows me to copy an iso directly to USB. I do have to edit the path before running. I will post the entire process as another post later. I tried Unetbootin on this one too but it failed requiring some edits but the error didn’t say what edits. So I felt dd was a quicker solution. It works great but you better type the path right. More later.