Ubuntu Migration: Experiences

Helping out Chandra to migrate from his current Windows based laptop to an Ubuntu based one.

The main things we attempted to do:

Upgrade the current laptop

  • Current R40e felt sluggish, and some trouble-shooting determined that the Harddrive was the cause. Changed the HDD to a spanking new 160GB IDE one.Current config is 256MB RAM. Something we can live with for the moment.

Install Ubuntu 8-04 LTS version

  • Downloaded the ISO image, burnt it on a CD, and tried installing. Several times. Got stuck at the 15% install hang problem. The Alternate “Text based” ISO was suggested as the workaround.
  • Downloaded the Alternate ISO CD-image from the MIT Media lab mirror. ISO md5sum matched. Things seemed fine.
  • Tried to burn the image onto the CD, but then it was being recognised as a read-only disk, and the cd-burn did not proceed. Gnashing teeth. Brasero didn’t help either. Google did. K3b, with the cdrskin install was suggested as an option, so that whatever kinks exist in cdrecord are smoothened out. Installed it. CD was recognised as a write-able entity. Created the image on the CD.
  • The install didn’t start off, as expected, once I booted from the install CD. Tried this several times, with increasing levels of frustration. And then, after a 5 minute break to distract my mind, realized that I had copied the CD-image as a DVD image (k3b provides the option to burn as CD or DVD ISO image. Damn!). Re-wrote the CD-Image as a CD ISO image, and then booted the machine. Install started off.
  • The installation didn’t proceed after a point, and complained that the *NVIDIA*deb was corrupt. Bleddy hell!
  • Seriously considered moving this back to Windows XP.Took a welcome break. Fortified with some piping hot chai, tried this again.
  • Downloaded the Alternate ISO image from the easy-news mirror. ISO md5sum matched. Made a CD image. Kept fingers crossed, and the installation seemed to proceed along just fine. Let it run, and voila, Ubuntu was successfully installed.
  • Restarted the machine, and let it boot into the native ubuntu OS. It informed me that I had 200MB of updates. Did that, without a glitch.

System response was rather good. Except when loading it with a whole bunch of resource-hungry applications – runnig youtube videos, and loading Open-office. A bit unresponse, while starting up these applications. but once started, things are ok. During heavy load, the disk seems to be constantly churning – based on the fact that the disk activity indicator light was constantly on. But what else do you expect with a 256MB RAM machine. I was impressed with the performance, nevertheless.

Additional Software

The next step was to install or atleast suggest alternate software, from the laundry list of things that Chandra needed:

  1. http://www.inkscape.org/ – apt-get install inkscape
  2. http://www.scribus.net/ – apt-get install scribus
  3. hotpot.uvic.ca/ – run it with Wine: http://hotpot.uvic.ca/wine_hotpot62.zip
  4. http://www.irfanview.com/ – not needed, you could use the f-spot image viewer.
  5. mozbackup.jasnapaka.com/ – Run this with the Wine option.
  6. any linux equivalent of MS Clear Type font tuner – I think the mstt* package will do. Again apt-get install it.
  7. S/w to download pics from Canon EOS 350D – f-spot should help there.
  8. Mu torrent – loads of options. Ubuntu has a default torrent client.
  9. GOM Player – totem media player will help here. Its there by default. else apt-get install it.
  10. Google Earth – available for linux
  11. Google Talk – use pidgin, or available for linux
  12. CD Burner – install cdrskin and k3b
  13. PDF writer (one independent is still useful; i know openoffice has inbuilt pdf creator) – comes with a pdf writer option, while using the print-to-file option
  14. Skype – available for linux
  15. Yahoo Messenger – use pidgin, or use the yahoo messenger available for linux
  16. Acrobat reader – not needed, Evince is a default pdf and post-script reader
  17. Qtime – is this the apple .mov player? I think there is a decoder available for totem to play this one.
  18. RealPlayer – hate this one. but again, there are decoder available for playing this in linux
  19. some kind of player for WMV files (i THINK GOM can handle this, but not sure) – totem player.
  20. Drivers for HP Business Inkjet 1000, HP Inkjet 3550, UMAX ASTRA 3600 scanner – drivers available to work with this. No worries.
  21. install java to run online crosswords – sun-java will help here.

Using Ubuntu: first steps

Need to show Chandra the options to install, remove software from Ubuntu, and also to use some nice facilities like Gnome-Do to lauch software.


1 thought on “Ubuntu Migration: Experiences”

  1. Yes, well! As the recipient of this Kiranian munificence (oof, I’ve been DYING to use that word in a sentence for a LONG time!), I must say a few things. I hope these reach the LINUX developer community.

    Oi vay! You are doing a fantastic job with creating so many things for people to wean themselves away from MS. I applaud you for that.

    But, PLEASE have mercy on the likes of me! Remember, we WANT to be part of your movement, but … but … could you, er, like, um, ah, speak to us in English or even something that might be LIKE MS-ese?

    The more I saw Ubuntu during my (totally failed) attempts at installing it, it was scary! I came THIS close to saying “uncle” and re-installing that other OS which shall remain nameless. [Fie upon it! A huge baby with no immune system!!]

    I encountered numbers with many many zeros instead of 5GB or 10.7 GB etc. You intimidate me with the noughts.

    And just now reading Kiran’s posting above, I found more technical terms that I tried to say rapidly and bit my tongue. Now the subaltern has NO speech, though it has voice.

    I am eagerly looking forward to working on the Ubuntu OS. I also like to just say “ubuntu”… it sounds really cool. I can intimidate those 3 billion who are even further behind me on the learning curve by throwing the jargon I have picked up from this experience.

    What? EXAMPLE?? Well, I can’t think of one this instant. Well, how many newspapers or supreme court cases could Sister Palin name during HER interview?? HUH? So there!

    Hasta la vista

    Chandra “Ubuntu” Balachandran.

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