Tuesday, November 27, 2007

First impression of Fluxbuntu 7.10.

After waiting for one month (since RC release) I downloaded RC iso of Fluxbuntu 7.10 Gutsy. As expected the CD was not booting from the cdrom drive (there is a bug). I copied the iso on a spare partition and used the method to install from iso given here

I added Firefox but it was not added to Menu even after "sudo update-menus", howver, I could put Fireox icon on the Desktop linking it to the application.

My first observation is "it is not very lighweight" distribution. In fact it is heavier than running Fluxbox on Ubuntu Dapper. Perhaps that is the reason why it is not reaching the "Final" release stage.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Getting Enlightened on Linux

Apart from Blogger, Gmail, iGoogle I use almost every Google Application like Google Documents, Google Maps, Google Calender etc., therefore, I was thrilled to see the above Desktop image of gOS.
I downloaded the iso, burnt CD and tried it Live and was very much impressed with newE17 Enlightenment Desktop and installed it to Hard Disc. Immediately after installation, I wanted to replace the Facebook icon with Orkut and Meebo icon with Gaim (or now called PIDGIN) but I was afraid that the attempt may mess up something.

I remembered that I had tried to fiddle with E16 version of this Desktop on Dapper Drake and did not like it. I removed E16 and tried to add gOS desktop to Ubuntu Dapper from gOS repositories but it refused to install due to broken dependencies because the package was meant for Ubuntu Gutsy which I have not installed. After searching a little more, I found the repositories containing E17 Desktop for Ubuntu Dapper.
I installed the Desktop and started to configure. I found some new terms like shelf, pager, ibar and ibox. Then I remembered the recent article posted on in which the author has mentioned these terms and what they do. I could configure the Desktop within a few minutes using GUI tools and the screenshot is below:

The wallpaper was available in the system somewhere and I changed the default wallpaper. Look at the boxes at the bottom. The whole rectangular shape is called "shelf" which can be put on any side of the Desktop (aligned Left, Right or Center). The first yellow icon (after the cock's image) is the Start button. The 4 boxes next to it are the 4 Desktops (or workspaces) available in Ubuntu The space containing them is called "pager". The next box called "ibar" contains the icons of Firefox, Abiword, Evolution, GAIM, Gnumeric Spreadsheet have been inserted by me, then there are 2 applets (Temperature and Clock), the next box called ibox contains running minimized applications (Freecell, Rhythmbox, Home Folder, Terminal).

I am very happy to see that I can customize the Desktop on E17 with GUI tools provided and any user can do it and get enlightened.

I forgot to add you can have one shelf in each corner and fully customize it like on the green gOS desktop there is another shelf on right (middle aligned) with Network and Clock applet.

I could add the orkut icon to the ibar after setting it to open my orkut account and I am adding the sreenshot below. The orkut icon is next to gmail icon.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Running Linux on Pentium MMX 200 MHz, 32 MB RAM


I have an old desktop with Pentium MMX 200 MHz 32 MB RAM. It has Windows 98 since it was bought. Ubuntu is my favorite distribution so I installed it first in dual boot with JWM window manager. Here is my post describing Ubuntu installation on this machine.

Later on I tried Damn Small Linux and did a frugal install. I added Opera from mydsl and found that it was faster compared to Opera on Ubuntu with JWM.

Then I fiddled with the sound card and found that it was Yamaha OPL3-SAx. I searched on many Linux forums including Ubuntuforums and learnt that I required alsaconf to configure it. I remembered that Puppy Linux Live CD had this utility.

I inserted Puppy Live CD and could configure the sound card without inputting any DMA or IRQ numbers by using alsaconf. I could test the sound through alsaconf at the end of the configuration.

Then I decided to play an audio CD and discovered that I could remove Puppy Live CD (although I had only 32 MB RAM) and insert and play the audio CD in the same drive. Amazing!

I also configured my network connection and saved all configurations on the hard disc at the end of the session.

Now whenever I insert Puppy Live CD the saved sound card and network configurations work. There is no need to do hard disc install.

I am looking for suitable Opera version for Puppy like I have in mydsl.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

How to write to Windows NTFS partition from Ubuntu Feisty.

After you install Ubuntu in dual boot with windows it is necessary to have Read/Write access to your old files on NTFS partition. When you install Feisty, it mounts your NTFS partitions Read only. Here is how to get write access to the partition.

Click on Applications/Add-remove.
Type NTFS in the search box and select all available applications in show box.

You will find NTFS Configuration Tool, select it to install and click apply.

After the utility is installed click on Applications/System Tools/NTFS Configuration Tool.
Check the required boxes and click ok.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Installing Ubuntu Feisty using Windows Bootloader


One of my friend wanted to install Ubuntu Feisty on his office desktop without installing Grub on MBR and instead use Windows Bootloader to boot into Windows or Ubuntu. I checked on Illustrated Dual Boot Site and decided to use Wingrub to accomplish this.

I edited the BIOS settings to make first boot device as "floppy".

I used alternate install CD to install Ubuntu and when the installation asked "Install the GRUB boot loader to the master boot record?" I selected "No". On next screen I typed "(fd0)" and inserted a floppy to install Grub on floppy.

On rebooting I could boot into Ubuntu since the floppy was inside the drive. The installation was perfect. I commented the "savedefault" line in /boot/grub/menu.lst as suggested on Wingrub page.

Then I removed the floppy and rebooted into Windows and followed the instructions on Wingrub page which I am reproducing below:
To relax the security attributes for the boot.ini file:
1) Click Start
2) Click Run
3) Type CMD in the run box
Open: CMD
4) Click the 'OK' button

Type cd \ (to go to root directory)
Type attrib -s -h -r boot.ini (so that you can see boot.ini file which is hidden)
Open the file boot.ini file and add the following line:
C:\GRLDR="Start Grub" (This will add "Start Grub" line to Windows Bootloader.

Then I downloaded WINGRB0206.EXE from sourceforge

I double-clicked on the installer's icon and received a window titled 'WinGrub 0.02 Build 6 Setup: Installation Options'.

The options are, 'Type of install:' ('Full', 'Normal', 'Minimum', or 'Custom').
I left the spinbox set to 'Full' for mine.

Right under that spinbox are: 'WinGrub GUI', 'Stage Files', Create shortcut', and Create Desktop Icon'.
The first three checkboxes were already checked, and I also added a tick mark to the fourth checkbox, to have the installer create a desktop icon for me.
I guess that makes it a 'custom' install. The spinbox resets to 'custom'. Okay.

The next Window is to tell me where WinGrub wants to be installed, or allow me to browse for an alternative location if the default location isn't suitable for me. I just clicked 'Install'.

As quick as a flash, a new Windows appeared and a blue progress bar zipped across it, a new icon appeared on my desktop, and WinGrub was installed.

That was simple wasn't it? :)

Now I see a nice new icon has been added to my Desktop.

Now I double-click the WinGrub icon on my Desktop, and a Window titled 'Base Setup' opens.

The 'Base Setup' Window has a field with a big empty space in the middle titled 'Choose Drive'.

In my computer there is one line in the top of that space. It says, 'C-Free:7300M, Total: 13548M'
I selected that line with my mouse.
I imagine in some computers there might be a list of partitions you could install WinGrub in, but I only have one.
I clicked 'Ok'.

The next Windows opens, it's called 'WinGrub -C:\Grub\
The big square in this one is titled 'General Options'.
I clicked the 'Profiles' spinbox and down came a list of options, 'sample', 'default', 'netboot', and 'dskboot'.
I selected the last one, 'dskboot'.

Below the 'General Options' rectangle in the same Window there is a box called 'Menu table', in which the lower left field has just changed to show some terms I'm familiar with.

I clicked on the top line, '', and this caused some output to appear in the right-hand side fields.
The top field, called 'title', now has 'load /boot/grub/menu.lst' printed in it.
Right under that in the next field, I see' find --set-root /boot/grub/menu.lst
configfile /boot/grub/menu.lst

Finally, back up in the upper rectangle, just to the right of the 'Profiles' spinbox, which is set to 'dskboot', there's a 'save' button. It doesn't have 'save' written on it anywhere, but I can tell what it's for by the icon. I clicked that.

In the 'Base Setup' window again I clicked 'tools'-->'install Grub',
and in the 'Install Grub' Window I saw system drive 'C' was pre-selected.
I clicked on the radio button for BOOT.INI
and hit the 'Install' button at the bottom middle of that window.

Then, I closed the WinGrub Setup and rebooted my computer.

Windows Bootloader provided the following options:
Please select the operating system to start:

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Start Grub

When I clicked on "Start Grub" I could boot into Ubuntu.

Now suppose my friend wants to remove Ubuntu from the machine he could simply remove the "Start Grub" option from boot.ini file after deleting the Linux partitions.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Downloading Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty on Windows XP using BitTorrent


It is long long time since I posted on this blog because I was not having regular access to Internet. I reached my daughter's home and she has a desktop with 24 hours cable internet connection. Although it has Xubuntu 6.06 in dual boot with Windows XP the Linux is not in use due to 128MB not being sufficient for adequate speed on Xubuntu. Moreover, the desktop is used by all family members so the default OS is Windows XP.

Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty was released on April 19th 2007 and I wanted to download it ASAP. I decided to have the experience of downloading through BitTorrent. There are many sites offering Bittorrent clients for Windows. I decided to download the original Bittorrent client. In order to use Bittorent you need the link to the torrent file of the iso which is a small file (27 K).

I had to modify the Windows XP firewall settings for the Network Connection to allow access to port nos 6881 to 6889 for which instructions were available on this site.

I entered the URL of the torrent file in BitTorrent by clicking on Add button. I was asked where to save the downloaded ISO on the hard disc and the download began. Since it was day 1 there were more people asking for the file than those sharing theirs (called seeds). My max download speed was limited by the ISP (could reach 12 KB/s only). In spite of such low download speed the PC was uploading at 3 KB/s and surfing was not possible. After trying for a few hours I decided to pause the download for one or two days. On April 20th I found that 98% machines were seed and it was possible to download and also surf on the desktop. It took more than a day to download the ISO.